Pastor David Nehrenz
Dear Fellow Redeemed in Christ,
August is a unique month. Half of the month is still summer vacation and during the other half school begins. As a result, families are finishing up their recreational trips and at the same time buying school supplies. It is a busy time! Since Kathy and I have raised four kids, we can truly say, “Been there, done that!”
As your pastor, I want each of you to consider something this month: Commit yourself and your family to be in church every Sunday morning and have your children in Sunday School and yourself in Bible class.
You may be saying to yourself, “We can’t do that, we have too many other things going on in our family and our kids are involved in so many activities and sports events.”
But I want to say to you as your pastor, as a husband, a father and a grandfather, you can do this! I am the oldest of eight children, raised in Ohio by a dad who was a painting contractor and a mom who was a homemaker. We were in church every Sunday, and most of us walked to church, because our car could not hold 10 people.
Why is attending the Divine Services and Sunday School so vitally important for your family? Why is worship and the study of God’s Word such a high priority? Because God says so! It is as simple as that!
The 3rd Commandment is: “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.” Sunday is the Lord’s day, the first day of the week – we rest in Jesus – the Lord of the Sabbath!
Also the Lord says about teaching your children the Word of God: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:1-4)
Each Sunday, the whole banquet and feast of God’s Word is prepared for you by your pastor, vicar, elders, organist and church staff. Each weekend the Sunday School teachers are ready to teach your children the key Bible accounts from the Old and New Testament. Three adult Bible classes are prepared for you to grow in God’s Word. So we want you to be there, sharing in fellowship with us – for the eternal benefit of your family!
We are daily walking in a pilgrimage from this life on earth into our eternal life in heaven. May the Lord fill you with joy and peace and hope as you join us around God’s Word each Sunday – the Lord’s Day!
In our Lord Jesus,
Pastor David Nehrenz
Vicar David Keating
I am thrilled to be spending the next year of my seminary education here in Norman. I’ve been a lifelong New Yorker so getting out and seeing the rest of the country is very exciting. Although I have only been here for a short time, I already feel right at home. Trinity has been incredibly welcoming!
I have been studying at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne. Before beginning my seminary education, I studied theology and English literature at Concordia College-New York & Concordia University – Nebraska. Studying literature is very much one of my hobbies and passions, so when I am not preparing for bible study and Sunday service, you will most likely find me with a book in my hands.
I am very much a product of Lutheran education, having been taught in Lutheran schools from preschool all the way through graduate school. Being at the seminary has felt like the natural conclusion to my educational experience. Having served as a summer vicar in Montreal, I can honestly say that I have found my passion in pastoral ministry as I hope to one day be called into the pastoral office.
My first year of seminary education was spent in Indiana, where I was able to learn in a formative Lutheran environment about teaching and preaching. The seminary community is filled with excellent students and professors that have all contributed something unique to my education and I am thrilled to have been able to study amongst such a wonderful group of people that are all focused on Christ-like service toward others. My second year in seminary was spent abroad at Westfield House in Cambridge, England. This gave me the opportunity to see what Lutheranism looked like around the globe. I was able to pick up a tremendous amount of preaching experience in what is very much a secular context. This diverse setting taught me a lot about how we can bring the Gospel to those who have never heard of Christ and His ministry before. My experience in the United Kingdom reinforced the idea that there really is no better task to be given than to preach the good news to those who have not yet heard it. The Church has a wonderful message of hope and healing that is desperately needed in a world that is hurting.
I am so thankful to be learning about the work of a pastor. The opportunity to one day be called into the ministry is one of the biggest blessings that I have received in life and I hope that the service I provide to Trinity will be fruitful! I know that this year of vicarage will continue to prepare me well as I hope to one day enter the “harvest”. “…send out laborers into his harvest.” – Matthew 9:36-38
Vicar David Keating
Former Vicar Keith Kettner
It has been a great joy to be with you this past year! I have been blessed to call Norman my home and get to know the people of Trinity Lutheran. God is at work in this place through all that you do, remaining steadfast in His Word in these tough times. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” As we continue through life, we realize that our hope relies entirely on the sure Word of God that never changes.
We can always learn more. This idea has been pounded into my head at seminary, and I have seen it in action this year. I have learned the Scriptures so much better in teaching them to college students, kindergarteners, seniors, and international students. I have seen with great joy others learning and striving to better understand God and His mercy. God’s teaching is never exhausted in the Bible. There is so much depth to dig. As I look forward to the years ahead, I realize this has been the tip of the iceberg.
Studying in the classroom for six straight years, this opportunity has been a breath of fresh air. Seeing God’s work in action in a specific place has recharged my desire to serve the Church. Your desire for proper worship centered the washing flood of Baptism and the banquet of Jesus’ body and blood encourages me for the future. In the midst of constant turmoil, the Church remains founded in Jesus Himself, seeking His forgiveness and accomplishing His mercy throughout the world.
Thank you for all your support this year! This vicarage is truly a welcoming place that takes care of their vicars. I pray that God will continue to bless all of you in the years ahead as we look forward to coming of His Son. Then we shall never be separated from God again.
“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Vicar Keith Kettner