From Interim Pastor Larry Klinker

We continue to explore how Christians who are Lutheran make disciples.  I am pretty sure that most people of the church do the first aspect of our disciple making process quite well by attending worship on a regular basis.  Now we are shifting to aspects of our process that may or may not be a part of your active Christian life.  The second aspect of our Lutheran discipleship making process is called Catechesis.  Catechesis is supported by the two great books of our faith.  They are the Bible and the Confessional writings (Book of Concord).  We are people of two books.

Catechesis is the process where we are becoming an echo of Jesus Christ.  All too often we reduce this lifelong process to the two year confirmation programs of most of our Lutheran churches which our young are expected to participate in.  What I want to do is help us all to appreciate that we are to be involved in becoming an echo of Jesus, or as Martin Luther suggests, we are to become Christ for our neighbor over our entire lifetime.  We are to be growing into our full statue of who we are in Jesus Christ our whole life.

The biblical tool we have available to us, our Holy Scriptures, is essential for us to become part of the biblical story of the people of God.  We study either as a group in Bible classes, read and study the bible privately, or we just read the Scriptures of the Older Testament Scriptures (Hebrew Scriptures) and the New Testament (Greek Scriptures).  How do you use the Scriptures in your life?  You can see why, as a Pastor, I have a bible blog to have daily readings of Scriptures to encourage you.  You can use the list in the two year lectionary in the ELW to read from Scriptures.  You can focus on the Stories of the Week that we started to publish.  You can join a bible study at Living Lord.  It’s important that the reading of Scripture be an important part of your daily lives.

The second and even less known or understood part of our Catechesis process of our Lutheran Identity are the confessional writings like the Augsburg Confession.  If we went through a confirmation program growing up, we may be familiar with Luther’s Small Catechism.  This is just one of the Lutheran Confessional writings that are ruled and normed by Scripture in the collection called the Book of Concord.  Have you ever been taught the Confessional writings of the Book of Concord?  Did you ever study the Large Catechism which is meant for adults to study so that you may teach your children the Lutheran Christian faith at home?

What you might be realizing from this article is the need for your regular participation in the Catechesis process to help form you into a mature disciple of Jesus Christ as our Catechesis process of using Scriptures and the Confessional writings help us become an echo of Jesus Christ for our neighbor.  What is the role of Catechesis in the faith in your life?  How much time do you spend with Scriptures?  How often have you read in the Confessions?

 

Story of the Week…One of the things that we, as Christians, who are people of the Book (Bible) really could use is a disciplined way for us to learn the many core Bible stories from the Scriptures.  The book “Bible Stories for the Church Year” by Kristen Johnson Ingram does just that by tying Bible stories to the Sunday lectionary we use every week as part of worship.  With that in mind, we want to start a program called The Story of the Week.  Each week, starting for the first Sunday in June and continuing throughout the church year, we will offer a Bible story that is read as part of our liturgy to be learned.  At some point, with more children present, we can even use these stories as the basis of children’s sermons.  We plan to put about five stories out each week and as the demand grows, we will make more stories available.

The Story of the Week for September:

September 5:  Jesus heals the deaf man (Mark 7:31-37)

September 12:  Peter’s Confession (Mark 8:27-38)

September 19:  Samson (Judges 13-16)

September 26:  The people complain to Moses (Numbers 11)

October 3:  God makes the first man and woman  (Genesis 2:18-24)

 

Mid-Week Bible Study…Pastor Larry will begin the Mid-Week Bible Study on Wednesday, September 8, at 11:00 am in the Fellowship Hall.  If you have not called him to let him know of your interest yet, please feel free to just show up.

 

Thrivent Members…If you are a Thrivent member and would be interested in using your Thrivent Choice Dollars to support the ministries of Living Lord Lutheran Church, please call Pr. Klinker at 330-550-0077 or the church office.  If you would be interested in using Thrivent Action Grants to help support the ministries of Living Lord, please also call Pr. Klinker or the church office.  Pastor will meet with you to discuss how to go about setting up these support systems.

