Pastor

November Thoughts from Pastor Mark

Even though this time of year things become drab and “dry” and the verdant greens turn from vibrant red, gold, yellow, and orange to brown, for me this season feels and is filled with signs of abundance: grain stockpiled in bank parking lots since grain elevators are over capacity, family gatherings during MEA weekend, young moms and dads with their ghosts and ghouls absorbing the timelessness of the moment walking together through neighborhoods, and preparations already started for Thanksgiving and Christmas (too soon?... apologies). While things continue to progress well in the day-to-day operations of your church staff and pastor, [...]

2019-11-12T21:50:19-06:00November 12th, 2019|

October 2019 Thoughts from Pastor Mark

It seems like I was singing for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth of England only yesterday, but in fact it was a month ago. Scotland is a gorgeous place and its people are truly lovely. The pace of life is slow and gentle. And the whole time there my wife, daughter Linnea, and I were over- whelmed at how peaceful everything was; which upon our return to the USA made us see how violent our own culture is. There is a member of this congregation who every time he receives the Body of Christ in the Lord’s Supper says to me, [...]

2019-11-12T21:52:16-06:00October 17th, 2019|

Thoughts from Pastor Mark — May 2019

Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia!!! This Easter morning celebration marked my 5-year anniversary of serving as your pastor! In all honesty I am amazed at how fast the time has flown by. Looking back, it is remarkable to see how much we have accomplished in our service of God and our neighbor.  And all of it was made possible because of your remarkable generosity. You have volunteered countless hours for leading or serving on committees and taskforces (including the new Mission, Vision, Core Values and the Reconciling in Christ Welcome Statement). You donated your time for worship [...]

2019-06-05T18:51:31-06:00April 8th, 2019|

Thoughts from Pastor Mark February 21, 2019

I am currently sitting alone in a guest house near the airport in Chennai, India cleaning up, grabbing a bite, and getting ready to make my way to the airport by 10 PM for my flight at 2 AM local time. I am finding this moment to be a little lonely. On the one hand, I greatly miss my wife and family and excited to get home. On the other hand, I also miss my travel companions from LPGM and all the people I met while in this remarkable, some- how familiar(?) yet also new-in-every-way land. All that I experienced [...]

2019-04-08T21:57:28-06:00March 2nd, 2019|

December 2018 Pastor Mark writes:

Because of the expectant hope and palpable anticipation for the dawning, coming, advent of a new day, Advent is fast becoming one of my favorite times of the year. It is the season where we lean forward to the edge of our seats or are lifted to the balls of our feet with the excitement of heightened expectation. The creators of the liturgical year were wise when they set Advent as the beginning of the church year. For now the church year begins with the promise of the coming Messiah, with impossible pregnancies for Elizabeth and Mary, the miraculous identity [...]

2019-01-18T16:30:14-06:00November 4th, 2018|

I BELIEVE… September 2018

September is the time of year when everything kicks back into gear, and this is true for St. John’s as well. But this year it seems a little special! For starters, worship services will go back to 10:00 a.m. on September 9. Thank you all for your willingness and playfulness to try something new over the summer. On September 9, the morning will be a celebration while we join with one another and nearly 10,000 other ELCA congregations for ‘God’s Work. Our Hands’Sunday. It will be a great start to our new program year, with celebratory worship and then an [...]

2018-10-02T21:58:02-06:00September 5th, 2018|

Message from the Pastor July 2018

In the education series I am currently teaching, ‘Making Sense of Scripture,’ author Rev. Dr. David Lose writes that “Stories, especially family stories, tell us who we are… the stories of the Bible work the same way.  They tell us about our ancestors, our parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles in the faith.  It helps us feel closer to these people who lived so long ago. We have a sense of knowing them, of belonging to the same family.  And when we hear their stories, about their struggles or the tough scrapes they were in, it gives us hope and [...]

2018-09-05T14:44:00-06:00June 10th, 2018|

May 2018 Message from the pastor

 The May issue of The Messenger is filled with remarkable ministry.  I hope you will read every word on every page and see the whole of what you are accomplishing as one people– the People of St. John’s Lutheran Church. Each committee is hard at work employing their faith within the niche of our congregation’s whole ministry, lengthening our arm’s reach to embrace the world with the divine love of God in Christ Jesus. The level of commitment seen on these pages is remarkable—especially when one considers that these committee members are all volunteers who not only are giving of [...]

2018-06-10T14:29:41-06:00April 2nd, 2018|

I Believe – March Message from Pastor Tiede

Our season of Lent continues as a restrained celebration of our baptism into Christ. Together each Wednesday we are exploring what it means to live out our side of the Baptismal covenant in response to the God who has claimed us in the waters of Baptism. God promises to be our God, save us from sin, and deliver us from death and the power of the devil (to paraphrase Luther). We then respond to God’s love with the promise at Baptism to: † live among God’s faithful people, † hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s Supper, [...]

2018-04-02T21:25:54-06:00March 15th, 2018|

I Believe… a Lenten Message from Pastor Mark

While preparing for worship planning session with Sam and Peder, I stumbled upon a description of the season of Lent within the preaching resources of Sundays and Seasons. I very much appreciated this description of what the season of Lent is for some and how it offers another option as an opportunity of what Lent could be: a season of restrained celebration. A Season of Restrained Celebration When people think of Lent what comes to mind might be repentance, or giving things up, or a focus on the cross. For some it brings to mind a heavy-handed season of inward [...]

2018-03-15T21:47:39-06:00February 6th, 2018|