As families we are heirs of the lives of those who have gone before us. This is true for our individual families, as well as our families of faith. It has certainly been true lately at Shepherd.

A few weeks ago Brian, our Elementary Age Ministry Coordinator was able to more fully live into the person that God has made him

to be. I am grateful that Brian was comfortable taking this risk with us as a family. (Please be sure to read his excellent article in this newsletter.) Throughout the process he has demonstrated maturity and faith. I am grateful to the church council for their leadership. I am grateful to the parents of those elementary age students for their love and support of Brian. In Brian’s story, Shepherd as a family has taken full possession of the gift of those who lead Shepherd to this place of acceptance and grace. We are thankful for the pastors, and leadership of those who wrote our broad and inclusive welcome statement. What was once hoped for in that statement has once again become reality. We are heirs of those who have gone before us.

This past weekend as a family we came together and gave thanks for a lifetime of ministry. We gave thanks for Pastor Hub and his fifty-five years of ordained ministry. It is amazing to imagine the number of lives he has touched, cared for, loved and supported. Fifty-five years of baptisms, weddings, funerals, marriage counseling sessions, church council meetings, and countless hours of worship and worship planning. With all our hearts we can say, “Well done good and faithful servant!” Personally, I am especially grateful for the welcome that Pastor Hub gave to me on my arrival at Shepherd. I am grateful for his friendship. I am grateful for the love, faith, humor and wisdom he poured into the people at Shepherd. Our family has known and felt God’s love through his preaching, care and leadership. We are heirs of his leadership and ministry.

Today, as I write this newsletter article, I am up at our Voyager Bay property in Outing, Minnesota. It is beautiful: perfect cool bright sunshine, singing birds, clear blue water, and pine fresh scented air. Our family, along with Boy Scout Troop 123 are heirs of those who once dreamed of such a place. My email containing this newsletter article will be sent from Groth Lodge, named in honor of long-time Shepherd family member Norm and Helen Groth. We are heirs of those who have gone before us, and dreamt of what could be.

Now it is your turn. As current members and leaders of our family, we will be writing the next chapter of promises and hopes for our future. When you are asked to participate in an Engagement Appeal gathering, please say, “Yes!” with all your heart. Your vision, inspiration and wisdom is needed so that all those children that come forward for kids time can some day in the future declare… “Well done good and faithful servant” because you took the time to help nurture and lead our family forward in faith.

As the sun sets here at camp, I am grateful for the promise of God, that all of us are heirs of the treasure of Jesus’s love and resurrection. I know that the love I have is the love that God has poured into those who poured it into me. Thanks be to God for all that has been, all that is and all that will be. We are heirs of all those who have gone before.

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