Brothers Sisters in Christ committed to transforming homes! Shepherd ofand the Lakes Lutheran Church & School Volume 38, Issue 3
Ask the Pastor Save the Date People Believe What? Putting Faith into Practice A Faithful History Youth Room Dedication 1 September 2011
Question: You sure do talk a lot about going to Bible study. Isn’t the Bible just another book? There is an objection that goes like this: "The world contains too many books to count, so how can one single book be the source of information about God? It's implausible to think that a book as far-fetched as the Bible, with all its miracle stories, could be unique in revealing who God is. The Bible is really just another book." As I've thought about this objection over the years, I've realized something that I've found helpful. I've become aware that the personal/ relational aspect in the world around us seems, in general, to be primary.
up into the unfolding story. At some point, though, you realize that behind these compelling stories is a creative person. When you see a house that embodies everything you treasure when you think of a home, it dawns on you that behind that house is an astute architect. When you hear a new song that captivates you, you might recognize the composer right away - but if not, you're soon using every search function you know to identify the creative genius behind it. And when you look at the complex interrelationships in the world, it's certainly plausible to think that a personal God is behind the scenes. Think about how humans function. We need interpersonal relationships, so institutionalized infants who don't receive sufficient human touch generally don't flourish. We're relationally wired in a profound way. Given that, it would follow that a personal God would want to be known. It's plausible, then, to think that behind the scenes is a personal God who desires to be known.
Let's look at another facet of this issue. The world seems to be full of people who take it on themselves to claim, "This is God," or "That is God," or even, "That is not God." “The very essence of God is beyond what finite huLet me explain what I mean by mans can grasp, though, so how this. When you read an outstanding book like The Great can we be sure that what we think Gatsby or whatever your favorite about God is right?” might be, or you see a great film like Gone with the Wind or what- The only way to be sure is if God ever tops your list, you're swept reveals it. This means, then, that
SAVE THE DATE
September 11 - Rally Day/Church Picnic
September 24 - Compassionate Care Event
October 5 - Jesus Company begins (7 weeks)
October 8 - Storm Runners 5k
October 28 - Trunk - R - Treat
November 5 - School Auction
November 19 - Kids Against Hunger
November 27 & 28 - Advent by Candlelight
December 10 & 11 - Christmas Cantata Brothers and Sisters in Christ committed to transforming homes!
it's actually quite logical to expect a personal God to reveal himself to humanity, because he wants to be known authentically. At a human level, the only way you could know that I enjoy writing or love football would be if I told you I did, or if I in some other way revealed and expressed those things about myself. If that's the case with human disclosure, how much more would that be the case with God? A Christian can't prove empirically that God exists, of course. A Christian can't prove a biblical miracle, either, because you can't duplicate the exact historical circumstances and test the outcomes scientifically. For the same reasons, though, biblical miracles can't be disproven. Someone who dismisses the Bible because of its record of miracles or its complexity is operating from a position of faith. It's a faith position that rejects the possibility that God has revealed something about his nature to human beings. That assertion is a belief that can't be either proven or disproven. It's a faith position, because you can't prove that God doesn't exist. Let's move a step beyond faith positions, though. In general, it seems logical that self-disclosure is essential in getting to know someone. It also seems logical that God is unknowable apart from God's self-revelation. It's key, then, to determine if the Bible is credible as the revelation of God. You might expect me to launch into more points about the Bible and its credibility here, but I'm not. Instead, I invite you to explore the Bible directly. Have you read the Gospels for yourself recently? Go to the primary source. See if it reveals God to you and helps you enter a relational experience with the One who desires to be known by you. 2
WĞŽƉůĞĞůŝĞǀĞtŚĂƚ͍ ϮϬϭϭƐƚƵĚǇĐŽŶĚƵĐƚĞĚďǇ'ĞŽƌŐĞĂƌŶĂZĞƐĞĂƌĐŚƐŽƵŐŚƚƚŽĚĞƚĞƌŵŝŶĞŚŽǁŵĞƌŝĐĂŶƐůŽŽŬĂƚƚŚĞǁŽƌůĚ͘ĨƚĞƌ ƚĂůŬŝŶŐƚŽƚŚŽƵƐĂŶĚƐŽĨƉĞŽƉůĞĂĐƌŽƐƐϲϬƐƵďŐƌŽƵƉƐ͕ƚŚŝƐŝƐǁŚĂƚƚŚĞǇĨŽƵŶĚ͗
One-third of all adults (34%) believe that moral truth is absolute and unaffected by the circumstances. This means then that two thirds of adults believe truth can change with circumstance!
