The Lamb’s Pen A monthly publication of Abiding Shepherd Lutheran Church
“BRING them in...LIFT them up...SEND them out”
MISSION UPDATE (Ruthann Mickelson) What’s involved in “engaging others with Jesus”? How can we learn to do that? Professor Michael Smith, in the March issue of The Lutheran Sentinel, encourages us to be mindful of our baptisms, to partake often in the Lord’s Supper, and to “listen to God’s Word in the divine service, in our personal devotions at home and on our iPods and iPhones”. We also could include our Bible studies here at Abiding Shepherd. God, by his grace, will then use that Word to “make our faith stronger”. Then, when the occasion presents itself to us, we will be ready to boldly engage others with Jesus. Pray about it. We all are called to service, To witness in God’s name. Our ministries are diff’rent; Our purpose is the same: To touch the lives of others With God’s surprising grace, So ev’ry folk and nation May feel God’s warm embrace. Christian Worship #566, verse 2
Abiding Shepherd Lutheran Church 406 W. Cottage Grove Road Cottage Grove, WI 53527 (608) 839-3770 Pastor Nathan Krause Vicar Nathanael Abrahamson
“When you have THE SHEPHERD… ...you have everything you need.” The Lamb’s Pen - 2
Visit our website at www.AbidingShepherd.org
NEWS AND EVENTS
Amayah Brook Taylor was baptized on Sunday, February 26. We celebrate with her family as she is adopted into Godâ€™s Christian family.
Tony Finger and Nina Parsons were married on the beach on the island of Oahu in Hawaii on March 10. They were married by Pastor Gumm who is a long-time friend of Pastor Krause.
SPRING CLEAN UP Saturday, April 28, 8:30 am (Rain Date: Saturday, May 5) With the mild winter and early spring weather the church grounds could use a little attention. Grab your gloves, rakes and wheelbarrows as several projects need to be tackled this spring. With a good crowd, all the projects could be finished before noon!
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FYI… (Pastor Krause) Spiritual information… “But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me.” (Psalm 31:14-15). These two verses from the psalms are familiar to me. I’ve read them at funerals I have conducted and I’ve used them in hospital and sick visits, especially for those who are facing extremely difficult and trying circumstances. They were written by King David when he was at a low point in his life, or as he says, “my enemies and those who pursue me.” So you can probably easily make the connection why you may hear these words at a funeral or in the hospital. But maybe you have never considered how applicable they are during Lent. I just figured that out recently. I’ve been keeping a pretty busy schedule lately (not sure what I would have done this year if Vicar were not here), and Lent is always an especially stressful and exhausting season in the church year - at least it is for me. So I have been looking for some “positive reinforcement” lately, especially as my brain gets filled with details and my days start earlier and earlier. To top it off, I’ve been looking for some words of comfort because it is the season of Lent, but not because of the schedule. Rather, because of the intense Passion study. Lent is one of the hardest times of year for me, not just as a pastor, but as a sinner. It is a struggle to see so clearly the love of our Savior and to know that I am still such a sinner. Part of me really wrestles with my inability to stop sinning even after hearing/seeing what Jesus has done for me. Some other words come to mind, those of the apostle Paul… “O what a wretched man I am!” You would think by now after many years of being a pastor I would have a ready supply of Bible passages ready to go for such situations. Well, I do for everyone else, but often fail to quickly remember them when it comes to me. You may not know this but the most difficult member at Abiding Shepherd I have to deal with is myself. I’m stubborn. I don’t like to listen very well. And of course since I “teach it” I assume I should “know it”. The Lamb’s Pen - 4
Maybe, since it’s Lent for you too, you have been looking for a few words of comfort as well. Take it from me. Don’t wait for a funeral or a hospital visit to hear what David had to say. Not only are your times in God’s hands, but He is your God too!
Lenten Suppers… a special word of thanks to all of you who have so graciously hosted at the Lenten suppers. Your Christ-like service to others has been such a blessing. Thanks also to Holly for using her organizational skills to make sure each supper is a success.
