From Pastor William D. Leitch

The first Sunday in March is Transfiguration Sunday.

Witnesses to the glory of God in the face of Jesus will be unable to avoid reflecting that glory in the world.  It was true for Moses.  It was doubtless true for Peter, James, and John.  We pray that it will be true of all of us who see the glory in the Lord in the word and in the supper and who are being “transformed into the same image” by the Spirit of God.  (Sundays and Seasons)

Next, we begin the Season of Lent with Ash Wednesday services.

Lent begins with a solemn call to fasting and repentance as we begin our journey to the baptismal waters of Easter.  As we hear in today’s readings, now is the acceptable time to return to the Lord.  During Lent, the people of God will reflect on the meaning of their baptism into Christ’s death and resurrection.  The sign of ashes suggests our human mortality and frailty.  What seems like an ending is really an invitation to make each day a new beginning in which we are washed in God’s mercy and forgiveness.  With the cross on our brow, we long for the spiritual renewal that flows from the springtime Easter feast to come.  (Sundays and Seasons)

Our Wednesday Lenten Services will use Holden Evening Prayer as our worship format.  The message each evening will cover one part of Luther’s Catechism.

It was the first century church’s tradition to teach new believers about the faith in Jesus Christ.  So for 40 days they would go through intense training.  Then, during Holy Week, they would be baptized.  On Good Friday, they would renounce the devil and all the forces that defy God, the forces of this world that rebel against God, and the ways of sin that draw us away from God.

On Easter Morning, the baptismal candidates would then be baptized and make the solemn oath to continue in this covenant God makes with us.

We need to remember the details of this covenant and how we have promised to live it out.  If we do not take the time to remember this in detail, we will drift off, forget about, and break the covenant with God.  It would make me sad if one would treat this covenant as if it did not matter.  Imagine how we break God’s heart when we treat our relationship with God as just a one-time event and not a life-time relationship/commitment.

 

Ash Wednesday, March 6…We will have Ash Wednesday Worship Service at 12:00 noon and 6:30 pm at Living Lord Lutheran Church.

 

Lenten Evening Worship Service & Soup Supper…Beginning on Wednesday, March 13, we will have Soup Suppers at 5:30 pm followed by Lenten Evening Worship Service at 6:30 pm at Living Lord Lutheran Church.  We will need four crocks of soup each Wednesday.  Please see the sign-up sheet on the bulletin board if you can volunteer to bring soup.

 

Church Information…Please remember that you can obtain church information from the monthly Lamplighter Newsletter, the Constant Contact emails you receive, on the church website (www.lllc.org), on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Living-Lord-Lutheran-Church-493806727349110/), and postings on the church bulletin board.  Church Council Meeting minutes are posted on the bulletin board and sent out via Constant Contact.  We would like to see a better “open rate” when we send information to you via Constant Contact so that we know you are being informed of the activities that are occurring at the church.  If you have any other suggestions on how best to reach out to our parishioners, please see a Council member.

From the Later Life Committee, Member Lynne Walters

Card Class…Join us for a card-making class on Thursday, March 7, in the Activity Room.  We will be making 4 cards.  The theme is “Floral Fun Folds”.  Classes will be at 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm.  The cost is $12.00.  Please bring adhesives like double-stick tape and liquid glue.  There is a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board.  The deadline for signing up is Sunday, March 3.  If you have any questions, please contact Lynne Walters.

From the Outreach Committee Chairperson, Judy Shaffer

Bingo at NSOV…The Outreach Committee will be hosting Bingo at Niles Shepherd of the Valley on Wednesday, March 13, at 2:00 pm.  We will meet at 1:30 pm to set up.  Men and women both are invited to assist.  Please see the sign-up sheet on the main bulletin board if you are able to help or bake cookies.  We are asking for donations of cheese cracker packs, peanut butter cracker packs, crossword or word find puzzle books, square tissue boxes, chapstick, body lotion, hand lotion, and medium size gift bags to hold two of these items (plain colors like red, green, blue, yellow, purple, etc.).  If you have any questions, please contact Judy Shaffer.

 

Easter Food Baskets…We will begin collecting food for the Easter Food Baskets on Sunday, March 17.  The last day to bring in items will be Sunday, April 14.  A chart will be in the hallway for items to bring.  If you know anyone in the church or anyone in need, please call or email the Parish Office (330-856-5302 or secretary@lllc.org) to order your food basket by Friday, March 29.  We will pack and distribute the baskets on Wednesday, April 17, beginning at 9:00 am.  Pickup will be from 10:00 am until 12:00 noon.  No deliveries.  There will be envelopes to donate for the purchase of hams available at the food chart in the hallway.  Please mark “Easter Food Baskets” in the memo portion of your check made payable to Living Lord Lutheran Church.  You may also place your check in the collection plate.  If you have any questions, please contact the Parish Office.

