Recently at GA

 January 2022

Dear GA Family and Community,

Even though the church has recently journeyed through the Season of Advent in which we wait for the coming of Christ, right now, all of us are waiting for something. Or.. probably more likely, many things.

You all have been waiting for quite some time for a settled pastor and I give great thanks for each of you as you’ve prayed, discerned, discussed, and cared for each other in the interim. I know you join me in also giving thanks for the work of the Call Committee and Council, under the leadership of Bob Tobing and Jeanne Matson, and the faithful labors and efforts they have put in to arrive at this moment.

Thankfully, we are in good company with each other as we wait for this new call to begin officially this Sunday, January 9th – yes – but we also wait with the saints who have gone before us, and the great cloud of witnesses that surround us.

Sarah and Abraham waited childless for the fulfillment of God’s promise that they would parent nations (Genesis 12-18). Joseph waited in a pit and in a jail cell for the fulfillment of God’s promise that he would be a leader of his people (Genesis 37). Mary waited in thanksgiving and joy for the fulfillment of God’s promise that she would bear a son, the Messiah, who would exalt the lowly and feed the hungry (Luke 1). The disciples waited in grief and fear for the fulfillment of God’s promise that Jesus Christ, their beloved friend, teacher, and Savior, would return (John 20). The apostles waited expectantly, staring up at the sky, for the fulfillment of God’s promise of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1).

Everyone is waiting. Faithfully. In anticipation. With joy and hope and probably anxiety, too.

In one of his commentaries about the Acts of the Apostles’ Professor Frank L. Crouch writes, “While we wait, Acts reminds us not to assume we already know what we’re waiting for. When Jesus returns to the disciples as promised, they essentially ask, “We already know what you’re going to do. When will you do it?” The people of God have a long tradition, continuing today, of believing we can predict God’s next steps. Acts is a story of surprises.”

Dear siblings, as people of faith, as followers of Jesus, as beloved children of God, as the Body of Christ, as witnesses, we are a part of this great story of surprises.

This new beginning, of sorts, at Gustavus Adolphus will certainly be a time of surprises. We will be surprised together. Maybe we will be surprised by learning more about our own strengths or weaknesses. Maybe we will be surprised by the formation and development of new relationships and new ministries. Maybe we will be surprised by conversations that cause us to question or deepen our faith. Maybe we will be surprised by gifts of grace, forgiveness, and love.

Soon, and, in the years to come, we will celebrate and bear witness to all of those holy surprises, and so much more, together. As we approach this new chapter together my prayer is this – that we may open ourselves to the unexpected, silly, heart stirring, joyous, thrilling, exhausting, provoking, Holy Spirit. Trust Her presence and Her movement in and through us and the community of GA as we learn and grow and share the good news of the gospel together.

I look forward to meeting you in the weeks to come. Until then, we continue to wait together, confident in God’s presence and activity in each moment and every day.

God’s peace,
Pastor Stephanie Kershner (PSK)

 

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Daily Bible Verse

  • Isaiah 61:1-7

    ​They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, to display his glory.

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