Thoughts from Pastor Linda
We have gathered for our fourth Annual meeting since I have arrived at Cross of Christ. As we have entered our fourth year of ministry together exploring the promise of God for all. Three years together may not seem like a milestone, however knowing Jesus’ ministry on earth lasted only three years we can pause and celebrate. I pray that my ministry with you has been one of stability and commitment to Christ’s love.
We are living out our discipleship through worship, formation, community and generosity for mission. For me that means continuing to advise, empower, guide and give counsel to Cross of Christ’s ministries.
I give thanks for each of you and your God-given faith. It is a daily privilege to serve as your pastor.
I give thanks for our congregational staff; it is a joy to serve with these amazing, steadfast and gifted people. In the coming year we will be seeing with sadness, yet deep thankfulness the departure of two dedicated staff members; Diane Larson, our Sunday School Director has submitted her resignation and will be seeing us through the end of the 2020 school year. And, our Office Administrator, Karen Todd, has announced her retirement for June, 2020. I am full of gratitude for their years of service and commitment in loving this congregation and the people within.
I give thanks for the leaders that I have served with this year on the Executive Committee, Congregation Council, Worship and Music Cabinet, W/ELCA, Property Cross of Christ Building Cabinet, Property Cross of Christ Grounds Cabinet, Stone Church Property, Stewardship and Mission Cabinet, Evangelism Cabinet, Finance Cabinet, Personnel Cabinet, Youth & Family Ministries, Christian Education Ministries, Justice and Global Missions, Prayer Group, Care Team Ministries, Meet Up & Eat Up Ministry, Women’s Wellspring Group, The Stone Church servants and Cemetery Boards.
I give thanks for the opportunity to serve the synod on the Mission Table and as a churchwide voting member to the 2019 Churchwide Assembly in Milwaukee, WI. It is also a great joy to be part of the Houston Area Ministerium, the Moses Project cohort of rural pastors and at Root River conference pastor’s monthly gathering.
One of our core mission areas is lifelong faith formation. It is our privilege to grow in faith throughout life. It has been a wonderful year for Vacation Bible School, Children’s Christmas Program, Sunday school, confirmation, Club 56 and new this year, G-XP (God Experience). The continued development of Wednesday night at church has been a blessing.
Even though we had to cancel worship a couple times during 2019 winter, our gatherings in worship that have included; Baptism Remembrance, Council Installation, Lenten Holden Evening Prayer, Rural Life Sunday, Holy Week, First Communion faith stepping stone, Easter Sunrise and Easter worship, Affirmation of Baptism Sunday, Sunday School year-end and teacher appreciation, Graduating Seniors, Bike and Motorcycle Blessing, summer worship at the Stone Church, summer Worship in the Garden, God’s Work Our Hands Rally Sunday, Backpack Blessing, Teacher Installation, Cradle Roll and Bible Presentation, Global Mission Sunday, Campus Ministry Sunday, Blessing of the Animals, All Saints Remembrance, Thanksgiving Eve, Blue Christmas, Children’s Christmas Program, Family Friendly Christmas Eve, Candlelight Christmas Eve and “Come As You Are” Christmas morning, and more.
I give thanks for new beginnings for adult Bible study here at Cross of Christ. The monthly Bible Briefing and Valley View Nursing Home Bible study, along with the bi-weekly Women Wellspring prayer study group have been a blessing for me. Engaging scripture and the deep listening together for how the text connects to our daily lives is one of the greatest ways to grow in faith.
We are Easter people, celebrating each day that God raises us from death to new life. Easter people are hopeful people who know and trust that God is always at work, making all things new. I see the signs of hope within our life together. We can claim that God has brought healing and that it is a new day for us as Cross of Christ Lutheran Church.
Easter people live in the present, aware of God at work right now. We know the struggles of the past and we can carry many questions about the future. Today we are here, together as the body of Christ. It is God’s call for us to be church, right now, in this hopeful moment in history. It is a great time to be the church together, filled with “the hope to which we have been called.”
In Christ’s Love,
Pastor Linda McPeak