April 2023

Where does evil in the world come from?

There are a lot of possible answers here. Someone could say that all evil comes from the Devil. But this creates the opportunity for us to refuse to take responsibility for our actions by blaming everything on the Devil. Others might think that people were just created evil. I think that God created people with a huge capacity for good! But that we also have the free-will to choose evil. Whether evil originally came from the devil or is human made, Jesus points us to God’s Grace, which helps us to choose good and let go of evil. – Vicar Sharai

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 from a council member…What is the communion of saints?

Lutherans believe that we are connected to all of the saints; those who have gone before, those who are in other places in the world, and those who will come.  Hebrews 12:1 proclaims that we receive encouragement from the ‘great cloud of witnesses’ who help us to run the race with perseverance.  That is a powerful image indeed…to be encouraged by our ancestors in faith, from those in the global church and from those who will inherit the faith from us and our descendants.  And we encourage others.  Let’s get to work. ~ Pastor Trudy

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Is it wrong to doubt?

I certainly hope not! If we were absolutely certain of everything we believed or were able to provide irrefutable evidence that what we believe is correct, then we wouldn’t need to have faith. We would just know. Even the disciples doubted, including Thomas (who is famous for his doubt), and they literally walked with Jesus! I think that wrestling with doubt can actually be a good way to grow in faith. Doubt can push us to dig deeper into what faith really means to us and what we really believe about who God is. – Vicar Sharai

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Why would I want to go to ALL of the Holy Week services?

I get it- my family went either on Maundy Thursday OR Good Friday.  It wasn’t until seminary that I understood the different focus of each one and it wasn’t until my field work part way through seminary that I experienced Easter Vigil.  There are great descriptions of the services on our website, but you won’t find the answer to the ‘why’ there.  The answer to the why is deep in your soul.  Hearing how Jesus prepared for His trial and crucifixion by washing the disciples’ feet and transforming the Passover meal.  Hearing the chant of a solo voice as we remove all of the decoration from the sanctuary.  Seeing the cross in the center as we hear and sing the story of the crucifixion.  Leaving in darkness and returning to a new fire.  Hearing the stories of salvation in the Old Testament before the proclamation of salvation for all in Jesus.  There aren’t a lot of words beyond Scripture in all of these services, freeing us to encounter God in a soulful way.  You’ll have time to get quiet and reflect, to participate in ritual and song.  After three years of pandemic and what feels like constant challenge, maybe it is just what you need to celebrate new life in your life.

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