Pastor’s February Voice Article
History and Change
by Mark S
Read Pastor Mark’s February Voice article below. You can view an electronic copy of the Voice online here.
Psalm 118:24 was one of Edna Knoll’s favorite verses, so we sang “This is the Day” at her funeral last week. Edna died at the age of 97 years old. She was a lifetime member of St. Peter Lutheran church. This means that she would have been baptized and confirmed in St. Peter Lutheran’s first wood A frame church building constructed in 1888. She was married in St. Peter’s second building, which was made of beautiful limestone and still stands on 1st street in Grimes today. Last week we celebrated her life, and commended her to God’s eternal care in St. Peter’s third and current church building.
I give thanks for people like Edna who are able to weather the storms of change. Storms can be unpredictable, unsettling and potentially damaging. Change, likewise, can be unpredictable, unsettling and potentially painful. Change can be really hard, and yet it is inevitable in life. The same goes for churches. Some changes are easier to handle than others. New building, new worship service, new pastor, new musician, new hymnal, new Sunday school curriculum, new worship/education times are just a few of the changes that take place in churches. At least, I believe, they are changes that need to take place from time to time.
The Word of God never changes. Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. We preach and teach the love of God in Christ Jesus for us and the world. This never changes. When, where and how this Good News is shared amongst God’s people and the world God loves is always changing though.
The history wall is almost complete in the fellowship hall at St. Peter. On the north center wall is the wooden altar background from the previous church building. Soon the stained glass windows that were above the altar will be placed inside the wooden piece with inside lighting. The Christian and American flag stand on either side of this new art piece. The northeast wall has a collection of pictures and newspaper clippings from St. Peter’s history beautifully and artfully displayed. The confirmation and other pictures will soon be added to the north portion of the east wall as well.
There are other pieces of St. Peter’s history scattered throughout the church buildings. Often when I notice a stained glass window, communion chalice, stand in the pulpit, sit in a pew and now notice the history wall it will cause me to pause and give thanks to God for all those who have been a part of St. Peter’s history. Thousands of individuals and families have been a part of God’s mission and ministry of sharing in the Good News through St. Peter Lutheran church. Numerous people have weathered storms to sustain and further St. Peter’s mission.
I’m grateful to God for the opportunity to be a small part of this rich and faithful history. I’m thankful for all those who have shaped St. Peter’s legacy. And, I give thanks to God for you. Thanks for your part in shaping the present and future mission and ministry of St. Peter. “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)