Rev Gals and Pals,
School is back in session in my part of the world and I imagine the young people I know gladly said goodbye to summer vacation this morning as they boarded the bus more than ready to get back in the classroom with their friends; today, as these children were held in my prayers, I was immersed in preparing a letter to go out to parents inviting their children back to Kids Praise and confirmation, our youth ministry programs offered by the congregations I am serving. I smiled while writing as I pictured the children running from the bus to the church doors as they arrived for Kids Praise; these few minutes are always a highlight to my week and this ministry was paused for all of the 2020-2021 school year in our effort to keep everyone safer during the pandemic. Tomorrow’s writing will find me pivoting from youth ministry as I ponder the texts for this Sunday. How is your writing coming along this week? Are you finding the joyful tone of Psalm 146 compelling or are you a fan of James with its reminder that ‘faith without works, is dead?’ Maybe the news in your part of the world is demanding a different focus altogether and you are finding yourself abandoning the assigned readings. Whatever direction your writing takes you, my prayers arise for each of us preparing to proclaim God’s good news in the midst of some very challenging times. If you would like to be in conversation with others who are still prayerfully preparing this coming Sunday’s sermon, you may find help with the Narrative Lectionary readings here: https://revgalblogpals.org/category/narrative-lectionary/ and the Revised Common Lectionary readings here: https://revgalblogpals.org/category/revised-common-lectionary/ .
Here in the United States, we will be enjoying a national holiday on Monday as many of us will be gifted claiming Labor Day as a day of rest and relaxation. Wherever you call home, may rest and relaxation be something you are comfortable embracing for yourself. In recognition of Labor Day and the beginning of a new school year, may we remember that sometimes ‘slower is better’ and ‘less is more.’ May our children be blessed to be children (and not little adults) as they learn and grow and play.
Lori Kleppe is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America currently serving two rural congregations in southwest Wisconsin. She previously served as a military chaplain in the United States Navy wearing the uniforms of all the sea services- the Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy. Prior to seminary, Lori worked in education where she found middle school students to be a joy. Lori and her husband Gregg live in a parsonage with one cat and two French Bulldogs. They enjoy rural life, ‘glamping’, and visiting their adult sons in the city.
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