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Pastor's Message

January 2020

posted Dec 26, 2019, 12:52 PM by Christine Rice

Happy New Year Dear People of God!

            2020: It feels strange to write the year 2020.  I remember back in the year 2000, how odd it felt to write that date at the dawn of a new millennium.  And now it feels strange, especially when I write this in December, to write the year 2020.

            But one thing we can say for sure is that our God is with us in all times and in all places.  Immanuel, “God with us”, dared to be born as a helpless human baby.  Our God chooses to forgive all human sin through the humiliating weakness of the cross of Jesus.  And our God chooses to give us new and everlasting life through the triumph of Jesus’ resurrection over death.  The Incarnation of Jesus, his enfleshment, is completed in his life, death, resurrection and in his ongoing presence in our lives through the baptismal gift of the Holy Spirit. 

            For the secular world, Christmas ended on Dec 25th, except for the returned gifts of course and after Christmas sales.  But Christians celebrate Jesus’ birthday, the miracle of God becoming human for us, for a full 12 days (just like the song says).  On January 6th the season of Epiphany, which means revelation or manifestation, begins with the visitation of the wise men to Jesus.  But even then we are thinking about offering our gifts to Jesus and worshipping him.

            A little choir anthem we used to sing at First Lutheran in Baker City, Oregon kept running through my head.  It’s based on a poem

written by the tremendous black writer, philosopher, theologian, educator and civil rights leader Howard Thurman and is entitled,     “The work of Christmas”

            When the song of the angels is stilled, when the star in the sky is gone,

            When the kings and princes are home, when the shepherds are back with their flock,

            The work of Christmas begins:  To find the lost, to heal the


            To feed the hungry, to release the prisoner, to rebuild the nations,

            To bring peace among all, to make music in the heart.


May the life changing good news of Jesus, Immanuel, give you peace, hope, joy and love in 2020.  And may the Holy Spirit work through us all to carry on the work of Christmas.


Pastor Dennis


December 2019

posted Nov 26, 2019, 11:31 AM by Christine Rice


Prepare. Prepare the way of the Lord.



             In the church year, December is the season of Advent and then Christmas.  Advent means  “the coming”.  And the watchwords during Advent are simply watch and prepare. We hear the prophetic voice of John the Baptist crying out in the wilderness, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”  And “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” Matt 3:3. 

            Many, many outward preparations for the celebration of Christmas happen in December.  Many of them are good.  Some are driven purely by consumerism.  But John the Baptist calls us to the bigger task of preparing our hearts, our minds, our lives for the Lord Jesus.  Now, we certainly prepare to celebrate Christ’s first coming among us as the baby Jesus in Bethlehem.  This is his soft and sweet coming as a new born baby and the miracle of the incarnation: God in human flesh for our salvation.  But the gospel readings in Advent also call us to prepare and watch for Christ’s second coming: his glorious return to complete the kingdom of God on earth.  We know not when this will be.  Many have tried to predict the date of Christ’s second coming over the last 2000 years.  And, as you know, they have all been wrong. 

            We cannot know when Christ will fully return, but we can live lives of faith toward God and loving service to our neighbors in need.  This is probably the best way to watch and prepare.  This is also Christ’s “3rd Coming”: his constant presence with us in the here and now in Christian community and in care for our world and neighbors.  This is the miracle of Immanuel, which means God with us.  And the working of the Holy Spirit within us, within the church, makes this possible.

          This year, the first Sunday of December was also the beginning of a new church year: the year of Matthew.  That is to say, most of our gospel readings this year will be from Matthew, just like most of the gospel readings in the past year were from Luke.   You might be interested to know that only the gospel of Matthew uses the word “church”: ekklesia in Greek: church in English.  Matthew also quotes the Old Testament more than any other gospel, to show that Jesus is the fulfillment of prophecy.  And you would have to say that in the Gospel of Matthew, living the life of faith is more about what one does, than what one says.  In the Gospel of Matthew, living the life of faith is about bearing good fruit for the Lord.  Of course this is not about earning our salvation somehow.  We don’t have to try to do that.  We can’t do that.  Jesus does that for us through his birth, life, death and resurrection.  But in the gospel of Matthew, following Jesus is more about actions than words.

