August 23, 2018
Fall is fast approaching. Fall is another time of new beginnings. The start of a new school year. The start of more activity in the church. Our choir will return and bless us with inspirational music.
Looking back, I've had a great summer. My trip to North Carolina was fun, educational and occasionally challengng. It was good to connect to our Cherokee brothers and sisters in worship as well as to my own distant cousins still worshiping in the church my sixth great grandfather founded, and to see the names of other ancestors on the stone in the church graveyard commemorating Revolutionary War heroes. I was also confronted with those same ancestors' involvement in the slave system and in the ways that this horrible legacy affects us today. This is one way I see my own family as an example of Luther's understanding that we are both saint and sinner.
It was nice to have some time to read. I've been exploring Lutheran theology through the book, Radical Lutherans/Lutheran Radicals by Jason Mahn, which looked at how Luther's understanding of how the good news affected the thinking and the actions of Luther, Soren Kierkegaard, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Dorothee Soelle. I also read some murder mysteries from the meatier new books by Anne Hillerman about Navaho police officers to the fluff of The Big Chihuahua.
Mom and I went to Kalispell to visit my nephew. We went down to the National Bison Range. If you haven't been, it's worth the trip. It's amazing to think of how many bison there were in this country -- their range went into western Pennsylvania! How quickly we killed them off almost to the point of extinction. But the best part of the bison range is to see those magnificent animals up close -- and, of course, to see the deer and the antelope playing as well.
We here at Messiah had a wonderful weekend. We participated in our C.O.P.S. Northwest Night Out Against Crime on August 11, and hosted a Blood Drive on August 12. Thanks to all who participated! Messiah is making a difference in the lives of people here in Shadle.
Fall is the time for the Pacific Lutheran University Corporation Board. I love finding out what PLU has done in the past year and how it supports its students. We meet on the first day of class and all of the faculty, staff and board members form a corridor for students to pass through to go to the auditorium and we cheer these students as they come by. It's a great feeling.
Here at Messiah we will bless our students and their backpacks on September 9. Some people complain that there is no longer state-sponsored prayer in school, but we know that God will be with our students as they meet the joys and the challenges of the school year: God has their back! God surrounds them with God's love.
September 9 is also the day for "God's Work. Our Hands." Sunday. I love this Sunday and the opportunity we have to help people around the world. The Adult Forum will begin again studying Lutheran Professor David Loses's Making Sense of the Christian Faith". This is a good opportunity to take a look at the Lutheran take on different aspects of Christian life.
Life continues. God is in the midst of all of life. A blessed fall to everyone.