Spark

S.P.A.R.K.  (St. Paul Church’s Announcements to Read and Know)

Summer 2022

In his report of the 50th anniversary celebration, Pastor F. Westerkamp, commenting on the fact that the congregation was getting old, said it so well: “May our gracious God grant that the dear Gospel of Jesus, the Savior of sinners always remain new, sweet, precious, and desirable to us until the Lord closes our eyelids. Then our weak and so often pitiful praise will become praise that is perfect and roars through heaven to the glory of Him who has purchased us sinners for His blessed possession and has transferred us into the heavenly inheritance. Oh, what a glorious and eternal Jubilee we shall then celebrate!”

 The above paragraph is from our church’s 125th anniversary booklet. Notice pastor Westerkamp, in 1928, said the congregation was “getting old.” My goodness! I wonder if he could have imagined the congregation would celebrate its 100th and 125th anniversaries? There’s no reason to doubt we will celebrate our 150th in 2028 either. If Pastor Westerkamp were alive today, he would think the congregation was getting very old for being around so long! Come to think of it, he would be very old himself! Thanks be to God, the Good News of Jesus Christ never gets old. It brings life and immortality to light in sinners like us. And it’s for all people who hear it and take it to heart.

In an essay I read recently by Roger Kovaciny, (a former Lutheran Church worker in Ukraine,) he outlines some reasons why the Church is experiencing an “evangelism implosion.” Some of them seem symptomatic to me as to why our church is facing difficulties in gaining people. For example, he says, “One reason why the church grew [in the first Century] was because during persecutions, the many people helped by Christians wouldn’t turn them in to the Romans. And during the numerous plagues that ripped through premodern cities, Christians saved many victims by nursing them instead of fleeing. Many who recovered attributed their rescue to the Christians or the Christians’ God. Many were converted. Just like today, the church didn’t grow from miraculous mass conversions or evangelism programs. The Mormons found out their ubiquitous cold calls are successful only one time out of a thousand. (Sound familiar?) What works for them is what works for us: having children or making friends and bringing those friends to church or a meeting with the pastor. Meeting with the pastor at the home of a friend is fruitful one time out of two—literally five hundred times oftener than a cold call on a stranger.”

I must admit, in my thirteen years in the ministry I have never been invited to someone’s home to speak to a friend about Jesus. I would in a heartbeat if asked to do so. Perhaps Mr. Kovaciny’s experience overseas was different than what I have seen in the Northwest. Some of you have told me you’ve invited your neighbors and friends to church, and they politely declined. What else can you do? Have more babies? That’s one solution; but it’s not an option for a lot of us at St. Paul because, well, to put in Pastor Westerkamp’s words, we’re “getting old.” If Kovaciny is right, then we will have to work harder and be more persistent in our invitations to friends to come to church. To that end I pray the Lord to give us courage and strength to do it.      

Pastor Don

Greetings in the Name of Jesus,

Welcome to Summer!  May this summer be a time to come closer to Jesus.  The Senior Saints have a challenge for all.  The seniors are reading the book of Acts and meditating on these Words of Scripture.  This is a good time to read Acts during the Season of Pentecost.  Acts gives us the history of the Church after the Resurrection and the Day of Pentecost.  The challenge is to read and meditate on two chapters per week.  Willing to accept the challenge?

The Seniors will meet only on the second Wednesday of July and August.  In August we will have our picnic.  Remember to get your picture taken for the new pictorial directory.  Thanks to Dottie for heading that project. 

Question.  Are you free or in some type of bondage?  Real freedom is found in The Truth.  Jesus is the Truth!   To know the Truth you must be in Scripture.  If you are neglecting Scripture, you are missing out on being free.  In John 8:31-32 we read, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  I urge you, search the Scriptures and be free!

God’s Blessings on your Summer!

In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Rich

Bingo the Basset Hound
Bingo the Basset Hound

 

Hi folks,

                            Enjoy the Dog Days of Summer.  This means we dogs take time to slow down and enjoy relaxing.  I slow down on my sniffing for rabbits.  We Basset Hounds give the rabbits a break.  So my advice to you is give yourself a break from a hectic pace and have fun this summer.