 

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 have been reading the Older Testament book of Jeremiah in August and will continue reading it in September 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

September already!  What happened to summer?  Hope this finds you all well and safe.  Rally Day is Sunday, September 12, 2021.  We will kick it off with the Adult Forum at 8:45 am, followed by our new Worship Service AND Sunday School time of 9:30 am, then we will move to the patio (weather permitting) for a brunch.  If the weather does not cooperate, we will celebrate in Fellowship Hall.  It seems like a long time since we were in there!  Please see the sign-up sheet on the bulletin board in the church narthex to sign up as to how many will be coming and what you may offer to bring to share.  If unable to make it in to sign up, you can call Donna Wright or Nancy Walters and we can add you to the list.  We, as a Council, made the decision to combine the services for a few reasons.  The main reason was the low attendance at each service.  Another reason is that some of us do not know each other.  We can make new friends and renew other friendships.  The Worship Committee will also have an easier time in recruiting and scheduling Assistant Ministers, Lectors, Ushers, etc.  Plus, we can now all enjoy the choir!  I hope to see you all on Rally Day!  It looks like COVID-19 is rearing up again.  We will continue to keep the church sanitized and precautions followed.  In the interest of being careful, we ask everyone to wear a mask, and we will continue to refrain from passing of the peace and passing the offering plate (but that does not mean you don’t need to keep those contributions coming).  Communion will continue every Sunday using the prepackaged cups.  Have a great September!

 

Camp Frederick…We are in need of a delegate to Camp Frederick.  If you are interested, please see Nancy Walters for a description of the duties.

 

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

Let me start by saying this has been a very frustrating 14 months for me and your Call Committee.  We were hopeful and excited to start on our new path looking for Living Lord Lutheran Church’s new pastor.  We finished our Ministry Site Profile in record time, submitting it to our Synod in June 2020, we had our Interim Pastor set to start in September 2020, and we were waiting for our first meeting with our Synod liaison.  Then the wheels came off the bus!  Your Council and Call Committee realized that our financial picture would not support a full-time pastor.  We have two options:  a shared pastor with another church or a part-time pastor for Living Lord.  We have chosen the part-time pastor road, if possible.  Our interim pastor was delayed until November 2020.  We had to wait four months to have our first Zoom meeting with the Synod, that was November 2020.  We were quite surprised at some of the information we were told.  If we wanted to share a pastor, we would have to find a church to share within our area.  We assumed that was something the Synod would do.  (We have since moved to the idea of a part-time pastor.)  As the meeting went on, it was obvious that the Synod only wanted to talk about full-time pastors and what we needed to do to get one.  We responded that as a congregation we were at our limit of giving and would have to go a different direction.  We had a second Zoom meeting in late February 2021 with little progress being made.  We found out in April 2021 that Pastor Karl Biermann, our Call person from the Synod, was leaving for another position.  We were then told by the new Bishop, Laura Barbins, that there would be a pause in the Call Committee activities for two months while they find a new Assistant to the Bishop for Calls.  That brings us up to now.  We have now been in contact with the new Bishop and the new Assistant to the Bishop, Pastor Mitch Phillips, who handles all Call processes within the Synod.  I was told that we had not completed our Ministry Site Profile and we could not move forward with bringing a pastor to Living Lord.  I forcefully suggested that was not the case and they should check that again.  Our Ministry Site Profile was on the website but had not been uploaded to the site where pastors can browse different profiles to see what would interest them.  I think it fell through the cracks during the changing of the Bishop and other personnel within our Synod office.  We are now reviewing our document for any minor changes and financial changes.  It will then go to the Synod for the Bishop’s approval and then we can enter it on the correct website.  Let me end by saying that I realize that 2020 was a difficult year due to COVID-19.  We were open and closed throughout the year.  The Synod office was closed for many months during this time, and it was difficult for us to communicate with them.  We are in the process of scheduling our next meeting with Synod personnel in late October.  This meeting will be in person at Living Lord.  Your Church Council and Call Committee will be in attendance.  It is our opinion that the sooner we get our new pastor up and running, the better it is for Living Lord.  So, everybody hang on and let the process work.

From the Fellowship Committee Chairperson, Donna Wright

Thank you to the Coffee Angels who are making sure we have hot coffee first thing every Sunday morning.  Please let me know who you are as I want to thank you personally.  Goodies will be available on the third Sunday of each month.  With COVID-19 flaring up again, I truly hope we can continue to have our Fellowship coffee and goodies.  Work on the Fellowship Hall closet is almost complete.  I discovered we have an overabundance of plastic table coverings.  If anyone needs table coverings for a special occasion, contact me before purchasing any additional ones.

