Living Lord

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Welcome Bishop Roger Gustafson to Living Lord!



This weekend, March 18th and 19th, Bishop Roger Gustafson of the Central States Synod of the ELCA will be visiting us at Living Lord Lutheran Church.  He will be joining us in worship and preaching during worship.  In addition, he will be available for conversation from 9:45am to 10:45am during the Pastor's Forum which meets in the Adult Education classroom.  After worship Bishop Gustafson and Pastor Roy will even be popping in to meet with the Merge youth as they talk about Sharing Communion.

From the Central States Synod website:


In June 2013, the Synod Assembly of Central States Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) elected Roger R. Gustafson to serve as bishop. He was elected to a six-year term.

Before being elected synod bishop, he had served Advent Lutheran Church, Olathe, Kan., since being ordained a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 1990.  He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota and his Master of Divinity degree with honors from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, California, where he met his wife-to-be, Susan Langhauser. Roger’s first career was in print journalism, and he worked on a variety of newspapers in the Midwest and West.

Roger has served in several capacities in the Central States Synod of the ELCA. He was a member of the Pastor-to-Pastor pilot project; a member of the Bishop’s Pastoral Care Team; co-dean with Susan Langhauser of the Kansas City Area Ministry; co-chair of the Local Arrangements Committee for the 1993 Churchwide Assembly in Kansas City; a voting member at the 2005 Churchwide Assembly in Orlando; and chair of the synod’s Evangelizing Strategy Task Force.  He has chaired the Church Planters missions team for the Kansas City metropolitan area. He is a contributing writer for “Lectionary Homiletics.”

In addition to serving as a pastor at Advent, he also has volunteered as a mediator at Johnson County Small-Claims Court, has served as a mediator in church leadership disputes and coached mediation classes at Johnson County Community College.  He also has worked as a consultant on clean-water initiatives with Children International, a non-profit corporation that offers sponsorships of children born into extreme poverty.

Roger and Susan are the parents of Andy, who works for Mariner Wealth Advisers, Kansas City.  Roger is a fan of rock and jazz music, motorcycles, and barbecue.



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Message from the Bishop of the Central States Synod

Late this morning Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States and officially begin his work. The campaign that led to this hour highlighted rather than helped to heal knotty challenges our nation continues to experience in race relations, equal economic opportunity, respect for the inherent dignity of all persons.


Some of us celebrated the outcome of this election, others of us lamented, still others were disappointed in the field of candidates and declined to participate in the process. However, now is the time for us – all of us – to move on, and I am encouraging us in the Central States Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to move on in two very particular ways.


First, I urge us to pray for our new president as he takes up the heavy mantle of leadership. Scripture calls us to pray “for all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in … dignity. This is right and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.” (1 Timothy 2:2–3) We can and should pray that President-elect Trump and the administration he gathers and leads will be willing instruments in God’s hands as God continues to shape creation to embody God’s values of mercy, justice, forgiveness, and grace.


A prayer in Occasional Services for the Assembly puts it well: “Almighty God, bless the public servants in the government of this country, that they may do their work in a spirit of wisdom, charity, and justice. Help them use their authority to serve faithfully and to promote our common life; through your son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”


Second, I urge us to accompany our prayer for our leadership with action of our own. Republican, Democrat, liberal, conservative, progressive, or yet-to-be-named – whatever political label we bear takes a distant second place to our deeper and stronger identity: Christian. We are all members of the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12) and as such are to be active in living the life of Jesus in the world.


As we pray for our leaders to act with wisdom, justice, a concern for the common good and a compassionate heart for the most vulnerable, we ourselves are to do precisely the same in our dealings with one another and as citizens of our nation. Regardless of your political leanings I urge you to find ways to be effective, to make a difference for the better because of Jesus and in the name of Jesus. There is much to be done to realize the petition, “Thy will be done, on earth … .” Let’s get to work, Church.


Roger Gustafson, Bishop

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What is coming in early 2017 for the Pastor's Forum?

When Jesus turned and saw [two disciples of John the Baptist] following, He said to them,

“What are you looking for?”

John 1:37

What Keeps Us Going?


Happy New Year!  What kind of year will it be?  “What keeps us going as disciples?,” asks the retired Archbishop of Canterbury and scholar, Rowan Williams.  I am looking forward to exploring some of Williams’ wise and plain-spoken answers, along with other Living Lord disciples this January and February.  Here is the plan:

PASTOR’S FORUM (Sundays at 9:45 am)


January 8 (Epiphany Sunday) a new year.  Gospel of Matthew.

