Archive for 2018

From the Pastor’s Heart

Posted October 1, 2018 By admin

As we move into the month of October, we move also into the beginnings of a busy time of year. Autumn months always seem to be chock full of activities. Plans are made for mountain trips, outings to apple orchards, football games and a host of other things. As you begin to make your autumn plans, allow me to ask a simple question. How do you plan to be a disciple of Jesus Christ each and every day?

With each new day, Christians have the opportunity to share their faith in Christ with others who may not realize God’s activity in their lives. As God’s people we also wake up to the Christian responsibility to thank God for His many blessings. In this, we should offer God the finest of what we can offer of ourselves. When a child of God begins each new day with such emphasis, the life of discipleship begins to take hold and we live into the calling God has for each one of us. So again, how do you plan to be a disciple of Jesus Christ each and every day?

In my asking this twice, I hope you are not simply waiting for my answer. I hope you are not expecting me to offer a directive for the church that challenges you to do your part as I see it, for such is not my intent. I am asking this question because as followers of Jesus Christ, we each respond to His call to follow in different ways. Some are able to engage in the life of the congregation more regularly than others. Some take time to come to the church and serve on committees, provide services such as lawn care and cleaning, others may even show up every time the doors are open. Still, others among us have different responsibilities.

We have parents with small children, members who work not just one, but two jobs, and still others who may have health related issues that prevent them from participating as they once did. Yet, no matter where we may fall in this broad spectrum, as God’s people each one of us bears the Christian responsibility to love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Jesus calls all of us to go into the world and make disciples by sharing with them the good news of God’s salvation. This is why I ask; how do you plan to be a disciple of Jesus Christ each and every day?

As Pastor, I will do my best to help you discern the answer to this question. I will do what I can to help you pray, study God’s Word and live among God’s people so that you might hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit who is calling you to a life of discipleship. I will continue to pray for you and your family, preach to you the gospel of Christ Jesus, lead you in worship and teach you and your children the faith in which we baptize. In turn, I pray that you too will help me to further discern the answer to our question, for even pastors need to learn to take time to enjoy their relationship with Christ.

Yes, we have a busy time ahead of us; one filled with opportunities to worship God, love our neighbor and enjoy the fellowship of God’s people. In all of this, choose to take time each day to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Then be sure to share His blessings of grace, mercy and love with those whom God places within your midst. Soon, you will realize you are living the life of discipleship, and the question will have its answer.

Grace to you and peace,
Pastor David Nuottila

Pastoral Devotion for October

Posted October 1, 2018 By admin

Render unto God

Read Mark 12:1-17

Scheming to find a way to get rid of Jesus, the Pharisees asked him, “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar?” The Pharisees’ question suggests there are things that belong to this world and things that belong to God. The Church often falls into this same trap. Bring this text up within a meeting or Bible study and almost immediately people will say everything belongs to God, even our money. Our behavior concerning our possessions and our money would suggest we feel otherwise. The power of money is deceptive and deadly.

Money buys material goods, material goods provide personal comfort, personal comfort leads us to a false notion that we are in control of our lives. The more goods we have, the more we feel we need. Luxuries become necessities; extravagance becomes essential. Even worse, the more we have, the more we feel we deserve, when in truth, because of our sin the only thing we deserve is death. Thankfully, the power of God’s love is stronger.

Jesus says, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” All we have, even our very lives belong to God. Yet our Father provides all we need for life. As we render taxes and other payments, we do so understanding the authority and responsibility of the institutions also come from God.

O Lord, our provider, we thank you for your many gifts, especially the gift of your grace through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday Morning Bible Study

Posted September 25, 2018 By admin

Morning Bible Study will resume on Wednesday, October 31 at 9:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall. The focus of our study will be taking a look at several of our favorite hymns. We will discuss the origins of hymns, why we love them so much, and study their biblical references. Being October 31st is Reformation Day, our first beloved hymn under study will be “A Mighty Fortress.”
Plan on attending as you are able.

