The Reverend Doctor Nathan Corl Minnich, STS
Ordained Lutheran Pastor of the North American Lutheran Church
From a quiet spot in the Dominican Republic, I write with an enormous sense of gratitude for the people of our great parish. In my absence, right now there are members in need being visited by our parish nurse. There is planning taking place for our Summer/Fall educational programs. Preparations are being made for the September celebration of our first ordained Deacon. Brainstorming is ongoing for so many family social activities on the horizon. “Margie’s Meals” are being distributed faster than we can keep them stocked. Overall, our parish is thriving, and it is surely the work of the Holy Spirit, working differently through your various talents, for the solitary purpose of building up the people here to share the Gospel in any way possible. Thank you all for every part you play, no matter how small that part may seem.
Now…for those of you who are still looking for that perfect spot to contribute in some way to this growth and vitality…just look around! If you have a talent, hobby, interest that you enjoy at home, I’m sure there’s value in that activity for the greater good of the parish and the local community. But just to get the thoughts flowing, here are a few things that can be done anytime you feel like working on the Lord’s house! Sometimes, working quietly here around the church you will find a most rewarding time of spiritual renewal and accomplishment at the same time.
* Dressing up the Flower Beds * cleaning something that could just use a little “TLC” * lending a hand with the children during Sunday School * visiting a fellow member just to get to know each other better * singing in the choir * volunteering at the Sunday Mass * dropping in on a committee meeting just to be part of the discussion * and just about anything else you can think of doing!
Look here, our adult VBS (which has been so successful in the past) is taking on the subject of PARABLES! This short program will only be for VBS, not a long commitment. Join us for dinner, discussion, and fun with stories, Jesus, and our faith in the Kingdom of God. I think you’ll have so much fun with this you’ll be writing your own parables to describe the mysteries of faith just like our Savior did for so many crowds!
Coming in just a few weeks is a unique opportunity to spend time with an NALC official. On Sunday, July 15th The Rev. Dr. David Wendel will be with us. Many of you have read his Lenten/Advent devotionals from the NALC office. He will preach at the 9:00 am Mass, and remain with us for a Fellowship Brunch. Bring your questions and interest in the larger representation of the church and converse with the Assistant to the Bishop!
Just when you thought it could not get an more exciting for Salem, prepare for a special visit from The Rev. John Bradosky, Bishop of the NALC as we celebrate a diaconal ordination. September 9th will be the date of this afternoon service. Please make sure you mark the date, and look for a formal invitation to come. Ken is more than happy to continue sharing with all of you his studies, and I encourage you to be present and support this expression of ministry in the church. This important component of the ministry (Bishop, Priest/Pastor, Deacon) is vital to parishioners and the general ministry of the congregation. We are exceptionally thankful that we can grow our ministry in so many ways, here at Salem, and this opportunity is one that truly expands our work for the people we serve (among us and in the greater community).
Finally, I ask that you would consider adding your effort to our ministry. Sharing your faith in Jesus Christ is as vital to the work we do as any minister, staff, or leader. What did it take for you to make the commitment to come to Salem, and do so regularly? I would imagine there are many more like you, and they may just be your closest friends and neighbors. What if someone you love is just waiting for you to ask them to join you at church? What if someone wonders why you can survive in the face of struggle by faith? What if someone is watching you for an example of the Christian Faith? Don’t let someone down, just because you don’t think you can do the job of evangelism! It is quite simple. We are all sinners, who completely rely on the mercy of God shown to us in His +Son Jesus Christ. We may all sin differently, but there is nothing that cannot be defeated by love! Yes, it is that simple. You are loved, despite your perceived shortcomings. And, by the Body and Blood of Jesus, you are being made whole, the start of a glorious resurrection, which will be complete when you hear his voice call you by name, even from the grave!