 

Here are some summer smiles for your good health, and to celebrate summer.

 

Here goes: 

  • What is brown, hairy, and wears sun glasses? Give up?  A coconut on vacation.  Arf Arf!
  • What kind of tree fits in your hand? Got it?  A palm tree.  Arf, Arf!
  • What did the little corn say to the mama corn? Where is pop corn? 
  • Where do goldfish go on vacation? Around the globe. 

Here is a cute one.

  • What do you call a Basset Hound at the beach. In August? A hot dog,  Arf,
  • When do you go at red and stop at green? When you eat a watermelon.
  • Why do fish swim in salt water? Because pepper makes them sneeze.

One more? 

  • Okay here it is. What did the reporter say to the ice cream?  What’s the scoop?

 

Hope you smiled and you are healthier.  Enjoy summertime!

 

Love from,

 Bingo

Hi All,

Many of us have taken our new pictures for the church directory. For the rest of us, we still have an opportunity to get them taken. I have some revisions to the schedule and location.

Photos will be taken in the church basement the first 20 minutes after both first and second services on the following Sundays: July 3, July 17, July 24, and 31.

If you need to take your photo on July 10, please feel free to do so in front of the backdrop. You can email them to me at: dottiebuss@gmail.com.

If you are homebound, have been exposed to Covid, or have a schedule conflict, call Dottie Buss at 503-968-7498. I will work with you to schedule a photo session for you.

Happy summer middle and high school youth, kids and families! July is brimming with CYF events and trips, while August has VBS, Gospel at the Beach, and S’mores Galore!

VBS registration is in full swing!

We need all the volunteers we can get. If you and/or someone you know wants to help out with VBS, sign up today! This year we are diving into ‘Sparks Studio’ where we will explore how we are Created! Designed! And Empowered! By God! Join us to sing, dance, explore, and create as we learn all about God’s unfailing love for all of us! VBS is August 1st thru 5th from 9 am till Noon. Registration is open for participants ages 4 to 12 years old, Volunteers ages 13+.  Sign up at www.myvbs.org/stpaulsherwood .

On July 8th, Pastor Don, Jill, and I will chaperone JP Garstka and David Sanchez to our National Youth Gathering in Houston, Texas! We have been preparing, praying, and supporting each other as we see Christ ‘In All Things’ throughout the past year. There is nothing like worshipping God with 25,000 teenagers from all over the country. Thank you all for your prayers and support! This is truly a life blessing event. We are truly blessed to be a part of it all.

Sunday school is happening this summer in the Connect Center at our usual time- 9:40 to 10:30 am. During the summer both the preschool and elementary age classes are merged into one super group. Our special summer curriculum focuses on God’s Gifts of Grace for each and every one of us. We will explore God’s Gifts of Grace by making puppets, crafts, using our imagination to visit exciting places all over the world, and playing goofy games. We would love to have your kids join in on all the fun!  Want to volunteer to lead a Sunday school lesson?!? Just let me know! I promise it will be a highlight of your summer. This summer is a great time to try your hand at teaching Sunday school.    

There are 2 family camps this July at Camp Lutherwood. The first camp is July 8th -10th, the second is July 21st -24th. We have several families attending these camps and our very own Gina Byers is working as the camp nurse at Lutherwood as well.

VBS! VBS begins August 1st!

We will begin setting up and decorating after Missionfest on July 31st. We can use everyone’s help transforming our campus into God’s creation studio. There are posters to hang, pew signs to mount, giant craft supplies to situate, and so much more. All volunteers are expected to lend a hand with set up. After set up, we will pass out camp shirts and have a brief meeting.  On Monday August 1st, we ask that volunteers arrive at 8am and report to the Senior Saints building. The rest of the week volunteers can arrive by 8:30. We will have our traditional S’mores Campfire on Wednesday August 3rd at 6:30pm and our end of VBS hot dog lunch on Friday August 5th.

 

Attention Middle and High school youth!

