The Vision – November 2014

from the pastor’s desk

For All the Saints!

See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are.” 1 John 3:1

We begin November with All Saints Sunday, as we remember and give thanks for the lives of those loved ones who have died in the last year. That is a big part of what All Saints Sunday is about, but it is not all that it is about. For you see, we are all saints here and now, as we share our lives together. We celebrate that gift of life in so many ways all through the church year. Some days we may not think that we are very saintly, or more likely, we may think that our neighbor or family member or fellow church member is not acting very saintly! But, as we read above, we are called children of God.

Together, through the year, we enact being children of God as we strive to love one another in celebrating all those life events and life passages that we share. We have had an active year as people of Grace and St. Paul Lutheran congregations. We have baptized new members, we have taken in other new members through transfer and affirmation of baptism, we have shared sorrow in funerals, and we have had weddings!

MaryLou and I have been blessed by all of you and blessed by God as we were surrounded by all you saints on our wedding day! We cannot thank you enough for the ways you have shown us your love and shared your joy with us. People of God – yes saints – thank you for your generosity, your sharing of talents and time, and for your presence with us at our wedding and your presence week after week as we worship and celebrate life together with God and one another.

God’s peace,

Pastor David M. Byerly

The Vision – October 2014

From the Pastor …

For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to
hire laborers for his vineyard.” Matthew 20:1

Our Gospel readings these past few weeks have been about the vineyard. Of course, the vineyard is the people of God at work in God’s world. We learn that God calls us all to use our gifts and talents to as we seek to serve our neighbors. The harvest is also used or implied in these stories, and the harvest is how we see some of the results of our work together. Sometimes the results might seem small or insignificant, and sometimes the results are obvious. What God wants us to do is remain faithful as we work together, trusting that God pulls us toward God’s future together.

As we move through this fall season together, let us celebrate the harvest as we share in welcoming new members among us, as we baptize babies and welcome adult members, too. Part of the work in the vineyard is to be welcoming and provide hospitality to those who are visiting with us. Let us give thanks for the ways God has led new people into our midst, and let us all grow together in our service to and love for our neighbors.

In Christ’s service,

Pastor David M. Byerly

 

The Vision – June 2014

If you are lucky enough to be on altar duty during the month of June, you will be quite busy, for the paraments will change each week. We begin with white as we celebrate the last Sunday of Easter. On that week we will hear the story of Christ’s Ascension into heaven, which is actually celebrated on Thursday, May 29. The second Sunday of June is a red Sunday, as we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit being poured out on the disciples and all of us. The next Sunday goes back to white, as we contemplate God as Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We will hear the “Great Commission” from the end of Mathew’s Gospel on that special day. The fourth Sunday in June will give us a hint of what most of our summer will be like, with green paraments and a story from Matthew’s Gospel to guide us in our life of discipleship. For the 5th Sunday in June we will display red paraments as we remember the martyrdom of both Peter and Paul.

Does all of this sound confusing? The stories of our faith build us up when we are attentive to them. Together we seek guidance from God and each other as we make these stories our own. We use all of our senses as we experience the life of God in our midst together. Come and see how God is calling us to share this good news through God’s Holy Word and the sacraments as we go into all the world and make disciples!

God’s peace,

Pastor David M. Byerly