            So, in December we watch and prepare for the Advent of Christ.  We prepare our hearts and minds and lives to welcome again, Jesus our Savior, Immanuel.


Serving Christ and neighbor with you,


Pastor Dennis


November 2019

posted Oct 28, 2019, 12:18 PM by Christine Rice

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


             Gratitude to God or taking God for granted—in life we are often confronted with these 2 possibilities.  Are we living with gratitude to God? Or are we mostly taking God for granted?  In some churches, the gospel reading appointed for Thanksgiving Day is Luke 17:11-19—Jesus healing the 10 men with leprosy.  Ten men with leprosy call out to Jesus, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”  Jesus tells them to go show themselves to the priests.  In that day, priests determined whether a person had a contagious skin disease or not.  As they went the 10 were made clean.  “Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice.  He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him.  And he was a Samaritan (a foreigner).”  Jesus marvels that only one returns to give praise to God and says to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”

            Gratitude to God or taking God for granted.  The reformer Martin Luther was asked, “What is true worship?”  And Luther replied simply, “The tenth leper turning back.”  The tenth leper turned back to praise God and thank Jesus for healing him, for making him well, for giving him a whole new lease on life, for saving him.  This man was a double outsider: he was a leper and a Samaritan.  The Gospel of Luke often lifts up outsiders and people on the margins of society as examples of great faith and thankfulness.

            The original Greek verbs used here suggest that all ten men are made clean, but only one is truly whole, healed and saved: the one who turned back to thank Jesus and praise God.  Gratitude to God or taking God for granted.  Every day all of us have times when we can offer gratitude to God or basically take God for granted.

            Some folks interpret Jesus’ healing of the 10 men with leprosy to mean that if you only have enough faith you will be healed of all your physical ailments.  I do not agree with that.  We can all think of very faithful, whole, saved, well people who suffer from diseases and ailments.  In his earthly lifetime, Jesus did not heal everyone from their illness or infirmity.  When he did, it was always with the greater goal of leading them to faith in God through him.  Christians do not have perfect bodies, but we do trust in Jesus for salvation in this life and the life to come. 

                In the U.S. we set aside one day a year as a National Day of Thanksgiving. At present, our nation has its share of problems.  But we also have very much for which to be thankful. And it is right and good that we do so.  It is wonderful for families and friends to gather and enjoy good food together and thank God for all that God has given us. (Which is everything: it’s all a gift from God’s gracious hands.) But for Christians, every day is really Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving to God is our way of life.


Peace in Christ, Pastor Dennis


October 2019

posted Sep 26, 2019, 8:56 AM by Christine Rice

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


    On October 4th, the church commemorates St. Francis of Assisi, renewer of the church, who died in 1226. Pope Francis takes his name from Francis of Assisi.  St. Francis was the son of a wealthy cloth merchant.  In a public confrontation with his father, he renounced his wealth and future inheritance and devoted himself to serving the poor.  Under his leadership the Order of Friars Minor (Franciscans) was formed, and they took literally Jesus’ words to his disciples that they should take nothing on their journey and receive no payment for their work.  Francis had a spirit of gladness and gratitude for all God’s creation.  He called the animals his brothers and sisters.

    You who have pets know that they become a member of the family.  The Hickman’s “brother”, Buddy the dog, died September 5th at the ripe old age of 14.  That’s 98 in people years!  Buddy, who was a Black Lab mutt, was originally a rescue from the animal shelter.  He was never well trained, so he was always an outside dog.  Don’t worry. He had a heated dog house and water dish for winter time.  He had the whole run of our fenced back yard and he lived for walks.  I always wished I could be as enthusiastic for each day as Bud was for his daily walks.  He would start dancing around with his big doggy grin as soon as he saw the leash.  Bud was Kyle’s dog.  Walking Bud together was always quality father/son time.  But Kyle has been away at college the last 5 years, except for Christmas and summers.  So, you know who, did most of the walking, feeding, watering, petting and poop-scooping.

