Sunday November 19th found me on the road again. This time to visit the people of St. Peter’s Lutheran, Malone. This open country parish is 110 years old and has connections through family to many in our synod. The congregation has always been small but in recent years had declined to only 10 or so in worship on a Sunday. They were struggling to find pastoral leadership and considered closure.
However, God had something else in mind for them. The Rev. Amanda Brobst-Renaud (then candidate Brobst-Renaud) was a PhD student at nearby Baylor University (40 miles nearby, but this is Texas). She was hoping both to continue her studies but also desired to be ordained and serve a parish. The people of St. Peter’s worked with the NT-NL staff and then Bishop Kanouse to work out a part time call package. That call was extended and now for the last several years they have been in mission together. During that time the consistency of leadership and work together has meant that the average sunday worship attendance now regularly tops 20 or more (yesterday there were 25). While a seemingly small number, in percentage gain, that is a 100% increase in worship attendance. A testament to the desire of the community to continue its mission as well as Pastor Brobst-Renaud’s leadership).
After worship I met with a pastoral candidate at a Starbuck’s in Hillsboro. Then headed back to pick up my kiddos to head to Briarwood for the annual Lutheran Campus Ministry Trivia night fundraiser. My table did not win the decorating prize but we did come in second place (tied with the Briarwood staff). It was great to see so many folks out to support Lutheran campus ministry and even more importantly to hear from the students about the impact that ministry at UNT has made in their life. Inspiring stuff.
Campus ministry is one of the ways we invest in developing young adult leadership. Another is our first ever Young Adult Leadership Retreat over Christmas Break. Be sure to get your young people signed up soon for this fun, faith building, discernment opportunity. https://www.ntnl.org/event/nt-nl-christmas-break-young-adult-retreat/