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Musing from the Pastors

Change…

 

These last several weeks we’ve seen significant change in the earth around us. The barren trees have blossomed and green vegetation and freshly blooming plants surround us. We look forward to some kinds of change, especially that which is anticipated with regularity; like winter turning to spring. But often change is difficult to accept or adjust to. In fact, many times we resist change, feel uncomfortable around it, bemoan it, and/or simply refuse to accept it. The reality is, however, that change is inevitable. Technology changes, culture changes, politics changes, economics changes; the world is in a constant state of change. And the Church is not immune to change. While the Scriptures say: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8), nowhere in scripture are we told that the church is, or will be, the same yesterday, today and forever. I’ve often paraphrased Karl Barth who communicated the need for the church in every age and culture to find new ways to communicate the Gospel (which does remain constant), so that people in every age and culture are able to hear the Gospel message in ways they can understand and believe. We are seeking to respond to this challenge by changing the form of one of our worship services to a ‘contemporary’ format. This is being done because the world and the way people are able to hear the Gospel has changed. While the core of St. Stephen has grown up, and is comforted, with a familiar liturgical form of worship, fewer and fewer of those around us find that form of worship comforting or inviting, and even in our own families we have to recognize the majority of our children find the church and it’s form of worship to be archaic and irrelevant. We need to change! So, we’re seeking to find an expression of faith that resonates with those who are currently disconnected from what WE know so well. The 10:30 service has become a vibrant, Spirit-filled and empowering experience for its participants. I invite you to come and try it out. Invite your friends, family and neighbors. Embrace the change, welcome it and appreciate a different form, containing the same content, of what has been proclaimed for two-thousand years. We’re still Lutheran-Christians; a people of God finding a Twenty-first century expression of faith that invites others to follow Jesus.

Pastor Jim