Lenten Services… as you know this is the first year of a full slate of mid-week services we have offered during the season of Lent. Thanks to Vicar Abrahamson and his faithful preparations to make this a reality for us. We also wish to thank God for moving so many of our members to come to these services for the special commemoration of our Lord’s suffering and death. Our sins are great - His love is so much greater!
Vicar Abrahamson… as you may have heard we await call day (slated for Thursday, May 10th) to learn whether the Synod calling committee will grant our request to assign Vicar Abrahamson to our parish to become our second pastor. In the meantime you will notice that I will intensify his training to prepare him for whatever the Lord may have in mind for him, including more of the preaching.
Audio-Visual upgrades… hopefully you were either at the annual meeting or were able to read the minutes. One of the blessings God provided in 2011 was an excess of income as opposed to spending. Some of the extra funds have been designated to improve or replace our aging technical equipment. We plan to purchase and install a new projector, upgrade our speakers and add a larger monitor to the lobby (the smaller monitor will be moved to the Little Lambs room). Watch for these improvements and thank God for providing the blessings to make these improvements. 5 - April 2012
A SPRING IN YOUR STEP (Vicar Abrahamson) There’s just something about spring that makes you walk differently. There’s something that just gives you extra energy and bounce. Maybe it’s because of the different smell of the air, or the sound of the birds chirping, or the sight of flowers blooming, or just the lack of having to wear a winter coat, I personally think that the biggest contributing factor is the excitement of what lies ahead. With every flower that pops up, every chirp that we hear, and every day we get to wear shorts, our excitement grows for the summer that’s just around the corner. As we’re approaching the month of April, I’m definitely feeling an extra spring in my step because of all those things, but also because of a few other things that are just around the corner. April will mark number 10 out of my 11 months of service as a Vicar. It’s hard to believe that we’re actually at that point already! And just as all those things of spring create excitement about the summer that is around the corner, there are many things that are getting me excited about what lies around the corner of my life. With every sermon that I preach, E.P.I.C. that I lead and small group that I facilitate, I get more and more excited about the reality that in just a couple months, I will be doing those things not as Vicar, but as Pastor. Also now, every time my fiancée Stella comes to visit I get more and more excited about the fact that on May 27th we will be married and, God willing, we will be making Cottage Grove our long-term home! There’s one more reason I also feel a spring in my step this time of year, and it has nothing to do with warmer weather or even what lies ahead in the events of my life. It has everything to do, however, with what we’ve been spending a lot of time preparing for here at church. During Lent we’ve been focusing on just what Christ did for us on the cross and soon we’ll be celebrating how He rose again and won the victory of sin, death, and the devil. As great as spring weather and exciting future plans may be, they’re no match for the spring that the good news of eternal life in Christ puts in our step. A spring that isn’t just around this season, but that we get to have in our step every day of our lives. Happy spring! The Lamb’s Pen - 6
E.P.I.C. YOUTH MINISTRY (Vicar Abrahamson) On March 16-18 sixteen youth from E.P.I.C. Youth Ministry and ten youth from E.D.G.E. Youth Ministry of St. Peter’s Lutheran in Weyauwega came together for the Cabin Fever Youth Retreat! Thanks to our leaders, Ed and Leslie Wren, Dan Samuelson, and Tracy Schumacher for helping make the weekend such a success! Check out the pictures below for a little glimpse at how E.P.I.C. the retreat was!
Look at that crew! 26 youth & 6 adult leaders! Thank you all!
The theme for our Retreat was “To the Rescue.” Our Bible studies talked about the fight we have against sin and how there’s One who comes to the rescue.
The youth completed a number of “challenges” that encouraged team work and brought them together as a group.
Of course we had our fair share of unplanned fun activities as well! Paul Bunyan Basketball made for some E.P.I.C. competition! 7 - April 2012
APRIL SCHEDULE CHANGE Please make note that the Lord’s Supper will be offered on the first weekend (Sunday, April 1 and Monday, April 2) and the third weekend (Sunday, April 15 and Monday, April 16) instead of the usual second and fourth weekend. This switch was made because Easter falls on the second Sunday in April. Please make use of this powerful means of grace as often as you are able.
