As director, I try to consistently express my thankfulness for all of the people and efforts required to keep this incredible site moving forward. However, sometimes I’m so busy being “present” in the moment that I forget to reflect on the gifts that are showered upon us on a typical day at the Lutheran Heritage Center. So, please humor me by saying a brief prayer of thanksgiving–along with me–for the treasures we have received just within the past 48 hours.
I arrived at the museum on Tue. morning to discover that our board member, Carolyn had beautifully decorated the museum for autumn. This lovely effort saved me an entire day that I needed right now, and our site is ready to greet our annual visitors from the East Perry Community Fair next weekend.
Then I noticed a large stack of scanned historic church book records from Friedheim Church. The time, treasure, and talent that Lynn, Gerard, Fred, Ken, Kathy, and Warren put into our research branch is phenomenal. I find myself feeling overwhelmed with gratitude for the gift of this research library. Daily, we are able to help people piece together their family stories and answer their research questions.
Next, I wish to celebrate our relationship with the Trinity Church, Altenburg congregation. Our site works closely with all of the regional LCMS congregations, but today my reflection is my 11 year relationship with Trinity. We have mutually been good “neighbors” and stewards of each institution’s separate but similar missions. I am appreciative of the support of the Trinity membership in allowing us to function within their campus, to build this site that shares with everyone who enters, the stories of the early Lutheran Church in southeast Missouri, as well as the love of Jesus Christ. This week, our next step with Trinity was to help them raise the funds to provide more safe and comfortable chairs in the gymnasium dining room for funeral dinners, suppers, and also community events. It was an honor and a joy to work with them on this project. I personally want to thank the Trinity Adults in Christ, Mike Ponder, and Kathy Schlimpert for their support in this project. Working together with Trinity congregation, makes it possible for us to use the stories of history to move forward to tomorrow with our faith.
My friends, John & Pat brought some incredible artifacts from their family history this week. They wished for me to place them at the Cape Co. History Center or at the LHC-I shared them with both sites. Pictured in this blog is their addition to our stellar toy exhibit: a 1920’s stuffed bear, a German porcelain doll, and a beautiful wicker, Standard Toy Co. doll buggy. I wish my dear friends God’s blessings on their next journey, and thank them for their contribution. On nearly a daily basis, people bring their family keepsakes and collected “things” for us to use to shine a light on the early stories of this region. I am grateful.
Finally, I spent a significant amount of time the past two weeks preparing a grant to help us upgrade our climate control and tour interpretation for our hearing/visually challenged patrons, and our tour groups. During the research and discernment of the grant writing process, I experienced clarity regarding our “mission as a mission.” Matthew Chpt. 28, was my focus for the project, and this beautiful Bible text enlightened me to the effort we have taken to embrace our Christian mission to interpret, teach, and preserve our history in order to shine a light toward where we need to go tomorrow. We do this 360 days a year.
Thank you for sharing this litany of thankfulness with me. Read Matthew Chpt. 28 this week-my favorite part is that we are tasked with what we need to do, BUT God is with us on that journey-we are not alone. Plan a trip to come and see us, post your comments of support on this site, or just keep us in your prayers as we move forward. Take Care, Carla L. Jordan