December Pastor’s Letter

The celebration of St. Olaf’s historic designation on November 13 gained St. Olaf a good deal of attention.  Channels 5 and 9 ran coverage of the event and several people from outside St. Olaf’s orbit notified me that they had seen me on TV.  Several people asked me what we hoped to get by the designation. 

It is my hope that St. Olaf’s historic designation creates a wider respect for its presence and mission in the community.  I did not see the coverage myself, but I hope it gave an impression of the sensual aspect of worship at St. Olaf.  It’s almost like you don’t know it’s happening to you.  The organ is bright and crisp. The sound is all around.  The space is large and at the same time close and intimate. The colors are earthy and warm. 

It’s a great place to immerse oneself in the fullness of time and space.  As we read scriptures, we are propelled two thousand years back in time.  The surrounding stained glass windows, paintings, and textiles reinforce the content of the scriptures.  What we read about happened in a far away time and place, but is relevant today.

Take, for example, climate change. At the recent COP27 summit in Egypt, the poor countries of the world demanded that the wealthy countries create a fund to help them offset the financial impact of climate change. Christians can easily identify this as the right thing to do by the Golden Rule of Jesus. 

It’s an exciting time to be a Lutheran Christian.  Lutherans have been made aware of what they did wrong in the past and have embraced a new, more Godly way of approaching the future.  Refering to God as the “Creator,” which Indigenous Peoples do, helps us better recognize the infinite value of all human beings. 

Going forward, we would never want to disregard the value of certain classes of human beings as we did in the past.  We should not disregard the critics of our religion, but we should not let them overwhelm us either.

The witness and proclamation of events that occurred long ago have a lasting presence in the human memory.  Just because we may have acted in opposition to the Creator does not mean we cannot radically change our ways.  Indeed, it is through the unique gift of the Creator known as Jesus that the Creator provided us with the means to repent and begin anew. On Christmas we will celebrate the incarnation of this unique gift of the Creator – given to the world as one of us. Wherever you live, take in a Christmas Eve candlelight service and let yourself be immersed in the experience of once again welcoming this gift into our world.    Peace…. Pastor Dale        


About olafpastordale

Pastor at St. Olaf Lutheran Church, North Minneapolis

Posted on December 14, 2022, in St. Olaf Blog. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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