There is no better way to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation than by participating in the Affirmation of Baptism by four young women in west Texas. Miles, Texas is a struggling community, working toward new growth and development. Trinity Lutheran in Miles is also a struggling congregation, working to be part of that development. While the congregation numbers have been going down, as many others have experienced, I saw a whole lot of young faces instead of the usual aging of the congregation. Pr. Diane Eggemeyer works hard to keep them vital and active, and has a tremendous relationship with the youth of the congregation.
It was a joy to get to know these folks at Trinity, and to hear about the ministries happening there. I participated in the community Trunk or Treat with some of the members who represented the congregation at the event. I also got to learn how their food pantry works, as they help to feed about 30 families every month. Pr. Eggemeyer has also been in conversation with a new establishment in the community about the possibility of having a morning Bible study and occasional pub worship services at their site.
Besides all of that, it was a blessing to hear the faith statements of the four confirmands, and to witness the love and support of the congregation for them. The two young acolytes were also some of the most eager worship leaders I’ve ever seen. There may have even been a future pastor or two in the mix. One young woman in the congregation is already making plans to participate in the Parish Lay Ministry Academy, even as she is working on her college degree. Faith is in action in Miles.
The church must keep reforming – and the congregation in Miles is working on that so they can continue to be a strong presence in the community.