The month of May brings flowers and vegetable gardens, opportunities for trips,
dreams for the end of school and summertime, calls to our mothers, and time to remember those who lost their lives in service to this country. May also brings us to the end of the Easter season, those fifty days of celebrating the resurrection. On May 19 we celebrate Pentecost Sunday. You’re invited to wear red. Red geraniums will help decorate the worship space and we are collecting monies for East Burke Christian Ministries (EBCM) to help those who need food, especially families with children who are out of school for the summer months.
Information on the flowers and the EBCM fundraiser is provided elsewhere in the newsletter. May of this year also brings with it a chance for us to open our ears, our hearts, and our hands, and work with others. As has been mentioned several times during announcements and during worship, five congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) have met together to ask questions such as: What can we do together? What is the Holy Spirit inviting us to do in faith? How can we act together in ministry?
After a few meetings, now the group of pastors and lay people are hoping to discern one “ministry project” that we can put into action in the coming weeks and months. On Sunday, April 21, I gave out copies of the list of ideas that was developed at the April 11, meeting of these “five churches together.” (A copy of this list is on the back of this page for your convenience.)
The goal is not to try to “rescue” our Sunday morning worship time. Part of the goal is to put our proclamation from Sundays into action. There is not one single answer to how to do this. I’m asking you to pray, to consider, and to give some feedback to those who have attended these meetings: Reggie, Sue, Monica, Camille, Reba, Steve, Ann, Mindy and Pastor Russell.
In Acts chapter 15 the phrase “it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and us” is used. Representatives of these five local Lutheran congregations have met and discussed and prayed. We aim to make a decision that seems “good to the Holy Spirit and us” at the May 9 meeting. It will be all the richer and fuller if we have more input and “ownership” from the five congregations. This past Sunday (April 21) I compared this opportunity to Philip being asked by God the Holy Spirit to take the road from Jerusalem to Gaza—a wilderness road (Acts 8). Stepping out in faith is often scary—it may indeed take us into wilderness places. God is calling and God is walking with us.
So, again, I invite you to read over the list on the back. It is not intended to be complete—we simply brainstormed ideas, dreamed, listened, talked. What do you hear? How can we who gather here at Mt. Hebron act with others in faith? You are invited to give feedback AND you are invited to come to the next meeting if you would like—May 9, 2013 from 6:30—7:30 PM at St. Stephens (ELCA) in Hickory. (They are graciously loaning us space to meet as a central location.)
Rejoice! Jesus is Lord. The Spirit continues to lead the Church so “…let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
Peace and prayers,
Pastor Russell Makant