October’s Letter from the Pastor

Grace to you and peace from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

A few weekends ago I received an interesting email that got the wheels turning in my head as I sat down to write to you all. This email came from a Business Development Manager who looks at websites and emails companies that he thinks could use his services. In the email this person writes:

I was surfing through your website and realized that despite having a good design; it was not ranking on any of the search engines for most of the keywords pertaining to your domain.

I was wondering if you would be interested in getting the SEO or Web Designing done for your website.

There is a simple equation that is applicable to the online world.

Ethical SEO -> Better Traffic -> Higher Sales.

The goal of this Business Development Manager is to convince companies that if they hire him they will be able to increase their profit. For most companies this is probably a very tempting offer. But as I read his email to me, there was one problem that he seemed to over look. As a church we are not in the business of selling anything. The “product” we provide, that is the good news of Jesus Christ, is something that is free and available to all people. It is not something that we hold ownership over as a church, but instead something that was given freely by God to all people through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is the foundation of what Lutheranism is all about.

Needless to say, as a church we will not be acquiring a Business Development Manager in order to “increase our sales.” But this email that came to me got me thinking about the message of Christ from a Lutheran perspective. This is quite appropriate at this time of the year, for as I am writing to you, we as a church are preparing to welcome some familiar faces as New Members. Some of these New Members have spent there whole lives as Lutherans, while others come to us from various faith traditions. Either way, these New Members, along with all the rest of our communities of faith could use a reminder of what Lutheranism is all about. With the end of October being the celebration of what many call the birth of Lutheranism, the Reformation, this seemed like a perfect time to begin a series of articles on Lutheranism. Over the next few months we will look at what Lutheran teaching is all about, including looking at some of the major themes that are distinctive to Lutheran teaching. This look into Lutheran teaching will attempt to answer the question, “What does it mean to be Lutheran?” We will begin our look into Lutheranism next month by looking at what the Lutheran church looks like today and where it all begin. Until that time may the peace and love of God abide with you always!

In Christ,

Pastor Ryan

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