From the Larry L. Maggiano, M.D., Memorial Scholarship Fund Chairperson, Lorraine Bell

Scholarship Fund Challenge…Due to a generous gift by the family of Larry L. Maggiano, the Larry L. Maggiano, M.D., Memorial Scholarship Fund was created.  In order for a named fund to be created, a gift of at least $20,000.00 must be received.  That gift is invested, administered by the Scholarship Board, and proceeds from that fund are used each year to award scholarships.  In order to grow the principal of the fund, you are asked to help.  Envelopes are available for donations to the fund in the basket on the shelf under the bulletin board in the main hallway.  Your donation will be invested with the principal.  You may place your check in the offering plate or mail it to the church office made payable to Living Lord Lutheran Church with the notation “Maggiano Scholarship Fund” in the memo portion.  The family of Larry Maggiano has issued a challenge to each of you.  Each dollar you contribute to the fund, the family will match up to $1,000.00.  The generosity of the Maggiano family and your generosity in making this opportunity available for the young people of our congregation are greatly appreciated.  Thank you for your support.  If you have any questions, please contact any member of the Committee:  Lorraine Bell, Ronda Leitch, and Jo Maggiano.

 

Scholarship Applications…Attention High School seniors and current college students:  Applications and stipulations for the Larry L. Maggiano, M.D., Memorial Scholarship are available in the Parish Office.  Completed forms must be returned by Sunday, April 28, 2019.  Please direct any questions that you may have to Lorraine Bell.

From the Parish Nurse, Dora Muller

“It’s never too late to take your heart health seriously and make it a priority.”   Jennie Garth

This past month was dedicated to a rising awareness of heart disease in women.  However, we should keep in mind that we all are at risk of developing some heart disease or condition.  The human body is a perfect machine with organs interacting to perform vital functions and the heart was made to never skip a beat.  Some chronic diseases can lend to difficulty in breathing and locomotion.  Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is a chronic disease that affects the heart pumping system.  The primary function of the heart is to pump precious fuel to keep the human body functioning.  The classic symptoms of CHF are retention of fluids as evidenced by weight gain, edema of the legs, and difficulty in breathing.  One of my fond memories of my father is that he and my brother took extreme care of their Volkswagen.  They almost weekly would remove and clean the motor to help maintain it in perfect running condition.  We can compare the human body and a car motor.  However, like any machine, we can expect some wear and tear.  CHF does not mean necessarily that the heart is about to fail, but rather the heart may be weak and the effort to pump blood is difficult.  The best maintenance to keep our hearts in optimal working condition is to recognize the symptoms of CHF and be proactive to help maintain a healthy heart by following preventive measures such as better eating habits, physical activity, and weight control which help us live longer lives.

From Pastor William D. Leitch

Our first reading in February is from Jeremiah 1:4-10.  The first words are from God:  “Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’”

Jeremiah starts giving God excuses.  First, I am but a boy.  God doesn’t take no for an answer.  God prepares us, empowers us, and appoints us to get His work done.

Some may wonder how God could assume that “I” could do what God says to do when I have never done it before.  It’s a funny thing – that Holy Spirit.  You see, we are incapable of making the future exactly like we choose because we haven’t seen the future yet.  However, God can see the future and God has seen how you have handled the present.

We learn from our experiences and we can learn how to accomplish even more the next time we attempt something.  We don’t know how it will turn out exactly the next time, but we are on a journey.  God is preparing us and God knows how to use us to accomplish His work.

We just elected new folks to our Council.  It can be a scary thing to accept the responsibilities for something you have never done before.  However, we who have elected you have seen what you have done, and we trust that God has prepared you for these new duties.  And yes, you might not do them perfectly the first time, but you will see the future by reflecting on the past.  God is using you well.  We look forward to working together with everyone at Living Lord Lutheran Church, and we pray that you will all step out and help our leaders to accomplish all the mission and ministry God has appointed us to do.

 

Church Information…Please remember that you can obtain church information from the monthly Lamplighter Newsletter, the Constant Contact emails you receive, on the church website (www.lllc.org), on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Living-Lord-Lutheran-Church-493806727349110/), and postings on the church bulletin board.  Church Council Meeting minutes are posted on the bulletin board and sent out via Constant Contact.  We would like to see a better “open rate” when we send information to you via Constant Contact so that we know you are being informed of the activities that are occurring at the church.  If you have any other suggestions on how best to reach out to our parishioners, please see a Council member.

