[Welsne_teach] Labor Day weekend

Phil Hirsch MANHATTANHOPE at msn.com
Fri Aug 30 11:07:26 CDT 2019

Schools are back in session all over the land.  I dare say all of us are affected by that new, exciting rhythm.  Our kids are settling in with their new teachers and new schoolmates.  Our Lutheran teachers are settling in with their new students.  The parents are settling into a new school-year routine.  Congregations, reflecting the people who make up those congregations, shift into a different gear.  Sunday School takes on a new rhythm, even if your congregation runs Sunday School year 'round.  And now, this weekend, we give ourselves a breather from that new rhythm before we set our sights on Thanksgiving, and then Christmas.

I pray that many people, as part of the new Fall rhythm, are actually in the assembly of the faithful who gather to spur each other on to love and good deeds.  There is rich fare planned in any of our congregations I am sure.

Abram, the purported father of the three great monotheistic religions, hears a word from Yahweh, the LORD.  "Don't be afraid."  It's easy--very, very easy to be afraid.  The more cognizant you are of all of the complexity of human life and of the life of the humans next to each other, the more reasons--cogent and valid reasons--you see to be afraid. "I am your shield, your very great reward," says the I AM God to this old man who immediately retorts with a, "I can't possibly see how you are my shield and my reward because I don't see how you are keeping the promises you already made to me in the past" (cf. Ge 12) argument. You and I are familiar with this line of thinking.  You owe me more than you have shown me.  We should be stricken, smitten and afflicted by the One Who speaks, in general, and by the One Who spoke it all into existence and Who gave up His Son for us and Who promises that He'll also graciously give us all things.

Abram trusted God.  His promise was most certainly true.  It was credited to him as righteousness. By the grace of God, a childless old man trusted all the nations would be blessed through him and his Seed.  He was certain of what he hoped for and certain of what he couldn't see.

All around us, even though it's that fun time of year when a new school-year rhythm takes over for a bit, fear is the substrate.  The human is uncertain of what they are, where they come from and where they are going.  Many are experiencing anxiety in dropping the kids off at school and letting them go on the bus because, who knows, some sociopath might choose that school to make an fear-driven attempt at being noticed. Moms and dads are coming to grips with the fact their their child isn't going to get a scholarship, even though they just spent thousands for just the right camps this summer and now the family's staring at a pile of bills, with another recession on the way, if one is paying attention to the self-serving fear-driven-cuz-it-makes-for-sensational-news loudmouths on the news.  Sick and about-to-die parents fear for the ones they leave behind, without at least one who loves them.   Grandparents are afraid of being and dying alone. Fear is all around--and not just "out there."  It is the reason your assembly will convene and, miraculously, you'll be led into a confession of saying it the way it is--the assembly of the faithful will confess their human condition--their sinfulness that leads to empty and hurtful thoughts, words and actions against other humans and against our God.

More miraculously, I know in our assemblies there will be a promise: "I forgive you your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."  A promise will break in from the throne room of I AM God to the fear-filled and fearful.  It will be mouthed by a clay pot.  But it will be faithfully spoken in the name of the Living God.  And they will be forgiven.

And, where and when the Spirit of God wills, the humans for whom the Incarnate God gave Himself up, will say, "Amen--It is certainly so!"  And no one will ever take away that certain truth from the Living God to the humans struggling for possessions that will wear out and that thieves will attempt to steal and no moth can ever destroy.

We will have found the treasure; it--He--will have again been proclaimed to us.  No fear here.  None.  "Hence, all fear and sadness! For the Lord of gladness, Jesus, enters in!"

And so, we'll send them out after the assembly this weekend, dressed and ready for service, ready for our Living Lord to return and make it seen Who actually is reigning.  And we'll send them out, dressed and ready for service to those around us who won't be in the assembly and who will be fretting and striving their way out of fear, only to find themselves deeper and deeper in despair.

Ah.  "I am your shield and your great reward," says the LORD.

Servants Deliberating
-Kendall Cook of Shepherd of Peace, Norfolk to Trinity, Crete, IL

-Joel Vogel of St. Mark, Lincoln, NE to Coleman, WI

Congregations/Calling Bodies Calling a Pastor

-Christ, Beatrice is presently being served by Fred Berger from St. Paul's, Plymouth.  The saints at Christ in Beatrice have asked St. Paul's, Plymouth for some kind of working relationship for the good of the kingdom. Meetings in Jesus' name continue.

-Good Shepherd, Kearney, NE to Clinton Kreugizer of Marietta, OH on August 21.  Tom Schneider from Christ in Grand Island, NE is serving the vacancy.

-Beautiful Savior, Topeka, KS to David Kapler of Mountain Home, Arkansas as their next pastor.  Matt Scharf of Hope in Manhattan, KS is serving the vacancy.

-Lord of Life, Thornton, CO to John Vieths of Norman, OK on August 22.

-The first Call meeting at Living Savior, Littleton, CO was on August 28th.  The pastor has not yet been contacted.

-The first Call meeting at Mt. Olive, Overland Park, KS will be determined soon.

-January 21-23, 2020--National Leadership Conference in Chicago (in place of annual Missionaries' Conference this year).  Some info has been share and more will follow from NE DMB.  Sign up at: www.lutheranleadership.com<https://nam10.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lutheranleadership.com&data=02%7C01%7C%7C196aa5def99b4563da2208d72b049abc%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637025171076262600&sdata=ZbpCna13u3m8IJbA6VuVYU1xV5vXHCllxMMxtFhvPg8%3D&reserved=0>.
-Western Pastors' Conference-September 24-25, with meeting of Circuit Pastors the night before on September 23.  Info was sent this last week.  Dave Wietzke chairs.
-NE District Teachers' Conference (with Dak-Mont Teachers' Conference).  October 13-15 in Denver.  The district's praesidium will also meet during this conference to plan for 2020's District Convention.
-Eastern Pastors' Conference-October 22-23 at Zion in Valentine, NE with meeting of Circuit Pastors the night before on October 21.  Info was sent this last week from Nate Seelow.
-June 1-3, 2020 the Nebraska District Convention at Estes Park Center in Colorado

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