Faith Lutheran News

From the Pastor’s Desk…

From the Pastor’s Desk…

Greetings children of God.

Jeremiah 33:14-16 – “The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’”

This Sunday we enter the season of Advent, the season of preparation, of anticipation, of hope. It is a time to celebrate that the Christ who came once to free us from our sins will come again to bring us into God’s kingdom forever.

The symbols of hope surround us. The blue of the paraments calls to mind the coming of the dawn, the lightening of the sky after the pitch of midnight. We are preparing to wake to a new day. A circle has no beginning or end. Thus the shape of the wreath symbolizes God and the promise of God: constant and eternal. Our Advent anticipation is the fulfillment of the promise that Christ will come again.

The candle in the wreath is light – the light that shines in the darkness, a light the darkness cannot overcome. It is also the light of vigilance, a reminder to us to be watchful as we wait for the return of our Lord, to be prepared. So, with hope and anticipation we prepare, renew and refresh our hearts for the coming of the long-expected Jesus.

Window update – Unfortunately the company doing our windows has been affected by supply shortages as many other companies have been. As of now, our windows are to be shipped to CGS on December 6. Hopefully they will be installed before Christmas Eve.

The kitchen renovations have begun. There’s a couple of tables setup in the fellowship hall for fellowship time in between our services. Please do not go into the kitchen for anything as it is an area under construction. Also, please do not open any of the boxes in the fellowship hall.

On Saturday November 27, we will be decorating for Advent. Help is always needed; as the saying goes, many hands make light work. We will probably start about 10am.

Our mission project for Luther Home of Mercy will be completed this Thursday. We are working on getting items for the residents there. If you would like to participate, there are lists on the table of items needed. You have until this Thursday evening to bring any items you would like to contribute to the church as they will be delivered first thing Friday morning.

We will have a Christmas cantata on Sunday December 12 at the 10:30 service and there will be a children’s Christmas program on Sunday December 19 at the 8am service.

We will have 2 Christmas Eve services this year, one at 4pm and one at 7pm.

Blessings on your day,

Pastor Tim

Faith Formation at Home from Bishop Daniel

Faith Formation at Home from Bishop Daniel

I want to share Bishop Daniel’s thoughts on this with y’all.

Dear Friends in Christ,

“Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9).

 

On Sunday morning September 27, I led worship at St. Paul, Jenera. For the children’s message, I simply read the story “Words or Actions?” based on Matthew 21:23-32 in the Whirl Story Bible. After the story I mentioned to the congregation that one of my earliest memories as a child is of my grandmother reading Bible stories to me from a children’s Bible. I then encouraged the grandparents and parents present to take the time to read Bible stories to their children and grandchildren.

The response to that simple encouragement caught me off guard. There were many comments after worship and two e-mails. “Bishop, I do that every time my grandkids visit!” “That’s a great idea. We’ll start today!” “What was the name of that Bible you used? And where can we get one?” A long e-mail arrived on Monday from a woman sharing her memories of sitting with her grandma who read her Bible story after Bible story.

This simple encouragement (which I’ve shared in many parishes) was heard in a new way on Sunday morning and I’m trying to sort out why? Surely the COVID-19 pandemic plays a part. And a longing for a simpler time, perhaps. Or maybe God is reminding us once again, of the importance of faith formation in our homes.

The Rev. Dr. David Anderson is a Lutheran pastor who serves as the co-director of Milestones Ministry. This is a ministry committed to faith formation in the church and in the home. “A healthy church is a church that practices faith at home!” I am intrigued by Pastor Anderson’s five principles of faith formation.

1.      Faith is formed by the power of the Holy Spirit through personal, trusted relationships – often in our own homes.

2.      The church is a living partnership between the ministry of the congregation and ministry of the home.

3.       Where Christ is present in faith, the home is church, too!

4.      Faith is caught more than it is taught.

5.      If we want Christian children and youth, we need Christian adults who practice the faith with them.

As you reflect on the words from Deuteronomy 6 above, what are some of the ways we have encouraged our children to keep God’s Word in their hearts and on their minds?

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Tim

This just in…

This just in…

Greetings children of God,

This year, the NWOS is inviting everyone to join them in 2021, as they read through the entire New Testament in Chronological Order. Not Matthew to Revelation, but James to Revelation. You may be surprised to know that many of the New Testament Letters were composed before the Gospels were written. You can click on the link below to get the daily reading guide. Spending time reading God’s Word daily is something we should all do and many times, it feels daunting or more like a task, something we have to do instead of something we want to do, because we’re not sure how long we should read for or how much we should read. The daily reading guide for the New Testament solves those issues as the readings are a chapter a day, sometimes less. Reading a chapter a day takes about 3-5 minutes and after reading, I encourage you to spend some time reflecting on what you’ve read. You may just be surprised as to what you think, feel or experience. I look forward to this journey with you.

God’s blessings,

Pastor Tim

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