It was 1977, and Joan and I were looking for a church home. Our Christian faith was important to each of us, but we came from different church traditions, Baptist vs. Lutheran. Though we had met at and graduated from the same church college, we didn’t worship together there. Almost two years into our marriage and having visited several churches, church membership was still a void in our marriage.

We came to understand that it wasn’t a certain “brand” of church we were seeking, but rather a church home which was inclusive and where we felt welcomed and able to make a difference. We wanted a diverse community in which people shared and truly cared for the welfare of each other and the world. We were looking for a place where we felt God’s presence in good times and bad, and together we would learn from the pulpit, from Bible study, and from each other what it meant to be followers of Christ… a “high bar” indeed!

…and Norm Wall knocked at our door. Rev. Norm Wall was the mission pastor for Resurrection Lutheran Church, a new church starting up in Ankeny, IA.

Attending the first worship service, sharing the challenges of starting a new church, learning together about each other, God, and God’s intentions for us, and strengthened by weekly worship of gathering, preaching, learning, and praising God, we felt called to join Resurrection Lutheran Church (RLC). (Read Ephesians 4: 11-16) Together we grew by using our God-given time, talents, and treasures and benefited from the support of other more established Lutheran churches. Our intention was to be good stewards of our building, our land, and our finances.

As a people of faith and strengthened by God and each other, our attention to God’s will for RLC gradually extended more and more to outreach. Acts 13:47 “For the Lord has commanded us, saying, I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles so that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.” As we continued to learn and grow as a church family, how could we reach out for the benefit of our broader community?

In the ensuing years Resurrection faithfully supported its broader community by sharing with the greater church through donations to the Southeastern Iowa Synod, through RAGBRAI and Summerfest participation and more recently through supporting ministries in Nigeria, Peru, and at the southern border, and supporting an asylum-seeking family. Locally we support DMARC to provide food for those in need, serve meals on a regular basis at our church and at a Des Moines shelter, take communion to those who are homebound, stream our worship services to those not able to be with us in person, help support prison ministries including a reentry team to help women recently released from Mitchellville State Prison, gather and ship supplies for Lutheran World Relief, share our land through the Garden of Eatin’ with people in need and more!

Yes, we indeed worship God! Worship means to honor and glorify God. As we regularly gather in worship, we are inspired through preaching, music, and education. And we equally honor and glorify God by being God’s agents in the world, sharing our blessings with our larger community and welcoming all to worship with us.

Moving “Forward in Faith Together” please join us in being all that God intended us to be. Help us to be true followers of Christ. Share your time, talents, and treasures as we move forward together in faith.

Thank you!
John Strand, FFT Committee Member