Pastor's Monthly Message (July-August 2018)

Created: Sunday, July 1, 2018

By the time you read this letter, I may already be back on Scandinavian soil, somewhere between Norway and Sweden. This marks my second trip there after receiving another invitation from the Diocese of Karlstad and its Bishop.

Once again, I will have the opportunity to minister among churches and assist newly arrived refugees who have been given a safe haven in northern Europe. I will also help make a difference in their lives, which have been shattered by the many issues in their own countries, such as wars, political conflict, or religion.

Over the years, the Church of Sweden and the Red Cross have had an active and ongoing partnership. In terms of humanitarian relief efforts, churches nationwide have played a significant role in the well-being of countless people across nations, cultures, and religions. After all, we are ONE people, all loved by the one and same heavenly Father.

When we work and strive toward the same common goals and dreams, connections are also being made across and between churches. Bridges of mutual respect and understanding are being built, whereas before there were empty gaps. With an almighty sovereign God, don’t only expect results, expect everlasting ones!

As we consider the everlasting mercies of God, a walk in our church garden is a symbol of true beauty at its best. Another symbol of beauty is when friendships are being made. I am proud to share that our children and youth have faithfully and diligently worked on making friendship bracelets for several months to be presented to the refugee children and youth in Sweden. Last year colorful pictures were presented to about 40 children, a gift that made them most humble. Having said this, imagine their surprise with this year’s special gift – a friendship bracelet!

When God calls, we respond. Likewise, what God has already established in Christ, God fulfills.
Apart from God, our lives would be rather empty, but with, in, and through the Creator’s sovereign presence, God prepares us for the journey ahead – indeed, onward we go!

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor Anette