Blood drive for Hannah

Posted September 25, 2018 By admin

St. Jacob’s Lutheran Church will be hosting a blood drive for Hannah, granddaughter of St. Jacob’s members Stanley and Lucy. Hannah had an elevated heart rate and went to Parkridge Baptist Hospital October 29, 2017. While there, her platelet count was down to 2000 (normal range is (150,000-450,000) which required her first transfusion. The transfusions continued and on October 30 she was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, which is a rare disease in which the bone marrow and hematopoietic stem cells that reside there destroy themselves. Hannah was referred to Levine Cancer Center in Charlotte and started receiving treatments as well as regular blood and platelet transfusions. Hannah estimates that since being diagnosed, she has received over 170 units of blood and platelets.
The St. Jacob’s congregation has been with Hannah from the beginning. The Lutheran Women provided various gift baskets during her earlier hospitalization. The Lutheran Men, the Lutheran Women and the Outreach Team also provided monetary donations. Of course, many prayers have been offered. Phyllis, President of the Lutheran Women, says, “Hannah is one of the strongest and bravest people I know. She has been through so much but doesn’t complain about her condition and is very upbeat. She has a very positive outlook.” Information on Hannah’s personal journey can be found at ‘Hannah’s Healing’ on Facebook. The St. Jacob’s Church Council approved the use of the Fellowship Hall for a blood drive. The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas from Charlotte will send staff to St. Jacob’s on Monday, October 29 from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. to conduct the drive. The goal of the drive is a minimum of 50 units of blood. St. Jacob’s will be joined in this drive by Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church in Pomaria and St. Matthews Lutheran Church, also in Pomaria.
More information will be provided about appointments at a later date.

Up and Going News

Posted September 25, 2018 By admin

The August Up and Going Meeting was the 4-Churches meeting held on August 23, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. Mt. Tabor hosted the meeting. There were 15 members and guests from St. Jacob’s. President, Eloise welcomed the group. We gave the Pledge of Allegiance to the U. S. Flag. Devotions and the Blessing were given by Carolyn. She reminded us that our homes are like gardens. We should strive to plant and nurture seeds of kindness, love and peace. These are gifts from Jesus and we should give them to others. A delicious meal was enjoyed by all.
Entertainment was provided by Nikki from St. Paul Lutheran Church. She sang beautiful songs of faith and popular songs. There were drawings for gifts. On departing, everyone chose a plant or seeds to take home. We enjoyed a blessed time together with old and new friends. The 2019 4-Churches Meeting will be held at Holy Trinity in Little Mountain. The October meeting will be held on October 18th.

October is STEWARDSHIP month

Posted September 25, 2018 By admin

October is STEWARDSHIP month here at Saint Jacob’s, the time of year when we prayerfully consider how we can use our God given gifts of time, talent and possessions to serve God and our neighbors as STEWARDS of His Kingdom here on earth. The stewardship team has chosen this year to use the offertory prayer as our theme for STEWARDSHIP month.
Merciful Father, we offer with joy and thanksgiving what you have first given us – ourselves, our time, and our possessions, signs of your gracious love. Receive them for the sake of him who offered himself for us, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
In these words, we declare to all that STEWARDSHIP is a way of life, not just something that we talk about, but something that we live out in our daily lives. These words declare our true belief that all that we have is a gift from God, and we give back to Him only a portion, asking Him to “receive them for the sake of him who offered himself for us, Jesus Christ our Lord” – the GREATEST GIFT OF ALL!
There is much work to do and many ministries that require our time, talent and abilities here at Saint Jacob’s. We need teachers, grass cutters, cooks and dish washers, lay readers, acolytes and greeters, team leaders and council members, computer geeks, singers and musicians, bell ringers and bus drivers, prayer warriors and accountants. The list can go on and on, but you know what is needed, and you also know what you are capable of and willing to offer.
It has been said countless times by some, “I would like to do that, but I just don’t think I am the right person”, or “I would do that, but there are others here who can do it better than me.” You are a child of God, and He has given you one or many gifts. Remember, you are the STEWARD of that one, or those many gifts. Do not be afraid to use them in service to our Lord. Offer them with joy and thanksgiving!
We have provided a brief description of our teams, the name of the 2018 team leader, and the Council Representative for each ministry group. Please pray about how you will use your time and talents at St. Jacob’s in 2019 and fill out the Time & Talent form on the reverse and place it in the offering plate on any Sunday up to and including October 28th, the final Sunday of the month.

