To Glorify God | To Grow in Faith | To Give in Service | Together in Christ
Grace Lutheran Church, Hatfield, Pa.

Autumn Reflections


September 27, 2021

Dear Grace family,

Fall is always a good time to pause and reflect, as the bright, breezy days of summer begin to turn inward. Colors deepen. Leaves once bursting with energy gradually yield to winter’s inevitability. From whence have we come and where are we going? This was my thought today as I reflected on “30 – 60 – 90.”  Until my in-person interview with the Grace call committee six months ago, I hadn’t encountered this series of numbers as such. But on this occasion the group asked me: What do you hope to accomplish in your first 30 days? Your first 60 days? Your first 90 days?

What’s interesting is that the committee provided me with a short list of some “sample” answers. At the time I glanced at them and thought, “Oh, I can do so much more.” The 30-60-90 plan I ended up submitting was lengthy and ambitious.

Now that I am about two weeks from the 90-day mark, how did I do? Just now I dug into my computer and found it. Yup: Right on the mark…for THEIR plan. All those ambitious parts of mine are still waiting to be realized.

What this means is what I already know: I serve a congregation blessed by an abundance of lay leaders who are not only wise but humane. They had a pretty good idea of what I could probably do, and didn’t pad their plan with ridiculously ambitious ideas like I did mine. These are folks who love their church deeply, who have devoted decades to caring for its property and its people (a good number have been at Grace all their lives), and who, without even thinking twice, jump at the chance to go the extra mile, or the extra 10, or the extra 100, for anyone who asks anything of them.

This gives me hope not only for Grace Lutheran Church but for the church as a force in the world. Yes, the church as an institution may be flawed. Deeply flawed in some instances. Just as human beings are deeply flawed. But where else can you go and find a place where love is bursting out all over, as the leaves are doing the opposite? Where else can you find yourself in  a roomful of souls who would almost literally jump off a cliff just to make sure you are well provided for and that you know you are loved? Here. This church.

So, come. Come to Grace. Come and find a place where Jesus’ love takes on three tangible dimensions in all sizes, all shapes, all ages, from 1 to 91. Come and see!

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Raabe