Paul, "More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord... I want to know Christ..." [Philippians 3:8a,10]
I love this section of Paul's Letter to the Philippians. It's a section that captures Paul's reason for his conversion from his Pharisaic past to becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ. He fell in love with Jesus' story, and his willingness to be the blood that fulfilled the old covenant, so the new covenant could begin. Why?
"...in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith." [Philip. 3:8b-9]
With all the concern of the universal church's demise, I believe we need to fall in love with the body of Christ again, the church. Not the building, not the polity, but the ecclesia, the gathered, the people. Paul writes his letter to the beloved, brothers and sisters in Christ and challenged them to love. In first Corinthians 13 he tells them that all the stuff he was so well known for from sacrificing to speaking in tongues, if he did any of it without love, it meant nothing and was only irritating actions and noise. Paul literally fell in love with the church he once tried to destroy, and especially these Greeks, and what Jesus had done for them by his grace. That love precipitated a growth in the church that defied all logic. Even when joining the ecclesia could result in imprisonment or even death, people around the Mediterranean continued to join this love affair. Why? Because that ecclesia of Christ lived the faith of Jesus' righteousness, the living for others, and people fell in love with that body of Christ. They knew, because of that love which was lived out in the ecclesia, those who gathered were Jesus'
Now, I've read a lot of books on church growth, and quite frankly they were more about gimmicks and entertainment, than anything else. Those that focused on growing discipleship missed the relational aspect, the love affair disciples should be having with the Teacher, with Jesus. When I say love, I mean agape, the selfless-love of serving others. As Jesus lived and loved, so those gathered in his name should do likewise. I believe that is the greatest stewardship lesson any church could have. If we are willing to love as Jesus loved, people will fall in love with that vision of Jesus' body. That's what I see taking place at Reformation.
This past summer, there was an awesome loving energy in our single service. It wasn't like in the past summers when the single service was either the 9:00 or the 11:00 service style, or it was combined, but you could tell where one service left off and the other began. This year was different. For that I want to give a shout out to our Worship and Music Ministry Team, they certainly mixed it up beautifully with the liturgy, from our Traditional settings in the ELW
to Marty Haugen
's setting two, and from our Nine O'clock setting to Gospel Spirituals. We have had a wonderful summer, full of energy! Every Sunday, when people left the sanctuary several would state how much they loved the service, the music, the setting, the energy! Especially the visitors!
I recalled my studies in Natural Church Development (NCD), "It's not about Traditional vs Contemporary or formal vs informal, but rather about whether your worship is enthusiastic or not." I'm not a big numbers person, and I know they are not the all-in-all about the health of a congregation, but I also know that at certain points numbers can be like taking the pulse of a patient. This summer we averaged over 100 in attendance! That is the best summer attendance we've experienced in the 5 years I've been here at Reformation. Not only that, something else happened this summer.
This summer we matched last year's summer giving. Some may say, "Okay attendance was up but giving wasn't. So what?" Well, I always look for the gospel, the good news. That's just me. What really happened was our parsonage renters graduated, and without that extra income our comparative deficit with last year at this time is down but $1,000. That's right, our giving increased enough to answer the loss of approximately $3,000 the three months of this summer. ALL of this is certainly good news!
Single service, increased attendance, increased energy. That is definitely something to build on. Come, experience the energy, experience the excitement. Come, and fall in love with the Body of Christ, his church known as Reformation.
Prayers of the Church
Our sick and homebound: Tetia Garren, Tracy Hamiter, Louise Meetze, Katie Westbrook, Dot Perry, Christine White; Hank & Barbara Prosser & Bobbie Black,
Emmy Reeves; Landon Derrick; Dot Swing; James Dekle; Joyce & Charles Steele (aunt & uncle of Gloria Preslar); Darryl Thompson; Gary Smith (brother of Gloria Preslar); Paul Swing and Anthony Porter
On the four Sundays in October, we will take a look at a fresh perspective on the radical nature of Jesus' life and mission and talk about how his politically and religiously revolutionary ministry still impacts our lives and work today. The classes will be based on the #1 New York Times Bestseller
Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
, by Reza Aslan (Random House, 2013), available at
. Mark your calendars now to join us on October 7, 14, 21, and 28, and, if you are interested, read this fascinating look at how Jesus' revolutionary movement was so threatening to religious and political authorities that he was executed, and we still worship him today. Questions? Contact the
Raise your hand if you are interested in serving your church in a leadership capacity?
