From the President, Nancy Walters

The church is open for in-person worship on Sundays at 8:00 and 10:30 am.  We will have the following protocols in place:

  • Masks are required in the building
  • Social distancing must be maintained.  If you want to visit, meet in the parking lot
  • Thermometer is to be used for temperature checks
  • Hand sanitizer is to be used upon entering the building

Let’s follow the protocols in order to stay safe.

 

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 Interim Pastor, Larry Klinker

I am just learning how things are done at Living Lord Lutheran Church.  I notice that you will be hanging the greens on Saturday, November 21, in preparation for the Advent season.  Plans are being made to gather some people to change the dorsal curtains behind the altar from green to blue for the Advent season.

So it might be a good thing, from my perspective, to help us focus on the season of Advent, especially since we, as Lutherans, understand we are shaped into being disciples of Jesus through Worship, Catechesis, and Individual Prayer.  Each  season of the church liturgical year is meant to shape us with a particular message or emphasis.  With the coming of the Advent season, we will be starting another church year where the gospel emphasis will be on the Gospels Mark and John.

I want to focus on Advent alone apart from the celebration of the Christ-mass because it has its own unique emphasis.  Advent begins what we call the Cycle of Light that includes the seasons of Advent, where we wait, Christmas, where we rejoice, and Epiphany, where we manifest the light we have received.

So what is it that we are waiting for, preparing for in Advent?  Advent is about God coming to us.  We are preparing for the three ways God is coming to us in the Advent season.  We wait in days that are growing shorter and nights getting longer for God to come to us.  We wait with anticipation.  We wait with hope for God to come.  The season of Advent wants us to appreciate the three ways God comes to us to be with us.

The first focus of or waiting for God to come to us is a continuation of the message from Christ the King Sunday.  We are being asked first and foremost to be prepared, to be ready for God to come at the end of time for the full establishment of the reign of God as King.

The second preparation of the Coming of God is the introduction of John the Baptizer in weeks two and three of the Advent season who is there to prepare the way for the coming of the ministry of Jesus with his call to be baptized.  The coming of God now takes on a concrete form in the ministry of Jesus.

The third coming we are preparing for is the announcement of the birth of the Christ Child to Mary from the Gospel of Luke since Mark has no birth story associated with Jesus.  This brings us to the very edge of our celebration of Christ-mass.  But we are still waiting.

Advent is about the coming of God in Jesus the Christ.  This Advent we can ask, wonder about, and reflect upon the ways we are preparing for the coming God in our lives.  How do these three comings form our Advent spirituality?

 

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 reading from an Older Testament book and then a Newer Testament book.  We are just finishing reading the book of Ezra in November from the Older Testament.  Then we will begin reading the Newer Testament book of Titus on Pastor Larry’s Bible Blog online at:  http://klinkerld-pastorlarrysbible.blogspot.com/.  Join us online.  When we complete these two planned books, we will start the Older Testament book of Nehemiah.  Then following Nehemiah, we will read The Epistle of James from the Newer Testament.

 

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…The In-Reach Committee is going to start a phone prayer chain.  This will be a way to share our loved ones’ prayer concerns for family and the church.  We need volunteers to serve, so if you are interested, please call Lorraine Bell.  She will set up a list with the rules to be distributed in January.  Thank you for considering this ministry.

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 winter/Christmas decorations that might cheer up their food trays or for their bulletin boards, and small knickknacks they may put on their dresser or window sills.

Thanksgiving Food Baskets…The Outreach Committee would like to thank everyone who donated to the Thanksgiving Food Baskets.  We were able to provide food to 15 families.

 

From the Worship Committee Chairperson, Jan Was

Communion…We will begin having communion on Sunday, November 29, the First Sunday of Advent.  We will be using pre-packaged wafers and cups.  You will come up and pick up your cup (the wafer is on top of the cup) and return to your seat where you will open and take your communion.  Please discard your own cup in the waste basket at the back of the sanctuary when you leave.

Christmas Eve Worship Services…Christmas Eve Worship Services will be at 4:00 and 7:00 pm.

From the Parish Nurse, Dora Muller

“The true meaning of Christmas is to be thankful for the blessings we received and share the love ministry of Jesus among us. “  Dora Muller

 Everybody has a strong opinion on how to meet the challenge of the past 12 months with the COVID-19 pandemic hanging over our heads.  We faced the hardship of physical separation even among family members, scarcity of household supplies, and the tendency to hoard dry goods and cleaning supplies.  But we have prevailed, a strong sense of community has emerged from the pandemic.  It is true we often missed many milestone celebrations:  births, weddings, graduations, and memorial services, all this because of the fear of being contaminated by the virus.  Personally, I can attest to the pain of seeing people separated from loved ones, being isolated in a small room, and the fear of not being able to breathe.  As a nurse, we follow nursing care protocol to provide the best care available.  We had many successful stories of patients recovering from the virus, but we have also experienced some losing battles.  As the Christmas season approaches, we are humbly thankful for our health and our families.  We are now about to share the spirit of Christmas with a message of hope as we continue to exercise caution and follow the guidelines to wear a mask, keep social distance, and maintain our surroundings clean of virus.  More important, we should not let the fear of the virus upset our zest for life.  Let’s celebrate Christmas season by keeping healthy and still stay in touch with family and friends, but at a smaller scale.  My advice is to still remember the spirit of Christmas, but avoid unnecessary large gatherings and eventually we will be able to be winners over the virus.  From my family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas, Feliz Natal, and the hope that 2021 will be the best year ever.