    Until Bud went deaf about 2 years ago, our thing was to howl at emergency vehicle sirens together in the back yard.  He would start in or I would start in and we would be howling together.  Pretty soon the neighborhood dogs would join in.  It was great fun and it made him so happy: me too.  Over the last 5 months Bud was in kidney failure despite several rounds of anti-biotics and a special diet.  He was not interested in eating much and had lost over 20 pounds.  Finally, he was groaning in pain and could not move anymore.  The time had come to do the kind thing and put him out of his misery.  We buried him deep down in the garden.  We miss him, but we picture him running around in doggie heaven.

    Is it true that “All dogs go to heaven”?  Who knows?  The Bible does talk about the peaceable kingdom of God, where the lamb lies down with the leopard. (Isaiah 11)  The reformer Martin Luther was supposedly asked if he thought there would be dogs in heaven.  Luther replied, “If not, I don’t want to go there.”  Luther did say, “I wish I could pray as attentively as my dog watches the meat platter!”

    Our first job as human creatures in the image of God is to take care of God’s garden and God’s animals.  God’s blessings upon pets and pet owners alike.  God’s blessings upon all who take care of God’s earth and the creatures therein, including the human ones.

Peace in Christ, Pastor Dennis


September 2019

posted Aug 28, 2019, 11:18 AM by Christine Rice

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


            I hope you all had a little time for R & R this summer.  The Hickman’s enjoyed a good family trip.  Cathy and I went to Mt. Rainier for 2 nights for our 29th wedding anniversary.  We never saw the mountain due to clouds and fog, but the wildlife and flowers and hiking were great.  Of course I did some backpacking and hiking in our nearby Cascade mountains, some kayaking with my brother and replaced the  rotten wood deck on the back of our house.  That was 5 days of sweaty, hard work!

            The relaxed pace of summer comes to an end with the energy of the Ellensburg Fair and Rodeo, followed closely by the start of public school.  Here at FLC, the pace picks up as well.  The Sunday Adult class and Middle/High School Class start Sept. 15th at 8:45 in the chapel room.  Adults will pick up studying the Book of Acts where we left off last May.  Confirmation kicks off with the annual pizza feed for students and families Wed. Sept. 11 at 6:30 pm.  The Thursday 9 am prayer and Bible study keeps going and is always open to all.  We did take a few weeks off in the summer, but we are back to praying and studying the Sunday morning Bible texts.  The quilters have been going strong all summer and they continue their good work on Wed. mornings.

            Huge thanks to everyone who brought cans of chili, stew, chicken, ham and much more for our FISH Food bank.  Our food bank really needed these protein contributions over the summer and continues to need them throughout the year.  Let’s keep the protein items coming and expand it to pretty much all foods.

            Our Weekend Nutrition Program for school kids starts up again in September.  Thanks to Judy Ragland, Debbie Butler and Louise Acheson (St. Andrews) for putting all the meals together each week for needy children at Lincoln, Thorp and Dammon schools.  Please see Judy’s article for easy to fix and eat food items we can contribute to this wonderful nutrition program for kids.

See you in worship!    

Pastor Dennis


July~August 2019

posted Jun 25, 2019, 9:00 AM by Christine Rice

 Dear People of God,


    Ah, summer time is here and it’s my favorite time of the year!  After the cold of winter (and spring in Ellensburg), it is freeing just to be able to stop wearing so much heavy clothing.  I like to ask people what brings them renewal during the summertime.  I love to sit out on my back deck in the sun, before the heat of the day, and read my morning devotions and Bible passages while having breakfast.  It’s also good prayer time and a great way to start the day and stay connected to God our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer.

    In the church calendar, we are into the long, green growing season of Sundays after Pentecost, also known as Ordinary Time.  We are encouraged to keep growing in faith and life, just like the plants and fields around us are green and growing in the summer sunshine. The Sunday Gospel readings focus on the teachings, actions and miracles of our Savior Jesus.

