If Not Here…Then There…

St. John’s – Northfield

This morning, the Buegler family had the opportunity to worship at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northfield.  I was “off” and as is our habit on these days, we’ll take the opportunity to worship with a different community.

We chose St. John’s in Northfield because one of the pastors there, Jonathan Davis, is a good friend and we thought it would be fun to hear him preach.

St. John’s is a great congregation, and we experienced a wonderful welcome.  People were eager to greet us, the coffee was good and the worship was meaningful.  Pastor Jonathan had a great sermon.  We were in no hurry home, so when we left Northfield we elected to take the “scenic” route and zig-zag our way back to Owatonna.  All-in-all, it was a great morning.

This summer, I suspect that many of you will be heading out of town on vacations.  It might be to visit relatives, go “up north” to a lake or a cabin, or perhaps a cross-country road trip to a national park.  We vacation in the summer because it allows us to get away for an extended period of time…to see something new…to rest and renew…

I have a word of encouragement for you:  When you travel, worship.  Find a local congregation and go to church there.  Just for an hour (plus or minus), embed yourself in a different community and worship, perhaps in a different way.  Let yourself be greeted by people who are eager to welcome you.  And wherever you go, experience the love and grace of God in a different community.

I was reminded this morning that it’s fun, it’s meaningful, and we can learn a lot.

And when you come back, let us know where you went to worship.  If you’d like, bring back a bulletin.  (The church-nerd in me would love to see it!)  And share your stories of worship in a different setting.

There is a tool that might help.  If you’re traveling somewhere and are looking for a church to visit, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has a “Find a Congregation” tool on their web site.  You can enter the zip code where you’re going, and it will give you the names, addresses and even directions to ELCA congregations near where you’re going to be.  Or, you can search by city and state.  You can find it here.  I recommend that you use it.  It’s a great resource!

Just because it’s summer…just because it’s vacation…doesn’t mean that your faith takes a break.  It doesn’t.  And God is with us 24/7/365.  So wherever you go, worship!  And then come back and let us know what you found.

God’s peace
Pastor Todd

3 thoughts on “If Not Here…Then There…

  1. I try to do the same while on vacation and always find something interesting. Two summers ago, while on the Outer Banks in NC I drove to an ELCA congregation that shared space with an Episcopal congregation. Due to inadequate signage I found myself at the Episcopal service. I stayed and Worshipped with them noting the differences and similarities. They were very welcoming to this Lutheran but I missed one thing……..they don’t sing at their early worship. Ouch!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Eric! I appreciate hearing that. It’s interesting to find the similarities, but it’s also kind of fun to experience the differences. (Even if they don’t sing!)

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