March 2021 Newsletter
*Pancake Supper Offering
*World Day of Prayer Service
Special Pancake Supper Offering
To: Redeemer Lutheran Church Congregation members:
Due to COVID-19, and the restrictions that are still in place, there was NO Pancake Supper at the Church this year. Sadly, we could not have our normal Pancake Supper with the fellowship and good food we normally enjoy. Needless to say, we will have around a $1000.00 budget shortfall due to this. At our council meeting on February 16th, we tried to come up with a solution to this dilemma. We are asking all congregation members to make an extra offering contribution to help us stay on track with our Church financial budget for the 2021 year. When making out your extra offering, you can list it as a Special Pancake Supper offering. You will be receiving a tax receipt at the end of the year for this as well. We are hoping that we can make up all the funds we need to stay in a positive financial state with our general fund. Please keep us in your prayers as we move forward in our mission to keep us all healthy and safe.
On behalf of Redeemer Lutheran Church council, Thank you for your gracious contributions.
Sincerely Heddy Mueller – Council Chair
Pastor's Newsletter Message - March 2021
Greetings, brothers and sisters in Christ: (Adapted from Rev. M Schultz and www.whatsinthebible.com)
How is your Lenten season going thus far? I am reminded that this season is summed up by saying that at its centre Lent is about baptism through which we are joined “to the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (ELW p. 227) For those who are baptized, Lent is a time of reflection on both the promises made to us and the promises we have made at our baptism. Reflection during Lent is an opportunity for us to renew and refresh ourselves in our baptism; in both sets of promises.
Lent is a 40-day season (Sundays have never been included as fast days since celebration rather than fasting should characterize every Sunday—the day Jesus rose from the dead.) where we engage in practices or disciplines which prepare us for or help us recommit to living out our baptisms. Among these disciplines: Midweek services, personal devotions, and fasting from something for a time. The purpose of each of these disciplines is centring on what it means to be baptized and how we live in light of our baptism.
In the baptismal liturgy, we say (ELW pg 227), “God, who is rich in mercy and love, gives us a new birth into a living hope through the sacrament of baptism.” Promises made to us in our baptism are new birth as a child of God, cleansing from sin, and eternal life. The promises we in turn make are to follow Christ as the light of life. Together we participate in God’s mission in and for the world; together we “bear God’s creative and redeeming word to all the world.” With this in our hearts, Lent is the season that invites us to reflect on what that means for us in our lives today and to re-commit ourselves to be a part of this mission of God for the world. Be centred in your baptism.
Connecting Lent and Growth The significance of Lent is not found in the solemn observation, meagre meals, or sacrificing chocolate and cookies nor in our sacrifice. Truly the revelation & growth during Lent is found in Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross. While the “giving up” of non-essentials can bring us closer to our Lord, it is more valuable to see what “is added” to our lives when we seek Jesus first.
2020 has been a difficult year. We are now entering our 2nd year of the pandemic. During these past months, we have needed to let go of many things. You know what that means to all aspects of your life. Not the least of which is the inability to gather for worship. My friend said, "Haven't we given up enough?" Perhaps. But the question Lent places before us is, what practice or discipline do I follow that prepares my heart, spirit and life for the celebration of Easter. What strengthens my relationship with my Lord?
That can be accomplished in many ways! I personally always mourn the loss of "Alleluia" in worship during Lent. And it always seems to take a few days to get "into the swing" of Lent with scriptures and prayers. But the blessing of these practices added to each day is that they continue long into the season of Easter. The goal to grow closer to God is experienced more and more. "Giving to" or doing something positive can be a very effective way to focus daily on God and grow closer to the Lord individually and as a family.
Here is one woman's story of Lent with her struggle to give or give up. True story, by Stephanie Thompson of Edmond, Oklahoma: “It was the first day of Lent and I hadn’t decided what I was going to give up. In the past, I had denied myself a coffee, soft drinks and desserts. But the truth was, the whole concept of giving something up for Lent felt stale. Then one day, on my way to volunteer at my daughter’s school, an idea came to me. What if I tried giving instead of giving up? I could be more generous with my time, my patience, my compassion and do a random act of kindness every day.
