We are a church that is always changing. We are a people that are always being made new. That’s a big part of what the Reformation (500 years ago) was all about. God is always doing a new thing, forgiving, providing, healing, renewing and reconciling. I am grateful to be leading this congregation into a new year on the calendar, but even more excited about what God in Christ is doing for us, in us, and through us! I I hear the stories of families changed through relationships with this church, through the youth group, senior meal program, worship and music, and the many ways we serve this community. I hear the stories of the need in our city for hope, peace, joy, and love, and I still believe Jesus is all this and more for us. I hope you will share in telling the story of God’s love this year too!
We are trying new things. Sunday, February 10th, at 6 pm we will worship with the music of Bob Marley. This is an idea that I’ve been thinking about for about 8 years. I’m working on planning some details with Danny and Keri and will likely include recorded music as well. The evening will include Lutheran preaching and prayer. I hope it will be an occasion to invite neighbors and friends to a worship service that is a little different.
We are welcoming new members. New member classes will begin January 22 and meet weekly until Feb. 5th. We will welcome new members at worship the morning of February 10th. There are 10-12 who worship with us as guests who may take this opportunity to officially join as members of the church.
We are teaching young people. I’m grateful for Marissa’s dedication as youth leader and for the year of events and activities she has planned for our youth. She and Pastor Matt will be helping to teach confirmation this Spring. We began our second unit on Martin Luther and the Small Catechism on Jan. 10th.
In early February, Las Vegas will host about 300 church leaders and mission developers from the ELCA. That week, I will be helping to lead a conversation on connecting communities of faith and ‘being church together’ and we may have some additional visitors with us Sunday morning Feb. 3rd or Feb. 10th!
I continue to connect with the Las Vegas community at local coffee shops, in neighborhood meetings (we’re hosting the Beverly Green neighborhood here tomorrow evening), and with Nevadans for the Common Good. I’m in conversation with Holy Spirit Lutheran Church and Lakes Lutheran about another worship service at Lorenzi park on Palm Sunday (Apr. 14).
We have a great story to tell about how God’s grace has changed each one of us, how the faithfulness of Christ has freed us to serve others, and how the Spirit is still moving in this community of faith! Thank you for your leadership and commitment to our church! It’s going to be a great year.