From Pastor Ken
Advent means arrival.
In these four Advent Sundays before Christmas, we anticipate the birth of our Lord as one of us. Yet we also await his second and final coming. Then will come the fulfillment of all he is doing to heal our broken world. The fourth verse of the hymn “O Come O Come Emmanuel” says it so well. First, the verse is a cry from the heart:
O Come, blest Dayspring, come and cheer,
Our spirits by your advent here,
Disperse the gloomy cloud of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Then in the refrain we hear the good news:
Emmanuel shall come to you O Israel.
As we gather for worship, we will hear this refrain of hope each week.
Sunday, December 5 – Kindermass Worship
Based on the 1st Letter of John
Tuesday, December 7 – Greg Finke will be with us online to discuss
“Navigating our Local Community”. See details on page 2.
Sunday, December 19 Choir Cantata “Go Sing it on the Mountain”
Christmas Eve Candlelight Services:
Friday, December 24 – 3:30, 5:30, 7:30 PM
This year you will not need to make reservations.
The Fellowship Hall will again be available for additional seating.
From Pastor John
Love Your Neighbor
An evangelist is defined as someone who seeks to share the Good News of Jesus. Not many of us are good at evangelism, yet I imagine most of us wish for everyone to know it. I have heard many stories of people giving out crosses and invitations to church…stories from people who do not consider themselves evangelists…yet that is what they are doing.
Sharing the Good News of Jesus, particularly His love demonstrated for us by His work on the cross, is a mission given to us all. One way of fulfilling this mission is right before you all: there are crosses you can pick up from church along with invitation cards. If you give someone a cross be sure to tell them that it is a sign of just how much God loves them. This is my way of declaring, as far as you are willing, that you are all now evangelists in the traditional “Evangelical Lutheran” sense. It just means we wish to share the love of God with others.
Do you know somebody who could use the Good News of Jesus? Perhaps it is your friend, or neighbor, coworker or your worst enemy…. Give them a cross and in doing so tell them just how much God loves them. Invite them to worship or a church event if it seems good.
If you want to hand out some crosses and invitation cards let me know and I will bring you with me out in public, going house to house, sharing the Good News by a simple sign of the cross given and invitation for them to learn more. It is a lot of fun because we don’t sell anything or ask anything, but simply give the best of everything: the Good News of how much God loves them.
Whether you come with me house to house, or person to person, or whether you just consider how to love someone else by sharing with them the Good News of God’s love in Christ, I am recruiting you all for our Christian work of “Invitational Evangelism”. This is at least one way we can do something good around here.
Many of you are doing a lot of other good things also which is excellent. To help us be better equipped more generally, as we are all called to join Jesus on His mission, please mark down on your calendars Tuesday, Dec 7, 6:30 PM. This is a Zoom call with Greg Finke, author of “Joining Jesus on His Mission” to help us in many ways to share the love of God with others. The zoom link will be provided soon, and I hope to see many of you for some good practical discussion.
God bless you all as you join Jesus in His love for others.
-Pastor John Graham
From Jacob Oglesby – Youth and Family Ministries Director
As we close out the month of November and take another step closer to Christmas, I find myself desiring more and more to just sit in silence and be with the Lord. This is a time where it’s important to carve out time to remember all the things that the Lord has done for us. A time to sit, reflect, and be thankful for the amazing blessings and even the challenging moments that make us better followers of His.
Throughout this month we have continued to offer youth group sessions which are every Sunday evening from 6-7:30 PM. We encourage you to invite your friends and classmates because it is always a great time. These youth nights continue to be a great time for us in the life of the church and I am enjoying the time I have with the students. In any typical night we play games, get to know each other better, have a quick snack, and we also get to share in a Bible study as well. One student told me this month that with all the pressure of life and school this is one of the only moments where they get to just act like a kid again. In this time of pressure and worry, youth group is a space for the teens to just enjoy life, learn about each other, learn about themselves, and learn about the Lord. Come check us out.
Along with these weekly set meetings with the youth I am still connecting with the students on a regular basis, including both youth and young adults. We are offering confirmation class to students every Wednesday from 6:30-8:00 PM, Sunday School from 9:30-10:15 AM, and one life group young adult meeting every month.
We also typically hold a few youth and family events every month. During October we have had a youth and family paint night where we painted a Fall pumpkin picture together and held our annual pumpkin carving event as well. During the month of November, we had an intergenerational Christmas Project that was a blast and are gearing up for another amazing Thanksgiving Eve service. What a great time to see both the future of the church and the church of today come together and take steps forward in their faith journey. I am still so honored to have been a part of them.
We have also continued to offer both Sunday School and Wiggle Worship and our moms group continues to meet once a month. We have had a great time in planning and running these classes in the past and are excited that we get to continue offering them this semester. Sunday School is from 9:30-10:15 AM for ages Pre-K – 5th grade with Maureen Lang, 6th – 12th grade with me, and all others are with Pastor Ken or Pastor John.
Wiggle Worship is after the children’s message in the second service and is for 3–7-year-olds. Doctor Dave, our magic man, also does a quick gospel magic show for wiggle worship and Sunday school as well as continues to offer these shows online on our website. Go check him out!
We are looking forward to some amazing events and times in December including a Youth Christmas Party on December 10th from 6-8 PM, a gingerbread house making event on the December 12th immediately following second service, and of course our Christmas Eve service. We look forward to seeing you there!
For His glory,
For additional details and stories read/download The Scribe below.