Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ at St. John’s, West Bend,
The weekend of May 17th nearly 100 men gathered at Camp Luther for the annual men’s retreat. This year’s theme was “Remain” and was taken from John 15: “Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.” It was a joy and privilege to be counted among them. Too often men’s retreats are small gatherings of men merely escaping their daily routines to have fun in the woods. This retreat stood in contrast to that. To be sure, there was a definite escape from the daily routines, and there was fun to be had, but it was no small group of men. They were gathered first and foremost around word, worship, and fellowship to grow as disciples of Christ committed to remaining connected to their living Lord and Savior. It was inspiring to join in the voices of these men as they were lifted in praise, as they stopped to lift one another up in prayer, as they broke bread together and laughed around campfires, bowling alleys, and cribbage tournaments and flying tomatoes (No really, there were hundreds of pounds of tomatoes soaring through the air. Words alone cannot describe it.)
As a guest, I had the privilege of bringing some of the latest research on Households of Faith in America today. It was exciting to see men of God as young as 15 and up though all the stages of adulthood challenging themselves to become better spiritual coaches within their own households no matter the type of household they come from. I watched two and sometimes three generations of men sit together and build each other up spiritually through conversation and prayer. I watched wives hold up their husbands in prayer through social media. I watched men challenge one another to grow. I watched men accept one another and create new friendships. I watched the body of Christ act like the body of Christ, and it was a beautiful and amazing thing to behold.
We at Lutheran Hour Ministries exist to “Bring Christ to the nations and the nations to the Church.” It has been a privilege to partner with all of you in that mission and it was,for me personally, a privilege to see the fruits of our joint labors at this retreat. Thank you for your ministry, thank you for the invitation, and thank you for your friendship.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Jason Broge
Director of Design and Development for Global Ministries
Lutheran Hour Ministries.
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. (Phillipians 1:3-5)