Ascension Lutheran ChurchA Member Congregation of the ELCA
|1101 S. Highway 69 - Albert
Lea, MN 56007 - 507-373-3408
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|From Your Pastor
will find Ascension exploring a new experiment:
taking worship on
the road. On two Sundays – July 8 and July 15 –
join Saint John’s Lutheran Community for joint
John’s Lutheran Community now has two locations –
Fountain Lake Community and
Luther Place Community. Worship is held at both
sites on Sunday
mornings: 9:00 a.m. at the Fountain Lake chapel and
10:30 a.m. at
the Luther Place location.
on those two Sundays (July 8 and July 15),
Ascension’s worship hits
the road to these two sites. This also means that
there will be no
those two Sundays in Ascension’s own building.
We will do our best to get the word out about this change of location, but it is inevitable that somebody will forget, another might be visiting and be confused by Ascension being closed on a Sunday morning.
you are willing to “hang out” at Ascension until 9
a.m. on July 8
and 15, there might be a need for last-minute
taxiing to the new
Saint John’s site, which as you can imagine might be
for a visitor. Some hospitable folks to help others
find us would be
a needed and appreciated role those two Sunday
exciting change-of-location experiment also gives
you a chance to see
the new Fountain Lake Community if you have not yet
if a later service appeals to you, those two Sundays
give you a bonus
chance to join us at 10:30 instead at the 901 Luther
Communication will be key to the success of this experiment, so please remind one another of this change of location on July 8 and July 15!
– Pastor Mark Boorsma
A Special Message from Bishop Steven Delzer
February 26, 2018
In my spiritual direction group, after the spiritual director has read a passage from scripture or another devotional source, we sit in silence for several minutes reflecting on what “shimmered” for each of us, what word or phrase or thought captivated the mind and heart in each of us.
Over the past several days as I have observed the reactions to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, especially as I have listened to the reactions of the students, the phrase that has captured my mind and heart is “a little child shall lead them” from Isaiah 11:6. I believe this is the time in our history when we need to listen deeply to our children, trusting that through them the Spirit will lead us to see more clearly God’s dream for our world.
Why do I think this? The context of that message is one of a peaceful kingdom, a world in which (Isaiah 11:6,9):
The world shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them…
They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
I think this is what Jesus had in mind when he said, “Unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”
I once heard someone describe the four L’s for pastors: they should listen to their people, learn from their people, love their people, and then lead their people. In reflecting on the response of students to this latest shooting, I sense this is a time in which all of us, especially parents and grandparents, need to listen to our children, learn from our children, love our children, and then let our children lead us more deeply into the world id God’s dream, a world in which we actually “beat our swords into plowshares, and our spears into pruning hooks” (Isaiah 2:4)
This does not mean that I think we should do away with the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. However, it does seem reasonable to clearly define which arms we have a right to bear and which arms we do not have a right to bear (such as military style automatic weapons). I truly believe that the majority of gun owners are are responsible gun owners. I still recall that one of the most touching descriptions of the beauty of creation came from a father on a hunting trip with his daughter. I trust that many gun owners are just as disturbed by gun violence as those of us who are not gun owners. My hope is that together we can have honest conversations about how we move toward a less violent society, a more peaceful nation, one guided more by love than by fear.
I will admit that I wrestle with all of this. At times I am filed with hope. And at other times as I see how divisive this conversation about guns can be. I am filled with despair, wondering why bother, this is just too hard. But then the Spirit brings to mind the words of my favorite scripture passage (Isaiah 43:1-5).
But now thus says the lord, who created you.
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you,
When you walk through the fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God, your Savior.
You are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you.
Do not fear, for I am with you.
As we walk through the raging rivers of gun violence and the fearful flames of heated conversations, may we know and trust that God walks with us, maybe most lovingly in our children. May we carefully listen to our children, learn from our children, love our children, and let our children lead us into the world of which God dreams.
Peace and Joy in Christ