From Pastor Anna

Dear ones,

It’s hard for me to believe that it’s almost September. These bright and long-light days have flown by. Once I thought summer was the “low time” and there was less activity.  Not so! Perhaps it’s the time of the church year. After Pentecost and Trinity Sunday in June, we spend the rest of the summer in “ordinary time”. Ordinary or not, these days have been full and productive. 

Our denomination, the ELCA, gathered for our triennial national assembly. In a short week, a number of important decisions were made by the voting delegates: 

  • Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton was elected to another 6 year term 
  • Deacons will now be ordained rather than consecrated (stay tuned for more about a fall intern coming to SJU from the Deaconess Community of the ELCA!); 
  • We became the first denomination to declare itself a sanctuary body;
  • A declaration of apology was issued to our members of African Descent;
  • and so much more!

This ordinary time has brought changes to our own local church community as well.  The building is sporting a new paint job, yes the doors are delightfully green! The garden is bursting.  Those sunflowers just keep getting taller. I like to think they’re watching me through my office window. We’ve even got a our new website up and running.  It’s still a work in progress, so we’re here for all your feedback. Proofreading comments are welcome!  

We didn’t just work on the physical space this summer. In early August we hosted 25+ people for a two day community organizing training with Sound Alliance.  What great energy there was to work for the common good! A couple weeks later, we hosted 35+ people for a lecture on the History of US Borderlands, followed by some quick organizing.  This great group is ready to meet again and work together on immigration justice. Cool! Our summer concerts continued as usual, but they were anything but usual. We added an informal pre-concert potluck, which made for lovely summer evenings with fellowship, food and music. 

If this summer has been ordinary, then it’s clear that the ordinary is beautiful and rich.   Every moment with each other is precious and an opportunity living life abundantly. It has been a bustling time of church building!  I’m reminded of this verse to a favorite hymn:

Let us build a house, where hands will reach beyond the wood and stone to heal and strengthen, serve and teach, and live the word they’ve known.

All Are Welcome, by Marty Haugen

So many of you have given of your time and energy in this ordinary time, building and preparing the church, for the shared work of loving this world.  Thank you for all you do.  

Your sister in Christ, 

Pastor Anna

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