The Lord's Prayer

In the first church I served they told a story about an early pastor of the congregation who had been called right out of seminary. At his very first church council meeting the pastor asked the vice-president of the council to begin the meeting with prayer. In his thick German accent the vice-president replied, “Dat’s vat ve hire you vor!” I’ve always enjoyed that story because it says so much about a couple of things. First of all, it says that some people view pastors as hired hands who are employed by the church to do those things which the members, themselves, feel uncomfortable doing. Secondly, it says something about how many people feel about prayer. “Let the pastor do it! He

Our Neighbors at Our Southern Border

In my previous congregation in Ohio an Orthodox Jewish congregation built a synagogue across the street from our church. I took a friend over to meet the Rabbi. As they conversed my friend, looking for some common ground, said, “My wife is Jewish.” The Rabbi said coldly, “No she’s not.” There was a big uncomfortable pause in the conversation. My friend said, “What do you mean my wife is not Jewish.” The Rabbi said, even more coldly, “She’s Reformed, not Orthodox.” In the same town I would have periodic lunches with the pastor of the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. I always had to say the prayer at lunch because the rules prevented him from praying with anyone who wasn’t Missour

Peace Like a River

This year marked the 75th anniversary of D-Day. I would very much like to visit Normandy. I would like to visit what the Allied Forces called Amaha Beach on May 6, 1944 – the day British and American battleships and planes and wave after wave of troops launched the largest invasion in history and launched the United States into the European theater of World War II. I would like to walk among the hundreds of white crosses in the grassy area just above the 100 ft. sheer cliffs which the rangers scaled to take out the German big-gun mounts, pillboxes and machine gun nests. I would like to give thanks to those brave soldiers who gave their lives so that you and I can live at peace today. A

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Christ the Servant Lutheran Church

The Rev. Dr. Phillip A. Carl

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