Pastoral Devotion for March

Posted March 1, 2019 By admin

The Father’s Will

Read Matthew 21:23-32
In the parable, Jesus said “A man had two sons.” Both of these sons were given direction to work in their father’s vineyard. One said no, but later went. The other said yes, but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father? According to the Pharisees, it was the son who said no, but changed his mind.

Have you ever noticed in this parable, Jesus doesn’t tell them that they are correct? Did the Pharisees get it right? The truth is, both sons at one point fell short of the father’s expectations. Both sons needed a change of heart.

How often have you heard God’s Word and said “No, I will not go” but later went? How many other times have you said, “Yes, I will go” but failed to do so? In each case we fall short of God’s glory and need a change of heart. Thankfully, through Christ we are afforded God’s mercy and grace. All we need to do is ask and God will provide the will and means necessary to do that which he calls us to do. For the will of the Father is that we believe in his Son. Today, as in all days, God calls you to work in his vineyard. How will you respond?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, strengthen me in faith, that when you call, I may do your will. Amen.

From the Pastor’s Heart

Posted March 1, 2019 By admin

Before you read this page, first go pick up your Bible. Then go to the kitchen and pour yourself a glass of water. Now set the glass filled with water beside your Bible on the table nearest you and begin reading.

A book I enjoy reading is written by Max Lucado titled Come Thirsty. Within its pages, one can hear God calling us, inviting us to come to him as a father calls his dear children. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about God’s love for his people. As we begin our annual Lenten pilgrimage toward Easter, it is appropriate that we ponder how we approach our Father in heaven. It is a time to earnestly study God’s Word and to pray for heightened awareness of God’s presence each day. It is a time to look deep inside our lives in order that we may see ourselves for who we are as sinners, yet also to see ourselves for whose we are, God’s beloved children redeemed by the blood of Christ. Lent is a time when Christians around the world take time to reflect upon God’s mercy and grace. It’s also a time when we are to consider our lives as disciples, loving God with all our heart and loving our neighbor as God loves us. Such is the journey of Lent.

As God’s people, during Lent we are metaphorically traveling the Jerusalem road toward the cross of Good Friday. The cross is where the powers of sin and evil meet the powers of God’s righteousness and mercy. The events of the cross are the focal point of Lent. They bring the powerful message of God’s salvation through the sacrifice of his Son. Yet, weighed down by the burdens of earthly life, we tend to focus more on worldly things and fail to realize the full impact of what Jesus has done to redeem God’s people. Pulled in several directions at a time, life becomes a blur and before we
know it, we have lost touch with our Lord and Savior. In order that you may fully realize God’s awesome power and love in your life, I invite you to “come thirsty.” Come thirsty to worship and join the hearts and voices of your church family, singing praises to God for all he has done and continues to do. Come thirsty to hear the message of God’s deliverance from death to life for all who believe. I invite you to come thirsty for God’s love, to hear his gospel proclaimed and to realize the love he has especially for you. Come thirsty also to our mid-week Lenten services. Enjoy the fellowship we share and hear the message of Jesus’ victory upon the cross. Come thirsty to learn how you too are
called as a disciple of Jesus Christ, empowered and equipped for ministry and sent into the world for the sake of those who are neediest among us.

Finally, I invite you to ponder the Bible and the glass of water set before you. As you open the pages of Holy Scripture, you will be reminded that, in Baptism, God made water to be a sign of his unfailing love and his promise to save his people. Through water and the Word, God washes us clean from the stain of sin and makes us his own.

Commit to worshiping with us during Lent and come thirsty for God’s love. Be refreshed through the water and the Word as we journey toward the cross of Good Friday. It’s there where sin and brokenness meet the powers of God’s love and righteousness, and his goodness and mercy endure forever.

Grace and peace,
Pastor David Nuottila

Up and Going News

Posted February 28, 2019 By admin

Twenty-one members and guests gathered on Feb 14th in the Fellowship Hall to enjoy a Valentine’s Day Party. Lunch was Turkey Stew with lots of trimmings, sandwiches and desserts. Lunch was delicious. Assistant Team Leader Ann lead the business session. Ray gave the devotions on loving and forgiveness and reminded everyone to daily wear our Faith on our sleeves. The program on Spring Gardening was given by Ray, who is a member of the Laurens County Master Gardeners. Each person was given a tomato plant or aloe plant to take home. Many thanks to Ray for an interesting and timely program.

