Dear Friends in Christ,
In worship this weekend our theme was Thanksgiving. Not just thanksgiving in general, but Thanksgiving to God for all that we have and all that we are. We gave thanks for Jordan Alan Smith received into the family of God through the Sacrament of Baptism and for 15 new members received as part of the family of God at Our Savior.
Jesus’s words in our Gospel from Matthew 6 were “Do not Worry.” Though he doesn’t speak directly about giving thanks in those words there is a strong connection between giving thanks and not worrying. Worrying is our mind running through all the things that could go wrong. Giving thanks is our mind running through all the things that have gone right and counting them as blessings. There is much to worry about in this world. So thanks be to God that we are given something stronger than worry and that is Faith.
I shared in the sermon one of my favorite “leap of faith” stories about how the artist behind our faceted glass windows, Conrad Pickel, started his studio back in the 1950s. The story boils down to Conrad Pickel submitting designs for a major stain glass project at a catholic church in Minneapolis. The priest in charge said to Conrad, “I like your designs, but I’ve never heard of you. Where is your studio?”
Conrad replied, “I don’t have one yet, but I will after you give me this contract.” And so began Conrad Pickel Studio which continues under the direction of Conrad’s son, Paul Pickel. Conard Pickel Studio is commissioned for work worldwide but happens to be located here in Vero Beach.
In my own journey of these last few months, as I was interviewing at the church to which I have accepted a call, Faith Lutheran, in Glen Ellyn, IL, I commented on their stain glass windows. Later someone handed me a brochure and I read that the windows were created by guess who? . . . Conrad Pickel! These beautiful Pickel windows in these two beautiful churches were a connection and a sign for me that this is what God was calling me to do next.
Together we walk forward in faith knowing, “We have no need to fear the future when we know God is already there.”
With Thanksgiving to God for all that you are and all that we have shared in Christ,