The Nominating Committee is gathering individuals, who meet confirmed member status according to the Constitution, to serve in elected leadership roles on congregational council, endowment committee, nominating committee, and voting members to the South Carolina Synod Assembly.
- Congregational Council members serve three (3) years with monthly meetings on the third Tuesday
- Endowment Committee members serve three (3) years with annual meeting
- Nominating Committee members serve one (1) year with 3-4 meetings (mainly in September and October)
- Voting Members to South Carolina Synod Assembly
Nominating Committee members are: Wendell Gulledge (Chair of Nominating Committee and Vice President of Congregational Council), Clay Carlisle (Council), Sarah Trani (Council), Shirley Derriso, Jim Prater, Sarah Rosebrock and Eva Ross.
If individuals are interested in serving in any capacity, they should share it with a member of the committee or email Wendell Gulledge by 10/07. Nominating committee must present the slate of nominatees to council on 10/16.
If you need more information, please contact one of the Nominating Committee members or email Wendell at
Report from Council President Paula Prosser
As I write this article I sit in great respect of those who serve on our Church Council. It is a difficult time for the Council and Finance Committee as we look to planning and preparing a budget for next year. Granted, it would not be difficult at all if there was plenty of money, but we are once again not receiving enough through the various methods of tithing to meet our monthly obligations. The decision on where to once again cut the budget even more is difficult. It's not just about dollars and cents. With every slash we effect someone's life. Do we not reward staff for their hard work and dedication with a small increase? Do we cut our benevolence to the synod or Lutheran Family Services or individuals who are down on their luck? Do we cut our programming that our members participate in for their own spiritual growth? How do we make it work? Please pray for the Church Council and Finance Committee as we struggle to plan a new budget. I promise you this is not an easy task.
Some of you may be wondering how we are paying our bills if we are not meeting budget. Well, we are slowly but surely depleting our savings. We are definitely in hopes that the parsonage sells soon. That will provide us with some much need cash flow and at least initially help with our current situation but that is not the answer long-term. Imagine if you spend more monthly than your income and continually take money from your savings or your 401K or sell your last asset to get the needed cash. Eventually you will run out of the money to support your household.
Please pray for a positive resolution to our cash flow issues. And, please look inward to ask how you can help remedy this situation.
I also want to update you on the sale of the parsonage. The property was listed around the first of August. As agreed upon in the Congregational Meeting (May 6th) if the parsonage is not under contract within six (6) months we will be scheduling an additional Congregational Meeting to discuss what is next. The property is priced currently at $249,900. This will net more than the agreed upon profit of $180,000. Again, I ask that you pray that the pending sale of the parsonage.
Finally, we are are accepting nominations (self or by others) of individuals to serve on C
ongregational Council, Endowment Committee, Nominating Committee, and Voting Members to the South Carolina Synod Assembly
, for next year. If you would like to serve or if you feel there is someone that would be a good choice for one of these groups please contact Wendell Gulledge at
October 19 - 21. The parade will be Friday evening this year, and we may be using the Trolley this year. This will give those who have mobility concerns to opportunity to join the parade, and the decorated Trolley will be quite a presence. Saturday will be the Festival downtown, and we will have our booths again. We will be offering mom or dad hugs for those whose families have abandoned them. We will also be raffling off a shawl, which all proceeds will go to LGBTQ agencies, the Harriet Hancock Center and Openings. Extra help has stepped forward as we plan to continue to grow in our presence. Sunday will be our Pride Worship, and we will host the luncheon to follow, sponsored by Reformation, Openings, and Harriet Hancock Center. What a wonderful weekend this will be!
Blessing of the Animals
October 7th at 4:00 p.m. Joins us for individual blessings of of your pets by our Pastor Tim Bupp. There will be tents for shade, water for the animals, and some small treats available for your Fur Babies. We will prepare the identity cards for the blessings. This event is open to our entire community.
We will also be dedicating a pet waste bag station in front of our church (which will be placed earlier).
Trunk or Treat
Wednesday, October 31, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Reformation Lutheran Church parking lot.
Set-up at 5:00, Cleanup at 8:00.
We can expect to see between 200 amd 400 neighbors.
Trick or Treat is HUGE in this part of the city!
Kids Trick or Treat in the parking lot at decorated tailgates. We also set up a separate church table to hand out candy, popcorn, and cider, and cook and distribute hotdogs.
