Pastor Rike’s Message – Summer 2019

First, please mark your calendars for August 25. On that day we will be holding a one-day, intergenerational Vacation Bible School called, Mission IS Possible. All the households of the congregation are encouraged to participate in this event – even those without children! However, a little bit of preparation will be required.

Taking a cue from the similarly named movies and television show, Mission IS Possible will build upon some of the readings heard in church over the Summer. For each reading there is a corresponding “mission” project. General headings will be provided for each mission, such as “gardening.” Should you choose to accept the mission you will receive information in the mail with more specific details. Your goal will be to discuss the biblical reading and its connection to the mission, complete the mission outlined, and present both the biblical text and the mission accomplished on August 25 (either a poster or other art project, drama, etc.). An electronic sign-up will be distributed as well as a hard copy being available in the narthex. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to call Pastor Rike.

Related to this year’s VBS is the most noticeable thing we do as church: the weekly worship service! The Service is at the center of our life together. The weekly worship service gathers us into Christ Jesus. From the encounter with the risen Christ in Word and Sacrament we are sent to live faithfully in all we do the rest of the week.

Despite everything that remains the same week after week, there are a few pieces of the Sunday Service that you may notice are different. For example, beginning on Holy Trinity Sunday (June 16) and continuing through September 22 we will be using a musical setting of the liturgy from With One Voice (setting 5 in the blue book). Although this setting has been used in the past during the Summer months, this year it is printed in the worship folder/ bulletin.

Another thing you may notice about the Sunday Service is that we will be hearing only two readings from the Bible. After the First Reading from the Old Testament has been proclaimed we will sing the Gospel Acclamation or Alleluia. Then, the Gospel reading will be proclaimed. We will omit the appointed Psalm and Epistle (Second Reading) this Summer.

There is some precedent for this. Some may remember a time when it was the usual practice to hear only a reading from one of the Epistles followed by the Gospel (as was the case with the Common Service used in the late 1800’s through the “old” red book – The Service Book and Hymnal). While the practice of using multiple readings (in this case from the Old Testament and Epistles), each followed by singing a psalm or portion of a psalm, can be traced to what was done in synagogues in the first century; it is a practice only fully recovered among us in 1978 with the introduction of the “green” Lutheran Book of Worship.

While a hymn or other music will be sung at the beginning of the service and following the sermon, we will omit singing a hymn at the end of the service. All of these things are intended to keep the Sunday Service to 55 minutes or less during the Summer. It is hoped that these changes will help make our worship feel a bit “lighter.” Similarly, many families have obligations or plans for later in the day, and it is desirable that the length of the Service not prevent people from attending worship.

As has been noted elsewhere, for those who are able to linger after the Service, there will be Coffee Hour each week. Nothing elaborate is required. If you are willing to host you simply need to provide something (store bought baked items or cookies are fine) to share as well as making the coffee (instructions can be found near the coffee maker in the narthex). Several slots are still available for those who are able and willing to host coffee hour. Please sign-up on the sheet in the narthex or call the church office.

Blessings to all of you as we enjoin the abundance of our God during these months of the growing season.

Pastor Rike
Learn more about Pastor Rike.