I type this email as I look out the window and see snow on the ground. On April 27. While I am not celebrating today’s unseasonably cold weather, I am celebrating Easter, and reflecting on the great things we have to celebrate as the community of Norway Grove Memorial (NGMLC).
Last fall I was called to serve this community as pastor, and that I celebrate because Scott and I have been made to feel right at home. Also, last fall we had nearly two dozen people commit to membership of this fantastic NGMLC community. I celebrate as I remember the hanging of the greens service when an entire family went forward to decorate the Christmas tree in the sanctuary.
We celebrate that we ended the year with over $200,000 given to the general fund for 2016. We celebrate that we have two worship services during the academic year. Wednesday night worship serves people of all ages and I celebrate every time I serve communion on Wednesday nights, watching all people gather for a simple meal. We celebrate the Sunday morning group who meet with Pr. Bud to explore the weekly scripture readings. And we celebrate that in May, our photo directory will be available for pickup!
I mention these moments of celebration because in the midst of the transitions occurring with staff at NGMLC, we may experience any number of feelings; sadness, fear, anger, surprise. Yet as I highlighted in my message on Wednesday night, “as the disciples exclaimed, ‘But we had hoped…’ they quite possibly were speaking of a future which would not be as they imagined. They expressed their disappointment as the Risen Christ walked alongside them, listened to them, then referenced scripture to help them see that God was in their midst.”
And that we celebrate. We celebrate the Risen Christ is in our midst. And we celebrate with Laura and her family as she serves another congregation. We also celebrate with Johnna as she received promotion at Big Brother’ Big Sisters. And we celebrate with Jill and her family as she starts a new chapter of her life at an insurance company in Sun Prairie.
As we journey through 2017, please keep leadership and NGMLC community in your prayers. More importantly, know that you are an integral part of this community, and you have your own unique gifts, talents to share. With that, have you considered trying something at church? Maybe you were welcomed by warm friendly greeters, and you would like others to have the same experience. Be a greeter one Sunday morning and see how you like it. Are you free on Wednesday afternoons? Would you consider helping with the WOW Suppers? (Planning for it begins soon.) Do you have an artistic side? Would you consider helping plan the worship space for an upcoming worship season? The opportunities are numerous, just as the unique gifts and talents we all share. Please contact me if you have questions about exploring your gifts and talents.
May you be reminded each day that the Risen Christ is with you and that the Risen Christ is in the midst of our community as we exclaim, “But we had hoped…” and as we proclaim, “Allelulia!”
He is Risen Indeed! Allelulia!