The Honor of the Apron

At The Family of Faith Preschool, our staff members wear a blue apron with a large white cross printed on the front. These aprons have convenient pockets so that our ministry team members can have tissues, etc. ready at hand for various needs the children regularly present. In other words, the aprons have a very functional purpose.

However, the aprons also serve a symbolic purpose. As our professional church workers dawn their aprons, they also identify themselves as a single group, as a team, with a common purpose – namely, to share the love of God in Christ as they nurture children and their family members.

Numerous professions use a uniform to show common purpose: the military, the police, medical personnel, and sports teams. In the church there is a long tradition of using clothing to represent Christian values.  For example, the pastor in a Lutheran church may wear vestments during a worship service. I wear vestments when I serve as the celebrant for Holy Communion.

My vestments include a white robe, or Alb, that represents the forgiveness of sins provided freely by the Lord. I also wear a cross to remind worshipers that life in the church is all about Jesus. In addition, The Family of Faith Lutheran Church vested me with authority to be a public steward of the Word of God, and the Sacraments (e.g. Holy Baptism and Holy Communion). This authority is represented by a colorful scarf-like cloth that hangs off my neck and over my shoulders. This part of my vestments is called a “stole.” The pastoral authority these vestments represent was conferred on me in two special worship services called “the service of installation” and “the service of ordination.” It has been a blessing to be allowed to serve in the Office of the Holy Ministry over these last 27 years.

I would like to think that the aprons my coworkers wear are a form of a vestment. The professionals who daily care for children at The Family of Faith Preschool serve in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ just as I do. Their apron, like my Alb, cross, and stole, serve to identify them as individuals who have been entrusted to be public stewards of our children. While we have not as yet developed a special ritual in which we vest our workers with their aprons, it may be something we should do in order to make it clear to all our families that this person has been recognized as especially suited to serve God, God’s children and their families.

– Pastor Doug

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people standing

Purple or Pink? Cross or Heart?

An unusual intersection of annual celebrations is about to visit us. This year Lent and Valentine’s Day are on the same day. In the traditional church, the color for the season of Lent is purple – a season that begins with Ash Wednesday, which is February 14 this year. The same day on the secular calendar is Valentine’s Day and is often associated with pink and the shape of a heart. What will this February 14th look like at The Family of Faith? Might it look like purple and hearts? Or pink crosses?

God is certainly a God of love. The Lord is glad to see children being raised in his love. The Creator planned for romantic love to precede the birth of children. For example, Isaac loved Rebekah romantically before the couple was blessed with twin boys (see Genesis 24).

However, the word “love” in the Bible is used in more than just the romantic sense. For example, we read, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). God’s love for all people is often represented by the shape of the cross, instead of the shape of a heart, or purple, or pink.

To properly begin preparing for Easter, we at The Family of Faith will begin the season of Lent by forming a cross on our foreheads out of ashes. This ritual act of repentance is not in any way required of any of the children, families, staff, or the congregants. However, I will be present both at the beginning of the preschool day, and at the 7 PM worship service, on February 14, to offer you and your family the imposition of ashes as one way to remember the great love with which God has provided us.

Whether February 14 finds you surrounded by  pink, or  purple, or the shape of a heart, or the shape of the cross, may the love of God be yours in Christ next Wednesday, and every day.

Pastor Doug.

Doughnuts with Dads and the Blessings of Fatherhood

This Wednesday morning, February 7, the fathers of the children at The Family of Faith Preschool are invited to join their children in enjoying a doughnut together at school.

While this is a fun and delicious activity, being a father is more involved than just eating a doughnut. The Bible has a very high regard for the calling of parents. There is even a commandment (the fourth) that is dedicated to honoring one’s father and mother.

The Bible records numerous father-child relationships: Abraham and Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, David and Solomon are but a few examples.

But there is no greater father-child relationship than the one shared between God-the-Father and God-the-Son. This Sunday we will read Mark 9:7, where the Father says of His Son, Jesus, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.”

May the unconditional love shared between the Father and the Son be likewise shared between the fathers and their children at The Family of Faith Preschool.

Pastor Doug

Dear parents at The Family,
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Thank you for allowing us at The Family of Faith Preschool to partner with you in providing care and education to your child. We consider this opportunity a high and holy calling from the Lord.
As part of this calling, our ministry staff shares the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ with your child. This sharing is accomplished in numerous ways: daily chapel time; a faith-based curriculum; as well as, through informal exchanges throughout the day.
In addition to sharing the joy of Jesus in all the above noted ways, we also celebrate the opportunity to share Holy Baptism. By the time we are done January we will have witnessed the baptisms of two of our students. Thank be to God!
The Bible teaches us that baptism is for “all nations” (Matthew 28:18). The Holy Scriptures also teach us that baptism is “for you and for your children” (Acts 2:39). We learn from the Word of God that baptism provides children the Holy Spirit and the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).
If your family would like to baptize your child, please contact me at pastordoug@TFOF.org, or just share your interest with your child’s teacher, or with one of the directors. If you are curious about what is involved in having your child baptized why not join us on Sunday, January 28, at our 10 AM worship service as Dylan Ulomi is baptized? By being present you will be able to gain a better understanding of this good and gracious gift of God.
Blessings to you,
Pastor Doug

TFOF VBS 2017
From July 17 to July 21, The Family of Faith Lutheran Church sponsored a special Vacation Bible School. The VBS was called “A Mighty Fortress.” It was a special VBS because its theme served a double purpose. Primarily, the phrase “A Mighty Fortress,” educated the participants of God’s goodness and grace as found in the person of Jesus Christ. Pslam 46:1 reads, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” This same psalm was also used 500 years ago by Martin Luther in his hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” This year, on October 31, 2017, the church throughout the world will take time to remember how the Lord provided for his church through Martin Luther’s actions on October 31, 1517. More specifically, on that date Martin Luther posted 95 concerns (theses) that he had with the church of his day. What Luther intended to be an inner-office memo for the professors at the local university where he worked became instead a movement to reform the church – a movement that continues to this day in churches such as The Family of Faith Lutheran Church, Houston, Texas.
The VBS student in the picture very much enjoyed taking her place on the royal throne provided at VBS. The crown and sceptre reminded her of one of the biblical truths Luther celebrated, namely, that all the baptized believers are royal priests (see 1 Peter 2:5). We pray that all of you reading this blog will join this VBS student in celebrating your baptismal identify each day as you serve the greatest royal of all – King Jesus.