October 2016

Post date: Sep 29, 2016 3:51:1 PM

Dear People of God,

As I write this on almost the last day of summer, officially fall begins 9/22, it’s a beautiful blue-sky 70 degree day. It’s also “bite of the ‘burg” day, so many college students are walking towards downtown to sample all the free and delicious foods. The town of Ellensburg always becomes much busier toward the end of September due to classes starting at CWU. I know the traffic has increased.

Here at First Lutheran things get busier, too, after the more relaxed pace of summer. Many ministries are beginning or have already begun: Sunday School and adult education, confirmation classes, preschool, choir, and more. The quilters, the Thursday Bible study and the men’s prayer lunch group have been meeting all summer. And thanks to our youth director Amy McCoy for keeping youth stuff going during the summer. By the time you read this the annual rummage sale may have already happened on 9/30 & 10/1, with all the money going to worthy charities. Thanks to Linda Strand for leading the charge again on the rummage sale and to all who helped with this huge event. As the reformer Martin Luther says, “Faith is a living, busy, active, mighty thing.”

In the ELCA, October 2016 through October 2017, is a year to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 theses on the Wittenburg chapel door hoping to debate and reform some things which had gone wrong in the church at that time. We give great thanks that Luther and other reformers of the church rediscovered the Bible truth that our salvation is a free gift of God’s grace, which we receive through faith. Luther emphasized the Bible truth that we do not somehow earn the forgiveness of our sins and eternal life. Rather, these are freely given to us through the death and resurrection of our Savior Jesus. We are then free to live lives of gratitude to God and service to our neighbors in need by sharing the love of Jesus in word and deed. “Faith is a living, busy, active, mighty thing.”

On Reformation Sunday, October 30, our organist Betty Kramlich and choir director Tor Blaisdell are planning some special music. It will be a Reformation hymn fest, along with the Word and the Lord’s Supper.

October 23rd will be Confirmation Sunday for four of our wonderful young people. Gracie Luvera, Cody Widner, Kaylee Winter and Brooke Koss will be affirming their baptisms. They have completed 3 years of study in the Bible, Lord’s Prayer, 10 Commandments, Apostle’s Creed, Sacraments and Reformation history. On October 23rd they will each be giving a short faith statement and going through the Rite of Confirmation. Of course, there will be cake afterwards, so come and celebrate with Brooke, Cody, Kaylee and Gracie on their special day.

Confirmation Sunday is a good time for us all to reaffirm our trust in our Savior Jesus Christ. The 500th anniversary of the Reformation is a good year for us to grow in our discipleship with Jesus. And as Martin Luther would remind us, “The church reformed and always reforming.” In other words, it’s never once and done. The church must always keep on reforming. We are always finding new ways to show and tell the love and saving good news of Jesus Christ.

Serving God and neighbor with you,

Pastor Dennis