Half of all adults firmly believe that the Bible is accurate in all the principles it teaches. This doesn’t mean half of adults believe Bible is Word of God—just that its principles (morals) are worthwhile. Half aren’t.
Just one-quarter of adults (27%) are convinced that Satan is a real force. Why are we tempted? Why do we sin? Why do bad things happen? Three quarters of adults can’t answer that question!
Similarly, only one-quarter of adults (28%) believe that it is impossible for someone to earn their way into Heaven through good behavior. Christianity’s chief doctrine is denied by the vast majority of American adults.
A minority of American adults (40%) are persuaded that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life while He was on earth. This means they certainly can’t call him Savior, but why even bother calling him a great teacher or example if he’s just like everybody else?
Seven out of ten adults (70%) say that God is the all-powerful, all-knowing creator of the universe who still rules it today. This statistic sounds better than the ones above. Too bad that all the other answers reveal that most people really don’t believe in the God of the Bible!
What does this mean? Many people want to have a spiritual connection to something. But, even putting the best construction on things, we must conclude that the majority of our country is absolutely confused about who God is and what it means for their life. They can say He rules and reigns, but they live like He doesn’t! Since this study included Christians from all denominational groups we should also be alarmed at the Biblical illiteracy of those inside the Church. This is why Shepherd of the Lakes is a group of “Brothers and Sisters in Christ committed to transforming homes!” We will transform homes by being in God’s Word. Praise God for our Christian Day School, Sunday School, Confirmation, Children and Youth Ministries, Small Groups, and Adult Bible Studies!
Ladies … mark your calendars Advent By Candlelight Sunday, November 27 and Monday, November 28 From 7pm - 9pm
Jesus Company is back! For kids ages 4 - 6th Grade October 7 - Nov. 17 Wednesday Nights from 5:30pm - 7pm The fee is $25 and includes dinner each week and all supplies See the Children’s Ministry Booth for registration.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ committed to transforming homes!
A Faithful History
Has your grief left you feelingâ€¦ Overwhelmed? Or at times like you might beâ€¦ Going crazy? Have you feltâ€¦ All along with your grief? Do you feel like... God has abandoned you?
6RRQWKHUHZHUHVWXPEOLQJEORFNVLQIURQWRIXVWKRXJK $IWHUERUURZLQJDOOWKDWPRQH\WKHWHUURULVWDWWDFNVRI KDSSHQHG$VDFRQJUHJDWLRQWKHUHZHUHFKDOOHQJHVWRR /LIHEHFDPHKDUGHUà²§IDLWKIXOQHVVEHFDPHKDUGHU3D\LQJ RIIGHEWEHFDPHKDUGHU +HUHZHDUHH[DFWO\\HDUVDIWHU+DV*RGEHHQ IDLWKIXO"<RXEHW7KLV\HDURXUVFKRROZLOOKDYHUHFRUG
Shepherd of the Lakes will be hosting a free Grief Support Seminar in conjunction with New Hope Center for Grief Support. Saturday, October 29 from 9am to 12pm Contact Suzanne Biddix for more information.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ committed to transforming homes!
Putting into Practice The Scripture teaches that we cannot be saved through our good works. It’s all a gift of grace! But the Bible also teaches that when we really take hold of that grace in our lives we will naturally serve our neighbor. The things that we believe to be true about God aren’t just ancient doctrines. The way we see Him changes the way we see our place in this world! Let’s take a look at the core teachings of the Christian faith and how they call us to compassionate care. Apostles Creed We say it every week in worship. But does it mean anything for how we live? First Article—I believe in God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth. God is a merciful God. He made us to live in His glorious presence. But sin creates a divide. It’s a condition we can’t cure! He saw our condition, and planned from Genesis how He would rescue us from our predicament. If we’re the creation of a merciful God we must naturally understand that we are to be people of mercy. Second Article—I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. Jesus took on flesh to be one of us. He suffered the punishment of sin ultimately by taking the sins of the world to the cross where He mercifully gave up His life for us. Picking up a cross and following him means we exhibit mercy as it as has been shared with us. Third Article—I believe in the Holy Spirit… The Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts to enable us to express our faith in acts of love and service. Baptism The merciful washing of Baptism enables and motivates merciful living. By baptism we’re made into a new creation. The old is washed away the new has come. It declares us to be children of God. We can live as beloved children who reflect the mercy of our Father. Confession and Absolution In confession and absolution the merciful Word of the Gospel enables and motivates merciful speaking and living. Lord’s Supper In the Lord’s Supper Jesus gives Himself totally for us, that we might give ourselves totally to our neighbor.
