Think of us in this way: as servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries. (1 Cor. 4:1)
Over the last few years I have been glad to be a part of the Vital Congregations team of the ELCA. We get to share best practices, contextual experience, and new ideas with congregational leaders across the church. One of the questions that I find helpful and important to ask when we do this kind of work, and one that we have used here at Living Hope when thinking about our ministry together is:
“If we are at our best, what will people say about us?”
Will they find us to be caring, helpful and hospitable? Will they say we are welcoming and friendly, open and affirming? Will they say we are engaged with local issues and needs? Will they know us to be faithful servants? I hope so. We are so much more than that. We are here to proclaim the good news of Jesus, crucified and risen, to share the promise of grace and forgiveness, and eternal life for all – to share the heart of Christ in the heart of the city.
In our work with Nevadans for the Common Good, our neighbors get to know that we care about our community. We’ll soon be organizing a neighborhood walk (10/1) to let people know when and where they can go to vote and to hear any concerns that they might share with us. This is a great way to get out and be visible as the church in the neighborhood.
In the LSSN Peanut Butter wars, Living Hope placed 2nd! Thanks to all who brought peanut butter (including our VBS families) and give financial gifts toward this effort! We raised the equivalent of 15,197 pounds of peanut butter! Feeding hungry neighbors is another way we show love to God’s people!
This week we delivered a mountain of school supplies to MS. Schmidt, our new contact at Fremont Middle School (now known as Fremont Academy of Medical Sciences) and to John S. Park Elementary! They were exceedingly grateful for the help and to know that students will have all they need for a productive school year! They hope to be in their new school building by January 2023!
Confirmation classes will begin again September 14th at 5:30pm. As we share faith with our families and connect our spiritual life with the world around us, we grow together! I am so grateful for every parent and family member that invests time and attention to faith with our young people. After a great meeting with a team of caring helpers, we have a rotation of adults who will be spending time with little ones during worship in the Adele Hansen family room. Kids can be checked in and dropped off during worship, and will return for communion.
Beginning in September, we’ll begin another year with the Narrative Lectionary, starting with Genesis and the story of Noah and the flood on Sept. 11th. I continue to see the value in this pattern of worship, sharing and teaching God’s promises through the whole biblical account.
Also September 11th will be God’s Work Our Hands Sunday. We’ll participate in projects with the City of Las Vegas and Beverly Green neighborhood association, Girl Scouts, and Caridad! We’ll have a special project for our kids to share with our first responders on this day as well. I look forward to this exciting day of service together and of course the fellowship and celebration (food!) afterward. Alfred is ready to grill up some tasty meats for us, and we have been approved for a Thrivent Action Team ($250) to help with costs. Plan to join us for a fun day of worship and service! It remains a joy to hear the gospel and to serve this church and community. I give thanks for all of you in my prayers, and for the blessings you have been to me and my family. No matter where we go, we know that we belong to one another in Christ, and that God will never leave us alone. I am grateful to our staff: Pastor Matt, Marissa, Mary, Alex, and Alfie, and all of you who make this ministry happen.
Keep doing it. Keep gathering (Heb.10.25), keep singing (Ps. 98.4), keep serving (Gal. 5.13), keep trusting that the Spirit is moving and leading us together in this community (Rom. 15.13), and the ones we are called to serve will know who we are, servants of Christ in every way.
Pastor Jason Adams