Pastor Meggan’s Annual Report to Trinity Lutheran Church, Nampa, January 2020
When we reflect back on our life together as a Christian Community, two things will always stand out in 2019: Vicar Mia Crosthwaite’s Internship and my sabbatical, which you mirrored in various ways. I have asked Penelope Smith to write about the former and Tammy Torrey to write about the latter. Here, I would like to thank once again the Internship Committee members from Trinity (Penelope, Sarah Henthorn, and Steve VanAtter) and the Sabbatical Task Force (Tammy, Janet Metzger, and Steve VanAtter). The internship and sabbatical meant more expenditures and various grant resources to keep track of and so I also want to thank our Treasurer Lloyd Kellar and Accounts Payable Coordinator Peggy Miller. There work was exemplary. Finally, I want to thank the other council officers, who led you with faithfulness to God’s mission, with humor, and with love: President Andrew Hanson, Vice President Kim Mills, and Secretary Tami Robinson. We, as a community of Jesus’ disciples, were revitalized by Mia’s internship, the sabbatical, and by so many other serendipitous moments along the way.
“What comes next?” That’s the line King George’s character sings in his second appearance in the Broadway Musical Hamilton, after the Battle of Yorktown. “You’ve been freed. Do you know how hard it is to lead?” In fact, as followers of Jesus Christ, we do know what comes next. Confident that we are freed by Jesus’ love and mercy, we cannot but help share that love and mercy with others. The members of Trinity Lutheran Church have a long and beautiful history of sharing Jesus’ love and mercy with our actions and words. This might be the year to be even more intentional or deliberate about inviting people to see what all the fuss is about at the corner of Midland and Lone Star. What is it that drives this small, relative to other Nampa churches in town, congregation to continue to love our neighbors, to boldly give people a glimpse of the reign of God through the garden, affordable housing, Learning Peace: A Camp for Kids, gathering weekly around the Lord’s Supper, and staying committed to radical hospitality? For us, the scriptural principal of agape, which Jesus uses in Mark 12:31, continues to guide us: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I never want that to change. But I do want us to be a little bolder, a little braver, a little more forward about this gift. Experiencing the agape of Jesus, how can we not want others to experience it? In a culture filled with options, filled with advertisements, filled with promises, we cannot assume people will find our community of faith. Furthermore, I cannot do all of the inviting on my own as pastor. Truth be told, I have failed as your pastor if I have not equipped you to invite friends and family and neighbors.
In 2 Corinthians, Paul mentions other apostles whom he calls “super-apostles” (2 Corinthians 11:5, 12:11) and “false apostles” (2 Corinthians 11:13). These traveling missionaries have come to Corinth after Paul left. Now, impressed by these new apostles’ credentials, the Corinthians may be asking about Paul’s credentials. Earlier in the letter, Paul tells the Corinthians that he and Timothy do not need letters of recommendation since the Corinthians themselves are a letter recommending Paul’s ministry.
“3Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Surely, we do not need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you or from you, do we? 2You yourselves are our letter, written on our* hearts, to be known and read by all; 3and you show that you are a letter of Christ, prepared by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”(2 Cor. 3:1-3)
Members and friends of Trinity Lutheran, you are our letters of recommendation to the community of the Treasure Valley. You are letters of Jesus’ agape. Your very human hearts are filled with the love of Jesus.