 

Youth Campfire July 6th 2022

The amazing Talia Johnston will be hosting special Campfire nights throughout July and August just for you! Starting with Wednesday July 6th at 7pm and again on July 30th after our Veggie Tales movie night, around 7pm. August campfires will be the 3rd at 6:30pm and August 24 at 7pm. RSVP to taliaj1@frontier.com or 

Gospel at the beach

jennifergatke@stpaulsherwood.org 

Gospel at the Beach with Pastor Don is August 18th. We will drive down to the beach, read 433the Gospel, build sand castles, play in the surf, and enjoy dinner at Camp 18 on the way home. Bring a towel, change of clothes, sunscreen, a sack lunch, and $15 to help cover the cost of dinner. We will provide the transportation from church to the beach and back again. This is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen your friendships with God and each other. RSVP to jennifergatke@stpaulsherwood.org

Family Movie Night will be July 30th and August 30th at 6pm. We will be watching Jonah a Veggie Tales Movie in July and Josh and the Big Wall in August. Bring a blanket or stuffed Veggie doll and enjoy this vegetable masterpiece with us. Popcorn and Juice boxes will be provided. RSVP with me, Jen Gatke!

Craft and Chat will be August 21st from 2-4 pm in the church library. Bring that project you’ve always wanted to finish, or the one you’ve been meaning to start. Enjoy the tea and company of your family as we craft and chat together.

Do you have any ideas, suggestions, questions, and/or you want to volunteer?

My email is:  jennifergatke@stpaulsherwood.org  

“For I hold you by your right hand- I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.’”- Isaiah 41:13

Jennifer Gatke

St. Paul Youth Program Director

Mission Festival – July 31, 2022

Rev. Andrew and Megan Fedder

This year’s Mission Festival Sunday will celebrate LCMS missionaries Andrew and Megan Fedder serving the Lord in Romania. They, with their five children were originally to be posted in Odessa Ukraine last year, but circumstances led to them being placed in Romania.

There, the Fedders care for local congregations in Bucharest, Sofia Bulgaria, and Katerini Greece. They also help with the Ukrainian refugee crisis in Brasov, Romania. Obviously, we cannot fly the Fedders out here for our mission festival, but he is preparing a sermon which I will read to you on that day. Our special mission offering will go towards Andrew and Megan’s missionary work in Romania through the LCMS. Our normal mega-potluck will top-off the festivities. 

Andrew earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Hawaii — West Oahu and received his Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne. Before becoming a career missionary, he served as pastor of First Lutheran Church in El Cajon, Calif. Prior to that, he was a substitute and summer school teacher for pre-K through eighth grade.

Megan earned a bachelor’s degree from Concordia University, Portland, Ore., and served for over 10 years as a Lutheran school teacher. Andrew and Megan have five children — Wesley, Beatrix, Charlie, Rosalind and John-Paul — who will join them on the mission field.

 

About Mission Fest at St. Paul Lutheran Church

Mission Festival is a long standing tradition at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Sherwood, Oregon. It started many years ago, and originally many congregations in the area would come together to celebrate with St. Paul. There would be a combined worship service not only from St Paul, but throughout the region.  They would worship, hear about a mission they would support that year with their prayers and donations, and follow all of that with a grand potluck as is the way for so many Lutheran congregations. There is even heard tell of games being played, like volleyball, soccer and some mean tug-of-war matches. 

One Service on Mission Fest and a Pot Luck

A few traditions continue…We combine our early service with our outdoor worship service at 10:45 am  in the grove, and follow our Mission Festival worship service with a potluck. Please bring your favorite dish to share! 

Prayers

Please pray for the Fedder family as they serve the Lord in Romania and throughout the Eurasia region, and as they acclimate to life in Bucharest. Ask the Lord to grant Andrew safety as he travels to teach throughout the region, and pray that his work would strengthen local congregations in the proclamation of the Gospel.

Additional Information

  • Birthday: Andrew — July 7, Megan — May 30, Wesley — May 16, Beatrix — July 9, Charlie — Sept. 9, Rosalind — Nov. 18, John-Paul — June 25
  • Anniversary: May 10
  • Home District: English

 

This month is packed full of fabulous CYF events! As always, these events are for the young and young at heart. I hope to see many of your smiling faces throughout June!

