Dear Friends through Christ:
We have entered the season of Pentecost, the outpouring of the Spirit and the work of the Church. It is the longest season of the Church year—26 weeks. Wow! That is a lot of work, especially when you consider we are coming up on summer. Our snow birds have flown home. Now that the virus seems to be mostly under control, people are traveling more. Plus, it is hot! Yet Pentecost is the season for the work of the church.
Looking back, in the season of Advent, we got ready for the coming of Jesus (four weeks). Christmas we celebrate His arrival (three weeks). In the season of Epiphany, Jesus is revealed as the Messiah, Son of God, Savior, and Word of God (six weeks). We walk to the Cross with Jesus during Lent (six weeks). And finally, we celebrated His resurrection through Easter (seven weeks). Now, we should know the whole story of Christ Jesus and God’s saving gift! If we believe or want to believe, during the season of Pentecost our work will begin (twenty-six weeks). You simply decide for yourself, with the gift of freedom, if this story, if this way of life is something you feel is worth your time, talent and treasure.
As I have gotten older and hopefully wiser, I have begun to realize there is little I can do to convince anyone of this life-giving, life-saving truth story. That is between you and God. All I can do is share the story and hope and pray you experience God’s love daily, knowing you always have a Helper for this long journey. It truly makes a difference.
Speaking of the work of the church, the painting of the entire complex is complete. Peace Lutheran now has two coats of fresh paint to protect her against the Florida weather for the next ten years. Plus, she looks more inviting. We do all of this because Peace Lutheran is to be a place of physical support offering a safe place to gather, to worship, to learn, to eat, to serve, and to have abundant life. In other words, we offer a church family, especially to those are alone. It is also a place offering spiritual support through Word and Sacrament, helping others to understand the nature of God and feel the love of Christ Jesus. What we do is important in our world. In order to carry out our purpose we need everyone’s support. Thank you to all who believe the story, or want to believe. These are the ones who give of their time, talent and treasure. Thank you!
Yet there is still a lot of work to be done. Allow me to share what I see. By the end of 2021, I see one worship at 10AM and Christian education for all ages at 9AM. We will start this process on September 12th. Since Covid is winding down, I can see by the end of next year, 2022, Peace worshiping between 125 and 150 saints and sinners. We get there by advertising in our surrounding community and more importantly by each of us inviting our friends and neighbors to a meaningful worship and good fellowship. Simply ask those you know to, “Come and see!”
I can see and almost taste the monthly gatherings for potluck, sharing a meal in our fellowship hall, with conversation and laughter, and even expanding these gatherings to the community in our new picnic shelter located in the courtyard, built mostly with the money saved on our painting project. I can see the Shepherd Center offering learning experiences to the aging population. I see the two beautiful rooms behind the food pantry, both with small kitchens and bathrooms, being used to offer ministries to our men and women of the church, and as always, to the community. I can see events like the Blessing of the Animals on October 3rd this year and Trunk or Treat on Halloween next year. I can see our entire membership getting together this Christmas season to form “FGFG,” or “Friends Gathering for God,” where we start gathering in smaller groups to study Scripture, share a meal together, or simply have fun and get to know each other a little better. I can also see us realigned with the ELCA, where there can be fellowship and cooperation with our brothers and sisters in Christ and protect our Lutheran heritage for the future. I can see these things, all while maintaining and improving on the ministries already offered at Peace Lutheran.
Yes, we have entered the season of Pentecost, the work of the Church. It is the longest season because there is so much to do. While I cannot convince anyone to believe in this life-giving, life-saving truth story, I can say, if this way of life promised is something you feel worthwhile, then Peace Lutheran says thank you for your time, talent and treasure. You will always have a home with friends.
Happy Pentecost and many blessings,
Pastor David Trexler