“I will follow you wherever you go.” -Luke 9: 57

The text for this week is the story of Jesus passing through a village of Samaritans when they won’t prepare a place for him and moving ahead where then he will encounter others who want to follow him but want to do what they need to do first. Jesus instructs them to not look back.
I find it ironic that Jesus is looking back each time as he instructs people not to look back.  In a world where we find ourselves rejected, as Jesus was, what keeps us on a forward path?  How do we overcome what was, so that we might live into what is meant to be?
 
No matter what it is that we have faced in the past, Jesus calls us to look ahead, to look towards Him and what His message for the world is.  It seems cruel to not to let people take care of the matters that are close to them before they are to move on in their faith and call to serve Jesus.  But living in what was, might just keep us from the hope that Jesus knows lies ahead.  Where do you find yourself stumbling through the past, holding you up from experiencing God in your midst today?

-Pastor Carrie

Pastor Travis Norton

 “Therefore, I tell you, her sins which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. but the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” Luke 7:47 

She showed her love for Jesus by kissing his feet and anointing them with expensive oil. Her love embarrassed the pharisees and others at the house. But it didn’t embarrass Jesus. Jesus thought it was the Pharisees who ought to have been embarrassed for their lack of love. I wonder if we fully understand how much Jesus has done for us. If we did, would our behavior be more like the woman’s?

-Pastor Travis Norton

Looking for last weeks worship? You can find it here!

 “Therefore, I tell you, her sins which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. but the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” Luke 7:47 

She showed her love for Jesus by kissing his feet and anointing them with expensive oil. Her love embarrassed the pharisees and others at the house. But it didn’t embarrass Jesus. Jesus thought it was the Pharisees who ought to have been embarrassed for their lack of love. I wonder if we fully understand how much Jesus has done for us. If we did, would our behavior be more like the woman’s?

-Pastor Travis Norton

Looking for last weeks worship? You can find it here!

A Letter from Sarah

Hi there, First Lutheran! My name is Sarah Groh (Correa). This fall, I will be joining you as the new Associate of Music and Handbell Director. I began my service to the Church when I was very young by accompanying my mother, an organist, into the choir loft each Sunday. I see service to the church and its people as a way to use my gifts and follow God’s will.

I have a Bachelor of Music from the University of Kansas, a Master of Music from Arizona State University, and a Master in Lay Leadership from Fuller Seminary. I also have a twenty-five-year career in music ministry. My gifts include directing choirs, supporting lay volunteers, writing programs, building collaborations, organizing, training, and singing. In addition to ministry, I teach voice lessons in my studio, Groh Music, and lead the Sarah Groh Jazz Quartet. 

I am very excited to join the First Lutheran community and partner with the leadership and members to continue the ministry and legacy of the handbell program. My vision for the bell choirs is to spend the year Connecting, Building, Elevating, and Retreating. Let’s celebrate the amazing legacy of the handbell program, by signing up new and returning members, elevating skills and ringing into the community of Colorado Springs and beyond! 

 For me, ministry is about the whole person, including our gifts, stories, understanding of God, faith, and who we are becoming. The handbell program is more than a ministry, it is community and formation. With your help, I plan to strengthen and develop that, especially with the middle and high school players. 

For five years, I have taught a life & study skills class at Pikes Peak State College. I teach advanced tap dancing, cheer for the Kansas Jayhawks during basketball season, and enjoy visiting my family’s farm in northeast Kansas. Stop by to schedule a cup of coffee and chat any time. Also, consider signing up to play a handbell this fall. We welcome all who want to participate. 

  

A Letter from Macy

Hello First Lutheran Church! My name is Macy Kennedy, and I am very excited to intern with your congregation starting this fall. I am a Word and Service candidate from the Florida-Bahamas Synod, and I just graduated from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. This internship is my final step in the candidacy process. I was endorsed in the fall of 2021 and will be up for approval in the summer of 2023. I will also be spending time interning at Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp. My hope for the future is to be an ordained ELCA Deacon serving as a Program Director at a Lutheran camp; however, I am open to wherever the Spirit leads me. I am looking forward to bridging the “camp world” and “church world” together and witnessing how the Spirit moves through diverse avenues of ministry.

