Read the latest articles from Pastor Doug, as well as posts from other members of Divinity.

In the movie “St. Vincent” starring Bill Murray, a young boy whose parents have just divorced finds a mentor in his neighbor who is a cantankerous and loved war veteran. The movie ends with the boy honoring the man by choosing to research him for a class project on saints. “St. Vincent” highlights the concept that Lutherans consider all Christians simultaneously saint and sinner. Just as the young boy surprised the audience by naming Vincent a saint, God continually surprises us by calling each of us a saint through our baptism.

All Saints Sunday celebrates the baptized people of God, living and dead, who are the body of Christ. As November heralds the dying of the landscape, so do we remember all who have died in Christ since last All Saints Sunday.

Our annual fall stewardship emphasis will be entitled, “Live Courageously.” There will be the much anticipated Divinity made videos to illustrate each Sunday’s theme. I’m sure we’ll be getting our annual update on the Worgull family and see what our seminarian, Mark Knauss is up to.

The schedule and themes are as follows…

  • Oct. 7 – “Reflecting Generosity” – 1 Timothy 6:17-19
  • Oct. 14 – “Courageous Conversations” – Mark 10:17-24
  • Oct. 21 – “Wait for the Lord” – Psalm 31:21-24
  • Oct. 28 – Commitment Sunday – Pastor Connie Sassanella preaching

I share with you my annual book reviews on the five books I read as a part of our summer Divinity reading club.

“A Table in the Presence” by Lt. Carey Cash, a chaplain serving with the U.S. Marines. Lt. Cash was part of the Marine battalion that was first into Iraq and first to reach Baghdad in 2003. A quote – “After all the training, all the physical conditioning hikes, all the strategy sessions, all the intelligence briefs, all the live-fire rifle ranges, it had come to this – a decisive moment and a sincere prayer. We stood together in a circle, asking God for help, for strength, and for courage. As we bowed together on that afternoon, the ancient words of a familiar psalm came flooding into my mind… Even though I walk through the valley…”

The Magic Kingdom the Tuesday after Easter with a 2 and 4 year old…the last time we were at Magic Kingdom was in 1991 when Rachel was 5, Nathan was 2, and we were still arguing about whether or not to have a third child. We took along our 17 year old foster daughter Amy, and my parents. We drove from Nebraska to here where my Dad had rented a small R.V. which enabled the kids to play games at the table in the back while dad and I traded off driving. With the bathroom on board, no need to stop except for gas.

Here we are 27 years later at the same Magic Kingdom and we’re the grandparents with 4 and 2 year old grandsons. The monorail was the same but no need to pick up a map at the entrance because the maps and everything else you could ever need in the Magic Kingdom is on your cell phone.

During the 11:00 service on May 6, our nine 8th grade confirmands will affirm their baptisms in the rite of confirmation. Karen Hearld, Traci Schon, and myself have enjoyed teaching and serving with Samantha Chilia, Aidan Florio, Jennifer Marvin, Brendan McDonnell, Annabelle Oas, Angel Perez, Samantha Roff, James Scanlon, and Isabella Suchan over the past two years.

I share with you two short excerpts from Isabella’s and Jennifer’s faith statements…