St. Paul Lutheran Church
Tel: 712-364-2918 | Fax: 712-364-3038
100 7th Street
Ida Grove, Iowa 51445
Lutheran Church Missouri Synod

Pastor's Desk

 

The State of the Congregation

            Every year at the end of January, the President of the United States delivers a State of the Union address.  When he delivers his address he doesn’t tend to focus upon what is going wrong in the country, rather he looks at the good and to the future.  Perhaps, it is right and salutary for us to do the same.

            Whatever the reason is, we all seem to be quite gifted at complaining.  Where we tend to lack skill is to see the blessings and the good around us, to rejoice in benefits.  The reality is that there is much to rejoice about in the current state of our congregation.

            First and foremost, there is that for which we may always rejoice.  Three times a week, we get to hear the declaration of the blessed Gospel that Christ has come.  That he came to bring us eternal life.  There is no greater reason to rejoice than this.  In addition to this, at least twice a month we are blessed to receive the very body and blood of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper.  Furthermore, each month close to 40 of our members are delivered these wondrous blessings in their homes.

            Throughout this year we have seen such wondrous blessings in our children’s ministries.  From a wonderful Vacation Bible School, to a growing Midweek program, and blessed Christmas program, there is much for us to rejoice.  The wondrous work of our volunteers cannot be undervalued, and you can see the smiles on our kids faces.  What joy it is to have children joyfully learning of their Lord and savior.

            Our High School Bible class has seen several new faces join the fold, having up to a dozen kids on some weeks.  In July, we had 17 6th-8th graders attend our lock-in.  At the end of September we had close to 30 6th-12th graders attend the bon-fire/hayrack ride.  Along the way, we’ve had many fun weekends and many opportunities to serve.

            Each week we are blessed with the musical talents of our organists, our choir, our hand chimers, including a children’s hand chiming group.  Our Praise Band and Praise Team continue to bless us with their voices and instruments.

            Throughout the week we have many opportunities to imitate the Bereans of Acts 17 who regularly examined the scriptures.  Every Sunday 32 gather for Adult Bible Class.  Every Tuesday around 8 individuals regularly attend a Bible Class at Pizza Hut.  During the wee hours of the morning, every Wednesday at Zimmy’s 10 examine the scriptures together.  At 9:30 on Wednesdays 14 more gather around for Bible Study.  (That is a total of 54 individuals.)

            There are many events throughout the year for which we can be proud, from our yearly roller skating party, our Trunk ‘r Treating event, various meals/potlucks, and many other events.  Certainly we can’t forget the joy of 6 children being baptized throughout the year, and another 9 received the Lord’s Supper for the first time at their Confirmation.  Four couples were united in Holy Matrimony.

            Our LWML have carried out many servant events, Bible Studies, and many days of healthy fellowship.  Not to mention the new faces in our congregation, and the return of some we haven’t seen in a long time.

            There are indeed so very many reasons for we as a congregation to rejoice.  There are indeed so many reasons for us to give thanks.  Are there things for which we should be concerned?  Of course there are, but those are always so easy to spot.  Because that is our nature.  Our nature is to be discontent with what we have, what if we rejoiced and gave thanks for the many blessings we have.

            I pray that we would take a positive step into the 2019.  That we would rejoice in our countless blessings.  That we would proclaim God’s blessings and grace.  I pray that we would be proud to invite others to join us for worship each morning.  For these many blessings, and above all, they are indeed blessed by God’s word by which we receive grace, forgiveness, and life.  To a most blessed 2019.

 

In Christ,

Pastor Neil Wehmas


                                                                                                                                         

 

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Last Updated: 1/4/2019