9 Stories of Summer (*new one added!)


1. Pinecrest Youth Leadership Ministry

Pinecrest Lutheran Leadership Ministries met for it's 92nd Summer, for the first time at Camp Nawakwa in PA, gathering as always to promote faith and leadership in youth and young adults. Advent Lutheran Church had two youth present, Lin and Charlie, and both had an incredible time.

Pastor Danielle, who serves as director of Pinecrest, came back tired and invigorated. "God's presence is real in this place. And we have worked hard to back up our invitation of welcome with action. We mean what we say. Bring who you are to the table - we celebrate the you God created."

Faculty member Jenny McLellan described it this way, "Who’s/Whose God? This is the question we explored last week with Pinecrest Lutheran Leadership Ministries. How do we know who God is when our society has so many conflicting messages? Does God love everybody or just those who subscribe to a particular belief and lifestyle? Does God abandon us when we turn away? Despite what the world says, we heard again this week that God is about love, God is about creating, God is about equality, God is about forgiveness, God is about justice, and God is present with us, always. This is a message I needed to hear again. This is a message our young adults needed to hear."

Want to learn more about Pinecrest Lutheran Leadership Ministries? Go to www.pinecrestllm.org

Pinecrest will be gathering with others to participate this Thursday in the Jericho Walk around Federal Plaza at 11am. Each Thursday, people bear witness to our unjust immigration systems and walk 7 times in silence around Federal Plaza, stopping each time for a moment of public prayer. All are invited to participate.

2. Visiting our Sister Church in El Salvador

Our delegation to El Salvador spent time with our sister church in Calderitas, helped dedicate their new church building we helped fund, joined hundreds of people for the ordination of Pastor Christian, and more in early August. Read more about their experiences in El Salvador in their blog >

“Going to El Salvador each year, the experience is never the same. I find myself focusing on different things every time. This time, as I was coming, I wondered if anything had changed amongst the factors that were forcing the people to migrate: poor economic outlook, gang activity, drought. When we arrived in the city of San Salvador this time, everything looked . . .” Read more >


3. Distilling our Mission & Vision

Over the summer, our Vision Team has continued to search for the movement of the Holy Spirit in the 36+ hours of listening small groups we held in March - May. The Vision Team shared a 10-page Initial Distilling Report in June, and has been working through July and August to concentrate this further into a Mission & Vision that is Gospel-inspired, collectively-owned, actionable, and inspirational. Read the latest update from the Vision Team, by Deacon Ross Murray >


4. Day Retreat at NY Aquarium

On Saturday, August 10, we headed to the New York Aquarium to learn about God’s creation and spend time in community. We saw sharks and seals, got a behind-the-scenes look at the aquarium, had Bible Study, worshiped on the beach, and even went to a Cyclones game! Thank you to everyone who joined us for this special day of faith, fun, and community!


5. Vacation Bible Camp

In July, a high school youth group from Minnesota led a whole week of Vacation Bible School at Advent. Our kids had an amazing time learning music, science, and faith in space-themed week at church! A huge thank you to this amazing group of youth for leading our program.


6. Preparing our Strategic Planning Teams

As the Vision Team is completing their work, we’re getting our Strategic Planning Teams ready to develop the concrete ways we will live out our Mission & Vision. In June, we had over 30 people self-identify to serve, which Council organized into 6 teams: Ministry, Outreach, Spatial, Financial, Wordsmith, and Research. At our orientation retreat in July 21, we gathered all 6 teams and laid out the faith foundations, expectations, and methodology by which we’ll accomplish our process. Read the full story >


7. Saying Farewell to Pastor Gary

Summer was a bittersweet time too, because it was finally time to say farewell to our beloved Pastor Gary. After serving at Advent for 7 years, Pastor Gary’s last Sunday at Advent was July 28. At all 3 services, we gathered around Pastor Gary for a sending and blessing. Please keep Pastor Gary in your prayers as he begins this new chapter. You can listen to Pastor Gary’s final sermon on our podcast, or read it here.


8. Seeking a New Pastor

In June, our Call Committee shared great news with the congregation: They identified a promising candidate for our next bilingual pastor and recommended the candidate to Council. Read the full update from Call Committee chair, Juan Minier. We will have more news about next steps soon!


9. Worship & Music

We gathered for a laid back, family-focused summer worship on Wednesdays all summer. Worship included guitar music, leadership by our young disciples, collective prayers, communion, and intergenerational messages. For people who were away on the weekends, in was a wonderful opportunity to gather and be grounded in faith.

On Sunday, our Summer Choir learned 3 beautiful songs and sang 3 times in worship throughout the summer. Thank you to everyone who joined!

Advent Lutheran Church