Good News of Peace L E T T E R November 2013 A.D.
From the Pastor’s Desk Dear Friends in Christ, Why can’t we do that? During the past week I had the opportunity to attend a half-day conference at Trinity Lutheran Church in Davison. This particular conference is an annual event for Deacons and Deacons-in-training, along with their Supervising Pastors, across the Michigan District. As hopefully you know by now, one of our own members, Randy Martens, is currently enrolled in the Deacon Training program, so he and I attended the conference together. If you’re keeping track, that’s 3 ½ hours down, 4 ½ hours there, and 3 ½ hours back. Yes, that’s a lot of driving for a half-day conference. It’s one of the casualties, I guess, of living in Rogers City. If you want to attend a District event, normally you’re going to have to drive a pretty fair distance to do it. All of that driving proved to be very worthwhile, however. In addition to the fact that Randy and I had a fair amount of time to get to know each other a little bit better (poor Randy), the conference itself was rather insightful. While it did not quite turn out to be the kind of conference I was expecting – one that provided answers to some of my questions about Deacon ministry – it was a particularly thought-provoking conference, one that frankly wound up producing more questions than it did provide answers. Nevertheless, I found it especially beneficial as we are preparing to continue our congregational
A Caring FamilyZ Reaching OutZ Sharing Christ’s LoveZ Teaching God’s W ord !
planning process this coming weekend here at Peace. By the time many of you are reading this, the next step in that process will have already taken place – on Saturday morning, November 2. However, as I have been anticipating that discussion, I couldn’t help but think that this conference was meant in part for me and for our congregation. The conference’s primary presenter was Rev. Ed Doerner of Messiah Lutheran Church in Midland. The congregation he serves is, I gathered, fairly sizable and has obviously been very successful. The successes he described at the conference, however, were not of the usual sort. Their congregation has been particularly intentional about identifying ways to serve their community, and they have succeeded in doing so in some unique and very visible ways. Pastor Doerner shared a number of examples of what this service has looked like in their case, but I will just share one of them with you. Believe it or not, within the last couple of years or so, Messiah built and now operates their own automobile garage. Their objective is to provide low-cost maintenance and service to those in their community who cannot afford the usual expenses associated with owning an automobile. Pastor Doerner shared one particularly moving story about a woman who brought her car into their shop a while back for some basic maintenance. When she was told that her car wasn’t safe to drive any longer, she proceeded to break down in tears right in front of the mechanic. She proceeded to tell him that her husband had just left her two days prior, her life was quite
literally falling apart, and now she was going to be without her car, too! What was she going to do? I don’t know how they do it, but the mechanic was able to tell her that if she was able to return the following day with just $23, she would be able to drive away from their shop with a different vehicle in good condition. She couldn’t believe it, but that’s exactly what happened. That $23 paid the title and license fees, and that was it. What an awesome thing to be able to do for someone in dire need! After Pastor Doerner finished telling that story, I wrote the question with which I began in the margin of my notes: “Why can’t we do that?” I’m not suggesting that we open an automobile garage, of course – I wouldn’t even know where to begin with a project of that magnitude. What Pastor Doerner was speaking about in more general terms, however, is quite doable for our congregation, don’t you think? Identifying unique, creative ways to meet the needs that exist in our community, serving the people of our community in Jesus’ name in the process, and doing so with no expectations on our part about anything they might give us in return. That’s really what Christian service – servanthood, after the manner of Christ – is all about: “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). How easy it is for us to think mostly in terms of events and activities that we hope will bring more people into our church and/or that will benefit us in some tangible way in return.
