A thorn in the flesh

Pentecost 7 – 2 Corinthians 12:1-10

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Kansas District Convention Review

First Lutheran Church  Plainville, Kansas

Peace Lutheran Church  Natoma, Kansas

July, 2018

The Kansas District convention, held June 7-9 in Topeka, passed, often with overwhelming support, 27 resolutions, and declined 1.

Church conventions are funny things, and this one was no exception.  If you were to examine those 27 resolutions that passed, you might wonder why we were even discussing such a matter, or why we needed to vote on such things.

And to be sure, as we have just finished convention season in the LCMS, several posted on social media bragging that they were among the minority in voting ‘no’ on resolutions that otherwise were no doubters in regards as to whether they would pass, or even whether they were up for debate in our Church body.

But allow me to defend these resolutions for a moment.  Yes, many of those things that the convention passed were not really up for debate, we did not need to pass a resolution affirming the value of life, or to encourage Bible study, or directing one board or another to continue the work they were already doing.

But we did, and it was not in vain.  When we gather in convention and affirm these things, we are saying that they matter, and that we are putting the full force and weight of the District behind these projects and ideas and programs.  This is not a committee working on behalf of the District, this is not an individual doing their own thing, this is all 166 congregations of the Kansas District saying yes, this is important, this is what we want.

In a day and age where so many other church bodies are sharply divided on questions of life and marriage; in a world where so many are confused about the office of the ministry; in a society where it is dangerous to raise even the slightest question or objection to anything for fear of the can of worms that it will open; we, The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, both here in the Kansas District and across the nation, stand united on the firm foundation that is Jesus Christ our Lord, who speaks His enduring truth in the unchanging word of God.  And when we gather in convention, we do so to affirm again and again, that we will not waver or falter in our mission to stand firm in the Word and to never alter course from it.

Which brings us to the one resolution that failed.  It was not a matter of doctrine, but of practice; and whereas we never waver on the doctrine of the Church, we can debate and discuss the practice of the Church.  And so the convention decided at this time that the overture regarding the placement of Seminary candidates in strictly vacant congregations instead of as assistant and associate pastors in larger congregations, (which both Peace Lutheran and First Lutheran submitted to the convention) would be best left for another day.  I disagree, but walking together as a Synod, we continue on, under the banner of Christ Jesus our Lord.

As for the other overture submitted by Peace and First, regarding moving the Kansas District convention to April, it was referred to the District Board of Directors, and we await word on their handling of it.

Many commented that the convention was calm and subdued.  That doesn’t make for many headlines on the evening news, but it does make for greater opportunities to fulfill the theme of the convention: Life Together in Mission.

Elections were also held, and there were a variety of reports heard and individuals and organizations recognized for their service to the Church.  For a full recap of the Convention, please speak to our Lay Delegate: Phil Hilgers, or to Pastor Schmidt

God Bless!   Pastor Schmidt

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The gift of generosity

Pentecost 6 – 2 Corinthians 8:1-9, 13-15

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What child is this?

Nativity of St. John the Baptist – St. Luke 1:57-80

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Tuesday of VBS 2018

An overview of Tuesday of our Splash Canyon VBS.

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Splash Canyon VBS

First Lutheran Church  Plainville, Kansas

Peace Lutheran Church  Natoma, Kansas

June, 2018

For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him. – 2 Corinthians 1:20a

That is the theme verse for our Vacation Bible School this year, entitled Splash Canyon: God’s Promise on Life’s Wild Ride from Concordia Publishing House.

What are your plans for the summer?  Will you be going out of town?  Will you be working?  Will you have visitors?

I have to be honest, sometimes when I look at my calendar for June, July and August, I ask myself if summer is already over.  Lots of activities have already filled the pages, and who knows what else might come up that will need to be taken care of.

But here is a challenge for you and for me.  Take a picture of your calendar right now, filled in with all your plans for June, July and August.  Then, at the end of the summer, look back and see how things actually went.

Today, looking out on the summer horizon, there are great plans that lay before us.  Plans to see family.  Plans to go to the lake.  Plans to go and see the Dead Sea Scrolls, or a Royals game, or some other fun trip.

But when we look back over the summer in September, what will the calendar reveal?  Maybe that visit to family had to be moved because of harvest.  Maybe that vacation had to be rescheduled because of finances.  Perhaps that trip was canceled because someone got sick.

Our plans for the next 3 months are many and various; but odds are good that when we come to Labor Day, our actual summer will have turned out differently than we had originally planned; maybe only a little different, but possibly a lot different.

That is the story of life; we have great plans, great expectations, but they do not always come to fulfillment the way we wish they would.  Things happen, and plans are altered.  Rarely do things perfectly go our way.

Which brings us to our theme verse for our VBS.  All the promises of God, find their Yes in Him.  God has made some truly great plans; He created a perfect world, He brought forth every plant and animal that one can imagine; He even created a perfect man and woman to care for it all.

But what happened?  The same thing that happens each time God sets forth with a plan, whether it be creation, or settling the Promised Land, or anointing kings over His people: we screw everything up.  Our sins throw the whole creation into chaos.  Each time, God comes forth in His wisdom and glory to provide for His people, and we end up ruining God’s plan.

And yet, when God looks out over His creation, He does not turn His back on us, or cancel His plan, or even just scale things way back to a more manageable (for us) idea.

No, all the promises of God find their Yes in Him.  All the promises of God are brought to their fulfillment because Christ Jesus cannot be thwarted or thrown off course.  God’s plan of salvation is never derailed because of our sinful thoughts, words and actions; rather all of God’s promises find their Yes in Him.  There is no ‘no’ to God’s plan of salvation, there is only ‘yes’.  No matter how crazy your life gets, no matter how many plans and ideas have to be reimagined or rescheduled, the plan of salvation through Jesus Christ alone is always present, is always yes, is always good for you.

Please pray for our VBS June 4-8; that those who teach and those who learn might know the promise of God’s Yes in Christ Jesus.

God Bless!  Pastor Schmidt

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Monday of VBS 2018

An overview of Monday at our Splash Canyon VBS

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