VBS registration opens on June 1st! This year we are building ‘Sparks Studio’ where we will learn that we are Created! Designed! And Empowered! By God! Join us as we sing, dance, explore, and create as we learn all about God’s unfailing love for us all! VBS is August 1st thru 5th from 9 am till Noon. Registration is open for participants ages 4 to 12 years old, Volunteers ages 13+.  Sign up at www.myvbs.org/stpaulsherwood . Questions? Email me at jennifergatke@stpaulsherwood.org

On Sunday June 5th there will be a special celebration for our Confirmands during our usual Christian Education hour

 between worship services. We will have cake, punch, and rejoicing! The following Sunday, June 12th, is Senior Salute! Join us for cake, punch, and celebrating! 

Sunday school will resume on June 19th in the Connect Center at our usual time- 9:40 to 10:30 am. During the summer both the preschool and elementary age classes are merged into one super group. Our special summer curriculum focuses on God’s Gifts of Grace for each and every one of us. We will explore God’s Gifts of Grace by making puppets, crafts, using our imagination to visit exciting places all over the world, and playing goofy games. We would love to have your kids join in on all the fun!  Want to volunteer to lead a Sunday school lesson?!? Just let me know! I promise it will be a highlight of your summer. This summer is a great time to try your hand at teaching Sunday school.    

We will be having a National Youth Gathering meeting on June 18th from 2 to 4 pm, in the lower level of the Church. We will be making clothes pins, designing our t-shirts, picking out snacks, and a lot more. Please RSVP to jennifergatke@stpaulsherwood.org before June 12th. It’s important that we are all able to attend this meeting. If this date doesn’t work for you, please let me know ASAP. 

Family Movie Night is June 25th at 6pm. We will be watching the classic Veggie Tales, ‘God wants me to forgive them!?!’ Bring a blanket or stuffed Veggie doll and enjoy this vegetable masterpiece with us. Popcorn and Juice boxes will be provided. RSVP at jennifergatke@stpaulsherwood.org

 

Mini Camp is June 28-30th from 10-1 pm. Our theme this year is Animals! We will be making clay animal pinch pots, inventing our own thumbprint animals, playing fun water games, and going on a scavenger hunt around campus. If you would like to join us, RSVP at jennifergatke@stpaulsherwood.org

 

Finally, a HUGE THANK YOU to the families that helped us clean the grave stones in our cemetery! It was a gigantic undertaking. I truly appreciate you all! Several families suggested that we have a monthly clean up afternoon during the summer. If you would be interested in helping, please don’t be shy. Email me at jennifergatke@stpaulsherwood.org  

Do you have any ideas, suggestions, questions, and/or you want to volunteer?

My email is:  jennifergatke@stpaulsherwood.org  

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

Jennifer Gatke

St. Paul Youth Program Director

Greetings in Christ Jesus,

Welcome to the Season of Pentecost.  All summer we will be in Pentecost.  What does this mean?  This is the time we focus on growing together in the life of God.  The Scripture readings focus on the life of Jesus in His Church.  The Church uses the color green.  This represents a time of growth in living out our life.  Note Colossians 3:17:  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  God bless your journey.

Thanks to Dave Van Winkle for the flowering plants that he planted at the Senior Center.  They are in loving memory of his wife Barbara.  They will be dedicated at one of our Senior Saints gatherings.

The Senior Saints will meet each Wednesday in June.  During July and August we will meet only on the second Wednesday of the month.

May God enrich your summer with His love and peace!

In Christ’s Love

Pastor Rich

 

Bingo the Basset Hound
Bingo the Basset Hound

Time for a word from Bingo, your friendly Basset Hound.   

Greetings All,

                                   I sure am looking forward to summer.  I hope your summer will be one of renewal.  We all need time for a change of pace.  I am not going to chase as many rabbits this summer. 

On the last Sunday of May the Senior Saints and all the Sunday school children met in the Senior Center for a Bible lesson led by Jen Gatke.  Young and old met together to celebrate that we all are one in Christ.  We will do this every fifth Sunday.  It was fun to watch. 

I hear Dottie Buss is making plans for a new picture directory of our members.  Watch for more information about getting your picture taken. 

