Open Your Eyes and Give Thanks!

Written by Rev. Gayle Pope. Posted in The Seed

Pastors' OfficeI couldn’t think of what to write about this month. Or, more accurately, I could think of lots of things to write about, but none that sounded new or profound or interesting or inspiring. That’s what the pastor’s newsletter column is supposed to be!

I thought maybe I would take a “prayer walk” around the church and just look at things and say a prayer of thanks for whatever those items make me think of. I started doing this mentally and soon realized that I would fill pages and pages and not get through.

Well, then…I will just start with my office and even here, it is touching just to look around the room intentionally considering various special items.

Right here in my office, I give thanks for…

  • the friendship of a dear couple from my previous church who gave me that framed Bible verse … my “theme verse” from my ordination.
  • the faith of my mother who liked that plaque that I took when all us kids were going through the house after they both died…the one depicting the last supper and the words, “for you and for many.”
  • the opportunities and accomplishments I have been blessed to enjoy, represented by diplomas, plaques and certificates.
  • my Baptism and First Communion, pictured and certified on my wall, and the large and faithful church family I grew up in.
  • the beautiful, mature faith of two young women who went with me on a mission trip to Hurley, WV, when they were teenagers at my previous church, memorialized in a wall hanging the good people at the community center made for us.
  • the faith-building experience and lifelong friendships forged at my home church in Fargo, where I received my call to ministry and which subsequently closed and gave me its communion ware, now on my shelf.
  • the skill and faith of Bruce Holderbaum, who made my shelves.
  • the wonderful faith-filled role models that were the Sisters of the Presentation in Fargo, who gave me that hand-embroidered table cloth as a wedding gift.
  • the kindness and love of so many from this congregation who have given me special little gifts that decorate tables and shelves.
  • the love and faith knitted and sewn into all variety of prayer blankets in my closet.
  • the gift of music that has enabled me to sing and play guitar with hundreds of kids over the last 50-plus years.

There is no end to the blessings I can count just by looking around my office! Try it in your own environment.

Thank you, my Lord Jesus, for the people and experiences and gifts you have put into my life, represented by the many “things” in my office. When I consider that YOUR love is in all of these things, I am greatly moved and filled with gratitude. Amen.

All Around the Globe, We Are One in Christ!

Written by Rev. Gayle Pope. Posted in The Seed

Go and make DeiciplesAs we read in the Gospel of Matthew during the long “Ordinary” season of the church year, we hear many words from Jesus about what it means to serve as his disciples – including words of challenge, instruction, warning, encouragement and comfort! In one way or another, Jesus calls ALL of us who believe in him to go out in his name and proclaim the good news of salvation in Christ and welcome into the Kingdom of God.

So, it’s especially fitting this month that we will have two opportunities on Sunday mornings to learn more about how some of Jesus’ disciples are carrying that message to places across the globe, and how we can play a part in supporting those efforts.

Tiffany Patters0j

July 9: Tiffany Patterson, Campus Missionary with Chi Alpha at Purdue

Tiffany Patterson will present our Second Sunday “Mission Moment” on July 9. Tiffany spoke at our church two years ago, when she was getting ready to leave Quincy for a two-year stint as a campus missionary at Purdue with Chi Alpha, a campus ministry organization affiliated with the Assemblies of God church. Tiffany’s vision of global missions is to work with international students here in the U.S., equipping them to share the gospel when they go back home. She will give a brief Temple Talk during worship and share in more detail during Coffee Hour about her amazing experiences of God’s work at Purdue and a nearby technical school. She has gained a great understanding and appreciation of Muslim students and some good insights for sharing faith with them.

We will take up our “second basket” offering for Tiffany, as, like many missionaries, she is expected to raise her own support. Checks may be written to Chi Alpha. The Service Team and the church council both approved of this offering. Why would an ELCA congregation lift up and support an Assemblies of God missionary when we have “our own?” My answer: it’s the Holy Spirit. It’s ecumenical. And we can learn something from Tiffany’s bold witness.

Dana Dutcher

July 30: ‘Innovation Sunday’ with Dana Dutcher, ELCA Global Missions Staff

July 30 will be “Global Missions Sunday” at Christ Lutheran, with an “Innovation Sunday” worship service featuring global themes, and a presentation by Dana Dutcher from the ELCA Global Missions staff. We’ll learn about the ELCA’s worldwide activity to walk together and work with global companions in mission in a solidarity that practices interdependence and mutuality. Fellowship Hour will feature international foods and decorations.

It is the hope of the Service Team that, as we learn more about the ELCA’s Global Missions program, we might consider sponsoring a missionary in our budget deliberations for 2018. There are many options for support, but we are particularly interested in building a relationship with an ELCA Global Mission worker who will keep in touch with us and come visit.

We’re excited to have Dana with us from the Chicago ELCA office. Matt Futhey and Helen Pagel heard Dana speak at our 2016 Synod Assembly and knew right away they would like to have her come here if at all possible. Dana Dutcher is the Manager for Relationships for the ELCA’s Companion Synod Program of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Her portfolio covers the Asia Pacific region, as well as Madagascar, West and Central Africa and she remains firmly planted in both contexts and cultures within her work.

Dana received her B.S from Valparaiso University in International Business, with minors in Chinese Language and Urban Studies. During college she studied abroad in China and developed a deep passion and sense of calling for international and cross cultural ministry, which led her to serve through ELCA Global Mission in Tokyo, Japan for three years upon her graduation. Prior to her current position with the ELCA, Dana was working for a direct service non-profit agency in Chicago, IL working to address the needs of her community and identifying root causes while educating youth in the city as to how they can change their immediate environment. She accompanied a group from our Synod, including Bishop John Roth, on their trip to our companion Synod in Madagascar in 2014.