Pastor's Ponderings

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Pastor's Pondering February 28,2018

All who call out to the Lord will be saved. How can people have faith in the Lord and ask him to save them, if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear, unless someone tells them?  (Romans 10:13-14)

 For most of us, hearing the spoken word is an essential part the worship experience. We listen to the Bible being read aloud, we listen to prayers being offered, we listen to the children’s time and the announcements that are given. And we listen to the proclamation of the Word. If we cannot hear the words and take in what is said, we miss out on something important.

 Where you sit in the sanctuary makes a huge difference in what you hear (or don’t hear.) There are certain places where there is good, clear sound and other places where the sound is muddy and garbled. Other places there is an echo and still other spots where certain sounds drop off and can’t be heard at all. Part of it is the shape and size of the room. Mostly it’s because of the current sound system has become dated and is no longer well suited to the current space.

 The Technology Team has reached out to three audio design companies to do an evaluation and proposal for a new sound system. We want even distribution of sound to every spot in the sanctuary. We want a warm, rich sound that is like the sound of a person speaking in a normal conversational voice rather than sounding amplified or distorted. We want a system that will require a minimum amount of supervision and the system needs to blend in aesthetically with our current sanctuary.

 It was decided to go with Arbruster A/V of Towson, Maryland a company very familiar with church sound systems. Members of the Technology team were able to hear the equipment set up in the sanctuary and hear it compared with our current system. Even non-technical people will find that the new system will provide a clear, intelligible sound for voices in the higher as well as the lower registers. The Trustees have provided funds from the Calvary Trust for this upgrade and the work is expected to be completed by Easter. I think when it's installed we will all find it to be a great improvement in our worship life.

 See you in church,

Pastor Steve

Pastor's Pondering Feb. 20 2018

Pastor Pondering 

 Yet another mass shooting incident brings lots of emotions out in the open. There is the shock and then the sorrow and heartache. There is the desire to protect ourselves and our loved ones. And then we try to make sense of what happen and line up of arguments about what should be done or not done. We’ve been down this path all too many times before. The script seems to be played out over and over without any changes to the outcome.

 During the season of Lent, we are reminded of the way of the cross. The Gospels make it clear that there is rejection, suffering and death that lies ahead for the one we call the savior of the world. It isn’t a pretty picture. And lest we pass too quickly over the details, the Gospel writers insist that this story is our story also. Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to come after me, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”  (Luke 9:23). This means that if we wish to follow Jesus, we must recognize and enter into the disappointment, the sorrow, and the brokenness of the world rather than trying to skip over such things or put the blame on others.

 As for how we can make the world better, or at least safer in some way, I don’t know a perfect solution. I do know that everyone has to put down their own need to be right in order to listen to each other. No more attacking people who think differently. We need to find ways to be in relationship with one another and be willing to make some changes that would be in the best interests of everyone, including those who are most vulnerable, even if it might mean giving up something we hold dear. We are to love even those who are most different from us. The test of our faith isn’t in what we say and do when everything is going along just fine. The real test is what we do when we are challenged and the way is not easy. When we are in those moments, we can remember the one who promised to always be with us to the end of the age.

 See you in church,

 Pastor Steve

Posted by Rev. Dr. Steve Larsen with

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