FROM THE SENIOR PASTOR JULY 2015
As I sit in my office writing this reflection the difference between today and a week ago is staggering. It has been just a week since the beginning of our LOMO Day Camp, with the theme “A Love that never ends.” The hustle and bustle around Christ the King was palpable. Forty children attended, numerous older youth assisted and served, and the adults who committed to this ministry and gave their time and talents were a sight to see. It is a wonderful thing to see children learning about God’s love, bursting with energy and vibrancy through the Holy Spirit, and eager to see Jesus in our worship, our songs, our fellowship time together. As your pastor I am thankful for all who made this ministry possible, as it was such a clear example of our mission to shine the light of Jesus, to reflect His unconditional love, and to mirror His kindness to all people. On the Monday that I find myself writing, the hustle and bustle of Day Camp has been replaced by a quietness that is almost disconcerting. Yet, in the stillness and quietness comes an opportunity to reflect on much that has happened and that will be happening soon.
I have included Bishop Eaton’s message on the horrific shooting of nine of our African American brothers and sisters in Charleston, South Carolina. Please read what she has to say, take time for repentance and mourning, to talk and to listen, and then to act. I am reminded of the mission statement of the Nebraska Synod, which says “Live love with the grace and courage of Jesus.” For those of you who heard me preach the weekend after Day Camp and the events of Charleston, you were a witness to the power of the Holy Spirit because these two sermons were right up there with my most challenging sermons to preach in 17 years of ordained ministry. The act of rewriting a sermon is never an easy one, but thankfully God pushed me past my anxiety and trepidation to empower me to say what needed to be said.
I would like to give thanks for all who helped at the work day at Christ the King. The 20 yards of mulch was spread, weeds were pulled with gusto, and much inside work was also done. It is a delight to serve our Lord together. The wonderful turnout allowed us to spread the workload around, have time for fellowship as well, and leave with a sense of accomplishment in a job well done. The lunch that was provided was also a delight to partake of.
There is much to look forward to as well. By the time you receive this newsletter, a new member class will have met and will soon become officially part of our faith community. Our worship service on July 5th as part of the Cost of Freedom event here in Twinsburg will give us another opportunity to be involved in God’s work in the world. On July 7th, Christ the King will host a blood drive for the Red Cross from 2 to 7. On July 14th – 19th, four youth and two adults will be traveling to Detroit for the Rise Up! 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering. Gabrielle, Olivia, Carlton, Adam, Patti, and I ask for your prayers as we embark on this important faith formation event. On July 20th, the Twinsburg Hunger Drive kicks off with the passing out of bags to every residence in Twinsburg, Twinsburg Township, and Reminderville with the filled bags being picked up on July 25th to fill the shelves of The Emergency Assistance Center.
Living in God’s amazing grace,
Rev. Matthew Groenke