Anchored in Hope for 50 Years

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We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure." Hebrews 6:19

This year marks the 50th year of this congregation. We still have a couple of people here who were a part of that beginning! As a reminder for them, and as a history lesson to all of us, let us look back for a moment. 50 years ago, this congregation began with 19 members. They began meeting in the legion hall downtown on June 18, 1967. Those members wanted a place to call God’s house where they could worship God together. In order to make that happen, they put their houses as collateral so they could take out a mortgage and purchase the property and build the sanctuary that we are sitting in today. 2 years later, the cornerstone was placed into the foundation and for the last 48 years this building has served as the gathering place for our St. Paul congregation where the gospel may be freely proclaimed and the means of grace administered!

As the year goes on, we will have a chance to remember other moments of our past. By doing so, we can give thanks for the faith and efforts of those whose shoulders we stand on today. We are also spurred on to continue the work those 19 set out to do those 50 years ago, to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ on the basis of the Holy Scriptures to this community and to the world. That work is never done!

Let us ponder together how we can continue this congregation’s objective, as stated in our constitution:

The primary objective of this congregation shall be to proclaim the law and the gospel in our congregation, community, and the world (2 Timothy 4:2), so that through the means of grace the Holy Spirit might:
A.  lead sinners to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ for life and salvation (Luke 24:46-48).
B.   strengthen believers in faith and sanctification (Romans 10:17).
C.  equip believers as disciples, stewards, witnesses, and servants to share the gospel and live their faith (Ephesians 4:11,12; Matthew 5:16).

How can we build on the foundation already laid for us and continue to preach the gospel here, take care of the gifts we have been entrusted with, use our gifts to grow and expand our ministry, and reach more and more in our community and in our world with the priceless treasure God has given us?

I pray we all use this year of celebration to yes, remember and give thanks for God’s grace in the past, but also to look forward and ponder how we may take up God’s call of service, and commit to God’s work through this congregation into the future.

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:23-25

- Pastor Titus Buelow