September 2019 Newsletter
Updated: Nov 1, 2019
A Message from the Pastor:
Dear friends in Christ,
A farmer was being questioned by a lawyer during a trial concerning an accident on a highway. The lawyer asked the farmer, "Is it true, Mr. Jones, that when the highway patrol officer came over to you after the accident, you said, 'I feel fine'?"
Farmer Jones began to answer by saying, "Well, now, me and my cow Bessie were driving down the highway in my pickup truck when..."
At this point the attorney interrupted, saying, "Please just answer my question: yes or a no; did you say to the officer, 'I feel fine'?"
Farmer Jones tried to answer the question again. The attorney stopped him again and asked the judge to intervene. He said, "Your honor, would you please instruct the witness to simply answer my question with a yes or a no."
The judge said, "Why don't we just let him tell his story?"
So, Farmer Jones told his story: "Me and my cow Bessie were driving down the highway in my pickup truck. Bessie, of course, was in the bed of the truck. I heard a loud bang and knew that I had blown out a tire. The truck went flying off the road and landed in a ditch. I went flying out of the truck on one side of the highway and Bessie landed on the other side. When I woke up, the highway patrol officer came over to me and said that Bessie was in awful shape. He then went back over to Bessie, pulled out his gun and shot her dead.
That was when he came over to me with his gun still drawn and asked me how I felt.
I said, 'I feel fine.’ What would you have said, your honor?"
This story illustrates a simple truth that fear sometimes causes us to do and say funny things.
My mother said, “95% of the things we worry about or are afraid of never happen.”
Unfortunately, we somehow let a 5% possibility ruin our day. Is that logical?
When we face things that frighten us, when we let the 5% possibility of bad outcomes steal joy from our day, when the patrol officer asks us how we feel, let’s respond in the wisdom of Philippians 4:4-7: “The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Nehemiah will be visiting with the congregation of Amazing Grace this Sunday, September 1. He has heard that we have been studying about him and wanted to come meet us, share a little more about his plight, and give us some encouragement on our journey here. You don't want to miss this presentation!
Sermon Series - Unleashed!
“Life is difficult!” These are the opening words of M. Scott Peck’s classic self-help book on spirituality, The Road Less Traveled. They strike a chord with many people today. Whether facing personal or societal trauma or struggles for peace in a world that seems to be at war with itself, people today seem to face a myriad set of difficulties. Not surprisingly, religion is present at the heart of some of these modern realities. Once considered the most benevolent aspect of human existence, religion today is often vilified as the enemy of the people, a prison warden inquisitor of our precious freedoms. But are such accusations true? Or has something been lost in translation?
Join us on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. in September and October as we explore St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. There we will look beneath the headlines of our beleaguered world in search of the truth about religion and freedom. We will ask important questions inspired by the scriptures that promise to unearth the Christian truth buried under layers of cultural rust and misinformation. We will seek the keys of Christian freedom that offer to unlock the good news that finally declares us UNLEASHED!
Sept. 8: Part 1 | Galatians 1:1-24 | CHANGE IS POSSIBLE
Sept. 15: Part 2 | Galatians 2:11-21 | WAKE UP AND LIVE
Sept. 22: Part 3 | Galatians 3:1-29 | BE SOMEBODY
Fall Adult Class | The Just Shall Live! : The A-B-C’s of Lutheran Faith
On Wednesday, Sept. 11 from 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. a series of classes on the basics of the Lutheran Faith and witness will begin. The Just Shall Live! : The A-B-C’s of Lutheran Faith will be a six-week course focusing on the core principles of the Evangelical Lutheran faith. The course will be designed for those new to Lutheranism as well as those seeking a refresher course on the basics of Lutheran theology and faith practice. The course is open to seekers, non-members and anyone curious to know more about the Christian expression inspired by Martin Luther and other reformers.
Church Council will meet September 9 at 7:00 p.m.
Women of the ELCA
Women of the ELCA will meet September 15 at 11:30 a.m.
We will have special refreshments on September 8 following worship in honor of Grandparents day. Everyone is asked to bring finger foods and desserts to share. If you have questions, please speak to Gail Wilcox.
New members will be received September 15. if you would like to become a part of the amazing grace church family, speak to Pastor Frank.
Prime Timers group continues to grow. We have had visitors at the last two lunches. This month, September 19, we will meet at 1:00 p.m. at O'Charley's in Hickory. Dutch treat. If you would like to carpool, please be at the church by 12:30 p.m.
Thank you to all who brought snacks in August. This enhances our after worship fellowship time. In addition to regular weekly snacks and coffee, birthdays for the month were celebrated with a delicious cake created by Tim Bolick. Please plan to stay after worship to visit and enjoy coffee and snacks. There is a calendar posted in the kitchen with “special” celebrations listed so plan to stay longer on those Sundays!
Notes from the Outreach Committee
A big Thank You goes out to Nelson and Rebecca Teague for driving our late August trip to Living Waters. They are part of our community support for this worthy cause to aid our friends in the mountains of North Carolina. Nelson and Rebecca assisted in collection and delivery of items including furniture, shoes, children’s and men’s clothes. Also, thank you to everyone who has donated items so we can continue this important ministry! Another trip will be scheduled late October for winter clothing and items that might make good Christmas gifts. Living Waters does a special “Christmas Shop” that allows their community to find low cost gifts and gift wrapping opportunities.
