Pastoral Care, 2020 Style

Pastoral Care, 2020 Style

In 2020, pastors found ways to care for their members responsively, creatively, and faithfully. The following is one way a Michigan District pastor found to do just that during Holy Week and beyond. Rev. Mark Hetzner has been a pastor at St. Thomas, Eastpointe for 25 years. One of the blessings of his longevity is that he is fairly familiar with the congregation’s constituency. The following is an account of St. Thomas’ journey in 2020.

Prayer List

Prayer List

Our Primary Prayer focus for this week is on Christ’s work through his Word: Calming all hearts that are filled with fear, shame, pride, or grief. As we discover new ways to search the scripture together and care for our neighbor. As the Holy Spirit develops faith in children and youth – through family devotions and other means. For people and families to read from the Bible and pray together daily.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Yes, in spite of yesterday’s events, I have kept this as my message for today. The 12 days of Christmas are now behind us. In one week we should know what is next for us in Michigan regarding the pandemic. In two weeks we should have a new president. In six weeks we will be in the season of Lent. Twenty-six weeks from now I anticipate the vaccine will be available to all of us. Fifty-two weeks from now we will be in 2022!

Monday, Monday

Monday, Monday

It was the first Monday after Christmas, our office was closed for the week, and I stopped by church to clean up some of my messes left after the holiday services and make a few notes for next year. I also planned to give Chris a ride to STL to refill his water buckets. Why in the world I was thinking God might be taking an extra day of rest with me now sounds ridiculous – because he certainly was not.

Immanuel

Immanuel

Immanuel is a name that has always been special to me. Monica and I grew up at Immanuel Lutheran of Frankentrost – a congregation our ancestors helped establish back in 1847. “The Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7.14)