And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” (Rev. 21.5)
Made new. That’s us. In our daily lives, spiritually, physically, mentally – we are always being made new. New things happen to us and in us. Some things happen that are for good, others cause us trouble. Most of all, in our baptism, we are made new before God. We might not feel it or know it all the time, but in everyday experiences and in the holy moments, we might take notice. God is even making the whole universe new. New life is what God does for us in Jesus. New life is now.
For our church, we have a new name – we are Living Hope! It will likely take some time for us to really get used to it, to wear it and walk around with it. (I keep finding things to update with the new name.) We are the same people, with some new additions. But we’ve changed, too. We’re building new relationships at the Center and welcoming guests and new members. Some of our ministries have changed, like Family Promise: We’ll get to meet our first family this week! Our Senior Meal program will have a new manager soon. We have new ministries like Prepare/Enrich marriage preparation, and even more coming in the future. There is new energy all around, and we want to let people know about God’s love and who we are, and how we can serve together.
Our neighborhood is changing. New neighbors are moving in, new construction is happening on Las Vegas Boulevard and on Saint Louis Ave. Fremont Middle School is getting a makeover and the empty lot that was Bishop Gorman high school will be active soon. These changes are a long time coming. We’re still collecting school supplies for local students and peanut butter this month for Lutheran Social Services of Nevada. I’m praying for folks who will be facing evictions in the coming weeks. We’re participating with Nevadans for the Common Good and sending postcards to our county commissioner to encourage funds are distributed to those in need.
There’s more we want to do. We want to be able to have food and fellowship, to host our neighbors in the community, and celebrate together all that God is doing. Let us continue to pray for our healthcare workers responding to a spike in new COVID cases in our valley. We will continue wear masks in worship for the time being, and understand that some are not ready to come and worship in a group yet. Our online presence is now a part of what we do and we will continue to find ways to interact with those who participate in the ministry online.
As we go through these transitions, please continue to remember us in your prayers. Our staff is weathering the change well, and excited about what the future holds. I’m grateful for Mary’s hard work on our church finances and in the office. Alfred is going above and beyond to keep our church looking clean and fresh – even painting the exterior walls! Alex brings amazing and beautiful music that glorifies God. Pastor Matt’s dedication to teaching and preaching is an inspiration and Marissa is never afraid to try new things to get our youth engaged in ministry! God is truly doing new things here at Living Hope! Thanks be to God.
Pastor Jason Adams
Living Hope Lutheran Church