Mount Calvary Family & Friends,
If you haven’t heard, we are going to bi-monthly newsletters on a regular basis beginning with this issue. May and June are months of transition as the young people of our families, friends and community graduate from pre-school to kindergarten, kindergarten to elementary school, elementary to high school, high school to college, and college to graduate school . . . graduate school into the working world. Not all will choose to make that particular educational journey; it depends on our life’s goals and the tasks for which God has gifted us. Some will choose to pursue trade schools or on the job training at an earlier point. Some will abandon education early and step into the realities of adult life with little preparation. Whenever and however someone chooses to make the transition to the working world, it generally includes a few unexpected surprises. Like our generation before them, they will discover that it costs more to live than expected and income will be smaller than expected. Those dreams of freedom to live life as they see fit will soon be overwhelmed with the responsibilities of “life in the real world.”
The “real world” is a world of sin. It is a world filled with the challenges and struggles, temptations and consequences that sin creates. Fortunately, we have help from One who has experienced our world and overcame the darkness that threatens to overwhelm us, the darkness of sin and its impact on our world. We celebrate the victory of Jesus through the 7 weeks of the Easter season. Jesus shares the fruits of His victory with us in the promise of resurrection to eternal life, and in the assurance that God continues with us as we carry His Mission forward.
On the 50th day after Easter we will celebrate Pentecost and God’s gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church, God’s gift of the Holy Spirit to us. Baptism shares the Spirit with us. We receive the Holy Spirit without the powerful expressions of His presence seen on that first Pentecost, but with the power to overcome our doubts and unbelief, the power to lay hold of the promises of God’s forgiving grace through faith in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit calls us, as God’s faithful ones, to carry the message of Jesus’ victory “to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the world!” . . . for us that might translate to “the 9th Precinct, Detroit, our suburban neighbors, and beyond!”
That responsibility is the driving force behind our Camp Restore Detroit ministries. It is all about extending the love of God in Christ Jesus to our neighbors who are struggling to rebuild their lives in Detroit’s difficult and deeply distressed urban context. We’ve had a few growing pains and unexpected challenges along the way (right now we are awaiting word from the City on the building requirements for proper licensing for our endeavors) but that is to be expected. Big changes are in the winds for Mount Calvary and that doesn’t come easily.
Change is never easy. There are always unexpected challenges. As we navigate the waters of change, whether it is a student stepping into adult responsibilities or a congregation stepping up to challenges in mission, it is good to know that God is with us to guide and direct us. Please pray for these young people taking on life’s challenges and pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and direction. Please keep Mount Calvary and our Camp Restore Detroit efforts in your prayers as well, as we seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit directing our way forward. Whatever changes and challenges are coming to your life, be assured that God has the future in His hands, just as He has had the past. Trust in His grace and pray for His guidance.
God bless you as you serve Jesus in your work and in your play!
About The Author
Since 2015, Pastor John Carrier has been Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church's pastor in Detroit, Michigan. He is also the Director for Camp Restore Detroit. Mt. Calvary has a bi-monthly newsletter, which opens with words from Pastor Carrier, called "From The Pastor's Desk..."