As many are aware, August was our turn among local churches to collect food for SCCM. To date we have collected 250 pounds of food and will have another delivery to them early in September. The outreach committee thanks all who were able to contribute to our local neighbors. As has been reported to the congregation, food supplies are extremely low at SCCM. The food we brought was distributed to the community immediately. Nothing was added to stock the shelves. Our participation as community members is greatly appreciated and always needed.
Thanks to all who have been watering, tending and harvesting from our raised garden beds. We have had shared vegs from our garden and home gardens, too. Many of us have enjoyed fresh produce and shared with friends. There is still time to plant more produce for a late crop if you are interested. See Bobby Lail if you’d like to participate in some fashion.
The Teachers Closet Network had a great event in August called “Back to School Bash.” Many families attended and lots of children received school supplies to help prepare for another good school year. There were games and activities for the family, water slide, bouncy house and food available. Our congregation assisted in donating school supplies and volunteering time during the bash. Thank you to everyone for your help with this community outreach!
Have you noticed that some curb areas and handicap ramps have been accentuated with reflective paint? Thank you, Paula, for these enhancements. Lots of limbs and tree debris has been brought down by recent storms. Thank you, Jerry, for the swift clean up of our church grounds. Thank you Bobby for trimming the shrubbery around the worship center and annex. Thank you to Louis and Randall for putting up post with reflectors at each entrance.
September 29 will be our next “White Goods” offering. Items collected during this special offering are used here at our building. We collected at last offering all types of paper goods including plates and cups, paper towels, toilet paper, Kleenex tissues and zip lock bags. A list of items will be shared again in future bulletin notices.
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!
The Outreach Committee has been contacted about a need in our community. The need is a ladies winter coat nice enough to wear to church in a size 3X. If you can help with this need, please speak to Deborah Stamper.
Call for Artists and Musicians - HILLABILLOOZA - October 26th
Amazing Grace is planning to host HILLABILLOOZA: THE AMAZING FESTIVAL OF ART on Saturday, October 26 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. The “hillbilly” arts festival will host handmade art from regional artists, including pottery, weaving, handcrafts, honey, and other arts. Music will be provided on an outdoor soundstage by regional artists. The event will be a community event open to the public. Applications are being taken for vendor booths and musical performance slots. Anyone interested in participating in the event as a vendor or musician is encouraged to contact Anne Fredley at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is available at the Hilllabillooza: The Amazing Fest website: www.theamazingfest.org.
Yoga/Qigong Exercise Class
Please plan to come soon and 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.
The Women of the ELCA Patterson Memorial Fund awarded to Emma Crider $3,500 in scholarship money. We continue to lift Emma in our prayers as she pursues her studies in Sustainable Technology and Business at Appalachian State. Emma’s life and career goal is to help underdeveloped countries maximize and profit from their sustainable environmental resources. She made the Chancellor’s List both semesters her freshman year and her continued hard work did not go unnoticed. Many thanks to the Patterson Fund Committee.
Dear Amazing Grace - What a gift you've given! Thank you for your generous gift of $125.00 to ELCA Good Gifts. Your Good Gift is a very good gift, indeed. With resources like seedlings, vaccinations, vegetable gardens, Bibles and blankets, you're equipping God's people – around the world. (This gift was from money collected from the children's church).
Thrivent Financial has a new representative for our area. His name is Sean Williams. He may be reached at 828/729-7452 or email@example.com or at 418 Norwood Street, SW, Lenoir, NC 28645. If you would like to become a Thrivent member, have questions about products or are already a Thrivent member and have questions, he will be happy to help you.
There are many membership benefits such as free and discounted services, free educational resources, and financial assistance benefits. Additional benefits are Thrivent Action Teams, Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity, Thrivent Choice Dollars, financial education, and membership in Thrivent Federal Credit Union.
Thrivent Financial Guidance Team offers a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities and mutual funds.
Stewardship is a Way of Life
Stewardship is not a particular activity such as serving on a committee or making a financial pledge. Rather, stewardship is a way of life that requires us to put God first in all things, trust God to meet our needs, and be accountable to God in the way that we use all of the resources entrusted to our keeping. If we use these resources as God intends, the earth and all who dwell in it will be cared for.
A look at several Greek words used in the New Testament and their meanings in English will help us to clarify this holistic understanding of stewardship. Oikos (oy' kos) means home or household. Oikonomos (oy ko no' mos) is the household manager or administrator; the steward. Oikonomia (oy ko no mee' ah) signifies the management or administration of a householdstewardship. Oikoumene (oy kou me' nay) means the whole world-God's entire household.
The English words ecology, economy, and ecumenical have their roots in these Greek words. These words help us to see that stewardship encompasses the ideas of caring for all of creation, economic management, and the inclusiveness of the entire world within the family or household of God.
Grandparents Day Poem
Grandparents bestow upon
the strength and wisdom that time
and experience have given them.
Grandchildren bless their Grandparents
with a youthful vitality and innocence
that help them stay young at heart forever.
Together they create a chain of love
linking the past with the future.
The chain may lengthen,
but it will never part....