At first I thought I was listening to a band in a really nice garage, but evidently they have a large covered entrance at Cross Lutheran Church in Roberts, Wis.
I later confirmed that they do indeed have a roof over their double doors, plus a really nice little garden area on one side and a big rustic cross with colorful flowers on the other by the cornfield.
A close-up through the shadows revealed that the microphone cover of the lead vocalist matched her bright green dress.
Opening with some announcements Pastor John explained that some people might be receiving orange postcards, on which they were to write heartfelt “yada yadas” as blessings to mail to college students.
He’s already been “walking together” with Cross Lutheran Church for awhile as their interim pastor, but was officially installed as pastor at the Aug. 16, service complete with a letter certifying the call from the congregation. Pastor Erin, a good friend to Pastor John (who was also able to give a shout-out to members in the congregation from her mom) gave the sermon before officiating at the installation.
She said the gospel lesson for the day gave her a “stomachache” and wondered out loud if her friend was “trolling” her. (After all, they have been banned from sitting together at gathering because they get into trouble.)
But then she decided the topic was perfectly appropriate. It was about God listening and humans changing their minds. Cross Lutheran wants to expand their ministry regarding mental health and recovery — deciding to “enlarge their circle” to include others not like themselves, choosing to give them “a place at the table,” not just crumbs.
During the installation, it was said that Pastor John would serve with strength and compassion as a “steward of the mysteries.”
During the prayers he asked for continued “patience and humor” as they try new things. Vowing to serve the congregation well he offered assurances that his ministry would extend even to Vikings fans.
A final announcement was that it’s “noisy offering” week, so throw change in the metal feed bucket on the way out of the parking lot.
Going back to listen to the Wednesday evening service, we find the pastor and musicians in black shirts among white tables in the church basement replete with strings of little white lights and a black sash on the big wooden cross — staying out of the rain. Pastor John’s message contended that fear is less of a problem for faith than doubt and suggested seeing and showing compassion as a way to keep the faith.
So now I wanted to see the lineup on Wednesday, Aug. 19. The weather cooperated for being outdoors.
Like with the communion kits, Pastor John peeled back another layer of the scripture he didn’t like “until today.” He came to an understanding that conversations from the heart can change minds, even God’s. And especially when it comes to caring for others it’s okay to “plead for good things — that is faith.”
There are two services on the 23rd, an abbreviated one at 9 a.m. and confirmation at 10:30.
Another announcements was about getting a radio transmitter for better reception so people can stay warm in their cars attending church when the temperatures start to drop.
The benediction and sending included an electric guitar riff to “Let It Be.”