Rev. Justin Grimm

What a blessing it was to have St. Paul Area Synod Assistant to the Bishop, Justin Grimm, work with our congregation over the past two days.  In particular, his sermon Sunday morning was an energetic reminder of the transformative power of God’s story whenever it intersects with the human story.  Like both Saul and Ananias, who maintain decidedly opposing world views, they’re brought together by God’s providence and both lives are forever changed.

Before spending time with just our church this weekend, Justin also helped to convene the St. Paul Area Synod Assembly – the gathering of pastors, deacons, and delegates from the 110 ELCA congregations located here in the east metro.   Over the course of a long day on Friday and a then again Saturday morning, we attended to some of the business of the Synod, adopted a budget, received reports of ministry partners, and were updated on synod ministries.  But the most transformative portion of the assembly was hearing from three keynote speakers who each spoke to the ways children and youth are both blessing and responsibility to the lives of the faithful.

During a culminating panel discussion, Bishop Lull asked the trio to reflect on their biggest fears for the future.  There was a thread in their responses that connected to the divisiveness that is so prevalent in the world today.  So many aspects of our life together are now defined by which political views one holds and the concern of remaining aligned with one side or the other seems to outweigh the actual concerns of our beliefs.  Sadly, the cost of this societal de-evolution is particularly high for children and youth as those making the decisions struggle to prioritize the concerns of the youngest generations.

Perhaps the witness of Saul and Ananias’ transformation could serve as a reminder today that God’s vision for the world is likely to run counter to our self-interested world views, especially those of us who firmly believe we have all the answers.  The opportunity for us is to stop, look, and listen for God who is in our midst, pointing us to the people with whom we need to reconcile, cooperate, support, love, and find the common ground on which to help make God’s vision reality.

May God’s peace come to you this day. -Pastor Peter

Let Us Pray…

Almighty and everlasting God, you have brought us in safety to this new day. Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin nor be overcome in adversity. In all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for the SPAS Assembly, Opening Worship on May 14, 2022