August 7, 2022

Dear Friends in Christ,

Grace and peace to you!

Last week while riding my bike across Iowa with 20,000 – 30,000 others, I read the heartbreaking   Facebook posts and emails about the murder of Sarah, Tyler, and Lula Schmidt, who members here before moving to Cedar Falls.

I was glad to have the Sunday off.  What could anyone say……again?  These things don’t happen in Iowa.  These things don’t happen to people known to us.  Oh wait, they sadly do!  A month ago it was in the church parking lot at the I35 interchange in Ames that I used for two years on my way to the church where I served as the interim pastor.  Columbine was nearly 25 years ago.  Stoneman Douglas, New Town, Charleston, Orlando, Las Vegas and on and on – will this ever change?  Had I preached last Sunday I might have skipped ahead a week to our reading this Sunday from Hebrews:

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

If you were asked, “What is faith?”  Or, “Tell me about your faith?”  You could not do better than, “(MY) Faith is the assurance of things hoped for.  The conviction of things I do not see.”  What a    meaningful passage.  A concise definition of faith.

So if faith is indeed the assurance of things we fervently hope for but cannot see with our eyes, then yes things can change, but only if people of faith and good will participate in the public square.

Special thanks to Pastors Randy and Lou for leading worship and being available during the last week of July.

Faithfully, Hopefully, and Lovingly,

Jeffery Alvestad, Pastor