October 2019 Newsletter
A Message from the Pastor:
I’m always curious to see the messages churches display on signs and marquees. The church is in the message business and the words that are displayed on a church marque can sometimes give the public an idea of the makeup of the people behind the stained-glass windows.
One day, I passed a small brick church at a busy Atlanta intersection and saw the message: “Feeling Far Away from God! Guess Who Moved!” I nearly clipped the end of another car coming through the intersection as I was distracted by the sign. It said: "We Care About the Distracted and Almost Dead From Car Crashes!
I heard a story about a seminarian who turned in a sermon to her preaching professor for grading. When she met with her professor things started out positively. The teacher said, “I like your exegesis, all the study you did on this text. Everything looks good here. However, I’m going to give you a D.”
The seminarian was shocked and said, “Why a D if everything looks good?”
The professor said, “It’s your title. Nobody will come to hear a sermon entitled: ‘The Eschatology of the Apostle Paul as a Hermeneutical Device in the Johannine Stories of Jesus.’ But tell you what I’ll do. If you can come up with a better title, I’ll reconsider the grade. Just remember, this title will one day be in bold letters on a church sign. Imagine your title out on the sign at your church having so much impact that the people on a bus stopping in front of your church will want to immediately get off the bus and run into your church to hear the message!”
The young woman thanked her professor for a second chance and went home and wrestled with the title all night long, sweating bullets. The next morning, she dashed into her professor’s office and handed him her new sermon title, which read: “There’s a Bomb on Your Bus!”
All kidding aside, we the church are the message! It’s not only what is on our church marquee that proclaims a message to the strangers who pass by. Our hope, our joy, our expression of our unleashed faith is a living message as well. Each of us is a sign of grace wherever we are, with whomever we meet, no matter who we are. What does your sign say? Unleashed? Free? Inviting? Or something about bombs on a bus!
Enjoy your day!
Sermon Series - Unleashed!
Join us on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. in October as we wrap up our 6 weeks study of St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians.
October 6 |Galatians 5:1-11 | "Stand Firm! Stand Free!"
October 13 | Galatians 5:13-26 | "Live Free or Die"
October 20 | Galatians 6:1-18 | "Never Give Up"
October 27 | Reformation Sunday | "The Just Shall Live!"
Fall Adult Class | The Just Shall Live!: The A-B-C’s of Lutheran Faith
We will wrap up our series of classes on the basics of the Lutheran Faith and witness "The Just Shall Live." The Class meets on Wednesday, 6 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Church Council will meet October 14 at 7:00pm.
Women of the ELCA
Women of the ELCA will meet October 20 at 11:30am.
Pastor Frank will be providing worship for the residents at Trinity Village on October 4 at 10:45am. He will be in a monthly rotation of Parish Chaplains offering worship once a month. Those that previously went and sang at the nursing homes are encouraged to come go along as well as anyone else who wishes.
Prime Timers will meet October 16, 1pm at Captain's Galley in Hickory. Dutch treat. If you would like to carpool, please be at the church by 12:30pm. Invite a friend or neighbor to join you.
Sunday, October 27, we will honor our children and youth with pizza, salad and dessert following worship. Children and youth you are encouraged to invite someone to come join you for worship and fellowship.
Lutheran World Relief Personal Care Kits
Cleanliness may not actually be next to godliness, but it certainly helps a person feel more human. When families find their homes destroyed, or must flee for their safety, soap and a towel rarely make the cut for what they can carry. Arriving in a refugee camp or other place of safety, they are scared, vulnerable and dirty from the travel. The simple items included in a Personal Care Kit provide much-needed self-care, critical germ fighting, and the chance to regain dignity amidst situations of fear and uncertainty.
A Lutheran World Relief (LWR) project has been planned by the Women’s group here at the church. They will be collecting specific items to make personal care kits as designed by LWR. Our entire congregation is encouraged to participate as a global outreach opportunity. Each kit includes:
One light-weight bath-size towel (between 20’ x 40” and 52” x 27”), dark color recommended
Two or three bath-size bars of soap equaling 8 to 9 oz., any brand, in original wrapping
One adult-size toothbrush in its original packaging*
One sturdy comb
One metal nails clipper (attached file optional), remove packaging
*Toothbrush multi-packs may be used by sealing an individual toothbrush in a business-size envelope; no plastic bags or wrap.
Some important guidelines to remember:
Be sure to shop for light or medium weight towels, which are easier for kit recipients to hand wash and air dry, take up less storage space and are considerably less expensive than the fluffier towels we might prefer.
Please give new items only.
Please do not donate items with any religious symbols, messages or your group's name.
Please do not donate any items decorated with a U. S. flag, patriotic or military symbols, or references to the armed forces, including camouflage.
