Anniversary Trifecta of 10-20-40

By Sharon Kelly, Interim Pastor

Pictured below are six enclosed vertical glass cases in the atrium displaying preserved collective memories of the Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran congregation. The preservers created the cases in thanksgiving to any who participated in those ministries. With the preservers, we view thankfully remembering the past and anticipating the future mission of these ministries.

To that end, Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church is having an Anniversary Trifecta. We are having a run on three grand events. The truncated reference for this Anniversary Trifecta is 10-20-40 in consecutive numerical order.

This anniversary year is the 10th for the pipe organ, the 20th of mission and ministry in Tanzania, and the 40th of this congregation in Apple Valley within the predecessor American Lutheran Church. Congregational anniversary celebrations are like worship and all the ministries where we seek each other’s presence and participation. We worship gathered in the mission of Christ’s Church, praying for our caring and learning ministries from cradle to the grave, local and global Christian traditions as encouraged by Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.

Constitutionally, as congregations, synods, and regions in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, we are not authorized to host anniversaries, but we surely do! Even as we live under the sustained coronavirus disease pandemic, communal celebrations of all kinds are occurring though more muted. Any honored remembrances within Christian communities, regardless of its size or scope, is a witness to our individual and communal joys with sorrows, our faith stories and actions, and the universal mission of the Spirit of God in Christ Jesus working in the world through the particularity of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church.

Prayerfully consider attending a monthly organ concert, viewing the virtual Tanzanian safari, learning more about the new medical laboratory with our Tanzanian partners at the October Sunday forum, and celebrating our 40th anniversary on November 7 with fun activities for all ages. Each event will include an opportunity to offer financial support for targeted ministry goals.

Every anniversary in our personal and corporate life as members of the body of Christ is a thankful (shukrani/ Swahili) affirmation as stated in this traditional Tanzanian hymn/echo (ELW, #513): “Listen, listen God is calling, through the Word inviting, offering forgiveness, comfort and joy.” Verse three: “Help us to be faithful, standing steadfast, walking in your precepts, led by your Word.”