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Post by Helen P.

One of the activities shared from the Youth Pilgrimage in Guatemala were re-enactments of Bible Stories and the very special way the Guatemalan Youth ended their drama of The Prodigal Son, with the older and younger brother reconciling. Not a part of the original parable, but the building or maybe re-building of a relationship seems like an important ending to the story. As Pastor Stephen says, this is one of God’s house rules: in this house we forgive, in this house relationships matter―we love each other no matter what; and in this house we claim one another’s identity as children of God. That got me thinking about some of our other Favorite Bible Stories we’ve talked about in the past month. It may not have been part of the story, but what if the Jew and the Samaritan built a relationship of gratitude and reconciliation between their two families that spread to their neighbors and towns? Where might that have led? Or the Israelites and the Philistines; what if they had thrown down their weapons and feasted together, building relationships that turned these enemies into friends? What about us? When we disagree with someone, do we take the time to get to know that person and try to understand their position? Are we able to build relationships between others as well as ourselves? To help us answer these questions, a group will be discussing the “Church in Society” Social Statement of the the ELCA beginning Wednesday, August 9, for 4 weeks, from 7 to 8 pm. Please come and be a part of the discussion!

One powerful moment in each of our worship services was Pastor Stephen relating in his sermon how LCR Youth Colleen Welker and Connor Weeks were both impressed by the singing of the Guatemalan Youth, singing whenever they gathered, and with the passion and volume of their singing, drawing others in to Jesus’ presence. People besides me must have felt the power of that moment also, because it seemed that the singing in our Sanctuary went up a notch; really proclaiming God’s glory. Alleluia!

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