Greetings in the Name of Jesus

Welcome to the Advent-Christmas Season!  We begin a new Church year.  From birth to Ascension, we will spend time absorbing ourselves in the life of God’s Son, the Messiah, Jesus.  My favorite hymn in Advent is “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.”  Emmanuel means God with us.   Indeed, we need God to be with us.  Whatever your struggle is now, you can invite Jesus into your life to help you.  Maybe you feel exasperated, fatigued, and frustrated about what is happening in your life now.  You can invite Jesus to come and save, restore, and transform you. Jesus is your help in time of need. He knows exactly how to help.  He loves you!  As the hymn says:  “And open wide our heavenly home. Make safe the way that leads on high, and close the path to misery.  Rejoice Emmanuel shall come to thee.”

Do you avoid driving at night?  There will be three Mid-week Advent worship services on Wednesdays starting on Nov. 30, then December 7, and 14 in the Senior Center at 1:30 pm. You will discover how a love story in the Old Testament leads you to the love story of Jesus for you.  You will experience how this love story offers love that can change your life. 

Maxine and I wish all of you a joyous Advent-Christmas Season!  Thanks for being a blessing to us.  O Come, O Come Emmanuel!

In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Rich

        

Bingo the Basset Hound
Bingo the Basset Hound

Greetings from your friendly Basset Hound,

 

Things are humming at the Senior Center.  We are happy for the repairs and painting of many helpers.  The Seniors will not meet on December 28 and January 4.  I plan to head south to attend the Basset Hound annual assembly.  We will explore new sniffing techniques to track down rabbits.  I hope to absorb some Sun to see me through the winter.

I have done some research on Christmas humor.  I hope this the following makes you smile! 

  • What happened to the person who stole an Advent Calendar? The person got 25 days!
  • Why was the snowman looking through the carrots? He was picking his nose!
  • Why does Santa have three gardens! So he can ho, ho, ho.
  • How did Mary and Joseph know Jesus’ weight when he was born? They had a weigh in a manger.
  • What do snowmen eat for breakfast? Snowflakes
  • Why are Christmas trees bad at sewing? They drop their needles.
  • Why did the Skeleton skip the Christmas party? He had no body to go with.
  • What did the wise men say after they offered up gifts of gold and frankincense? Wait, there’s myrrh.
  • What did the gingerbread man put on his bed? A cookie sheet.

 

That concludes my research.

 

Enjoy your Advent and Christmas Season.  Chat with you next time year.

Love, Bingo your Friendly Basset hound

 

S.P.A.R.K.

 (St. Paul Church’s Announcements to Read and Know)

     December 2022

 

THIS IS MY SON

A series of worship and preaching for Advent and Christmas

    Whenever I meet with a couple for pre-marriage counseling, I share this quote: “Every disappointment involves unmet expectations.” Then we talk about what expectations for marriage are realistic or unrealistic. I also let them know their spouse will inevitably let them down— sometimes multiple times a day! Marriage is not the only source of disappointment and unmet expectations. Every human relationship will deal with these issues. Have you been happy with every decision an elected official has made, even one for whom you voted? Does your boss ever let you down? Have your employees always done their job well? Do your friends always come through for you? Do your children always make good and wise decisions based on what you have taught them? Human beings will disappoint by failing to meet expectations. No wonder the psalmist tells us in Psalm 146:3–4, “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.”

    Parents have hopes and expectations for their children. Sometimes these are healthy expectations. Other times parents place unfair or unrealistic expectations on their children. This Advent season, we will look at three different sons of men who were disappointments to their fathers. In the first week, we will be introduced to Cain, the son of Adam. No doubt Adam had higher hopes for Cain than for him to be known as the first murderer in history. But his murder of his brother reveals the murder lurking in all our hearts. In the second week, we will be introduced to Ishmael, the son of Abraham. Though it was not his fault, Ishmael was a disappointment to Abraham because he was not the child of the promise. Abraham’s efforts to take things into his own hands highlight our own tendency to do the same in our relationship with God. In the third week, we will be introduced to Absalom, the son of David. This rebellious son broke David’s heart and exposes the rebellion we display against our heavenly Father. But each week, we will also be pointed to a different Son. This Son is the true Son of Adam. He is the true Son of Abraham. He is the true Son of David. He is the Son who never disappointed His Father. He is the Son who never did any wrong. He is the Son of whom the Father spoke: “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him” (Matthew 17:5).

