Ascension Lutheran Church, Shelby
Worship, Sunday, January 13, 2019
Baptism of our Lord
Isaiah 43:1-7
Psalm 29
Acts 8:14-17
Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

The Baptism of Our Lord cannot help but recall our own and all baptismal blessings. We recall and celebrate our adoption as daughters and sons, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the promised company of almighty God when we “pass through the waters . . . the rivers . . . fire.” On this day the heavens open again for this assembly, and we receive the gift of the beloved Son of God in bread and wine.
(Introduction from Sundays and Seasons)

Adult Bible Study, 9:30 a.m.
Explore the Bible with other adults in this Sunday morning discussion group led by Chris Scheffel and Ludy Wilkie.

Listen online
Traveling, sleeping in or need encouragement midweek? Most Sundays the sermon is recorded. Look for links on Facebook or Twitter or go to the website to listen. You also can listen by subscribing to the sermon podcast, now on iTunes , Google Play , Stitcher and TuneIn (search for "Pastor Christina Auch") or read the sermon text posted on the pastor's blog .
Winter weather?
For Sunday worship, please watch WBTV, email and social media to find out if there have been cancellations before you travel. For weeknight activities, if Cleveland Community College cancels evening classes, church activities will be canceled.

Always place your comfort and safety first as you make decisions about scheduled events.
Affirmation
THANK YOU!
Thank you for your generosity to Ascension and our ministries in 2018. Because of your financial gifts and your gifts of time and talents, we finished the 2018 fiscal year on a solid footing. Our receipts were higher than we had budgeted, and while expenses also were higher that is in part because we had staffing changes and the unanticipated expense of installing safety bars and security cameras on the church property. On December 31, 2018 the Unified Fund had a surplus of $5,368.

With your approval in September, the new lift was paid for almost entirely from the emergency reserve which had been restored to previous funding levels earlier in 2018.

Also, we continue to receive gifts toward the cost of the roof that was installed on the education building in 2017; $18,750 has been received to date, leaving $12,338 borrowed from the Emergency Reserve Fund.

Women of the ELCA Update
Ascension's Women of the ELCA will meet in the fellowship hall after worship on Sunday, January 20 . All are welcome and your suggestions and ideas for Bold Women's Sunday (February 24) are encouraged. Also hear a report on how our first monthly baking day at Hospice Cleveland County has gone and learn how you can be involved.
Save the Date:
One Day Retreat, February 16
As we learn to love ourselves as God loves us, we are better able to love others with the heart of God.

As God’s people, we are called to love one another  as we love ourselves, to respect the richness of our diversity, and to build up one another in love. Loving one another shows that we are “born of God and know God” (1 John 4:7). God used diversity to create a world that God called good! Through an appreciation of this diversity, we are able to love others and show our love to God.

Annual One-Day Retreats will be held across the synod on Saturday, February 16, 2019 . The registration deadline is Wednesday, February 6 and the $10 cost includes lunch and supplies. Exact location and registration details TBA.
Calling Others to Service
Altar Guild Will Meet January 27
The next quarterly meeting for the after worship on Sunday, January 27 . Volunteers prepare the sanctuary for worship and help serve communion. Contact Carol Berger with any questions.
Congregation Council Ministry Contacts
The 2019 congregation council met for the first time on Tuesday, January 8. Your primary contacts for questions about ministry areas are:
Fellowship and Outreach, Gail Sherman
Finance, Greg, Treasurer
Education, Bob Bryant
Stewardship, Steve Eckard
Property, Steve Hudgins and Mike Hubbard
Worship, Sandra Waldrop and Jean Waris

Council officers are Daryl Cook, President; Ludy Wilkie, Vice President; Gail Sherman, Secretary and Greg Blalock, Treasurer.
Outreach
Little Free Pantry update
Unfortunately vandals knocked over the Little Free Pantry between December 23 and 24. We have decided not to reinstall it. Any of the items that have been donated but not yet distributed will be given to area shelters to help our neighbors.

Pastor's Discretionary Fund
Did you know our congregation makes funds available to people who need emergency assistance ? Pastor Christina distributes the limited funds to service providers on behalf of church members and those who are referred to us by ministry partners. Please consider making a contribution now to so that we can continue to respond to needs in our congregation and community.
Let us pray...
United as one body in Christ, let us pray for the church, the world, and all those in need.

We pray for the church. Pour out your Spirit upon us and enliven us for mission. Draw us together in love that we may be one. Lead us in the way of your beloved Son.

For the earth. Sustain oceans and seas, rivers and lakes, marshes and wetlands. Watch over dormant plants and hibernating animals as they rest in your care. Renew your creation and protect all creatures from harm.

For the nations. Inspire leaders to work for the common good. Grant courage to those who put themselves at risk to protect others. Turn us away from violence and teach us to live in peace.

For our neighbors, community and ourselves. Instead of recognizing and celebrating our oneness, we have divided ourselves into races, classes, colors, and nationalities; we have witnessed hatred, prejudice, and the denial of freedom and justice for all. Open our eyes and heal the brokenness of our nation and world that we would know that we are one, and help us overcome racism, bigotry, and hatred.

For Gastonia’s Agape mission community. May we celebrate the uniqueness of each individual and see that your children are all welcome and perfect in your image, lifting up their differences as gifts. Provide strength to its people to live their truths, by creating spaces that are safe and affirming to live, worship, and thrive in.

For those in need. Protect children and vulnerable adults who depend on others to provide for their daily care. Uphold those who struggle with depression. Console the grieving and heal the sick. We pray especially for those we name aloud now or silently in our hearts…

For this congregation. Renew your people in the covenant of baptism. Empower us by your loving Spirit to serve our neighbors.

With thanksgiving, we remember those who have died. Hold us safe in your arms of mercy and bring us with them into your promise of life eternal.

Receive our prayers and fill us with the radiance of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Copyright © 2018 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SAS027161.
Upcoming Events

Sunday, January 13 - Baptism of our Lord
9:30 a.m. Confirmation
9:30 a.m. Adult Bible Study
10:30 a.m. Worship with Holy Communion
after worship coffee fellowship

Sunday, January 20
9:30 a.m. Adult Bible Study
10:30 a.m. Worship with Holy Communion
after worship Women of the ELCA (Fellowship Hall)

Sunday, January 27 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
9:30 a.m. Adult Bible Study
10:30 a.m. Worship with The Rev. Arthur Holland, Lafayette UMC preaching