Friday, May 22

Good Friday morning, people!

Did you know? This is the beginning of our Memorial Day Weekend! In past times people would pack up their stuff and go to the shore or the mountains. There would be small lines at the gas stations. The grocery stores would lure us with specials for that famous barbecue and the liquor stores would do brisk business. At the end of the long weekend, on the actual Monday holiday, we would also remember that this is also a time to honor those who made sacrifices for our country and in many cases for our world. Well, this year, everything is a little bit different. The great summer season ahead of us doesn’t feel quite as great. Our backyards and neighborhoods have become more familiar to us, as have the people who live where we live. We are not constantly on the run.  And maybe we have a little bit of time this weekend to ponder the question: what kind of a country, what kind of a world would those who have given their lives in conflicts abroad want us to create? During the normal “run around” times that seems like such a deep probing question that it could only come from a pastor or a politician on a stump speech (both very suspect people, you know!). But in these times, it is an appropriate question for all of us to ponder. We are at a fork, I believe. What kind of world do we want to create? Will we take the environmental crisis of this century seriously and create a world that is sustainable? Will we realize that more is not always more, but often feeds into destructive behavior and a “machine-society”? Will we honor those who have given their lives with smart ways to use the freedom they fought for? During “normal times” most of us don’t have time to think about these questions. I hope we take the time now. Whether you agree with the young “Fridays for future” crowd that formed before the Corona crisis or not, they had something to tell us that they felt very passionate about; and if teenagers and young adults feel passionate about something other than the usual teenage passions, it is incumbent upon us to listen. What kind of world do we want to create???

Meet one of our young teenagers and confirmation “graduates” this year (see picture). This is Peter of course, my son and youngest child.  When we moved into our neighborhood he was still in his mother’s womb. When we came to the church, he was two years old, and I remember saying to the church crowd on the first Sunday that they should not expect him to be “Saint Peter.” How true!  Peter has built an impressive track record at church. In his earliest days he would often leave his finger prints on every glass door of the building. The cleaning person could hardly keep up. One Sunday, the kids were all dressed up in animal costumes and Peter decided at the last minute to be a bull with horns. Here was this kid with his pacifier in the mouth, walking around, showing his horns, and everybody was in stitches. He was not the easiest choir boy for Mrs. Grebe (now Allen); but then, I think she had a few of those. Peter has always been “blessed” with a strong confidence and a natural ease to talk to adults. Years ago, when we did the “Secret Pal” program and Cathy Simcox was his secret pal, and the kids and adults met at the end, she  said, “He is quite the conversationalist, this little guy!”  Well, let’s just say, he still likes to talk. And as a teenager he has not disappointed. He has kept us on our toes as parents. God knows, we are trying to keep up with his schemes and keeping him on the straight and narrow. (We love you, Peter!) Back in December, he managed to smash a window in the Fellowship Hall while playing volleyball outside, scaring the daylights out of our choir members. So, I have started to keep a tap on all the extra expenses so I can present it to him at some point later in life… In any case, it is sad for me that this is now the last of my children to be confirmed. I will miss those times we had together. We asked all of our confirmation “graduates” to reflect on their two years in confirmation.  Everybody wrote a speech and recorded it. I will share one per week. You can easily access Peter’s speech in the Vimeo link below.    

I would like to promote the beginning of our online Children’s Hour with Mrs. B., every Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. The Children Hour will start on June 7. We encourage our families with young children to take advantage of this interactive program and to tell your neighbors with children about it.    

Also, please don’t forget the Red Cross Blood Drive on June 8. Specific precautions are being taken and have been described in recent emails. For more questions, reach Diana at Drive Details: Date: June 8th, Times:  2 – 7 PM;


Today are the birthdays of Laura A. and Dick W. Happy birthday!!! 

As always, be blessed and be safe! Pastor Andreas Wagner