Grace and Peace to you from God our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ!
Welcome to Tree of Life Lutheran Church, located in suburban Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. We are a congregation of over 900 baptized members, diverse in our membership and welcoming in our ministry. If you don't know us, please browse around to learn who we are and what we believe. And if you are seeking a family of faith, we hope you'll visit us in person. We are rooted in faith and growing in love. We'd love to have you as a part of our faith family!
Pastors Message for December
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Reportedly, when he was despondent, Martin Luther would touch his forehead and say to himself, "I have been baptized." It was his way of reminding himself that, while he may feel alone, he belonged, by God's grace, to Jesus Christ.
I have been baptized. I have been named, claimed, loved and called by God in Christ through my baptism. I am not alone.
You have been baptized. You have been named, claimed, loved and called by God in Christ through your baptism. You are not alone.
Joined to Christ and to each other through baptism, we have been named, claimed, loved and called by God. Theologian Anthony B. Robinson writes about this, "Go now and be who you are. Grace may be free, but it is not cheap." Even more, he suggests that healthy congregations hold in "fruitful and faithful tension the gift and the task aspects of faith and of life.
Most of my pastor friends lament this notion. In a world where we can and want to have it our way all the time, there's not much of an audience left for the task aspects of faith and of life. We tell confirmation students all the time that they need to be in class and in worship. We remind parents seeking baptism for their child that they will be making promises to bring the child to church, to learn the Apostles' Creed and the Ten Commandments. We wonder why couples who have little interest in the church still want a pastor to preside at their marriage. We are bewildered when members ask us to provide ministry for them and their families but rarely darken the doors of the church. Grace may be free, but it is not cheap.
At our Annual Meeting, we took a playfully pragmatic approach to stewardship. It's not something we've done recently and are prayerfully hopeful that it will change some patterns. We need to do better. More importantly, faithful stewardship of the gifts of time, talent and treasure entrusted to us by God, is the proper response to our baptism. It is the way we affirm the notion that "grace may be free, but it is not cheap." As the year comes to a close, we hope you'll take a moment and fill out and return the 2015 Financial plan for giving (pledge card) to the Fisher Price Mail Box in the narthex. Please take a look at the classified ads you received in the mail or at the annual meeting and consider a prayerful reply.
By the time you read this, our Thanksgiving Day tables will have been cleared, that wonderful feast will be a distant memory and the season of Advent begun. It is a time of waiting and watching. It is a hopeful time. It is a time I love because it invites me to pause, think and breath. It is a time of wonderful anticipation. I belong, by God's grace, to Jesus Christ. You too. So, go now and be who you are - named, claimed, loved and called by God in Christ through your baptism. Live and give joyfully, hopefully!
2015 Thrivent Builds Trip
Make your "someday" Today…
Would you like to make a difference for someone who has never had their own house?
Al Dailey is looking to lead another Thrivent Financial World Wide Builds Trip, this time to Nicaragua.
The dates for the trip will be May 2nd - 10th, 2015. Come join with Al & Jean Dailey as they travel to Nicaragua helping make a family’s wish come true. Click any of the photos for more infomation or, better yet, just contact Al.
If you have every said "someday", then maybe it's today...