When I stepped before the congregation this last Sunday, I said, “I’d like to introduce myself. I’m your pastor, Pastor Peter Peitsch.” This was followed by a good deal of laughter. Of course, I did not have to introduce myself to the congregation. People knew my name and that I was their pastor.
However, this summer has involved a lot of travel for me for various reasons. I was gone two weekends in June, two weekends in July, and two weekends in August. This left me feeling as if I have not been around to adequately care for the needs of the congregation.
I’m very much aware that just because it was summer, Satan, the world, and our sinful flesh didn’t take a vacation from tempting us, burdening us, deceiving us, and desiring to pull us away from Jesus.
I am so very thankful for the presence of Rev. James Hartman and Rev. Tom Fleischmann as they faithfully proclaimed God’s Law and Gospel in the worship services and preaching; providing and distributing the Sacrament of the Altar to bring you God’s forgiveness and love through His very body and blood in, with, and under the bread and wine during those days I was absent from you.
While I was away from you, I worshipped with other brothers and sisters in Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod congregations and gatherings in Waconia, Minnesota; Tampa, Florida; Kansas City, Kansas; and Saginaw, Michigan. What a joy to know that no matter where we go in our travels, there are LC—MS congregations that worship, preach, and practice the same Scripture-based saving faith.
Every weekend all of us need to receive the Good News of Jesus’ death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins. I need to worship every weekend as well. As our “vacation season” draws to a close, may our hearts be drawn back together here as we continue to base our lives in our crucified and risen Savior Jesus in God’s inspired, inerrant Word.
Our worship opportunities are expanded once again starting the weekend of September 5th & 8th, as we change our worship schedule back to Thursdays @ 7:00 p.m. and Sundays at 8:00 a.m. & 10:15 a.m.
Our Bible Study opportunities will begin again on:
- Wednesday, September 4th @ 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. where we will be studying the Gospel of Luke over the course of this year.
- On Sunday, September 8th @ 9:15 a.m. as we begin a series of different Bible studies for youth and adults.
- I am also looking to begin a Men’s Bible study twice a month starting in the late fall or first of 2020. Please watch for the notices to sign up. If you are interested in participating and have a particular time and day that would work best for you, please let me know.
For our children we have opportunities for them to grow in the faith into which they were baptized on:
- Wednesday, September 4th for our 5th – 8th graders as they begin their Junior Confirmation academic year covering a year’s worth of Bible narratives in 5th & 6th grade and a full year of going through Luther’s Small Catechism in 7th & 8th
- Sunday, September 8th @ 9:15 a.m. as our new Sunday School year begins for our younger children.
As we make our plans for the next 9 months until our next “vacation season” rolls around, let’s take the time to gather ourselves together in worship to confess our sins and receive God’s forgiveness for us in Jesus Christ every week.
May we also take the extra time to provide for ourselves and our children the opportunity to gather around God’s Word and become better acquainted with the promises and strength we receive in that Word. The more we read and study it, the better able we will be to withstand the tempting, the burdening, the deception, and the pulling us away from Jesus that Satan, the world, and our flesh desire to do to us.
We are very blessed as a congregation here at Grace in Elkhart Lake and as a part of the national church body known as “The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod” to have reliable resources and sister congregations where we know that God’s Word and Sacraments are professed and practiced according to God’s inspired and inerrant Word.
May God bless you and all of us as we continue to live, grow, and practice the faith of Scripture in the one true Triune God and in our crucified and risen Savior Jesus Christ who saves us by grace through faith in Him.
Looking forward to seeing you in worship and Bible Study for all the time yet to come.
Shalom in Jesus,
Pastor Peter M. Peitsch