Dear Messiah Family,
Just eight hours west of the Twin Cities is the Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota. Conditions exist there that should not exist in the middle of the wealthiest country on earth. Those who have served there are often shocked by what they see. I know when I served for the first time in 2017, my heart was broken by what I saw. The average life expectancy for men is just 47 years. Women fair slightly better, with an average life expectancy of 55 years. Of the 3,143 counties in the United States, Oglala Lakota County, contained entirely within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation, has the lowest per capita income ($8,768). The unemployment rate hovers between 70 and 90 percent, and teen suicide 150 percent higher. Half of adults over 40 suffer from diabetes. Some 85 percent of families are affected by alcoholism.
Since 2017, Messiah Church has answered the call to serve as the hands and feet of Jesus helping to alleviate the most pressing and immediate needs of the Oglala Lakota people. In working with the non-profit organization, Re-Member, we have sent 31 servants over 5 mission teams to serve the Lakota people. We have worked to raise awareness and given almost $60,000 to assist with their work; building outhouses for those without indoor plumbing, ramps for the disabled, beds for people sleeping on floors, 3 years of pillows for those beds, skirts for trailers that are exposed to South Dakota’s unpredictable weather, growing fresh produce each summer, and distributing firewood, often their only source of heat, every winter.
We have a unique opportunity to hear more about Re-Member and the work they do as they hold their End-of-Season Celebration on Saturday, October 7 from 4:30-8:15 pm at the Medina Entertainment Center. It’s a special night of fellowship, gratitude, and celebration of 25 years of service to the Oglala Lakota Nation. This is a great opportunity to hear their story. Their leadership team will also be with us in worship on Sunday, October 8 to express their deep gratitude for all that you, the people of Messiah Church, have done to support the work that Re-Member is doing.
If you are interested in attending, tickets for the End-of-Season Celebration are available here until September 28. To learn more about Re-Member, click here or contact Kay Schultz at email@example.com.
Pastor Bethany Nelson continues this series with a message titled Do Good. God’s wisdom is first, pure, peace-loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. By sharing stories of goodness and kindness, she’ll help us see the importance of embodying our faith on an individual level.
We also will confirm four of our youth as they affirm the Baptism vows that their parents made on their behalf when they were just infants. Having spent last time with them last weekend at their Confirmation Retreat, I can tell you that this is a special group of young adults who are already living into their confirmation vows. I hope you’ll be able to attend in person, at either 8:30a or 10:30a, to show your love and support on this life-long journey.
If you would like to know more about Messiah Church, our history as well as what it means to become a member, you’re invited to a Discover Messiah class this Sunday. We’ll gather downstairs in the Fireside Room at 11:45 and begin by sharing a meal together and we’ll have you all wrapped up and out the door by 1pm. Childcare is provided. For more information, contact our Director of Community Engagement, Heather Felt at firstname.lastname@example.org or just pop on in on Sunday.
This past week, Pastor Dick Ellis brought to my attention the passing of former Messiah member, Frank St. Lawrence. Although Frank moved out of state long ago, he was a longtime, active and member of Messiah Church. His work with Habitat for Humanity and Feed My Starving Children brought him great joy as well as the recipients of his labor. He always had a way of making people comfortable in his presence. Please join me in praying for Frank’s family and giving thanks to God for his life. You can read Frank’s complete obituary here.
In Christ’s love,
Please Pray with Me
God of Love, we give you thanks and praise for your steadfast mercy, love and grace. Through faith, we trust that you are with us in all of life’s transitions and change. We trust in your goodness and know that with each ending comes new beginnings. So, come, Holy Spirit, come. Guide, strengthen, and encourage us on the journey that lies before our Messiah Church family. It’s the assurance of your unfailing love which enables us to trust you in every season of life. May your Word dwell in us richly, your peace rule in us powerfully, and may your glory be our main passion and greatest delight. In the powerful and precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.Join Us on Sunday
Worship In Person: Join us in the building at 8:30 am for our Traditions service or 10:30 am for our Journey contemporary service.
Worship Online: Join us online for the live stream of our Traditions service at 8:30 am and Journey contemporary worship service at 10:30 am CT every Sunday morning. Prior Sunday broadcasts are available on demand all week at your convenience.