Good News of Peace L E T T E R February 2013 A.D.
From the Pastor’s Desk Dear Friends in Christ, As I write this, we are already down to the last two Sundays of the season of Epiphany, February 3, the 4th Sunday after the Epiphany, and February 10, when we will celebrate the Transfiguration of Our Lord. That means, even though it seems that we just left Advent and Christmas behind us, it is time to start thinking about the Lenten season. By the time the month of February is over, Ash Wednesday will have come and gone (on February 13), as will the first two full weeks of Lent. What is Lent? To prepare to celebrate the Feast of the Resurrection (Easter), the Church has historically set aside a period of preparation. Already in 325 A.D., the Council of Nicaea recorded the first reference to the specific number of days for Lent: 40. Why 40 Days? This 40-day period of preparation was first prescribed for baptismal candidates and became known as "Lent," which comes from the Old English word for "spring." Historically, during this 40-day period candidates were examined in preparation for Baptism at the Easter Vigil. Later, the 40 days were associated with Jesus' 40 days in the desert prior to His temptation (Matthew 4) and with the 40 years the children of Israel spent in the wilderness (Numbers 14:34) and became a period of preparation for every Christian.
A Caring FamilyZ Sharing ChristZ Declaring God’s Love!
What is Ash Wednesday? Ash Wednesday begins the observance of Lent. The date of Ash Wednesday is influenced by the date of Easter - it is always observed on the 40th day (not counting Sundays) before Easter. The placing of ashes on the forehead is a sign of penitence and a reminder of human mortality. The Sundays during the Lenten season are not referred to as "Sundays of Lent" but as "Sundays in Lent." Sundays always retain an Easter tone and may be less solemn than Lenten midweek services. Although the observances of Lent are concrete reminders of the greater solemnity of the Lenten season, as Lutherans we continue to emphasize the Gospel as central even to such a penitential season. The 40 days of Lent provide us as Christians with an opportunity to cleanse our hearts through the traditional Lenten "disciplines" of repentance, prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Through these disciplines our hearts are prepared for the joy of Easter, and we pray that God will renew our zeal in both faith and life. Adapted from Treasury of Daily Prayer, Copyright © 2008 Concordia Publishing House.
God bless our Lenten journey together in the coming weeks as we journey once again to the cross of Calvary and the empty tomb! And His continued and abundant blessings to each of you as we move together into the second month of 2013! In His Service,
Pastor Derek Riddle
Lenten Midweek Series
A more family-friendly approach to this year's midweek series is currently being discussed, and details, including the precise schedule, are still being finalized. If these plans come to fruition, please note that they would entail the following changes to the traditional schedule: Ash Wednesday, February 13, would consist of a Soup Supper, possibly beginning as early as 5:00 (instead of 5:30), followed by a traditional service in the sanctuary, possibly beginning as early as 6:00 (instead of 7:00). The Ash Wednesday service will include the traditional Imposition of Ashes, as well as Holy Communion. The following five Wednesday evenings, beginning February 20, would also include a Soup Supper at the same time. However, rather than moving to the sanctuary for a traditional service, a family-friendly service that is more devotional in nature would be held in the Fellowship Hall. The evenings would also tentatively include some other family-friendly activities. The primary goal of the changes would be to make it more feasible for, and to invite and encourage, our families with children and youth to attend. As details are being finalized during the first part of February, they will be shared with the congregation as soon as possible.
From the Cradle to the Empty Grave, this year's Lenten Devotional from Lutheran Hour Ministries, is now available on-line at www.lhm.org/lent/. Beginning February 13, you can either read or listen to the daily devotions on-line, listen via podcast or subscribe to receive them via E-mail. Paper copies will be made available to the congregation in the early part of the Lenten season.