Guest:  Pr. Rebecca Boardman, Lutheran Campus Ministry STL

6-week book study:

Rowan Williams Being Disciples:  Essentials of the Christian Life   (Eerdmans, 2016)

January 15 (Epiphany 2) Chapter 1 BEING DISCIPLES

January 22 (Epiphany 3) Chapter 2 FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE

January 29 (Epiphany 4) Chapter 3 FORGIVENESS

February 5 (Epiphany 5) Chapter 4 HOLINESS

February 12 (Epiphany 6) Chapter 5 FAITH IN SOCIETY

February 19 (Epiphany 7) Chapter 6 LIFE IN THE SPIRIT

          February 26 (Transfiguration Sunday) a pre-Lent topic TBD.


All are welcome.  Each week’s topic can stand alone—come as you are able.

The book will also be available for other individuals and small groups.

Shalom in the New Year,

Pastor Jim

Jesus said to [two of John the Baptist’s disciples], “Come and see.” …

Philip said to [Nathaniel], “Come and see.”

John 1:39, 46

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Christmas Message from Bishop Eaton

Here is the recent video greeting from Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, Presiding Bishop of the ELCA:






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Taize St Louis 2017



Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel,

‘Let my people go, so that they may celebrate a pilgrim feast to me in the wilderness.’”

Exodus 5:1

Attention Young Adults:  a very Short Pilgrimage

Since I was a teenager and first heard of it, I have wanted to visit a certain village in France.  Next Memorial Day Weekend, the Taizé Community is coming here!  And thousands of young people from all over America will be gathering in St. Louis.


The Pilgrimage of Trust is an event that is meant to bring together people of various backgrounds, whether that be socio-economic, racial, faith, or more.  Each day will be focused on the Common Prayer in the style of the Taizé community (morning, afternoon and evening) and will offer workshops in between the prayers.

The brothers of Taizé have been invited to help heal many of the obvious divisions that exist across our St. Louis community.  The brothers of Taizé have a unique charism of ecumenism and reconciliation that promotes an authentic encounter of the other, especially those who are different. It is this charism which we hope to incorporate into the weekend pilgrimage and the preparation events leading up to it.

While all are welcome at the Common Prayer times, the workshops will be primarily for young adults. These workshops will be offered on a variety of topics that can help foster a deeper understanding of one another and the core issues which often divide us. Workshops will also be offered focusing on areas that unite us, such as scripture, the search for beauty through art and music, service and more.


All are welcome at the Common Prayer times, however the workshops and breakout sessions will be primarily for young adults (those between the ages of 18-35).

These workshops will be offered on a variety of topics that can help foster a deeper understanding of one another and the core issues which often divide us. Workshops will also be offered focusing on areas that unite us, such as scripture, the search for beauty through art and music, service and more.


The St. Louis Pilgrimage of Trust will be held Memorial Day weekend 2017. It will begin with Evening Prayer on Friday May 26th and conclude with afternoon prayer on Monday May 29th.  The primary events will be held at St. Louis University.

No matter how old you are, you should check out the video on this website, to learn about this remarkable event and the history behind it:

The closest informational meeting to us is on October 6th, 7:30 to 9:30 pm
at All Saints Catholic Church, 7 McMenamy Road, St. Peters, MO 63376     636-397-1440

Peace and reconciliation,

Pastor Jim

Moses said, “We will go with our young and our old; we will go with our sons and daughters and with our flocks and herds, because we have the Lord’s pilgrim feast to celebrate.”

Exodus 10:9

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Hurricane Matthew Disaster Relief

Hurricane Matthew – Disaster Relief

3 Ways Thrivent Members and Others can Help

Hurricane Matthew, the strongest Caribbean storm in nearly a decade, has left a trail of destruction in the Caribbean and United States. Haiti, the poorest country in Latin America, suffered significant damage: Hurricane Matthew destroyed tens of thousands of homes, and left more than 60,000 people staying in temporary shelters.


When tragic events like this occur, Thrivent Financial members and others want to know how they can help. As a membership organization of Christians committed to guiding members to be wise with money and live generously Thrivent is supporting your generosity in the following ways:

1. Thrivent will match $250,000 on personal donations
Thrivent will match up to $250,000 in personal donations made on to certain disaster relief organizations responding in Haiti and other areas affected by Hurricane Matthew. The dollar-for-dollar match is open to members and others who want to give, and will lead to a total combined impact of up to $500,000. For details about the match, visit the Disaster Response page on

2. Start an Action Team for disaster relief efforts
Consider getting involved in your community to help raise funds for disaster relief by forming a Thrivent Action Team. Thrivent provides promotional materials, t-shirts, and a $250 Community Impact Card that can be used as seed money to purchase project supplies and create promotional materials. To apply or to learn more about Thrivent Action Teams, go to

3. Direct Choice Dollars® at
Thrivent Choice® allows eligible members to weigh in on where Thrivent distributes some of its charitable outreach funding. If you have Choice Dollars available to direct, visit and select any nonprofit in the catalog of eligible organizations, including those who are helping in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.


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