Midweek Message: “For Such a Time as This: Another Message with Multiple Foci”

Week of the First Sunday in Lent

Dear Friends in Christ:

Since there are lots of moving parts in our life together currently, this week’s Midweek Message again offers comments on more than one topic.

Midweek Lenten Series:

First off, our Midweek Lenten Program via Zoom commences this coming Wednesday, March 9 at 7:00 pm with a brief service of the word featuring readings from the daily lectionary which complement our Sunday readings. Following worship, I will offer reflections and engage in conversation with you on how my global ecumenical travels have expanded my views of both Christianity and the church.

A Zoom link for this service will be sent out via Constant Contact. If you do not currently receive our Constant Contact messages but wish to do so, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The worship bulletin is also available here:

pdfLenten Midweek Worship Bulletin for March 9, 2022

Finally, here are the other Resurrection members who will offer their reflections: Wally Jensen on March 16; Norm Olsen on March 23; Gordon Lathrop on March 30; and Mimi VanPoole on April 6. Many thanks to them for their willingness to hold forth.

Resurrection Lutheran Church and The Village School? Additional Thoughts:

This past Sunday, we had occasion to hear brief presentations from representatives of The Village School concerning the school’s educational philosophy. Over forty Resurrection members stayed after coffee hour to engage the three representatives – one of their administrators, a teacher, and a parent. This occasion not only helped us get a better sense of their holistic approach to education, but it also gave us a chance to experience school leaders directly in person as we continue to discern together the possible rental relationship between church and school.

I have been heartened in our various conversations about this possibility that you all are as concerned with the mission of the school in relation to our sense of mission as you are with the particulars of the terms of the rental contract. With that in mind, here are brief theologically oriented reflections on how the school’s educational philosophy intersects with aspects of who we are as Lutherans and with our commitments as a congregation.

On Sunday when we heard from The Village School representatives, here in a nutshell is the basic principle that guides everything they do as a school: every child has unique gifts to be nurtured and cultivated for the sake of their place, their calling, if you will, in the world. Thus, theirs is not a cookie cutter approach to education geared to performance on standardized tests. This view that emphasizes the giftedness of each child is consistent, I believe, with a Lutheran understanding of vocation where we believe that every person has a unique calling from God – not just the religious professionals, but everyone – to be used for the sake of the world in lovingly serving our neighbors.

Additionally, we heard from representatives of The Village School that their curriculum focuses on four broad areas: learning to know (acquisition of basic competence in classic curricular foci like math, reading, science, and more); learning to do (with focus on practical projects); learning to be (with emphasis on character formation); and learning to live together (employing conflict resolution skills toward cultivating tools for civil discourse in life and society). This holistic approach with focus on the whole person in communal relationships is consistent with our own congregation’s current approach to Christian education that emphasizes faith formation of the whole child of God and not just providing information about God. And it’s consistent, it seems to me, with our current focus on intergenerational approaches to faith formation which emphasize interaction within our whole community representing all ages. In fact, in The Village School, the students learn with students of other ages in group interaction.

In short, it seems that there are important points of intersection between aspects of our congregation’s sense of mission and that of The Village School. So, that while the school is not faith-based and will not engage in explicit religious instruction, there are important ways in which our approaches complement each other when it comes to our witness to the wider world in seeking to address people and communities holistically for the sake of the betterment of the world.

I invite your prayers for our Congregation Council’s discerning conversation at their March 10 meeting this week when they will make a decision about moving forward or not with a rental relationship with The Village School. The conversation this Thursday will have been informed by the two occasions the whole congregation has had to discuss this possibility. The specific focus for the decision making will be a term sheet drafted by our church rental working group which outlines the particulars of a rental agreement that, if approved, will form the basis of a lease.

Additionally, the Council’s discernment and decision making will be informed by your input as well. I have written about this possibility repeatedly in these Midweek Messages. A two-page fact sheet which contains most the information that will appear on the term sheet has been circulated via various formats. I have received emails from you and have had conversations with you that have informed the working group’s and Council’s conversations. That said, here is yet another opportunity for you to provide feedback to guide the Council’s conversation and decision this coming Thursday, March 10. Should you have any remaining concerns, observations, and more about this proposal, I urge you to send them This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by this coming Thursday mid-day so that they can be included in what goes before the Council that evening.

May God in Christ lead us in the Spirit in ways in keeping with the divine will.

Reflections on the Retreat for Council, Committee Chairs, and Staff Members

Finally, as if there wasn’t enough going on this past Sunday, newly installed members of our Congregation Council had occasion on Sunday afternoon to meet with the Chairpersons of our various committees along with our staff members to consider particular and concrete ways we will continue to live into our shared statements of vision that guide our life together. This was an important occasion for all of us together to, as it were, see the forest for the trees in our shared mission. Typical meetings are focused on the particular matters at hand. Rare is the occasion to step back to take in the bigger picture in the greater leisure of a retreat-like time together. Our afternoon meeting this past Sunday also was an important guard against the tendency of individuals and committees to operate in the silos of their particular portfolios without the benefit of seeing the extent to which our life together is interdependent and intersecting. Such occasions as our Sunday retreat allow us as the body of Christ, the church, to move together in more fluid motion such that there is indeed movement forward.

May God in Christ continue to lead us in the Spirit for the sake of the mission that God has entrusted to us,

Pastor Jonathan Linman