March Meeting will be held on March 14th at 11AM in the Fellowship Hall. Betty Ann is in charge of devotions. Gloria and Joan will direct us in making bows for Easter Hospice Bags. Lunch will be a festival ofsandwiches, trimmings, and desserts. Please bring items to share. A sign up list will be posted.
Helen

It’s Time to Order Easter Lilies

Posted February 28, 2019 By admin

The Altar Guild will once again be accepting orders for Easter Lilies to be placed in the church for our Easter services in honor and/or memory of loved ones. This year the cost per lily will be $12.75 each. If you would like to order a lily, please submit your completed order form AND payment to Brenda or Robin.

The deadline for placing your order is Monday – April 1, 2019. The Altar Guild asks thatyou turn your completed order form and payment in early; NO orders can be accepted after the deadline.

As in the past, each lily will be labeled with the name of the person purchasing the plant.
Please remove YOUR plant (s) from the church following the 9:30AM Easter Service.
The Altar Guild will discard ALL lilies not removed as of Wednesday, April 24, 2019.

5th Family Fun Fellowship

Posted February 28, 2019 By admin

Watch your worship folders for more information on this event. Details have not been confirmed yet.

This is a very important year in the ministry of the Carolinas Mission District and also the North American Lutheran Church. First, the Carolinas Mission District has grown to sufficient size where it is in our best interest to form four smaller mission districts under one mission region. With the proposed structure, NALC congregations in South Carolina will become one mission district. North Carolina will be divided into three districts. Each new district, with their congregations, will comprise the Carolinas Mission Region. It is important that all congregations within the current Carolinas Mission District be represented during the annual convocation. The CMD Convocation will be held at Advent Lutheran Church in N. Charleston on May 17th-18th.
The annual Lutheran Week and Convocation of the NALC will be held from August 5th-9th in Indianapolis, Indiana. This also is a very important convocation in that the NALC will elect a new Presiding Bishop. Bishop John Bradosky is completing his second term and will not be standing for re-election. Delegates will elect a new bishop from a list of candidates nominated by congregations throughout the NALC.

Those who are interested and able to attend either of the convocations should contact Council President
Danny, Pastor David or a member of the church council.

First Communion

Posted February 28, 2019 By admin

Pastor David will be offering First Communion instruction for children whose parents believe their child is ready to begin receiving the Sacrament. One parent or guardian shall attend classes with their child. Classes will be held during the Sunday school period from Sunday, March 24th through Sunday, April 7th. Those participating will celebrate their first Holy Communion on Palm Sunday, April 14th. If you have questions concerning the readiness of your child, or other questions regarding Holy Communion, please contact Pastor David.

Lutheran Women

Posted February 28, 2019 By admin

The Lutheran Women met on Feb. 17th with 11 members present. Discussed: Helping package sausage for LM Sausage sale, assisting if needed on Shrove Tuesday, finalizing plans for our Lenten meal on March 13th, and starting plans for LW Sunday on April 28th. Welcomed new member Ann Slice, so glad to have her join our group. News will be coming next month for our Congregational Meal Fundraiser on May 5th. Our group is looking forward to another good and busy year. We will continue to collect items for We Care. The collection box is located in the Fellowship Hall. If you know of anyone in our church or neighborhood that is in need of help, please let Pastor David or one of our LW members know. Names will be kept confidential.

Giving Statements and Envelops

Posted February 28, 2019 By admin

The 2018 Giving Statements and 2019 Offering Envelopes are currently in the Narthex. All members are encouraged to pick up their statements and envelopes by March 10th, worship service. All remaining statements and envelopes will be located at the church office.

Sunday Sermon Series And Mid Week Lenten Services

Posted February 28, 2019 By admin

Pastor David will preach a sermon series during Lent titled “The Two Roads”. Following lessons from our lectionary, the series will be based on the poem by Robert Frost, “The Road Less Taken”.
Our Mid-week services during Lent will be a presentation of dramatic readings from Sola Publishing: Pilate’s Investigation: Who Is This Jesus? Join us each Wednesday during Lent for an evening meal at 6:15 PM Our Lenten services will follow at 7:00 PM.
Lenten Meals will be held each Wednesday, March 13th until April 10th.
Lenten meals will be provided by the following groups: March 13th—Lutheran Women,
March 20th—Lutheran Men, March 27th—Youth, April 3rd—Church Council, and April 10th—Brandon and Marie.