Do not add other items or leave out any of the items listed.
All items should be new and in good condition
Do not enclose the kit or any of its contents in plastic bags.
You may complete an entire kit or you may donate loose items. Please bring donations by October 20.
In recent years the women’s group chose to donate school kits. As a change for this year, they chose the personal care kits. If you have questions about this mission of global outreach, Rachel Price and others in the Women of the ELCA can fill you in. They have supported LWR for many years. Let’s see how many kits can be lifted up this year!
Yoga/Qigong Exercise Class
Please plan to come often to the Yoga/Qigong combination exercise class every Monday from 7:00 – 7:45pm! It’s designed to relax, restore or invigorate and is for all ages and body types. Leave feeling great! No prior experience or special props required. A Free Will Offering is collected with 100% funding going to Amazing Grace. Class is taught by Amazing Grace member Ellen Crider, Yoga Therapist.
Our Christian love and sympathy is extended to Cliff and Ruby Hefner at the death of Cliff's brother Wayne Hefner last Monday. A memorial service will be held October 5, 2:00pm at Alexander Funeral Home in Taylorsville. May the comforting presence of our Lord Jesus be with you and your family.
Pastor Frank's Book Club Selection - "The Alchemist"
October is a great reading month! Light a fire and snuggle up with Paulo Coelho’s heartwarming fairy tale about an Andalusian shepherd boy who embarks on an adventure to follow the rumor of treasure. Part adventure story, part reflection on the human journey, "The Alchemist" is a classic of contemporary spiritual literature. Now celebrating 25 years in print, Coelho’s timeless story will inspire readers of all ages with its captivating storytelling, unforgettable characters and spiritual truths. Available at Amazon in the 25th Anniversary Edition for only $10.19 Paperback; $11.99 Kindle.
THANK YOU to Tim Bolick for presenting the monologue as Nehemiah in September. Great job!
THANK YOU to the Fellowship Committee and others for providing special refreshments on Grandparents Day in September.
THANK YOU to Wayne Fairchild, Florence Lowman, Paula and Gary Laxton, Deborah Stamper, and Pastor Frank for painting the railings on the Annex. Big improvement!
THANK YOU to Wayne and Florence Lowman for pressure washing the railings on the Annex and cutting down some of the overgrowth on our property next to the Annex.
THANK YOU for 385 pounds of food for South Caldwell Christian Ministry from our August food drive.
Dinner and a Show
Amazing Grace is planning a trip to the Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theater in Wytheville, Virginia in December to see "Country Christmas." More information will be forthcoming in the November newsletter and bulletins with the date and cost.
As the old saying goes: We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. Three big principles of any solid financial plan are to save, spend and give. Most people forget about the giving part, though, because they think mostly about saving and spending.
But giving—specifically tithing—is just as important. It softens the heart of the giver and frees their soul from dependence on money. You’ll never walk away from giving feeling bad! Giving comes in many forms, with your tithe being the most important, because it’s a biblical mandate.
What is a tithe? Let’s start with the basics. Simply put, the tithe is the first 10% of your income that should be given to your local church. It’s strictly measured in money, so you can’t replace it with giving your time or your talents.
What’s the difference between tithing and offerings? A tithe is an amount (a percentage of your income) and an offering is anything given beyond that, but not in place of the tithe. After you’ve tithed, you can give in other ways: Giving a cash offering to your church above and beyond the tithe, giving money to a charity you support, giving to a friend or neighbor in need, or giving of your time or talents. Not only does giving of your money or other resources generate good in the lives of others, it also generates contentment in your heart.
Why should I tithe? The tithe was not put into place for God’s benefit—He already has everything He needs. He doesn’t need our money! (And "our" money is already His anyway.) Tithing is an act of obedience and should be given freely with pure motives. In other words, we give without expecting anything back in return. And it teaches us to be good stewards of what God has given us.
Tithing was created for our benefit. It teaches us how to keep God first in our lives and how to live unselfishly. Unselfish people make better spouses, friends, relatives, employees and employers. And they usually have better finances. God is trying to teach us how to prosper over time.
God is in the Air
Sometimes, I step back from my busy participation in worship and just observe the miracle that is happening around me. It’s a wave of human warmth, smiles, adjustments, acknowledgements and blessings.
This is holy business, watching the sanctuary fill for the familiar dance of rising and sitting, bowing and moving, praying and eating. We are a company, Christ’s body, in this place. It is most obvious here, when we hold silence together, moving in unison and creating harmonies of praise, but it reaches beyond this hour of worship. The body continues its choreography as we meet to govern ourselves, plan and serve, both here and elsewhere. The Spirit of God is the air between us.