A Note From Pastor Craig

Jesus in a Bad Mood
WE finish up our series on Revelation this weekend. If you think Jesus is always nice and gentle then this weekend will come as a bit of a surprise for you. Jesus and John really did save the best for last on this one. You can read the Bible passage here: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+3%3A14-22&version=NLT
Welcome Home
Home  – it’s a place of safety and security. A place where we will feel like we belong. A place with people who welcome us with open arms. This fall, The Water’s Edge will paint a picture of what Welcome Home looks like. What it means to extend hope, build community, live generously, and so much more. What it means to welcome one another the way God welcomes each of us. Join us for Welcome Home beginning September 19th.
Welcome Home resources, including a weekly Reflection Journal and Study, will be available at church and online at weomaha.com/welcomehomeseries. Sign up for weekly text prayer reminders and scripture prompts by texting WEHome to 313131.
House Churches
Our house churches launch next week. WE have new house churches starting too. Many of our existing groups are welcoming new members. And WE are always looking for new leaders. Visit https://www.weomaha.com/housechurch to learn more and register. Email leandra@weomaha.com if you have any questions. 
SOS Women’s Bible Study 
The SOS Women’s Bible Study will start their fall study this Monday, September 13th. This group meets every Monday at the church from 9:00 am to 10:15 am. Find out more at https://www.weomaha.com/events/womensstudy
Vala’s Pumpkin Patch Night
WE are headed to the pumpkin patch! Join WE Omaha for an evening at Vala’s on Wednesday, October 20th. Save the date and WE will have more details to come! 
The Day I Stopped Buying Diapers
I remember when David stopped needing diapers. It was a good day. An entire line item in the family budget was eliminated. We are blessed. We never had to choose between diapers and food and filling the car up with gas. Lots of people do. The Life House exists to get diapers to families who can’t afford them so babies have them. This is one of the most efficient and well-run non-profits in Omaha and WE are one of their biggest partners—providing thousands of diapers every year for babies in Omaha. WE are taking an offering for them a week from Sunday—September 19th. Or you can give now. https://www.kindridgiving.com/app/giving/kindrid-wn3n90t
Mac And Cheese Sunday
WE are also collecting boxes of Macaroni and Cheese on Sunday, September 19th too. I grew up eating the stuff. The original blue and yellow box. Our friends at Together, who distribute food to people in Omaha who need food love macaroni and cheese because:
1.    It is inexpensive to make.
2.    It is easy to make.
3.    Kids love it.
4.    It has needed calories.
So go out and buy a bunch of macaroni and cheese and bring it to church a week from Sunday. If you order your groceries online, then buy a bunch of macaroni and cheese and have it delivered to your house and bring it a week from Sunday.
Confirmation Begins This Sunday
Faith Development and the personal decision to follow Jesus is a foundational step in the life of our young people. One of the mile markers and steps along that path is Confirmation. Students currently in 8th grade or older who would like to affirm their baptism are invited to participate in Confirmation at The Water’s Edge. Confirmation begins this Sunday, September 12th, following our 10:30 service. To learn more and register, please visit www.weomaha.com/youth or reach out to chad@weomaha.com
Speaking of Youth and Children
We had 125 middle and high school students in the building on Wednesday nights. Add in 42 kids who are in 4th and 5thgrade. I’m continually grateful for all the donors who made our building possible and all who fund our ministries. It wouldn’t happen with you.
WE Explore
So cool seeing all the new people around. If you are new or are fairly new, then we have a class for you. WE Explore is a class to help prepare you for membership, help you find your place at the church, and draw you into closer relationship with Jesus Christ. Our next WE Explore class Sunday, September 19th from 6:00 to 8:00. You can register at https://www.weomaha.com/connect/next-steps
A Lesson from the Place I Buy Butter
Probably my least favorite day of the year. Stopped by after Benjamin’s morning classes and took him out for custard. The third time taking him to college wasn’t any easier than the first. Just different. Finally, I watched him walk into the Skoglund Center to get his Covid test. Parts of my mind reversed to kindergarten and watching him walk into the doors as an apprehensive five year old. Parts of my mind wandered anxiously to his future. Not so much what he will do or where he will be, but what kind of world these kids are inheriting. He waved once more. I did too. 
Then I drove away from the picturesque campus with a dry throat and few knots in my stomach. I made three stops before my retreat for the night. The first was for honey crisp apples at an orchard (https://www.firesideorchard.com) just outside of Northfield. The third stop was for bacon and sausage (https://www.facebook.com/Steves-Meat-Market-513693055336391/). The second stop was for butter (http://www.hopecreamery.com) in a little town called Hope. A beautiful name for a town if there ever was one. 
Hope, as Paul explains it, is a gift from God. Something like: the future can be better than the past but don’t spend too much time in either of those places because—the now, the present, today—is where the action is and where life best happens. Good moments will happen. Celebrate them. Bad days—there will be plenty of those. Persevere, seek help / company, and learn from the tough times. A few Norwegian / Lutheran farmers and pastors started St. Olaf 150 years or so ago and I’m guessing is was hope that was on their mind. Benjamin walks in the footprints of giants now.
Amber and I raised him the best we could and he turned out even better than our best efforts deserved. I’ll miss coming home and seeing Benjamin in the garage going above and beyond with the car he is detailing. Always shooting for cleaner and more shiny. I already miss his stories and his humor and talking about whatever is on his curious mind. My heart can’t say it’s fond of distance but my mind knows the boy is a man now and he couldn’t be in a better place. Do well son and always be hopeful. It’s much better than the alternative.

 

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