Erickson Lutheran Church - Pastor's Message

Pastor Jim Vickers

Pastor Jim Vickers

I am thankful for the opportunity to serve God in Erickson-Waldersee Lutheran Parish. The make up of this parish reflects my own spiritual journey since there was a United Church congregation worshipping with us in Erickson until 2014. Members from that congregation continue to worship with us.

I was brought up in the United Church of Canada and met Hildegard in the Student Christian Movement at the University of Manitoba. There we worshipped in a joint United Church/Anglican congregation. After we were married and I took courses at St Andrews United Church Seminary in Saskatoon, we moved back to Manitoba and became active members of the local Lutheran congregations in Winnipeg and Selkirk. I graduated from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Saskatoon in 2010 where I also took courses from professors in Emmanuel-St Chad's Anglican Seminary.

The experience of learning and worshipping in three Christian traditions has shown me how we as Christians have more in common than what divides us, namely, Jesus Christ. We all proclaim the Good News of Jesus' life, death and resurrection. We all celebrate God's presence with us by worshipping together in community. We are also called to express that presence by sharing the Body of Christ together and by being the Body of Christ, God's hands and feet, in our communities. Christians are commanded to love God, to love our neighbours, and to love ourselves. As we attempt to do that, there will be inevitable failures because we are human. Yet God works through even our failures and can turn them into successes not by our doing, but by God's doing. So we follow Christ's example, forgive others, and seek forgiveness for ourselves. I see a lot of evidence of God working in our communities as neighbours help each other, doing meals on wheels, driving people for doctors appointments, lending a listening ear and so on.

There is a lot of change going on in Canadian society, and in our church as well. We remember that there was a lot of change in the society where Jesus lived too. As the church grew it included people from many different traditions and backgrounds. That is the challenge for us. We must reach out to all generations, classes, racial, sexual, and national groups, because by so doing, we are reaching out to our brothers and sisters in the family of God.

Meeting Spiritual Needs in our Communities

The various communities around us are growing with both young families and retirees. This demographic presents us with a challenge as we seek to find new ways to proclaim the Good News of Jesus the Messiah. The ecumenical tradition of our congregation also means that we are equipped to welcome people of many Christian backgrounds. This is important for us since we have many visitors worshipping with us from Riding Mountain National Park.

The communities of Erickson, Onanole, Sandy Lake, Rolling River and Keeseekoowenin First Nations share this “cottage country” environment. Learning how we can live together and work together in mutual concern for each other's well being is an ongoing process. We participate with the other churches in our community in several activities throughout the church year and in the wider community.

Erickson Lutheran Church has an Annual Service in the Park which this year is at 2 PM on August 7th at the Bandstand. We also minister to the year-round residents of this area. In addition to our weekly services in the church building at 30-3rd St SW in Erickson we hold worship services monthly in the Sandy Lake and Erickson Personal Care Homes. There are also programs for women and men in the coffee shops and in private homes. See Year at a Glance for information about special services which take place throughout the year. Our choir practices Tuesdays at 7 p.m. September to May. New members are welcome! Men's breakfast meets at the Southquill Restaurant Friday mornings at 8 AM September to June. Women's circles meet every second Thursday of the month at 2:30 PM and 7:30 PM. A Scripture Study meets Tuesday morning at 11:00 AM at the church. You are welcome to join us.

Are you, or someone you know, in need of a ride to church in Erickson? Let us know! If you or someone you know would like a visit at home from Deacon Hilde or Pastor Jim; lease let us know! If there is someone in hospital; please let us know. We cannot know who is sick and/or in the hospital unless someone lets us know.

We would very much like to hear from you! We can be reached at 204-636-2259 at the church or call Pastor Jim at 204-636-2144, or 204-848-0237. Or contact us by email at admin@ericksonlutheranchurch.ca. Our website www.ericksonlutheranchurch.ca includes activity calendars and monthly newsletter and a link to our face book page.