From Pastor Ken
The Real Work of Christmas
When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among all,
To make music in the heart.
From Pastor John
God’s love surpasses all other love combined by a factor of infinity. For those who are not the best at math… this is an exceedingly surpassingly supernaturally overflowing amount of love that God has for each and every single one of us. He proved it on the cross. We have the message of God’s love and the privilege of being able to share it.
Once back in Canada, after a sermon on sharing the Gospel, an old lady named Bette greeted me while exiting the service. I had explained that the message was so easy for a believer to share that anyone who could walk and talk was fully equipped. Resting her elbow on her walker she reached into my basket, grabbed a handful of crosses and invitation cards, and gleefully said to me that she was ready to go and do it! She did do it. Rest in Peace my dear Bette.
Here at Black Forest Lutheran, I have been overwhelmed with how joyfully so many of you have picked up crosses and told me who you have or would be giving them to with the message of God’s love. The other Sunday a little girl came to church with her friend, and so I thought I would give her friend a cross with that message… but the little girl told me she had already done it! Amazing! Many others have told me similar simple stories with the same sense of joy. Our congregation has a greater heart to share God’s love than I have ever personally experienced before. It is a joyful thing to share the message of God’s love.
God bless you all in this. It is an honor to serve you.
Pastor John Graham
From Jacob Oglesby, Youth and Family Ministries Director
Decembers are always such a joyous blur in the life of the church. This year I have been teaching my students to be intentional about taking a little time every day to just “be”. Be present, be aware, be thankful, be in His presence, be in prayer. It is a great reminder for all of us in this season as well. Throughout this month we have continued to offer youth group sessions which are every Sunday evening from 6:00 – 7:30 PM. These are times of fun, encouragement, and a time when the students have the opportunity to ask questions and struggle with what life has to offer. It serves as a constant reminder that they are not alone and that we are all walking through this crazy journey together. If this is something you feel you or your student might benefit from, come and check us out.
Along with these weekly meetings we are continuing to offer confirmation class to students every Wednesday from 6:30 – 8:00 PM with a current break until January, Sunday School classes are from 9:30-10:15 AM, and one young adult life group meeting every month. Our Sunday school class are a time of great discussion where we go deeper into the Bible every week. As for young adults we are currently offering our young adult life group. We usually meet the 3rd Monday of every month and share a meal together followed by a Bible study. If you are interested in more information for this or want to join
this group, you can contact either myself or Kirsten Bush.
December was a full month as far as events were concerned. There was our Christmas tea on December 4th with great student engagement and involvement. Thank you to everyone involved on that fabulous event. We also had our annual gingerbread house making event as well as our youth Christmas/ pajama party both of which were on December 12th. These were both great events that were done well and the students and families loved them. There were great connections being made and great mounds of candy that were both utilized as building material and eaten. They were fantastic. Thank you to Laura Edwards and our mutual ministry committee for putting together the Gingerbread houses and to the youth committee for helping with the youth Christmas party.
We also had our annual Christmas program on Sunday the 26th. A special thanks to Mary Montie, Karina Isley, Donna Yonce, and all the parents who helped in this event as well. It was such a joy to watch the students showcase their musical talent, follow along as the youth portrayed a skit on how we can partner with Jesus in our lives, and watch our younger students act out the nativity. The evening concluded with some snacks and refreshments. I am already looking forward to what our group will come up with for next year!
We have also continued to offer both Sunday School and Wiggle Worship throughout this 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 and the ages are 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. Amy Churchill is our Wiggle Worship program director, and she has done such an absolutely fantastic job with these young students. We even got to enjoy some special Christmas music from them this month as well. During Wiggle Worship the children will receive an age-appropriate lesson and be returned to their parents before communion.
Looking onto the horizon we will be having many great events in 2022. Including our young adult led Sunday service the 2nd of January and our first youth Lock-In in years which will be on Friday January 14th from 8:00 PM – 8:30 AM. Keep your eyes peeled for some more great stuff!
For His glory,
For additional happenings at BFLC, download the full Scribe below.