Saying goodbye to folks we have come to know and love has become very real and bittersweet for us these past weeks. Do you know what goodbye means? Of course, we all do. But where does the word come from? In the late 16th century in England it began to be used as a contraction of “God be with ye.” And that is Helen’s and my sincerest wish and prayer for you all. God be with you.
We thank God that he has kept you all close to him in places and life situations where you have had to make a real effort to continue in the Word and worship. It’s not like there is a WELS church (or three, for that matter) nearby. And we pray that he continue to strengthen you and your families through the Word and keep you faithful to your Savior wherever your path leads in this life.
Our path is leading us to retirement in Madison, Wisconsin. And we look forward to starting a new chapter there. We will miss the friends we have made in Europe and hope we can keep in touch, at least a little bit. Our new e-mail address is [email protected]. Many of you have Wisconsin connections so if you are passing through Madison, drop us a line. Maybe we will meet again there. But there are no maybes about where we will surely meet again – at Jesus’ feet.
God be with you till we meet again,
By his counsels guide, uphold you,
With his sheep securely fold you …
‘Neath his wings protecting hide you,
Daily manna still provide you.
God be with you till we meet again.
In June €270.00, U$40.00, and CHF400.00 were received in basket offerings. €1400.00 were received as direct deposits.
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:7,8
From Pastor Weiss
Pastor Weiss reports that he and his wife will arrive in Germany on August 24 and begin services on September 3 following the established schedule. He has sent this note:
“Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.” (Matthew 13:52)
As I have been preparing for my transition out of parish ministry and into the role of WELS European Civilian Chaplain, my thoughts have turned to the path God led me on up to this point in the ministry and the new life and work that God has set before me. In the above passage from the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is reminding us that there is always more to learn about the Word of God and that the Holy Scriptures are an ever-flowing spring of wisdom and knowledge to apply to our lives.
Those who serve in the military experience life in a way that is different to most in civilian life. They have joys, frustrations, challenges, and spiritual needs that are unique to those serving in our nation’s armed forces. The teachings of our Lord will apply to them in ways that differ from those not living the military life. As a pastor, I look forward to using the skills, education, and experience God has blessed me with to minister to the needs of our WELS military members serving in Europe.
While our lives and circumstances are always changing, the Word of God never changes. The ancient message preserved for us in the Bible is a treasure that will feed our souls and encourage our hearts as we live out our lives in a sinful world. Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins and open for us the way to eternal life. On our pilgrimage toward heaven, we walk together and Jesus walks with us, comforting us, strengthening us, and guiding us to the heaven he earned for us. I look forward to sharing those precious treasures in Scripture with our military members and to be part of the fellowship of believers in Europe.
About Pastor Weiss
Pastor Weiss’ interest in near eastern archaeology and ancient languages led him to consider the pastoral ministry. After graduating from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in 2004 he was assigned to Little Rock, AR, where he began his parish ministry and also learned about ministry to the military through the many military personnel who passed through the congregations during his ten years there. In 2014 he accepted a call to serve a parish in Collins, WI, where he currently serves. His professional interests include archaeology, ancient and confessional languages (especially Hebrew and Aramaic), ministry to the military, and ancient and medieval history. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife, family and friends, traveling, hiking, and participating in sports such as cycling, cross-country skiing, and biathlon.
About Rachel Weiss
Rachel grew up in a large family in a small town in Wisconsin. After getting a degree in English at Wisconsin Lutheran College she developed an interest in cooking, decided to go to grad school for nutrition, and started work as a Registered Dietitian. In her free time she enjoys fencing in tournaments, spending time with family and friends, reading, hiking, and getting more stamps in her passport. Travel highlights include hiking the Swiss Alps, putting her high school German skills to use in Germany, and blackwater rafting in the glowworm caves of New Zealand…but just spending time with her husband, no matter where they are.
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