BOARD OF ELDERS A Saturday evening church service is continuing to be discussed at our m onthly meetings. A lot of questions and input are being discussed. A committee has been appointed to put together information and bring it back to our February meeting so we can adopt a survey for the members of our congregation. Some things to be considered: Pros – to bring in inactives; for the Elderly; and for those who work on Sundays. Cons – takes away from Sunday School/Bible Class; additional cost for organist, fuel, lights, snowplowing; extra service for Pastor; may affect weddings on Saturdays; extra service for Elders & Ushers; may divide the congregation. Other Ideas: A Thursday evening service; having two Saturday services a month (with one being communion), instead of every Saturday. The survey will be out soon and we would appreciate your input and feelings on this subject.
BOARD OF STEWARDSHIP
A two-page stewardship paper is put in your church mailbox each month that you are encouraged to take home and read or even make it a family devotion to help the whole family be better stewards. There is a lot of good reading and information to help us be better stewards. All we have belongs to God. God gave us everything we have here on earth: our house, car, boat, quads and even our golf clubs, that will all pass away in time. God also gave us something that will never pass away. God gave us His LOVE! God loves us so much that He sent His Son to suffer and die on the cross and rise on Easter morning so that we may have eternal life with Him. This gift of love will never pass away. When we receive the sacrament we are forgiven and full of love and joy. This love and joy we then share with our family, friends and with those in need. This love will never pass away!
MUSIC MINISTRY We are still spreading the joy of music with our monthly trip to Tendercare. It is such a joy to watch the residents respond to music and listen to them sing along. Come and join us the 4th Sunday of the month at 11:55 am at Tendercare to sing to the residents for about 20 minutes. The month of April the music system will be worked on for better sound and the needs of all our musical groups. We are also planning an evening of Gospel/Christian music/sing-a-long after Easter. If you would like to perform a song or two, or know of someone who would like to, please contact Marsha Grulke at 734-4418. 'Sing joyfully to the Lord....Psalm 33:1'
Stewardship Corner F e b ru a ry is th e m o n th w h e n “Valentine’s Day” is celebrated and thus a m onth in which we think of “love.” A few short weeks ago we celebrated Christm as— the occasion that m arked God’s great love gift to the world, His only-begotten Son. Jesus cam e into our world as a servant and took upon Him self our hum an flesh and form , as well as our sin, guilt and sham e, and then offered His life as the perfect sacrifice for our sins and the sins of the whole world. This act of sacrificial love caused the hym n writer to pen these words: “W hat wondrous love is this, O m y soul, O m y soul! W hat wondrous love is this, O m y soul! W hat wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss to bear the dreadful curse for m y soul, for m y soul, to bear the dreadful curse for m y soul!” (LSB, 543). The truth is that the love of Jesus is far m ore wondrous than we can ever describe or im agine, m uch less im itate and practice. The best that we can do is respond to that wondrous love with our free and joyous stewardship. True Christian stewardship is not som ething that we do because of laws, rules and com m ands. True Christian stewardship is always a response to the love of God for us. The Apostle John said it so well: “W e love because He first loved us.” So, during this m onth of February when “Valentine’s Day” rem inds us of hum an love, we do well to pause and reflect on
the divine love of Jesus. By the power and presence of the Holy Spirit we are equipped to show our love through deeds and words that support and encourage. Christian stewardship is the free and joyous activity of the child of God and God’s fam ily, the church, in m anaging all of life and life’s resources for God’s purposes. Let your love show in your giving of tim e, talent and financial resources to God’s glory and the expansion of His kingdom .
February Anniversaries Mark & Julie Thompson
Date Yrs 2/14 15
Pete & Julia Demos
February Birthdays Elna Glosser Melissa Fuhrm an Clayton Henry Robert Luebke Robert Loom er Ruth Rothe Cora Augsburger Ryan Hart Zachary Karsten Jacob Hein Aniya Kandal Curtis Reisener Kaitlyn Peltz Dana Fairbanks Cason Kow alew sky Kaylee Fensterm aker Alan Grulke Em ily Schleben Dianne Darga Beatrice Mosher John (Jack) Myers Em m alynn Riddle Thom as Hogrefe Dalton Rex Barbara Schaedig Sophia W enzel Thom as Catalano Andrew Elow ski Kathleen Karsten Carol Noffze Larry Haselhuhn Edw ard Enlow Isaac Hein Jenny Longoria Heaven Schalk
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