This true Man, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, is also the Son of God, the very Son of God now living in our flesh and blood. This Son is Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah, who fulfills the hope of salvation “that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:5). He is the One whom the psalmist spoke of in Psalm 146:5: “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God.”

    During this series, entitled This Is My Son, you will hear again that your heavenly Father is not disappointed in you. Rather, through Jesus, He considers you to be His beloved child, with whom He is well pleased.

 

ADVENT 1 – Sunday, November 27. Cain, the son of Adam.

ADVENT 2 – Sunday, December 4. Ishmael, the son of Abraham.

ADVENT 3 – Sunday, December 11.  Absalom, the son of David.

ADVENT 4 – Sunday, December 18. Joseph, the son of Jacob.

CHRISTMAS EVE – Saturday, December 24. Jesus, the son of Joseph

CHRISTMAS DAY – Sunday, December 25. Jesus, the Son of God.

May God bless us this Advent and Christmas!

Pastor Don

Hello everyone! I pray that the Joy of this Advent Season will fill your hearts and homes with the Love of Christ Jesus completely!

Our theme for Sunday school during Advent will focus on The Jesse Tree. Did you know that Jesus had parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents—just as we do! His family began with Adam and Eve and continues through the bible to us today.

With the Jesse Tree as a guide, we will meet the key people from the Bible who are Jesus’ ancestors and learn how they are a part of God’s plan for our salvation. Learning about our Savior’s family tree helps us to see how God kept His promise to redeem us all and make us His children—a promise kept and sustained over thousands of years. That is something to be excited to learn!

On December 4th after 2nd service, we will begin putting up the decorations, lights, and ornaments in the trees and bushes around campus.

December 11th after 2nd service, we need many hands to help set up the tents for our Live Nativity the following week.

December 11th the middle and high school youth will also be decorating the Christmas tree in the Sanctuary, eating pizza, and having a White Elephant gift exchange. Please bring a traditional White Elephant gift worth $10. RSVP with Jen Gatke by December 8th.  

December 17th is our Live Nativity drive through at our Campus! We need Townspeople, Shepherds, Wise men, Inn Keepers, set up and clean up help, and so much more! We will be collecting canned food for our food pantry and new toys for a few of the families through our Possible with God clothing closet.

Finally, our last event of the year will be New Year’s Eve. Service begins at 7pm in the Sanctuary followed by a special Family Game night in the lower level of the church. All ages welcome! Come join us for service, games, snacks, laughter, and fellowship! We will have an apple cider toast too!

Do you have any ideas, suggestions, and questions or want to volunteer? Please reach out to me; I would love to hear from you.

Email is jennifergatke@stpaulsherwood.org

“Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others- the armies of heaven- praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Luke 2:13-14

Jennifer Gatke

Youth Program Director

CYF CalendarDecember 2022

 

December 2022 From Your Congregational President

Declaring & Teaching – Jesus is Lord !

Matthew 22:34-40 – The Great Commandment

 

But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him: Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Upon these two commandments hang the whole Law and the Prophets.”

 

 

Focus for the New Church Year

 

I have chosen this scripture from the book of Matthew as it provides instruction on how we are to live and as to what our priorities should be. Jesus is clear that we shall love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all of our mind and secondly we shall love each other. Matthew also tells us in chapter 6, to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, not to worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. So it is as we start the new year.

 

In January the new church council will be meeting, thank you to all who have agreed to serve. We anticipate having a voters meeting on January 23, 2023, I will be presenting a high level summary of the church’s finances for the last ten years including expenses, regular giving and other income received by the church. We will continue to work on our budget as we prayerfully consider the direction He has for our body this coming year.

 

Blessings,

Tim Grace

I want to open with clarification of a statement I made in my last article. I stated that, per my resource, we must follow the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Treasurer’s Manual. While reading the Voters Meeting minutes of September 19, 2021, I read, “Pastor Richard commented that the District and Synod are advisory bodies only. The church is free to spend and manage its money as it sees fit without their input or approval.” So, I stand corrected.

