Summer of Baseball….Movies

Dr. Osterholm has become one of my trusted sources when it comes to COVID-19. This Iowa native and Luther College graduate runs the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. When I listened to his podcast, Osterholm Update, on Wednesday, he stated that we are still in the second inning of a nine-inning game. No, his podcast will probably not cheer you up. But he did say that just like in baseball, we do not know how long each inning will last.

I have no energy to write more about the pandemic and how the church will continue to adapt. But Osterholm’s analogy did give me an idea–an entire blog post about baseball movies. We will not be going out to the ballgames much this summer. We do not know if we will be watching major league baseball on the small screen. We can keep enjoying baseball films. Continue reading

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May 24, 2020 (Service of Healing)

Prayer of the Day

O God of glory, your Son Jesus Christ suffered for us and ascended to your right hand. Unite us with Christ and each other in suffering and in joy, that all the world may be drawn into your bountiful presence, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. Continue reading

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What Worship Would Look Like

Dear Members and Friends of Trinity Lutheran, Nampa,

Idaho Governor Brad Little began gradually lifting the Stay at Home Order and included churches in Stage One of Rebound Idaho, congregational leaders (pastors and lay people) in the ELCA Treasure Valley Cluster have been discerning when we should return to in-person worship and, if so, what would it look like. Trinity’s Council President Kim Mills and I were asked to serve on the Treasure Valley Cluster COVID-19 Task Force.  We have been working with representatives from other congregations. Our synodical bishop also provided guidance in a recent letter, which I commend to you. Continue reading

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May 17, 2020

Prayer of the Day

Almighty and ever-living God, you hold together all things in heaven and on earth. In your great mercy receive the prayers of all your children, and give to all the world the Spirit of your truth and peace, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (ELW p. 34) Continue reading

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Accompaniment

Originally published on tvprays.org (May 14, 2020)

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.” (Romans 8:26)

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May 10, 2020

Prayer of the Day

Almighty God, your Son Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. Give us grace to love one another, to follow in the way of his commandments, and to share his risen life with all the world, for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. Continue reading

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May 3, 2020

Prayer of the Day

O God our shepherd, you know your sheep by name and lead us to safety through the valleys of death. Guide us by your voice, that we may walk in certainty and security to the joyous feast prepared in your house, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (ELW p. 33) Continue reading

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April 30, 2020 Congregational Letter

April 30, 2020

Dear Friends in Christ,

I hope this letter finds you well. I know that the stay home order has been deeply disruptive to our common life and many of us did not expect that it would go on this long. I miss seeing your faces each week. Yet, as we celebrate the Easter Season, we proclaim that wherever we find ourselves Sunday morning, God is with us.

As you know, the governor of Idaho has proposed a four-stage plan (https://rebound.idaho.gov) to facilitate re-opening businesses across the state between May 1 and mid-June. While places of worship are listed in Stage 1 of the plan, Stage 1 also states that “gatherings, both public and private, should be avoided.” Stage 2 allows groups of “less than 10” and Stage 3 allows 10-50 people. It is not until Stage 4 where groups greater than 50 are advised to meet and “large venues” are allowed to open back up. And even then, appropriate physical distancing needs to occur, and “Vulnerable Idahoans” should “minimize exposure to social settings where distancing may not be practical, unless precautionary measures are observed.” Continue reading

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April 26, 2020

Prayer of the Day

O God, your Son makes himself known to all his disciples in the breaking of bread. Open the eyes of our faith, that we may see him in his redeeming work, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (ELW p. 33) Continue reading

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Easter When It Feels Like Lent

Newsletter Column for May 2020

Dear Friends in Christ,

How do we live into the Season of Easter when it still feels like Lent? If it was one of the weirdest Holy Week’s ever, this may end up being the most awkward of Easter Seasons. Everything is supposed to feel different after Easter, because in the resurrection God has done something brand new. The economy may open back up a bit in the weeks and months to come, but we are not going back to the old normal. Everything has indeed changed, but the change includes death and isolation. The words of the disciples on the Emmaus Road may resonate with us in a new way during Easter Season 2020, “But we had hoped…” (Luke 24:21). Continue reading

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