From Interim Pastor Larry Klinker

I know this newsletter will come out near our celebration of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  In the last newsletter, I focused on our celebration of Holy Week.  Holy Week, through individual services, walks us liturgically (that is our central paschal story enacted through ritual) our great Christ pattern of death and resurrection.  This is why it is so important to reflect on the words of the great hymn that Paul quotes as he writes to the Philippians:  “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross.”

What does it mean for us to be emptied out as the starting place for our spiritual growth?  What does it mean for us not to grasp at power?  Or try to exploit control and domination to empower our smallest self?  How does the pattern of Holy Week, the great paschal mystery, become the pattern of my Christian life?

Because as we shift to our celebration of Easter, we complete the singing of this great early Christian hymn with God’s response to the walking of Jesus’ path where we walk the path of conscious loving.  “Therefore, God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Easter is not the day but the season we need to wrestle with and unpack the meaning and the purpose and the effect of the resurrection of Jesus by the power of God.  The resurrection of Jesus the Christ is such good news it takes us seven weeks, including the Pentecost event, to totally fathom the effect the resurrection of Jesus has in our world.  The power of the resurrection affirms the Jesus path of self-giving conscious love.  This conscious loving is modeled in the foot washing on Maundy Thursday and interpreted in Philippians 2 by Paul of this great Christian hymn quoted in his writing to the Philippians.

God, in the resurrection of Jesus, is saying yes not only to the raising of Jesus from the dead but God is saying yes to the Jesus path, to Jesus’ teaching, Jesus’ servanthood, the reign of God as King revealed in Jesus, and yes even to Jesus’ death on the cross.

So, what are the aspects of Holy Week and Easter that have not touched your life?  What parts of your life have you kept untouched by the radical message of new life found in the resurrected Jesus?  How might this year cause you to experience a sense of new life in Christ?

 

Pastor Larry’s Bible Blog…Pastor Larry offers you an opportunity to read your way thru scriptures with him each day at his Bible Blog.  The readings alternate between readings from an Older Testament book and then a Newer Testament book.  We start reading the book of Second Peter at the beginning of April from the Newer Testament.  Then we will begin reading the Older Testament book of Isaiah on Pastor Larry’s Bible blog online at http://klinkerld-pastorlarrysbible.blogspot.com/.  Join us online.

 

Interim Pastor Larry Klinker’s Office Hours…Pastor Larry will be in the office on Wednesdays from 9:30 am to noon.  You may reach him at 330-550-0077 or email him at klinkerld@att.net.

From the President, Nancy Walters

I would like to thank Lorraine Bell for covering for me while I was “out of commission”.  Nice to know that I can be replaced!  Attendance seems to be picking up.  I don’t know whether it is because of the weather or people feel more comfortable returning to church with the virus numbers going down and getting their shots.  Whatever the reason, I am glad to see a lot of you back.  I would like to thank Karen and Rob McKinney for helping fill in for Bob after his surgery.  Nice job!  Bob…you can also be replaced!  Easter is almost here!  We missed the services in person last year due to being shut down for the virus.  Hopefully, we will see you at church during Holy Week and on Easter Sunday.

 

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 Call Committee Chairperson, Robert McKinney

First let me say I am sorry for the length of time between our last update to the congregation.  We have been waiting for a meeting with the Synod for quite some time.  I was contacted by Pastor Karl Biermann, who is the person that works with the Call Committees.  We were able to set up a Zoom meeting on March 16, 2021, at the church with Call Committee members present.  As we had discussed during our Annual Meeting in January and a resolution was passed by those present that we would consider a shared pastor with another church or a part-time pastor.  It was explained to us by Pastor Biermann at the Zoom meeting that the process of securing a shared pastor include finding a local congregation that is agreeable to sharing a pastor, with that step being completed by Living Lord Lutheran Church members.  Once that congregation is identified, Pastor Julianne Smith from the Synod should be contacted.  Pastor Biermann was, I think, pushing toward a full-time pastor for Living Lord.  We discussed financial constraints and the ability for Living Lord to afford a full-time pastor.  The average salary with benefits averages between $85,000 to $95,000.  The Call Committee will now begin the process of contacting area Lutheran Churches to find out their pastor status.  Your Call Committee will be meeting on a more regular basis and we will update you on our status.

