Melissa Salomon’s Slidely by Slidely Slideshow
I hadn’t realized I had my blog so neglected! I’ve launched a new blog for Concordia (HERE) and that has received the larger share of my time and attention. It’s amazing how important the online presence and social media engagement to establish your identity, or brand, as it is commonly referred to these days. Christmas was a beautiful blur and we tried Facebook promotion for the first time. Aside from statistics, its hard to gauge how much this gets word out about what you offer. It’s all a learning process and a pretty exciting one.
2015 is exciting because we will be in a building project and its exciting only because it gives us the opportunity to launch new initiatives and programs and ways to serve and engage people in our community. With the huge new Millenia project taking shape down the street, I am excited about what God will do in 2015.
I am praying that we can share the message. The simple message of rescue. The simple message of Jesus and His great love. I am praying that we can be a force for good and that we serve with great love and great heart. I am grateful for the beautiful work we do here at Concordia. I am grateful to be part of it.
I am grateful for the task of helping others serve in ways that not only bring them joy but advance the mission God has given us together here. I am grateful for the beautiful task of helping my children do that too. I am grateful. That sums it up.
I am always moved when I think about the sacrifices military families make to support and defend the freedoms that all Americans enjoy. We want to bless and serve military families during this next three month serving project. Check out the Military Parents Night Out, the Military Family Fun Night and the Care Pack for Deployed Soldiers that we are inviting all the community to be a part of. If you have addresses of any friends or loved ones who are deployed or who will be deployed sometime this year, please send those addresses on to us so we can send them one of these care packs!
Spread the word!
Any questions, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Maybe its because we still have members who established the Concordia community back in 1961 that we have a strong sense of legacy and a powerful vision for building and investing in the next generation. It’s one of the unique things about Concordia.
The partnership with Children of the Nations International has been a perfect project for us and has aligned with our hearts and mission. Not only has our congregation been inspired by the opportunity to impact the village of Mgwayi in Malawi by meal packing, child sponsorship which provides for education and medical care as well as resource collection, but we are inspired that we can help grow a generation of godly boys and girls who will change their world.
The children have been engaged and deeply care about these children who are like them in important ways and while separated by thousands of miles, actually are part of the same family of faith. Their lives, however, are also very different. The children with COTN are part of 1,000,000 children who have been orphaned by AIDS or destitute and have no means of support for education, medical care or their very lives. Compassion has been nurtured in the hearts of the Concordia preschool children and they have begun to diligently find ways to gather the quarters that provide for a meal for a friend. It is a beautiful thing. I am here to help guide and teach them but find they are usually teaching and guiding me!
This Easter season is an active one for the church around the world. We have had the opportunity to work with a couple of mission teams in Tijuana with a network of missions that we support. It has been a great couple of weeks. I am thankful for the team from All Saints Lutheran Church in the Seattle area and the Skov team which is comprised of a clergy couple from Colorado and a teaching ministry couple from Sacramento! These teams come year after year and are delighted to continue relationships and meet new families and children and see families from the year before that continue to grow strong in the faith!
What a beautiful thing when the family of faith ignores divisions and borders to support and encourage each other in the journey of faith. In these beautiful selfless relationships it is hard to know who is better blessed — the giver or the receiver. It is simply a work in common. Yesterday the team gathered with a group in one of the churches to be part of a song called “Unidos, Unidos.” The U.S. team didn’t capture all the lyrics but they were moved to see the robust singing and the holding of hands. These are experiences that transcend language.
UNIDOS, UNIDOS Unidos, unidos, en Tu nombre unidos Unidos, unidos, en Tu nombre unidos Pues en este mundo paz y amor tendremos Pues en este mundo paz y amor tendremos Unidos siempre unidos, tomados de la mano Iremos por el mundo cantando al amor // La gloria de Jesús siempre resplandecerá Y todo el mundo sabrá que Tú eres Dios //
When we gather together in Your name, the love and peace we share as we hold hands, we will go in the world singing about this love and the glory of Jesus will shine in the world and all will know that You are God.
You can see photos and read more on our http://www.edificandogeneraciones.org blog or on our Edificando Generaciones facebook page. Check them out! Thanks for your prayers for this ministry and the people that are coming to know the Lord through the work of dedicated people in Tijuana.
We had lots of family fun at the annual Easter EGGstravaganza gathering for this Windingwalk community. It is an unhurried time of connection and just plain fun. In addition to the fun EGG HUNT which this year served between 700-800 children! We also had the opportunity to tell children (and their parents) about the REAL Easter story about Jesus. There were children who had never heard the story before! We met thousands of people from our community and our team had lots of great conversations. We got to tell the Concordia story over and over. We answered questions about our work with the church, the preschool, our community and in our newest partnership with Children of the Nations International. That was really fun and a great way to show Concordia’s heart. We packed 2,000 meals for children in Malawi. We will pack an additional 8,000 meals on July 27th. Put that on your calendar.