 

Camp Frederick Winterfest & Chili Cook-off…Camp Fredrick will hold their Winterfest & Chili Cook-off on Sunday, February 10, 2:00 to 5:00 pm.  Join us for sledding, crafts, snacks, and fun!  Free to all!  For more information and to register your chili, please call 330-227-3633 or email info@campfrederickohio.com.  Come join us and help judge the winner.  Camp Frederick is located at 6996 Millrock Rd., Rogers, OH   44555.

 

From the Later Life Committee, Member Lynne Walters

Card Class…Join us for a card-making class on Thursday, February 7, in the Activity Room.  We will be making 4 cards.  The theme is “Fun Folds”.  Classes will be at 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm.  The cost is $12.00.  Please bring adhesives like double-stick tape and liquid glue.  There is a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board.  The deadline for signing up is Sunday, February 3.  If you have any questions, please contact Lynne Walters.

From the Parish Nurse, Dora Muller

“Laughing is also good for your respiratory system.”   Allen Klein

Last night I was watching TV and there was another medication advertisement to relieve the symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.  What is COPD and how does it affect one’s daily life?  COPD is not just one disease, but is comprised of a group of health problems that affect breathing and include emphysema (air trapped in the air sacs), chronic bronchitis (inflammation of breathing tube), and asthma (breathing tubes tighten up and swell).  No wonder breathing is difficult for those affected with COPD and why many often require supplemental oxygen therapy and inhaler medications and necessitates learning breathing techniques to maximize the use of oxygen.  Chronic disease COPD can result in long-term damage of the lungs, especially related to unhealthy behaviors.  Not, as many believe, related exclusively to infectious diseases and some genetic conditions.  The most recognized causes of COPD are exposure to cigarette/tobacco smoke, industrial air pollution, and/or constant contact with fine particles, such as flour (bakers are at high risk).  COPD is a generic name for a group of illnesses and their symptoms, but are not always the same.  Common symptoms are wheezing, heaviness or tightness of chest, coughing, increased breathlessness, and shortness of breath.  There are many methods to manage COPD and most health insurances cover pulmonary rehabilitation.  Avoid situations that can trigger a COPD attack, such as exposure to smoking, heavy aromas, and excessive exercise, all reasons that can lead to difficulty breathing.  With careful management, those afflicted with COPD can still have a productive and meaningful life.

From the Pastor, William D. Leitch

January is the Season of Epiphany.  Epiphany means “manifestation”.  On this day, we celebrate the revelation of Christ to the Gentiles – that is, to all nations.  Some Christian traditions celebrate three great epiphanies on this day:  the magi’s adoration of the Christ child, Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River, and his first miracle, in which he changes water to wine.  The word and sacraments are for us the great epiphany of God’s grace and mercy.  We go forth to witness to the light that shines brightly in our midst.

Through January, we will celebrate all these.  I find it interesting how Scripture weaves these manifestations together from the creation of the world to the manifestation of the church as the Body of Christ.  For example, worship for the Jews before the destruction of the Temple was the sacrifice of animals in the Temple.  Jesus foretold the second destruction of the Temple that would occur in 70 A.D.  At the same time, He promised that He would be the final sacrifice.  His blood would be the last blood that would need to be shed.  The sacrifice of His body would be for the sake of everyone and whoever believes in Him will receive that salvation.

So, Jesus’ blood was the last blood to be shed and that is good.  We remember this every time we drink the wine at communion.  Sometimes the invitation to come to communion is, “Come, taste and see that the Lord is good.  Jesus saved the best until last, just like the servants witnessed at the Wedding at Cana.

Believe in Jesus and things will only get better.

As I said before, I find it interesting how Scripture weaves things together.  The glory of the Lord is revealed in the reading of Scripture.  People stand at attention.  People weep.  People prostrate themselves in prayer.  The unity of the church is another reflection of the glory of God.  Most gloriously, the promises of God are fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ.  Gather round.  Listen up.  Glimpse the glory of God.

 

Living Lord Annual Congregation Meeting…The Annual Meeting of the Congregation will be held on Sunday, January 27, 2019, at 11:45 am in the Worship Space – mark your calendar!  At this meeting, reports will be received from Standing Committees, Congregation Council Members will be elected, and the 2019 Budget will be approved.  Also at this meeting we will vote on the issue to permit same sex marriages to be performed on church property.  Your Annual Report will be on the table in the hall the week prior to the meeting; be sure to stop and pick it up.

 

Church Information…Please remember that you can obtain church information from the monthly Lamplighter Newsletter, the Constant Contact emails you receive, on the church website (www.lllc.org), on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Living-Lord-Lutheran-Church-493806727349110/), and postings on the church bulletin board.  Church Council Meeting minutes are posted on the bulletin board and sent out via Constant

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Contact.  We would like to see a better “open rate” when we send information to you via Constant Contact so that we know you are being informed of the activities that are occurring at the church.  If you have any other suggestions on how best to reach out to our parishioners, please see a Council member.