Celebrate Our Past + Continue His Mission
by Steve Wheeler, Pastor
Celebrations have long been a part of the history and heritage of God’s people. In Old Testament times, the Israelites were commanded to celebrate milestone events such as the Passover, Shavuot (Festival of Weeks, Pentecost), and others. In New Testament times, we celebrate milestone events such as the Lord’s Supper, Easter, and others. While each of these celebrations looked backward and remembered God’s faithfulness and provision for His people in the past, they also looked forward as God’s love and mission continued into the future.
The 2018-2019 year of ministry marked Cross View’s fiftieth year as a congregation. It was a milestone year in our history, worthy of great celebration as we celebrated our past, but we also continued God’s mission. On October 13, 1968, Cross View celebrated its first worship service at Creek Valley Elementary School as a mission start. Not yet an official congregation, our temporary name was “West Edina Lutheran Church.” A few months later on February 9, 1969, Cross View celebrated its Charter Sunday. This date marked the official beginning of “Cross View Lutheran Church.”
During the next fifty years, no one could have imagined all that God would do among us, in us, and through us as His Word was preached, as His Sacraments were administered, and as His love was shared and embodied with our community and with our world. Countless lives have been and continue to be impacted! As we celebrate our past, we thank God for the many people over the last five decades who selflessly gave of the time, talents, and abilities entrusted to them, allowing God to use them to forward His mission in this place. We thank God for the ministries and for the various missions that were carried out in Jesus’ name that impacted so many souls.
We celebrate that, just as surely as Cross View began as a mission church, it continues to be a mission church! The same mission forwarded by those first charter members continues to be our mission to this day. To be sure, a lot has changed in our world, in our society, and in our culture in the past fifty years, but our mission remains the same. We no longer live in a “churched context.” We are now living in a “post-churched context,” a time when the community around the church is increasingly unchurched. This will require us to adjust our approach to the re-dawning of the missionary age. This shift in culture will challenge us to find new ways reach people with the same message of God’s love and rescue for the world that is in Christ Jesus. We celebrate the opportunity to continue His mission with a Heart for the Harvest. It’s a great time to be the church!
October 2018 through February 2019 was filled with opportunities to celebrate our fifty-year milestone. The first celebration was on October 7 as we offered an Oktoberfest to our community. Our second celebration was on October 14. Our Sunday worship services that day remembered Cross View’s first worship service (October 13, 1968). Our third and fourth celebrations unfolded on February 10 (remembering our Charter Sunday February 9, 1969). Celebration worship services were held on the morning of February 10. A celebration banquet was held later that day at the Marriott Hotel. The Rev. Dr. Dean Nadasdy was our keynote speaker.
For five months (October-February), articles and historic pictures appeared in the Clarion newsletter, remembering each decade of Cross View’s ministry.
We have much to celebrate! What started as a mission church fifty years ago continues to be a mission church today. By God’s grace, in the year ahead, we will continue to expand our missional footprint through "4.0—Building for Generations." We will follow in the footsteps of our predecessors. What a joy it is to celebrate our past! What a joy it is to continue His mission!