Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ,
On Wednesday this week, both Pastor Will and I went on a day-long retreat to the Arboretum. It was an Easter experience - a time for refreshing ministry, building our pastoral team, and appreciating the beauty of God's creation. We spent the day focusing our conversation on transformation preaching. Using a resource - Transforming the Stone by Barbara Lundblad - we imagined together how to use our preaching to help the work of the Spirit's transformation project at St. James. Over the course of the coming months, we will be sharing with you some of our insights about showing God's grace from the pulpit.
In order to help us craft sermons that transform hearts, minds, and inspire response, we could use your help. Each week the preacher will be asking a few individuals per worship service to share some feedback by answering three simple questions about the sermon. If you would like to help us with this, please let me know by replying to this email.
The picture that I share above was taken using my camera phone on Wednesday. I orginally was drawn to the tree by the beauty of the flowers and the sun light that danced between the blossums. When I got closer, I discovered the butterfly. The butterfly is a symbol of Easter and resurrection. God is constantly reminding us, if we look close enough in the blessings of our lives, that new life, that transformation, that Easter is not only possible but it is what God intends for our life and the life that we share together in community at St. James. May we ever be open to new possibilities and the gift of Easter.
I look forward to seeing you in worship this Sunday, as once again - in Word and Sacrament - we will proclaim Christ is Risen Indeed! Allelulia!
The Rev. Walt Lichtenberger, S.T.M.