Fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Romans 12:2 MSG

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


What do I need to do to be loved by Jesus?  Why is it so hard to be satisfied?  Why do I always seem to want more?  Does prayer matter?  Why do I resist Jesus’ words about money?  Why is it so hard to be an instrument of peace? Why should I care for the poor?  Why do those I love break my heart?  Why do I hurt those I love?  How can I not be so anxious? How do I receive your forgiveness?  Why is it so hard to forgive?  Did Jesus really have to die?  How can I believe the resurrection happened?  How can I have more faith?  Why do bad things happen to good people?  And the list goes on. 

As the church, we are blessed with the opportunity to gather and to dive deep into meaningful conversations and work together.  What are the particular questions that you have about life and faith?  Please send them my way as I would love to hear how God is stirring in your life.

Did you know that 30% of our membership database at Our Savior’s is age 19 and younger?  God has gathered an incredible community here on this street corner.  The questions above are meaningful conversations for life.  Our young people need asset builders and faith equippers in their lives as we wrestle with the questions of life.  Even more so, as parents to youth and children, we need these meaningful intersections of worship, service, and generosity to shape and guide the development of our families and community.  We are not made to go it alone. 

Life is busy and complex.  Our Savior’s is a place for real connected life in the midst of it all.

Connect – Dive Deep – Experience Meaning and Purpose – Form Connections – Live Life to the Fullest!  Now that is something worth giving our lives to!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017


To Live and Love like Jesus....that is a vision worth giving our lives to!

Jesus, with every interaction, pours out life and love. He holds nothing back. He deeply engages in the hurts and hopes of this world. He does not wait for people to come to him but rather he often goes the extra mile to search them out and invests in them right where they are. Teaching, healing, serving, feeding, giving, loving...all acts of radical generosity for the sake of the world.

Just imagine the word on the street about Our Savior's being that this is a church that really knows how to live and love like Jesus. That this is a church that always goes the extra mile in relationship, service, and generosity. That this is a church that deeply cares about impacting all lives in such a way as to bring more life to the whole person and thus the whole world. Just imagine being so alive as a church body that what people experience through us is the person of Jesus. Just imagine!

In a day in which many are asking whether the church actually cares about the hurts and hopes of the world, it is the church called OUR SAVIOR'S AUSTIN that can go to work in showing the world that YES! we do. Our whole heart, soul, and mind consumed with the passion to live and love like Jesus. Our daily ministry both here and around the world deeply invested through life-giving relationships, high touch service, and radical generosity. Every person engaged in mission both locally and globally. All of creation more alive because of our work together as the Jesus community on earth.

This weekend we hear the story of the blind man having his sight restored. He has a story to tell because of his experience with Jesus. What story will we tell? What stories will be told of us?

I found this video last week while searching for "Blind Man" stories. May you be inspired by how this young man is impacting lives even in the midst of his challenges!

Open the eyes of our hearts Lord. May we see Jesus in others and may others see Jesus in us!

Pastor Chad

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


As a dad to five precious kiddos, there is nothing more meaningful to me than seeing young families come alive in faith with their kids. Over the years, I have been blessed to participate in robust and life giving Children's Ministries. Our Savior's has been blessed with an abundance of kids. Over 30% of this church is made up of young people 19 and younger. Just imagine the energy of all those young folks being engaged in faith.

All kids are our kids. Everyone at Our Savior's is a youth minister and asset builder in our young people. It takes the entire community to build up the whole Body of Christ. We need each other and our kids need all of us!

As you have heard proclaimed from the Communion Table each weekend since my arrival, "The Gifts of God are Free!" Whatever divisions or walls exist in our world they are taken away at the Lord's Table. Jesus pours out life for all and All Really Means All. It's not about age, wisdom, faith background, good works, religion, understanding, etc. It is about God and God's grace richly poured out for us. This means that everyone is fully invited to receive the gifts of bread and wine.

