The Pastor's Pen
Congratulations to Willy Wallace, Daniel Kujak, Burden’s Crane, and you, the people of Redeemer Lutheran Church, on the beautiful new steeple that now graces our church. The write up in the Headlight Herald and pictures from the 19thof July can be seen on the bulletin board but more importantly; the cross of Christ can be seen by all of Tillamook. While we have been a part of this community for over ninety years, for the last few decades there was only a sign on the side of the building informing people that this is a Lutheran church.
Now that we can easily be identified, now more than ever we need to take up the challenge and responsibility to be a part of this community. The words of Mordecai to his niece Esther have direct application to us in this time and place, “who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4.14). This was part of the keynote verse for the 2018 NOW District Convention under the theme, “Being a Blessing to a Changing Culture.”
The guest presenter at convention was Texas District President Rev. Michael Newman, author of Gospel DNA: Five Markers of a Flourishing Church – Learning from a Movement Called “Missouri.” Rev. Newman’s presentation traced the history of our synod as a vital and energetic movement of the gospel that exhibited five DNA strands that he articulates in his book. From his presentation at convention: “The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod measures up to the most remarkable Gospel movements, church planting movements, mission movements taking place around the world today. God did amazing things, and through those amazing things he not only teaches us today, but he lets us know this is just not going to be a trip down memory lane trying to recreate the past and look nostalgically at the good ol’ days — this is a matter of identity, who we are as the church of Jesus Christ.”
The Northwest District has begun to prepare a series called “The Gospel DNA Toolkit” to help congregations fulfill their calling as a missional movement, being a blessing here in Tillamook. They plan to produce and release seven of these toolkits once a month, excepting December, each of which will include a video presentation excerpted from the convention, a Scriptural focus, discussion questions, and on opportunity to identify an action step.
My plan is to use this “Gospel DNA Toolkit” on the third Sunday of the month during the Bible Class hour, everyone is invited to attend and participate. If you would like to read ahead Rev. Newman’s book that would be helpful but certainly not necessary, I got mine on Amazon.
With the new steeple we have made a statement, this is who we are, a part of the body of Christ. But our focus must not be on the building, the institution, the “stuff” of church – rather on the movement of the gospel reaching out into community, changing lives for Christ. Amen.