Because of who God is and who He has called us to be, we are “Brothers and Sisters in Christ committed to transforming homes!” Use your gifts to support our compassionate care work through Stephen Ministry, Urgent Home Repair, Personal Needs Pantry, and other special events.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ committed to transforming homes!
The following is an article that will appear in the upcoming edition of Concordia Seminary Magazine—a publication of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. Thank you Band of Brothers for being an example to our whole church body!
Kicking People out of the Church?
One of the hardest to understand things for a Christian to understand is something called, “Church Discipline.” In our modern culture we don’t consider church a place to be disciplined. It’s a place where we expect to feel good. It seems very judgmental to say that someone isn’t “up to snuff,” or that they might not belong as members in the church. However, as counter-intuitive as it seems, church discipline is not only Biblical (Matthew 18), but is for the very best of the individual. At Shepherd of the Lakes and many other churches the most often dealt with circumstance related to church discipline is that of inactive membership. It is quite misunderstood, with people often assuming that we “kick people out of the church.” Let’s take a deeper look! When a person joins Shepherd of the Lakes they are invited to make a series of promises. They include, 1) Regular worship, 2) Regular study of the Word, 3) Regular prayer, 4) Regular giving, 5) Regular serving. A person is not coerced into making these promises. They make these vows, one can only assume, as a response to God’s promises to them. In other words they say, “Because of what He has done for me I will seek to be more like Him.” If a person ceases to do these things, then again an assumption must be made. Either that person is facing a real difficulty and they need help or they are struggling in believing God’s promises. If that’s the case it is our duty as brothers and sisters in Christ to reach out to them and offer our caring assistance. There are times when it becomes apparent that a person is no longer interested in owning the membership promises they made. At that point it is necessary to begin a process, stretching over a number of months and repeated attempts of contact that may lead to their removal from church membership. We do this: 1. For the sake of the sinner. This is the first concern always. The unrepentant sinner without discipline will most likely remain in sin and suffer eternal death. Discipline is love. (Hebrews 12:6 …the Lord disciplines the one He loves). 2. For the sake of all those in the assembly. If unrepentant sin is allowed to simply reign in the church, others will fall under its power. (1 Corinthians 5:6 Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?) 3. For the sake of the lost. When the name of Christ is not kept holy among us (which is what occurs when we allow those remaining in unrepentant sins to continue to claim the name of Christ), the lost do not see Christ as they should and that becomes a stumbling block to belief. 4. For the sake of God’s promise. God has promises that His word calls, gathers, and enlightens all people. That is as true of the rebuking word as it is the forgiving word. It is our sincere hope that a rebuking word will lead to repentance, which leads to forgiveness. 5. For the sake of God’s command. He has directed us to do this. There is never any desire to “kick someone out of the church,” but rather to bring someone who has placed themselves outside of the church back in.
“Band of Brothers” Thankoffering “We are absolutely thrilled with the man who was placed here.”