 

Rally Day Brunch…Rally Day is September 12.  We will kick it off with the Adult Forum at 8:45 am, followed by our new Worship Service and Sunday School time of 9:30 am, then we will move to the patio (weather permitting) for a brunch.  If the weather does not cooperate, we will celebrate in the Fellowship Hall.  It seems like long time since we were in there!  When in Fellowship Hall, we ask that you wear your mask; you may remove it once outdoors.  Please see the sign-up sheet on the bulletin board in the church narthex to sign up as to how many will be coming and what you may offer to bring to share.  If unable to make it in to sign up, you can call Donna Wright or Nancy Walters and we can add you to the list.  We will be setting up for the brunch on Saturday, September 11, at 11:00 am if you would be available to come and assist.

 

Fellowship Sunday…We will have Fellowship after the 9:30 am service on the third Sunday of each month (September 19).

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 you 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 Fall decorations that might cheer up their food trays or for their bulletin boards, and small knickknacks they may put on their dresser or windowsills.

From the Parish Education Committee Chairperson, Raymond Boothe

Adult Forum…The Adult Forum will begin on September 12 at 8:45 am.  We will be watching the DVD “The Gospel of Mark”.  Using the Bible as its script, this word-for-word visual adaptation brings Jesus’ story—as told in the Gospel of Mark—to life. Using the latest archaeological, cultural, and textual findings about life in first-century Palestine, this powerful movie will revolutionize the way you experience and understand the story of Christ.  Please plan to join us!

 

Sunday School… Sunday School for children will be offered during Sunday morning worship beginning September 12 at 9:30 am.  We will be using The Story of the Week based on the worship service’s Scripture lesson.

From the Worship Committee Chairperson, Karin McKinney

On Mother’s Day, each mother was given a carnation, and on Father’s Day, each father was given a carnation boutonniere.   We wanted to follow through with this small token of recognition for all.  Pastor Larry was on vacation from July 4 through July 11.  Pastors Linda Murray and George Murphy filled in for him on those Sundays.  We thank them for their service.  Our services continue through the summer with Don Smith being our substitute for May Love when she is on vacation.  Thank you both for the music which adds so much to our services.  There is still a need for people to volunteer as worship assistants.  Since the Fellowship Committee has started the coffee and treats after services, more of our church members are returning to church services.  Several of our Council members are reaching out to try to get others back.  We miss them all.  Hopefully when Rally Day is scheduled more of our members will return to church.  I ask God to help and guide us.

 

Change in Worship Service Time…At their August meeting, Council discussed moving to one Sunday morning worship service. Considerations included:

  • Attendance at both services is low
  • Bringing both services together for better Fellowship
  • Solve problems with the need for Assisting Ministers, Lectors, etc.
  • Choir at one service for all to enjoy
  • Possibility of a shared pastor
  • Financial restraints
  • Some savings on utilities
  • Trying to do what is best for the church at this time
  • Difficult decision to make, not taken lightly

A motion was passed to move to one Sunday morning service beginning on September 12 at 9:30 am since that time is a compromise between our current 8:00 and 10:00/10:30 service times.

 

Worship Assistants…We are in urgent need of the following Worship Assistants at both services:  Assisting Ministers, Communion Assistants (for when we return to regular communion), Lectors, and Ushers.  Please call the church office or email secretary@lllc.org if you would be willing to assist with worship.

 

Bellchoir…Sadly, as of September 1, 2021, I am resigning my position as bellchoir director.  I have enjoyed my many years as bellchoir director and as a bellchoir member (since 1990).  During the month of August, after the bells came back from refurbishment, I unwrapped, inspected, and played each bell.  They look and sound beautiful!  This month, I also made sure all the paperwork for the bellchoir was complete and totally updated the music files.  Everything is ready for a new director.  Bellchoir members, I am so proud of all you have accomplished!  I treasure my time with you.  God bless!  Sincerely, Lynne Walters

 

From Interim Pastor Larry Klinker

I started in the last Newsletter trying to answer the question:  “How do Christians who choose to be Lutherans make disciples?”  I firmly believe that our congregations are to be disciple-forming congregations.  I want to take apart the three key parts I put forward last month that members are to be participating in to be formed as disciples of Jesus.  Last month, I suggested that Lutherans participating in the life of faith within the congregation whose task is to form its members into disciples of Jesus Christ are to participate in three areas to help form their life of faith.  I stated the three areas are:  Worship, Catechesis, and Individual Prayer.

