Sunday Nov 17th found me on Hwy 84 in cotton country on the Llano Estacado visiting Immanuel, Posey and Grace, Slaton. These congregations share history going back 100 years and even more recently as a shared parish with St. John, Wilson. This partnership ended on the early 2010s and now they are each seeking their own way forward with SAWL Alan Ehlo serving Immanuel and the Rev. Mike Holmes serving Grace along with a local baptist pastor providing support. The reality of our communities in small towns is being open to ministry leadership and possibility.
I enjoyed my time with these faithful communities. They are living stones of witness to the Lutheran theological witness in a part of Texas dominated by other protestant traditions. We had good and frank conversation, based in the Law and Gospel theological framework of our Lutheran tradition. The reality of shrinking populations and proximity to the large city of Lubbock (for those not aware over 250,000) means that much of the energy in these communities goes out. Yet they remain as witness and faithful.
The cotton is good this year. Several had to leave early to get back to stripping the cotton to get to the Posey Gin. If you wear a cotton shirt made in the USA it is highly likely it might have originated in this community.
I missed the installation of Pastor Ben Duholm at Christ, Dallas. Grateful for my associate Kris Totzke who was in Shreveport this morning yet made it back to be present for the installation. We are excited to welcome him to our community and the work we share #InMissionTogether #NTNL