To begin Advent, we share a post from Cory Driver on the Living Lutheran blog. Find a brief excerpt below.
"Advent is the start of the liturgical year, but in many ways, it feels like anything but the beginning. We look forward to Christmas. At least in the States, you are between Thanksgiving on the one side, and Christmas and New Years on the other. Winter has already begun, and students are in the middle of the school year. Advent is a strange time to say, “This is the beginning.” But this sense of beginning in the middle isn’t alien to Scripture. In this week’s readings, we start right in the middle of God’s story, even as the passages point to a new beginning."
People of God at CtK, "Goodbye."
After nearly eight years of ministry together, it is time to say goodbye. I can still clearly remember finding out about the wonderful ministry taking place at Christ the King as I interviewed. I have both a mental and a digital image of the sign that warmly welcomed me on my first day at CtK (as well as the sparkly paperweight that held down the helium balloons from our Sunday School kids!). After a decade in global mission and a couple of years doing interim ministry, you here at CtK allowed me to put down some roots and grow in my identity as Lead Pastor at a faithful, dynamic, complex congregation. Together, we worked hard at how to engage in worship, to nurture one another’s faith, to build real, honest community among us, and to grow in our compassion for the world around us. I have been blessed to be among you. God be with you until we meet again.
People of God at CtK, "Farewell."
My prayer for all of you who are part of Christ the King/Cristo Rey is that you continue to fare well in the work God is calling you to do. I am deeply grateful for the ways you have both encouraged me and challenged me as a pastoral leader, and even more appreciative of the way you’ve held me, other staff, and our entire faith community in your prayers. Please continue to encourage and challenge one another, nudging one another gently yet continually towards the future that God has in mind for you and all here at Christ the King/Cristo Rey. I truly believe that CtK’s best days of ministry are in your future, not your past. And to borrow the words of the apostle Paul to the church in Philippi, I trust that “the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.”
People of God at CtK, "Amen."
Friends, it has been my privilege and joy to minister among you at Christ the King over these past eight years, and to share visionary leadership with you. I give thanks to God for all that has been accomplished in Christ’s name and for the sake of our neighbors over these past eight years together. I ask your forgiveness for those areas where my ministry fell short of what God may have had in mind for us, and your patience and understanding as you continue in this time of transition. You have been a great blessing to me and to my family, and I trust that God will continue to bless us in ways we don’t fully understand thanks to our time among you all here. As I move to a new calling in Lyon, France, and prepare to enter into God’s mission in that place and among the people of the United Protestant and Anglican Churches there, I do so knowing that we serve the same God, follow the same Jesus, and are united by the same Spirit no matter how many miles, oceans, or continents are between us. Indeed, I believe that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
May God bless you and keep you all.
For this week's blog, as we celebrate our mission partnerships, welcome Reverend Chatman to worship, and renew our commitment to these partners moving forward, we offer a brief word of encouragement, as well as a video highlighting the important work these partnerships support.
About 50 years ago when I was a congregation pastor, a Luther College student came to visit me about his youthful concerns. Since then I have seen him twice, once when I visited his congregation and told them about Christ the King's Local Mission Partners ministry. A few weeks ago he called me and wanted to talk. He asked if I was sitting down. I asked "What's up?" He said, "I'm sending you $1000. I remember you telling about your congregation's immigrant ministries and I want to support your work." I pass this on as an encouragement to our congregation as we reach out to our community. Local Mission Partner's purpose is "To engage in God's mission with the growing diversity and ethnic/immigrant ministries in the Twin Cities."
Daily Work is one of our Local Mission Partners
LOCAL MISSION PARTNERS TEAM
Vern Rice, Ralph Berg, Betty Funk, Karin Larson, Dick Schultz, Cheryl & Scott Schrader
Sue & David Klevan from Immanuel Lutheran Church in St Paul
Dale Erickson, chairperson
By Pastor Peter Hanson
The above meme showed up (again) on my social media feed just this past week, perfectly timed for us to consider the solar energy proposal that comes before Christ the King in a Special Congregational Meeting later this morning. The CtK Property Committee has been hard at work researching information about solar energy, seeking feedback from other churches and non-profits about how their experiences, and soliciting bids from a number of highly recommended companies who deal in the sale, installation, and upkeep of solar panels. I hope that you can be with us for this meeting, either in the sanctuary immediately following 9:30 am worship (around 10:30 or so), or via Zoom (the link can be found at the top of today’s blogpost).
All joking aside, solar energy presents us with an opportunity to accomplish many different things at once. By going solar, we can be good stewards of God’s creation, doing what we can to reduce our carbon footprint. By going solar, we can be good stewards of the financial resources available to us as a congregation, cutting our annual expenses for electricity by about 45%. By going solar, we can make an investment in the future of the ministry of Christ the King, providing a bright future (pun intended) for generations to come!
The more we give up front, of course, the less we’ll need to secure with a loan. My household will be giving over and above our regular pledged offering to support this new solar initiative, and we challenge others at CtK to do the same. We plan to give at least $1,000; if 150 or so of our 400+ active CtK households were to make a similar gift (and I understand that some will need to give less while others can certainly give more) we won’t need a loan at all. Stewards of creation, stewards of the abundance that has come our way, and investors in the future of ministry beyond the here and now—that sounds like the CtK whose light has been shining brightly for the past 60 years!
Through the heartfelt mercies of our God, God’s Sunrise will break in upon us, …showing us the way, one step at a time, down the path of peace. -- Luke 1:78,79; The Message