“The Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a man who found a pearl of great price, and so, sold all that he had in order to possess it.”
You have all been like a “pearl of great price” to me. And I give thanks to God for the wonderful community of caring, faithful people I have found here, in both congregations of this parish.
When God is involved, incredible things often happen. Since my arrival as Interim Pastor in July, the Holy Spirit has continued to fill me with wonderful sense of hope and encouragement about the future of this Parish. People are faithful in attendance, work hard (in so many ways) to maintain the ministry, and have hearts that warmly welcome everyone who comes through our doors. We are blessed with wonderful faithful leadership! Perhaps the best description is to say that people seem to smile a lot around here..and underneath, there is the warmth of Gods love.
Yet, our God is a living God; he leads us by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. As we journey toward a future in a world that is becoming so different we hardly recognize it, we know that we are not simply free to settle back in the way things have been. We are called to live in the reality of the way things have now become in 2017 with all of its technology and new ways of communicating, and to prepare for the way they will be in the years ahead.
It has become clear to me that the way this parish can grow and prosper in the future will be through “talking.” We love Jesus and we have stories to tell about his love for us and all the ways he has answered our prayers and lifted us up. As we talk with our family and friends about our faith, people will be drawn to this community of Jesus. The challenge in this is, that we are not accustomed to doing this. So part of our work in the future will be to learn and grow in our ability to talk with people, about our faith in Jesus in ways that are effective.
It is my prayer that God will expand our horizons, and that as we trust him, he will reveal to us possiblities for new and exciting experiences that are filled with new life—for all of our generations.. Perhaps in the past; Mt Joy –St Paul people have “undervalued” themselves and their possiblities for ministry. May the power of the Kingdom of God and its nearness to us begin to plant signs of new creation here. And may all our lives be blessed and enriched with life and love, for Jesus sake.
Interim Pastor Peter Naschke