Many were instrumental this month and deserve our heartfelt thanks.
To: the anonymous donor of the new projector. (Debby Axmann and Becca are probably the happiest of everyone.) Thank you for your generosity.
05/02 Angela McDaniel
05/08 Josh Holtzen
05/08 Howard Meyer
05/15 Julie Herl
05/16 Ian McDaniel
05/17 Susan Flanery
05/17 Carolyn Megee
05/17 Linda Richards
05/17 Aaron Stohs
05/21 Rich Lohse
05/22 Kristen Bell
05/22 Thomas Moore
05/24 Logan Burton
05/24 Porter Burton
05/24 Taylor Karrow
05/25 Jeanine Flick
05/25 Beth Ramsey
05/28 Rowan Harding
05/14 Bob & Gloria Rolofson
05/14 Jeff & Debbie Axmann
05/18 Andrew & Jennifer Brown
05/24 Ryan & Paulette Varns
05/27 Mike & Julie Herl
05/29 James & Heather Keltner
05/30 Aaron & Kelly Stohs
Confirmation 2021 has been wrapped up. Congratulations to the graduates.
In person Sunday School is trucking right along. If anyone needs to get signed up, there is a sign up sheet in the Narthex.
VBS plans are in the work! The date has been set for July 19-22nd. Keep an eye out for more information.
Mindy Bell is looking ahead to the 2022 Youth Gathering in Houston, TX. Youth from 7-10th grade are eligible and the event will take place July 9-13th. Please email her if you have a youth that wants to attend. She will begin fundraising ASAP.
Please contact us if we missed your birthday or anniversary so we can update our records.
Pastor Andy Writes...
Sunday, May 23, is the day of Pentecost. Acts, chapter 2 is the narrative of how God keeps Jesus’ promise to send the comforter. The Holy Spirit comes upon the church. Those who are hiding in fear of the Jews are empowered by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the truth that Jesus who was crucified, is the Savior of the world. The Apostles stand in the public arena and boldly proclaim that Jesus is Lord.
After the day of Pentecost, the followers of Christ grow. The followers of Christ gather and become a community of believers. They share things in common. They impact the community where the live. They stand in the face of opposition. They boldly witness in the face of persecution. The Word of the Lord grows by the power of the Spirit.
Pentecost, fifty days after Easter, God empowers His church with His Spirit. The promise that Jesus made in John, chapter 16 is fulfilled. The Holy Spirit is the power supply for the church. A small band of followers explodes and touches all the nations of the world. The Spirit of God fills the believers, and they serve the Lord acting as lights in the darkness.
The season of Pentecost is known as the season of the church. The color of the paraments is green. It represents life and growth. Nourished by the Word and Sacrament, the followers of Christ grow. All those who are called by the gospel and confess Jesus as Lord become the church universal. The church is united around the confession of Jesus as Lord and empowered by the Spirit of God.
Each of us have been called by the gospel and enlightened with Spiritual gifts. We received the gift of the Spirit in our Baptism. The Spirit comes to us anew through the means of grace. We are equipped and empowered by the Spirit to serve our God. We live our lives to glorify Jesus and serve our neighbors.
This is not our natural inclination. Serving Christ and our neighbors will set us apart from the world. We are empowered by the Spirit to act in a manner that glorifies God. Instead of locking ourselves behind closed doors in fear. We are called to step-out and lift-up those who are lost and broken. We stand in the public arena and we testify to the hope we have in Christ. We lay aside our own self-centeredness to serve others. We give our first fruits and all we have generously, to extend the kingdom of God and minister to those in need. We can only serve this way because we are filled with the Spirit of our God. Christ laid down His life for us on the cross. We respond to this gift by serving others knowing that we are victorious in Christ.
St. Paul writes, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) and “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 15:13) The followers of Jesus were empowered with the Holy Spirit. When we walk in Christ, we walk with the Spirit's power. Serve the Lord with gladness and abound in hope.
The 2021 Confirmation class post questioning from L-R: Ellie Wolf, Jill Strubbe, Addie Stohs, Allison Brown, Ashton Moore, Conlee Hovey, Josh Holtzen, Steele Smith, Logan Burton and Porter Burton.
Rather than comment and write about our Council Book Club, Built on the Rock (which has been amazing) like I have been for the last couple months, I will take a bit of a detour.
Our family recently returned from vacation after an incredibly long year of “stay at home” orders. We took three of our grandchildren to see the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum in Kentucky. Prior to the trip, we focused on reading Genesis. Genesis is such a powerful book of the Bible and after reading Genesis over a lifetime, one can take for granted the work that God put into creating the world. As I walked through the creation museum, I was overwhelmed with the magnitude of creation and the blessings that God bestowed upon us. Bible history really came to life. The exhibits, fossils and botanical gardens really made an impact on me. I was in awe of why God’s infallible word; rather than man’s faulty assumptions, is the place to begin if we want to make sense of our world.
To continue recounting our time away, we then visited the Ark Encounter. A life sized Noah's Ark that was beyond description. However, the impact was understanding the size of the ark and the incredible intensity of the flood. Noah was a man of incredible and unwavering faith, amidst a very sinful world. As I looked over the ark and realized how people of that time must have viewed Noah, it is not different of how today’s people would view him. Many would think he is insane and make fun of him. Yet, in his dedication to God he kept with the plan and his family along with the animals in the ark were saved.
"When God saw how wicked and corrupt
man had become, He regretted creating
them and decided to destroy all of
mankind." Genesis 6:7
As I read this verse, I was saddened by how we humans disappointed our God, to a point he had to punish.
"By faith, when warned about things not
yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save
his family. By his faith, he condemned the
world and became heir of the righteousness
that is in keeping with faith." Hebrews 11:7
I believe in the archives of my brain, I remember learning that Noah is numbered as being among three of the most righteous men in the book of Ezekiel. I genuinely believe this is so.
Upon returning home, I have taken some time to process all the things I saw. I loved seeing the Bible come to life, the size of the Ark, and the engineering that was involved to build the ark. But most of all, I will remain humbled by the experience and I will appreciate the book of Genesis more than I have in the past. For years I have skimmed past Genesis, thinking ok creation blah, blah. I have backed up and read Genesis twice in the last week. I am still not sure I have captured all the detail and I am still not sure I appreciate all that the book is sharing.
Most importantly, our God is mighty, big, caring, and loving. I remain grateful for forgiveness and I remain grateful that he loves us despite ourselves.
As you read over this, it may seem a bit like a travel review, two points:
Thank you to Bobbi Boxler who highly recommended the trip to me. I will be forever grateful I took your advice. We serve an amazing God!
As Christians we strive to learn and grow in God’s word and visiting these two attractions helped me realize I have a lot of learning to do!
Remember, if you want to form a Bible study group, big or small, the church council will help assist you. It is fun to learn with “members like me” or in topic specific groups. All ideas and collaboration are welcome to deepen our studies as a church.
We are so thankful we could worship together in person, this past Easter - "thank you" to all who came to worship and celebrated our risen Savior!
The following need to be thanked for making Easter so special:
Ellie Wolf for the beautiful music!
Debby Axmann for the amazing Power Point.
Everyone who purchased lilies - and Sandy Barsh for picking them up. They started blooming during 2nd service!
Jim, Deb, Daniel and Kristen Bell for the great food for Easter breakfast! The food was amazing!
Everyone who sponsored Lenten Meals and helped serve and clean up.
Members of the church council who donated milk or juice.
Janie Ott, Mindy Bell, Debbie Keltner and Pastor Andy for helping with set up, or serving, or clean up!
All the members of the congregation who bought or filled Easter eggs! The children were thrilled!