Ponderings from Pastor Juli
Light of the Cross Lutheran Church
Back in the early 1990s, an ad for Motel 6 ran on radio and television. Do you remember Motel 6? The chain of budget motels is still in operation in the United States and Canada but I rarely hear them being advertised any more. According to Google, Motel 6 is referred to as a “hospitality company.” That was certainly the image and the feeling they tried to capitalize on back in the 90s. They had a catchy tagline which was definitely a nod to the tone of hospitality they were trying to portray – “Motel 6. We’ll leave the light on for you.”
That image of “leaving the light on” was a brilliant advertising scheme. It instantly stirred up the feeling of “home” How many parents used to say that whenever a child was going to be coming home late…maybe from work, or a date, or some other kind of outing. The phrase calls forth a warm feeling of welcome, and safety, and security. That comforting beacon reminds the one returning home that they were expected, that they were part of a family, and that they were loved and cherished.
Over the last couple of years, the pandemic has disrupted many aspects of our lives – from simple things like how we bought our groceries, to how we “dined out”, how we visited with the doctor, and how we kept in touch with our families . For some people, going to work meant staying home. Going to school meant sitting at the kitchen table. Singing in a choir or playing in a band – involved individual boxes on a screen all coming together in creative ways to continue to make music. And going to church meant tuning in on something called Zoom, or sitting in your car in the parking lot with the radio dial tuned in to listen to the service. It wasn’t always ideal – but we made it through – and for the most part, by making it through we have learned a few things, and we have had a new appreciation for things we might have tended to take for granted.
But now things are beginning to return to normal – and it is time for us to think about returning to church. Some of you have already made that decision, others of you have not and you have good reason to continue to be cautious. But there are some of you who have become comfortable and dare I say, a bit lazy – who have decided that home on Sunday morning and perhaps just tuning into Zoom are all the effort you wish to put into church attendance. And some of you have decided that church attendance has become unimportant and unnecessary altogether. It is because of you that I am writing this month’s Ponderings and in fact, why the whole idea of a Welcome Home Sunday! began to take shape in the first place.
I strongly believe that the community of the church is an integral part of the growth of our individual faith lives. I know for myself that I cannot be my own support system when it comes to my own faith life. I NEED you – I NEED the community to share and support and encourage me as I seek to follow Jesus. And you NEED this community too! And while I think it was for a good reason that we didn’t gather together during the height of the pandemic – I don’t think that this pattern is ultimately healthy for the life of the church, or for the lives of the disciples of Jesus.
As I was conceiving of this Welcome Home Sunday, the absence of those affected by the pandemic has not been my only focus. Along with them we want to welcome home those who have wintered in warmer weather and have now returned for the summer here. We welcome them home too! I also have seen several new people (either new to the area, or new, temporary visitors) along with previous and long-time visitors We welcome them here too.
We are known for our hospitality here, and I am really proud of how you all make that happen. Keep up the good work because it is why people return. They like knowing they are welcome here – that there are people here who care about them – and that the sense of community is important. We want you to know that you are part of the family here, that you are expected here, and that you are loved and cherished here. We’ll celebrate that on Welcome Home Sunday. We’ll keep the light on for YOU!
“Welcome Home” Sunday – Date changed to May 15!
The date for Welcome Home Sunday is now May 15! This change made it possible for our Men’s Crew French Toast Breakfast not to have to compete with Mother’s Day brunches. Mark your calendars accordingly.
Men’s Crew French Toast Breakfast – May 15
Adding to the festivities of Welcome Home Sunday, the Men’s Crew will be serving a French Toast Breakfast following the morning worship service. Helpers are needed to make and serve the breakfast (a sign up sheet is available). We are also encouraging anyone who plans to attend the breakfast to sign up ahead of time so the crew has an estimate for planning. A suggested donation of $8 per person is greatly appreciated.
Men’s Breakfast Crew welcomes ALL MEN
- Dear Church Members – Thank you all so very much for being there for me during my surgeries and hospital stays. I can’t wait until I can come back to my church and that will have to be when the weather warms up a little and I can walk and talk! Your cards and letters have meant so much to me. May God bless you all! I love you! -- Evie Anderson
- To the Roadside Clean-up Crew who braved the chilly weather and made our section of the road presentable again, thank you!
Calling all men of the church! The Men’s Crew is back to meeting on its regular schedule of the third Wednesday of each month at 8 a.m. This is the time of the year when the Men’s Crew is the busiest, helping with church projects, fundraising, and generally being available to assist with a variety of church functions like Play Days, lawn mowing, etc. But it all starts with a cup of coffee and YOU – May 18 is the next meeting day!
Healing Sunday – May 29
It has been a while since we have been able to have a Healing Service Sunday. We are going to try to resume these on the fifth Sundays (maybe in a little different format), beginning on Sunday, May 29. It will be good to share this special feature as part of our worship again on that day!
Looking Ahead to Play Days in July
I know it seems early to be thinking about Play Days, but there are a few things that need a little lead time in the planning stages so we aren’t surprised. Here’s a few notes as we start thinking about Play Days July 22-24.
Rules for Being Human
- items left over after the rummage sale will need to be picked up by the persons who have donated them. These will not be loaded up and taken to another rummage sale as they have in the past years. As you price your items, be sure to include your name as well.
- we are in need of a person who will tow a trailer in the parade. A trailer is available, but not the resource person (driver and/or vehicle) to tow the trailer in the parade.
- we are also wondering if there are any people who would be willing to walk the parade route to hand out “goodies” along the way – talk to Pastor Juli if you are interested
submitted by Karen Raddatz
1. You will receive a body.
You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.
2. You will learn lessons.
You are enrolled in a full-time, informal school called life. Each day in this school, you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.
3. There are no mistakes, only lessons.
Growth is a process of trial and error, experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a pat of the process as the experiment that ultimately “works.”
4. A lesson is repeated until it is learned.
A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. Then you can go on to your next lesson.
5. Learning lessons does not end.
There is no part in life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.
6. “There is no better than here.”
When your “there” has become a here,” you will simply obtain another “there” that again looks better than “here.”
7. Others are merely mirrors of you.
You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.
8. What you make of your life is up to you.
You have all the tools and resources you need: what you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.
9. The answers lie inside you.
The answers to life’s questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen and trust.
“Life is what happens when you’ve made other plans!”