Being Lutheran

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Before our congregation was formed, I remember dreaming of a new Lutheran church; maybe you shared a similar dream. The old church seemed to have abandoned the Scriptures, the Lutheran Confessions, 2000 years of faithful tradition, and me, all of which should be the foundation of a new Lutheran church, with Jesus Christ the Cornerstone. Now after 5 ½ years, I’m wondering how that dream of a new Lutheran church is faring. We certainly have all those basic elements mentioned. And we definitely have not reverted back to the church that abandoned us. But do we still have the vim, vigor, and vitality with which we started?

Although we have a larger congregation than when we started, our Sunday worship attendance is about the same as it was in the Iva Lee Hall. Our worship together ought to be our highest weekly priority as a church. It is in worship that we hear God’s Word, receive God’s Sacraments, and are nourished in faith and our relationship with God. Through our Sunday morning fellowship, our relationships with each other are strengthened. Christianity is relational and at the heart of our ministry. When we are not all together, when anyone is missing, we are all missing a part of this vital opportunity. When Jesus Christ is not at the center of our relationships, we cannot love one another as God wants us to love.

Remember getting acquainted with other believers we didn’t know too well when Peace was getting started? We were all intentional about forming new relationships. Are we still? Several people who have joined our congregation since we were chartered, apparently did not gain a sense of belonging sufficient to sustain them, and they are no longer with us. If we are not providing a nurturing atmosphere for those who come to us, we cannot expect to share Christ through developing relationships with those who do not come here. But that is the Great Commission to which Christ has called us.

As a Lutheran Congregation in Mission for Christ, we need to be conscientious missionaries. I’ve never known a missionary who was not enthusiastic and passionate about their faith! We live in a very challenging world, which offers us every kind of option that can draw us away from our faith. But when everything else is gone, as it one day will be, only Jesus Christ who is the same yesterday, today and forever, will be there for us. We should be there for Him now when we are able. Isn’t that what a new Lutheran church would look like? Let’s fulfill the dream!

Pastor Kurt Wandrey