our savior lutheran church f o c u s our savior lutheran church june 2007 vol 22 no. 6 the parable...
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F O C U S Our Savior Lutheran Church
June 2007 Vol 22 No. 6
The Parable of the Lost Duckling Pr. Larry E. Thomas
It was a Monday morning in May. The sky was blue, the sun was shining. A perfect spring day. My wife Ann and I were in downtown Bellevue with a little time on our hands. We decided to take a walk around the downtown Bellevue Park.
The City of Bellevue Parks web site perfectly describes this beautiful city park: A 20-acre oasis of green in the heart of Bellevue defines this elegant centerpiece of the Bellevue Parks System. A one-half mile promenade, bordered by a double row of shade trees, and a stepped canal, brings one to the 240-foot wide waterfall that cascades into a reflecting pond.
We parked our car and started walk- ing the promenade. We walked and talked as the buzz of lawnmowers hummed in the background. Walking by the pond, we saw a mother duck and her ducklings waddle out of the pond onto the grass leaving one duckling behind. Momma and the kids walked, waddled and wandered more or less in line, cute as can be. Standing, watching, we wondered about the stray duckling, the lost duckling, the left be- hind duckling.
We looked to our left and the stray duckling was heading across the pond in the opposite
direction of momma and the flock. Instantly I thought of the parable of the lost sheep in Luke 15. Which of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost? Curious, I wondered to myself: How many ducklings walked out of that pond? I looked to my right and started counting ducklings. Sure enough, there were nine; nine ducklings, one momma and one
stray duckling. Just like the parable; well, almost.
We stayed put. Watching. Waiting. Won- dering. Another walker had seen what we had seen and had stopped and stationed herself along the concrete edge of the pond, monitoring the movements of the once stray, now, no-doubt-about-it lost duckling. We watched and I wondered: Does the stray duckling know it’s lost? Is it running away? Has momma missed
her lost duckling? Have the siblings missed their sibling? How come momma isn’t look- ing for her lost duckling? When is this prodi- gal duckling going to come to its senses, turn around and head for momma and its siblings? (Okay, alright, at the time, I didn’t think of all of these questions, but I thought of a couple of them…)
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So, here’s what happened: Nothing. Nothing happened. Momma didn’t come looking for her lost duck. The lost duck did not come to its senses and return to the flock. There was no shepherd coming to rescue the lost sheep; I mean the lost duckling. There was no family reunion. No party. The woman monitoring the lost duckling drifting along the concrete edge of the pond, walked away. We walked away. I realized that the happy ending, the lost being found, and the family reunion we were hop- ing for wasn’t happening. At least not while we were standing there, waiting.
For every one of us who have found our way, who know the way home, and don’t get lost, there are lost sheep and stray ducklings who are on their own, toughing it out, cruising along the edges, far from home. Some are here; some are there; some live around the corner; some live around the world.
Sometimes there is nothing I can do. Sometimes I can’t fix it. Sometimes I can’t make it better. Sometimes I’m too busy to help. Sometimes I’m not paying attention. Sometimes I am clueless that others are lost and waiting and wondering if anyone is missing them; if anyone knows.
Sometimes there is something I can do and sometimes there’s a lot I can do. At my best, at my most alert and most aware, I am paying attention and doing what I can for the least, the little and the lost. The church, the body of Christ, the you and me who are individually members of the body of Christ, are called and sent to make a difference; to look, to listen, to seek, to find. To know.
Jesus said: I tell you, there will be more joy in heav- en over one sinner who repents than over ninety- nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
Summer Worship Schedule Begins Sun- day, July 1
We begin our summer worship schedule on Sunday, July 1 with services at 8:30 and 10:00 a.m. This schedule continues through Sunday, September 2. We will resume our regular wor- ship schedule on Sunday, September 9.
continued from cover Congregational Meeting Sunday, June 17, 9:45 a.m.
The OSLC church council invites you to our semi-annual congregational meeting on Sun- day, June 17 at 9:45 a.m. Members of the church council will be presenting the 2007/2008 OSLC mission and ministry budget for your review and approval. Your participation is very impor- tant and we encourage as many congregational members as possible to attend. (Copies of the annual report and draft budget will be available in June.)
Confirmation Service Sunday, June 10, 11:00 a.m.
Our Confirmation class this year will be affirm- ing their faith at the 11:00 a.m. service on Sun- day, June 10. The confirmation class includes: Darik Alexander, Nicholas Bezanson, Michael Cron, Melina Hughes, Conner McCulloh, Amanda Schjoneman, Devon Schmidt, Rebecca Shure-Reinhart, David Sladek and Amy Ziegler. There will be a re- ception following the service.
Worship Assistants – June 2007 Our Savior Lutheran Church
Service Date Time Greeters Diane Nelson
Ushers Bill Suttmeier
Lectors Lori Downey
Assistants Lori Downey
Assistants Becky Mogensen
6/3 8:30 Diane Nelson &
Jack Claver &
John Wray John Wray
Pick & Marlene
Ole Grette Haley Ziegler
11:00 Ben Taylor &
Jim & Andrew
Gary & Marilyn
6/10 8:30 Jessica Liepins Craig & Grayson
Connie Fletcher Connie Fletcher
Pick & Marlene
Matt Saathoff Amy Mogensen
11:00 Marilyn Larson Bruce Matthias
& Bill Suttmeier
John & Melodee
Callan Moore Jordan
6/17 8:30 Mary Fricke Don Robertson
& Bob Gerke
Judi Russell Judi Russell
11:00 Don & Nancy
Paul, Joyce &
Maury Clark Riat aHansen
6/24 8:30 Diane Nelson Doug & Lindy
Andreas & Kirsten
Kimberly & Marc
Claire Moore Amy Ziegler
11:00 Georgeanne &
Gary & Marilyn
Pick Pickering Pick & Marlene
John & Melodee
When you arrive, please sign-in on the worship sign-in sheet located in the sacristy.
Assisted Listening Devices Available for Worship Services If you think that a personal assisted listening device would improve and enhance your expe- rience of worship, please contact the church of- fice at (425) 392-4169.
Pastor Larry & Ann Thomas will be in Rwanda June 20 to July 18, 2007
As many of you know, our July 2006 trip to Rwanda was a life changing experience. After re- turning to Issaquah, I came to see that there were three things I felt I needed to do as a result of our time in Rwanda. 1) Figure out how to integrate my Rwanda experiences in my daily life. 2) Sort out how my Rwanda learnings would impact my pastoral ministry here in Issaquah, and, 3) Dis- cern what was next for me, for us, and Rwanda.
Over the course of the last ten months, I have been working on these three concerns. As Ann and I prayed and spoke about these things, we fi- nally sensed what to do. We each asked for some time off without pay in the summer of 2007 so we could spend four weeks in Rwanda. We will leave June 20 and return on July 18. Our hope is to listen, learn, and serve. We will spend ap- proximately two weeks working with African Evangelical Enterprise and two weeks working with Rev. Joseph and Esther Nyamutera and their Mercy Ministries Reconciliation Team. We also hope to make contact and spend time with the leadership team of the Lutheran Church in Rwanda. We are grateful for your support and in- terest. Please pray for us and our hosts and part- ners in ministry at AEE and Mercy Ministries. We are grateful for this opportunity to return to Rwanda and be of service. Pr. Larry and A