Pentecost 5

“O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, those he redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south” (Psalm 107:1-3).

 

This changes everything!

These three words are the theme of the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering taking place this coming week in Houston, Texas. Based on one of the central Bible verses of our Lutheran faith—“By grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:8)—this theme celebrates what our salvation in Jesus means for us! Everything is now changed! Everything is now different! Everything has now been made new! Ourselves! Our church! Our world! Early Tuesday morning, 15 high school youth from our congregation, together with 4 adult leaders, will depart from Springfield, bound for Houston, where we will gather with over 30,000 Lutheran high school youth and adult leaders from across the nation and around the world for five energetic days of interactive learning, worship, Bible study, service, and fellowship. This once-every-three years gathering is truly life-changing—for those who participate, for the host city, and for our church! At our 10:00 sanctuary worship service this weekend, we will be commissioning the 19 individuals from St. John’s who will participate. These include: Madi Arnold, Elizabeth Barkley, Pastor Greg, Luke Busboom, Pastor Adam, Josh Eiter, Meghan Eiter, Matthew Umland, Amanda Johnson, Wes Johnson, Emma Johnson, Darviel Johnson, Frankie Kulavic, Elizabeth Lee, Landon O’Connell, Emily Resch, David Schmitt, Colton Scott, Derek Gruenenfelder. Please remember each of these 19 disciples in prayer throughout the coming week that they might have safe travel, that they might grow in their relationships with Christ, with each other, and with the world, and that their faith in Christ might be deepened! You can also join with us in Hous- ton via Live Stream. Simply go to www.elca.org/YouthGathering to see the schedule and watch us live! Thank you for your amazing support—prayerfully and financially—in sending these youth to the Gathering! Through these 15 high school youth from St. John’s and through the 30,000 youth gathered together in Houston, we will once again see and experience that our congregation and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America of which we are a part is alive and well! God is indeed good—all the time! In

Christ’s Welcome +

Pastor Greg