09 January 2017

Dear Unsigned Letter Writer,

"Children reflect family values very well. Of more than 127 letters (note: 5 from the local newspaper were copied on the reverse side) I found only 8 that did not have great lists of wants; not one word for other needs and desires. Where are family values? One child only wanted to see Daddy once in a while - how very sad. What can we expect from tomorrow's citizens and leaders? What values & love?? We are failing our children every day."

01 January 2017

January Newsletter Article

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Happy New Year! Like many of us, I’m always interested in looking ahead to what new things may come with the turning of the calendar pages. Let me use this space this month to fill you in on some upcoming opportunities for growth at St. Petri.
We will continue our twice-monthly gatherings to go through The Lutheran Course for a few more sessions, and I’ve enjoyed the Sunday evening meetings so much I’m going to continue with additional courses as well. After we complete The Lutheran Course we’ll shift to a slightly different format with a book I’ve wanted to explore for quite a while: Lutheran Questions, Lutheran Answers by Martin Marty. This little volume comes highly recommended by both theologians and my mother, so I’m excited to get started with it in a few weeks. The format will be to read and discuss one chapter (10-15 pages) each session: as we draw closer I’ll have a schedule printed up for those who want to take part. I’ll have order forms ready for folks in a few weeks as well - cost will be $14/book. If I’ve figured the dates correctly, this course should start on Sunday, March 12th and will last until September, meeting the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month at 6:00 p.m.
I’m also restarting the Wednesday Bible Study group at Dinners By Dawn in Story City. We’ll meet in the back room at 11:30 a.m. every Wednesday I’m in town and discuss the Bible readings for the upcoming Sunday together. No, you don’t have to buy food to be part of the study (although I’m sure Dawn would appreciate your patronage if you’re able), nor do you have to come every single week. This was a very enjoyable group for folks to drop in when they were able, and as your preacher it has always been very helpful to have input on the text at hand from the members of our congregation. I hope to see you when we restart this Bible study on Wednesday, January 4th at 11:30 a.m. 
These are just a few opportunities for continued growth in faith as a member of St. Petri - if there are topics or events you think would be beneficial for us as a congregation, please contact me and I’ll be happy to look for ways we could put your thoughts into action!
How about you? What’s new with you this new year? Personally, I have started seeking a Spiritual Director with whom I’ll be visiting monthly to talk about the state of my ministry, my personal growth in faith, and the rest of my life as a child of God. That’s the big resolution this year for me. I encourage you to look beyond the usual resolutions and take some time to assess how investing your spiritual health could be helpful for many other areas of your life as well. If you’d like resources for your personal growth, please make an appointment with me and we’ll see if we can’t find something that helps you grow.
I pray you will all be blessed by the goodness and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in this new year. It is, as always, a true blessing to serve you as your pastor, and I’m excited to see where this year will lead us together. 
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Scott