Vicar’s Voice: Thanks for gifts gladly received
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return not thither but water the earth…so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10a–11, RSV)
As I find myself coming to the final days of my time serving with you at Ascension Lutheran Church, the words of the prophet Isaiah seem particularly apt. Isaiah writes of the grand and abundant generosity of the Lord, manifest in simple things—which are, ultimately, the things life-giving and life-sustaining. Such is the abundance given us in the Church, in the communion of saints.
The great gift of which Isaiah writes is the generous gift of the presence of God around and within. It is a presence we share in baptism, in Communion, and in all things in the sharing of the Word—in homilies (however brief!), yes, but in the simple company of fellow Christians at tables, at study, at concerts, at bedsides and at gravesides, all.
The time of my internship has been a partnership—first with God, and with Pastor Wes, of course, to “learn the ropes,” as it were, of parish ministry and of pastoral care and formation—but with each member of Ascension as well. It’s true to say, “We applied for a vicar,” and “I was assigned to come to Cheyenne and serve at Ascension,” but, although there was no call committee discerning my being here, in the wisdom of Almighty God, I was called to this place, to serve and to learn, to walk with and to share, and it has been a call that, for all of its joys and frustrations, mistakes and trials and happy accidents—sometimes amusing in hindsight, but formative nonetheless—has been my pleasure to keep.
For the rain and snow of your kindness in welcoming me, sharing with and providing for me, even in criticizing and correcting me, God’s purpose has been wrought, in the sharing, and in my growth.
Such are the gifts given me in my all-too-brief 12 months with you; they have been gifts gladly received and gifts for which I cannot adequately thank you.
Thank you all, and may God bless and keep you, this day and forevermore.
Yours in Christ,
Vicar farewell party
After worship on Sunday, August 5, the Intern Committee plans a celebration to honor Vicar Katelin as she completes her contact with Ascension on August 7 and returns for another year of seminary.
August Family Promise volunteers needed
Ascension’s shared Family Promise rotation with St Paul’s Lutheran will be August 12–19. Volunteers are needed to provide dinner and to serve as evening hosts and overnight hosts. If you can volunteer, contact Margie Sewell at email@example.com or 631-1815.
School kit items sought for LWR
You have been given some homework for August by Kari Chandler of Ascension’s Social Concerns Committee. On Sunday, September 9, we will join the other ELCA congregations for a “God’s Work Our Hands” project.
Our congregation has been asked to collect school kit items for Lutheran World Relief. (This list is different from the local school district’s.) Here are the new items to bring to church:
• 70-sheet notebooks of wide- or college-ruled paper, approximately 8-inch x 10.5-inch; no loose-leaf paper;
• 30-centimeter ruler or a ruler with centimeters on one side and inches on the other;
• Pencil sharpener;
• Blunt scissors;
• No. 2 pencils/erasers;
• Black or blue ballpoint pens (no gel ink);
• 16- or 24-crayon box;
• 2.5-inch eraser
• Sturdy drawstring backpack-style cloth bag, approximately 14-inch x 17-inch with shoulder straps.
Items should not have religious, patriotic or military symbols on them.
“In addition, I’m looking for a few people to help me make backpacks to hold the supplies,” Kari said. “I have the directions and fabric needed.”
Contact her if you’re willing to help make backpacks: firstname.lastname@example.org or 307-638-2605.
WELCA Bible study to finish prayer series
The Women of the ECLA (WELCA) will meet at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 21, in the upper fellowship hall. The topic will be the last of a three-session Bible study called “Let us pray”: “the products of prayer” (Romans 8:26–28). For information, contact Shirley Toppenberg at 634-4946.