From My Perspective

Reflections through a Lens of Faith from Pastor Jen

Plan For It

Plan For It

Part of the excitement sometimes is the getting ready.

Last Sunday afternoon I got ready. I had my jersey. My dog had her jersey. I had my favorite snacks. (My dog had her favorite snacks too – but she gets them every afternoon.) I had my chair, my remote, my cup holder, and my fleece just in case. I was settling down for a few hours of football. The first game of the season!

Part of the excitement sometimes is the getting ready.

Fall is often filled with firsts…

  • first day of school
  • first game
  • first rehearsal
  • first Sunday School class
  • first day back

What do you need to get ready for this Sunday’s Fall Kick-Off at Faith?

Whether you’re able to join us in person or need to stay online, make your plans to get ready to join us!

This is a new year and maybe it’s an opportunity to start a new practice as part of your Sunday routine…part of the excitement sometimes is the getting ready.

Maybe this year you’ll decide your Sunday morning routine will include brunch before or after worship. Maybe it’ll be at a different place each week or each month. Make a plan for asking someone to join you!

Maybe this year you’ll decide to bike to church, walk to church, carpool to church. Make a plan to pump up your tires, plan your route, check with your neighbor.

Maybe this year you’ll decide that instead of listening to the choir from the pews, you’ll be part of it even if you don’t think your voice is anything special. Make a plan to meet up with someone at rehearsal so you won’t chicken out at the last minute. (Trust me – I know from experience that this helps!)

Maybe this year you’ll decide you’ll be a bit more casual in what you wear to church. Or you’ve been in yoga pants so much lately that you want to step it up. Either way – make a plan that might even include a fun church mask.

Maybe this year you’ll decide you like having a coffee with you in worship, so despite what your parents scolded you about, you’re going to bring it along! Be brave! Go ahead! Plan ahead to bring your favorite mug!

Maybe this year you’ll decide to watch the livestream broadcast from YouTube to your large screen TV instead of your laptop. Make a plan to download the YouTube app on your smart TV or connect to your laptop with an HDMI cord.

Maybe this year you’ll decide you want to bring your grandchildren to Sunday School. Make a plan to talk to their parents and think about how you can make it a special Sunday routine for all of you.

Part of the excitement sometimes is the getting ready. Are you ready for some worship?

In Christ,

Pastor Jen

When Bible Study Was Banned…

When Bible Study Was Banned...

There is a place in Nicaragua where Bible study was banned.

Solentiname is a remote archipelago of 38 islands in Nicaragua where peasants would gather with their priest every week and instead of a sermon, they would talk about the gospel reading.

In this small community, some of the elderly residents couldn’t read, so typically a young boy or girl would read the passage aloud and the group would discuss it verse by verse.

The residents were poor. Most of them lived in straw houses scattered about the islands. The peasants did not have theological training, but their priest recognized that their thoughts were often more profound than the scholars. After all, the word “gospel” means “good news” – and these people living at the margins of society recognized good news from Jesus when they heard it.

At some point, the priest recognized that others should hear what these peasants had to say about the gospel texts, so he compiled their thoughts into a book. And during the Somoza dictatorship, the book was banned. A flyer was sent to customs officials at the border checkpoints, forbidding people from bringing it into the country. It was deemed dangerously subversive. Jesus was dangerously subversive.

Who knows what might happen in Bible study? When people gather to study and talk and experience Jesus, hearts and lives can be changed. Powerful things can happen in Bible study!

Next week, Faith Lutheran launches 4 opportunities for Bible study and spiritual formation. I hope you try one out for the fall!

In Christ

Pastor Jen

Difficult Words of Jesus – Monday Evenings

6 Week class discussing some of the challenging words spoken by Jesus

Mondays at 7:00PM

Online on Zoom

Meeting ID: 893 8644 5305

Passcode: 965901

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

Beginning with an in-depth study of 1 Peter

Tuesdays at 10:00 AM

Online and In-person at church

Difficult Words of Jesus – Wednesday Afternoons

Same class as on Monday evenings but on Wednesdays at 1:00 PM

Online on Zoom

Meeting ID: 868 6431 1499

Passcode: 850130

Meditation Group – Saturday Mornings

Saturdays at 9:30 AM

Weekly gathering on line to listen to God through meditative practices

Online on Zoom Meeting ID: 625 205 5519

Growing Together/Creciendo Juntos

Growing Together/Creciendo Juntos

Yesterday I was scrolling through Facebook and I saw a notice that the Lutheran World Federation was “live” with a time of prayer.

Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the Lutheran World Federation is made up of Lutheran church bodies around the world (that much is probably obvious from its name). In theory, I understood that participants would be from various parts of the globe. But as I took part in the prayer time, I was struck by how diverse we Lutherans are!

Yesterday I was in prayer with Ranjit, a Lutheran from Bangladesh; with Clinton from Botswana; with Siza from Swaziland; with Mulos from Congo Kinshasa; and with Isaac who was taking part from the Minawao Refugee Camp in Cameroon.

Whenever we connect with people who have had different life experiences from our own, we have the opportunity to gain perspective, to gain empathy, to grow beyond ourselves and learn to love our neighbors a little better.

On September 12, we have the opportunity to grow together with our neighbors from Redeemer Lutheran Church in Lawrence!

We already have much in common as Lutherans – but we are sure to learn more about what it means to live Lutheran in the Merrimack Valley as we eat, pray, sing and talk together.

I hope you’ll join us at a potluck on September 12 at Noon at Redeemer Lutheran, 163 E Haverhill St, Lawrence, MA. There is plenty of street parking. Bring a dish to share and if you can, write the ingredients on an index card/piece of paper for the benefit of those with food sensitivities. (Rain date is September 19.)

Please RSVP here so we know how many to prepare for (but don’t let the lack of an RSVP prevent you from coming!)

Let us grow together!

In Christ,

Pastor Jen