Enthusiastic about their senior pastor, Rev. Mark Milatz (Concordia Seminary graduate class of 2003), Shepherd of the Lakes Lutheran Church in Brighton, Michigan turned to Concordia Seminary to request that a new graduate be placed in their congregation to serve as associate pastor. Call Day 2011 brought the good news that Concordia Seminary had placed pastoral candidate Ben Vogel at Shepherd of the Lakes. Pastor Milatz recently shared, “We could not have been more pleased with the quality of all the guys we spoke to, and we are absolutely thrilled with Pastor Ben Vogel, the man who was placed here.” The very first week end after Pastor Vogel was ordained and installed he joined 50 members of Shepherd of the Lakes at their annual retreat. Known as the “Band of Brothers,” this group of men are committed to a grass-roots effort to strengthen families and battle the cultural norms that are so destructive to God’s church and to families. They provide outstanding leadership and embrace Christian service as a privilege. At the retreat, in order to give thanks to God for bringing Pastor Vogel to their faith family to join Pastor Milatz in pastoral ministry, the “Band of Brothers” decided to take a thankoffering. Blessed with $2,500 in gifts they forwarded their offering to Concordia Seminary to prepare more pastors for the Holy Ministry. In order to have a personal relationship with a future pastor, Shepherd of the Lakes also participates in Concordia Seminary’s Adopt-A-Student program by sponsoring a second year seminarian. Pastor Milatz: “Now, with eight years of pastoral ministry experience, I am acutely aware of just how excellent my education was. The Seminary really taught me how to think in a Christ-centered way. I’m also very grateful that many generous donors made my time at the Seminary possible.” For information or questions about supporting Concordia Seminary, including the Adopt-A-Student program, please call Seminary Advancement at 1-800-822-5287.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ committed to transforming homes!
Over a year ago our congregation voted to move forward with three building projects, one being a youth construction project. A Youth Building Committee was formed to generate a plan. Over a twelve month period several variations of the project were considered. Utilizing our existing space and making it larger by removing the shared wall was decided to be the best use of our resources. With Board approval and a schematic design in place the youth construction was ready. On May 14th the wall was demolished and the project began. On August 21st we dedicated and blessed the room! The central focus and inspiration for the design of the room is the painting â€œChrist Eyes.â€? In July of 2010, 15 of our youth along with 4 adult chaperones attended the LCMS National Youth Gathering in New Orleans. While there we had the privilege to see a man named Mike Lewis, aka The Jesus Painter. Thanks to the generosity of the families that attended the gathering and the Band of Brothers we were able to purchase one of the paintings from the Gathering. We were so honored to present it to our congregation and hang it in the youth room on August 21st. Many thanks go to the SOTL business owners who did the work on the room: Cutting Edge Carpentry (Bob Calkins) Carpet Direct (Dan Fitchett) Danco Construction (Dan Spagnoletti) Morris Electric (Rob Morris) Thank you to those who served on the Building Committee: Jeff Colley Lori Gaines Rodney Komaromi Dwight Pugsley Dave Thompson Jerry Trusty And to all those who spent many volunteer hours helping in so many ways, thank you! Our youth are blessed to be part of a congregation that values them and supports their faith walk. Brothers and Sisters in Christ committed to transforming homes!
Has anyone else noticed that this place is crazy busy? Sometimes I drive by a full parking lot and wonder what I’m missing! If I’m the Senior Pastor and feel that way, I can only imagine how some members must feel. There is a whole lot that happens through God’s grace at our church. And perhaps the greatest challenge is to communicate all the ministry happenings. To do this we use many, many different vehicles such as this newsletter to reach you. Below are a few other avenues:
Weekend Worship At every worship service we have announcement slides before the service begins and verbal announcements at the end of the service. News and Notes Each week we produce a take home newsletter with upcoming events called the News and Notes. They are available at the Worship Center entrances. Website www.shepherdsvoice.org is regularly updated with the latest happenings at SOTL. You can find information about all of our ministries, view the church calendar, and download this newsletter, the News and Notes, sermons, and Bible studies. Facebook Become a fan of Shepherd of the Lakes by “liking” us. There is also a page for Shepherd of the Lakes Lutheran School. This is a great way to stay tuned to last minute changes and connect with other members. Shepherd’s Voice Weekly Every Thursday a synopsis of upcoming events is emailed directly to 400 homes in a one page web format. Bulletin Boards Check out the board across from the church mailboxes. It advertises events and has sign-ups for participation. There is also a “Current Events” board outside of the Worship Center. It includes many pamphlets related to our church and school happenings. Commons There is a Welcome Center, as well as booths for Adult, Children and Youth, School, and Compassionate Care ministries. Each booth has detailed information about those ministry areas.