From the In-Reach Committee Chairperson, Lorraine Bell

Please notify Lorraine Bell or the church office of any members who are hospitalized, ill, etc., so a card can be sent from the church.

 

Prayer Chain…We have started our prayer chain with five members (if I forgot someone, please let me know):  Camille Allen, Karen Bandy, Pam Boothe, Karin McKinney, Jacquie Thomas, and Lorraine Bell.  Please call one of the women with the name needing prayer and any concerns your feel are relevant.  Be sure to have the permission of that person.  That person will pass it on to the next one and it will go on to the next person, etc., so that we are all praying.

From the Outreach Committee Chairperson, Judy Shaffer

Due to COVID-19, we have not been able to go to Shepherd of the Valley to host our Bingo.  In place of our visits, Shepherd of the Valley has been holding their own Bingo, but have no prizes to give to the residents.  We have been collecting and dropping off Bingo prizes.  It is time to restock.  If you are able to pick up some of these items while you are out shopping for yourself, call Judy Shaffer to make arrangements to get them to her.  Items we are collecting:  lip balm, small pocket packs of tissue, lotions and hand creams, SOFT candy like Kit Kat bars, Three Musketeers, Hershey chocolates, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and bags of hard candy, small individual packets of crackers (nothing spicy) and cookies, small Spring decorations that might cheer up their food trays or for their bulletin boards, and small knickknacks they may put on their dresser or windowsills.

 

Easter Food Baskets Update… The Outreach Committee would like to thank everyone who donated to the Easter Food Baskets, especially in these very trying times.  We were able to assist 10 families.

From the Parish Ed Committee Chairperson, Raymond Boothe

The Adult Forum is beginning to have more attendance after a long COVID-19 interruption.  We are currently studying the Biblical OT and NT comparisons in relationship to Johns’ 7 “GREAT I AM” statements.  Our group is currently looking for Biblical studies for the future.  We are inviting anyone interested to please attend.  A large new Bible History Chart has also been purchased for the Adult Forum classroom.

From the Worship Committee Chairperson, Jan Was

Holy Week Schedule:

Palm Sunday, March 28 – 8:00 & 10:30 am Worship Services/Lent Boxes Due

Maundy Thursday, April 1 – 7:00 pm Worship Service

Good Friday, April 2 – 7:00 pm Worship Service

Easter Sunday, April 4 – 8:00 & 10:30 am Worship Services

 

From the Bell Choir Director, Lynne Walters…The handbell choir of Living Lord Lutheran Church is grateful for the support the congregation has given us through the years, but now we need your help!  The bells were purchased in 1990, which makes them 30 years old.  The original bells and additional bells were donated through memorial funds and donations.  Handbells are supposed to be refurbished every 8 years, but ours have never been refurbished.  Because of this, our ringers are having constant reoccurring problems with the bells not ringing smoothly and reliably, and parts needing to be replaced.  It is now necessary for our handbells to be refurbished.  Therefore, we would like to send the handbells to Schulmerich this summer to be refurbished.  A paper with the description of what is involved in the refurbishment is posted on the narthex bulletin board.  The price would be $2,200.00 (for our 28 bells) plus $360.00 for shipping.  Because of the age and condition of the bells, we are anticipating that extra parts will be needed.  Though we won’t know for sure until the bells are taken apart, we are estimating the total cost to be approximately $3,000.00.  Please consider donating to the handbell refurbishment fund.  We will ask the Fuchs Fund to cover any amount not raised by the congregation.  Remember to specify “handbells” in the memo portion of your check.  There are also special donation envelopes located on the bulletin board in the narthex.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions.  Thank you for your consideration of this project.