OUR BUNNY RUN was a blast. Young children and their parents got to run through an obstacle course! B2be sports and wellness sponsored the fun run. Our young orange clad runners took this very seriously!
We had about 40 booths. Business sponsors, restaurants, non profits. Together we were able to put on this fun day! Thank you B2be, Dr. Blanca of Pediatrics in Paradise, Chick-fil-A, Our Hometown, Kid Ventures and Jump and Rock who were our platinum sponsors!
The beautiful blue canopies came from the Naval Base. Can you believe thanks to our wonderful volunteers, that we broke down the canopies, tables and chairs in 18 minutes? Our event ended at noon and we were unloading on the Naval Base at 12:45pm Wonderful effort by so many.
We had between 700-800 children for the Egg Hunt! The under two group began their hunt fine and then the other three areas all charged their egg hunt areas! It was all good.
Pastor talking with Minit!
We had some great sponsors that offered wonderful raffle prizes. One night stay at the Lowe’s Coronado and El Cordova Coronado. There were VIP memberships to B2be, and birthday party at Jump and Rock.
Jump and Rock congratulating the winner….one of our after school program parents!
Another raffle winner!
More scenes of a fun day!
We had more than 120 volunteers that came to serve our community. That is a win! You know who you are. Thank you!
I have so enjoyed being in home groups. Every round of groups brings such growing depth in my faith walk and beautiful deepening connections with people and beautiful surprises along the way. In my Wednesday group I am privileged to journey with moms of young children. I love it. I admire them as I see them mothering “hard”….intentionally and purposefully. I was thinking this morning especially in this time of transition that I am still mothering hard even though my kids are maturing adults!
The transition is that my baby has moved into her first apartment. It’s a good thing. Yes, she just turned 25 and I am so grateful that I got to have her bounce back a bit after college. In this season, our early morning talks and conversations about simple and deep things….even controversial things….have been delightful and I have enjoyed the new relationship of mother and daughter when daughter is an adult. I am aware that I am still mothering intentionally and purposefully…..as much now as when Andres and Elizabeth were young. It is different but deeper and as meaningful, maybe more!
Maybe mothering is not a linear journey, marked by the passing of time but a multifaceted jewel that you behold and experience from many different sides and dimensions. It has brought such meaning to my life and the gift of mothering is such a sweet calling. I found this post from Dale Partridge very touching when it popped up on my Pinterest. Enjoy it.
Whether you’re a parent now, or plan to be, this article is for you. One of my most popular posts was “5 Things You Must Tell Your Parents Before You Die“. As a Father, I’m going to flip the tables a bit.
This is one of my favorites photos of my daughter and I
As parents, adopted parents, or even mentors we have have an intrinsic responsibility to show our children they are loved, valued, and protected. While writing this post, I literally could not find an article on things you “should tell” you kids. Everything was on things “you must stop saying” or “should never say”. That’s just like our culture. It’s always about stop, no, and quit. How about we adopt a new philosophy of start, yes, and keep going?
Here is my list of 5 Things You Must Tell Your Kids Before You Die:
1. You gave my life so much meaning. Thank you. – When my daughter was born I remember being hit with this insane rush of purpose. Life was no longer about work, hobbies, or myself. It was about experiencing her. Working because of her, doing things with her, and planning a future as a family. What a gift. As parents, we believe this is implied. But it’s not. We must reach out to our children, at the right age, and thank them for the memories, the purpose, the laughter, and the love. After all, there is nothing quite like it.
Photo by Tracy Parker
2. I’m so proud of you. – Children need a surplus of affirmation. I can’t tell you the countless stories of boys still working for their Father’s approval or daughters seeking their blessing. Though we may not fully agree with our children’s ways, we must commend them on completing the hardest task of all, independence. And even though this statement is said by almost all parents, the difference is made in quantity, creativity, and sincerity.
Photo by Adrienne Elliot
3. You we’re right, I was wrong. – Parents, leaders, and teachers can often times find themselves on the wrong side of an argument. While it’s easy to play off our child’s ignorance, a tiny moment of transparency and honesty will bring huge impact to your little one’s development. But let’s not stop there. Let this virtue carry on throughout your relationship, even through the harder years of adulthood. Just because you’re children are adults, does not mean you should stop acting like their parent.
Photo by Sunny Kang
4. This was my favorite moment – In a lifetime made of millions of memories, experiences, and stories – narrowing them down to one can be extremely powerful. To remind your child of a time where everything was perfect and claim it as your favorite will reinforce this special moment forever. But don’t be brief, share it with passion, provide every little detail, and bring your child back (no matter how old they are) to that time where all things were just right. You won’t regret it, I promise.
Photo by Natasha Wiseman
5. I’m Sorry – As I mentioned above, we all have moments of failure. Some were yesterday while others were year ago. It’s easy to ignore the past and move on as if our memories have somehow erased it. But let me tell you a secret. They don’t. If you have a parental failure don’t ignore it. Lead with integrity, right your wrongs, and restore that piece of your child’s history no matter how small. You only have so many tomorrows.
Photo by Valics Lehel