When I began sending out newsletters, I thought it would be sporadic. The last one was in 2008, so my prediction was correct. There are good reasons why this newsletter *should* be sporadic, even though I am a full-time pastor. Those reasons are the things more important than sending out newsletters, things that should not be sporadic.
Our most important activity is the weekly Divine Service. Behind that comes our efforts to educate all ages, especially (for me) those in catechism class. I’m pleased to report that my efforts to keep those from becoming sporadic have been working! Yet we should still keep encouraging each other to *make use of them* on a non-sporadic basis. That includes Lutheran Family Fellowship at Bethany, which is a faith-growing activity for youth, for children, and for adults.
There are two major items of news in our parish. First and foremost, we have requested a vicar from our synod’s seminary, and one has been assigned. (A vicar is a 4th-year seminary student, who will serve and learn in a parish for eleven months.)
A number of early pledges showed a surprising level of commitment among our members to support a vicar, and the vicar’s housing and utilities have worked out so well that we have to give God the credit for making this possible. If that were not enough, the vicar assigned to us is Samuel Gullixson, whose wife Anna is a daughter of (pending) Concordia member Beda Norman. Beda recently moved to Klickitat, and is excited to have the Gullixsons, with her 7-month-old grandson Abel, in the area. They will arrive in early July, but Terry Nelson will be driving their truck back from Mankato. When he arrives in The Dalles, we could use your help unloading it into the Gullixson’s house on 16th Street below MCMC.
The second news item is that all our Bethany members will be receiving a call from Linda Griswold, who has graciously consented to set up home visit appointments for me. Home visits are much more important than sending a newsletter, and only a little less important than our education efforts. It’s your family’s chance to speak to me in private, with my full attention. We’ll also have a brief Bible study and talk about how we might better serve each other. I anticipate that we’ll do the same kind of thing at Concordia in 2010. Vicar Gullixson will accompany me on some of these visits.
If you’d like to receive newsletters more often, you can do so online! Go to our church web site (address on the bulletin), and click the “Newsletter (blog)” link in the left-side navigation bar.
As we begin another summer in this beautiful land God made, I wish you peace and safety in your travels and enjoyment in your recreation. Remember to acknowledge the One who provides all these things for us, not only in your thoughts, but in your *daily* words, and in your *weekly* actions. Jesus loves you in such a way that He has provided an even better place for us all. I look forward to seeing you in church, where He comes weekly to bestow this greatest gift.