Zion Lutheran Church Congregation

  • Excerpt from June, 2021 "The Mountain Top Messenger" newsletter...

    God's peace to you as we begin our summer. As I write this it doesn't feel much like summer. The temperatures that I mentioned last month haven't abated much, hopefully soon...

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1111 11th Avenue West ● Ashland, WI 54806 ● (715) 682-6075 ● inquiry@zionashland.org

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June 2021 "The Mountain Top Messenger" Newsletter
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God's peace to you as we begin our summer. As I write this it doesn't feel much like summer. The temperatures that I mentioned last month haven't abated much, hopefully soon. While the weather remains unpredictable, it seems life is slowly returning to normal. Our numbers for Sunday worship have been steadily increasing as more and more people are becoming fully vaccinated and are striving for normalcy. There has been talk of a church picnic later this summer and I hope to resume our Wednesday evening services toward the end of June or early July. Another sign of summer, confirmation classes have wrapped up for the year. You may have noticed that we have not held the actual confirmation yet. We will be holding confirmation for this year's confirmands on Reformation Day, October 31, which actually falls on Sunday this year. We will have three of our young people being confirmed this year... Ayeisha Deragon, Gloria Darling, and Emma Meller. All three have done an amazing job and I have been impressed with their knowledge and understanding. It is my intension to offer an adult, new member, refresher, what have I forgotten class, later this summer. We have a few people who have expressed interest in possibly joining the congregation and this is a great first step, and as I said it is also a great refresher for anyone who would like to attend. I will keep everyone posted and am guessing it will be late summer or early fall.

On another note, June and I are going to be taking a little vacation in June, we are going to be heading to Virginia (the state, not the city in MN). June's brother's son and daughter are both graduating high school and we have not seen any of them in a couple of years. In my absence I have Pastor Bob Kitson preaching one Sunday and Elder Darryl Warren will be preaching the other. I will let you guys figure out which is which. Pastor Kitson is a retired LCMS pastor and summers in the Mellen area.

It seems like a lot of catching up and not a lot of theology? Well, I think sometimes we need to catch up, particularly now after being separated for so long. Part of our responsibility as Christians is to lift each other up, to watch over each other, to strengthen each other. That has been kind of hard to do over the past 15 months. I don't know about you, but the isolation and separation has been very draining for me. As we begin to meet again with increasing numbers, as we begin to share our stories, share our feelings, and share our faith, it has been helpful in revitalizing my faith and I hope it has been for yours as well. Jesus tells His disciples and us: 34"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35).

I think you would all agree, even in this digital age it is difficult to love one another if we can't see one another, talk to one another, laugh with one another, share a meal with one another. I believe the time has come for us to do our best to reconnect with one another. So that we may all once again share in the love that is in Christ Jesus. I spoke recently in one of my sermons about Jesus desire for us to be one in Christ, He prayed for that. I pray for it as well. I am looking forward to the days of renewed Bible studies, potluck dinners, soup and sandwiches, dart ball, Sunday School, sewing circles, and all the other things we set aside. I believe the time has come for us to reunite as God's church and I believe we can do it safely. So, with that being said, I look forward to seeing you all soon. I am going to close now with one of my favorite motivational passages. This comes from Paul's second letter to the young pastor Timothy, but it applies to all of us as well. The heading in most translations is "Preach the Word": "1I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry." (2 Timothy 4:1-5)

Now my friends; The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you, the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace.
Pastor Rick