From Pastor William D. Leitch

We are in Year A of the church years.  Really?  What’s that you say?  We have three church liturgical years that we follow.  Year A is the year we read primarily from the Gospel of Matthew.  Year B we read primarily from the Gospel of Mark.  Year C we read primarily from the Gospel of Luke.

In Year A, we will progress through Matthew more so than we would read from Mark in Year B.  Why?  Because Mark does not have the birth story, the three magi, or going to Egypt to avoid Herod.

Mark starts at the Epiphany of our Lord – at Jesus’ baptism.  That is where Jesus is identified by God as God’s son.  Reading through Matthew is interesting and inspiring as we see Mary, Joseph, and many others knit into the identity of Jesus.

We become one with Jesus and we become a voice of God as we share in our identity with Jesus.  We will read from the Gospel of John one time during the Season of Epiphany.  The reason for this reading from John, rather than Matthew, is to illustrate how many others (who “had an Epiphany” of who this Jesus was) continued to share their story and introduce them to Jesus and how they were the catalyst that created many relationships with our Lord and Savior, Jesus, the Christ!

On January 19, Rev. Karl Biermann, the assistant to the Bishop, will visit us and preach.  Rev. Biermann will work with the Council and the Call Committee in the transition this year.

In April, Bishop Abraham Allende will meet with our Council to give instructions for the call process.  Meanwhile, the Council has been working on updating our Ministry Profile.  A Ministry Profile tells who we are, who our community is and their needs, and our plan to minister to the community and our members.  It will be very important for us, as an entire congregation, to develop and OWN that plan.  We must come together and immerse ourselves in this endeavor, just like those we will read about in the Scriptures this month.

It is my prayer that you select a Call Committee before Bishop Allende visits so that those members can ask questions.  It is my prayer that the entire congregation have a strong image of what our ministry strategy is and immerse ourselves in that ministry.

The Call Committee must have seven members.  Only two of those members can be from the Council.  We need men and women, young and old.  Please prayerfully consider saying yes to this call.  Better yet, tell the Council you would like to be included in the Call Committee.

 

Annual Congregation Meeting…The Annual Meeting of the Congregation will be held on Sunday, January 26, 2020, 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 2020 Budget will be approved. Also at this meeting, we will vote on changes to the Constitution/By-Laws.  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 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, January 9, in the Activity Room.  We will be making 4 cards.  The theme is “Hearts/Love” cards.  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, January 5.  If you have any questions, please contact Lynne Walters.

From the Mission Endowment Fund Committee Chairperson, Michael Taiclet

I hope everyone had a great holiday season and a Merry Christmas!  I also hope everyone had a Happy New Year!  I know I haven’t written in a while and I apologize for the long delay.  It was a very busy end of the year.  I would like to take this time to thank all who attended our MEF Sunday back in October.  It was a great success.  I am proud to announce that our contribution that we made to the Howland Backpack Program went a long way.  It provided over 400 students with food for a two-week period.  The Howland Backpack Program was very thankful for our donation and was blessed and thankful for our contribution.  I would like to thank all who contributed to the MEF this past year.  I am pleased to announce that with your generous and continuing contributions, the MEF continues to thrive and continues to fulfill its mission which was created back in 1997.  Unbelievably, the MEF is now 27 years old and counting.  With all this in mind, I am looking for anyone interested in joining the MEF.  It is very easy and does not take up a lot of time.  We only meet two times a year usually on a Thursday evening at 6:00 pm for about an hour or so once in April and again in November.  We are flexible to accommodate your schedule.  I currently have two positions to fill and starting in February there will be a third to fill due to a term coming to an end at the end of January.  If you are interested, please let me or any member of MEF know.  You may even put a little note in my mailbox at the church.  Our next meeting is in April.  I am also looking for possible candidates for our next award.  If you know of any organizations and/or groups that would be a good candidate and would benefit from our award, please let me or any member of the MEF know as soon as possible.  I need the names before our meeting in April.  I thank you for your help.  Finally, I would just like to thank all the members of the MEF for their continuing hard work that they put in.  Without its members, this mission would not be possible.  So, thanks!  I hope everyone has a great start to their year and I look forward to seeing you around.  God bless you all!

 

From the Parish Nurse, Dora Muller

“Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.”  Doug Larson

2020 will be the best year yet.  Personally, I like the sound of 2020 and yes, I have big plans for this year.  One of my plans is to maintain my health by following a healthier diet and trying to understand the role of vitamins and minerals and how they affect my health.  For years, I claimed that my regular diet was enough to supply me with all the daily requirements, but my husband has had other ideas.  He truly believes that we need additional supplements to complement our diet.  A trip to the over-the-counter supplements at our local pharmacy opened my eyes to A to Z multitudes of vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements that claim to make our bodies function better.  Multivitamins and herbal supplements constitute a huge business where a new brand name enters the market every day.  Is it better to take a single pill supplement or spend more on nutritious foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and dairy products?  In the next months we will explore the world of vitamins and their benefits.  High doses of supplements can be harmful, but at the same time they can help reduce the risk for heart disease, cancer, recognitive decline, and most important, prevent an early death.  Please join me in a journey through the world of vitamins and let’s examine the question—is there really much benefit to multivitamins?

