The Pastor's Desk Image
    Last month I wrote about the blessing of summer as a time to refresh and recharge. Now I am saying summer is over, but, in looking ahead there are a number of interesting and exciting things in the future. First in mind is the celebration of 125 years of ministry as Long Lake Lutheran Church.
    “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,…” Hebrews 12:1
    I must confess I have not always been a fan of these commemorations in that they were so focused on the past and I tend to be future leaning. Age and time has now persuaded me that there are a couple of really good reasons to remember those that have paved the way. Most significant for me is consideration of why that group of faithful people in the early 20th century thought there should be a Lutheran Church here? The documents detailing the original congregation, a merger between two parts of the church, speak of the organization, land, and such typical items that would be recorded in meeting minutes. What isn’t mentioned, but can be supposed, is the intent of charter members to be the Body of Christ and a place where Good News would be preached and the sacraments be administered. (Incidentally, that was Luther’s definition of the church.) The motivation was not only for those active in that time, but also for those who follow.
    The Anniversary Celebration is the remembrance of those saints, the cloud of witnesses on whose shoulders we stand, that were led by the Holy Spirit and filled with faith to establish a witness to God and a place for love to grow. I also now understand that setting a time to remember is service to those who follow us. We are trustees of God’s abundant gifts and as such are in the continual process of handing on the baton.
    We have all heard of stories where goodness has been paid forward. That is the work we do today, maintaining what God has provided for those yet to come. As a physical demonstration of that willingness to serve the future neighbor I suggest that we connect the Anniversary with “God’s Work, Our Hands” on Sunday, September 11. The Anniversary committee has been working hard and thanklessly to organize the event on August 28th. Part of their work has been to establish the “Beatitude Walk” on the west side of the property. The dream of the committee was to have the walk include a low maintenance garden. I propose that a number of us plan to work toward the establishment of the garden after worship on September 11. A group of gardeners (members of the oldest profession) are working on plans and needs list. We will be posting on Facebook and sending out communications to keep you informed.
Remain hopeful!
Pastor Rodger