Tuesday’s Treasure @ New Life–Jessica Gestl

    …created in the image of God…
       … to accomplish good things for the kingdom…
Dear Treasured Ones,
One of my favorite animated movies is “The Lion King”.  While the children enjoy the songs like “Akuna Matata” and Pumba burping and passing gas along the jungle trail, most adults who know their Bible recognize quickly that this particular story looks an awful lot like the parable of the Prodigal’s son Jesus shares with his disciples… Simba runs off…things don’t go so well… and it’s time to go home… and we all hold hands and sing…”The Circle of Life!”  In the parable this is the work of God’s still small voice within…in the movie it is the work or ‘Rafiki,’ the monkey priest who helps Simba re-connect with the power of his father…”i know who your fadda is…”  he says with such confidence… and a hint of joyful laughter… don’t believe me…ask Jessica Gestl…it’s one of her favorite movies… and she is today’s Tuesday’s Treasure… created in the image of God to accomplish great things in God’s kingdom…
And she is because of people like you and me, her parents, John and Coleen and our Director for Youth & Family Ministry, Beth Hartfiel!  Really… just ask her… but you best be quick about it (say it like Rafiki…”kwik-a-BOW’-dit”) because as of today she is the new transitional Director for Youth & Family Ministry at our partner congregation, New Hope Lutheran Church in Missouri City.  She really gets her feet wet (youth ministers know about “soggy shoes” and walking in one’s baptism..) tomorrow when she is introduced to the youth and parents at their Wednesday night youth and family Advent gathering… and for Jessica THIS is the ‘circle of life!’
Back in the day when Jessica moved to Pearland with her parents and sister, they came to this church from Christ the King LC in Kenner, LA…I knew their pastor, The Rev. Dr. Tom Morgan…and they jumped right in and have remained involved in this ministry from the first day… and Jessica’s circle goes from attending Sunday School and LYO activities, going to Jr Hi and Sr Hi synod gatherings, building friendships in this congregation and in the synod, be both a participant and staff member of Camp HOPE and attending the National ELCA Youth Gathering…which led her to Texas Lutheran University, our synod’s college just down the highway and with a degree in Theology with credentials in Youth & Family ministry…so what once was the arena in which Jessica learned of God’s grace and discovered gifts for ministry she is now an instrument of God’s grace and a leader amongst those who are in the same place where she began… now that’s God doing a great thing for the kingdom don’t you think?
Jessica reflects the ‘circle of life’ in a wonderful, convincing way and is also an example of what we will be reminding ourselves with this year’s Advent theme… 3 D Christmas… where we get ready for Jesus birth as we focus our hearts and minds and faith in 3 important directions…UP with God… IN with the congregation building and strengthening friendships and OUT with the world as we serve God by tending to those less fortunate than us… as this has all been at work in her life for many years now…
She was fortunate to have parents who not only spoke promises at her baptism…but kept them… and she was fortunate to be part of a church where friendships are important in the best and worst of times…and fortunate enough to be surrounded by people who provided an example that when God blesses your life you don’t keep those blessings to yourself… you share them with others… UP, IN and OUT… there you go…Jessica Gestl…today’s Tuesday’s Treasure…created in God’s image…just like you and just like me to accomplish great things for God and the kingdom work we share…
Sadly, I must report that Jessica will not be able to gather with us tomorrow night at 6:30 PM for soup and faith conversation… as she will be at work at New Hope… she covets your prayers and knows that we will all benefit in the days approaching Christmas… so here’s what you can do…as our small group gatherings are taking the place of a mid-week Advent service…
  • think of 4-5 people you want to have dinner with tomorrow night.  Meet at New Life.  6:30 PM.  Bring Soup and dessert.
  • 3 D booklets will be available to begin using right after dinner. 
  • If you choose to meet on a different night or on Saturday or on Sunday during the SS hour…then come and have soup THIS Wednesday and make a plan for your small group…
Jessica knows that we have great potential for doing this… who can meet?  Well, the list is long… young singles, young couples, young couples with children, Jr Hi students and their parents, Sr Hi students and their parents, the Choir, the Quilters…our “Seniors” who meet tomorrow have enough people for 3-4 groups, parents who children have left the nest, people who live in Country Place, folks who live in Sagemont or Friendswood, visitors to New Life who are looking for friends… see how smart Jessica is… and while this is a short term project and while this is a very busy time of the year…Jessica will also tell you that this may just be the very thing you need to slow your pace down and keep your eye on the Jesus of Christmas…
Thanks be to God for Jesus and thanks be to God for Jessica Gestl…this week’s Tuesday’s Treasure…
New Life. Now!

About briangigee

Loves life; lives love! Bud and Doris' eldest son. Descendant of 'refiners' and 'reformers.' Husband to Margo. Father of 5. Grandfather to 4. Brother, uncle, friend and colleague. Working parish pastor. Became a naturalized Texan in February 2013.
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