November Issue of The Voice Available
Read Pastor's November Message Here
by Sonja G
The November issue of The Voice is now available. Read Pastor Mark’s November message below.
An Eastern Orthodox Priest was walking through a border checkpoint. The border guard stopped him and said, “Where did you come from? Who are you? Where are you going?” The priest paused and then said, “How much do you earn at this checkpoint each day?” The guard told him how much. Then the priest said, “I will pay you that amount every time I pass through this checkpoint if you ask me those same three questions each time.”
“Where did you come from? Who are you? Where are you going?” The priest knew the value of keeping this self-awareness at the fore front. How well do you know your history, or where you’ve come from? How well do you know your present identity? Where are you going, or what’s your purpose?
These are questions that the church council reflected on this past month on a Saturday planning retreat. We discussed St. Peter’s origins. We recognized that God has blessed St. Peter with strong, faithful and visionary leaders in its history. We discussed how St. Peter has steadily grown just as the Grimes and surrounding community has continued to grow. We recognized that tough decisions regarding ministries, buildings and mission have been made along the way. We gave thanks for those who have paved the way, who have shared their faith, who have shared their time and resources for the sake of the Gospel being proclaimed through St. Peter Lutheran Church.
After recognizing and giving thanks for the past, we looked at the present. Who is St. Peter today? St. Peter is made up of a large variety of ages and backgrounds. While there are numerous young families with children, there is also a large amount of members who have older youth, young adults or who are empty nesters. And, there is a significant amount of retirees. Some have lived in Grimes or nearby for a few months. Others have lived here their whole lives. Some have grown up in small towns. Others have grown up in cities and suburbs. Somehow God has drawn all of us together, and that’s a beautiful thing. It can be a challenge too, but as they say, “where there is challenge there is also opportunity.”
Where are we going? This is the question council will be looking at in the months/year ahead. “God’s mission has a church.” We are a part of that church. God’s mission is to heal, bless and save the world. How can St. Peter best use its resources to serve God’s mission? Grimes and surrounding areas are growing in population rapidly. That’s on top of the large percentage of the current population in need of the healing, hope and salvation of the Gospel. What types of ministries will be needed? What types of buildings will be needed? What types of staff and other resources will be needed? What types of outreach and hospitality ministries are needed? These are all the questions that will be looked at in the coming year.
Opportunities for participating in God’s mission of healing, blessing and saving the world abound for St. Peter. For 132 years St. Peter has been welcoming new residents and reaching out with the love of God in Christ Jesus. I have no doubt that faithful history will be continued. Some things may change, which is hard, but fulfilling God’s mission remains the same. I look forward to seeing how the Holy Spirit will lead us in the years ahead.