From the Pastor…
This July marked the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, and it has taken me down memory lane. Those who know me know that I have had a life-long interest in space exploration. So I have been watching all the TV specials, and reading some recently published books. Growing up I wanted to be an astronaut. Being a pastor was the furthest thing from my mind back then. I read every book that was written about space flight. The only time I ever skipped school was to watch a space launch. I even tried to send my resume to NASA (I figured that if I started my training at a young age, I would be the best qualified to go on a future Mars mission). I never heard back.
As I got older, however, I realized that I didn’t have the necessary qualifications. My eyesight wasn’t good enough, I was too tall to fit in the capsule, and I didn’t have the grades. If fact, I had never even flown in an airplane. In other words, I didn’t have the “right stuff,” as they say. As time went on I continued to follow the space program. I read more books, visited museums, built model rockets, got my pilots license, made “pilgrimages” to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the Manned Spaceflight Center in Houston, the Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, Kitty Hawk where the Wright brothers first flew, and believe it or not, spent a week at Space Camp!
One thing that I came to realize is that the astronauts themselves were just the tip of what it took to get to the moon. Over 400,000 people were involved in small and big ways to make it happen. For example, I just saw a TV segment where they interviewed 4 women who had to hand-sew the space suits that they wore on the moon.
Missing a single stitch would create a hole that would leak all of the oxygen out of the suit! Even custodians were vital, as things had to be kept super clean. If one little speck of dust got into the controls or electronics, the whole system could short out.
On Sunday mornings most people just see a few people up front in the chancel. Yet, it takes a lot of people, often working behind the scenes, to make worship go well. The sanctuary is cleaned, candles are filled with oil, bulletins are made, greeters are placed at the doors, ushers receive the offering, music is prepared and played or sung up in the balcony. Back in the sacristy, communion ware is prepared and washed, and participants are “suited up,” all in preparation for that one hour. In reality much of the week before is spent in little and big ways preparing for such things as Sunday School, dinners, rummage sales, etc. During the week, the grass must be mowed, the building maintained as things age and break. In other words, it takes all of us working together to carry our ministry and mission into the future. Like the space program there is a cost, both in money and time. But we are the body of Christ. In our baptism we have been given different gifts, and recourses, all of which are important and necessary. As we spend this month preparing for our fall ministries, pray and think about where you fit in, what gifts God has given you. There is a feeling of gratitude and satisfaction that comes to you in some small or big way knowing that you contributed to God’s work here on earth. 1969 also marks the 50th anniversary of our building. Think about what it took to build it. May God continue to bless us as we move forward into the future.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Gary Nelson