Greetings and Salutations, say I.

Each month Good Shepherd sends out a newsletter to the whole congregation. The following is the greeting/commentary that I wrote for this month’s newsletter along with a full list of what’s cookin’ in the world of Children and Youth at “Good Shep”.

Kids & Youth @ Good Shep Luth

Greetings, and happy holidays! It’s hard to believe how quickly the winter holiday season creeps up on us, isn’t it? I know, I know… we say that every year, but it’s a truth of our lives, isn’t it? We get so busy with the business of every day that the big picture just sort of soars by until it confronts us head-on.

I want to extend my deepest thanks to everybody at Good Shepherd Lutheran for extending a more benevolent welcome than I could have anticipated. In the month since I first arrived here in the Mat-Su Valley, I have felt such an overwhelming sense of warm reception, and am grateful to call you my Alaska Lutheran family.

As we approach this exciting holiday season, I am reminded of a conversation Pastor Duane and I had back in September when I first visited Good Shepherd. We were driving on the Parks Highway and commenting on the mountains. It seems that every day, we wake up and see a different view—the very same mountains wear a different cloak depending on the light, the snow, and the foliage.

Just as mountains are a constant, beautiful gift from God, so are our lives. Every day might look a little different. Situations—good and bad—are presented to us all the time. But when we zoom the lens out from each situation as it arises, we find the good news: regardless of what the mountain looks like; regardless of what set of issues we face in our day-to-day lives, the gift is still there and it will always remain. Each day is a gift, and it’s ours to live out– Even when final exams are coming up!

As we grapple with life as it comes, let’s be sure to take some time this holiday season to keep the main thing the main thing: the ultimate Christmas gift is about to be delivered, and not by Santa! Jesus, the king of grace, love and peace is almost here. And as it does every year, the Christmas story will humble and amaze us.

I am truly excited about what the coming months will bring in the children and youth programs here at Good Shepherd. Keep your eyes and ears peeled!

Stay warm, be well.


I hope wherever/whenever you are, you’re enjoying your day!

Stay safe, and be good to each other.


10 thoughts on “Greetings and Salutations, say I.

  1. Just read part of your post to Libby, who is home to see “In the Heights” with Jim and me this Saturday. Then she’s back for a final week of school before…finals! Nice timing.

    Thank you for this blog – it lets us share a bit of your adventure – and a lot of your wisdom!

    1. Thanks, Julie!

      And thanks so much for the email earlier– it’s great to hear from you. I hope the holiday season goes well for you and that first semester finals aren’t as scary as they’re made out to be upon arrival at college…!

  2. It is so nice to “be a part” of what you are doing at Good Shepherd Lutheran. Thank you for sharing.

    Also, a very hearty THANK YOU to all the folks up in the great northwest who have welcomed you so warmly into their lives. We appreciate each and every one of them!

    1. Thanks Liz! Life really is pretty special when we take the time to let it be just that.

      Merry Christmas to you, m’dear!

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