On Saturday, September 24 from 9am to 11am, families are invited to help package Personal Care Kits to be distributed through Lutheran World Relief. These kits give families throughout the world a helping hand, a sign of comfort and hope for the future. Individuals and families can sign up at the Outreach Booth in the Commons We are currently collecting items for the kits at a table in Genesis Hall: Bath Towels Bath size bar soap Adult size toothbrushes Combs Metal nail clippers
• • • • •
The work of your heart and hand will be an immeasurable blessing to families in need around the world! Brothers and Sisters in Christ committed to transforming homes!
Let’s get to know Mrs. VanDeven! by Christi Gaertner Shepherd of the Lakes Lutheran School is thrilled to welcome Mrs. Juli VanDeven to serve as our new principal. Juli and her husband Jason live in Howell with their daughter Payton (age five) and their son Palmer (age two). Jason works for O&W, a Miller beer distributor in Ypsilanti. As a family, the VanDevens enjoy swimming, camping, and biking. When Juli has time, she loves to read. Juli became an educator because she loves to learn, and she loves the feeling that she has helped someone. She said, “I like to interact with people. Through education, I can meet lots of different people, and I myself can learn something every day.” She has pursued becoming an administrator because she enjoys “making plans and seeing them through.” Juli earned her undergraduate degree from Eastern Michigan University and will soon complete her master’s degree in Educational Leadership, also from Eastern. She has spent the last six years teaching at a charter school in Lansing. Juli has big plans for SOTL. “My hope for SOTL is to make sure that as many people as possible know what a wonderful school we are. I want kids to continue to strive for success. I want parents to feel that they would go to the ends of the earth to send their child to SOTL because the education they would receive is head over heels above any other.”
Pastor Vogel and your Youth Leaders are working hard to plan a year of service, fellowship and faith building activities. Here are just a few items being planned:
• • • • •
Wednesday night youth group (1st/3rd weeks) beginning in October will include working on our A.C.T.S. Service Project and a Worship Service just for you! Winter Retreat - January 27-29, 2012 Mission Trip - Summer 2012 Movie and game nights Michigan vs. Michigan State Tailgate (Go Blue!) And much more!
A group of parents are working on fellowship events for our 7th and 8th grade student to participate in. A complete calendar of events, costs and information will be handed out in both Confirmation classes. If you are interested in helping to organize, communicate and participate in these events please contact Lori Gaines in the church office at 810-227-5099 or email@example.com.
A full calendar of events, costs and registration information will be available at the Parent Meeting on Sunday, September 18th in Genesis Hall at 12:30pm. Youth are encouraged to attend! **************************** Don’t forget about Breakfast Club! We will be meeting every Sunday at 9:45am in the Youth Room to study God’s Word. Brothers and Sisters in Christ committed to transforming homes!
Storm Runners 5k Run/Walk to benefit:
When: October 8, 2011 8:30am for 1 Mile Run & 9:00 am for the 5k Run/Walk Cost: 5k Run/Walk $18 by Oct. 1 or $25 after Oct. 1 1 Mile Kids Run $12 anytime Registration: Registration forms available at School Booth or online at www.sotlschool.com 9
2101 S. Hacker Road Brighton, MI 48114-8764 Phone: 810-227-5099 Fax: 810-227-3566 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.shepherdsvoice.org
JOIN US FOR WORSHIP Sundays at 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. Mondays at 6:45 p.m. Bible Study and Sunday School at 9:45 a.m. Wee Worship at 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. for ages 3-6.
SOTL Festival Chorus, Orchestra and Soloists SOTL Lutheran School Children’s Chorus Present Searching for the King Script by Walter L. Black Arranged and Orchestrated by David T. Clydesdale Searching for the King is a compelling dramatic Christmas musical in the style of the Dove Award winner cantata, “A Baby Changes Everything” (presented at SOTL last December). A dynamic contemporary story parallels the biblical story delivering a message as powerful as the prophets and as relevant as today’s headlines. Walter L. Black’s exciting script juxtaposes one of the Magi (Mordecai) as he follows the Star of Bethlehem, with Benjamin, a soldier stationed in the Middle East 2,000 years later who is looking up at the same stars. They are both searching for the truth, and they both find it at the foot of the manger. One of the highlights of our church calendar, our Christmas Cantatas are a wonderful opportunity to invite family and friends.
Saturday, December 10 4pm & 7pm Sunday, December 11 11am Brothers and Sisters in Christ committed to transforming homes!