The people of Pastor Doerner’s congregation are finding out that when they serve their community freely in Jesus’ name, they don’ t have to invite people to come to church with them. They come on their own, because inevitably they want to know more about what is motivating such kindness and generosity. So, why can’t we do something like that? It doesn’t have to be exactly that, of course, but we know that the needs in our community are numerous. And that means that opportunities for service – servanthood – abound. Let’s open our eyes, our ears, our hearts, and together let’s see what the Lord might just be leading us to do in His name. “Peace Lutheran Church … Our mission as a caring family is to reach out to all, share Christ’s love, and teach God’s Word.” Service in and to our community sure sounds like it fits in with our congregational mission to me! In His Service, Pastor Derek Riddle
A Few Words from Our Family Life Minister
As a teenager, I couldn't wait till I was in my twenties. I saw it as a time of freedom, maturity, and glamour-the decade that I would marry, begin my career, buy a house, and start a family. And now I'm here, a twenty-something, but it's a little too soon to say if this decade has met my expectations. A recent hit song describes twenty-somethings as "happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time." The blogosphere urges young adults to take advantage of this adventurous time in their lives: a time that we can freely make mistakes and have fun. But at the same time, twenty-somethings across the nation are going through what has been coined as a "quarterlife crisis." It's the overwhelming feeling of doubt, stress, and perhaps disappointment as young adults
enter the "real world" and the reality of what it means to be an adult begins to sink in. It's hard to write about those in their twenties in such broad terms, though. Some are newly married, while a great number are cohabitating, and still others are single. Some twenty-somethings are parents, and others are still living with their parents (and, yes, some do fit both of those categories). As recent college graduates, many are entering the workforce, but not always in their field of choice and very often with a heap of student loans. There are the twenty-somethings who look to their future with great expectations, whereas others would be satisfied with never growing up. There's a good chance you know someone in their twenties, whether it be a son or daughter, a grandchild, a friend, an employee. This month, make a goal to understand the world of your twenty-something. We can all read the statistics, but what's it like to be your twenty-something? The resources provided on this month's Family Resource Center will help you start the conversation and guide your twenty-something to becoming a responsible adult. For those of you whose children or grandchildren haven't quite hit their twenties, don't forget about the Parenting is Heart Work class that will continue through the month of November on Monday evenings. This month we discuss discipline, accepting "no" as an answer, and bad attitudes. May God richly bless your family this month! Abi Schmit Director of Family Life Ministry
Board of Elders The Elders are to assist Pastor with the spiritual growth and care of members. We are looking over our membership list to see how we can better serve their spiritual needs. Letters, phone calls and visits will be part of our reaching out to members. The Elders are here to serve you. Please let us know if you have a question or concern for the
Elders. "Hark, the voice of Jesus crying, ‘Who will go and work today?’" This year 2013 is coming to a close, and it’s time to elect and re-elect members to serve on the boards, committees and Christian education positions. "Fields are white and harvests waiting— Who will bear the sheaves away?" Take time in prayer asking God how we can better serve Him. "Loud and long the Master calleth; Rich reward He offers thee." The joy that fills our heart will be overwhelming. "Who will answer, gladly saying, ‘Here am I, send me, send me’?” The LOVE that fills our hearts will be a blessing as we feel the joy in serving our Lord Jesus Christ. Have a Blessed Thanksgiving Day!
Board of Stewardship The earth is the Lord's and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it (Psalm 24:1). God desires that we be faithful and also thoughtful stewards of His creation. The whole world and everything in it. That includes us. God is our Landlord; we are the stewards of what He gave us. All we have received in life has been received through the blessings of God. There is nothing in our life that we have received or done apart from God. Each day we have is one more than we deserve. So why did God's place us on this planet? We are God's people and instruments, called to be His witnesses to share the saving Gospel to the world. We live for Jesus, who lived, died and rose again for us. Jesus should be first in our lives. Our lives should stay focused on Him every day, not just on Sundays. Through God's undeserved love we are who we are– His sons and daughters. We love and follow Jesus.
By reading the Bible, having devotions, and attending Bible studies, we energize ourselves to be more like Jesus. We will want to show our love and serve others, encouraging one another and sharing Christ with one another and with our community. Our fall Stewardship program will begin in November. There will be good reading material put in your mailbox to help us to be better stewards. "Praise God from whom all blessings flow."
Music Ministry We will not be having a Christmas Cantata this year, but we will be performing "Songs of Christmas" on Sunday, December 8, for the community. The Peace Choir, as well as the Bells of Peace, will have a few selections. In addition, we invite you to join the choir and/or we are also looking for soloists, duets, or groups that would like to be involved. We would also like to have a reception following, which means we also need a chairperson(s) for the reception. If you are interested, please contact Dianne Darga or Marsha Grulke for more information. We also are going to Tendercare to sing to the residents for about 20-30 minutes on the 4th Sunday of the month beginning at noon.... please join us as the residents enjoy this so much. If you have any ideas or comments for Music Ministry, please let us
know your ideas and thoughts so that we may use music for our ministry. 'Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly... singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.' Colossians 3:16
Stewardship Corner "Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift" (2 Cor 9:15)! This is St. Paul's exclamation upon hearing the Corinthian church's response to the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and his request for support of the Church in Jerusalem. The Christians in Corinth heard and received God's mercy in Christ, and they responded to St. Paul's call to support Christians in Jerusalem with a collection. The Corinthian's joy filled Jerusalem's need. The reality of stewardship is that because of God's generosity in the giving of His Son to die on the cross for us, we should also be generous with all that we receive from Him. What do we receive? Everything. All that we are and all that we have is the Lord's. He is the creator and the giver. We are His creatures and those who receive what He gives. It sounds easy. And it is. But then again it isn't. Stewardship is easy because it is God's work in us: through what God gives, we give to others. Through what God gives, we support the work of the church for the life of the world. He gives; we receive. And like our generous Father in Heaven, we, as His children, use what He gives to us to love and serve others. But stewardship is also difficult. That is because it goes against our natural inclination to think that what I have is mine to do what I want with. This is our sinful nature. It is our selfishness and our greed. And it convicts us. How
can we who have been given everything-life, food, clothing, house, home, forgiveness, divine sonship, an eternal inheritance-be so stingy with what we give to the church, the place where we hear about and receive all that God gives us and does for us? We are all guilty of this kind of thinking. And the only godly response is to repent and trust in the Gospel. For if God has given you His own Son, will He not give you all things? Yes. He will. This is His sure and certain promise. God provides for His people. He provides everything we need for this body and life and for the life that is to come. The church is a mercy place. It's a place where God's mercy in the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ, is given and received. For us who believe the Church is the place of forgiveness, life, and salvation in the face of sin, death, and the power of the devil. There we inhale God's mercy in Word and Sacrament, and exhale this same mercy in love and service to our neighbor, in giving what we have received from Him. And that is an enduringly joyful thing to do. Our joy fills our neighbor's need because His joy filled ours (Hebrews 12:2). Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift! Taken from www.lcms.org
Empowered by Grace to Tithe The weeks of November 10, 17 and 24, the Board of Stewardship will be sharing portions of a special stewardship program with the members of the congregation, entitled â€œEmpowered by Grace to Tithe.â€? We hope that you will make every effort to be present on all three Sundays and to take to heart the materials that will be provided throughout the month of November.