SALTY EARTH PICTURES Focus of Second Quarter Direct Ministry and Mission Support Policy The purpose of the Direct Ministry and Mission Support, as outlined in the policy, is: “to direct ASLC’s efforts in providing ministry and mission support to those in need outside the walls of Abiding Shepherd.” During the second quarter (April through June) Abiding Shepherd will direct our support to Salty Earth Pictures, a local film company in Fort Atkinson. Salty Earth Pictures is a non-profit motion picture and multi-media organization dedicated to using entertainment and the arts to share Jesus Christ with the world. Many members toured the production company last month and enjoyed watching one of the feature-length films they produced. Check out their website at saltyearthpictures.org. You might find a face familiar to many Abiding Shepherd members under their Salty Earth Channel tab - Pastor Clark Schultz! Please consider how you might support this program with a gift over and above your regular offerings. Gifts up to $500 total will be matched. Please use the special envelopes located on the table in the lobby for your donations. Total gifts given to the summer Vacation Bible School in Ukraine (the first quarter ministry supported by Abiding Shepherd) will be listed in the May newsletter within the Financial Report. The Lamb’s Pen - 8
FOXHOLE MEETINGS FOR MEN Wednesdays, 7:00 am at church “What does it mean to be a Christian man?” and “Was Jesus a manly man?” These are just some of the questions discussed Wednesday mornings. This is an open meeting – there is no registration. Stop by for a cup of coffee, breakfast food and interesting discussions.
ATTENTION WARRIORS FOR CHRIST - GUY’S NIGHT OUT WILD GAME FEED AND BONFIRE Date: Saturday, April 21, 2012 Time: 5:00 pm - ? Place: Terry Niedfeldt's Home 2210 Koshkonong Road Cottage Grove WI Bring: A chair, a wild animal dish to share or something to throw on the grill and stories to share Start thinking about what you could prepare for our first ever Wild Game Feed! Dishes might include venison, buffalo, rabbit, duck, elk, fish, frog legs, squirrel, alligator, goose, bear, pheasant or wild turkey – whatever you can hunt or catch. Bring a dish to pass or load up your cooler with something to throw on the grill. This is an ice-breaker event for men of the congregation and their friends to get connected. The grills will be fired up and ready to go. Tableware, buns, beverages and sides provided by the church. Bonfire to follow. We’ll relocate to the lower level of the church should there be rain. Directions: Men don’t need directions... …. but in case some of your wives are dropping you off or picking you up… From Cottage Grove to Niedfeldt’s: Travel south on Highway N toward Stoughton about six miles, then left on Koshkonong Road; 2210 Koshkonong Road is on the left side one mile down the road. (just off I-39/90-Hwy N exit) Sign up on the bulletin board in the lobby at church. Contact Reggie with any questions 608-205-3095 or email@example.com. 9 - April 2012
HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE Sunday, April 1 through Sunday, April 8 Palm Sunday, April 1 - The “wages of sin” sermon series closes with a study of Judah and Tamar, based on Genesis 38:1-26. Good Friday, April 6 - Listen to the words of Pilate from John 19:19-22 as Vicar Abrahamson finishes the Lenten series “Almost There”. Easter Sunday, April 8 - Special service times will be 7:00 am and 9:00 am with an Easter Brunch served at 8:00 am. Please invite your family, friends and neighbors to join us in celebrating Jesus’ victory over death! Monday, April 9 - There will be NO contemporary worship service that evening.
MT. OLYMPUS INDOOR WATER PARK Saturday, April 14, 10:00 am to ?? The cost for each person is $8. Children under three are free. This includes a lunch ticket for a hot dog, chips and beverage. Wristbands will be distributed beginning Sunday, April 1. If your family, friends and neighbors would like to spend the day splishing and splashing - please sign up on the bulletin board in the lobby.
