[Welsne_teach] 2nd Sunday after Christmas/New Year

Phil Hirsch MANHATTANHOPE at msn.com
Sat Jan 4 14:57:39 CST 2020

The time for reports on the 365 days of 2019 has come.  The time for looking forward into the 366 days of 2020 has come.

How has it been?  How will it be?

I'm sure it was fear-filled.  I'm sure it will be.  I'm sure it was filled with non-stop thanksgiving, remembering you in my prayers.  I'm sure it will be filled with non-stop thanksgiving, remembering you in my prayers.  I know these things.

I know them not because I have achieved such a high level of consciousness or went to just the right schools.  I know them because I know God.  I am known by God.  The logos became flesh and tabernacled down here among us humans.  And the God whom no one could ever see has now been made known in the Word made flesh, in the Incarnate Word, in the Son, in Jesus.  And God picked me--in Him--in eternity to be holy and blameless in His sight (What can anyone do to me? cf. Ro 8:31. Truly it is an existence of no fear in the midst of people who are drowning in it, huffing and puffing to prove they aren't really anxious about anything.)

God, G_d (as the modern Jews refer to the deity), I AM picked me--in the logos made flesh--to be His.  I know the hope to which I have been called--life eternal;  I know just how rich His glorious inheritance among the saints really is;  I know how surpassingly great His power is in us who trust Him.

I never stop giving thanks for you, dear reader, remembering you in my prayers.  We're chosen!  We're His! The Incarnation of the Word/logos of God says.

Oh, yes.  I need to hear it because my flesh fights such knowledge, such light, such assertion, such proclamation.  I love darkness, naturally.  I love darkness and love to appear as if I don't.

But, in time, the eternal God presented the Incarnate Word Promise into my dark heart.  And, by the grace of God and by the miracle of His Spirit, I give Him thanks.  For you. Without stopping.  Miracles occur.  Christ is spoken into the darkness of the humans hearts.  Light shines.  The Spirit works.  Humans assemble over and over again to hear--over and over again--of the power of God in the most shocking of places--in the word of the Word Incarnate for the sinners because of whom He died.

Our president ordered some on the tip of the government's sword to take out an enemy of our country.  There are fearful reactions.  Some absentee fathers have created a vacuum for all sorts of creepy creatures to fill.  There are fearful reactions.  Humans, in their great need to fight against the darkness, invent their own god.  There are fearful reactions.  I know there is fear out there.  A lot of fear.

Our Father picked you--in Christ.  He loves you--in Christ.  I never stop giving thanks for you--in Christ.  In the name of this awesome, intimidating, overwhelming, eternal God, let's proclaim such foolish promises to the fear-filled humans who need those promises so badly.

In our prayers
-Andrea Smith and Eileen Smith (daughter and wife of Pastor Bob Smith of Redeemer, Hastings, NE) continue to recover nicely in the hands of our Father.
-Nick Mount, pastor of Grace in Geneva and Trinity in Grafton, continues to recover nicely and slowly and surely back home in Geneva.

Decision Announced
-Bob Smith of Redeemer, Hastings, NE has accepted the Call to Sun City, AZ.
-Silas Schmitzer of Stoddard, WI declined to serve at St. Paul's, Plymouth, NE.
-Jacob Scott of Arlington, WI declined to serve at Good Shepherd, Kearney, NE.
-Rachel Veith of Gethsemane, Omaha, accepted to Watertown, WI.

Pastors Deliberating​
-Tim Westendorf of Abiding Word, Highlands Ranch, CO to Mt. Olive, Overland Park, KS

Lutheran Teachers Deliberating
-Kayte Gut of Shepherd of the Valley, Westminster, CO (and District ECMC) to Jacksonville, FL
-Hannah Rothe of Christ Our Redeemer, Aurora, CO to Rapid City, SD
-Justin Vilski of Prince of Peace, Salt Lake City to Thiensville, WI
-Benjy Wells of NELHS to Arizona Lutheran Academy, Phoenix
-Dave Ring of NELHS to Wisconsin Lutheran School, Racine, WI

Congregations/Calling Bodies Calling a Pastor

-Shepherd of Peace, Norfolk, NE will Call again 1/15.

-Christ, Beatrice and St. Paul's, Plymouth, NE will Call again 1/12.

-Good Shepherd, Kearney, NE will Call again soon. Tom Schneider from Christ in Grand Island, NE is serving the vacancy.

-Mt. Olive, Overland Park, KS to Tim Westendorf of Highlands Ranch, CO.   Jake Jenswold of Rock of Ages, KC is helping with the vacancy.

-Trinity, Winner, SD will Call again 1/15.

The Call moratorium for pastors extends through Saturday, January 4.  Calls may be extended again for pastors on Sunday, January 5.

Congregations/Calling Bodies Calling a Lutheran Teacher

-Zion, Denver to Barb Noon of Clarksville, TN for K-1.

-St. Mark, Salina, KS will Call again, soon for a preschool teacher.

-The WELS COP meets this week, January 6-9.  Please pray for these servants of the Word of God in the Church.
-A meeting of the leaders of Zion, Bonesteel, SD and St. Paul, Naper, NE and Beautiful Savior, O'Neill, NE will discuss the potential of a tri-parish on January 15.
-January 21-23, 2020--National Leadership Conference in Chicago (in place of annual Missionaries' Conference this year).  Info at: www.lutheranleadership.com<https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lutheranleadership.com&data=02%7C01%7C%7C1572e411139e45630f6208d78ad03285%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637130499119994588&sdata=gtC%2Ba0hN2i5YkVdnk2lL6FITHq50QFKpiGi6RjyS5G0%3D&reserved=0>.  The conference has reached its limit of 600 and a waiting list is being kept as negotiations for extra conference space and hotel rooms continue.
-June 1-3, 2020 the Nebraska District Convention at Estes Park Center

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