I love spending my time outdoors. My undergraduate degree is in Environmental Studies, so I am eager to learn about and explore Colorado’s natural environment. I am very close with my family so I know being physically far from them will be a challenge for me. The snow will also be a challenge as I am used to the year-round Florida heat! I would define myself as an extrovert with a joyful demeanor and optimistic outlook on life. I enjoy challenging myself and trying new things. After I graduated from undergrad, I volunteered with Young Adults in Global Mission where I served at a school in Geelong, Australia. This program taught me the beauty of accompaniment and hospitality as I witnessed the peace and welcome of God through cups of coffee, camping trips, and long beach walks with people in my Australian community. I am excited to continue noticing the revealing of Christ through community with my internship at First Lutheran and Rainbow Trail. I look forward to meeting the community at First Lutheran and walking alongside its members as I continue to be shaped as a leader for my call to ministry.

 “So therefore, none of you can become my disciples if you do not give up all your possessions” Luke 14:33 

Go ahead and read that verse again. Think about it. Jesus said it. Are you ready to be a disciple? Did he mean it literally? It certainly seems that way. Remember the story of the Rich young ruler who couldn’t part with his possessions and so turned away from becoming a disciple of Jesus? But what does it mean for us? Does Jesus want us to become poor? Does Jesus want us to sell everything and live on the streets? I don’t think so. Peter had a house and probably a boat too, that he returned to after three years on the road with Jesus. I think it’s probably as much about our attachment to our wealth and all things material that Jesus wants to loosen. The more attached we are to the stuff we’ve acquired the less nimble and agile we become to follow the call of Jesus. I think that’s true for individuals as well as the whole church. We may be asked to give something valuable away and we should be ready to do so. We’ll talk more about this on Sunday. 

-Pastor Travis Norton

Looking for last weeks worship? You can find it here!

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” -Hebrews 13: 8

When I opened the bible to read this text it begins with the title “Concluding Exhortations”.  It made me laugh a little, like Paul is really going to bring it home in this final portion, more than he had in the earlier in this sermon to the Hebrews.  Paul is nothing if not clear about how it is that we are to live among God’s faithful people, what our response to God’s faithfulness should be, and that we should offer praise to God in the community of faith that gathers.  So I wonder, where do you find yourself living into this sermon and where can we strive to do better?  Verse 8 tells us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”, what does that mean to you, knowing that you have a Savior who is unwavering in love and grace for you, and in turn how does that manifest itself in your relationships today (with God, self and others)?

-Pastor Carrie

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe; for indeed our God is a consuming fire.” -Hebrews 12:28-29 

A kingdom that cannot be shaken, doesn’t that sound like good news? I’m tired of all the shaking going on in our world right now. It seems just when I think things have settled down another event troubles the water and we have to wait through the shaking until things achieve some semblance of calm again. I’m not just talking about world events-covid, war, politics, new diseases, inflation etc. But also those things in our personal lives that throw us off balance. I am glad for this promise that we are receiving a kingdom that doesn’t shake, that doesn’t get off kilter, that is stable and strong and enduring. That sounds like good news that we need right now. We’ll talk more about it this Sunday. 

-Pastor Travis Norton

Looking for last weeks worship? You can find it here!

“…who for the sake of the joy that was set before him, endured the cross…” Hebrews 12:2 

As we continue this look at the famous “Faith” chapter in Hebrews 11 one has to wonder why anyone would be a person of faith. The people lifted up faced great opposition and hardship. Yet they endured and were obedient to God’s call even when they didn’t get to reap the reward of their faith. They followed the example of Jesus, who endured the cross for the sake of the joy set before him. This Sunday we’ll talk about the perspective needed to be a person of faith. Perspective changes everything. 

-Pastor Travis Norton

Looking for last weeks worship? You can find it here!

Hebrews 11:1-10

What is it that makes life worth living?  Is it the big things that we see or is it the ongoing day to day activities that go by unnoticed?  Hebrews asks the question of faith; a faith that carries through all generations.  Hebrews invited us to examine a faith that we cannot see yet gives us a firm foundation in all that we do.  As we begin this sermon series it’s a chance to explore where our faith holds us up and carries us in ways unseen yet surely held in God’s promises and faithfulness.

-Pastor Carrie

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