Faith Lutheran Church

Pastor's Message

November/December 2017/January 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I used my space in the last newsletter to tell you all about this year’s Adult Sunday School class. Now I’m about to use that space in this issue to tell you all about another learning opportunity.

At the last Churchwide Assembly of the ELCA, our bishop, Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, invited and encouraged all members of the ELCA to read Luther’s Small Catechism. She stated in a video piece that the reason for this emphasis was that “the Small Catechism is a treasure too good for just early adolescents.”

I fully agree and have planned since hearing her challenge to encourage our members to be part of the process. I decided I would even provide a course to get some of us active in reading it together. Then I heard that a course was being produced by the church. The contributors included some people whose work I greatly admire and I knew we would be in good hands.

That was months ago. Bishop Eaton’s original invitation was to read the Small Catechism between the Assembly and October 31, 2017...the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation. By the time the course was completed and available, we were at the end of the summer. I spoke with the Christina Education Committee in September about offering the course and when best to do so. We decided together that weeknights would be the best idea and that holding classes in consecutive weeks would be best.

I took out my desk calendar (yes, I still use the paper kind) and quickly determined that in order to offer such a seven session course in seven consecutive weeks, we would start with Tuesday, January 2 and end on Tuesday, February 13...the night before Ash Wednesday.

You will be hearing more about this because we will need to have an idea of how many people are interested in order to order books, arrange space, etc. While I know many people won’t be able to commit themselves to all seven weeks, it is my hope that participants will try to do so and that others will still participate as they are able. Anyone coming from non-Lutheran traditions and interested in membership in our congregation can use this opportunity to prepare for membership. (If you are interested in membership but unable to attend these classes, give me a call and we’ll work something else out.)

I have made the commitment of blocking out his time because I consider the study of this small book to be of great value. The course we will be using, By Heart: Conversations with Martin Luther’s Small Catechism, is well prepared and contains so much more than just the contents of Luther’s work. Video presentations and discussion will supplement our study of the book.

I am anticipating a wonderful learning experience and hope you will join me for all honesty, it’s not going to be so wonderful if you don’t!

In the name of Christ,

Pastor Zimmermann