Greetings! It’s good to be back. The hardest part of the trip was being alone. I’d wake up, look around and say, “good morning,” to absolutely no one. I’d write all day in a small one bedroom condo, take long walks on empty beach looking for shells, eat a good meal by myself, go to bed, look around and say “good night” to absolutely no one. That routine was ok for the first few days or so, but after about fourteen of them put together, it was hard!
Two things happened. It made me appreciate what I have back home, and it breaks my heart there are many who have this lonely experience day after day, looking around and saying, “good morning, good night” to no one. And it doesn’t end after sixteen days!
Remember, I’m at the beach in order to complete a manuscript entitled “It is Enough.” The first part of the book deals with the creation story set in the Garden of Eden, where God creates the first ground creature (adam meaning = ground creature), and the first thing out of God’s mouth is, “It is not good that man should be alone.” You see, we are meant to be in relationship with at least one other human being. We cannot fulfill the task of being fruitful and taking care of creation by our lonesome. Every single human being on this planet needs somebody in order to become somebody. The Bible refers to this somebody (Eve in our story), as a “helper/partner/suitable mate.” We also see in the Genesis story that even God is in relationship with others in heaven.
Our concept of the Trinity—Father, Son, Holy Spirit—points to something greater. Yes, we all need a helper/partner/suitable mate to simply “make it” in life. But combine a relationship of two ground creatures with the Spirit of God and presto! Another holy trinity has just been created, a new set apart three in one, now able to do special things—together.
For many in our midst, either one or two legs of this trinity is missing. A person may have a suitable mate, but lacking Spirit. Sure life will be a little easier, because they now have a helper, but it’s not yet complete. Something is missing. Others may be physically alone, yet they seem to be full of the Spirit. Again, sure life will be easier with spiritual support, but with no physical helper to say good morning, good night, it is hard. However, the part that breaks my heart is there are those in our midst who are trying to survive on just one leg of the Trinity—alone—no partner and no spirit.
Here is where the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church comes into play. A key objective of the Church is to help complete this Holy Trinity. Peace Lutheran is to be that physical support to those alone, offering a place to gather, to worship, to learn, to eat, to have abundant life. In other words, offer a church family. We also offer that spiritual support through Word and Sacrament helping others to understand the nature of God and feel the love of Christ Jesus. I also hope and pray with this understanding of God’s nature that our hearts may be softened to the pain and isolation of the gay and lesbian community who are simply trying to find a helper, a partner, a suitable mate so they too may be fruitful and have abundant life, which should be offered through the Church. No one is meant to be alone, physically or spiritually.
While surviving my alone time and finishing what I consider a rather good book, I would walk the shallows of the point and look for baptismal shells. Some days I would find five, other days twenty-five. Later that evening, I would take our church directory, mark the inside of the shell with a cross, praying that each of our family members would use their baptism, daily.
This coming Sunday some of those shells will be in the narthex. You are welcome to take one home with you, with one condition. (I’m not God. I have conditions) However, I only ask that you place the shell in a prominent location of your home and when you walk by and see that shell/sign/symbol remember you are baptized. You have been named as a child of the Most High and Living God. That’s it.
Moving right along. The day after I returned from this mini-sabbatical, we had our monthly council meeting on Saturday morning at 9:00AM. Here we began to vision what God might have in store for Peace Lutheran the balance of this year and 2022. It was a productive meeting filled with spirit. We are excited that our unused property generated a fair price of $305,000 after all commissions and fees were paid. Half of the funds went toward paying down the current mortgage, which was required by Thrivent, lowing our monthly payment from $2200 to $1100. Some of the funds will be used to update and improve our facilities, which we desperately need, and the balance being placed in an interest bearing account for future ministries, such as possible intern, and/or major repairs, such as roofs. We have accomplished what we set out to accomplish. Boast in the Lord!
Another focus at the three hour meeting was creating more opportunities for fellowship and growing closer to God. Such as men’s and women’s organizations connected to the larger church, “Friends Gathering for God” (which you will hear more about in the near future), potlucks, community events, all intended to give that fellowship and knowledge that Christ Jesus is in our midst.
Also, beginning September 12th of this year, Bible study and fellowship for all ages will available at 9AM each Sunday, followed by one worship service at 10AM, with monthly potlucks on the first Sunday of every month. You will also hear more about this as time approaches. Let me just say, I am excited! It’s been a long 18 month holding pattern. Let me also say, with one service quickly approaching, it would be nice to have more voices for the choir. If you have any kind of pleasant voice, Cindy Wagman can mostly likely turn that into a joyful noise and you will be enhancing worship for others. We also need people who are willing set aside one morning or afternoon per month to call and/or visit some of our family members who are alone. Remember, nobody is meant to be alone.
Well, that’s about all the space I have this month, so I will sign off. Just remember with the church as family and the spirit of Christ Jesus in your life, you will never be lonely.
May the One seated upon the Throne, the Slaughtered Lamb, and the All-Encompassing Spirit bless you now and forever. Amen.
In Christian Love,
Pastor David Trexler