St John Evangelical Lutheran Church

Grace Enough for Now
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digital footprint
Have you ever wondered about your “digital footprint”? 
That’s what you discover if you google your own name. In seconds, you find text, images, or video somehow connected to you. Googling the name of a pastor is interesting because our names are often in print in connection to funerals. When I google “Lisa Lewton” what mostly appears are names and photos of the people whose funerals I helped officiate. It is a poignant picture of the communion of saints who have gone before us.


Everyone’s digital footprint is unique! And it tends to reveal something about a person. A digital footprint is exceptionally important in regard to hiring someone for a job, or accepting someone into a college. In a few months, our family will discover a teenager living in our home when our son has his next birthday. If you have not been a teenager lately, or lived with one lately, social media has led to new challenges in this wilderness of raising teenagers. The digital footprint is a biggie.


Just as we learn the faith from what we see and experience, we learn social media habits from what we see and experience. Social media is something our kids do together. It is where they hang out and the primary way they communicate. The truth is, they are bound to make mistakes along the way. A digital footprint can be an unforgiving legacy. Each one of us makes major mistakes as teenagers. Now those mistakes, including texts, photos and videos that were posted impulsively or maliciously are stuck on the internet for good.


To help me through this wilderness, I recently read a book called The Grown-Up’s Guide to Teenage Humans, by Josh Shipp. It is an easy read with practical resources, including cell phone contracts and questions to engage a teenage in caring conversation.


The world can be an unforgiving place in this wilderness. But the church is not. Never, ever can the church be an unforgiving place or it has forgotten its mission. The gift we, a community of faith, have to share with teenagers (and their parents!) in the wilderness of raising teenagers and being teenagers is constant prayer and mercy. When you see a young person make a major mistake that shapes their digital footprint, the church can be the first to reach out, care, and forgive. The mercy of Christ is what the Body of Christ has to offer, and that gift will outlast anyone’s digital footprint.

Lisa Lewton

Senior Pastor


Summer Day Camp Monday, Aug 8 - All Day
Boy Scouts Monday, Aug 8 @ 6:30 PM
Summer Day Camp Monday, Aug 8 - All Day
Quilters Tuesday, Aug 9 @ 8:30 AM
Staff Meeting Tuesday, Aug 9 @ 1:30 PM

Signup for our E-NEWS

SUNDAYS 8:00 am & 9:30 am

9:30 am is also available on

Facebook Livestream &

broadcast on KDIX radio


 THURSDAYS: 7:00 pm


Wednesday Night Worship & programs will resume in September!









St John Lutheran Church
146 6th AVE W
Dickinson, ND 58601

Phone: (701) 225-6747
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