One of my all-time favorite hymns is Gather Us In. It’s really no surprise because the hymns composer is Marty Haugen and I thoroughly enjoy most of Marty Haugen’s hymns and liturgies. Gather Us In was the hymn I chose for my ordination over 13 years ago. It was sung at my installation at First Lutheran in Onalaska, Wi, at American Lutheran in Bourbonnais, and here at Good Shepherd. The hymn begins:
Here in this place the new light is streaming, now is the darkness banished away (ELW 532)
Lately, I’ve thought a lot about this hymn and the first verse seems to echo in my mind. Maybe it’s because in a world full of so much hurt, pain and intolerance, here in this place — Good Shepherd Lutheran Church — we can boldly sing a new light is shining.
Church staff is blessed on a daily basis to see new light shining here at GSLC. Allow me to share a few stories of new light shining here, in this place.
Sometime ago, the Davis family gave the church a power wheel chair. Staff made a call to Sister Karen, one of our ministry partners at Community Resources. Just days earlier, Sister Karen had been in contact with a man looking for such a chair for his mother. We charged the chair’s battery and within a few days the man took the MTD bus to church to pick the chair up for his mom.
A few days ago, we received a call again from community resources. Sadly, Sister Karen shared with me the story of a young woman who had given birth to a stillborn baby. The funeral home was willing to perform services at cost; however, the young woman did not have the $348 to cover that bill. We were asked to help and after conversation with the funeral home the owners were very gracious and agreed to cover the entire cost.
Without question, here, in this place, a new light is shining. It’s the light that conquerors darkness. The light of goodness, truth, and love. It’s the light of Christ.
Thank you for your support of our shared ministries.
Pastor Tom Hillertz