The three weekly themes will be: 1. Grow in the Grace of Giving (November 10) 2. A Tip or a Tithe (November 17) 3. Being Rich Toward God (November 24) W e hope and pray that the messages and materials offered during this program will help each of us in our journeys as faithful and generous stewards. By the power of the Holy Spirit through God’s Word and Sacram ents, we are molded and transformed into stewards who become more and more Christ-like in our giving. As Christians, we are motivated to give by the gift of God’s grace through His Son. With hearts filled with God’s love and grace, we can give faithfully and generously. Giving is our faith-response to God’s gifts. God wants us to give willingly and cheerfully out of hearts filled with love and gratitude for our present and eternal lives. We also give out of obedience, because God’s W ord directs us to give “according to what a person has” (2 Corinthians 8:12). The Apostle Paul also said, “But as you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in know ledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you – see that you excel in this act of grace also” (2 Corinthians 8:7). Just as Paul urged the people of his day in the city of Corinth to give, we too are urged to excel in the grace of giving as Christians today. The Empowered by Grace to Tithe materials that will be provided are designed to give all of us a deeper and better understanding of what it means to tithe. Tithing is a Biblical concept and very good thing! As New Covenant (New Testament) Christians, tithing is not commanded by God, but it is a helpful guide for our faithful giving. Some of us, by God’s grace, are already tithing. If so, God may be calling you to even greater giving. For many others, tithing will be a leap of faith. Either way, through faith we all have God’s promise that we have been
empowered to give! “Now to Him Who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21). The Lord bless and keep us in His peace and joy as we give to Him! Board of Stewardship Members: Sue Altman, David Grulke, Polly Haselhuhn, Cindy Srebnik, Peggy Zampich, Pastor Riddle
November Anniversaries Carl & Peg Grulke Mike & Jenny Sobeck Ed & Opal W right Ron & Connie Ohlrich W ayne & Cora Augsburger Bob & Carol Noffze
Date Yrs 11/1 55 11/7 15 11/14 49 11/25 41 11/28 33 11/28 32
November Birthdays Matthew Rhode Thomas W irgau Jacquelyn Hart Ruth M yers Isaac Riddle Joshua Senff Larry Altman Ralph Kortman Alfrieda M artens Rhiannon Rothe Kelly Crull Joshua Kamyszek Janis Latz Kari Claus Arthur Radtke Austin Fairbanks Sharon Loomer Kristin Jones Polly Haselhuhn Amanda Karsten Elwood Knopf Karlee Longoria Jill Brege Kay Don Selke Pera DeBeust Janice Brown Scott Hein Linda Knopf Terry Peltz John Brown Tyler Longoria John W right
11/1 11/3 11/4 11/8 11/9 11/9 11/10 11/11 11/11 11/11 11/12 11/12 11/12 11/13 11/13 11/14 11/15 11/17 11/18 11/20 11/21 11/23 11/24 11/24 11/26 11/27 11/27 11/27 11/27 11/28 11/30 11/30
Pumpkin Bread Recipe Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and lightly flour two bread loaf pans. In a large bowl, combine 3 ½ c. flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. baking soda, ½ tsp. salt, 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. ginger. Stir in ½ c. chopped walnuts, if desired. In another large bowl, whisk 4 large eggs until lightly beaten. Add 2 c. sugar and 1 c. unsalted butter (melted and cooled to room temp) and whisk to combine. Whisk or stir in 15 oz. can of pure pumpkin, ½ c. water, and 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until the ingredients are combined and moistened. Do not over mix as it will make the bread tough. With a handmixer (in a smaller-sized bowl), beat an 8 oz. package of cream cheese (at room temp) until smooth. Add 1/3 c. sugar and 1 large egg and process just until smooth and creamy. Set aside. Divide the batter in half. Take one half and divide it evenly between the two prepared pans. Divide the cream cheese filling in half and place each half on top the two pans of batter, smoothing the tops. Top with the remaining half of batter (use two spoons to place small dollops of batter on top of the filling). Bake the breads for about 55 - 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean (a few moist crumbs is okay). Place pans on a wire rack and let cool for about 10 minutes before removing breads from pans. Can serve warm, cold, or at room temperature. Store leftovers in the refrigerator or else freeze for later use.