From Pastor William D. Leitch

The new church year begins with a wake-up call:  Christ is coming soon!  In today’s readings, both Paul and Jesus challenge us to wake from sleep, for we know neither the day nor hour of the Lord’s coming.  Isaiah proclaims the day when God will gather all people on the holy mountain and there will be no more war or suffering.  Though we vigilantly watch for the promised day of salvation, we wait for what we already have:  Christ comes among us this day as the word and meal that strengthens our faith in the promises of God.

As I write this article, I am also preparing my sermon for the second to the last Sunday in the 2019 church year, November 17.  Yes, the church year always begins with Advent.  Usually, that is the first Sunday in December, and we are “Waiting for Christ” on Christmas.  However, Christ has already come at His birth and resurrection.  But He ascended into heaven until He comes again.  So, as we read the Scriptures, remember who is speaking and to whom they are speaking.

In the November 17 readings, Paul speaks to the Thessalonians, who are sitting around waiting for Jesus to return, as if they are waiting for the bus.  Paul reminds them, as Jesus reminds the disciples, that we don’t know when He will return.  God hasn’t scheduled that bus yet.  Rather, God has given us a mission to get done, and when His bus does finally show up, do you want to confess to God that you didn’t get His mission completed and just didn’t think it was necessary?

I didn’t want to disappoint my Daddy or my Mamma when they trusted me with a chore that needed to be completed for the sake of our family.  So, by owning the mission, I was motivated to work together or unsupervised and do the best I could.

God has called us to share the Gospel with everyone within our reach.  I am witnessing this effort and the impact it has on motivating others to join us.  I shared Darlene Altiere’s story last month.  Since then, our Youth Group raked leaves at Judy Shaffer’s house.  It was a huge job, but with an Army of youth, it became a work of love.  After hearing of this service plan, others wanted to be part of it.  So, Jacquie and John Thomas showed up with their leaf blower.  It is always great to have additional adult leadership, but even more important is how it shows that they care about and are inspired by our youth.

A lot more happened that night.  Judy, who leads our Outhreach Committee, shared that they were asking for names to send Thanksgiving Food Baskets to.  Our Youth Group has been helping some folks and so Stacey Altiere is helping Judy get those names and will help to deliver.

I think this is God’s image of what mission and ministry are all about.  It’s all about relationships.  We weave ourselves together in loving service for others and the next thing we discover is that we are inspired to do more.  Why?  Because we know we are not in it alone!

Is this the end of the story?  No!  You will hear the “Rest of the Story” next month after we have completed our Christmas Caroling that includes our members, but the Youth Group is going to join us also, and maybe a couple of our little ones from the Friday night Girl Scout group.  Oh yeah, the Girl Scout group joined us in our Thanksgiving Food Basket mission, too.  They brought some food.

Please join our ministry teams.  Get involved!  Meet new people!  Inspire others to do God’s work!

 

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, December 5, in the Activity Room.  We will be making 4 cards.  The theme is “Christmas Past” cards.  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, December 1.  If you have any questions, please contact Lynne Walters.

From the Outreach Committee Chairperson, Judy Shaffer

Thanksgiving Food Baskets Update…The Outreach Committee would like to thank everyone who donated to the Thanksgiving Food Baskets.  We were able to give out 18 food baskets to our local community.

 

Angel Tree…We can help make Christmas a special time for area children.  Our Angel Tree will be up on Sunday, December 8.  Stop by the tree, choose an angel, sign them out, and have fun shopping!  We will have 20 children to buy for.  All gifts must be returned UNWRAPPED by Sunday, December 15, with the angel tag attached.  If you have any questions, please contact Tootie Rogers.  If you are unable to be in church on December 8 and would like to participate, please call Tootie and she will mail you an angel.

 

NSOV Annual Christmas Party…The Outreach Committee will be hosting the annual Christmas Party at Niles Shepherd of the Valley on Wednesday, December 11, beginning at 1:30 pm.  We will be collecting new gifts for this event.  Also, we will need Christmas gift bags.  Some gift suggestions are new gloves, hat, and scarf sets, lotion sets, jewelry sets, and gift sets.  If you would like to donate money, we will do the shopping for you.  Place your check, made payable to Living Lord Lutheran Church with the notation “NSOV Christmas Party” in the memo portion, in the offering plate or mail it to the church office.  Please place your items in the basket under the bulletin board.  If you have any questions, please contact Judy Shaffer.

 

Christmas Caroling…Christmas caroling will take place on Saturday, December 14.  We will meet at the church at 4:00 pm and go on our route from there.  We will have Fellowship after the caroling.  Everyone is invited to come to both the caroling and the Fellowship or just the Fellowship if you cannot join us for the caroling.  Please see Judy Shaffer or Bob McKinney to let them know if you are interested in joining in this event.