    In the summer, it can be easy to get out of the good habits of worship and prayer time due to travels or vacations.  I encourage you to take your Bible and devotion booklets along with you wherever you go.  Even while backpacking in the mountains, and I carry less weight every year as I get older, I take a little pocket New Testament with Psalms.  I’m a person who is renewed by spending time in God’s marvelous creation.  Hiking in our nearby mountains is one of my favorite things to do in the summer.  Seeing the grandeur of God’s mountains, lakes and forests renews me.  I also enjoy riding my bike on the Iron Horse Trail beside the Yakima River. (I know that’s not the correct trail name anymore, but it’s the same trail.)  But I also enjoy being lazy and sitting in the shade in the back yard with a good book and a glass of iced tea.  What renews you during the summer months?

    I always enjoy planting a little garden in the summer.  I honestly don’t work very hard at gardening, but I do plant some tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, pumpkins and green beans.  Getting my hands in the dirt connects me to God’s good earth.  God designed seeds and soil to feed humans and all living creatures.  Planting seeds and watching them grow, helping them along, is to participate in a miracle.  Plus there is nothing like the taste of home grown tomatoes and veggies!

    This summer, let yourself be renewed through God’s good creation, through the saving Good News of Jesus Christ in the Bible, through worship with other Christians, and through prayer time with our loving God.

    At the same time, let us not forget our hungry neighbors in need while we enjoy the summer time.  People need to eat all year round and donations to our food banks go down in the summer.  I urge you to keep on supporting our FISH Food bank and the lunches in the parks for children.  If you are a gardener with extra produce or fruit, the food bank is happy to receive it.  I like to pray for all farmers and all who work the land during the summer.  A favorite prayer of mine in the growing season is, “Lord, may there be bountiful harvests and plentiful food for all.”

    May the summer time be renewing for you.  Let yourself be renewed through the goodness of God our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer.                                           


Peace in Christ,  Pastor Dennis


June 2019

posted May 29, 2019, 11:44 AM by Christine Rice

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


            We had a good synod assembly in Boise, the weekend of May 17-19. Ethan Bergman and I were your voting members.  The emphasis was global mission and we gathered under the theme, “We walk together.”  As Bishop Kristen Kuempel said in her sermon during opening worship, “We walk together, or we don’t walk at all.” This is an important message for Christians and all people in a world that is tending more toward fear and isolation.

            We enjoyed great global music at the synod assembly and our Eastern Washington Idaho Synod will soon have a new name.  Come August, we will be the Northwest Intermountain Synod!  We needed a more inclusive name, since we have two congregations in the Jackson Hole area of Wyoming, and the ELCA congregation in Ontario, Oregon just joined our Synod.  It will take a while to get used to saying “Northwest Intermountain Synod”, but the inclusive name will help us to walk together.

            It was great to see again Pastors Moses Nwaka and Eliud Payowela, our brothers from our companion synod, Ulanga Kilombero, in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania.  Moses and Eliud add the words, “Bega kwa bega” to the phrase “we walk together.” “Bega kwa bega” means “shoulder to shoulder”.  What a great image of accompaniment that is!   We walk together shoulder to shoulder in the love and mission of Jesus Christ our Savior.

            Our synod also has a domestic sister synod.  I and many others often forget this.  Our domestic companion synod is Greater Milwaukee.  It was good to have with us Bishop Paul Erickson from Greater Milwaukee and he preached at the closing worship service.  In his message he shared this African proverb.  “If you want to walk fast, walk alone.  If you want to walk far, walk together.”  This is a good proverb for me, since I often tend to walk too fast.  Clearly this proverb is not limited to the physical act of walking, but applies to many aspects of life, including church life.   Walking together and working together may be slower and messier, but it is definitely more loving and inclusive and joyful than going it alone.  Walking together, we support and encourage each other and we can go a lot further than if we tried to go it alone.  “If you want to walk fast, walk alone.  If you want to walk far, walk together.”  “We walk together or we don’t walk at all.”  “Bega kwa bega” we walk together.

