A Note from Pastor Wood

One hundred and twenty-five years. That is a long time. The origins of Concordia Lutheran Church are beyond living memory. Over these 125 years the lives of tens of thousands individuals have been touched though God working in this congregation. Much sorrow and much joy has been experienced here since September 7th, 1892 when a handful of families met with Pastor Schuessler and the Mission at Benton Station formally organized into the Concordia Lutheran Church. During the ministry of Concordia America has fought in over a half dozen wars and military conflicts. The first of which was the Spanish-American War in 1898. Concordia proclaimed the Gospel into the roaring 20s and through the great depression. Through the baby boom of the 40s and 50s and the sexual revolution of the 60s Concordia proclaimed the Good News of Jesus Christ. Through the church conflict of the 70s and to the end of the Cold War that fell with the wall in 1989 Concordia proclaimed Jesus Christ crucified and risen. Into the digital age of the 90s and the new millennium voices have been lifted, water and Word have been united, Body and Blood has come from heaven under bread and wine. Sins have been forgiven. Eternity has been guaranteed at the throne of heaven.

My friends, during these 125 years it has not mattered whether the pastor’s name was Marzinski, Schroeder, Meyer, Burns, or Wood. For us today it is inconsequential whether there were 1,200 members or 35. We are a different congregation in almost every way from that small group that met 125 years ago. There are no Horstmanns or Sievings here anymore. The family names of Bohlmann, Straub, Goehring and Gunther have over time faded away from our life together. Search our rosters and you will not find Hetzler, Begersdorf, Fleishli, Wilhard, Hobelmann, or Eulitz.

What is still here? What makes Concordia and its 125 years’ worth celebrating? The Word of God which was found then and is still found today, the Word of our God proclaimed, the Good News of Jesus Christ preached into your ears bringing to mind that you stand eternally in this Word. Concordia will continue to change. Our memories will fade like the beauty of the flower. Yet, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” (Heb. 13:8) This reality makes us celebrate our history. Because we are united with our history and those who have gone before us with something stronger than a family name or DNA. Something stronger than our memory unites us with our ancestors in the faith. We have been born together “not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:13) So we raise our voices today and united them with the voices of our forebears and the whole host of heaven and give thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ who through his death and resurrection has made these 125 years part of eternity.

Pastor Wood