The documents I researched included the St. Paul Lutheran Church Council Meeting Minutes – August 19, 2021, the St. Paul Financial Secretary Edward Jones Investment Account Report to the Voters August 19, 2021, and VOTERS MEETING September 19th, 2021 minutes.

In early 2020, the church’s General Fund received $57,107.86 from the Elsie Borcher’s Estate. These funds were already invested in an Edward Jones account. The monies received from the estate were transferred into a new account set up for St Paul, titled Edward Jones Church-1 Guided Solutions Flex Fund (aka CH-1).

During the voters meeting on 6/28/2020, Chuck Gollnick made a motion to move up to $100K from the checking account to the Edward Jones investment account so that it could receive better earnings. On March 17, 2021, $65,000 was transferred from US Bank Checking General Fund to the CH-1 account at Edward Jones.

At this same meeting, there was a subsequent motion by Council to move $140K from the LCEF stewardship account which had been earning only around 0.25%. These funds were transferred to our US Bank account. On June 10, 2021, these funds were transferred to a new Building Fund account at Edward Jones (CH-2). While the $140K Building Fund is restricted, the proceeds/profits earned are unrestricted income.

At the September 19, 2021, meeting, Tim Grace acknowledged that there is risk with investing. He also discussed during times of inflation, money that is not earning is losing money. Our two accounts invested with Edward Jones were doing nicely, with positive net earnings during fiscal year 2020-2021.

Unfortunately, the stock market took a turn for the worse during fiscal year 2021-2022. Next month, I will share the current status of CH-1 and CH-2 accounts.

 

Greetings in the Name of Jesus

What is on your mind?  Do you have good thoughts?  Perhaps you are troubled with unhappy feelings.  Maybe you are burdened with negative thoughts.  May I share a word from St. Paul? 

Philippians 4:8. He said, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.” 

God’s way is to fill your mind with powerful and redeeming thoughts. God’s truth sets you free.  Meditate on God’s Word.  Read your Bible and let His word bring new life to you.

This month we focus on Thanksgiving.  Thank the Lord for His bountiful blessings.  This month we as a nation are urged to give thanks.  God loves to hear our praises.  Be sure to vote as there are many issues important to Christians. 

Maxine gave me a Newsletter from October 2016 that marked the beginning of our weekly meetings in the Senior center.  Wow!  It has been six years.  We have grown younger!  Zeke has moved and now Bingo has joined us.  Before I give him the pen, Maxine and I thank all of you for your love and support.  A Blessed and thankful Thanksgiving!

In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Rich

 

Greetings folks,

Bingo the Basset Hound
Bingo the Basset Hound

 

How about that six years of meeting in the Senior Center!  We truly are thankful for all the blessings God has given us. Thanks to all the folks who have currently been working on the building making improvements.  You are appreciated!  I hope all of you enjoy the Thanksgiving Holiday. 

Most of you will eat turkey.  So I researched some Turkey humor for you.  Ready or not here it is.  Gobble up! 

 

What is a turkey’s favorite dessert?  Peach gobbler!

Why didn’t the turkey want dessert?  He was stuffed.

What are turkeys thankful for on Thanksgiving?  Vegetarians.

Can a turkey jump higher than a house?  Yes.  Why?  Houses cannot jump.

Why do turkeys love rainy days?  They love fowl weather.

Why do turkeys play drums?  They have drumsticks! 

Why do cranberries turn red?  Because they see the turkey dressing. 

 

Enough for this month.  Come see me at the Senior Center.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Love from Bingo, your friendly Basset Hound

Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19.

A pastor’s November newsletter article to the people of his church usually contains the customary “let’s give thanks to God for all the blessings he’s given us this year.” This year it seems more than customary to give thanks to God; the fact that we are still gathering to worship and carry out the ministry of Jesus Christ despite the difficulties we face—well—we owe our very existence and every breath we take to Him. It’s his church after all, and he will make it grow and prune it at will. Perhaps he is doing a new thing right now as we struggle to understand and cope with apathy, dwindling membership and internal strife.

