St. Paul's Evangelical Free Lutheran Church

21513 Leitersburg-Smithsburg Road

Hagerstown, MD 21742

301-739-5442

Evangelical - Confessional - Faithful

The Pastor's Thoughts

"For everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.  But how are they to call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him if they have never heard?  And how are they to hear without someone preaching?  And how are they to preach unless they are sent?"  Romans 10:13-15

"You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Jesus Christ and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others."  2 Timothy 2:1-2

Returning from the AFLC Conference always feels a little like Peter, James and John must  have felt coming down of the mount of Transfiguration.  (I know that's a stretch, but you get the point.) But one bit of information we gleaned there has led to much thought on my part - the shortage of pastors in our denomination.

The only good thing about it is that pastor can always get calls without too much trouble.  But we would all rather have a few too many pastors than way too few.

There is an opportunity for us at St. Paul's to help with this situation and also to tie it to our celebration of the 190th anniversary of this congregation's worship life in Leitersburg.  The church Council has agreed that for the next year we will take a special offering each month and send the proceeds of this offering to the seminary to help defer the costs for those who are studying to fill these pulpits.  My hope is that we will each decide to add another weekly offering to what we already give.  In other  words, if it is a 4 week month we will give as if it is a 5 week month.  And on those 5 week months we will give as if there were 6 weeks.

I know that for some people this will be a stretch.  It will be a stretch for Joan and me, too.  But we should remember how much the founders of this congregation stretched when they built the sanctuary we continue to worship in.  We should remember how much they stretched when they put on the steeple and added the bell.  We should remember how much they stretched when they putchased all new chancel furnishings and pews.  But most of all we should remember how much Jesus stretched out His arms on the cross and how this wonderful gift must be proclaimed in our world until He returns in His glory.  Stretching is good.

Pr. Culler