ALL SAINTS LUTHERAN CHURCH
We follow The Good Shepherd - we keep it really simple. Come join us...and come as you are - we did!
From the Pastor:
Lenten Journey blessings to you all! As we begin this journey through Lent on our way to the cross, we are also on a journey to discover what should be the chief concern of our calling as church.
All Saints ministry, these past 20 years or so, has been to seek the best way to use our resources to help the most marginalized in our community with health concerns such as food and shelter. To this cause we have operated a soup kitchen and pantry and participated in low income housing development. Have we been doing this all these years to “prove” that our good work is the answer to all problems? I would say no to that ... the simple rea- son in the beginning of that ministry was that Jesus asks his followers to take care of the least of these in Matthew 25. A more sophisticated answer may have been that, in the confessions of our church, the formula of concord article 4 on “Good Works” says and I’m paraphrasing here ... that it is not our works but only God’s spirit, working through faith, preserves faith and salvation in us. Good works are a testimony of his presence and indwelling.
I believe that this indwelling is a huge part of our “vocation” as church. Many recent manifestations of “church” have as their main theme, the question for folks; “Are you saved”. I agree that the “eternal salvation of the soul” is important ...however we need to take care that this pursuit doesn’t become an “end” unto itself, as if being saved was all there was to being Christian. Luther’s German pietism understood that one’s salvation was deeply linked to God’s righteousness. Indeed it is the prime question of human existence. This question of “what are we here for?” or “what are we to do on behalf of mankind?” is uniquely entrusted to the church (and its companion communities of faith). We live in a consumerist and materialistic society that offers answers to this question, but the answers given are weak and small (buy more stuff!) This “smallness” does not yield justice, righteousness, compassion, or mercy ... it does not result in practices of generosity, forgiveness, and hospitality. We must go beyond those “little” things and become fierce about our commitment to the BIG things. Seeking FIRST the kingdom of God requires the church to reveal and participate in just and worthy causes. WE the church, must refuse the politicized and commercialized “small” answer of our money driven culture. SO, we sing hymns, pray prayers, study texts, and listen to good news proclamations in order to implement the alternative answer of the gospel. These disciplines are not in order to gain little bits of salvation but rather to reinforce our commitment to humanity. The self-giving act of providing what we can out of our limited resources is surely an echo of Matthew 25:
I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing. I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me ... Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me (vv. 35-36, 40).
The homeless we serve and house are surely part of “the least.” And as we go forward with whatever the future holds we can continue to do these or similar bold acts of love. It may take a different form but we can continue being the light on the hill for many or maybe only a few. Being there to support and give hope to the least is daunting and it is hard work, but it is our vocation as church together.
Peace be with you
All Saints Lutheran
Virtual on Zoom:
Sunday - 9:45 am
We practice the forgiving love of Christ and are prepared for the future.
Knowing that all we have belongs to God, we strive to include all whom we encounter in loving God and serving our neighbor.
All Saints Lutheran