Tag Archives: VBS

Pastor Tami preaching at St. John Lutheran

God is Always With Us

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing.

For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 100, verses 1-2 and 5


God is Always with Us!

This August during our weekend Vacation Bible School time August 11th through the 13th the Salem congregation and community will celebrate how God is always with us. This theme runs throughout our scriptures, both Old and New Testament verses. Throughout our time together worshipping and learning one of the scripture promises we will focus on is Jesus’ promise at the end of the gospel of Matthew: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Mt 28:20b).


This is a great time to reflect on what “always” means when reflecting on God’s presence. Always includes an invitation to the awareness in the sacred every day moments. Always also means those times we be less open to God’s presence, feeling no need for help, redemption, or forgiveness. Actively and intentionally increasing our awareness of God during these times and ordinary days and places can take much practice and discipline.


Our call to Praise God and worship together as a community as well as individually in our daily lives is also a call to recognize God’s steadfast love and presence that is, as promised, with us always. In commentary on Psalm 100, seminary professor Rolf Jacobson notes,


“We do not praise God for God’s personal sake, but for the sake of God’s mission. In praise, we do two things. First, by praising God we give ourselves to God fully — praise is a way of being in relationship with God. Second, by praising God to others, through praise we give God away to our neighbor. Praise is witness to who God is and what God has done.”


May our very breath remind us of God’s constant presence, and may we in each breath praise God together with all creation.


Yours in Christ,

Pastor Tami Groth

VBS sign at St. John Lutheran

Rooted in Christ!

Rooted in Christ

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7


The theme for St. John’s VBS this July 9th-13th is “Rooted” and with the help of counselors from Ingham Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camps and our many congregational volunteers, kids will learn each day how we are ROOTED in Grace, Christ, Faith, and Truth. While there are different Bible verses that the kids memorize each day, the theme verses are Colossians 2:6-7.


It is also a good time for each of us to reflect on how our lives are rooted in Christ.


Our culture often refers to how it is healthy to live a balanced life between work, family and play or fun. Yet, anyone who has tried to live in such a way finds it impossible. Our faith in Christ can liberate us from the weight of balancing all that we are called to in our lives. Rather than balance, I advocate living our lives centered (or rooted) in Christ. As we keep our faith in Christ central to our lives, with intentional prayer and the help of the Holy Spirit or lives, with strong roots, can grow in a nurtured healthy way.


I invite you to nourish your roots in Christ in Bible study, prayer, meditation and time spent in fellowship with the community of Christ.


I also invite you to keep our VBS children as well as all of the counselors and volunteers in prayer. In the next newsletter I will share a brief reflection on the theme being used during Salem’s VBS this year as they hold their VBS weekend August 11th-13th.


Yours in Christ,

Pastor Tami