Our church office manager sent me an email last week reminding me about the August Pulse* deadline. Well, this is my Pulse article for August. But I'm putting it up on the internet first.
Those of you who are reading this on paper that has been printed and mailed from the office are receiving this at least 23 days after it was written. I'm asking our church office staff to simply copy these words from my blog and put them in the Pulse. Those of you who are reading this on line will notice I am writing this mainly for those who rely on the mailed newsletter.
When pastors write, we hearken back to a tradition that began in Bible times. I think particularly of the Apostle Paul. In Ephesians 3, he said that reading what he had written would make it possible to understand his "insight into the mystery of Christ" (v. 4). In another place, Paul commands that his letters be read (Colossians 4:16).
What I write isn't the Word of God, so I won't make demands. But I do hope you won't ignore what I write. I do have a key role in this congregation and community, and hopefully, at least part of what I write is worth reading.
The amazing thing about the inter-net is that it is inter-active. The Pulse might be helpful, but responding or replying is so easy on the internet. At least that's true for those who use email and etc. But THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT to use the internet! Everything on the internet can be printed on paper for you to read.
I am, however, writing on the internet first. So far I have published 40 articles on all kinds of subjects, some short, some longer. We're printing them out and putting them in a notebook here at church. I've written about the synod assembly, mental health, liturgy, social ministry, the Apostolic Lutheran church, sexuality, climate change, prayer, how God provides for our needs and many other topics. If you want to get these articles mailed to you, just ask!
I foresee that more and more, we'll be putting things on the internet first. But, as long as I am pastor here, we will always provide them on paper upon request.
The internet, however, can never replace human community. So we gather for worship, every week, to learn God's love and share that love with one another. If you cannot gather, let us know and we will come to you.
Sincerely, in Jesus,
Pastor Steve Thorson
Evangelical Lutheran Church
*The Parish Pulse is our church's newsletter. This post is written to be printed there.