This month’s article will focus our attention on how our worship life contributes to our being formed as disciples of Jesus over time.  The way Lutherans worship forms us into disciples of Jesus is by formation and reflection.  We are formed by our worship by participating in it over time.  We become what we do.  But true to the Protestant tradition, Lutherans are always being reflective about what is happening to them by reflecting on God’s word.

Lutheran worship has a very definite pattern to it both at the level of the church year and the order of the service.  The church year has a very clear pattern to be broken down into two main themes.  The first is the Cycle of Light which includes the seasons of Advent (expectation), Christmas (fulfillment), and Epiphany (proclamation).  The second is the Cycle of Life which includes the seasons of Lent (expectation), Holy Week and Triduum, Easter (fulfillment), and Pentecost (proclamation).

The church service order has a definite pattern built into it because it is based upon the understanding of we are gathered in from being the body of Christ in the world and then are sent out back into the world to be the body of Christ as Jesus’ disciples.  Underneath this pattern is a movement from being intra-dependent on the Spirit within us to be extra-dependent on God outside of us while we are in the worship space.  We are sent back out into the world based on the presence of the Spirit being intra-dependent with us again to act as Jesus’ disciples.

So, it is about Gathering when we do the confession and absolution, sing a Hymn, greet each other in Christ, and do the Kyrie and Canticle of Praise.  We focus on the Word and our reflection on it when we hear the scriptures being read and the sermon preached, sing a Hymn, confess our faith as a response when we use the three creeds of the church, and gather the community’s intercessions for prayer.  Our focus shifts to the third component which is the Meal which feels our relationship with God forming us into the body of Christ.  We become what we eat!  The Meal section includes the Offering, Great Thanksgiving, Preface, Eucharist prayers (words of Consecration), Lord’s Prayer, Distribution, Table blessing, Post Communion Hymn, and Post Communion prayer.  The final form of worship for Lutherans is the Sending which includes the Blessing, final Hymn, and Dismissal to go back out into the world and act as the body of Christ in the world as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Lutherans become disciples of Jesus Christ by Worshiping, Catechesis, and Individual Prayer.

 

Story of the Week…One of the things that we, as Christians, who are people of the Book (Bible) really could use is a disciplined way for us to learn the many core Bible stories from the Scriptures.  The book “Bible Stories for the Church Year” by Kristen Johnson Ingram does just that by tying Bible stories to the Sunday lectionary we use every week as part of worship.  With that in mind, we want to start a program called the Story of the Week.  Each week, starting for the first Sunday in June and continuing throughout the church year, we will offer a Bible story that is read as part of our liturgy to be learned.  At some point, with more children present, we can even use these stories as the basis of children’s sermons.  We plan to put about five stories out each week and as the demand grows, we will make more stories available.

The Story of the Week for August:

August 1:  Manna and Quails (Exodus 15:22-16, 38)

August 8:  Elijah at the Mountain of God (1 Kings 19)

August 15:  Jesus is the Living Bread (John 6:51-58)

August 22:  Joshua writes the Covenant (Joshua 23 and 24)

August 29:  Battle of Jericho (Joshua 5:10-6:27)

September 5:  Jesus heals the deaf man (Mark 7:31-37)

 

Mid-Week Bible Study…Pastor Larry is asking if there is any interest in having a mid-week Bible study to be held on Wednesdays when he is at Living Lord as part of his office time.  His thinking is it would be from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon starting in September if there is enough interest.  Let Pastor Larry (330-550-0077) know if you are interested or call the office (330-856-5302) and leave a message.

 

Thrivent Members…If you are a Thrivent member and would be interested in using your Thrivent Choice Dollars to support the ministries of Living Lord Lutheran Church, please call Pr. Klinker at 330-550-0077 or the church office.  If you would be interested in using Thrivent Action Grants to help support the ministries of Living Lord, please also call Pr. Klinker or the church office.  Pastor will meet with you to discuss how to go about setting up these support systems.

 

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 have been reading the Older Testament book of Isaiah and have completed it in July.  We started the Newer Testament book of Frist John to finish out July and will begin to read the Older Testament book of Jeremiah on Pastor Larry’s Bible blog online at:http://klinkerld-astorlarrysbible.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

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.