Here are a few smiles for your good health.

 

  • I just saw a grandpa help a youngster who was staring into his phone, to cross the street.
  • A patient: Doctor, I think I broke my arm in two places.  He told me to stop going to those places
  • Have you heard the watermelon joke? It’s pitiful.
  • Why do golfers bring an extra pair of pants? In case they get a hole in one.
  • You know you are older when you have a party and the neighbors do not realize it.
  • Why do seagulls fly over the sea? If they flew over the bay, they would be bagels.
  • When you are 20 and drop something, you pick it up. When you are 80, you decide that you do not need it. 
  • The good thing about having a bad memory is that jokes can be funny more than once.

 

Hope you are feeling better.  Enjoy your summer!

 

Love from Bingo

S.P.A.R.K.  (St. Paul Church’s Announcements to Read and Know)                          June 2022

For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. (2 Thess. 3:11,12)

 

Paul, in his second letter to the Christians in Thessalonica, encouraged them to do the work of an evangelist, not be lazy about it, and not put on a show of work just to impress others. In the church today, there is plenty to do as an evangelist, and very little of it impresses anyone. Nevertheless, one continues because he knows his labor is not in vain.

 

My labor will not be in vain this summer, as there is much important work to do in the church. Here is an outline of what’s going on that you can pray for:

  • Pentecost Sunday, confirmation. Five of our youth will be confirmed on Sunday, June 5th at the 10:45 AM service. A reception will precede the service in the lower level of the sanctuary. Please pray that Claire, Riley, Ashlynn, Ava and Elizabeth will remain steadfast in the faith in this ever-changing world.
  • June 9-11, Northwest District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Convention, Portland. I will be attending this convention as your pastoral delegate. Please give thanks to God that our district and synod, is not experiencing any undue controversy or division. Pray that our churches in the northwest will continue moving forward in our spiritually hard-soil environment.
  • Confirmation Camp, Camp Lutherwood. I am taking two of our newly confirmed young people plus one new confirmand to Lutherwood for a week-long camp. Please pray for good weather, and growth in faith during this extended time away from home with other Lutheran Christian youth.
  • National Youth Gathering, Houston TX, July 8-14. My wife Jill, Jen Gatke and I are taking two of our high school youth to Houston for the LCMS youth gathering. Please pray that our faith is strengthened through this dynamic event. This will be my fifth National Youth Gathering, Jen’s second, and Jill’s first. It will also be J.P. Garstka’s and David Sanchez’s first national youth gathering.

These and many more summer events such as Family Camp, Mission Festival, and Vacation Bible School are laid out before us. Please pray that people will be edified and encouraged in the Gospel of Jesus Christ though these opportunities He has given us.

After Labor Day, if you happen to drive through the east part of our campus on a weekday and see kids playing outside and cars parked there, it’s because I have approved a rental agreement with Firm Foundations Academy Northwest, to use modular C and the historic school house three days a week for home schooling. The pandemic has increased the need for alternatives to traditional schooling, and we have classroom space available for this purpose. There will be opportunities to meet new people, offer them our church and preschool, participate in our youth and family activities, as well as receive some income which will benefit our general fund. Please pray this will bear much fruit in the kingdom of God, and foster growth in the church.

Well, that’s enough idleness for now—I must get back to work. It is a joy being your pastor here at St. Paul, and partnering with you in the public ministry of the Church in such a wonderful community as Sherwood. God’s peace be with you.

Pastor Don 

 

Church Directory Update 2022

The Senior Saints are publishing a new church directory. Dottie Buss is our photographer.

 She will be taking photos of the confirmands and their families at the reception on Confirmation Sunday. She will be taking photos of our graduates and their families at the reception on Senior Salute Sunday. She can take photos of other church members as time allows these two Sundays.

 Photos of Senior Saints will be taken in the Senior Center on the second and fourth Wednesdays of June. All other photos will be taken in the Senior Center from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM on the following Sundays: June 19, June 26, July 3, July 10, and July 17.

If you are homebound, or have a schedule conflict, call Dottie Buss at 503-968-7498. She will work with you to schedule a photo session for you.