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Angie Nitz

The Social Media Conundrum

There have been so many thoughts swirling as I thought about what to write for my blog this month. The subject matter that I could write on as a DCE right now is absolutely endless. I decided I wanted to take a moment to talk about social media and what may look like silence. Since I got Facebook in 9th grade I have been very particular about what I post, though when my memories come up on Facebook I sometimes cringe at them. I have always been very particular about it because I was taught that once you put it out there, it’s there forever and I have always been a believer that some conversations are just better had face to face.  Anyone who has known me for any amount of time knows how deeply I love people right off the bat and how deeply I feel with them and that also informs the way I post. That brings me to today. There is a whole lot going on and I have wrestled deeply with what do I or do not post. What does it say to my students? What does it say to my congregation? How informed am I to handle any potential back lash? I haven’t posted much because ultimately, I’m having the conversations off line. I’m trying to listen, to ask questions, to take myself out of my bubble.  The hardest part for me is that, I’d love to say “Let’s have some coffee, a beer, or go to dinner and have these conversations” but am prevented from face to face because of the virus or distance.  In having conversations I am a part of change. My

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Tom Zucconi

An Identity in Christ

This past week we’ve seen the idea of identity made raw in our lives. From the death of Mr. George Floyd to the subsequent marches on behalf of black Americans, the idea of identity (among other things) is front and center. And it should be. There are systemic problems in our society and institutions that exacerbate the sin of the human heart as it struggles, in the best of times, to love another as it loves itself, especially someone different. In Mr. Floyd’s case, it was his identity as a black male that made him a suspect and the target of deadly force. If the officer had known Mr. Floyd was a Christian, would it have made a difference? I doubt it. But it made a difference to Mr. Floyd, who, though he had everything taken from him, including his life, had everything already given to him in Jesus. His Christian faith in no way lessens the pain of his murder or race relations in American, but for us as Christians it reminds us that even if the world seeks to rob us of everything including our lives, and I say this cautiously as a white male, it cannot rob us of Jesus and who we are in Christ. So, consider yourself and the idea of identity for you and me. How does this relate to us? I recently had a conversation with a seminary classmate of mine who left the ministry. In doing so, he was confronted with the reality of identity. Who was he? Was he worth anything to anyone? Why were potential employers seeing only a pastor and nothing else?  Was he of value to anyone?  Have

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Angie Nitz

We Remember You With Thanksgiving and Joy

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now (Philippians 1: 3-5).” Dear Holy Cross Family, What a joy and privilege it has been to serve among you, to receive your encouragement and support, and to call you family. These two years have been a tremendous time of learning for me. My understanding of scripture, the confessions, and God’s mercy to us through the lens of our Lutheran perspective has provided a deep understand of who we have been made to be by our Creator, Redeemer, and Counselor. And, how we will serve, for Christ’s sake, the community surrounding us. While much of this learning has occurred by the guidance and direction of my professors and classmates, you have given me the opportunity to put my belief into practice and apply that learning. In so many ways from my participation in Prime Timers, Mary Martha, Human Care Team, Intergenerational Bible Class, and other events you have welcomed my family into the life of the church and been open to my ideas, leadership, and care. By doing so, you have allowed me to make mistakes, learn, and grow. For these opportunities and your encouragement, I am thankful. The deaconess prepares to serve the church as Christ’s ears. Hearing the needs of His people, both brothers and sisters in Christ, and those without faith who are separated from Him. As she hears the needs, she seeks to connect the unconnected and care for both body and soul. So that, His name would be made

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Blog
Tom Zucconi

Good Memories of God

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.22.3″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.22.3″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.0.74″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”] I like poetry. I realize it is not for everyone, especially much of what is offered today as poetry, but because the poet is an artist, he or she provides insight into the world that goes beyond my own shallow interpretations. I think reading poetry is important. My reading habits include the romantic or nature poets like John Clare to the war poets like Edward Thomas or Siegfried Sassoon and everything in between. Yet, for me, nothing beats the “divines,” those pastors as poets like George Hebert who weave rich theological understanding and our own humanity into insightful verse. Of course, these pastors as poets are not new. The psalms are poetry, poetry set to music. They are poetry that weaves rich theological understanding and our own humanity into insightful verse. David, who was not a pastor, but was a shepherd, is known to us as one of the great authors of the psalms, in particular, psalms that reflect all too well the brokenness of the world and our own sinful nature. Take for example Psalm 6, one of David’s and said to be “a dark psalm.” The contemporary poet and Anglican priest Malcolm Guite writes, “the psalmist seems at once fearful of God and forgetful of his mercy, so it [Psalm 6] opens: O LORD, rebuke me not in thine indignation: neither chasten me in thy displeasure.Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am weak: O Lord, heal me, for my bones are vexed.” Guite continues, “but the psalmist works through these fears and misgivings and is able to say just before the end of

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Angie Nitz

Calling the Unexpected

I got a new app on my phone called “Quiet Time” which offers its users a way to experience daily worship in a way that works for them. Shameless plug, if you want to be consistent about your worship and reflecting on Gods word, get this app. Recently, I did a session on Luke 5:27-32 which says, 27 After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, 28 and Levi got up, left everything and followed him. 29 Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. 30 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” What I found most striking in the devotion that followed this passage was the idea that Jesus assembled one of the most important teams ever and picked these people knowing their flaws, shortcomings, and what societal baggage they brought with them. Matthew (also known as Levi) was hated by the Jewish people when Jesus said “follow me”, yet he is uniquely positioned to write a gospel that could focus on the Jewish reader. Certainly, Matthew is not the first one God had equipped and called who, to everyone else, was the last choice. In fact, we see it all throughout the Old

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Angie Nitz

His Grace is Sufficient

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 This week I had my theological interview. This is an hour long, oral exam given by two professors and a commissioned deaconess. The purpose of this exam is for the deaconess student or pastor to demonstrate how the Lord has grown them as a student and their ability to speak about important theological concepts. Would you be nervous? I was. I even shed a few tears of terror mixed with excitement. The time I could think of that felt most similar were the hours before Brennan and I got married. My prayer the entire morning before was this: Thank you, Lord for bringing me here. It is going to have to be you that speaks through me if I’m meant to pass this. As I was praying these words, the verse from 2 Corinthians came to mind. But, something else interesting that the Holy Spirit revealed to me during that moment was this: My grace is sufficient for you. When you are feeling strong as a student, it is by my grace that everything you are able to express, write, and speak of occurs. My grace is sufficient for you. When you are feeling weak as a student, it is by my grace that everything you are able to express, write, and speak of occurs. Right now we are all living in unprecedented times. We are isolated and living with uncertainty. It is by my grace that everything occurs. Rest in me. Rest in this

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