It was a #milesandmiles weekend in NT-NL Synod, ELCA. We celebrated 75 years of Beautiful Savior-Amarillo with Pastor Leah Lawson who has been their just over one year. It was a joyful celebration on Saturday night with a catered meal attended by many including clergy and leaders from across the Panhandle Conference. Our leaders in the Panhandle recognize their need for one another and take time to be present for special events. I am grateful for their willingness to drive 2 and 3 hours for the time together.
Sunday morning we had worship. It was a joy to hear the choir sing a rendition of the classic Beautiful Savior hymn. In my sermon I reflected on the nature of time and how time is a relative thing and it can trick us. I recalled when the Amarillo High Sandies came to Austin for the 5A Boys Basketball final four and played my eldest sister’s high school Austin Johnston. In my mind it seems like yesterday being in the Erwin Center with 15,000+ as the Sandies shocked Johnston and then later Dallas Kimball to win the state crown. Like yesterday, although it is now almost 40 years ago. Time moves along and our memories can cloud that. As such we must remember that God is the God of time and that our time is not God’s. And that we trust that God is true when Jesus says we are in God’s hands.
We were joined by many from the founding of the congregation including a daughter of founding pastor Daniel Schorlemer who I got to know as a member of Trinity-Fort Worth before his death in 2018. Reflecting on his legacy and the challenge of planting a church in 1947 in Amarillo I wondered, in 2097 when they celebrate the 150th of Beautiful Savior what they will remember of us. I pray they find us faithful and committed not to sentimentalizing the past but focused on God’s future.
We also got good news from our partners in Sierra Leone. They are moving forward with the water bottling project that our synod council approved funding for. A sustainability project for the church as well as a justice ministry. They also celebrated young adult sunday at St. Mark’s today and Bishop Momoh was present.
We are a connected church across the miles. Grateful for this and for our work #InMissionTogether #NTNL