Monday, March 18, 2013

Lent and Renewal

It is so easy to be defensive in response to words or actions that question or critize. As a pastor of a welcoming congregation, I cannot afford to be defensive when responding to critiques, misunderstandings, or frank queries. Today I received an email from a stranger who took issue with a blog I had posted suggesting a ban on assault weapons. In my reply I tried to be gracious and open-minded. There is so much defensiveness in our world that I just do not want to participate. It damages our relationships with one another.

Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.

I have a new student to mentor at the local middle school. I like him, but we do not share similar interests, he's doing pretty well in school, and his home life is a sensitive topic. I struggle to know what to say when we spend an hour together each week.

Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.

We’ve got some 30 people participating in a Lenten cantata at Shepherd King – The Tale of the Three Trees. What a tremendous turnout! Practice has kept us all busy and our first performance is this Sunday. Anxious and excited, both.

Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.

Found out this weekend that one of our dear members will not win her battle with cancer. She’s had a full life and is dealing well with her situation, but we love her so much and will miss her. In this aging congregation it is tough to see our friends losing mobility and independence, losing their health, losing their lives.

Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.

We've started a new Sunday school curriculum for adults; it is time to start planning for summer camp; I will begin mentoring a seminarian in a few weeks; our annual appeal is only 4 weeks away – that will keep us very busy; my husband and I hope to create a Bible Garden with the children of Shepherd King; I have no idea yet what I will say on Easter Sunday. So much to do.

Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.

In the midst of our busy-ness, God calls to us, saying “be still and know that I am God.” In response to our hunger, Jesus hands us bread saying “my body, given for you;” he passes the cup, saying “drink. This is my blood, poured out for the forgiveness of all.” When we are estranged, Jesus takes the cross and dies in our place, reconciling us to God and to one another.

Whatever you face and regardless how busy you are, may the mystery and miracle of Christ’s death and resurrection fill you with peace and new life.

Pastor Kris Franke Hill, stm.


  1. Dear Pastor Kris Franke, so good to know you through your profile on the blogger. I am also glad that could stop by your blog "In the beginning was the Word" and under this blog the Post dated 18th March 2013 "Lent and Renewal". Thank you for your meditation on the above topic. Well I am also in the Pastoral ministry for last 33 yrs in the great city of Mumbai a city with great contrast where richest of rich and the poorest of poor live. We reach out to the poorest of poor with the love of Christ to bring healing to the broken hearted and give them new life, hope, future and purpose. We also encourage young people as well as adults from the West to come on a short term missions trip irrespective of their denominational background to work with us. We would love to have your young people come on a short term missions trip to work with us. Recently I was in California and I would have loved to visit you had I known you before. My email id is: dhwankhede(at)gmail(dot)com and my name is Diwakar Wankhede

    1. Pastor Diwakar Wankhede, may God bless you and strengthen you for ministry today and every day. Thank you so much for your response to my blog. How wonderful to receive a message from a fellow pastor in the great city of Mumbai, India. My husband was in India many years ago (before I met him) and was very enchanted with your country. I would love to visit there if ever I had the opportunity. Your ministry sounds challenging and vital - feeding the hungry, speaking God's word to both rich and poor. I pray that God will continue to uphold you and your people in your faith, your work, and your lives. Pastor Kris Hill

  2. Thank you Pastor Kris Hill for your response. It is good to know that your husband had been to India some years back. I recently was in States and visited Indianapolis, Grand Rapids, Kansas city, Richmond and San Diego. Would love to visit you next time when I am States.
    We would love to have you come to Mumbai some time in future. We can make use of you in speaking in different churches and speaking to women. If I have your email id then I can be in touch with you on email. Rev.Diwakar Wankhede