Exerpts from the Newsletter
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As message from Pastor Zachary Dean:
and Happy New Year!
“Mountains and valleys will have to be prepared; new highways opened, new protocols declared. In our world, Christ is present, in neighbors we see our Jesus is with us, and ever sets us free.”
These lyrics from the Advent hymn, Toda la tierra, were ringing in my head all through the week leading up to Christmas Eve. The new year brings with it the new-ness of possibility! Yet this year, there continues to be new protocols with the aim of protecting one another from the latest strain of Covid. We have just come off of a joyful celebration of the Nativity of Our Lord, with glorious music and beauti-ful decorations, and yet it still feels like a cloud is looming overhead. There is such tension in all of this.
Yet tension is nothing new: Christianity itself is full of paradox, and at the heart of it all is the cross of death—through which we have life; that God works to bring good news of great joy even in places that seem God-forsaken. There are many other paradoxes that could be thought of in our belief system, but it is my prayer that the joys outweigh the sorrows in the year ahead.
This year does bring with it a number of things in which we can place our hope be-
cause of God at work in them: the set-ting apart of Tanya Behnke as a deacon (date to be determined); our annual meeting as a time to take stock of and look ahead for our ministry together (January 30); an ordination setting me apart as a Minister of Word and Sacrament (more details on the way); the list goes on and on, and I could continue with all the things to look forward to!
At the center of all this, though, we are set free: free to respond to the gift of the grace of God in Christ Jesus; free to share the love of God with all whom we encounter; and free from the fears that uncertainty brings. It is in the spirit of all of this that I look ahead, with you, towards all that is to come!
God’s peace be with you all,
Pastor Zach +