You may be saying, "But we were told you need to attend a class and understand what is happening in the meal in order to participate." Or, "Pastor, I needed to wait until Confirmation to participate, and so my kids should too." You are right, these statements and ways of life were put in place years ago. However it does not mean that this is the Lutheran way of life today.

Twenty years ago the ELCA as a church body approved communion for all ages. There was a discernment process, a time of study throughout the church, and then affirmation at the Church-Wide Assembly for what we now call "The Use of the Means of Grace," along with a study to assist congregations entitled, "Take This, All of You."  Since that time, hundreds of congregations throughout the ELCA have been communing people of all ages. In my nearly twenty years of ministry, I have only led churches where the table is truly open to all!

The church is the gathered community that is a sign of God's promised future. The meal is poured out for all! It's not about membership, it's not about understanding, and it's not about our prescribed time. Education and instruction (our Milestone Classes) about the meal are not organized as "conditions" for receiving the meal but as responsible actions of the church for the faith formation of those who eat and drink. We offer these classes to draw us deeper into God's story of life and love for all. They are deeply meaningful markers of faith growth along the journey. We hope that everyone attends these in fulfilling the baptismal promises that we have made to one another. Open Communion does not mean that there will be an expectation that all infants/young children commune. It simply means that all are invited to the table and that receiving communion before formal instruction is acceptable. The final decision concerning the time that a child begins receiving communion rests with the child's parents or primary caregiver.

On May 3rd, 10th, and 17th, we will dive deeper into conversation regarding "The Gifts of God are Free". We will teach on this way of life during our 6:30 pm worship experience, and continue with the Q & A after worship. We look forward to experiencing this journey with you.

Blessings to all as you love and lead in faith!
Pastor Chad

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


They are the core of every life giving organization on the face of the planet. Show me a church that is vitalized in its life together and it will be a church that is growing in relationship with God and each other. Point to a mission that is fully thriving and it will be because those who are serving have found deep connections for living and serving together. Look at a family filled with joy and it will be because of the immense unconditional love that is shared amongst them. Check into a workplace where people love working and it will be because of the support and team play of coworkers.

God is relationship. Everything that God does is for the sake of relationship. Jesus came into the world for relationship. Jesus lived for relationship with God and one another. The calling of the disciples wasn't for the purpose of downloading a bunch of information about God, but for the distinct purpose of living in relationship with God. Jesus showed them how to love, how to serve, how to pour out life for others. Relationships were the driver for Jesus in everything that he said and did. Read the stories of Scripture through a relationship lens and it is like reading the Word in 3-D, everything begins to jump off the page and come alive.

The hardest part of moving is leaving all of our daily relationships behind. For fifteen years we experienced the richness of life and love with our congregation and family in Colorado. Powerful stories of life and faith! The stories of all of those relationships are strong in our hearts. We move to Austin and it means starting over again. You don't know us and we don't know you. And yet, we are made for relationship! We are called to dive deep together.

While we may not know many of your stories today, we can say to you today that we already love you. We loved you and then picked up and left everyone we loved behind to come here. We love you because you are the church. You are the body of Christ assembled here to do God's work in this world. You are God's relationship to neighbor, co-worker, friend, stranger, and agency in the world. In that work, there are powerful stories of life and love. What new stories will we now create together?

Some have said here in this community that coming from the outside, my family may always be just that, an outsider who is never fully accepted. I refuse to accept that. That would be missing the mark in life. We are made for RELATIONSHIP. We cannot do life alone. Kids need a full community of asset-builders in their lives. Everyone is to be loved and valued. Jesus is clear about this. There is no longer Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female, insider or outsider, old Austin or new Austin, black or white, believer or unbeliever, (add some of yours to this list ____________) - all are ONE!

We are made for RELATIONSHIP, RELATIONSHIP, RELATIONSHIP. Deep and meaningful relationships with God and all of creation. May it be so.