Happy New Year!! - Welcome 2019!
As we welcome in a new year, we give thanks for the year that came before. Leo and I feel so thankful and so blessed to spend time with this group of AMAZING high school kiddos! These kids worked so hard to raise money for the Giving Tree, shop for the gifts (we purchased for 40 mittens) and then wrap all of the gifts. You should be proud of this group, we sure are!! One observation by the kids was how many of these “mittens” were asking for the basics - coats, boots, hats, gloves - things that we have at home. A big thank you to our congregation for supporting the kids and giving them this opportunity to do mission work here at home!! They could not have done it without your support!!!
May your new year be filled with blessings and laughter!!
Leo and Jackie
.From the Corner Office of the
Youth and Family Coordinator
Happy New Year!!!
I am so looking forward to what 2019 will bring! I started here at the beginning of August, not really sure what I was getting myself into, and I have to say. It was the one of best decisions I have ever made. I have been welcomed with open arms and minds by all of you here at Bethesda, and I can not say thank you enough. I want to say thank you to some people and groups. Thank you to Jackie and Leo Reiter for the time and work they have put in with the high school youth group. You are such a blessing! Thank you to the youth board for their support as we all tread through some uncharted territories, and work to keep our youth excited about their Faith Journeys! Thank you to all those who have spoken to me about the work we are doing with the kids, and for your support. (There are too many to name)! I want to thank Donna Busch for being a sound ear, and voice of reason for me. There are definitely moments her sage advice and wisdom has washed over my soul. Pastor Dave, I would like to thank you for your unwavering support and patience with me as I interrupt you 300 times a day to ask questions! I could not do this without you. Your guidance and lessons has given me a deeper understanding of how the ELCA works, its beliefs, and teaching. You have renewed my excitement in reading and understanding the Bible, and my passion for learning has been ignited once again. Lastly, I want to thank the youth. I work with the kids from kindergarten through 8th grade, and each week I learn something new. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you. I spend the most time with the 7th and 8th graders, and I have to say, your excitement, your passion, your desire to learn and your willingness to participate in life is just inspiring. So much love to you all.
Now, after I wipe away some tears, coming up this year! January 23rd-28th, I will be attending the ELCA Youth Ministry Extravaganza in Jacksonville, Florida. Largely in thanks to a private donation from a family in our church. I can’t express how grateful I am for the support. I literally cried!! I will spend 4 ½ days diving deep into topics, discussions, and events directed toward youth ministry, and I am SOOOO EXCITED!! I want to take all of the workshops, but sadly, that is not possible. I’ll be meeting youth leaders from all over our country and having those contacts, connections, and mentors to reach out to will be highly beneficial for us all!
The confirmation class will be taking a mission trip March 17-19 to Sioux Falls South Dakota. We are all very excited for this opportunity, and the kids are ready to get in and work with their hands. A huge thank you to all of those who supported us and purchased items or have donated money to the Jr. High. We raised $575 from the food fundraiser! We still have a little ways to go, but we are so close to our goal!
I’m looking forward to a new year with new ideas and fun times. Thank you all for opening your arms and welcoming me as your Youth and Family Ministry Coordinator.
God’s love to you all,
FROM THE PASTOR
Christmas is over. The New Year is upon us. Believe it or not, I’m drinking hot water with lemon juice these days. It feels good on a tired throat. Find something that comforts you. I’d like to introduce you to Grace.
It’s likely you’ve met Grace before. She appears in the most unlikely places and at the most unlikely times. I’ve seen her smile in the most unseemly situations, in oncology wards, under the roofs of hospice houses, and in the middle of N.A. meetings. Accounts are written of her uninvited presence invading homeless shelters, food pantries, and eviction proceedings. Repeatedly, she has found and still finds me when I am most unpresentable and unwelcoming. But then that is her nature. She refuses to follow convention. She insists on breaking the rules of decorum. She interferes with justice and later will not be silenced as she stands with those who suffer injustice.
The Bible has hundreds of stories about her,
Like the apostle John, I suppose that if all the tales about her were written all the books in the world could not contain them. And yet, there she is, Grace. Remarkably undeserved. Persistently present. Given for us.
Grace is as old as time. Grace flows from no place less than the heart of God. Grace is always new. In this New Year Grace will find us. May God open our eyes that we may see her.
Your brother in the journey,
Pastor Dave Alan Nerdig