Have I mentioned that I am excited that our new roof is finished? I’ve always thought that a new roof was a project I did not need to take part in as a pastor, but the South Gate roof project went so smoothly and looks so pretty that I’ve changed my mind. The gutters are working just fine, too – they’ve seen us through rain, snow and ice so far and that’s just in one month of weather.

We’ve completed the Advent and Christmas cycle here at South Gate, and are in the period of time where we hear the stories of Jesus’ ministry that lead us towards the season of Lent, which begins March 1. I’m writing while the story of Jesus calling his disciples to become “fishers of people” is fresh on my mind. Some of you know that I enjoy a solid visual image, and this story lends itself to flinging decorative cotton nets during the children’s message to encourage our kids to imagine how much you can catch when you fish with a net. Some years our kids are skeptical about the nets, but this year they put the nets over their heads themselves, some making extra sure to “catch” the pastor. As a congregation, we don’t extend a literal net over Pioneers Blvd. to bring in new members, but I hope we do find ourselves “caught up” in the notion that God’s love is for all people; enough so that we are inspired to share our faith stories with others through the stories we tell, the work our church does in the community and world, and the actions of our daily lives. In this way we participate in the flinging of the net, even as we are captivated by God’s love and grace.

At South Gate, we feel called to engage our faith so that we can then act on our faith and grow in faith – and in doing so invite others to do so as well. I give thanks that God invites us to be caught up in this journey of faith.

 Rev. Stephanie