Words from Rev. Niels

August 2022

‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’
—Matthew 11:28-30

Dearest friends,

I pray that this finds you well. We’re in full Summer now, aren’t we. We can tell by the weather of course, but also by our church attendance. One week of a great turnout is followed by one with a lesser showing. That is how it is. Please make sure to attend our Youth Sunday on August 7. We will have a service dedicated to the younger members of our church, and will send them off to school with some supplies—thank you all who have donated!

I know that you may say that we don’t have many younger people in our congregation and you’re right of course. This Youth Sunday is intended to keep the flame of youth ministry alive in the church. At the same time, let’s see the flame of youth ministry as a metonym for the entire church. In the coming year, the church will be considering the future and part of all that will be a process of rejuvenation. I say that with deepest respect to all the current members of the church, and I trust that you feel my heart. Yet, it seems clear to many of us that some freshness, youth and vitality is needed.

The weeks following Youth Sunday will see other exciting worship. In four weeks following we will consider The Cycle of Life. Please make every effort to attend all four Sunday, because, I promise you, you will receive the most meaningful messages when you hear them together. We are talking a cycle. If you can’t make it one Sunday, please be sure to tune in online.

We will talk about Life, Death, Grief, and New Life. That’s right, we’re going to address each of these stages of life. If you’re thinking these are big topics, you’re of course right. And so what! These topics preoccupy us every day in one way or another anyway, so we might as well talk about them openly. We won’t say the last word on them, and we won’t even try, but we will make every effort to be relevant to your life, and to the life of the church.

So you see, the Summer may be here, but we are not actually taking it easy. We’re not making life more difficult either. This is just us being as bold as we need to be to do what we can to prepare the church for the rest of the 21st century. The best years are still ahead, I feel quite certain of that. I feel certain of it, because I know that our church is needed more than ever. Many people don’t yet know it, so communication will be important. And at the same time, just look around you, if the church will not be a home for so many who feel lost in our community right now, where will they go?

This all sounds like a lot. I know that. So let us always remember who we are and whose we are. We continue to serve a church that understands that we are followers of Jesus, who is the head of our church. And Jesus never intended for us to carry heavy burdens. Jesus continues to build his church and we are along for the ride. So, pray, discern, and do only what is asked of you, leaving the rest to Jesus, whose yoke is easy.

With all my heart,