On the Road Again: Refugees, Emmaus Road, and Florida friends

Emmanuel Lutheran in Venice, Florida!


I got to preach with the palm trees this weekend!
Thanks to a recommendation from a snowbird friend (Thanks, Marj!), I got to visit with some great folks at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Venice, FL.

Thanks also to their amazing tech guy, Dan, you can hear my sermon on their homepage and click on “listen to this week’s sermon, or read the short summary below.


Bible Study and Links

For many of those who just met me yesterday, this was their first time hearing about the work of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services in the USA and Lutheran World Federation across the world.  The church donates a lot to Lutheran World Relief, including school kits, baby kits, quilts, and financial donations which help refugees in camps around the world.

I also got to share a Bible Study with the congregation.  Here is a summary of the information I present in the Study:


Please consider donating money, volunteering, or signing up for advocacy alerts from one or more of the following amazing organizations:

  • http://lirs.org/  Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (USA-wide)
  • LWF Lutheran World Federation is the UN’s 5th largest refugee partner worldwide, helping 1.3 million refugees
  • Lutheran Services of Florida serving over 200,000 refugees and immigrants in Florida since 1982!

Beach Stop!

Of course, I couldn’t go to Florida without seeing the beach!  I got to visit Venice Beach at sunset and again in the afternoon.

Thank you to Wes, Marj, and Pastor Rob for welcoming me to Emmanuel, Venice!

 Yesterday’s Gospel lesson was what we sometimes call “The Emmaus Story“.  In this story, two individuals are literally in the midst of a 2-hour walk, but they are also having a very emotional spiritual journey from heartbreak to joy.  Jesus shows up and addresses their concerns, connects the scriptures to their lives, and reveals his glory.
We are all traveling a spiritual journey, waiting for God to answer our prayers and show us the next step. No matter where you are in your journey, we have all found ourselves at some point vulnerable, troubled, doubting, and scared.  The refugees I meet rarely talk with me about where they come from or where they are going.  Instead, they want to share with me how Jesus changed their lives on the journey.

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