Date: May 30, 2015
Celebrating the Life and Faith of Heather Eilleen Walker
Today we bid farewell to one of our favorite people. A woman of deep and abiding faith. A woman of strength and courage. A woman of compassion and kindness. Heather’s suffering has ended, and she now rests in the loving arms of her God, and we are grateful for this. But we will miss her terribly, and we offer our prayers of support and encouragement to her family.
Rest eternal grant her, O Lord. And may perpetual light shine upon her.
Download Sermon: In Memory of Heather Walker
Date: May 24, 2015
Liturgical Day: The Feast Day of Pentecost
come, Holy Spirit
inspiring faith and witness
blow into our lives
There is a great deal of speculation, these days, as to what the Holy Spirit is doing. But Jesus makes it clear, and Luther reminds us, that the primary, proper work of the Holy Spirit is creating faith in the heart of the believer, and empowering our ability to share faith with our neighbors. So we pray that the Holy Spirit might blow into our lives, and become the source of our faithfulness.
Download Sermon: 2015 Pentecost B
Date: May 17, 2015
Liturgical Day: The Seventh Sunday of Easter
on Maundy Thursday
words of comfort, peace and love
Jesus prays for us
Prayer is the heartbeat of the Christian life. We are called to pray, and we are privileged to pray, for the church, the world, and all who are in need. But what a powerful thing it is to know that Jesus prays for us! We take strength from his prayers, and seek to live as his faithful followers.
Download Sermon: 2015 Easter 7B
Date: May 10, 2015
Liturgical Day: The Sixth Sunday of Easter
as I have loved you
joy found in serving others
the call to Christ-love
What makes for a joyful life? It is not found the quest for possessions and experiences and successes. It is found in the willingness to give of ourselves in service to others. In this, Jesus says, we can find complete joy.
Download Sermon: 2015 Easter 6B
Date: May 3, 2015
Liturgical Day: The Fifth Sunday of Easter
God, the vine grower
pruning the vine for new growth
an image of faith
In the image of the vine grower and the vine, Jesus teaches us that sometimes pruning needs to take place before new life becomes possible. What needs to be pruned from our lives? What new life is God seeking to make possible among us?
Download Sermon: 2015 Easter 5B
Pastor’s Monthly Newsletter Article for May, 2014
It is a time of new beginnings for the Risendal family: we are moving again. This move is a short one – about four blocks south from our current home. It seems like a lot of work for such a small distance, but it is a smaller place (with a smaller mortgage!), and we’ve already had the chance to view a couple of gorgeous sunsets from the back porch. The official move day is Saturday, May 2nd, and we’d like to invite you to help us move some of our stuff (9:00 a.m.), join us for a barbecue picnic (2:00 p.m.), and participate in a house blessing (3:00 p.m.). R.S.V.P. with me (a.s.a.p.) so we know how many lunches to prepare.
Spring is a time of new beginnings. On the farms that surrounded my hometown, Spring was a time for sowing crops. Riding bikes on the county roads, we could smell the rich, tilled earth. I’ve long been impressed with the way those Minnesota farmers poured their hearts into making ready for the new growing season. From the Fall tilling through the Winter planning and culminating with the Spring planting, hours and hours are invested in maintaining equipment, preparing soil, purchasing supplies and planting seed. It is an extraordinarily risky business: bad weather, broken equipment or family illness could lead to a diminished harvest and financial disaster. But the farmers I knew began this cycle every Spring because of their confidence that God was calling them to this vocation, and promising to work through them to feed the world.
Easter is also is a time of new beginnings. Continue reading