I was in the school workroom making copies when a frazzled teacher burst in. “I hate to ask, but can I cut in?” she said. “I need to make two hundred copies and no one’s watching my class.” I took the papers from her and said, “Don’t worry. I’ll take care of the copies and bring them by.”
So, for 40 days I gave out extra compliments, made a point of holding doors for people and let others go ahead of me in traffic and in the grocery store checkout line. One evening I realized that I had not done my random act yet. “Foot rubs for the entire family!” I declared. My husband and daughter were thrilled. The best part? The spirit of my Lenten practice stayed with me long past the season. Giving of yourself feels good all year long.” By being open and adjusting her understanding of what Lent meant to her, she touched others and her own spiritual life.
A few ideas of Lenten activities for you (and your families):
· Give one compliment every day to someone.
· For every meal and snack, you eat, contribute a nickel to be donated to the Food Bank or another charity that helps with hunger.
· Spend five minutes each morning or night in prayer.
· Read the Bible each day as a family.
· Post one Bible verse on the mirror in your bathroom each day.
· Make a prayer chain on 40 slips of paper, write a prayer idea/need for the day, link them together and rip one off each morning of Lent, praying for that need.
· Pick a service activity to participate in as a family.
· Have each family member write down one blessing a day and compile them in a "Blessings Jar."
Ideas for Daily Dinner Discussion (or talking to someone on the phone): Adding (not subtracting):
*Monday: What is something you have wanted to give up? What is something that you have wanted to “add to your faith” as an individual and a family?
*Tuesday: How can use you use Lent to “add life” in your daily interactions with people? Start by thinking of people at the table, then your neighbours, and so on.
*Wednesday: When each day can you “add prayer” for 3-5 minutes with your spouse, children, and so forth? Think beyond the dinner table and think in terms of prayer together.
*Thursday: What are some ways you can “add joy” in the life of someone right now? Instead of waiting for the “perfect” moment to act thoughtfully consider making amends with a broken relationship, choosing to bless others, send a word of encouragement and so forth. Again, start by thinking of those at the table, your neighbours, coworkers, etc…
*Friday: What is one area of your life that you can “add time” for someone else instead of yourself? We are all busy, but we all have 15 minutes we could devote to others for their benefit. Again start with those closest to you and work out.
*Saturday: When can you “add Scripture” to your day for 5-7 minutes? Integrate a chapter of Ephesians, a Psalm, a devotional book or a Christian video to your day. Think of opportunities to involve others by reading with your spouse, listening to a podcast with your kids, or sharing a message with a neighbour.
* Sunday: How can you “add Jesus” to your perspective. We all have a habit of seeking “me”. Lent is most about us taking the focus and pressure off ourselves and seeking to Grow in Faith. It is 40 days, but we only have today. Think about areas of thinking and action that are not in concert with Jesus’ way of life, let go and “add Jesus” in the gaps.
Take heart, brothers and sisters. During these unprecedented days, be gentle with yourself and your Lenten practices this year. The year has been stressful and challenging enough. May you find healing (of body, mind and spirit), gratitude, joy and hope each day of your journey to Holy Week. May the Holy Spirit bring you peace as you pray, study and contemplate God’s word, and have for love others (as well as yourself) in God's grace.
In Christ, Pastor Laurel
Reminder: 2021 Holy Week: March 28 - Palm/Passion Sunday; April 1-Maunday Thurs.; April 2- Good Fri.; April 4 - Easter Sunday
WORLD DAY OF PRAYER SERVICE
Have you had a chance to see the World Day of Prayer Service?
Here is the website: wicc.org
then click: one hour World Day of Prayer service
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One Hour World Day of Prayer Service