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Giving Thanks. . .


2 Corinthians 9:11

11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

Psalm 107:8-9

8 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, 9 for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

Happy Thanksgiving! This week I especially pray for you and all people to experience on overflow of generosity- both generosity from and generosity toward.  I pray for you to have a generous portion of kindness, compassion, quality time, rest and relaxation, love, peace, and good food. Our national day of Thanksgiving is centered on giving thanks to God for all the blessings God has bestowed upon us. Just as God has acted generously towards each of us in our lives and faith, let us reflect God’s generous character to our families and neighbors.

God Bless you~ Pr. Erik

Blessed & Overjoyed

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I hope your summer is going well. It is hard to believe August is already upon us. The past two weeks went by especially quick. I was able to spend a week visiting my family in WI as well as attend a conference at Luther Seminary entitled “Rethinking Stewardship- from solemn obligation to inspired choice.” Playing card and board games into the wee hours of the morning with my family, picking cherries with Nozomi and Ronin, enjoying nature, and watching sunrises and sunsets over the harbor were the highlights of my vacation. I am also looking forward to sharing with you what I learned at the rethinking stewardship conference. I feel like the past two weeks have refreshed by soul.

I am very grateful for the past two weeks because congregational life for the foreseeable future is shaping up to be busy and eventful. Notably, a priority for us is to find a new person to direct our youth and family ministries. We surely miss Meagan, but we excitedly await the unique gifts and talents of our next colleague in Christ. We currently have several advertisements about the position, and we are hopeful to fill the position soon. If an intriguing person comes to mind, please encourage that person to check out all the details about the position from our website or give the church office a call. I am confident in God’s guidance and joyfully looking forward to where the Holy Spirit leads us next. In the meantime, I ask for your prayers, patience and continued participation in the congregation.

I also want to use this month’s newsletter to share with you my thoughts about the ELCA churches here in the Quad Cities. For many years, there has been interest and conversation about churches collaborating in shared ministry as well as even merging together. Because merging together is a very serious subject, and there are lots of emotions and details involved I want to be as open and straight forward as possible. Interest in having these conversations and working together to develop proposals has recently been renewed. To be clear, so far there haven’t been any formal conversations about merging. I invite OSLC into an intentional time of prayer and discernment about hopes, dreams and goals. I’d like to frame this discernment in terms of stewardship. A theological point to make is the church and all its resources belongs to God. God has called us and entrusted us to use, manage, and share God’s resources as efficiently as possible.  We are guided by the Holy Spirit-and God continuously invites us to participate with God in God’s mission.

Your thoughts and feedback are valuable and needed. Please share them with me. I will keep the congregation informed if any formal conversations are scheduled.

I am so blessed to be part of this loving community of faith. I am overjoyed and honored to be called to serve as your pastor, and I am excited to see what God will do next. Enjoy the rest of the summer.      Enjoy your family and friends and God’s beautiful creation.

Your fellow servant in Christ~ Pastor Erik

Tuesday Prayer Vigil

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

 I am in the heart of God, I abide in his love, I rest in his peace,

I rejoice in his power, I walk under his protection.

I am in the heart of God, Ever in his presence, Always in his heart.

His wisdom guides me, His grace goes with me, His strength supports me,

His love sustains me, God is in my heart.

I am in the heart of God, Ever in his presence, Always in his heart.

God is in the heart of loved one and stranger, Of every living creature,

Of his whole universe, God is in the heart.

I am in the heart of God, Ever in his presence, Always in his heart.

Nothing can separate us From the love of God.

His love, filling all things, Is waiting to be revealed to all who look for him.

I am in the heart of God, Ever in his presence, Always in his heart.

(Taken from Music of the Heart by David Adam)

Deuteronomy 6:4-5 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord your God is one Lord, and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.”

Matthew 22:36-37 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” And Jesus said to them, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Lord I come before you in prayer for my neighbor… my family… all those who are brokenhearted and in need of hope and peace… this church as we move forward into a new year and the newly elected leaders… those facing medical tests and surgery… peace for this country and all nations… all those who need to feel a measure of your tender care…

Speak, O Lord, as we come to you, to receive the food of your holy Word.

Take your truth, plant it deep in us; shape and fashion us in your likeness,

that the light of Christ might be seen today in our acts of love and our deeds of faith.

Speak, O Lord, and fulfill in us all your purposes for your glory.


Teach us, Lord, full of obedience, holy reverence, true humility.

Test our thoughts and our attitudes in the radiance of your purity.

Cause of faith to rise, cause our eyes to see your majestic love and authority.

Words of power that can never fail – let their truth prevail over unbelief.


Speak, O Lord, and renew our minds; help us grasp the heights of your plans for us –

truths unchanged from the dawn of time, that will echo down through eternity.

And by grace we’ll stand on your promises; and by faith we’ll walk as you walk with us.

Speak, O Lord, ‘til your church is built, and the earth is filled with your glory. Amen

                                                                   (Speak, O Lord by Keith Getty)

Rooted in Faith

Growing in Christ

Reaching to Serve