Pastor Bob’s August Message

Dear people of God:

I’m feeling another opportunity to say, “Thank you!” As always, I’m certain to miss someone, but I’ll take that risk. First, I want to thank everyone involved in our first-ever participation in Heartland Pride. To the task force who organized our involvement: Sue Skeans, Jeff Koerten, Chris Petersen, Cleve Evans, Debby Marsh, and me. To those who marched in the parade: Brenda Norton, Colleen, Darrin, Ian, and Annaliese Collins, Ginny and Frank Thompson, Kathy Sutula, Cindy Harvey, Katie, Chris, Jordan, Rain, and Max Petersen, Jeff Koerten (and thanks, Jeff, for getting the terrific banner made!), Maurine and Bob Beason, Connie and Jerry Ludwig, and Suzie Payne. To Bill Norton, for designing the great tee-shirts and for taking pictures at the parade. To those who made a witness at our table during the Festival: Cleve Evans (who also set it up), Sue Skeans, Kathy Egr, Cindy Harvey, Carol Sanderhoff, Brenda and Bill Norton, and me. To Margo Forsythe, for arranging for the very popular popcorn, and to Becky Widhalm, for designing and ordering the equally-popular lip balm and for designing and printing the information cards.

Participation in Pride served two great purposes. For one, it brought attention to our Church. If we are going to grow in our life and witness, we need to be willing to get “out there,” to go to places where we will find people who need the Gospel we share. Sitting within our walls and hoping people will come to us will be self-defeating. Second, and perhaps more important, we witnessed to people who have been hurt by the Church; we shared the grace of God in Jesus Christ. As folks came to Baxter Arena for the Festival, they were greeted by Christians shouting at them that they were going to go to hell, and other loving (!) words. Within the Arena, they found us, inviting them to participate in a life in God through Jesus Christ. Many were understandably wary of us and others were simply uninterested, but many took the time to say, “Thank you for being here.”

As I write this, we are still cleaning up from the storm, but I want to thank some folks who have been working hard on the cleanup so far. I’m certain there will be others after I write this, but so far I can thank Chuck McGavren for helping me get the patio and courtyard ready for Sunday morning worship and for getting up on the roof to check for possible damage (there was none), Tim Lambert for hauling away large tree branches that were felled by the storm, Doug Wise for finishing the cleanup of the courtyard, and Ted Wohlers and Mel Heitmann for helping clean up.

Of course, we also have a crew of fellows who have been taking care of the lawn while Denny Peters has been off recovering from surgery. Jeff Koerten, Ted Wohlers, Bill Norton, Mel Heitmann, Tim Lambert, and Andy Zidon all come immediately to mind; if I missed someone, I hope you’ll let me know.

Between now and the time this is published, I’m sure there will be more persons who should be thanked. Because of your dedication to the Lord Jesus and His Church, I am truly blessed to be your pastor. “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you” (Romans 1:8).

Pastor Bob