St. Peter's Blog 'New Year Greetings' from St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church – North Wales, PA's Blog

New Year Greetings

Image Tuesday, Jan 9, 2018
Author: Pastor Andreas Wagner

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.”

Psalm 136:1

 

December 31, 2017

Dear people of St. Peter's,

One biblical word that I have pondered a lot this year is the expression “God’s steadfast love.” The term appears quite often in the psalms and in other books of Scripture. It describes the steady, loyal, reliable quality of God’s love towards us. And that quality is something to behold, especially in a world that changes fast and expresses emotions quickly and sometimes routinely and superficially. It is something to remember in a world that spews out news, facts, and fake stories with unprecedented speed. I invite you to seek the solid ground of God’s steadfast love in your daily life. Take more than just a few minutes each day to pause and ponder the mystery of God’s love.

Steadfastness, instead of constantly hunting for the new “cool” thing or the new “hot” thing, is also something that I wish to emulate in all our ministries at St. Peter’s. What we do and how we do things ought to have a certain quality, depth, dignity, and thoughtfulness to it, and I think it usually does, even as we enjoy lots of light moments and laughter with one another. My point is: God doesn’t play gimmicks; nor should we.   

We were exceedingly blessed in 2017. It was a very good year for our church. In the early months of 2017 we were able to close the books on our decades-long financial debt. In a strong communal effort, we erased the $ 270,00 debt over three years and approved our first fully balanced budget in 2017. We celebrated a historic year, the 500th anniversary of Luther’s Reformation, with many meaningful events. I was especially pleased with the Luther-Ignatius event, planned and executed in true ecumenical spirit in collaboration with our brothers and sisters at St. Rose of Lima and Gwynedd Mercy University. In July, we welcomed about 20 members from our Korean community to become members of our congregation. We successfully conducted a global mission trip to Belize. Throughout the year, both church attendance and contributions to the church were up significantly.

I am so happy that we could complete the St. Peter’s Baptismal Garden without compromising our fiscal policies. It is a beautiful small area facing Main Street. The first outdoor baptism took place there in October and 29 baptism pavers have been ordered to celebrate the life given to us in Christ. This space will be a sacred area for us, helping us to be steadfast in remembering God’s baptismal promises.    

Lastly, I would like to wholeheartedly thank my staff and our many volunteers for the labors of love conducted this past year (too many to count…). Together, let us give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, and his steadfast love endures forever.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Andreas Wagner


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