Category: Uncategorized

From the Pastor . . .May 2024

pastor & staff – Reverend Dr Terrill Sorenson

From the Pastor . . . .

And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring
it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
– Philippians 1:6

As you have no doubt heard, Pastor Sara and I are going to retire here at the beginning of June. We will be, if we ever get done packing and sorting, moving to Viborg, SD where we are refurbishing a house we moved into town.
First of all thank you. Thank you for the last 21 years and for all the blessings I have received from being your pastor. I should say individual thanks but I know I’d leave someone out. But thank you for all the help you have given in making our parish into a place to hear God’s Word and serve his mission. (I started describing it all but stopped. There is no way I could adequately name everything and everyone, know that all you have done is appreciated.) Thank you also for the kindness you have shown to me and our family. No pastor has been better treated,
Then a reminder: Please don’t forget that you are a strong parish with a wonderful Sunday School and an unusually strong youth program. You are blessed with great music, office staff, and great leadership in each of the congregations and as a parish. You have made brave and bold decisions, as when you left one national church body for another for the sake of God’s Word. You have a great deal going for you and that isn’t because of me. It’s because of you. Keep it going.
Then, most of all, remember this: What makes this parish the blessing it isn’t what you or I or any of us have done. It is the Word of the living God, the Gospel of Jesus Christ who died for us and rose again. We are because he is. Always remember that and know that he will keep you through all the changes ahead.
Finally, I will miss you, even as I miss so many people I grew to know and love here who have passed from this life. Sara and I always said we should have taken pictures of the congregation at the first worship services to remind us of how many we have commended to God’s care. But the thing for all of us to remember is that our Lord Jesus has prepared for us a new day, and we all meet again. Until then,

Thanks for everything and God bless!
See you later!

Pastor Terrill

Annual Meeting Time

Why Should I go to the Church’s Annual Meeting?

It’s easy enough to talk about why you might not want to go to the annual meeting. We get to sit through a lot of meetings in this life and it isn’t always all that much fun, why add another when you really don’t have to? Then probably the biggest reason is that you just might wind up with a job if you are on hand at the meeting.

So why should you go? Well here are a couple of reasons:

  1. It is your church and maybe God will surprise you by what he shows you.
  2. When you get involved it will make it easier for others to join in, and well you just might find out it is more fun than you thought.
  3. God might have something for you to do, it’s happened before: Abraham, Moses, Peter, Paul, etc.
  4. You’ll get a sense of what all it takes to make the church keep going and you may get a better appreciation for all the wonderful people who do so much.

There are many other reasons besides these so come and see what’s going on. It won’t hurt a bit. You might even have some fun.

If you have a report for the Annual Report please get it into the church office as early as possible in January so we can get the whole report assembled. Thanks for your help with this.

JAWS Bytes: January 2024

December 6 our youth group JAWS held their annual Christmas gathering. We started off caroling at Wheatcrest and Spruce Court and had a great time bringing a little Christmas cheer to the residents. Then we returned to the church where we enjoyed a yummy lasagna supper provided by Pastor Sara. Thanks to her for doing this for us year after year.

We spent some time hearing the good news of Christ’s birth and ended the evening playing the goofy Christmas gift exchange game.

Coming up for JAWS in January:

January 10, 6:30pm at First Regular JAWS Meeting
January 28, 10:00am JAWS serve brunch for Annual Meeting at First

We thank God for all his blessings this last year and ask his hand to guide us in this new year.

Women of First: Update

Thank you to everyone who supported the Women of First Thankful Thursday Take-out Lunch!

We could not have asked for better weather, and the crowd was awesome! We sold out of almost everything, with just a few chicken salad sandwiches left. Thank you also to the women who spent hours planning and preparing and to those who worked the day of the lunch. Thank you also to Gail for taking our phone orders. I would also like to thank the women who donated food and money to make this year’s event a success.

As I write this, we have not had our lefse sale and raffle yet, but I would like to say thank you to the women who worked during our two lefse work days. It is getting harder to find people who are familiar with making lefse, and this year we had two new people step up and help even though they had no experience. So, when next year rolls around, if you are interested in learning more about lefse, feel free to join us!

