Summer Travel Thoughts

Summer Travel Thoughts

Pastor's Letter from July Newsletter:

Grace and Peace to You in the Name of God the Father, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I have been thinking about it being summer, as we have been trying to schedule some things around the parish. When we set a meeting or try and schedule something there is usually a period of juggling dates and times around to accommodate people’s summer vacations, family visits, and just general busyness that seems to settle in this time of year. I want to say that I am thankful that, in spite of the many directions we are pulled, our parish doesn’t have the problem which I know affects many of my colleagues. That is, even though it is summer, you still tend to show up at church. I read a lot of newsletters from other churches and generally there will be a time during the summer when the pastor has to remind people that we don’t stop worshipping Jesus because it is pretty outside. That isn’t really a problem for us. Yes we are travelling and busy, but generally most everyone does get here. I appreciate that and I am thankful for that. (And if you are reading this and realize you maybe haven’t been as much as you would like – just come back)

But because it is the busy part of the year, I wanted to give a few words of encouragement about what you might do if you are not at home. I encourage you, if you are travelling and especially if you find yourself in a different part of the country – to definitely go to church while you are there. Primarily because I want you to keep worshipping and to continue to hear the word of God wherever you are - but also because, people do things differently in different places. Worship happens in many various forms in different parts of this country.

We have a member of our parish who spends some time down in Florida each year and they attended a “Drive-In Church”. An converted Drive-In theater where people could park their car, hang the speaker on the window and participate in the service from their vehicle. When I was in SC, a friend of mine was an assisting minister at the Chapel on the Lake. A church service run from the marina where people could anchor their boats and participate from the water – please don’t ask me how they distributed communion because I don’t know. There are a lot of things out there which you may not have seen before.

Those are sort extreme examples of some differences you might find. But most likely as you go you will see that people maybe use a little bit different music. People maybe pray in slightly different ways. Maybe the order of service, might not even look like an order of service to you – everything could be completely and utterly different.

But what I would hope that you would find is that when you go and when you search and when you visit – you encounter people worshipping and following our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That is the really neat thing, for me, that people do come to Christ and worship him in such a great variety of ways. Now I am a Lutheran for a reason, I like our liturgy and the way that it works. For me, it is the best way. But it isn’t the only way. There are lots of ways and forms in which people can turn their hearts and their lives to Jesus Christ. Worshipping him can look different in different places. There is a wide variety and richness in the worship of God. What is important is that we are turning to Jesus, and that he is the center of our gathering and our life together.

So I am encouraging you to seek that out. See what you can find. AND THEN PLEASE LET ME KNOW ABOUT IT. I love to hear what you encounter.

ANOTHER THING: I also extend to you an invitation this summer as you are travelling and are out and about. The neat thing about this time of year is that things are blooming, animals are running around, the world is full of life. As you see that, and I hope you do, take some time to remember who gives us this world that we walk in.

All of creation is God’s. Our Heavenly Father made all that is and gives us this world and our lives out of his love and goodness. As you wander around this world – whether you are standing on top of a mountain, or beside the ocean. Remember that it is God almighty who has made this. It is God who has given you and I everything that is. That is the great wonders of this world, the beauty and life that is in it, and the families and friends that we will hopefully be seeing in this season.

As you see it all and live in this world. Take a moment to Thank God for it. Take some time not just to run through all that you are doing – but to stop and realize that all that you have and all that you see is from your Heavenly Lord who has blessed you with life and the ability to do these things.

Summer is quite often the time when we encounter the vastness of all that God has done. We get to go and see and move beyond our normal everyday patterns. As you go and look and explore – remember that all is from God. Thank him for it. Be thankful that God has given and blessed you with so much. That he made this world and knows everything in it – and he made you and knows you better than you know yourself.

So go, explore, seek, find, and be thankful. May you have a blessed summer and may God lead you to the places that you need to be.

In the Peace of Christ
Pastor Mike

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