Change is good. Change is hard. Change is a part of living because if you “ain’t” changing you are dying. Pick your cliche about change. Depending on the change that you are thinking about, one of them has likely applied. The huge changes in our society can both excite us and worry us. Who would have predicted just twenty years ago that gay marriage would be a thing? The huge changes in science daily alter our lives. The first smartphone was released just eight years ago, now it is hard for me to imagine life without one. What will I be saying that about eight years from now? Huge changes in our economy eliminate jobs for some and create opportunities for others. A robotics scientist in a lengthy interview on Fresh Air, predicted that robots would change warehousing in ten years so much that nearly all big company warehouse jobs would be eliminated. What would that mean to the thousands of Columbus workers in the large warehouses that ring our city? And of course all of our personal lives are constantly changing. When I came to Messiah in 2003 I had three kids in high school. Now, those three kids have given me three grandkids. Other changes that happen in our personal lives are less joyful, the death of a relationship, friendship, friend or family member. Continue reading Changes
I was called to Messiah to be the pastor in June of 2003, just weeks before Vacation Bible School was to begin. This place was frantic as Catherine, our Children’s Minister was running about getting last minute details in place. Catherine had already resigned because her husband, a newly ordained pastor, was called out of state. Her right hand “man”, Alicia Keiber, all of 24 or so, had promised to pull off VBS in her absence. That year, VBS went off without a hitch with Alicia running the show, as have the eleven other VBS’s since that first one. I don’t ever remember hiring Alicia. By the end of my first month here, no one could imagine anyone else doing it better. She has been our Children’s Minister now for over twelve years. Continue reading From the pastor…August, 2015
Please be patient with the construction of our worship space. Our sanctuary renewal is causing us to ask for the understanding of the congregation as well as our visitors. We are unable to video the worship service or record the sermons to post online because the video equipment is not available to us. We will post the service again as soon as we are able to access our equipment. Be sure to stay with us for more videos in the near future.
I celebrate with many today, the Supreme Court Decision making civil laws defining marriage as solely between a man and woman, illegal. I support without reservation the legal right for homosexual couples to marry. This is not a new position for me, but one that I have held since the mid 90’s when the issue was first brought to my attention. Therefore, I did not support the 2004 Defense of Marriage Act in Ohio. Continue reading In Support of Gay Marriage
It is summer, well almost. To say that Messiah goes to sleep during the summer is far from accurate. While some ministries take a well deserved break, many continue to go strong while others begin. Here is a rundown of our summer activities.
Resting-All but one of our choirs take the summer off. After a great Pentecost and season of Easter worship, they deserve it. Messiah Night takes the summer off, but don’t worry Chef Marty is planning a great menu for the year ahead as are our education leaders for Messiah Night programming. Preschool is out for the summer, but we will be busy searching for a new preschool director with the retirement of Pat Hazelwood. Messiah will miss Pat and we are thankful for her hard work and innovative ideas. My bible studies, Wednesday morning and evening and Thursday morning are resting, too. This goes along with my two weeks of vacation I take in the summer time.
Going strong–Worship is the one thing that doesn’t stop, ever. All of the volunteers and staff that give their time and talents for worship to be a good gift for God and for us, are working just as hard as ever. Worship Leader Michelle Tuozzo is gathering all combinations of our members for unique special music offerings, too, while our choirs rest this summer. The 8:00 and 9:30 service will even head outside a few times. There is no reason ever to miss worship if you are in town. Even sleeping in is allowed, as the 4:30 Worship on Sunday will provide a good place for you to praise God after a lazy summer morning. Sunday School too continues in the summer for children during the 9:30 worship. Our Quilters and Rebecca’s Circle still meet. All of our property concerns continue in the summer with the added responsibility of landscaping needs. Our office still hums, too, from 8:30 till 4:30, but our doors might be locked so bring your phone so we can come and open the door for you. None of our servant ministries take a break in the summer either, because the poor and people on the margins always need care. Joseph’s Coat, HEART and our meals served at First English, Faith on Eighth, Y Family Shelter and the Ronald McDonald House continue in the summer.
Cranking up in the summer-Our Senior Saints Choir become travelling singers, as they prepare secular and religious offerings for nursing homes and other venues during the summer. Young and old join the Saints who practice on Wednesday mornings as they prepare to share their good gift to an appreciative audience. Member and Counselor Roberta Johns is starting a new small group this summer after her class on Wednesday night, What do you want to be when you grow up? was so well received. Our Community Garden is providing a place to enjoy God’s creation and creative work for us and for our neighbors. And, hundreds of neighbors will find us as we host a monthly Produce Market at Messiah, working with HEART and Mid Ohio Foodbank to feed those whose incomes don’t stretch far enough to meet their basic needs. Our softball team, that plays on Monday nights, needs your support in the summer. Our youth will be heading out to two mission trips in June. And, the biggest ministry of the summer Vacation Bible School is on the last week of June. Our VBS is one the largest in Reynoldsburg with almost 200 kids served by nearly 100 volunteers over the week.
This list is not exhaustive. I am sure I left some things out. Just be assured that though things are different in the summer, the pace is still going strong. So, enjoy the summer, but still find time to worship and serve the God who made us and hopes so much for us. Peace, Pastor Karl
I don’t think you need to go to church to go to heaven. I don’t think you need to go to church to become a “better” person, at least better by the world’s definition. I don’t think you need to go to church to live a “good” life, at least good by the world’s definition. I accept that the church is disappointing at times. Churches can and do suffer from any number of maladies: the worship is half hearted, the pastor is distracted or simply inept, the enthusiasm is sapped, the ministries are inward focused, the priorities are worldly, the people are crabby and grumpy, the risen Christ is hard to see. All of this is to preface what I am about to say, by making clear I am not delusional about the church.
Four years ago in 2011, we spent time as a congregation dreaming together. In this year long process, we talked with a lot of different groups in the church, had dinners with leaders of the
congregation, and held forums in the church where we heard from people about what would be new additions to existing ministries at Messiah that we would want if money were not the issue. Continue reading From the Pastor’s Desk
The season of Lent begins in February. Ash Wednesday is February 18. This important service launches us into the heart of Lent around the themes of repentance and humility. Of course we don’t need Lent to repent our sins. Christians are always called to repentance, which means to turn direction, from the wrong path that leads away from God to the right path that leads to God. It is hard to face up to our true self, which is why so few take the Lenten journey. It is sort of like looking in the mirror as we age. The reflection is not how we imagine ourselves. Yet, if we do have the courage of reflection and repentance,then we can hear the Good News of Easter with fresh ears. There is no reason for despair. Our reflection, as offensive as it might seem to us, is seen only with hope and promise by God. God is not done with us yet! Continue reading From the Pastor — February 2015
I am thankful for brothers and sisters in Christ in Reynoldsburg that have helped me grow as a pastor. Pastor John’s earnestness (Reynoldsburg Missionary Alliance), Pastor Linda’s peaceful and positive presence (Vineyard Christian Church), Pastor George’s faithful leadership (East Livingston Baptist Church), Continue reading From the Pastor – January 2015