Pastor’s Pen – November 2017

Written by Pastor's Pen - November 1, 2017 0 Comments

The Pastor’s Pen

Having just completed our observance of the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, it’s appropriate to ask the question, “What happens now?” What happens now that this momentous anniversary is behind us? In the October issue of “The Living Lutheran” magazine, ELCA presiding bishop Elizabeth Eaton poses the question like this: “What happens on October 32?”

If you still have your copy of the magazine, you can read Bishop Eaton’s answer for yourself, but here’s the way I’ll answer that question: First, we give thanks. We give thanks for what the Reformation was about, namely, God’s grace given to us through the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. And then, second, out of gratitude for God’s grace, we go to work. We go to work serving our neighbors and spreading the good news of what our gracious and merciful God has done.

These two responses – giving thanks, and then living as God’s servants and witnesses – are at the heart of the Christian life. And during this month of November, it’s these two responses that we are especially focusing on here at St. Andrew.

November 19 is Commitment Sunday. During our worship services that day, we will have the opportunity to make a financial commitment to support God’s work, both through our congregation and through the larger church, in 2018. Supporting the church financially is one of the ways that we can live out our calling to be God’s servants and witnesses. It’s part of our response to the grace that God has so freely given. As you receive your stewardship packet, I encourage you to reflect on the gifts that you have received from God, and then to prayerfully consider what your financial commitment will be.

And then on November 22 at 7:00 p.m., we will gather for a combined Thanksgiving Eve worship service at Community Protestant Church, just a few blocks north of St. Andrew on the corner of Prairie and Hawley. Last year St. Andrew hosted the combined service, and now our friends at Community Protestant are returning the favor. Choirs from both congregations will be singing, the offering will be given to the COOL Food Pantry in Waukegan, and there will be a time of refreshments and fellowship following the service. It will be a wonderful opportunity to join with brothers and sisters in Christ in offering thanksgiving to God.

What happens now that the 500th anniversary of the Reformation is over? What happens is that we give thanks and we get to work – not only in the month of November, but each day of our lives.

Thank you so much for the partnership that you and I share in thanking and serving our gracious God!

Pastor Selbo

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