From the Pastor’s Heart

Posted July 1, 2018 By admin

And [Jesus] said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” Mark 4:21-23

At the onset of my seminary instruction, I wasn’t accustomed to leading the liturgy during worship. I’ve never been a musician and to this day I do not read music or play any sort of instrument. Still, I dearly love leading the congregation through the sacred music of liturgy. Yet, in the beginning such was not the case.The first time I was scheduled to intone the liturgy, my supervising pastor suggested that I run through everything a few times with our music director. Since this particular congregation had lay members who served as assisting ministers, this was a normal occurrence, so off to the music director’s office I went.

Following a few vocal warm ups, the organist played the piano as I sang rather quietly through the six verses of Psalm 1. Truthfully, I needed to work at overcoming my self-perceived lack of ability. Tom helped build my confidence; he encouraged me and made me work through my fears. It wasn’t long until I rather robustly sang out the entire Kyrie and Hymn of Praise in the solitude of
his office. I was feeling much better about my task for the morning and decided to tackle the Psalm one more time before practice was over. After singing the Psalm one last time, my supervising pastor bolted into the room and asked if I would please turn off my wireless microphone. Little did I know that, for about fifteen minutes I had been serenading the group gathered for prayer in the
church Nave.

As I look back on this event, I realize, had I known the microphone was switched on I would not have made such a public display. Rather, I would have quickly switched it off and sheepishly got on with my practice. Instead, I was able to boldly share the good news of God’s saving grace. Even if my voice is not on par with those of qualified musicians and vocalists, there could be no denying that the power of God’s grace through his Son Jesus Christ was heard. Jesus asks his disciples, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand?” Certainly not! God blesses the Church with the most precious treasure there is, the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Each baptized child of God is therefore called to give witness to the wonders of God’s mercy and grace by sharing this gift with the world. Within the baptismal rite of the Lutheran Church, we quote Jesus’ words when we exhort the newly baptized to “Let your light shine before others
so they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

In a world fallen into sin and broken beyond human repair, the only hope for salvation comes through Christ and believing that through him, God indeed keeps his promises. Jesus of Nazareth is light and life for the world. Baptized into his death and resurrection, the light of Christ dwells within God’s people. Jesus calls each of his children to share their faith, to be of loving service to their neighbor and to proclaim the power of God’s saving grace. My prayer is that you won’t be timid in doing so. Be bold! Overcome the fears of speaking the truth of Jesus with others, realizing that you are enabled with the gift given through the Holy Spirit of God. If you don’t know how, or you feel you lack the ability, come see me and just as Tom helped me, I’ll help you work through your doubts. In Baptism, the light of your faith is ignited. Shine your light so that through the darkness of the world, all may finally see the glory of the Father and at last enter the gates of our eternal home.

Grace to you and peace,

Pastor David Nuottila

Pastoral Devotion for July

Posted July 1, 2018 By admin

Jesus Said “Go!” Read – Matthew 28:16-20
When we hear our Lord give the Great Commission, we understand finally that our response to Christ’s resurrection is to go into the world and tell others the good news of God’s salvation. Most Christians can quote this passage from memory; those who cannot certainly know where to find it in the Bible. But when congregations hear Christ’s command, the reaction can be varied.

As the remaining disciples gathered on the mountain with Jesus, Matthew tells us they worshiped him, but some doubted. Rest assured, the same condition exists within the Church today. Jesus says, “Go.” Yet, some doubt they are strong enough in their faith. Others doubt they have the necessary knowledge of the scriptures. Still others feel they lack the training and skill needed to make disciples. All this said, the command given by Jesus stands. Our Lord says, “Go.”

As followers of Christ, we are to go into the world teaching all Christ commanded. The good news is that we do not go alone. Jesus is with us just as he was with the apostles so long ago. Finally, doubt and fear are overcome with faith and love. Christ said “Go.” And so we go, remembering Christ is with us even to the end of the age. Prayer: Lord Jesus, overcome our doubts and help us live in your peace and presence. Amen.

From Pastor David Nuottila’s blog In the Beginning http://in-the-beginning.org

Carolinas Mission District Convocation

Posted June 26, 2018 By admin

Worship and Music News

Posted June 26, 2018 By admin

Wow! The response to “Pick a Hymn” for the choir anthem during June, July and August has been fabulous. We have over 50 hymns in the box. Several of the hymns were put in by more than one person. Some are newer hymns that were first introduced in the With One Voice hymnal, and some are old Gospel favorites, which just goes to show you that good music is good music no matter its age!