From the President, Nancy Walters

Summer is over, the leaves have fallen, and it is time to pull out those winter clothes.  Before you know it Hanging of the Greens will be here.  The church will be opening for IN-PERSON worship on Sunday, November 1, at 8:00 and 10:30 am.  We will have the following protocols in place:

  • Masks are required in the building
  • Social distancing must be maintained.  If you want to visit, meet in the parking lot
  • Thermometer is to be used for temperature checks
  • Hand sanitizer is to be used upon entering the building

Let’s follow the protocols in order to stay safe.

I would like to thank Lynn Golen for going above and beyond since Pastor Bill retired.  She has uploaded the worship services to YouTube and Facebook (sometimes with great difficulty).  She has also reminded the Council of some of their duties (sometimes more than once).  She has kept the church running, which has been more difficult with the pandemic.  We really appreciate all that she does.

Interim Pastor…Our Interim Pastor, Larry Klinker, is scheduled to begin on November 1.  He will lead IN-PERSON worship services on Sunday, November 1, at 8:00 and 10:30 am.  Please remember to wear your mask and to maintain social distance.  Interim Pastor Klinker is a graduate of Concordia Teachers College, River Forest, with a BS in Elementary Education.  He graduated from Concordia Seminary Seminex, St. Louis, in 1976 and was ordained in June 1977 when he was called to serve Lutheran Church of the Covenant in Maple Heights, Ohio.  Interim Pastor Klinker had served Zion Lutheran Church in New Middletown, Ohio, until his retirement in February 2019.  Presently he is serving as Interim Pastor at Martin Luther Lutheran Church in Youngstown, Ohio.  An important aspect of his ministry has been his emphasis on education and spiritual formation.  He received training in contemplative prayer groups from Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in 1995.  He received his certification as a Spiritual Director also from Shalem in 1998.  He has been active in leading labyrinth workshops since the late 1990s.  He was also sent out (their term for completing their program) as a member of the Living School class of 2014 from Richard Rohr’s Center of Action and Contemplation.  Interim Pastor Klinker is still pursuing the role of wisdom in our spiritual formation for himself as well as the effect of maintaining practices that keep us spiritually awake and present.  Interim Pastor Klinker married his wife, Joan, in April 1982.  They had an adopted son, David, who died in December 2019.

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 Interim Pastor Larry Klinker

I want to take this opportunity as your Interim Pastor to help us begin to move us to some normal rhythms and practices since Pastor Bill retired.  Each congregation is a unique expression of the people of God gathered around Word and the Sacraments.  Each congregation has their own unique way of expressing themselves through their rituals, practices, and liturgies even while identifying with a larger identity of being Lutheran and western catholic Christian.  I want to learn some of the ways that you at Living Lord Lutheran Church practice forming Christian disciples of Jesus through Worship, Catechesis, and Individual prayer.

Part of the task of an Interim Pastor is to assist the congregation to identify and reflect on what ways they need to close their chapter in their ministry of the previous minister.  What are the ways we still need to celebrate the ministry of Pastor Bill and what was accomplished to strengthen the congregation and together to share the gospel with the community.

The second concern of an Interim is to help the congregation identify what are the current issues facing the congregation, like the effects of the COVID-19 virus on the life of the congregation.  What new missional questions must we ask ourselves to prepare us for the next chapter in the ministry of Living Lord, like what will be the role of virtual worship and education events?  How will we reflect on questions like:  Why is the congregation of Living Lord called to be here by God?  What are the elements of our faith tradition that will be used to help describe the important aspects of being people formed to be Christ for our neighbor?  How will we practice our faith together?  We will be reflecting together on the Why, What, and How of being Lutheran Christians together.

The third task of being the Interim Pastor is preparing the congregation to call the next Pastor.  The Interim is to help point the congregation and its members to what the next chapter in their ministry will be in an open way.  In this task, the Interim is to help the congregation to prayerfully listen to the call of the Spirit as to the future call and direction of the congregation by God.

As your Interim Pastor, I will attempt to carry out these three tasks to the best of my ability all the while carrying out Pastoral ministry and leadership with the constraints of limited time.  We are negotiating difficult times as we move through this pandemic of the COVID-19 virus.  We will treat this virus as real and dangerous.  We will require safety protocols like the taking of temperatures, mask wearing. social distancing, and hand sanitizing, knowing this will have an effect on our ministry together.  My commitment is to having a congregational response to God’s gospel in Jesus Christ that is faithful and growing.

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 reading from an Older Testament book and then a Newer Testament book.  We are just finishing reading the book of 2 Kings from the Older Testament.  Then we will begin reading the Newer Testament book of 2 Thessalonians on Pastor Larry’s Bible Blog online at:  http://klinkerld-pastorlarrysbible.blogspot.com/.  Join us online.  When we complete these two planned books, we will start the Older Testament book of Ezra.