            I attended the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services workshop.  LIRS has been working in the U.S. for over a century helping to settle refugees of war and conflict.  LIRS accompanies people, offers counseling and legal help, language help, and helps connect people with food, clothing, housing, jobs and transportation.  After WWII, LIRS settled many refugees here from Germany and Lativia.  During and after the Vietnam War, LIRS settled many S.E.  Asian refugees, with the help of many sponsoring churches.  Right now, LIRS is helping the many immigrants from Central America, especially in the efforts to reunite children with parents.  “We walk together, or we don’t walk at all.”  “Bega kwa bega, we walk together”.  As we follow the great command of Jesus to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, we can be sure that our Savior walks with us.                                            


 Peace in Christ,  Pastor Dennis


May 2019

posted Apr 29, 2019, 11:50 AM by Christine Rice

Dear Friends in Christ,


              During the whole month of May this year we are in the season of Easter in the church year.  The greatest news ever of the Resurrection of our Savior Jesus is too big to be confined to one Sunday.  So in the church we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus for a 7 full weeks, a week of weeks: 49 days—clear up until Pentecost on the 50th day after Easter.  Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed! We keep on saying that life changing good news for 7 Sundays.  Truth be told, it is never inappropriate to say “Christ is risen!” since every Sunday is a “little Easter”: a little celebration of Jesus Christ’s victory over sin and death for us.

            One option for the actual day of Easter is to read the resurrection account of Jesus from the Gospel of John.  We chose to go with Jesus’ resurrection account from the Gospel of Luke, since it is the year of Luke.  But the resurrection of Jesus found in John 20:1-18 is rich and I greatly encourage you to read it again, if you have not already done so.  John’s account tells of Mary Magdalene going to the tomb on that Sunday, while it is still dark and finding the stone rolled away.  She runs to tell the disciples, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”  Peter and John run to the tomb and find the linen wrappings lying there.  Scripture says John “saw and believed”, but also “for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.  Then the disciples returned to their homes.”

            But Mary Magdalene stands weeping outside the tomb and sees two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying.  They ask her why she is weeping.  Then she turns around and sees someone whom she supposes to be the gardener.  She asks him if he has carried away the body and if so, where has he laid him.  Then “the gardener”, aka the risen Jesus, calls her by name,” Mary.”  Her eyes fly open in recognition and she exclaims, “Teacher!”  Jesus then tells her to “go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”  Mary runs to the disciples and says to them, “I have seen the Lord” and she tells them what Jesus told her.

            For this reason Mary Magdalene is often called “The Apostle to the Apostles”.  Apostle means one who is sent out: one who is sent forth.  Jesus sent Mary forth to tell the other apostles about his resurrection from the dead and she did.  The apostles were then sent out to share the great news with everyone they could and they did.  Mary Magdalene: Apostle to the Apostles.

            The witness of Mary Magdalene is another good reason to keep on celebrating the resurrection of Jesus for a full 7 weeks in the church year, and really for every week after that. We are not Mary Magdalene nor among the original 12 apostles.  But the risen Jesus does send us all forth to share with others the great news of his resurrection and the love of God for all people.                                                 


 “Christ is risen!   He is risen, indeed!”      


  Pastor Dennis     


April 2019

posted Apr 1, 2019, 9:27 AM by Christine Rice

Dear Friends in Christ,

            It’s probably a good thing Easter is later in April this year, since winter held on so long.  I don’t know if there will be any daffodils or tulips by April 21st.  Flowers are certainly beautiful and signal spring time, but the resurrection of our Lord Jesus is in no way dependent upon flowers blooming.

            During the first weeks of April we are still on our Lenten journey.  During Lent we continue to struggle against everything that leads us away from the love of God and the love of neighbor.  Prayer, fasting, giving alms, repentance, worship, Bible study and works of love all help us to do this. 

            On Palm/Passion Sunday, April 14th this year, we begin holy week together.  We are nearing the end of our Lenten pilgrimage and are coming to the main things of our Christian faith: the suffering, death and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ.  On Palm/Passion Sunday we remember that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a humble beast of burden and people spread branches and cloaks on the road to welcome him as king.  We exclaim with the disciples and the crowd, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heaven!” Luke 19:38.  And we hear the Passion of our Lord, the suffering and death of our Lord Jesus, according to Luke’s Gospel.

