Meet Pastor Dan
Pastor Dan Forsgren and his family arrived in North Idaho October, 2014. Dan and Sarah have been married for 18 years, and have three children: Donny (16), Karis (12), and William (10).
Leading this Coeur d'Alene congregation includes Sunday morning messages to our children, and all manner of faith formation, including the occasional stint as a Christmas extra!
Greetings. It seems that things continue to change in ways that none of us would have expected a few short months ago, yet those times seem so very distant. We have resumed in-person worship, we have gathered for the past four Sundays as I write this article. Each week we look at how things have been going in the worship service and we reassess the workings of how we move forward with worship.
Worship is such an integral part of our identity as Christians. Webster defines worship as, “prayer, service, etc. in reverence of a deity.” Kind of a cold definition because we know worship to be something else. We know the mechanics of worship to be gathering together as we, as a community, listen to the Word of God, as we sing songs of praise, songs of joy, songs of lament, songs that connect us at a level that transcends simply the words on the page, but reaches into a part of us, worship includes prayer, those times when we petition God, when we offer praises and thanksgivings, when we look for God’s activity in the world, when we seek to understand. Worship is when we kneel and receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ, when we ingest that visible sign of God’s Grace, when we witness new life through the waters of Baptism, when we experience those Means of Grace.
Worship looks different based on our denominational differences. So, worship for us as Lutherans often looks different from the mechanics of another denomination, or a non-denominational church. We are a liturgical church. Liturgy being the work of the people, what we do in worship, the patterns we follow, the rituals, the rites. Those things that help to define us as Lutheran… these things resonate with me personally; I hope they do with you as well.
And yet, all those elements of worship that are a part of what we do in worship is eclipsed by something even greater: that God is active in worship. God is the one who is really doing all the big stuff! God speaks to us in the Word, not just scripture and the sermon, but the Word present in the hymns and in the liturgy. God speaks to us through the sacraments, those visible words of grace in earthly elements. God forgives us in the words of absolution. God happens to us in worship!
It doesn’t end there, included in our worship of God is being sent out by God, in mission to bear the love of God in Christ Jesus wherever we go. Being encouraged and supported by the Holy Spirit to love all of God’s children.
This is why worship is so important, everything flows together in this divine dance. We continue to learn each week how to better make sure that our congregation is able to worship, whether that is in person, or through the current live stream. I want to thank you for your continued patience as we continue to tune the “how we gather together in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.” This is new territory for us, I wish they had a class on how to navigate times like this in Seminary, but they did not. God continues to be with us though, even when we are not ready to all gather back together again. God has not taken a vacation during this pandemic, neither has God’s church, we continue to be recipients of God’s great love, and we continue to be sent out into the world to proclaim life and life abundant.
Thank you for your faithfulness.
Pastor Dan Forsgren