DINING TOUR TO ELDORADO GRILL Saturday, April 14, 5:30 pm Enjoy another great restaurant experience as folks travel to Madison for southwestern cooking at its finest. Try a “Texas Torpedo” or, for those not quite as adventurous, enjoy comfort food selections such as baby back ribs or chicken fried steak. As always, sign up in the lobby as the church makes the reservation and you are asked to cover the cost of your meal. The Lamb’s Pen - 10
EUCHRE NIGHT AT ABIDING SHEPHERD (Sue Oâ€™Kroley) Friday, April 20, 6:30 pm Experienced players as well those that would like to learn are invited. Most folks bring a snack to share. If you would like to join or find out more, please contact Sue at 332-3622 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up at church!
SHOWER FOR VICAR AND STELLA Sunday, April 29, Noon Members of Abiding Shepherd are invited to a wedding shower for Vicar and his lovely bride-to-be, Stella Georgas! This will be a potluck event with cake and beverages furnished. The happy couple is registered at Target. Please sign up at church. Men are encouraged to attend too!
SPRING CARNIVAL Saturday, May 19 Please mark your calendar for this important outreach event! Many volunteers will be needed for face painting, supervising a possible bounce house, helping with pony rides and other activities. This will be a huge event open to the community and YOU can make it a great success. As a special feature, the Christian band KoinĂŠ will perform.
FAMILY CAMPING AT CAMP PHILLIP Saturday and Sunday, June 23 - 24 Three full campsites have been reserved (some with electricity) at this beautiful WELS campground in Wautoma. All the fun of a secular camp ground with a unique Sunday morning worship service! 11 - April 2012
AMERICAN PLAYERS THEATER, Sunday, June 24, 6:00 pm Join us as we enjoy one of the greatest comedies ever written. Shakespeare and American Players Theater deliver a night of deep, satisfying laughter. They will entertain us with a not-so-stuffy performance, while still remaining true to the original play. American Players Theatre offers a professional, classic 1,148-seat outdoor amphitheater located just outside Spring Green (about an hour’s drive from Madison). Groups of 20 or more can secure tickets for about $35 each. Online registration as well as a sign-up sheet will be available soon - so save the date on your calendar!
ORDINATION OF VICAR ABRAHAMSON, Sunday, July 1 If things proceed as we prayerfully hope they will, “Vicar” Abrahamson will become our second called pastor and will be ordained “Pastor” Abrahamson that Sunday. A celebration of “E.P.I.C.” proportions is sure to follow.
CONGREGATIONAL MEETING, Sunday, July 8 Enjoy a nice lunch provided by the church and then stay for the meeting. The wording in the Constitution By-Laws as well as several other items will be discussed at this important meeting.
CHURCH PICNIC, Sunday, July 15 Travel to Cambridge for good food and water fun at Richard and Holly Freund’s pond. This is a private pond so you can fish without a license. Try the “zip” line, hop on the paddle boat for a tour around the pond or have fun on the water trampoline. The church provides the meat and beverages, everyone brings a dish to pass.
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MALLARDS GAME, Sunday, August 5 Tailgate at 3:00 pm, Game at 5:05 pm This annual event draws a big crowd. We’ve already ordered the tickets. Again the church provides the food, all you have to do is come and enjoy an afternoon of fellowship and baseball.
ROOKIES Sunday, August 26 (note new date) This place has an “Authentic Regulation Wiffle Ball Field” - really! We’ll take the beautiful drive to Mazomanie for lunch and a pick-up game of Wiffle Ball. The church will furnish the food. This sounds like loads of fun!
SUNDAY SCHOOL PICNIC, Sunday, September 9 The Benevolence and Fellowship Team just keeps adding more great events to the calendar! To celebrate the start of Sunday School as well as many of the other Christian education programs, they are planning a potluck picnic at church.