            On Maundy Thursday, April 18th this year, we remember that Jesus gave his followers a new command, a new mandate (hence—“Maundy”): “Love one another.  Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” John 13:34.  Then Jesus humbly washed his disciples’ feet and bids all his followers to humbly serve one another in love. As Jesus ate the Passover meal with his disciples, he was celebrating the Jewish Passover Seder meal of liberation and freedom with his friends.  But Jesus gave it new meaning when he took the bread and said, “Take and eat, this is my body.” And then he took the cup of wine and said, “This is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.  Do this in remembrance of me.”

            On Good Friday, April 19th this year, we remember with sorrow and gratitude that Jesus died on the cross to forgive our sins and the sins of the whole world.  Good Friday is often called the Great Day of Atonement:  at-one-ment.  We were all out of tune with God our Maker, but Jesus, God’s own Son, has made us one again with God through the sacrifice of himself on the cross.  Thanks be to God!

            Having journeyed with Jesus through his suffering and death, we are then ready to fully celebrate the day that changed the whole world forever:  the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  This year, resurrection day, falls on Sunday April 21st.  We rejoice with the women at the empty tomb as the angels tell them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.  Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.”  Luke 24:5-7.

            On Easter Sunday, The Resurrection of our Lord Jesus, we exclaim with all the faithful of every land and time, “Christ is risen!  He is risen, indeed!”  We pull out all the stops and celebrate with great music and banners and flowers and the Word and the Lord’s Supper and even breakfast.  And then we keep on celebrating the greatest news ever for a full 7 weeks of Eastertide and with a “little Easter” on every Sunday.


Christ has died!   Christ is risen!  Christ will come again!                 

Pastor Dennis


March 2019

posted Feb 26, 2019, 10:17 AM by Christine Rice

Dear Friends in Christ,


             During the month of March we are in the season of Lent in the church year.  The word “Lent” comes from an old English word meaning “to lengthen”, because the daylight hours are lengthening.  So Lent basically means “Spring”.  After all the cold and snow of this last February, we are all ready for some springtime.

                The season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, this year on March 6th, and concludes on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter.  The Resurrection of our Lord Jesus falls this year on April 21st. The 40 days of Lent do not include Sundays, which are always “little Easters.”  Scripture tells us, “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.  He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished.” Luke 4:1-2.

                During Lent, as Christians we walk with our Savior Jesus in the wilderness and to his cross, his grave and finally, his glorious resurrection.  Lent is a wilderness time and a soul-searching time. During Lent we are called to struggle against everything that leads us away from love of God and neighbor. The disciplines of Lent-- repentance, fasting, prayer, and works of love—help us to wage our spiritual warfare.

                On Ash Wednesday we receive a cross of ashes on our foreheads.  It is a reminder of our own mortality and a reminder that we are baptized into the death and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus died and did not stay dead.  I remember kissing my dear Dad’s forehead just before his body bag was zipped up and wheeled away.  Dad had died at Guardian Angel Care Center in Richland after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.  Jesus died and did not stay dead.  Therefore Jerry Hickman and every other believer who died also did not stay dead.

                For three Sundays in February, our second readings were from 1 Corinthians 15, which is often called the resurrection chapter.  The early Christians in Corinth were having trouble grasping the resurrection of the body and the resurrection of the dead.  Some even thought their Christian friends who had died before Christ returned in glory had simply missed the boat and were gone forever. The Apostle Paul writes to reassure them that, because Christ has been raised, all the dead in Christ will also  be raised.  “For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.  Then those who have died in Christ have perished….But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died.” 1 Cor 15:16-20.

                Lent fully acknowledges the reality and loss of death and the reality of resurrection life in and through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  As ELCA Bishop Guy Erwin in California says, “Our faith is death-defying: it takes death seriously and faces it unflinchingly.”


Christ has died.  Christ is risen.  Christ will come again.   Pastor Dennis


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