June 2019 Newsletter
A Message from the Pastor:
Dear Friends in Christ,
I write today with a heart filled with joy and gratitude for the work of the Holy Spirit among our community. Since our first meeting several months ago, I have been aware of a growing sense of God’s presence at Amazing Grace. As I consider our journey together so far, the words of Isaiah ring in my ears: “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness.” (Isa. 43:19)
The testimony of Isaiah and our recent experience at Amazing Grace tells us something about the God we serve. The Word of God proclaims that Yahweh loves us beyond measure, going to unbelievable lengths to bring us the richness of mercy and grace. Not content to leave us in one place for very long, the God of the Old and New Testament is a God on the move. Looking back, we see the handprint of the Triune One on so many aspects of our lives. It is astounding to consider the depth of God’s care and attention to our journeys! If we are paying attention, we see that God is writing a new chapter in our lives today. Each one of us has a unique and valued walk with the Lord, but one thing is assured: God’s real presence in our time exposes a consistent cord that binds our diverse stories into the overarching story of God’s ever-renewing creation of a people of faith.
As we consider the direction of our common life over the summer months, I ask that you spend time in God’s Word and in prayer as God shows us this new thing that is emerging in our midst, that you may awaken to perceive your place in God’s redemptive work in Caldwell County and beyond, and that you may look to our bright future with a heart brimming with hope, love and faith.
The newly emerging road ahead will require all of us to make a firm and accountable commitment to God as the first priority of our lives, so that we may participate to the fullest extent we are able in the new thing God is doing among us. This means we show up frequently to worship, seek training in God’s Word through Bible study, give sacrificially, tithing our financial resources, participate in the holy work of service to Christ’s church and the community beyond. It means we will not look to others to carry the cross of Christ for us but taking our called and rightful place among the faithful, we will join our sisters and brothers in lifting high the cross of Christ Jesus in this holy and anointed place and time.
I look forward with humbled thanksgiving to serving God as your pastor and shepherd. The new day is upon us! Let us rise up together to sing God’s praise!
June 9th marks a historic moment in the life of Amazing Grace Lutheran Church. On this day, the Christian community in Caldwell and Catawba Counties will celebrate the installation of our new pastor, Rev. Frank Waugh. Pastor Frank has been serving our community in a contracted role as pastor since January. The congregation voted unanimously on May 19th to call Pastor Frank as our permanent full-time pastor.
The schedule of service will be different on June 9th to allow Christians from various traditions to be in attendance at the service of installation of our new pastor. Instead of 10:30 a.m., The service of worship on June 9th will occur at 2 p.m. A catered luncheon will precede the service beginning at 12:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend the catered luncheon! If your party attending the luncheon is expected to exceed your usual family participation, we would ask that you notify the church office so provisions can be provided to accommodate the added guests. A special two-hour learning event will be provided at the usual worship hour at 10:30 a.m. No registration is required to attend the learning event.
Special Schedule for the Day
LEARNING EVENT : A Believers Guide to the Bible – 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Pastor Frank will offer a two-hour overview of the Holy Scriptures for Bible beginners and experts alike. All are welcome. Visitors expected. Cost: Free. Bring your favorite Bible. Loaner Bibles will be available.
COMMUNITY LUNCHEON: 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
FESTIVAL WORSHIP: 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.
RECEPTION: 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.
The special liturgy for the day will be presided over by Bishop Tim Smith of the North Carolina Synod. Dr. Gary Haddock, Senior Pastor of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church – Claremont will preach and serve as Assisting Minister for the services. Sandra Tallant of St. Mark’s will serve as visiting synodical partner musician for the event. The service will include festival procession and special lay participation. The Amazing Grace choir will perform a new anthem appointed for the day.
The presence of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church leaders in this worship event serves to recognize the role of this congregation in bringing Pastor Frank to North Carolina and its role in encouraging our synodical leadership to introduce our new pastor to Amazing Grace. Going forward, our congregational fellowship with St. Mark’s will continue in various ways, offering both congregations support and inspiration as we develop new and growing ministries.
SPECIAL LEARNING EVENT:
A BELIEVER’S GUIDE TO THE BIBLE JUNE 9 – 10:30 a.m.
Christians are often encouraged to consult the Word of God, the Bible, when seeking answers to life’s many opportunities and challenges. Unfortunately for some, the Bible is a complicated book packed with confusing details of unfamiliar places and people. Attempting to navigate the Bible alone without guidance can be a frustrating affair. Many approach the Bible with the desire to become proficient in the Word only to walk away after a short time, lost in the legal codes of Leviticus or ensnared in the theological complexities of Paul’s Letter to the Romans. Such experiences are common to the faithful.
However, knowledge of the Word of God is one of the key factors in the development of a rich and vibrant faith. It is one of the marks of Christian discipleship. The modern Christian is bombarded with messaging from every direction throughout the course of a single day – television, cell phones, computers, and radio. How much of that messaging reflects the central truths of the Word of God? Very little. As a balance to the Word of the World, the Word of God is a foundation-setting resource that sets the spiritual seeker on a blessed path of discernment, health, hope and renewal. Like healthy eating, exercise and prudent living, knowledge of the Word of God is a significant key to an optimized good life.
On June 9th, Pastor Frank will be offering a two-hour seminar called A Believer’s Guide to the Bible. The course will provide an overview of the Old and New Testaments of Judeo-Christian origins. No previous biblical knowledge is required, and even life-long Bible experts will find something valuable in the seminar. Participants are asked to bring their favorite Bible to the seminar. Loaner versions will be provided for those who arrive without Bibles. There is no cost for the event and registration is not required.
