October 2023

What happens when I don’t like the words we say in some of the parts of worship, like the confession or prayers?

Okay, so it was actually me asking this question because sometimes the words in the confession or prayers challenge me or make me feel defensive.  At GLC we purchase resources from a couple of different places where pastors and writers lend their talents to write resources often a year or more in advance for each season/week.  We could change them or write our own, just as I could pick only my favorite Bible passages or hymns…but then I would miss a chance to hear something I may desperately need to hear, to be challenged in a way I need to be challenged to grow, or if I am convinced that it is not for me, then I can trust that there is someone else in the congregation that needs to hear it.  These words may help to prepare me for Jesus’ often challenging words. – Pastor Trudy Stoffel

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Who built the temple?

“In the four hundred eightieth year after the Israelites came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, he began to build the house of the Lord.” (1 Kings 6:1)

Solomon, King David’s son and successor, built the temple! Although he probably didn’t actually build it with his own hands — “King Solomon conscripted forced labor out of all Israel; the levy numbered thirty thousand men.” (1 Kings 5:13)

Forced labor isn’t good, especially when treatment of laborers is poor. And it sounds like it was poor, because the people ask Solomon’s son Rehoboam for kinder treatment when he becomes king after his father. – Vicar Aaron Musser

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What’s the big deal with confirmation?

The Lutheran church has two sacraments; baptism and Holy Communion.  Confirmation is a time when we look back to baptism, when, in most cases, parents and sponsors made promises on behalf of an infant being baptized.  Confirmation is an affirmation of baptism.  It means that the 9th graders and adults who are being confirmed are affirming the promises of their baptism after a time of intentional learning about faith.  For youth it is 2-3 years; for adults 16 weeks.  That intentional work is worth celebrating!  It isn’t a ‘once and done’ kind of thing, though. In fact, as I grow in faith, I feel the need to do as Martin Luther suggested and remember and affirm the promises of my baptism daily! – Pastor Trudy Stoffel

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Why are so many Bible stories unrealistic – full of sadness and death and then God just makes everything okay?

I think of all of the famous people or great inventors whom people call ‘overnight successes’, not acknowledging the years of work and struggle.  Bible stories often cover decades in just a few verses…there’s a lot we don’t see.  What if we imagine our lives in the stories…lots of ordinary days, sometimes good, sometimes challenging.  When we look back, we might notice a pattern or a turning point.  People in the Bible had ordinary lives.  Only when they (and we) look at them from the future can we see the patterns of God’s faithfulness, often in surprising ways.  – Pastor Trudy Stoffel

Why are so many Bible stories unrealistic – full of sadness and death and then God just makes everything okay? Read More »

What even is Deuteronomy?

So far this fall we’ve encountered stories in Genesis and Exodus. The names of those books allude to their contents — Genesis is about origins and beginnings, Exodus is about the “exit” of the Israelites from slavery.

Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Bible, following Leviticus and Numbers. It collects laws scattered through the earlier books and serves as Moses’s final address to the Israelite people. The name Deuteronomy literally means “second law”, and can be read as a second telling of the laws scattered throughout Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. – Vicar Aaron Musser

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