Growth, Opportunity and An Invitation To Meet

Members of LMC,

As a diverse and spiritually curious congregation we have been blessed with significant growth in recent years. Throughout the year the church council has prayed and discussed how best to meet the needs of this growth. What do our increased numbers mean for our present? Our future? We wonder if our current mission statement defines exactly what we are to do in this world. Does our vision inspire us to live out God’s will beyond the corner of Wilson and Campbell? God calls us in many directions. Which path is right for us in this time and place? It is important for us to embrace our growth and choose to make room for whatever it is that God has in store.

A good place to begin is with the kitchen remodel. The congregation has already decided to update the kitchen and the wheels are in motion. The architect has been in to discuss the overall footprint and create some initial renderings. You will have a chance to give your input. The kitchen needs to work for us. Get your wish lists ready!

In thinking about who we are and where we think we are headed we have discussed a couple of unique opportunities that have presented themselves in conjunction with the kitchen remodel. We have the opportunity to partner with the Lincoln Square Friendship Center to help feed our neighbors. One Stop Wednesdays will begin again soon. Why not expand the meal we are already serving and provide hot meals to members of our community who might not get them on a regular basis? A new kitchen could be an incredible vehicle for sharing God’s gifts beyond our doors and starting with our own little corner of the city.

Another exciting opportunity is the chance to partner with Pilgrim Lutheran Church on a preschool, which would be located here at Luther. We believe this partnership could be beneficial to both of our congregations as well as our community. There is a need for affordable preschools in our area. CPS preschools are closing, there are long wait lists at existing schools in the area and there seems to be plenty of interest in faith-based early learning. We have already been talking with Pilgrim about what that might look like and how it might work. The kitchen renovation can easily include a revamp of the back garden space and an addition of a play space for kids, possibly located above the boiler room. Not only would this be a necessary addition for a preschool class, it would be an additional space for our own LMC children. Picture a small group meeting in the garden while the kids play nearby!

We invite you to learn more about these opportunities and next steps for our congregation in general at a special congregational meeting to be held between services on Sunday, August 24th. We will have time to discuss these ideas and opportunities in small group settings at cottage meetings to be held throughout the fall.

It is an exciting time for our church. The council has been thinking, praying, planning, talking…now it’s your turn. What do you think? What questions do you have? We want to hear from you!

LMC Council

Council Introductions: Misti Peppler

1977318_481488061979386_200245092_nIf you had told me when I married Jon that I would regularly attend church and be on the leadership council I would have laughed.  I had long ago left the Lutheran and even Christian teachings of my youth behind. I explored the Hindu religion, Unitarian/Universalists, and ventured into a search for the female divinity and what that would mean in my life as I related to this higher power I so strongly believed existed.  When I married I had found a spiritual life that was more Universalist, deeply connected to the changing seasons of life; where the center of belief was each individual’s connection and understanding of the divine.  Then came children.

With a husband who wasn’t yet on board with my more universal belief in “all gods are one God”, I agreed to have the children baptized and raised in a Christian church as “the boat that will carry them through the waters of life”.  I didn’t realize how coming back to Christianity would change me.  In those first few years I joined a bible study, reading several chapters a week.  Reading the bible again as an adult was very different than when I was a teen going through confirmation.  I was now able to understand it within the context of what was happening in the cultural and world communities at the time it was written.  What was happening for the writer and what experiences did he bring to it?  What was happening for the intended recipient?  All of this allowed me to understand God in a whole new way and relate to Jesus as saving through example. The patriarchal, authoritarian understanding that I had grown with was just one facet of this incredible Divinity.  If you haven’t read or studied the bible since your youth, you might consider joining a bible study; one never knows how it might affect you.

 

I don’t think my faith journey is different than many of my fellow worshipers here at Luther Memorial.  I am a seeker, who believes that Christ is an example of how to become one with the Divine. My adult understanding of God allows me to explore the feminine characteristics such as nurturing, protecting and tenderness within the Divinity.  I am not afraid of God’s reaction to my choices, God doesn’t micromanage.  But I feel separated from the Spirit when I make choices that are not what God intends.  I am constantly falling away from God’s presence, and need structures around me (attendance at worship, continued reading and study) and reminders (taking time to reflect, talking with others about God) to feel the Spirit again.

I feel that Spirit moving through the people here at Luther each week.  The music lifts me to a higher place where I can feel right with God.  I am thankful for this spiritual home, and I am grateful to be sharing it with you.  When you see me, please share your faith story with me.  I love to hear how others find God working in their lives, it helps me to reflect and stay connected.