Thank you.
Your Stewardship Team

ST. JACOB’S LUTHERAN CHURCH
MINISTRY TEAMS

2018 Team Leaders & Council Representative

SHORT TERM MINISTRY TEAMS – Ministries that have specific goals to accomplish with definite beginning and ending time periods. These teams are active on an as needed basis – Council Rep: Don

Audit Team – Responsible for auditing all church expenses which includes all auxiliary groups (Lutheran Men, Lutheran Women, Up & Going and St. Jacob’s Youth). Team Leader: Frances

Building Team – Assists in the planning, evaluation and guidance needed in the call to build or expand the property of the church and its ministries. Team Leader: Don

Constitution Team – Reviews the church constitution and makes recommendations for amendments as needed. Team Leader: Robert

Historical Team – Maintains and stores historical books and records of St. Jacob’s. Team Leader: Kayla

MINISTRY TEAMS FOR WITNESS – Ministries that include community outreach and participation; and shares with the community what’s happening at St. Jacob’s – Council Rep: John

Outreach Team – Reaches out and shares God’s love and good news by organizing opportunities of Christian service within our community and beyond. Team Leaders: John and David

Publicity Team – Publicizes church news to make the congregation and the surrounding community aware of events and activities at St. Jacob’s. Team Leader: Walt

MINISTRY TEAMS FOR PARISH LIFE – Fellowship ministries for congregational members – Council Rep: Frances

Congregational Care – Responsible for demonstrating Christian love and providing for the well being and care of the congregation. Assists with congregational fun events including Homecoming, 5th Sunday Fun Night and 1st Sunday Coffee & Lemonade. Team Leader: Billy
Congregational Safety Team – Responsible for the safety of the church and congregation. Team Leader: Jeff

Other fellowship groups for our Congregation: Lutheran Men (Billy); Lutheran Women (Phyllis); Up & Going (Helen); and St. Jacob’s Youth

SUPPORT OF MINISTRY TEAMS – Ministry teams that support the financial and physical assets that belong to our church. – Council Rep: Barry and Brandon

Long Range Planning Team – Studies and evaluates the demographics, spiritual culture in our area and our ministries. Makes recommendations on how we as a congregation can respond to needs in ministry. Team Leader: AJ

Property Team – Responsible for the care and maintenance of all church property at large including all church buildings, the church bus, and cemetery grounds. Team Leader: Chad

Stewardship Team – Encourages the congregation to recognize all they have is a gift from God and to help them understand the Bible tells us a portion of what God gives to us should be returned to Him. Team Leader: Larry

Technology Team – Responsible for the care and maintenance of all office equipment and systems; manages the sound system for all worship events and ensures that the sermons are recorded. Team Leader: Brandon

STAFF SUPPORT MINISTRIES – Ministries that support paid staff – Council Rep: Kathleen
Staff Support Team – Works closely with Pastor to supervise and support all employed or contracted personnel (Music Ministers, Administrative Assistant, Youth Director, Cleaning Staff and Nursery Director). Team Leader: Susan

MINISTRY TEAMS FOR SPIRITUAL LIFE – Ministries to help us grow in our spiritual life and worship. Council Rep: June

Altar Guild Team – Responsible for preparation for Holy Communion; changing paraments; cleaning Communion vessels, linens and acolyte robes; acolytes, banner bearer, crucifer, and lay readers and notifying members of their assigned Sunday for altar flowers. – Team Leader: Brenda

Christian Education Team – Works closely with Pastor to provide opportunities for members of all ages to study and grow in understanding of Christian faith and life. – Team Leader: Open

Prayer Team – Assists in communicating prayer needs to the congregation – Team Leader: Bob & Gloria

Worship & Music Team – Works closely with Music Director and all music related groups: Hand Bells, Adult, Youth and Children’s Choirs. Assists in planning music for worship services. – Team Leader: Open

Council Briefs for September 4, 2018 Meeting

Posted September 25, 2018 By admin

Good Things at St. Jacob’s : St. Jacob’s Homecoming was great with 145 in attendance. Pastor David Wendel’s sermon was well received and many also enjoyed his message before the church service. The Congo Mission Dinner Fundraiser went well and the Youth pool party was fun for all.

