Today we celebrated 100 years of St. Paul Lutheran Church of Crawford, TX. This congregation was founded as Peace Lutheran in rural Crawford, amidst the cotton fields. In 1947 they moved into the town. Literally moving the building over the course of a week. The bell ringing out to signify they had completed the task.
Pastor Tom Beers has been their leader for 21 years (1/5th of their history) and is a strong and faithful leader. During the celebration after the worship service they took time to honor him and the other pastors of their history who were present. October is pastor appreciation month so that was certainly appropriate.
I was honored to preach for this occasion. Reminding myself and the community that in 1921, in the midst of great uncertainty, on the heels of the Great War and the 1918 flu pandemic the people there felt it right to plant Lutheran congregation in Crawford.
It wasn’t that there were other congregations of many denominations there but there was a need for a Lutheran parish just as there is today. A community of Law and Gospel. That understands our humility as we approach God as parent, trusting our life and all we have is a gift from a beloved parent who loves their children and provides for them. And so in 2021 we are being asked what our witness will be. What will they say of us in 2121 when they gather for the 200th anniversary of this congregation. I pray they find us faithful to the inclusive gospel.
I was reminded that St. Paul, Crawford is the home parish of former bishop of the SW Texas Synod Henry Schulte. He was the first bishop I ever met as a young person in youth events in my home synod. I met again the godparents of his son, David Schulte (Zion, Helotes), who are members of Zion, McGregor where I will be on Nov 7th for the installation of their new pastor. We are deeply connected and I give thanks for that. #NTNL #InMissionTogether