New Year, New Life (2017)

By Pastor Rick Summy

So it’s a new year (2017). Go ahead and make a resolution, or two, or five. It’s tradition.

I’ve not had a good resolution-keeping track record, so I’m going to stick with prayer. My prayer for this new year is that I might more deeply appreciate and celebrate the new life our Lord offers us, not only at the start of a year, but all the time, again and again. Through worship. Sure. Through receiving holy communion. You bet.

But also through fellowship with each other, which is considered a “third sacrament” for Lutherans. Luther called it “the mutual consolation and conversation of brothers and sisters in Christ.” It’s a promise that God takes ordinary human beings and by connecting us in conversation and compassionate listening makes of us nothing less than the body of Christ.

Starting in January, and for the foreseeable future, I invite you to celebrate this third sacrament during a “Meet and Greet” with me. I’ve been here long enough that I can put the right names with the right faces some of the time, but I still have work to do. We will get a chance to tell our stories, support one another in our joys and sorrows, and to simply get to know one another better. Some meetings will be at church, others will be offsite. We will offer different days and times in an effort to work with many different schedules. Please see the list on this page and sign up!

God offers us new life in so many ways this January!

  • †Read Jean Kirgiss’ story of how she found a new life at SOTV.
  • †Attend Homelessness in Dakota County panel on January 30. I suspect all of our eyes will be opened—and perhaps our hearts as well. As we learn how to best care for those who suffer, God brings new life.
  • †Download the January News for the Flock and explore this website for even more ways we can enter into this new year with a renewed sense of gratitude for God’s grace.

Responding to God’s Love in 2017

Back in November, the Stewardship Team handed out Response Cards during worship encouraging us to give of our time, talents, and treasure in 2017, as a response to God’s love. Those who completed cards in a sealed, self-addressed envelope will soon receive their cards back in the mail as a gentle reminder of their response.

Did you know that we still have cards available? Stop by the Welcome Center and pick one up for yourself, maybe for your whole family. Take some time to talk about it together. And then fill it out and put it on your fridge or some other place where you will see it from time to time. As we prayerfully consider how we might respond to God’s love, we will surely be filled with new life.

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