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Pastor Kurt’s Blog

7 Jun 2022

June Message

Dear Disciples and Friends of Living Christ,


I can’t believe it’s June already. School is out and summer vacations are upon us just as gas prices are at their highest ever and COVID cases are beginning to rise... again. Still, we get to at least think about these blessings and challenges. Certain families in Buffalo, NY and Uvalde, Texas are going to spend the summer trying to figure out how life will go on without their family members and friends.


Violence seems to be everywhere these days. There have been on average 10 mass shooting events per week this year. More than one a day. We want to do something to help, but Buffalo and Uvalde seem awfully far away.


Of course, violence happens in a variety of ways: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. While progress was being made to protect the dignity and freedoms of LGBTQIA+ folk, recently, many states including Arizona have passed laws that have begun to chip away at that progress. Fear of violence in the LGBTQIA+ community is growing again. Many don’t even feel safe leaving their own homes.


On June 18, we will have an opportunity to publicly take a stand in love and solidarity with the community against hate and violence. This is all the more important because the church has historically been and remains a major contributor towards that hate and violence. This an opportunity for us to witness to our faith that we are all one in Christ, and that oneness matters because with it comes the love and peace of God that brings an end to fear and violence.


In Christ’s love, Pr. Kurt

2 Mar 2022

March Message

Disciples and Friends of Living Christ,

Well, we are officially out of our old building and into the new. That process will be completed the morning of Ash Wednesday when I hand over 12 pounds of keys for the old building to the new owners and we get our rent deposit back.


The buyers, Southwest Health and Behavioral Services, have big plans for the property. They will convert the sanctuary into counseling offices and a small group meeting space. Downstairs will become more offices, and they hope to build 4 to 6 housing units on the undeveloped property for mothers with addiction so that their children can remain with them and not be placed in foster care. Our building and property will be a great blessing to Southwest and their clientele. We pray it all goes as planned.


We too are entering a time of change and growth. Lent, based on the Latin word for “spring,” is officially upon us this Wednesday. During Lent we are called to a time of repentance, a time to let our old sinful self die, to shake off the decay of sin, and spring into a new way of living in Christ.


One of the way that sin clings to us so obviously these days can be summed up in one word: polarization. The idea that we are polarized as a society and that it is a problem is about the only thing we agree upon these days.


What makes polarization a problem is not that we have differences. There have always been differences; God created in diversity and sustains that diversity for our good. A loss of diversity is a step backwards in our process of growth, in our relationship with God, creation, and our neighbor.


Polarization is problematic because it not only reflects an intolerance of difference, but is grounded in an arrogance of “I/We” have the right answer and “You/They” have the wrong or even evil answer. That way of seeing leaves no room for dialogue or compromise, only digging in one’s heels.


Part of Jesus’ ministry was to bring about reconciliation, to overcome polarization and its broken ways of thinking and acting... in ME. While it easy to point the finger and blame polarization on others, if we are to be faithful to our calling in the Gospel to repentance, to living life from a whole new perspective, then we need to start with making a change in our own self.


That is the theme for us this year in Lent, especially for our Lenten Wednesdays, beginning with Ash Wednesday. We will be reading and discussing the book “Last Best Hope” by George Packer about polarization in the United States. We will also look at the processes that create polarization in us (without us even knowing it) and how we can shift or “repent” and change so that we can be healers of polarization and not perpetuators of it.


I hope you will take the time to join in this Lenten/Spring growth opportunity so that together we can be better witnesses to Jesus’ death and resurrection that brings healing and wholeness to us and the world.


In Christ’s service and yours, Pr. Kurt


(You can find more info about the book under the Education tab)

2 Jan 2022

January Message

Disciples and Friends of Living Christ,

Happy New Year!

We will soon be entering the season of Epiphany, that part of the church year when we celebrate how God reveals Godself to us in Christ. And we can see God’s fingerprints all over the place.

First, we have successfully sold the property, and our prayers have been mostly answered. The building, of course, continues to throw temper tantrums as a water leak in the narthex ceiling was discovered during the walk through, which we will have to get fixed here shortly. The good news is that’s our 3rd water problem (boiler, broken water main, ceiling leak) so there shouldn’t be any more problems. (Lord in your mercy... hear our prayer.)

Second, the proceeds of the sale will be invested officially on Monday in the ELCA Foundation and will provide us with important supplementary income for years to come. (Lord in your mercy... hear our prayer.)

Third, we also have a new location for us to gather and continue our ministry at the Campus Ministry Center (CMC) at NAU. The CMC location has many benefits: dedicated office space, sufficient parking (20 spaces for us in the NAU parking lot, plus the CMC lot), a freestanding building (not a strip mall location), a worship space that can accommodate us, and a central Flagstaff location. This checks off almost all the boxes on our want list and will give us a good jumping off point into the future. (Lord in your mercy... hear our prayer.)

God has been good to us and continues to faithfully watch over us. God reveals God’s presence to us every day. As a result, we have a new prayer for on Sundays, “O God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. As we await the move to the new property, give us faith to go out with good courage, not fully knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us.”

In Christ’s service and yours, Pr. Kurt

30 Nov 2021

December Message

Disciples and Friends of Living Christ,

I am finding it hard to believe that we are coming to the end of another year and have already begun a new church year. They say that time flies when you are having fun, though I am not sure that going through a pandemic is fun. It’s been a lot of hard work, mentally and emotionally, as we have adapted and pivoted along the way. We have found ways to do worship, study, fellowship, and justice online and in-person in the midst of the pandemic, and by the end of the month, we will have sold our property and begun a new chapter as the body of Christ.

Throughout it all, we have been courageous, resilient, and resourceful. We have also been loving, compassionate, and cooperative as we have walked this path. Some familiar faces have walked away during this time of change, but new faces have also joined us because of our faithfulness to the mission we have from God. People have seen God at work among us and want to be a part of it, and for this we should rejoice and give thanks to God.

As we approach Christmas and the celebration of the birth of Jesus our Savior, let us rejoice at God coming among us and walking with us in the midst of life’s trail and tribulations, of God’s compassion and love that sustain us, and God’s vision and mission that lead us and guide us into the future. We do not know what the future will hold exactly, but we are assured that we move into it accompanied by God and one another, and together we will meet that future with faith, hope, and love. Merry Christmas!

In Christ’s service and yours, Pr. Kurt