September 2023

God’s beloved people,


I hope you all had some time for at least a little R & R this summer.  The Hickman’s enjoyed some good vacation time in later July/ early August.  Snorkeling in clear blue WARM ocean water in Hawaii with tropical fish and sea turtles was magical.  God’s good creation is so amazing and diverse!  And now it is so sad that a wildfire has devastated Maui.  Please pray for Hawaii and the people of Maui. Also see the ELCA Disaster Response info if you wish to give to help the recovery efforts.  Estelle Johnson’s grandson Justin is in Maui now rebuilding cell towers for Verizon.  Thank you Justin and we keep you in prayers!

Although it is still officially summer through September 22nd, there is a definite shift in things when public school starts on Sept 6th.  Schedules and busyness definitely pick up with the start of public school.  We pray for all students, teachers and staff as they begin a new school year.  There is a definite teacher shortage in our nation, so we pray that more young people will become teachers and that teachers will be treated with respect.  Of course, right before school starts is the fabulous Ellensburg Fair and Rodeo over Labor Day Weekend.  So definitely enjoy that!

Some good ministries keep going all through summer of course: worship, quilters, Bible studies, and youth ministry to name a few.  But other good ministries, such as confirmation classes, weekend nutrition for school kids, and choir (actually begins Oct. 5) get a jump start in September.

September 10th, this year, is designated as “God’s Work: Our Hands” Sunday.  It’s a day(s) to do charitable work which benefits our community and neighbors.  I’m never a stickler for it happening on one specific day.  In fact, I think it’s better if we keep at it for a number of days over the course of several months.  This Sept & Oct, First Lutheran hopes to get involved with helping to build some Habitat for Humanity homes in town.  Also, we are doing a rummage sale Sept 27, 28 and 29.  We get to clean out our houses: people get stuff they need for cheap: all donations go to good charities.  It’s a win, win, win.

Whether it is summer, fall, winter or spring, our Savior Jesus is with us always.  Jesus continually calls us into his loving service to care for our neighbors in need.  Jesus calls us to worship together, so that we can hear God’s holy Word, sing God’s praises, eat the Lord’s Supper together and support each other in Christian community.  Everyone is invited to a “welcome back from summer potluck” after worship on Sun Sept 10.  Chicken and cake will be provided and you are invited to bring a side dish to share.

We have been dwelling in the book of Romans all summer for our second readings on Sundays.  The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 5:1-2, “Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.”

Peace in Christ dear Friends!  Serving God and neighbor together with you in Kittitas Valley,

~  Pastor Dennis