Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sticking with Jesus (audio)

Click here for a link if you want to listen to my sermon (8:30 a.m. version) of Sunday, August 23. The scriptures were the ones assigned from the Revised Common Lectionary: Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18; Psalm 34:15-22; Ephesians 6:10-20; John 6:56-69. You can read them here.

At worship we distributed the following letter:
August 23, 2009

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

At the Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) a resolution was passed permitting the blessing of same-sex unions. A resolution was also passed allowing clergy in such unions to serve as pastors in the ELCA. A third resolution made it clear that no local church will be required to bless same-sex unions or to call clergy in such unions as their pastors.

We are pastors serving ELCA congregations in the Dassel-Cokato area. We want to inform you that our position on these issues has remained unchanged. Based on our interpretation of scripture we cannot bless same-sex unions or participate in the ordination of individuals who are part of such unions.

We ask your prayers and your comments. We look forward to speaking with you about this or any other issue.

Sincerely yours,

[signed by five ELCA pastors whose churches are located in the Dassel-Cokato school district area]
This morning I sent the following note to our church staff and council
Please pray for me now that I'm back from the assembly. These are hard days because I'm feeling that my church denomination has moved away from scripture in a way that is new.

Pray that I will have the right balance of patience and zeal. I committed myself to working with [the other ELCA pastors in my area]. We are feeling different things these days, even though we agree on the basics of marriage, etc. [Some of us think we we should] work through ELCA channels. I'm not sure that's what God is calling me to do. [Other pastors] are also concerned but I don't yet know what they are thinking this week.

The difference between us was that I was at the assembly. I felt things way down in my gut. They didn't have that experience. So I'm feeling quite zealous and impatient.

But, I do not want to be led by feelings. Feelings are unstable. To correct this, please pray that I will be able to focus on the "routine" things of my job -- preparing for worship, working with our energetic leaders, ministering in crises -- so that in doing those routine things I get back to the basics -- sticking with Jesus and his love.
I ask that you, blog reader, would also pray. Pray not only for me but for all of us in the ELCA. Thank you.


1 comment:

  1. Pastor Steve
    I will pray for you and the other Pastors and church members. These are perilious times. Lord do your refining work in each of our lives. Beef