Grace to you and peace in the name of the Father, +Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord.

Psalm 31:24

2020 remains a challenging year for all of God’s creation. The psalmist’s words offer hope and encouragement as we face these challenges. We take courage in knowing that God is with us as we each seek to navigate the uncharted waters of a twenty-first century pandemic. The Word of God reminds us of God’s abiding presence which offers comfort and peace. Christ is alive bringing refreshment and renewal to our lives, relationships, and our work. The Holy Spirit continues to move in and through us to create, inspire, and sustain faith. Indeed, we take courage and draw strength from these eternal truths. God is with us. God’s grace and mercy abide. God is steadfast and abounding in love for all creation. May the Holy and Blessed Trinity continue to bless and keep you in faith, hope and love.

Here at Christ Lutheran we continue to place our trust and hope in the promises of almighty God. September historically marks the beginning of a new programmatic year in congregational life. Students are returning to schools, colleges and universities, and seminaries. Likewise, after a summer break, Sunday morning Christian Education reconvenes with Rally Day. This year Rally Day is Sunday, September 20 th and will be observed following our outdoor worship service at the Gettysburg Recreation Park Amphitheater. Worship will be a jazz liturgy focusing on the theme of Peace and will feature the Buzz Jones Quintet at 10:30 a.m. BYOFDALC! Bring your own food/drink and lawn chair for a socially distanced Rally Day to follow worship. After worship enjoy your food and fellowship with others. There will be games for children and youth. This is an opportunity to reconnect with your congregational siblings in Christ in an outdoor, socially distanced environment. Hope to see you there!

Also, in September a new confirmation class is forming for youth in grades 6, 7, and 8. Youth Group activities reconvene led by Pastor Eckman and Vicar Jackson. Christ Lutheran Preschool is launching an on-line educational opportunity for preschool children ages 3-5. Visit our webpage to learn more about this free opportunity. Throughout September we will worship in-person and on-line. All in-person worship services will be held outdoors. This year’s ELCA God’s Work, Our Hands Sunday will provide online and socially distanced service opportunities. Local food ministries including Ruth’s Harvest and Franklin Friends will need volunteers to pack food. If you are able and comfortable volunteering, we invite your assistance. Your input and ideas are welcomed and encouraged as we seek to maintain and grow our ministries and fulfill our mission. Visit our redeveloped webpage to learn more and get involved.

God is with you! Be well and God’s blessings for good health! Be strong and have courage!

Your servant in Christ, Pastor Stephen Herr