October 2016

“Commit your way to the LORD; put your trust in the LORD.” Psalm 37:5

Dear Redeemer Family:
The summer seems to have ended, although it is in the high 80s as I write this. And we are entering into autumn. Autumn is my favorite earthly season here. Soon the beauty of the trees will break out in glorious colors, filling the hills around us. But, as the trees leaves turn to brilliant colors, they are also dying, preparing of the cold death of winter. But, they are also preparing for resurrection in the spring. It is an interesting cycle of life which we behold in God’s creation around us, and with God’s creatures. So, on that theme, let us look at others of God’s creatures, who served God well, and also are awaiting their resurrection.

On October 15th, we commemorate St. Teresa of Avila; Teacher and Renewer of the Church, who died on that date in 1582. She is also known as Teresa de Jesus. She chose the life of a Carmelite nun after reading the letters of St. Jerome (his commemoration is September 30, and died in 420. He is famous for his translation of the Bible into Latin, known as the Vulgate). She was frequently sick during her early years as a nun. But she found that when she was sick her prayer life flowered, and when she was well it withered. Steadily her life of faith and prayer deepened, and she grew to have a lively sense of God’s presence with her. She worked to reform her monastic community in Avila, which she believed had strayed from its original purpose. Her reforms asked nuns to maintain life in the monastic enclosure without leaving it and to identify with those who are poor by not wearing shoes. Teresa’s writings on devotional life have enjoyed a wide audience over the centuries (including me).

October 17th is the commemoration of St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, martyr, who died then in 115 AD. He was the second bishop of Antioch in Syria. It was there that the name “Christian” was first used to describe the followers of Jesus. Ignatius is known to us through his letters. In them he encouraged Christians to live in unity sustained with love while standing firm on sound doctrine. Ignatius believed Christian martyrdom was a privilege. When his own martyrdom approached, he wrote in one of his letters, “I prefer death in Christ Jesus to power over the farthest limits of the earth…Do not stand in the way of my birth to real life.” This date reminds us that there are still places where Christians continue to face death because of their beliefs in Christ.

October 18th is the Festival of St. Luke whose Gospel we have been hearing from this year. He is identified as the author of both Luke and the Book of Acts. Luke is careful to place the vents of Jesus’ life in both their social and religious contexts. Some of the most loved parables, including the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son are found only in Luke’s Gospel. It has also given the Church some of its most beautiful songs; the “Benedictus” sung at morning prayers, the “Magnificat” sung at evening prayer, and the “Nunc Dimittis” sung at the close of the day and the Sunday service.

We can do well in the autumn to learn from these witnesses who have gone before us, and render them the honor due their actions for the message of Our LORD.


In Christ, Pastor Rose.

September 2016

“Let your face shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes.” Psalm 119:135


It is hard to believe that the summer is winding down. Especially, since it was 96 degrees and humid
yesterday. But we are indeed moving on through the year. I, personally, did not do a number of things that I had planned to do this summer. And I am willing to bet neither did most of the members of the congregation. It seems that the time just flew by. And it did.


So, once more we are gearing up for a busier time of year. The beginning of the school year, which is already in session; the beginning of the Sunday School year; the beginning of the choir practices, both vocal and bells; the beginning of Confirmation instruction. All of will be starting up once more in early September. These are all right and proper for us to do. They are part of our tradition. The music is part of our heritage. It was Martin Luther who wrote the first hymns for the congregation to sing. Prior to him, only the choirs sang in service. Luther opened Church music to all laity. So much so, that the Lutheran Church used to be called “The Singing Church.” And, all are welcome to join the choirs to lift voice or hands (holding bells) in music to the Lord; and of course, to join in the fellowship of those activities.


Education is also part of our heritage. Luther wanted what he called, “an articulate laity.” He encouraged all members of the church to be well educated in our beliefs. That is why he wrote the “Large Catechism,” and edited the Roman Catholic catechism of his time, resulting in what we now call the “Small Catechism.” He did so that all people might be we versed (that’s a pun) in our faith. We are carrying on a Church tradition which began with him, and now dates back nearly 500 years. By the way, if you have a smartphone, Augsburg Fortress now has a free app of the Small Catechism available for you, so you can always have it with you (I have it on mine).


The Gospel lessons for this month are also filled with teachings and stories. The parables will include: The shepherd looks for the sheep, the woman her lost coin. The dishonest steward cuts deals, The rich man pleads with Father Abraham to send Lazarus to his brothers, The widow harangues the unjust judge, The Pharisee congratulates himself for not being like the tax collector. All are stories to teach us in parable form about life, and the life of faith; the way of the world, and the way of God’s kingdom. Jesus puts a heavy emphasis this time of year on teaching. Let us all be disciples who are eager to learn at the foot of the Teacher.

In Christ,
Pastor Rose