Pastor’s Pen

Pastor Jenna

Pastor Jenna

September 2023
“36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took
care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous
will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and
gave you food or thirsty and gave you something to
drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger
and welcomed you or naked and gave you clothing? 39
And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and
visited you?’ 40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly
I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these
brothers and sisters of mine, you did it to me.’” ~(Matthew 25:35-40 NRSV)

Dear St. Andrew family of faith,

As we wind our way through these last days and weeks of summer, I pray that this time is as life-giving and calm as possible, especially for those of you helping kids transition back into their school year.

St. Andrew’s is doing some back-to-school refreshing too! Over the next couple of months, your SALC Council Leadership will continue their work of refreshing our narthex—thank you Molly and Bruce for the backbreaking work of cleaning the brick and painting the walls, and thank you to Steve P., and John & Charlene for reviving the brick planters in the main entryway.

We welcome your feedback and labor, if you’d like to help. There’s still plenty of work to be done.

Another change is the way we’ll be sending out emails. For now it will only impact the Midweek Blast. This is a great time to join our Communications Team! Please contact Pr Jenna with your interest or questions.

Most importantly, we have been working on refreshing our church’s mission statement in order to ensure that we have a clear understanding of who we are as an organization.

One of the key expectations of the Council’s oversight and responsibilities is, “To lead this congregation in stating its mission, to do long-range planning, to set goals and priorities, and to evaluate its activities in light of its mission and goals” (C12.04.A).

In order for us to do any long-range planning or to effectively set goals and priorities, we need to be clear on our mission. The previous statement was difficult to remember, and we informally shortened it to “Sharing Christ”. While still an absolutely central part, it doesn’t help us to define our boundaries.

Mike Ward writes in Abundance: Creating a Culture of Generosity that, “Mission defines who we are, and therefore what we don’t do. It defines our purpose in the world” (Ward, 45).

For this next season of our life together as God’s people called to St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, we proclaim to the world that our mission is to be a church, “Where all are welcomed, fed, and nourished in the name of Jesus Christ.” Just as God delights in us as individuals and a collective whole—“we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another” (Romans 12:5)—the mission statement isn’t just for leadership, but for each of us who call St. Andrew’s our home.

This particularly reminds me of the passage I included at the top of this article. As Jesus prepared his disciples for life without his physical presence, he once again reframed what his love in action looks like. It looks like strangers and prisoners being welcomed, those who hunger for food and wholeness being fed, and that everyone whom Christ’s disciples encounter leave that encounter being nourished.

God has always welcomed us, no matter who we are or who the world has lied to us about who we are, and through Christ, God invites us to be a part of that work.

Pr Jenna