Pastor Letter 10/17/2006 (running)

I ran a 1/4 marathon yesterday…yeah, that just happened! It was way more fun that I thought it would be!

I want to say THANK YOU to Krysta Llewellyn and everyone else from our Hope World Vision Team for all they have done. At this time over $11,000 has been raised for World Vision!!! What good does that do? $10,000 is enough to provide water for 200 people!! 14650312_10154636779893599_1088117356260019_nYAY!! Thank you again to the entire team for their dedication and hard work (and thanks for pushing me into this…it really was a great experience).

My challenge to the people of Hope is for next year’s race and fundraiser. I CHALLENGE us to raise $20k next year and to DOUBLE the number of runners we had this year (get 32 runners). I know I know…you are thinking, “There is NO WAY I am running a marathon.” I get it. But there are lots of options!!

  1. Full Marathon
  2. 1/2 Marathon
  3. Relay Marathon (1/4 mile and 2.5 mile options)

Listen…I did it…so can you! I am a 43 year old overweight asthmatic…you have no excuse…you can do it…trust me!  (and you have one year to train)

14705893_10154636779493599_5734268738414396432_nKrysta and I made the Detroit Free Press. Krysta looks like she knew the photographer was there and I look like a dork…oh well. Krysta took me to the starting line (my relay leg and her start time for the 1/2 marathon were later). At the start of the gun, every two minutes wave after wave of runners  went through the starting gate. What I witnessed surprised me…I don’t know why, but it did.

What I saw were all kinds of people of all kinds of shapes and sizes and abilities. Some were old, some were young. Some had all of the perfect gear wearing belts with water, food and phone all easily accessible for the race while others didn’t have any gear at all. 14650199_10154636779403599_7579898371057892556_nSome were obviously seriously athletic and others were inconspicuous with their athleticism. Some wore appropriate and expected clothing while others wore crazy gear such as a
firefighter who wore full fire retardant gear (pants, coat, helmet) including an oxygen tank. I remember thinking there is no way this guy will make it…hours later I saw him at the end of my leg…he was still going!! Wow…impressive.

People of all shapes and sizes…all running for different reasons, at different parts of their ‘running’ journey…all there running…

…it was kinda like church…

…well…it was exactly like church….

Right?

Isn’t this a place where all people of all backgrounds from every step in a faith journey one could define should be? In community…together…no judgement…all are welcome…all…no exceptions what-so-ever…church…

That is what I think church looks like…

I will probably be talking and writing more about this question of ‘what does the church look like’ and at the same time be defining what Hope needs to continue to work towards ‘looking like’. The ‘race’ we are on is the same…it isn’t a race that is about winning. Like a marathon it is a race that is more about participating than winning…and it is a race where ALL are welcome to participate.

In the same way I am encouraging you to participate in the marathon next year, I also want to encourage you to participate in the community at Hope and any level or place…like a marathon, its about doing it no matter what your skill set is. You will get more comfortable the more you participate.

So…thanks again to Team World Vision…you are awesome!! For you the people of Hope…the challenge has been made…RUN WITH US!!! Contact Krysta for more information (email me and I’ll forward your info).

If we get enough to double our runners next year…I will sign up for 1/2 marathon!! Ugh…

* * *

KEITH MILLER

Many of you know Keith Miller. A couple of years ago, he was part of an Interim Pastoral Team just before I came on board here at hope. He also was on staff doing ministry by providing Pastoral Care, caring for those in need by administering the CIA fund, and occasional preaching as well as volunteering by co-leading the Stephen Ministry Team along with Krysta Llewellyn.

What you may not have known is that Keith has also been studying at seminary and is in the Candidacy process for ministry in the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) as an Associate in Ministry. Part of that process is that Keith needs to go on internship and serve ideally in a new and different context. Therefore, beginning in November, Keith will be on internship at Lord of Life Lutheran in Brighton, MI. He will be away from us and with that congregation for one year.

We would like to bless Keith as he takes this new step in his ministry and education. Please join me on October 30th at the 8am service to bless Keith and send him on his continued journey!

* * *

SUNDAY SCHOOL

Worship is always evolving. As you know we have three different worship services on Sunday morning. We just started this new worship format this fall, but we neglected to account for the families who would prefer to attend a contemporary worship service (11am) and have a Sunday School option at the same time. Therefore, we are adding a Sunday School option at the 11am service so that families can truly choose worship based on the style that they prefer rather than have other ministry programming options such as Sunday School dictate what style you have to go to.

Thanks for your patience as we learn together how to serve through worship and community a broader group of people with different musical tastes, worship preferences and worship times. It is a change for some…but has been refreshing for others. It is the balance of living in a more diverse community. THANK YOU!


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