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Message From Pastor Gorden

posted Aug 27, 2015, 7:35 AM by Tracey Morris   [ updated Mar 26, 2016, 7:38 AM ]

Where oh where has the summer gone? It seems as though we were just preparing for Memorial Weekend and now the end of summer is near and back to school and normal schedules and a predictable routine. Yet, what is normal and what is routine?

Routine and normal, for Rikka and me has been a wonderfully busy, hectic, sometimes chaotic and satisfying summer. We have been able to do our grand parenting as well as some vacationing and life is blessed and good. I trust you have tasted the sweetness of summertime as well.

What has become one of my normal and routine highlights for summer is spending time with our senior high youth at Summer Fest. This year was no exception. We had a very large group of our youth in attendance this summer. As a matter of fact St. Paul’s Lutheran had fifty-two youth, which was by far the largest group. Marvelous and unbelievable are my first thoughts on this wonderful event. Then, I think about the biblical mandate for doing this youth ministry well.

“12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. “ (1Timothy 4:12) 

This is a very strong directive for us as a congregation. While on vacation I attended a service where the sermon centered on this text and was thoughtfully preached. We as a congregation are to search out our youth and help them grow deeper into their faith. Youth ministry is about taking seriously our mentoring of the young people in our church. This is not just a part of the confirmation program. The week at Summer Fest guides them into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

So often we have taken the approach that the youth are the future of our church. Nothing could be farther from the truth in my mind. The youth are the church today and it is our calling to help them become and thrive as members of our church family. Youth ministry should leave nothing to chance. At St. Paul’s we are intentional about including the youth in various activities and ministries.

This charge from the gospel is taken seriously at St. Paul’s. The benefit of this mentoring relationship is profound. We get these faith charged youth to volunteer to be Sunday school teachers, helpers for church events and very generally more committed members with us in the ministry. This is a win, win situation for our church.

Tracey Morris puts a lot of time into helping our young people dig deeper into their relationship to Jesus. She spends a lot of hours with these wonderful youth. Sharon Griffin also gives countless hours to help provide the most memorable Summer Fest experiences. Chris and Scott Wentzel provide spiritual mentorship each Wednesday evening throughout the year. We are fortunate to have such gifted leaders.

Doing youth ministry right is routine, normal and necessary. It is fulfilling the promise we made as a congregation at their baptism. We take seriously raising our children in the faith of the church.

Thanks be to God for the blessings we receive and how we can share them with others.

A friend in Christ,
Pastor Gorden