More thanks to everyone who donated items for our raffle. We have some great items on our raffle this year. Next month I will report on who the lucky winners were with a list of the donors. We finished up the month by decorating the fellowship hall. The Christmas tree is lit, and the wreaths are hung. Thank you to Anita, Steve, and Brian for donating your time.

As always, if you are interested in serving a more active role in the Women of First, please give me a call.

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2024!

Kim Peters
Women of First Coordinator

JAWS Bytes

Our high school youth group JAWS has been busy again. We met on November 1 and went out to wash windshields for folks at work at the hospital and Wheatcrest and various other places. We had a delicious supper courtesy of some of the parents, heard a word from our Lord and had a lot of fun. Then, thanks to the hard work and planning of our leader Kari Feldhaus, we had a Fill The Bowl event. The JAWS members put on a delicious Soup Supper with salads, bread, and all kinds of desserts. Each person attending got a beautiful bowl to take home with them. It was a lovely evening with 70 some people in attendance. With the help of a Thrivent Action Grant more than $1000 was raised for the Marshall County Food Pantry.

Our thanks to everyone who bought a ticket and all the people who furnished food!

Our next meeting will be our Christmas party and caroling on Dec. 6. We’ll meet at First Lutheran at 6:30pm and go do some caroling at Spruce Court and Wheatcrest. Then we’ll return to First and enjoy Pastor Sara’s famous Christmas lasagna. We’ll have fun and games including our annual strange gift exchange. Bring a $1 to $2 goofy gift, wrapped. Come and join the fun.

JAWS Christmas Party
Wed. Dec. 6, 6:30pm
At First Lutheran

From the Pastor…December 2023

And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they wondered at his delay in the temple. — Luke 1:21

Christmas is waiting in my office as I write this to you. That’s right. The decorations and Christmas trees that will adorn the sanctuary at First are setting in my office waiting to be put up. I suspect that many of you have a little or a lot of Christmas waiting somewhere in your home, maybe somewhere in your life.

You know how it is when you’re waiting for grown children and grandchildren to come home for Christmas and all its gatherings. It doesn’t really feel like Christmas until they arrive. We also have Christmas traditions waiting that seem to be the essence of Christmas. For some of us it isn’t Christmas until we sing Silent Night in the glow of candlelight on Christmas Eve. Or it might not be Christmas for you until you smell Turkey roasting, or the Lutefisk.

Christmas is waiting, or maybe better put, we are waiting for Christmas. Sometimes we do that with gladness expectation and high hopes. But sometimes the waiting is not so glad. Sometimes it feels like we are waiting for a Christmas that is never going to arrive. Life delivers us hard blows, dear loved ones pass from this earth, and the years can feel like they have carried everything away. So sometimes we wait without hope, like the old priest Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth. They had longed to have a family, but no children came and now they were too old. They believed there was nothing to wait for, no hope.

Then there are times when we wait with fear, afraid of what the coming days will bring. What will the results of the medical test say? Will I fit in at this new job or this new community? Will Christmas ever feel the same after a change in relationships, or residence, or now that the kids are grown? Imagine young Mary and Joseph on their way to pay taxes in Bethlehem, waiting for a child in a situation that neither of them could fully understand. What if all this was not a visit from an angel at all? They certainly had reason to wait in fear.

As the verse above says the people outside the Holy place in the Temple were waiting for Zechariah to come our after the sacrifice. They were waiting and wondering what took him so long. That long ago day all those people went home not knowing that the angel Gabriel had come to the Temple, not knowing what was about to take place. But you know. You know that the Lord God of heaven and earth had come to earth to be one of us, to be with us and for us. You know that Christmas is not waiting, that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, died for us, and rose again. The light of the world has appeared. No matter what darkness surrounds you, in him you have hope. No matter what trouble threatens, you don’t have to be afraid, you have been given a Savior. So come, let us adore him: Christ the Lord.

A blessed and merry Christmas to all of you,

Pastor Terrill