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Message from Pastor Luke

posted Oct 3, 2018, 9:45 AM by Luke Schmidt

If you were to go down a list of household names and read them off, many people would be able to tell you what they were known for – Tiger Woods, Thomas Edison, Michael Jordan, Simon Cowell, Regis Philbin, etc. The same could be said for many companies, you hear their name and associate them with their product – Google, IBM, 3M, State Farm, Ford. Now take that a step further with me. Let’s do that same sort of recognition with our church home. What do you think of when you reflect on St. Paul’s Lutheran Church? What are we known for?

I’ve spent the last four weeks in worship preaching about what the early church was known for. I boiled it down to 4 main defining characteristics. They worshiped together, they fellowshipped together, they were excited to learn and grow in faith, and they were obedient to God, loving and serving their neighbor. Worship, fellowship, growing in faith, loving and serving. Those are four things that I think any church should be known for.

I’d like to touch on these to give you a brief state of the union in regards to St. Paul’s. Let’s start with worship. We invite people to experience God in one of our three unique worship services. Traditional hymns, choirs, and liturgies greet worshippers at our 8AM service. Guitars and piano and a mix of new and well-known welcome the “come early or risk not getting a place to sit” folks at the 9:15AM service. (we somehow managed to fit 215 people on September 23!) Our recently introduced family worship at 10:30 has been welcomed with overwhelming energy and worship attendance. Various worship leaders invite the congregation to raise their voices to “new classic” worship songs, the children begin in worship and have a children’s message before heading to Sunday School, and again on September 23, we had our largest body of worshippers in that service for the past year, excluding Christmas and Easter. Worship is thriving at St. Paul’s, and our one real struggle is where to fit everyone! A good problem to have, so I’m told…

Fellowship is at the core of who we are. Of course, that usually includes food, because it has since the beginning of the church! I’m still in awe of the quality and variety of Sunday morning goodies in the fellowship hall. Our fellowship committee is hard at work planning everything from the Chili cook-off to the Cajun Boil to the Harvest Festival Parade float. We continue as a church to seek ways to be intentional in building relationships with God and one another, so be on the lookout for new opportunities to come.

I’ve been impressed with the focus on spiritual growth present at St. Paul’s. From the multiple weekly bible studies, to the questions I’ve received, to the great children’s and youth programming, it is easy to see that growing deeper in faith is part of the culture. We will continue to focus on Biblical preaching and teaching, and listen to where God is leading us next.

Lastly, we need to talk about obedience, specifically in regards to how it is that God has commanded us to love and serve our neighbor. As I’m typing this, I hear the folks setting up for the weekly clothing closet, I know there are people hard at work down in the food shelf, and across my desk are picture books from the various trips to Haiti that the people of St. Paul’s have undertaken. We have a heart for God’s world and the call to love and serve our neighbors is well heeded.

So, have we “arrived?” Are we doing all we can as we walk in the footsteps of Jesus? Oh, I don’t think so. I’m excited to uncover more of the passions and gifts of this congregation, and I have this feeling that God is just getting started with us. I’m looking forward to the journey and I hope you are as well.

God’s richest blessings,

Pastor Luke