First, A Few Announcements about Church Staff:  

The council is nearing completion of a redistribution of staffing responsibilities in the communications and office administration area. We will be posting a part-time communications position soon so look for more details to come. Jodi Colgan will be taking on additional responsibilities and is serving as the main office contact in this time of transition.  See my previous post for more information. 

Second, I want to inform the congregation that Robin High has given his resignation as lead organist at Saint Michael Lutheran.  Several factors have come together to lead Robin to this decision and we want to take time to give thanks for his many years of musical excellence and faithful service at Saint Michael. His last weekend will be July 24/25 and we will take time during those worship services to honor his work among us and pray for him.  Robin isn’t one for big “to dos”  and in conversation with him, I believe one of the best ways to recognize his time as our organist is with a “card shower of thanksgiving”!  You may bring a card to the church at anytime or send one to 12432 Castelar St. Omaha NE 68144.  

After the last service on that Sunday (July 25) we will also be having a sending celebration for Vicar Anna.  She has graciously agreed to offer her watercolor paintings for a silent auction with the proceeds going to Carol Joy Holling camp.  Stop by the church and see them in the Gathering Place and place your bid.  The bidding will end 30 minutes after the late service on July 25th.  Our next Vicar, Callie Arendt, will be arriving in September and more information about her will be coming soon.  

A Surprising Vacation Sensation: 

I’ve just returned from a few days away from the bustle (and full-body engagement) of ministry. It was essentially what people call a “staycation” but we did take time to see things around Omaha we haven’t taken the time yet to do. (Side note…the skinny bison at Safari Park got the short end of the stick when it comes to grassland. The grass really is greener where the elk are!)

One usually thinks of these times as a kind of “respite along the trail”, a time when you can set down the heavy pack of things you are carrying and find refreshment and renewal.  And I did find some of that. 

But I was also surprised to feel a sense of bewilderment and uneasiness, like a body not knowing quite what to do when it isn’t carrying a fifty pound backpack up and down rocky terrain.  I once had a similar experience after spending several days in a row working on the  roof of a large barn.  It was almost as if my feet didn’t know how to walk on level ground once I came down. 

I wonder if that means I have not fully understood what I have been carrying around these past 15 months?  And I would not be alone in this of course. All of us have been carrying more than we imagined for a long time.  In the craziness of adapting to unprecedented change and processing the enormity of unimagined grief, few of us have realized the toll it has taken.  

All of which means we have more need than ever for “good news”… for words of healing, acceptance, hope, and promise.  We crave God’s free and abundance grace, not only as assurance when we die but as strength and reassurance while we yet live in this uncertain world.  So breathe my friends.  Let grace flow both in and out of us as we put one foot in front of the other and follow Jesus into the hope that has already been won.  And I shall try to also practice what I preach.