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Dear Friends in Christ,

You may have noticed that summer is a time to drift away from the church and get busy with other activities and responsibilities.  But with the advent of September, the church is once again in full swing--Bible studies, Sunday School, Youth Group activities, Confirmation, conferences, festivals--you name it!

I've got to tell you, that of all of these activities,  I probably most look forward to Confirmation (which begins on September 20th at 6:00 p.m. with a brief student/parent/pastor meeting). Besides enjoying the time I get to spend with our youth, I just love the Small Catechism.  It's one of the greatest treasures, not just of Lutheranism, but of all Christian writings over the ages.  It very simply, and beautifully, and Biblically expresses the Christian faith, focusing on the texts that are most important to us.  I never get tired of teaching it, whether to young or old.  I keep coming back to it in my sermons, in Bible Study, even in counseling situations.

Each year we do a complete review of the Catechism in Confirmation.  As past students would most likely attest, of the six chief parts, the Apostle's Creed is probably my favorite.

The first article of the Creed explains who God the Father is.  He is not just the creator of the universe, He is the one who made me, giving me body and soul and all that I need for each day.  He keeps me from all harm and danger and still cares for me each and every day of my life.

In the second article, we confess everything that Jesus did for us.  He is not just the Lord of all, He is my Lord, redeeming me, buying me back through His suffering and death that I may belong to Him and live with Him forever.

And the third article focuses on the Holy Spirit, who gives us faith and makes us holy in the one holy, Christian church, where He forgives my sins and fills me with His grace.  He will also raise me from the dead and give me eternal life.

If someone were to ask you what you believe, the best answer still comes from the Creed and the Small Catechism.  Despite all the differences we have with fellow Christians, we share this Creed in common and give thanks for this tremendous gift.

Be sure to stay engaged at St. John as we remember who we are, and Whose we are through the working of God--the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

God's richest blessings! See you in church!

Pastor M <t><

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