The Compass | March 2021

Crossing the Jordan

Sixteen months ago, we left the church unaware of how to endure a building project. We had to endure so much more.

In the book, Quiet Courage, Gil Rendle retells the story of Nashon, son of Amminadab, who was the first to enter the Red Sea as Pharaoh’s army pursued the Israelites. According to tradition, the people argued about who would first go into the water. As the anxiety grew and with no decision forthcoming, Nashon decided to courageously venture into

the unknown. When he entered the sea, the waters did not part. As he waded up to his waist, they still did not part. This continued until he took the step that would have put his nose underwater; then the sea finally parted.

In some ways, we can relate to Nashon as we find ourselves on the river bank waiting to cross over. Our shore does not belong to the Red Sea but the Jordan River and we are not fleeing the Egyptian army but crossing into a land flowing with milk and honey.

For us, we have been traveling through our wilderness. Of course, our journey was not 40 years long, like the ancient Israelites, but 16 months of being outside our sanctuary and 12 months during the pandemic. Along the journey, we have witnessed tremendous chasms within our communities over political, racial, and gender issues. We even grumbled along the way, mostly because of political leaders. And unfortunately, there was a lot of death along the way. Make no mistake, we went through a wilderness.

Now as we stand on the river’s edge we need the courage of Nashon because we are venturing into the unknown. Yes, we are moving back into the sanctuary but moving forward into a new church. We do not know what God is going to do with either the new or old space. We do not know what God has in store for us in the next few years. But there are some things we can be certain of, namely, God will continue to claim young and old in the waters of baptism, be present in the Lord’s Supper, forgive sinners, join people together in marriage, and resurrect our dead.

On March 28, we will celebrate Palm Sunday in the church. God will be with us on that day just as God was with us 16 months ago as we left the church. God was with us in our wandering and travels with us into the future. And the best part is that even if we lack the courage to move forward into this next moment, God has enough courage for us as we cross the Jordan. So get to feast on the milk and honey of the Promised Land.

With love,

Pastor Russ

Worship in March

Worship will reconvene at Luther Memorial this month!

March marks the end of construction at the church, which means it will also be the beginning of worshiping at Luther Memorial. As you look at the schedule below you will see a few pieces of important information. First, we will continue offering online worship services indefinitely. Second, we are changing our in-person worship service to 10:00 am. Third, we will have our first worship service in the sanctuary on March 28 (Palm Sunday). Fourth, as a precaution, we are offering a second worship service on Palm Sunday and Easter. After that, we will adjust as needed. Fifth, we will have a large dedication service at a later date when more people can gather. Sixth, as has been our practice, masks are still required for indoor worship services. Finally, let us give thanks to the Lord for taking care of us through these past 16 months.

Sunday Worship | March 07

10:00 AM Worship Service @ GV Student Center

11:00 AM Drive-Thru Communion

Online worship continues on YouTube

Sunday Worship | March 14

10:00 AM Worship Service @ GV Student Center

11:00 AM Drive-Thru Communion

Online worship continues on YouTube

Sunday Worship | March 21

10:00 AM Worship Service @ GV Student Center

11:00 AM Drive-Thru Communion

Online worship continues on YouTube

Palm Sunday | March 28

10:00 AM Worship Service @ Luther Memorial – Sanctuary

11:00 AM Worship Service @ Luther Memorial – Fellowship Hall

11:45-12:00 Drive-Thru Communion

Online worship continues on YouTube

Building Bridges: Capital Campaign

Greetings to family and friends of Luther Memorial Church,

For over 100 years, Luther Memorial has been blessed by the generosity and commitment of those who have come before us. Their vision created the space in which we worship, celebrate, and gather. These efforts have not only shaped our church, but also Grand View University and the surrounding neighborhood. Today, we are stewards of this space and pioneers for the new days ahead.

On March 07, we will be turning in our pledge cards in order to complete the internal phase (members of LMC) of our Building Bridges Capital Campaign. So far, we have received pledges from 10% of the congregation and have raised 10% of our goal. We are right on track for where we want to be. Your participation is crucial; before we can approach friends and neighbors of Luther Memorial, we need 100% commitment from our members. Contributions will look different for each family but our commitment is the same.

We understand that you might have questions before turning in your pledge card. We also understand you might need more time before you can turn in your pledge. By all means take time to ask questions before turning in your pledge card. You can bring your questions to Pastor Russ or me. Both of us would gladly answer any questions you might have. In addition, we encourage you to take a virtual tour at our website.  Join us as we build bridges and a future together.


Lynette Rasmussen

Capital Campaign Chair