Pastor’s Blog

As soon as Pastor Linda digs out from the pile of work we’re all throwing at her, she will update the Pastor’s Blog. At that time we’ll trumpet it to the hour winds or, post it on Facebook (whichever is easier).  Be watchful, stand firm in the faith. (1 Corinthians 16:13)

Comments

  1. Stephen Litterst says:

    Thanks for starting this, Pastor Peterman. Exciting times!

  2. Michael Merkel says:

    Pastor, thank you for provoking us to think more deeply about these things. You ask, “Have you ever felt the need for repentance, for a true turning around to face God again? What kind of fruits did that bring forth?” Truth is, for me I have had moments when I have experienced the ‘spirit of wisdom and understanding and knowledge and the fear of the LORD.’ The problem has been that seeing clearly my need for repentance, and feeling a deep resolve to do something about it (bearing fruit worthy of repentance) has oft times simply petered out.
    ‘Bear fruit worthy of repentance’ was in the gospel reading for the Sunday after the shooting at the Sandy Hook school in CT. I remember the pastor then preaching on this (I think without direct mention about Sandy Hook). I made the connection as he preached. I was deeply moved. I worked to shape a resolution for our synod on the issue of working to reduce gun violence. I became informed about the issue. We devoted a Sunday at St Paul’s to the issue: sermon and a forum during the learning hour. Not much of anything else has come of it. My hope had been to encourage honest and open discussion about decreasing gun violence in our country. What could St Paul’s do to address this issue? But it’s hard for us to talk about difficult issues when we are not all of one mind.
    Confession and repentance for me belong at the baptismal font. I often imagine myself crawling back to the font, as though I was in a desert dying and crawling to water. Baptismal grace gives me strength and courage (counsel and might?) to move forward again to ‘bear worthy fruit’.

  3. Michelle Topi says:

    Coming out of an Episcopal background, reconciliation, for me, is a sacramental act. One of my most profound encounters with confession and repentance came during my journey back to faith in Lent of 2012, as I sat with my rector during the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It was a powerful experience to say the words of the rite, share with another person the pain of the journey, to hear the words of forgiveness and absolution, and to be welcomed back with love into the arms of a generous and forgiving God. The experience was transformative; it allowed me to acknowledge the sins of my past, make peace with them, and move on. It also has taught me a valuable lesson: That the entirety of our lives…the good, the bad, the sins and joys…all that we are becomes a living witness to God’s grace. God can use every part of us to “bear worthy fruit” in the world.

  4. Janet Peterman says:

    Your sharing, Pr Mike and Michelle, make me think both about how hard repentance is, yet also how freeing it can be. I have lived for many years as one of the only White people in my neighborhood. It took me a long time to recognize and acknowledge my own fears, and to see that when I felt afraid of others who were different from me, I often projected that fear onto them by calling them dangerous. When one of my sons was a toddler, I was walking him down a major street near our home in his stroller. Each time we passed an African American man, he called out the names of other Black men we knew — friends and fellow church members. I noticed: he saw similarities; he felt no fear. He hadn’t learned to be afraid yet. Then I realized how often fear made me assume something negative about certain people, and I knew I needed to repent. I can’t say it’s been once and done. Race relations in America are more complicated than that. But it has been freeing. And it has opened up a kind of joy in my inter-racial relationships not to have the weight of my projected fear be such a wall between us. Fruit indeed to work at tearing down that wall!

  5. Judy Lewis says:

    I would also like to express my gratitude for the blog. This kind of communication is a blessing for our church family.

  6. Very interesting subject, appreciate it for putting up.

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