So neither the one who plants nor the one who     waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 1 Cor. 3:7   One of the first thing my daughter did when she and her husband moved into their home was to plant tulips. Elizabeth and Matt have lived there for three years now and it is always a joy to see the green shoots coming up out of the ground. Maybe you all can believe that – of course – the flowers will grow again this year, but I’ve always been a skeptic. Pretty much anything I’ve ever tried to grow withered and died. The fact that I’m a forgetful waterer and hate to pull weeds may have something to do with it, but the fact of the matter is, I’m amazed anew each year when I see those beautiful green shoots and watch them grow into beautiful flowers.   I experience the same joy each year when I see growth in the people of Holy Redeemer. One of my favorite places to see growth is in our Sunday School. There are 8 mentors for our 8 confirmands who faithfully come and share their time and their faith with and in these young people. The Sunday School teachers and helpers work together to prepare meals and lessons and crafts and games and songs so that the children are nurtured in their faith and in their lives. I’m amazed when I see the growth in these young people. And I see growth in those teachers and helpers as well.   I see you all sharing your time and talent and treasure not only in your church but in your schools, your homes, your work, on Council, in worship, and in your spare time. You all come to worship and do all these things, but St. Paul is right when he says to the Corinthians, it is God who gives the growth. We do stuff, but God grows it into something beautiful!   This year, as we enter into the Lenten season, the time when we slow down and examine ourselves and our faith, I am looking forward to hearing about your growth, that growth you enable by your actions and that God gives you. Your growth in faith continues to bring the Reign of God to this world and joy to our God of love and grace and mercy.   Blessings on your Lenten journey!   In Christ,

Pastor Barbara