Hope Lutheran Church logo

Hope Lutheran Church

pastor's message

Hope Is...

You finish the sentence. Contagious! Here! Alive! Growing! Our caring community! Ours thanks to Jesus Christ! Hope is our namesake, and I invite all of us to share this month what Hope is... for you. As we share with each other what Hope is, I’m excited to see how we will live into the hope that is ours as another year of mission and ministry kicks off this month. As Sunday School begins and Wednesday evenings burst with activity, it is important to recognize the leadership of all our staff, as well as those brothers and sisters who serve on ministry boards, as teachers, mentors, or ministry coordinators! Without this leadership most of our mission and ministry could not happen.

In the coming weeks you are invited to engage in some special ministry events, participate in intentional conversation about your household’s and our congregation’s stewardship, and join in one of the many educational, service, mission, or enrichment opportunities that are a part of our life together. Here are a few highlights of this coming month.

Sunday, September 10: God’s Work, Our Hands Sunday

God’s Work, Our Hands is an ELCA wide day when Lutherans get out in the community to worship in service to our neighbors. We will gather at 8:30am for a short, all congregation worship. (There will be no 10:30 worship) We will have service opportunities for all ages and abilities at Hope and throughout the community. At 11-11:30, we will gather back at Hope for lunch. Signups are available for particular service areas at the display in the entryway. Signup soon!

Sunday, September 17: Rally Sunday & Hope’s Stewardship Relay Kickoff

This year we will hear from members of Hope who will share why Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings matter, particularly the things that happen outside of the Sanctuary. Be here for the start of Sunday school, and festive worship! Beyond this, this day serves as a kickoff for numerous other ministries here at Hope, as well as our Stewardship Relay! I believe what happens here at Hope makes a difference for our lives of faith, and for the life of our neighbor. I invite all families at Hope to begin a conversation about how you will support our mission and ministry in 2018!

Sunday, September 24: Adult Education Series Kickoff: “A Man Named Martin: Part One”

All are welcome to join us at 9:30, in between worship. This 5-week Bible study is the first of a three-part series devoted to Martin Luther -- a monk whose Spirit-inspired grasp of God's justification of sinners through faith in the Savior was the cornerstone of the Protestant Reformation.

Saturday, October 7: Augsburg Centennial Singers - Paul Christensen, director

Join us on the Saturday evening at 7PM, as we host a concert featuring the Augsburg Centennial Singers. The Augsburg Centennial Singers provide an opportunity for men of faith to pass on the faith through songs of praise. This choir was originally formed in 1993 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first gospel quartet to travel to Norway from Augsburg College.

This is just the beginning! There are ample opportunities for us to engage our community, to enrich one another’s lives in our care and concern for one another, and to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ in word and deed! Remember, the church (that’s you and me) exists not for ourselves, but for the sake of the world. I pray God will so equip us this year, that we might continue to be a beacon of light for our neighbors here and around the world.

-Pastor Matt

Summer Update from your seminarian

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It is hard to believe I have only two classes remaining to complete my Master of Divinity degree at Luther Seminary, in St. Paul. I will take them from September to December and if God is willing, I’ll graduate in December. I am amazed to say that at present I have a GPA of 3.62, not bad for a gal with three strokes behind her! God is so good. Just when I thought, I was done contributing, He makes this possible.

I completed my year of internship at Peace Lutheran of Nevis in May. The pastoral supervisor was called to get his PhD at Princeton University, so he left about the time I was done. In my evaluation he was especially complimentary about my Internship Project which was, working with the ecumenical transition ministry helping people adjust to civilian life after incarceration. Yes UCAN (United Churches of Akeley & Nevis) is supported by Bethany Lutheran & Peace Lutheran in Nevis; First Lutheran, United Methodist, & Knights of Columbus of Akeley, and it is the only organization in Hubbard County involved in this type of ministry. All my reviews have been positive and I find the work of ministry deeply satisfying and fulfilling.

Since completion of internship, I was contracted to provide pulpit supply and pastoral care at Peace for the summer. What an honor and what a great experience. I am currently going through orientation and training for volunteer hospice chaplaincy at St. Joseph’s in Park Rapids, where I continue to be a spiritual care volunteer working with the chaplain, as well.

Having been denied reconsideration and/ or release, for ecclesiastical endorsement by our own ELCA, (they must have good reasons.) I am prayerfully pursuing certification in the LCMC (Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ), another Lutheran affiliation.

I am so very grateful for the love, encouragement and support I receive from all of you, the members of my home congregation of 20 years. I still remember in January of 1998, walking into the old church, just across the street from my new job at the courthouse, meeting Pastor Dave and asking him to transfer my membership from Lincoln, Nebraska. He said, “Don’t you want to come to a service first?” I said, “No need to, this is the ELCA and it is where I belong.”

Little did I know that God may call me to serve his people in another affiliation. I will go, where I am called, but change is hard. I never thought I would be contributing to anything but unity and resolution in the church. Please pray for Steve and me in this regard.

Hope Lutheran will always be my home, I will always feel sent by you, the members of Hope and we will always want to come back here to be at home, no matter where we are called. May God grant us wisdom, and the humility to use it.

May the peace that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ, our Lord.

Your Sister in Christ, Jane Ekholm

ArrowIcon BloggerIcon AimIcon DeliciousIcon PaperIcon EtsyIcon FacebookIcon FilmStripIcon FlickrIcon CameraIcon LaunchIcon GooglePlus2Icon GooglePlusIcon HeartIcon InformationIcon InstagramIcon LastfmIcon FrontCameraIcon LinkedInIcon EmailIcon MoneyIcon ItunesIcon MyspaceIcon OpenTableIcon PayPalIcon PencilIcon PersonIcon PhotoIcon PicasaIcon PinterestIcon PodcastIcon RssIcon ShoppingCartIcon SoundCloudIcon StarIcon TableProjectIcon TheCityIcon TumblrIcon Twitter2Icon TwitterIcon TypepadIcon VideoIcon VimeoIcon WordPressIcon YelpIcon YoutubeIcon