Last evening, President Matthew C. Harrison asked me to bring additional greetings to you here in Palanga and to the Lutherans in Lithuania on his behalf and on that of the people of the Missouri Synod in the Name of Jesus! It is a great privilege and honor to be here among you today. It is a joy to see this church completed and ready to be used in worship.
For as long as I have served with President Harrison (both as President and when he worked as the director of Diakonia for the LCMS), he has spoken of the need to help our brothers and sisters in Christ who suffered under communism. He said we need to help them, to show mercy to them. Today, we heard Bishop Sabutis say, "This is a house of mercy." Indeed it is. It is the place the Lord comes and shows mercy.
It is a privilege and honor that the Lord allowed the people of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, in particular the Iowa East District, to participate in the building of this church in Palanga. It brings us joy to see this day.
We also heard how after the corner stone was laid in July 2005 how plans were made to dedicate this church in 2007. Yet those plans were delayed and now 5 years later we celebrate the opening of this church. Some may have thought the promise to build the church would not come true. Some may have even thought the Lord failed his promises. Hear this word of Scripture after Solomon finished building the temple, he "Blessed be the Lord who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise." (1 Kings 8:56)
Indeed, today the Lord has given rest to his people as he has promised. Today he has given you rest in his promises. Not one word of the Lord has failed you. The Lord has given you his precious Gospel and his forgiving gifts. He has given you this sanctuary to worship him.
Today, we celebrate and rejoice with you at the completion of the Lutheran Church in Palanga. We pray that it will be blessing to you and to the people here. Remember that the Lord is faithful to his promise. He will never fail you. It is our duty to given him thanks and praise, for his Gospel and for this place of worship.
The Blessing of God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be with you. Amen."