Hello from “Pastor Mark,” the new pastor of Advent Lutheran Church. New, but not yet installed. The installation is on Sunday April 8 at 3PM. There’s been some joking that right now I am “involved” but after April 8 I will be “committed.” (If you missed that sermon illustration, let me know.)
I’m intending this blog to be a mix of pastoral teaching, personal learning, personal updates and faith sharing. And hopefully this will be more of a dialog than a monolog, as you offer your responses. Share what touches you. Add to what I share. Feel free to disagree with anything, as long as you do so constructively. (And if there’s anything major, we’ll move the conversation off-line and in-person). Let me know what you’d like to see addressed here. Let this be a place of serious sharing and light-hearted humor. And let it be a place that honors God and builds us up as church.
Let me start off with a personal update, and one thing I’m up to at church.
First, the personal. Our house in Downingtown is sold, or at least we have accepted an offer. After a month of moving extra things to a Pod, having almost all rooms repainted (to “neutralize” the house), replacing a carpet and having the house staged, the very first showing resulted in a great offer that we decided to accept. Among other things, it gives us some flexibility in moving, with an ability to close in April, May, or early June. Now we are looking for a house in the Advent area (preferably within 10 minutes of church) to turn into a home. Merlyn works from home, and I am commuting. With a dog to care for, Merlyn can’t spend a lengthy time up here with me without us boarding the dog for the day…so she is usually just coming here for Sunday morning services for now. Oh…and daughter Cassie recently returned from Germany with her Penn State Lutheran community group after a great visit to Luther sites there, including spending several days in Wittenberg.
What’s up at Church? I’m having a blast getting to know a bunch of fourth grade families as I have been leading the First Communion preparation classes between services for the last four weeks. We talked about special meals and then some famous Bible meals as the families were divided into groups (parents and kids working together) to prepare skits to dramatize those Bible stories. (First time I’ve EVER seen – and eaten – manna on a “manna bush,” and first time I’ve ever seen the leftovers include a GIANT fish after the miraculous feeding of the multitudes by Jesus. J) Fun skits. Good learning. Then the kids helped me share what a sacrament is in the Lutheran Church, and we talked about the core truths in communion: Jesus is here; this is God’s gift “for you”; this is God’s gift for everyone. In the final class the kids baked the bread we used for First Communion on March 25th, and we did final practice and learning. I love kids’ ministry, and the opportunity to get to know and to work with parents and kids in such an important time in their lives. Being a pastor can be pretty cool! Thanks for the opportunity.