Dress up (or not if you don't want to), hang out, hand out candy, cook, eat food, and socialize with friends old and new.
WHAT IS NEEDED FOR THE EVENT?
A list is below.
WHERE DO I LEAVE THE DONATED ITEMS?
A sign saying "Trunk or Treat" is on the closet across from the church office near the parlor
You don't have to fulfill all of one item yourself--you can get 10 marshmallows and 3 hotdogs if you like.
Thanks in advance for all your help!
HALLOWEEN OPPORTUNITIES LIST
- Could you donate items?
- Gallon(s) Cider (need 6) Please get unrefrigerated kind.
- Large bag(s) Cromer's Popcorn (need 4)
- Candy to hand out at RLC table
- Hot dogs (need 275)
- Hot dog buns (need 275)
- Hot dog condiments: squeezable relish, ketchup, mustard (2 each)
- Cromer's bags for popcorn (need 300)
- Charcoal for grill
- Bags marshmallows (need 10)
- Sticks for marshmallow roasting (about 20+ sticks, about 20" in length and 1/4" in diameter, or something similar)
VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME
- General set up at 5:00 p.m.
- Have a Trunk!
- RLC Popcorn & Cider Table
- Grill with the pastor
- Roast marshmallows & man fire
- Hand out candy at RLC table & tent
- Clean up at 8:15 p.m.
Thanks again, everyone!
Come help at Habitat for Humanity
Saturday, October 6th, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 Noon
We'll be working at the Habitat for Humanity Headquarters at
No special skills needed. Wear clothes that can get dirty as we'll be helping out in the warehouse. Minimum age to help is 16.
Sights and Sounds 2018
Sights and Sounds is a special event offered for the community by Reformation to kick off the Christmas season. The 2018 dates have been expanded to include both Saturday, December 8, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 9, 3:30-7:30 p.m.
This event includes display of about 200 nativity sets from members and friends, a children's activities room, live music, refreshments and fellowship. Each day will end with a short Christmas Carol Sing. It is much like a Christmas open house and for those who know, it is our version of the Mepkin Abby Creche Festival. A special feature this year will be the unveiling of the Barbara Burton angel collection.
It takes lots of volunteers to prepare for this event and to invite and welcome as many as we can to come. Among the tasks to be done (in groups) are: decorating the Christmon trees and church; hanging the wreaths; decorating the outside for the season; assisting with set up of Stations of the Creche in the sanctuary; unpacking and creatively arranging as many nativity sets as we can gather (loaned by many people); working on lighting; streaming the music from the sanctuary to the fellowship hall; covering the fellowship hall skylights; recruiting musicians; planning or helping with children's activities; providing items for refreshments; serving as a host or guide during the event; cleaning up after everything is over; and many other details yet to be listed.
If you are interested in helping in any way with this event to see that it goes well, contact Dot Jeffcoat at 803-407-9375 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contributions needed to cover August actual expenses :$16,701.00
Contributions actually received: $13,518.00
August deficit: -$3,183.00
Contributions needed to cover actual expenses year to date: $132,452.00
Contributions actually received: $109,527.00
Year to date deficit: -$22,925.00
Oct 2 Rev. Karin Culp
Oct 4 Elizabeth Smith
Oct 6 Colleen Clark
Oct 6 Bobbie T. Black
Oct 8 Jim Prater
Oct 9 Rhett Culclasure
Oct 9 Gordon Whitaker
Oct 11 Bud Smyrl
Oct 15 Christine White
Oct 16 Robert Hoemke
Oct 17 Tim Vige
Oct 17 Mark S. Rowland
Oct 18 William Starrett
Oct 18 Buddy Hooper
Oct 19 Michelle Mathias
Oct 20 Lindsay Hawkins
Oct 22 Anthony Miles
Oct 24 Kyra Ritchie
Oct 25 Hiedi Cribb
Oct 26 Katie Westbrook
Oct 27 Rev. Sandy Jones
Oct 27 Lynn Scott
Oct 6 Brian & Denise Derriso
Oct 14 Mary & El Baylor
Oct 15 Tiffany & Elizabeth Smith
Oct 21 Clayton King & Jeffery Schwalk
The church is in need of communion supplies.
Gluten-free communion wafers
. Would you consider ordering some to donate? You can even have them delivered directly to the church (1118 Union St. Columbia, SC 29201).
How easy is that
to order online.
And, from you local grocery store, we need
flat bread and
grape juice (small bottles).
