Make All Things New (2017)

By Randy Brandt (2017)
Pastor, Learn

There are website headlines that promise an easy formula to follow in order to renew one’s life. For example, have you read the one: “Lose Weight by Avoiding These 11 Foods”? It is a list of all my favorite junk foods!

Or, how about these headlines:

Yes, there are so many web posts that seek to lure us in with a quick way to restore and restart our lives with hope and strength. It even seems like Jesus says something similar with his simple, enticing promise, “I have come that you might have abundant life.” (John 10:10) But I think Christ’s words are true!

Springtime in Minnesota, the joyful season of Easter, along with the festival of Pentecost, all convey the message that God’s Holy Spirit is at work in us and in the world to “make all things new.” (Revelation 21:5)

At Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran we are praying that the change in seasons from springtime to summer is an opportunity for God to bring a season for outside recreation and an inner re-creation by the Holy Spirit.

It was Pastor Paul Harrington who would say in his sermons, “God loves us just as we are, but God never wants us to stay just as we are.”  Are you alert to some of the ways that SOTV members are already planning on being changed, renewed and re-created in the month of June? (Look for more information on each of these in this newsletter.)

  • Young People ages 6 – 18 will be at Wapogasset Lutheran Bible Camp outside Amery, WI.
  • Men will participate in a North Shore retreat of hiking, study and worship.
  • Pastors will begin a preaching series called “Hope in Hard Times” and Pastor Duane will teach on the book of Revelation.
  • Sixty middle schoolers will serve the community, learn and grow through “Summer Stretch.”
  • A summer Sunday Forum series begins on the Parables of Jesus.
  • Members are beginning to cultivate their SOTV garden plots to grow and share with others.
  • There are now monthly events for those in their 20’s/30’s – in June, the group will go hiking together.
  • New Member class – two sessions to make relationships, learn about SOTV, and get connected.
  • A women’s all day workshop on faith, identity, and self-care.
  • Monthly movie nights in the chapel to discuss topics of justice.

Life is certainly a gift from God and a sign of God’s beautiful love for us. I believe that God desires to renew us with that gift of life over and over again. How might this springtime become a season of re-creation for you?                              

– Pastor Randy

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