May 2020 Newsletter
*Property & Finance Report
*March Financial Statement
Pastor's Newsletter - May 2020
Christ Has Risen! He has Risen Indeed!
Philippians 4:6-7 - Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Joshua 1:9 ESV - Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Who could have imagined a few weeks ago the world we find ourselves in at this time? We have been inundated with information (reliable and not so reliable) and announcements of the COVID-19 virus. We have been isolated, living the safety measures needed to stay healthy and keep our families and community. It has been an emotional roller coaster ride of fear, panic, and confusion. And it is daunting and exhausting. Yet, who could have imagined our world in solidarity as never before, facing this pandemic together? This time in history is epic.
The church is no less impacted by COVID than any other part of our lives. The decision to close the doors of churches and cancel all gatherings, though mandated by the governments, was not easy to make. The time that we need to be together most, is the time when we are kept apart. Remember Ecclesiastes: "There is a time and purpose for everything under heaven"? In challenging times we are called to trust in the Lord. Joshua's wisdom called us to be strong and courageous, not to be frightened or dismayed. When all around us has been uncertain and in constant change these words guide us and encourage out hearts and minds.
"Church" and "worship" have taken on new expressions. In Redeemer's case, we have embraced our service as face-to-face via ZOOM. Thank you to Jeremy Grasby for being our host with this program. And for those who are unable to join us on Sunday morning, printed "home worship" versions have been delivered. Thank you to Mike and Evelyn Pomfrey (and helpers) for printing and delivering these. Also, thank you to Rev. R. Pryce for his generous sharing of resources. As we move through this time of isolation which has no end in sight, Bishop Jason and the MNO Synod have also reached out via Zoom each week to our rostered clergy from Fort Francis, Thunder Bay, Kenora and all of Manitoba. These weekly gatherings are blessings of peer support as we share insights and ideas of how we do ministry in a new environment. The clergy of all denominations are in uncharted waters, doing the best that we can! And we have accessed helpful and insightful resources of other clergy as well as other people of the congregations.
Then, just as everyone was finding our footing in the morass of news releases, updates, statistics and countless other media revelations of COVID, the tragedy of Portapique, Nova Scotia, occurred. We learned how the rage of one man lead to the death of 23 people as well as the psychological and physical injury of countless others. Now we hear of the flooding of Fort McMurray. These two circumstances touch the hearts of us all in different ways. Under normal circumstances this kind of news breaks our hearts anyway but as we sit in isolation it has felt as though the details have greater impact. Right across the country and to the world.
As we face all of these challenges we ask, "What can we do? How do we be strong? From whence cometh our help (and hope)? (KJV)."
Jesus Christ, our risen and resurrection Lord, is our hope. Our God is our certainty in all things. Ecclesiastes 3 assures us that we live in the cycle of life. (Sounds like a Disney song.) A cycle that is filled with challenges and grace. This scripture reassures us that it is normal to have life filled with ups and downs. My friend said that Psalm 23 comforts her in the truth of God's presence and care for each us throughout all our life experiences. When we most believe God is not with us, that is when we can trust that God is indeed at our side.
Currently, our days allow a greater amount of time to spend in quiet reflection in the truth of God's promises. One of my favourite verses that has carried me through countless challenges and crises over the years is Philippians 4. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Throughout these past days, I have rested in these words. Breathed them in. Breathed them out. Envisioned this peace of God. Trusted in this peace that nothing else can provide. I have rested in the promises of our Lord and the peace of God that will indeed guard my heart and mind. Each time I spend in this devotion my heart and spirit become lighter and the Light of the Risen Christ shines brighter.
As I write this, the day is warm and the days are longer. Spring unfolds like the petals of a flower, with gentle breezes and radient sunshine. In spite of the circumstances we find ourselves living in during these weeks past and the weeks to come, there is comfort in the cycles of the seasons. God's seasons in the world and in our lives. May the Lord God our creator, Jesus Christ our Saviour, and the Holy Spirit our comforter be with you. May the love, trust and grace of the Lord bring you peace. And may each day's time of prayer and devotion guide you in this restful peace of God and the hope of our Risen Lord.
Shalom, Pastor Laurel
2020 Elected Executive:
Chair: Heddy Mueller
Vice-Chair: Rick Norberg
Secretary: Kathy Maxon
Envelope Secretary: Sharolyn Molnar
Treasurer: Dorothy Raynor
Financial Committee: Rick Norberg, Don Wrobleski, Marvin Hollender
Mission Committee: Kathy Maxon, Jan Cuggy, Sharolyn Molnar
Parish Committee: Shelley Kretchman, Jerry Erickson, Tyler Foster
Finance Report: April 2020
As we continue our journey into the unknown. Please share these words of encouragement with each other knowing that our Lord is watching over us each day.
Psalm 23: NKJV
1 The LORD is my shepherd: I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me;
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.
There have been many things changing since we last reported on the church finances. We no longer gather each Sunday to worship together and share the Word of the Lord. We now gather on-line to hear the Word. We now must remember that we do not place our Givings to the church in the Offering plate. We must now either mail or drop off our Giving at the church mailbox. Council thanks all those whom have shared generously during these changed times. We pray that all our members will give during this health crisis.
Council met on-line on April 15th 2020 for our monthly meeting. The meeting went well with many items dealt with and others postponed until life returns to normal.
Financially, Redeemer is doing okay, all things considered. We do have a bit of a shortage in the Giving. This has placed the church into the over draft at the bank. To the end of March we are $3844.21 in over draft.
Year-to-date our Giving is $17018.00.
Budgeted to the end of March is $20170.00.
We are $3152.00 behind budget.
Total income from all sources to the end of March are $22381.46.
Budgeted income to the end of March is $25894.00.
We are $3512.54 behind budget.
On the expense side of the budget, to the end of March we are at $27413.73. Budget expense to the end of March is $28257.10. This is $843.37 over budget.
March showed a loss of $1837.56 and year-to-date our net income is a loss of $5032.37. Council prays that we can meet our budget better once things return to normal.
With church services being suspended, we also have postponed all choir practises and gatherings of any kind until further notice. Council has postponed church cleaning by our Janitor until further notice. All projects are postponed until a later date. Dorothy is researching Government funding for wage relief. Council decided that Pastor Laurel will not be laid off as we need her more than ever in these uncertain and stressful times. Please contact her at home for pastoral care, just to talk or in need of a prayer.
In God’s Service
Property Finance Committee
Rick Norberg Don Wrobleski Marv Hollender
Mission Report In support of the Samaritan House Coldest Night of the Year annual fundraiser in February, our Redeemer Lutheran Church team raised $360. All of these donations came from our congregation and stay within our community. I would like to express a huge Thank You for everyone’s support. The coordinator of the Samaritan House Safe & Warm Shelter reached out to the Mission Committee asking for support until the end of April since they received additional funding allowing the Shelter to remain open for an extra month. We were able to provide canned chilli and soups, as per their request. These funds were available through everyone’s generous donation of a loonie a week to the Little Church Bank. Thank you for the continued support. The items that were in the Samaritan House Food Bank boxes at the church have been delivered to them. Although donations are not being collected at the church during this Covid-19 closure, please keep in mind that the Food Bank is still open and accepting donations. Every bit helps. Respectfully submitted by Kathy Maxon On behalf of the Mission Committee
Sabina is pre-recording the hymns for Sunday Service
*Our Mailing Address
Redeemer Lutheran Church
114 Ashgrove Blvd
Brandon, MB R7B 1E1