Take this opportunity to make your life better! Make a commitment to deepen your faith by learning how to release the Word of God in your life! See you at the seminar!
New Members will be received June 23rd. If you would like to become a member of the Amazing Grace Church Family, please speak to pastor Frank as soon as possible.
In celebration of our vote to permanently call Pastor Frank Waugh, a wind chime now plays in one of the front oak trees. Not only does the chime honor and mark the historical occasion, but also symbolizes the call out into the community for worship. Plus, it elevates our landscape! Our wind chime is hand crafted in Austin, Texas by Music of the Spheres Inc. and has a 30-year warranty. Special thanks to Ellen Crider and Jerry Haas for making it happen!
Church Council Will Meet June 10 at 7:00 p.m. in the Annex
Women of the ELCA
Women of the ELCA Will Meet June 30 at 11:30 a.m.
Happy Father's Day!
Don't forget to bring your Dad on June 16 when we celebrate Father's Day. Each father present will receive a gift bag. Father's Day Refreshments and July 4 refreshments will be combined and celebrated on July 7. Honoring our Fathers; those who raised us with gentle, stern, honest, playful, loving, straight forward, caring, hard working hands, and hearts; we thank you. For the guidance you offered, for the good parts of life you directed us thru, for showing us humanness in all its parts, thank you. Whether an earthly or a heavenly father, we give thanks. What did your father teach you?
Thank you to all who donated items, time and energy to our Living Waters Outreach Project. We had furniture, clothes, toys, household goods, food, shopping bags, empty re-usable containers, personal care items, and even some tires with tread remaining to deliver on June 1. Thanks to donations toward the cost of a U-Haul truck we were able to move all these goods in one vehicle. Bobby Lail was our truck driver and Lisa at Living Waters had helping hands assembled to help with unloading. Sincere thank you goes out to those who have helped with loading goods on our end and to Sunday Mico and side kick Stella Hampton for many hours of collection, storage, hauling, and packing of goods for our friends at Living Waters ELCA in Cherokee.
Notes from the Outreach Team
Just to let you know, we collected enough items to pack 36 shower ministry bags for distribution to those in need in our neighborhood. 12 went to Lenoir Soup Kitchen, 12 to Hickory Soup Kitchen, and 12 to Safe Harbor. Bags included bath items of soap, shampoo, washcloths, tooth brushes, toothpaste, dental floss, lotion, and razors. We included socks, sun block and new water bottles as supply allowed. Thank you for these donations. We will continue to gather items thru summer till fall when we will again come together to pack more bags. Sadly the need continues. Your support is always appreciated.
We had a lovely time on May 26 celebrating Memorial Day after worship. A relaxed visit with our family and friends gave moments to catch up and see how others are getting along. The children played with Legos that one brought to share (it was too hot outside to run and play) and most all had strawberries and cake for dessert. Thank you to everyone who brought food to share – what fun!
South Caldwell Christian Ministries needs volunteers for sorting can goods on Tuesday and Thursday anytime between the hours of 9am and 5pm. Come for whatever time you have available. For more information speak to Sunday Mico or Stella Hampton.
The seniors of Amazing Grace will meet on Wednesday, June 12 at 11:30 a.m. for lunch. Hot Dogs, chips, dessert, and drinks will be provided. A sign-up sheet will be on the Service Board on June 9, to let us know how many to plan for food wise. At this time we will discuss going out for lunch once a month in the future. Hope to see you on this date!
If you are unable to keep your assignment on your Sunday to serve, please find someone to take your place. Thanks for your help in this matter.
Preston Heavner from Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa. He majored in Biology and minored in Chemistry. He plans to take a year off and work for a local vet and then apply to Vet school at NC State.
Mandy Williams from Clemson University In South Carolina with a Master's Degree in Biology. Mandy teaches at Caldwell Community College.
Susan Whittemore from University of Nebraska Kearney with a Masters Degree in Biology. Susan teaches at Gaston Community College.
Rhyan Stone, grandson of Carol Stone and the late Jim Stone, from UNC at Chapel Hill with a degree in Environmental Science. He will be moving to Austin, Texas where he will be working.
A note from the Fellowship Committee
Thank you for all you did to make Mother's Day a very special day for all our mothers. A special thanks to Gail Wilcox for the gift bags she made for all our mothers.
White Good Collection - June 30
On the fifth Sunday of each month we will be collecting white goods for our church. Suggested items are: Paper Towels, Toilet Paper, 9" Styrofoam Plates, 12 oz Cold Cups, Napkins, and Coffee (regular and decaf). The items will be placed on the altar that Sunday as a part of our giving beyond our regular offering. These items will help defray the cost of stocking the bathrooms and kitchen.
Teacher's Closet Network
Join us for food and fun on Tuesday, June 18 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Chicik-fil-A at Smith Crossroads (116 Wilkesboro Blvd SE in Lenoir)! Come support Teacher's Closet Network and 10% of the sales will be donated accordingly.
It's no secret that children observe and copy the behaviors they see in the lives of their parents. Christian fathers have the immense responsibility of demonstrating the heart of God to their children. They also have the great privilege of leaving behind a spiritual legacy. Here is a poem about one father whose godly character pointed his child to the Heavenly Father.
With these three words,
"Dear Heavenly Father;"
I begin my every prayer,
But the man I see
While on bended knee
is always my earthy dad.
He is the image
Of the Father divine
Reflecting the nature of God,
For his love and care And the faith he shared
Pointed me to my Father above.
Happy Father's Day to all our fathers!