According to my records I’ve been preparing the word from Crown and Cactus Lutheran Church for about 22 years now. For 17 of those years the stories were presented in oral form at the Saturday evening worship service at Desert Cross Lutheran Church. For the last 5 they’ve been the subject of this weekly blog post. That’s a lot of stories…and in one week they will end!

I started presenting the word in this fashion because I believe in the power of story…and I had long been fascinated by the Tales from Lake Woebegone on Prairie Home Companion. Garrison Keillor is a master story teller and I used his model to set the stage for the stories that I told. While I don’t come close to his skill level, I did hope that the stories could be a vehicle for telling the Good News in a way that could bring out the essence of biblical texts.

Some of you may wonder why I’m stopping now…and I don’t really have a good answer. But I do know that it’s time for the congregation to close its doors. It’s kind of like when I decided to retire…I really didn’t need to…but it was time. I just couldn’t be the kind of pastor that I wanted to be any longer…and it wasn’t fair to the congregation for me to continue.

At any rate Christ the King Sunday, the last Sunday of the church year, will be the last day of worship at Crown and Cactus. Since I’m preaching at Desert Cross on that weekend I’ve decided to hold a brief ritual marking its closing just after the 5:00 p.m. worship service on Saturday night. We’ll start about 5:50 and if any of you want to come that would be fine. I’d like to talk about the congregation, its members, and what they’ve meant for me…and if you wish, you can say some things too. We’ll end with the Rite for the Closing of a Congregation.

Of course, this may not be the end of Crown and Cactus! I have in mind a Second Coming, only this time in book form. It would be a book of meditations, 52 in all, one for each Sunday of the church year. I’m intrigued by the possibilities and am beginning conversations with some folks to see if I can make it happen. Eventually I would hope for 3 books with the first coming out in the fall of 2018 just in time for Advent. Of course this is only a dream…a new adventure for me just so you won’t think I’m fading away too. I don’t know if there’s a market for such a thing…but I guess I’ll find out!

So, thank you for being followers on this blog! I’ve enjoyed and appreciated your comments from time to time…and I hope to see some of you on Saturday night!