Over the past few months I have especially enjoyed the discussions, preparations and celebrations for fellowship and love within the body of Christ.   Our Holy Cross family did so as we celebrated Easter, followed quickly by the Swiss Steak Dinner and then the Storytelling by Jack and Louise.   We put together subs for the Kids Worship Camp fund raiser, which will be over as August begins,  and we all extended invitations to family and friends to join us in thanking God for each others' love and support at the Service and Dinner in June and the Fish Fry at the Lake in July.
     Pleasing God and introducing people to Christ are the church's main reasons for being .  We need to continue our outreach, loving others into the Kingdom of God, and encouraging all who already are part of the Family.
     As usual,  I've enjoyed the Family get-togethers celebrating our Freedoms at our Memorial Day cookout, and birthday dinners with Kathy and her folks.  Over the July 4th holiday we were with my family in Canada (and yes, there is a 4th of July in Canada -- in comes between July 3rd and 5th.!)  And we missed Canada Day (or is it Dominion Day?) on July 1st, and also the fireworks of the U.S.'s Independence because of our travels.
     What a wondrous adventure awaited us at the Creation Museum in Kentucky among the thousands who believe God's version of the Beginning.  What an encouragement and blessing that was!  It was really fun in discussion and preparation to go, and the celebration continues as we return to share our experiences.
     Not to be outdone, I was blessed to be at our Michigan District's Convention in Ann Arbor.  The Theme:  IMAGINE: Living as God's Loved and Compassionate Community.  "Synod" means "walking together".  These times are challenging domestically, but also are these opportunities enormous for us.  We take a clear stand on Confessional Lutheranism.  We take a stand on sin ... we're against it!   It often lures and tempts us, and condemns us all!! But we are called to love the sinner, have compassion,  and call each to repentance and the forgiveness which Christ offers to those who humbly confess and follow Jesus, the Way, Truth, and Life!  We walk together as God's Loved and Compassionate people!  
     As we remain faithful to God, He WILL bless us.  We MAY BE persecuted, and "retreat!" or compromise might be the direction that seems appropriate for survival,  but I beg you to remain steadfast in the faith, and to proclaim your HOPE IN CHRIST, that the victory for you and all who hear your voice and see your example will benefit the Kingdom and please God!
     You'll be hearing more about our Friends and Family Picnic in the Park with a worship opportunity over the next few weeks.  YOU ARE THEIR WITNESS TO GOD'S LOVE!  Thank you for being there (and here!)
     GLYSDI --   PB