DMARC Food Pantry Item for July
Canned Vegetables

This Week's Ministry Blog
Leaving the Church

I have been a parish pastor just barely a month shy of 9 years. Monday will be my last day.
And for my last sermon as a pastor called to a congregation, it seems like I've been handed a box of odds and ends, the kitchen junk drawer of parables. The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed...yeast...treasure hidden in field...a merchant in search of fine pearls...a net thrown that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind.
It's kind of a mess. And I've got to admit: it suits.
We've all heard about one's life flashing before their eyes in the last moments. In these last moments of my life as "Pastor Sarah" a jumble of visions from first call in Virginia to this call in Iowa come to mind:
Shooing away the cows in a parishioner's driveway to find they had licked the salt off every inch of my car, leaving the windshield a smeary, opaque mess...Catching the crickets (and one time even a tiny, hopping green frog) that had snuck in from the suburban garden to make their home near the baptismal font...balancing thimbles full of wine and a stack of wafers on whatever surface I can find in so many hospital rooms...The random bits that tend to collect in every office space I've every occupied: scattered business cards, bunny ears, post-it-notes with indecipherable scribbles, a Santa hat, that bulletin board I always intended to hang on the wall, Tibetan prayer flags, a giant plywood pig... Standing alone in the sanctuary talking to myself for hours until the scripture feels like it is a part of me...Picking up the phone so that I can have that conversation I've been dreading with someone who is so very angry at me...Lifting up a toddler so he can kiss his mother's face one last time before they close the casket...The stories I love to tell, the ones I can't repeat, the ones that make me cry.  
As in parables, these the kingdom of God moments have defied explanation and challenged expectation. The wheres and hows and shoulds of what it means to be in ministry and what church looks like repeatedly troubled and sometimes even turned on their head. But even in the midst of the worst, the most wonderful gifts have emerged.
Such it is with these parables. There is no separation, no distinction in the messy kingdom of God. No place that is unholy, no thing that is to be set apart. It is the way of holiness to be revealed in the profane, redeem the worthless, and resurrect the dead. It is the essence of holiness to surprise us and speak the good news with the last word we ever thought we'd hear.
The unwanted weed is actually the greatest of shrubs. The unseen forces are at work, bringing forth new things. The treasure is hidden, but it it's there.
Walking out the door, I know that I am not leaving the church. I am going out into the world to discover anew the church already present in the world.

Pastor Sarah

Brunch for Pastor Sarah  

The congregation is invited to a brunch on Sunday, July 30, from 9:15-10:15 a.m., in St. Michael's Hall to honor Pastor Sarah as we bid farewell, and celebrate her service to Faith Lutheran Church over the past few years. Please join us!

Thank You, Kala 

In honor of Kala Zanoni's 28 years of service here at Faith we commissioned a special carving from Sticks Gallery. The carvings on the picture frame are meant to capture the many wonderful ways Kala shared her gifts with the congregation as our Office Manager. It is just one small gesture of our gratitude for her generous care for us all.  Feel free to send your own words of appreciation with a card and a gift if you choose. She continues to reside at Genesis Senior Living Center, 5608 SW 9 th Street, Des Moines, Iowa, 50315.   

Family Promise Host Week August 20-27 
We're Now Using SignUp Genius!

Faith will again be hosting homeless families in the Gathering House August 20th through the 27th. Please consider helping by providing meals, serving as host for evening dinner, an overnight host, or as part of a clean-up crew. Are you a first-time volunteer? Awesome! We'll provide you full instructions on this easy-to-do service.      
Signup for volunteers will begin this week and we are trying out the convenient online tool SignUp Genius. This easy-to-use signup method will show the most current info and needs yet to be filled for the host week. So instead of looking for the paper signup sheet at our table, please log onto Faith's website and look under the Quick Links tab to find SignUp Genius. If you do not have access to the Internet, or prefer to call or email, you may also sign up that way. You can find instructions, background check consent forms, and other info at the table. If you have any questions about FP, please feel free to contact Bob at, or Lynnette at Thank you!

New Member Class

A new member class will be held on Sundays, September 17 and 24, from 9:30-10:15 a.m. The class will be held in Faith Lights Room and serves as preparation for those who are interested in membership at Faith. There will be an opportunity to review the basics of the Christian faith from a Lutheran perspective, to meet ministry team leaders and staff, and to develop new friendships. New members will be officially received at the worship service at 10:30 a.m. on September 24. If you would like to register for the class, please email Miranda Kurtt at or call 225-8334.

Luther Park Ice Cream Social

The Luther Park Auxiliary is having their annual Ice Cream Social next Sunday, August 6, from 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. at the Luther Park Community Center. This means pie, brownie sundaes and even sugar-free items are available. Please plan to attend this great event and see the newly remodeled Center! If you can help supply a pie, please call Vi Munsch, Faith's LLP representative early this week at 987-2251.

God's Work Our Hands
Blood Drive
The blood drive will be held Saturday, September 9th from 8:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. at Windsor Heights Lutheran Church, Fellowship Hall, 1240 66th Street, Des Moines. Please schedule your appointment by contacting Pastor Sarah Trone Garriott at Please bring a valid form of identification, such as your donor ID card or driver's license.