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Pastor's Page

Pastor Stephanie Wood   


Sarah Hoffman,
Parish Office
Administrative Assistant

Pastor's Column

March 01, 2018

Forgiven, Invited, Included, Loved

The kingdom of God is….

“A new society, a renewed Israel open to all… a realm of God’s extravagant grace, mercy, forgiveness, and compassion… a place where those labeled unworthy or impure are received unconditionally… a world of abundant manna shared by all… a reality worth dropping all other commitments to joyfully receive.”

~ Daniel Erlander

Forgiven, Invited, Included, Loved

In one of our confirmation classes I asked the class to choose two words, among a list of words that described how it feels, what it looks like to be a part of and witness the kingdom of God. They chose the following: forgiven, invited, included, loved, affirmed, embraced, given dignity, made whole. This lesson and these words remained with me and I shared the top four with Aurora on a Sunday where I asked the congregation to stand and go to the word they associate most with the kingdom of God. Together we discussed why we chose this word and how we exemplify this word in our church and community. As I sat with kids and elders, we discussed the simple act of saying hi and inviting someone over. The act of welcoming someone is central to our understanding of kingdom and it isn’t rocket science, but perhaps a bit awkward as we get used to it.

April 28, 2017

May's Message From the Pastor

As a kid, I took delight in making May Day baskets out of recycled strawberry containers or cut up egg cartons. In these precious gifts I placed candy, stickers and beautiful flowers otherwise known as dandelions. It was a thrill to place these May Day baskets on the porch of unsuspecting neighbors. I rang the doorbell and ran away with so much joy and a belly full of giggles. I always hoped that these baskets full of treasures would brighten someone’s day and add a bit of mystery to one’s life.

Throughout this season of Easter, Christians continue to encounter the risen Christ. He sits on the beach cooking fish, meets the travelers on the road to Emmaus, surprised Mary as she left the tomb and came to the scared disciples locked away in the upper room. Jesus keeps showing up on people’s doorsteps with the good news, he is risen. Where there was once death and despair there is now life and hope.

March 30, 2017

April's Message From the Pastor

                 I love opening the windows and allowing some fresh air to circulate through the house. The heaviness of winter is melting away to make way for spring. That which was dormant starts to show life once again. The animals that have been hiding or down south slowly begin to emerge. It is a time of transition and, in my opinion, a season of new beginnings.

                 As I hopefully hung my winter coat for the last time, it began to sink in that things were changing. It’s typically about this time that I start to get the itch to spring clean. I want to get rid of those wool socks with irreparable holes, donate what I didn’t really wear this winter and give the house a good deep clean. I begin to shed the extra grime and weight left over from winter as I prepare for the ever-closer sunny days of summer.

                This year Easter falls within this spring transition of April. When we gather on April 16th, we come to lift up praise and thanksgiving to God for Jesus lives. We celebrate our savior Jesus who came into this world and lived among us, suffered with us and has died to conquer death and the power of sin for us. We worship God on this sacred Sunday for we have a new life, a new beginning in Jesus.

                 Yet as I write there are still two weeks left of lent before we dive into Holy Week. I invite you to take these remaining weeks to do a spiritual spring cleaning. Maybe there was a Lenten practice that you stopped doing; renew yourself to this spiritual practice. Perhaps there are relationships that need to be mended or burdens you carry that need to be lifted. What spring cleaning might you need to do in preparation for this new beginning we receive in Easter?

January 29, 2017

Pastor's Annual Report

As we walk in the wake of our baptism, where is God calling us as a parish? While we have not been around for 500 years like the Lutheran church, we have existed for over 130 years. With any monumental anniversary or birthday, it causes you to celebrate, reflect and hope. Together, as a parish, I ask you to consider the many things we can celebrate as a congregation.  What traditions and gifts does our Lutheran parish offer? Take the time to reflect on your experience in the parish, or the change both within society and the community. Lastly, begin to dream. We are a reforming church. What do you hope the Lutheran church and our parish will be like in 10, 20 or 500 years?

December 17, 2016

God's "exit" signs

...not all prayers are so simply or as easily answered. Yet I wonder how many could be answered if we took a step back and noticed the exit signs God has provided?  The solutions we may not like, but are perhaps the best.

August 20, 2016

God's Love at the Fair

...most of my fair time was in a little white diner near the livestock. It began over 50 years ago to help serve the dairymen, hog men and 4-Hers. Over the years the diner has grown; now we serve more than our little corner of the fair and we do it with the help of others in our community.

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