Treasurer’s Report – Pastor David suggested that 5% of the operating budget be dedicated to NALC and from his experience that is how it is typically set-up.

Pastor’s Report – Pastor David is encouraging prayer regarding the election of a new NALC Bishop. He reminded council of the process and the qualities that we would like to see in our next Bishop. Pastor will keep the congregation informed as we go forward. Pastor will be away on vacation October 14-21st. Pastor Gary Blobaum will be covering this absence for Pastor David.

Reports of Ministry Teams:
Staff Support – Staff Support met on August 14 to discuss the job description for the Director of Youth and Family Ministry position. Bryan and Christina Metze from Staff Support Team attended the September 4th council meeting to review and provide input for the job description of Director of Youth and Family Ministries position. A motion was made and unanimously approved by Council to accept and fill this position. This proposal will be presented to our congregation for a vote scheduled for September 30, 2018.

Spiritual Life – Pastor asked that the LBW remain in the pews for awhile. This will help relieve the task of transporting the books back and forth. Pastor suggested that there needs to be further conversation on the LBW vs the ELW in the pew. Brenda Smith will begin sending out monthly reminders for those that are serving assistants each Sunday. Altar Guild feels that these will serve as friendly reminders to those that have volunteered. Laurie Lackey and the Music Team will continue working on music for upcoming church services. We welcome anyone who wishes to join the team.

Short Term – Don Dease, in the near future, will be getting a parking lot repair proposal from SCE&G to the Building Team for their review.

Witness – Volunteers are needed to change the church sign. David has been very generous to volunteer his time for this important job, but would like some relief. Anyone that is interested can contact the church office.

Parish Life – The August Up and Going meeting was the “4 Churches Meeting” held on August 23, 2018. Mt. Tabor hosted the meeting and a delicious meal was served. 15 members and guests from St. Jacob’s attended the meeting.

Support of Ministries – Communications Secretary reported 358 total membership as of 09/03/2018. A motion was made and approved to purchase a new television and video camera. These devices will be set-up in the church by Brandon . This newly added technology will provide the nursery staff the opportunity to see and hear the Sunday message. Currently, the nursery speaker is no longer in working order.

Old Business:
Safety Team update – Gerald provided to each council member a draft of “St. Jacob’s Safety Policy” written by the Safety Team. Council should review and provide input at the next council meeting. Council will also follow-up at the next meeting regarding the copyright and streaming policies for St. Jacob’s Lutheran Church. Laurie is leading this effort.

New Business:
A motion was made and approved for the Property Team to get pricing on various kitchen improvements for St. Jacob’s Church. The Property Team will report back with their ideas as well as pricing on these items.
Facility Request: August 4, 2019-The Addy Family Reunion and October 29, 2018- 3pm-7pm-Hannah Coker Blood Drive—
Both Approved

Lutheran Men News

Posted September 25, 2018 By admin

Lutheran Men Sunday will be on Sunday, October 21 so you don’t want to miss this awesome service. Also, we will meet that afternoon at 6 PM in the Fellowship Hall. David has devotions. Our cooks will be David, Eddie, and Jason.

Lutheran Women News

Posted September 25, 2018 By admin

Our next meeting will be Sunday, October 21 at 4:30 PM in the Fellowship Hall. Joan will have devotions.

Life to Life Discipleship

Posted September 25, 2018 By admin

Our Life to Life Discipleship program has kicked off with the beginning of two small group studies. Just as the twelve apostles learned from their Master, Life to Life is an opportunity for church family members to study the Scriptures with their pastor and be equipped to become examples of a living faith. Over time, our small groups will expand, and more church members will become a part of this ministry. In time, we will see a discipling culture emerge where people joyfully live out their faith, seeking God’s kingdom first, while sharing their faith with others. This is exactly how the apostles built the Church, and how it grew stronger over time. Meeting people where they are, sharing faith, and growing the church one life at a time.