Now obviously, there aren’t 50 Sundays between now and the end of August, but the list of favorites that we are building will help us in selecting hymns for future services; either as beginning, sermon and closing hymns or as Congregational hymns. This list also gives me a starting point for choosing choir anthems. There are a few of the hymns that we are not allowed to print words or music in the bulletin because of copyright laws, but there is sure to be an arrangement out there for our choir to sing.
Meanwhile, keep those favorites coming – we’ll leave the box in the Narthex through the last Sunday of July, so there’s still time to put your favorite (s) in there. A quick update on Children’s Choir practice for the summer; we will continue to meet before Sunday School in the Nave but will suspend the Sunday afternoon practices until after Labor Day. We do still plan on singing the Sunday following VBS (July 22nd), but the songs will be learned during VBS week and ALL children will be encouraged to participate, regardless of what grade they’re in. I look forward to seeing you
there!
Soli Deo Gloria,
Laurie

5TH SUNDAY FAMILY FUN FELLOWSHIP

Posted June 26, 2018 By admin

At 4 PM on Sunday, July 29, we will have a teach me to how to paint class by Nicki. This event is limited to the first 15 people to sign up. A sign up sheet has been placed on the bulletin
board in the Narthex.

LEMONADE FELLOWSHIP

Posted June 26, 2018 By admin

Join us on Sunday, July 1 immediately following the service for our lemonade time in the Fellowship Hall.

SUMMER SERMON SERIES

Posted June 26, 2018 By admin

This Summer we will have a series based on the Ten Commandments. We will be taking a close look upon God’s expectations for His people, and the commandments that define God’s relationship with those who are saved by grace through faith in Christ.

SAVE THE DATE – SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13

Posted June 26, 2018 By admin

The Stewardship Team is planning a Yard Sale again this year. One person’s junk is another person’s treasure. I’m sure you’ve heard that before, so ask yourself: “Have I cooked with it, worn it, displayed it, used it or read it within the last year?” If your answer is NO and the item is still in pretty good condition, then donate it to our yard sale.
Begin your spring cleaning now and donate those gently used items for our sale: clothing, books, house wares, dishes, glassware, furniture, and operable lawn equipment, but PLEASE no televisions, computers, printers or computer related items.
You may bring your items to the church and place them inthe office garage.

Invite Your One

Posted June 26, 2018 By admin

A study done several years ago of Christians and evangelism found that Christians who attend worship regularly within main line denominational churches seldom invite others to worship with them. Some surveys indicate the average Lutheran Church member invites only 1.2 people to worship in their lifetime.
One of the Core Values of the North American Lutheran Church is to be a mission driven church. Being mission driven means many things. One of these is that we are a church committed to sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. One of the simplest and most effective ways to do this is to invite friends and neighbors to worship with us.
During the summer months, Pastor David is challenging each church family member to invite at least one person per month to worship with us. It can be someone you have known for a long time, someone you recently met, or perhaps even a stranger who was in line ahead of you at the market. Whoever it is, invite them. But don’t be discouraged if they don’t come, just keep inviting. Invite your one, and share the good news!

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”

Posted June 26, 2018 By admin

I am so happy that so many members of our St. Jacob’s family have supported me in my mission to the people of the Congo. I know this is not something that you have been dreaming of, but it is a dream come true for me that those whom I serve as pastor are willing to serve God’s people in such a far-off place. Truly, my heart is warmed by the love you show to people whom you will likely never meet.
The Congo Mission is one that requires a continuous fund-raising effort. As my mission partner, Pastor Stéphane Kalonji’s, September trip to Congo draws near, funding is at the forefront. In the years I do not travel to Congo, my task is to ensure ministry is carried out in the regions that are not safe for me to travel. I have met many of the Congolese pastors from these regions, and
they all are so appreciative of the support they receive from NALC congregations.
In an effort to raise awareness and travel funds for Pastor Kalonji, I am putting together a small team to host a Congo Mission Dinner scheduled for August 4th at 7:00 p.m. Members from surrounding NALC congregations will be invited along with all members of our church family. Please keep an eye on the worship bulletin announcements for more details.

Pastor David Nuottila