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STAYING INFORMED is as Easy as 1 - 2 - 3 Abiding Shepherd is now using Google Calendar and YOU can add the church calendar to your calendar! 1. Log in to your Google calendar 2. Under "Other Calendars" select "Add a friend's calendar" 3. Enter email@example.com, press “Add” and you're got it!
FUNERAL SERVERS (Tammy Niedfeldt) The Benevolence and Fellowship Team is working on ways to support those of our congregation who face the loss of a loved one. One of the first areas in which we can offer comfort and support to the family is by serving a luncheon on the day of the funeral. Individuals will be grouped by those who could help on weekdays, evenings and weekends. Since most funeral luncheons are catered, the work would entail set up, clean up and assisting as needed during the luncheon. On rare occasions it might be a blessing to the family to have food donated, so if we could contact you to prepare a dish, there will be a way to signify that as well. Men are encouraged to join the crew as set up and clean up requires arranging tables and chairs. Members will soon have an opportunity to serve God through this important ministry!
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THRIVENT CHOICE® (Terry and Tammy Niedfeldt) Through a unique charitable grant program called Thrivent Choice® , eligible members of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans are helping support Lutheran organizations across the country, including Abiding Shepherd.
Choice Dollars by Organization Type Data through 3/31/2011 Seminaries $435,983 Colleges/Universities $842,142 High Schools $566,362 Elementary Schools $2,443,994 Preschools $620,090
Campus Ministries $158,269 Camps/Outdoor Ministries $1,121,106 Social Ministry Organizations $1,176,850 Other Lutheran
$1,655,139 Thrivent Choice gives eligible benefit members the opportunity to recommend where some of Thrivent’s charitable outreach funds Congregations $18,997,167 go through Voting Events as well as choosing to direct their designated Choice Dollars® to their favorite Lutheran organizations - like Abiding Shepherd!
Thanks to members of Thrivent, Abiding Shepherd received $3,551 in 2011 through the Choice Dollars portion of Thrivent Choice. To learn more, contact your Thrivent agent, call 1-800-847-4836 and say “Thrivent Choice”, or visit www.Thrivent.com/thriventchoice today!
MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY (Holly Freund) The deadline for all photographs and updates for the latest edition of the Membership Directory is Monday, April 16 (same day as taxes are due!). Original photos can be sent or dropped off at church to be scanned and returned. You are also welcome to email an electronic copy to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like your picture taken at church, we will have one of our members available to take a couple of candid shots on Palm Sunday, April 1. 15 - April 2012
SUMMER DATES FOR TEENS AND KIDS! ELS Honor Choir Camp at Bethany College Sunday, June 17 - Thursday, June 21 Students in grades nine through twelve are invited to Honor Choir Camp at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota. Tuition is $195, which includes vocal music instruction, performance, recreation as well as room and board. Applications are available in the church lobby. Registration (which includes a letter of recommendation) are due May 11.
WELS Middle School Band Camp Sunday, June 17 - Friday, June 22 Students entering sixth through ninth grades (with at least one year of band lessons) can attend the I Love to Tell the Story band camp at Wisconsin Lutheran High School in Milwaukee. Complete details and registration forms are in the lobby at church. Limited camp scholarships are available through the program. Registration deadline is March 31.
Camp Indianhead Sunday, July 15 - Friday, July 20 Kids ages ten through sixteen are invited to join other ELS youth from Wisconsin and Iowa for a week of camp. Cost is $240*. For an additional $20 Abiding Shepherd students can ride to and from camp on the Holy Cross bus. Registration deadline May 1.
LYA (Lutheran Youth Association) Convention Thursday, July 26 - Sunday, July 29 This year’s theme is "From Beginning to End You Are Mine”. The convention will be held at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. This is open to all confirmed youth of the ELS and their friends! Talk to Vicar about a group going from Abiding Shepherd. Cost is $235*. Deadline: June 20. * Should the cost of Camp Indianhead or LYA prevent any family from considering these fine summer activities, please speak with Vicar or Pastor regarding scholarship assistance. The Lamb’s Pen - 16