“Here I am Lord – use me!

I was chatting with a good SAKLC friend the other day, and he made an interesting observation: “You know something pastor? Folks at St. Armands don’t volunteer for things – they’ve got to be asked one-on-one.” This comment made me think a wee bit. I was confused theologically and practically. Theologically, because a call to ministry and service comes from Jesus, the Lord of the Church, and the response of the person of faith is, “Here I am Lord – use me!” And practically, because there are a whole lot of folks at SAKLC – how do folks in leadership know the backgrounds, interests and passions of them all, sufficient to say “Hey, this is right up your street!”


Servant of All

Again, Jesus speaks to his disciples about the suffering, death and resurrection that awaits him in Jerusalem. Again, the disciples get the wrong end of the stick, but their error is a wee bit different this time. It seems that there’s one thing they’ve understood: the disciples are to mirror the one to whom they are committed (as one scholar puts it). Trouble is, they seem not to appreciate that Jesus’ “glory” is diametrically opposite to the world’s notion of glory. So, as they march off towards Jerusalem, the disciples argue about worldly glory:  
[Jesus asks] “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest (v. 33-34).  


Mission, Vision & Values Workshop Invitation

This week, every member and friend of the congregation received a mailing containing the framework of our ministry proposals. Clearly the document didn’t try to anticipate and address every question or concern that could possibly arise. After all, no one would want to read a fifty-page framework! So, the proposal was kept relatively brief, and one-hour workshops have been scheduled at which questions can be addressed more fully. Four workshops will be held at the church, and four online via Zoom to allow seasonal members and travelers to be included. Workshops on various days and times are offered for your convenience:


…the price to be paid…

Mark 8:27-38 (Psalm 116:1-9)

He [Jesus] asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him. Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things” (Mark 8:29-33).

Poor Peter cannot win.


Vision Update #3

As I write this article, I can hear the photocopier in the main office cranking out multiple copies of the new vision and ministry proposal. As the weekend begins, copies will be mailed to all members and friends of St. Armands Key Lutheran Church. A cover letter will accompany the proposal, of which the following is a wee part. I hope that it whets your appetite!


“…and great is your faith”

Mark 7:24-37 (Psalm 146)   Nothing concentrates the mind of a preacher quite like a Gospel text in which Jesus says something that is, on face-value, horrifically insulting!

She [the Syrophoenician woman] begged him [Jesus] to cast the demon out of her daughter. He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs. (Mark 7: 26-27).


Vision Update #2

As I write this article, preparations are being made to share the new vision and ministry framework with you, along with the details of what comes next in this process. Allow me to parse that sentence a wee bit:

Sharing – After council shaped and approved the framework, a model of sharing and the inviting of additional input was developed. The ministry teams most impacted by the framework have been invited to share their initial thoughts and concerns. A paper copy will be mailed to all members and regular visitors on September 7th, along with a cover letter outlining what comes next.