Friday Followings with Pastor Tim

Ordained as Ministers: Every One of Us

 

Hello Gloria Dei,
I recall very vividly the day of my ordination. July of 1990. It was one of the great moments of my life. St. Timothy’s Lutheran in San Jose, a big gathering of congregation and family and friends and pastors. The bishop laid hands on my head and I became a minister, a pastor. The Holy Spirit was at work. I’ll never forget it.
 
A week from Saturday (May 28) at 5 p.m. you are cordially invited to attend the ordination of Bob O’Connor into the ministry of word and sacrament within our ELCA. Bob, as you know, will serve Gloria Dei largely in the area of congregational care. The Holy Spirit will be there too.
 
 
In our New Testament reading we are now in the book of Acts. Often this book is referred to as “The Acts of the Apostles”. While this is an appropriate title for this book which tells the story of the early church and its people, I think a more appropriate title is “The Acts of the Holy Spirit”.
 
 
On that first day of Pentecost, recorded in Acts chapter 2, the Holy Spirit was set loose in the world and the church began to grow in service to others, in numbers, and in proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ. That same Holy Spirit has been loose ever since, bringing people to a deep faith in Christ, through the proclamation of the Good News.
 
 
Now let me ask you: Do you remember the time you got ordained? You are you know, ordained for ministry. You are a minister, or servant, of the Gospel. Back in the early days of the church, the newly baptized Christian was given a new white robe. Many of you probably had on a white robe or outfit when you were baptized. It is symbolic of the new life given to you and the new life to be lived. The sign of the cross was made on your head and the promise of the Holy Spirit descending upon you was given. When you were baptized you were given a gift, the gift of ministry; and that gift is not our idea, it is God’s idea.
 
The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus himself, calls and equips you for ministry. You may not hear a voice from the sky, but your call happened at baptism and you are now to live that call out with the promise that God’s Holy Spirit is with you, empowering you to participate fully in the ministry of Christ.
 
The church that has on its bulletin board out front, “Pastor: George Smith; Ministers: the whole congregation,” has it right. All of us are ordained by God to be ministers. Pastors are trained and ordained to proclaim the word, to administer the sacraments, and to help equip all of you ministers do your ministry, at church, at home, at work, with other people and wherever it is that you live out your life.
 
So, in a way I said it wrong. The day I got ordained was not that summer day in 1990 when the bishop laid hands on my head and made me a pastor. The day I was ordained was way back in August of 1961 when the pastor dipped his hand in a bowl of water and put it on my head, and I received the gift of the Holy Spirit from God himself, and I became of child of God and a minister, called and equipped to live out the gospel. Read through Acts chapters one through 14 for this week. Yes, the same Holy Spirit active in the lives of the early Christians is alive and active calling, equipping, and sending each of us for service, ministry, and sharing the gospel.
 
See you in worship,
 
Pastor Tim
 


Giving Thanks for Families

Hello Gloria Dei,

On this Friday before Mother’s Day, I want to say that the Bible puts great stock in moms, dads, and families. Jesus’ mother, Mary, was shown to be a faithful person of God as she said, “Here am I”, as the angel of the Lord called on her to be the mother of the Christ. Long before Mary,


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Daily Dying and Rising

 
Hello Gloria Dei,
 
The evangelist Billy Graham tells the story of a man who glanced at the obituary column in his local newspaper.

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Thanks, Pastor Loren

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
The other day I wrote my article for the upcoming Gloria Dei May newsletter. I wrote (you’ll see it in a week) about transitions. Without repeating myself, I want to simply say to you today that as we move through the transition of Pastor Loren’s retirement, we can be extremely grateful to God for bringing Loren as a servant of the gospel to Gloria Dei for these past ten years.
 
As we read through Romans in our NT reading plan these weeks, the theme verses for Romans are chapter one, verses sixteen and seventeen. In part, Paul writes, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith.” 
 
Pastor Loren has taken Paul’s lead and has “not been ashamed of the gospel.” Rather, he has faithfully proclaimed the gospel in worship; he has taught the power of God’s salvation to confirmation students and people of all ages; and he has led this congregation in living out the gospel beyond the walls of the church in multiple areas of mission and outreach. He has baptized numerous children and adults, officiated at many weddings, and has presided over multiple funerals. Loren has brought the presence of Christ into hospitals, homes, prisons, and outdoor settings. Maybe the best way to say it is echoing Scripture:  “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
 
I encourage you to be present not only in worship this weekend, but also for the celebration of Pastor Loren and his wife Sandy this Sunday at 11:45am in the fellowship hall. Around food and fellowship we will honor and thank the Odlands for their service. If you are out of town, I know you will be remembering Loren and Sandy in your thoughts and prayers.
 
For me personally, it has been a privilege to serve together with Loren during my tenure at Gloria Dei. I echo Paul’s words to the Romans in chapter one verse eight: “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you”. Yes, we are grateful to God for this ministry we share in Christ. We are all partners in the gospel.
 
See you in worship,
Pastor Tim


Encouragers in Christ

 
Hello Gloria Dei,
 
As I’m writing this correspondence today, my favorite baseball team, the Minnesota Twins, has not yet won a single game this season. The Twins are 0 wins and 9 losses. I’m beginning to think that maybe Jesus will come back again before they win their first game of the season.

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Servants and Prisoners of Christ

Hello Gloria Dei,
We’re into our eighth month of reading through the entire New Testament. As the days get longer, the sun shines warmer,


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Beach Time with Jesus

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
First of all I want to say thanks to all of you for making Holy Week so

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The Power of the Cross

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
We’re on the doorstep of Holy Week. This weekend is Palm / Passion worship,

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Privilege and Responsibility

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
Pastors have the privilege of being together with people in their most joyous celebrations,

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Jesus’ Unique Calling.….And Ours

 
Hello Gloria Dei,
 
As we move through this spiritually rich season of Lent, I’m thinking these days of the unique calling

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John: The Book of Signs

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
Happy Friday.  This week just a few reminders.

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Cross Shaped Lives

Hello Gloria Dei,

This past Wednesday we had a full sanctuary

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