Regarding the “new thing” God speaks to us about through his prophet Isaiah, the commentary in my Lutheran Study Bible says this: Rather than looking back on the glory days of the past exodus, the Lord wants His people to see Him as their present provider of exodus, their deliverer from Babylon. He demonstrates this by bringing life-giving water to His people living in the wilderness and desert. (p. 1160)

God was doing a new thing in the mass departure of his people Israel from captivity in Babylon. What is he doing now in the mass departure of his people from the church he established through his Son, Jesus Christ? Well one thing is for sure, he is still caring and providing for us. This may not seem new, as he has cared and provided for his people all along. But when it looks and feels like things are falling apart, God tells us every moment that he has provided us a deliverer from death, the devil, and hell. Not only has he brought us life-giving water in our baptism, but he also gives us his life-giving body and blood for the forgiveness of sin. I’ve tried to find a word that goes beyond “customary” in describing our thanks to God for this, but it escapes me right now. Nevertheless, I rejoice with you that God has made us his people and will see us through every time of trouble. May his peace always be with you.

Pastor Don

Hello everyone! Happy November!

Thank you all for your help with Trunk or Treat this year. We had a great time!

This month is going to fly by as we make pies, prepare for the Drive Thru Nativity, enjoy Thanksgiving, and decorate the church for Advent at the end of the month.

In Sunday school we will be talking about how the Apostles spread the news of Jesus’ death and resurrection. At the end of November, we will begin our series on Advent and look at how we can prepare our hearts for the Birth of Christ.

On November 6th after 2nd Service, we will have a meeting to discuss our Drive Thru Nativity. All those interested in helping make this year fantastic are invited to join us! We will be discussing logistics, decorations, advertising, and more. We will be meeting in the Lower Level of the Church.   

We are thrilled to bring back our Thanksgiving pie fundraiser! We are offering a traditional apple pie and a Dutch apple pie. Each pie is $12 and can be pre-ordered through Nov 9th. If you would like to place a pre-order please call the church office to do so. Pies will be ready for pick up Sunday November 20th.

We will be making pies on Sunday November 13th after 2nd service with pizza for lunch. We are asking all youth to help out. We have jobs for those who can put stickers on lids, mix ingredients, and even weld an apple peeler!

Saturday November 26th at 10 am, we will be decorating the inside of our church for Advent. For those planning ahead, we will be decorating our campus after 2nd service on December 4th and 11th.  If you would like to help deck the halls, festoon the boughs with holly, or help make everything glow, please let me know. 

“This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.” –Hebrews 6:19

Do you have any ideas, suggestions, or questions?  Please reach out to me by Email at jennifergatke@stpaulsherwood.org .

Jennifer Gatke

St. Paul Youth Program Director

CYF November Event calendar 2022
The Work continues

Declaring & Teaching – Jesus is Lord !

2 Timothy 2:1-7,14-16,23-26 – Be Strong

 

1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful people who will be able to teach others also. Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him. And if someone likewise competes as an athlete, he is not crowned as victor unless he competes according to the rules. The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

 

14 Remind them of these things, and solemnly exhort them in the presence of God not to dispute about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the listeners.  Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a worker who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene.

 

23 But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. The Lords bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, skillful in teaching, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

The Work Continues

While searching to verify this was in fact Paul’s last epistle included in the bible, I came across some commentary that encouraged the application of the second chapter of 2 Timothy to us all indicating that, Paul addressed six different vocations that Timothy could measure himself against. A soldier in verses 3-4, an athlete in verse 5, a farmer in verse 6, a worker in any line of work in verse 15 is encouraged to be diligent, and in verse 21 Paul addresses “anyone”, and encourages each of us to do our part and desire to be a “vessel for honor.” All who are a part of the Body of Christ must be diligent to serve well.

So how are you doing in serving the Lord and your brothers and sisters in Christ here at St Paul and the other areas of your life ?  There are many things to be done, the painting projects and cleanup at the Sr. Center have been covered else where. There is a work day planned the 29th of October primarily to work on painting the exterior trim of the church building, there will be other things to do if paining is not your thing. There is work to be done on our Preschool play ground. We will have more cedar chips delivered and will need help spreading them. There is pressure washing to be done on the playground equipment and the small play house. Hope you can come out and enjoy some fellowship and help to beautify His Kingdom. As the month goes on we will need help on a daily and weekly basis in removing leaves from walkways and other surfaces. Many days it looks like it snowed overnight, only it’s yellow leaves.

Blessings,

Tim Grace