Wine is not needed at this time. Donations help in
releiving some stress on the church budget. Thank you!
Walk to Fight Suicide
October 21, 2018
Please help us spread the word about our upcoming info session! We will be giving information about the
Lutheran Services Carolinas
Foster Care programs in the Columbia area. (Transitional Foster Care for UCs, Medically Fragile Foster Care & Therapuetic Foster Care.
Reformation Lutheran Church
for sharing your fellowship hall with us for the event! More event information HERE.
Response to Hurricane Florence
(This information is from the SC Synod of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church of America)
Monetary donations allow for the most flexibility. Donations through the synod will be used throughout the Carolinas for immediate need. Donations through Lutheran Disaster Response will go toward the long-term recovery stages.
Giving through the South Carolina Synod may be done online here. Choose South Carolina Disaster Response. If you'd like to give by text through the synod, please follow these instructions.
If you're using text giving for the first time:
- Text "Give" to 864-383-1482
- Click the link to finish setting up your gift
- Select "Disaster" from the drop-down menu (perhaps include a screenshot)
- Choose whether you'd like to cover the fees, and hit "Give" at the bottom of the form to complete your gift!
If you've used text giving before:
- Text "[dollar amount] Disaster" (WITHOUT QUOTES) to 864-383-1482
- Ex. "100 Disaster" (WITHOUT QUOTES)
- You're done!
Thrivent Financial is matching gifts made dollar for dollar--up to $1 million--through the end of 2018. Go to the Thrivent Disaster Relief page, expand the Hurricane Florence section (using the plus sign), choose your relief organization from those listed, and complete the form. Givers need not have Thrivent accounts to have donations matched.
The state of South Carolina is asking volunteers to NOT SELF-DEPLOY into hard-hit areas. Showing up to communities impacted by the hurricane will create an additional burden for first responders. Volunteer opportunities often require specialized training, and the state wants to ensure all volunteers are safe during recovery operations.
If you would like to volunteer, please register at
. The site, maintained by the United Way Association of South Carolina and matches volunteers with appropriate opportunities to help.
do not donate clothes. They often become a second disaster.
SCEMD is requesting that South Carolina citizens take collected food items to local food banks or other charitable organizations. These local food banks and organizations work with the state and will distribute food to the survivors in South Carolina and other impacted areas.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has granted individual assistance to several counties (including Dillon, Marlboro, Horry, and Marion have been granted Public Assistance) you can apply online for assistance at
. Constituents may call the registration phone number at
; those who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call
directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call
Give blood for those in need
In My Opinion
Franklin Graham said,
"It's just a shame that a person like Judge Kavanaugh who has a stellar record - that somebody can bring something up that he did when he was a teenager close to 40 years ago. That's not relevant."
It seems if it's about a woman, it's never been relevant. It's a war on women that the religious types have been engaged in throughout history. Even the gospel writer, John capture this animosity in chapter 8:3-5, "The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, they said to him, 'Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?'Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground
I have only one question. Where was the man? I believe adultery takes two. But, it doesn't surprise me.
From that time period and beyond women were seen as second class citizens, whether Greeks, Romans, or Jewish. So, I'm not surprised when Graham makes these type of masculine engendered statements. He's "hung up" in the Adam and Eve story, and the restrictive Levitical Laws. But, that doesn't make it right or even close to being Christian, that is Christ-like. Christ and the church, during that first century were recorded as moving in the opposite direction of a male dominated society.
The New Testament tells us of women following and supporting Jesus' ministry, women sitting at the feet of Jesus, women preaching the first gospel of resurrection, women in the upper room, women being arrested along with men, and women heading households. Women were an intricate and vital part of the first century church. There were no second class citizenship's in the early church, "As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus." [Gal. 2:27-28]
So Mr. Graham, this woman, Professor Ford deserves to be heard, and her story is relevant! If you want to be seen as Christlike, maybe more compassion for the one who has claimed to have been assaulted would be appropriate. Your lack of compassion for women amazes me. You continue to say this woman's story of assault is irrelevant, while giving a pass to Mr. Trump in his affairs with a porn star and a Playboy Bunny. Why? So you can get the ultraconservative person you want on the Supreme Court, and have your religious views passed into laws. You have sacrificed your soul on the altar of religiosity, while religion was the furthest thing from Jesus' agenda, other than having it and its life-thieving practices cleansed from his father's house.
I stand with Professor Ford! Except, when I just bend down and write in the dirt a little bit...
Pastor Tim Bupp