Outreach Archive

From the Pastor’s Heart

Posted July 31, 2018 By admin

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink
his blood, you have no life in you. John 6:53

Each week, as a family of faith, we gather in worship around God’s Word and Sacraments. The Word is the gospel through which faith is passed along. The
Sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion are the means by which God imparts His grace through faith. Simply put, we receive the good news of Christ in our hearing, and then we receive the benefits of this good news through water, bread and wine connected to God’s promise of salvation.

As sinners, we are not worthy to gather in God’s house on our own. We do not deserve to come to His table of grace as a result of our own actions. Yet, thanks be to God, we are made worthy through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus. The Holy Spirit sanctifies us through the blood of Christ, extends
forgiveness of sin and nourishes our faith through Christ’s very body and blood.
Realizing this, the hearts of Christians are filled with joy as we partake of this heavenly food. Still, there is a disturbing trend that has emerged within the Christian Church.

As congregations gather, we do so as people who have busy lives and full schedules. We are also a part of a society that seeks fulfillment in earthly endeavors. We compartmentalize nearly all aspects of life and fit those into convenient blocks so as one will not encroach upon another. When one activity spills over into the next, something must give, and so we move on. It even happens in worship on Sunday morning.

Over the years, I have noticed more and more
Christians leave worship immediately following their receiving Holy Communion. Other pastors have
encountered this same behavior. For me, this points to two things. The first is that worship was not the highest priority for the day. The second is that there is a lack of understanding of the Eucharistic movement in worship.
On the heels of our sermon series of the Ten
Commandments, we will recall that God said, “Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.” God
provides one day in seven for His people to rest from their labors and to be refreshed by His Word of grace. As humans, we need this time apart from earthly demands. As sinners, we need this time for repentance, confession, absolution and renewal. To rest in the Word and promise of God is to forsake earthly timetables and gather with the faithful to be strengthened by God and through one another.

The Eucharistic movement within our
service beckons us to follow our Lord’s
invitation to the table and receive the feast of forgiveness and life. As invited guests, we should come with great reverence and respect for Christ our host. We enjoy the company of fellow Christians saved through the sacrifice of our Lord and
Savior, tasting His goodness and basking in His mercy and love. To suddenly get up from the table and leave before the meal has ended robs worshipers of hearing the blessing of Christ and the benediction (good words) our Lord rains over His
children. Just as we desire for guests at our table to remain and enjoy the benefits of our friendship, God enjoys the fellowship of His people as they remain until all are fed and blessed with His love.

The human may say these are just words, but the sinner longs to hear this blessing for it is music to a sin-sick soul. My prayer is that we all enjoy the meal of God’s grace together. Gathered as a family of faith, I pray we savor the joy of our life together and share in the blessing of our Lord’s love for His
children.

Grace to you and peace,

Pastor David Nuottila

Following Christ

Posted July 31, 2018 By admin

Matthew 16:21-28

I am sure most people have played “Follow the Leader.” It is a simple game, but it can become quite complicated if the leader heads in a direction the rest of the players do not want to go. Would you follow the leader if he walked along the edge of a steep cliff? Seeing such a path filled with extreme challenges is a stumbling block, especially if following the leader means giving up all you have and heading to Jerusalem to be killed for the sake of others. But that is exactly what Jesus did and he calls people to follow him along this same path.

Jesus says, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Our Lord calls his people to be living sacrifices, unselfishly denying ourselves, placing the needs of others ahead of our own. Only when we do this can we truly say we are following our leader.

There are many false leaders in this world. They sway would-be followers making empty promises not ever intended to be kept. These imposters cannot forgive sins, heal our infirmities, or grant us everlasting life. Following Jesus brings forgiveness and grace. Trusting in him only opens the gates of heaven to all who believe.

Prayer: Holy God, help us to follow your Son as he leads us along the path of righteousness. Amen.

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

Congo Mission Fundraising Dinner

Posted July 31, 2018 By admin

Congo Mission International is a ministry led by Pastor David Nuottila and his mission partner Pastor Stéphane Kalonji – St. Paul Lutheran Church in Rosenberg, Texas. Our mission is to fulfill Christ’s Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20) as we minister to the people of Congo, DRC.

Congo Mission International provides:
Theological training for pastors and lay leaders.
Christian education seminars for women, young adults and youth.
Food for orphaned children in the care of the C.E.L.C.CO. (Lutheran Church of Congo)
Support for the Farming Project in the Bas-Congo region.
Special attention is given to “freeing” babies detained in hospitals due to the inability of the parents to pay the fees.

St. Jacob’s will host a fund-raising dinner on Saturday, August 4th beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available for a $20.00
donation for adults with children 18 and under eating free. You may purchase tickets from Davis Brown, Gerald Lindler, Don Dease, Pastor David or through the church office. Please plan to attend and invite your friends and neighbors as we celebrate our mission work in The Congo.

Congo Mission

Posted July 31, 2018 By admin


Join in on our upcoming Homecoming celebration.

The Reverend Dr. David Wendel will be our Guest Pastor during Worship!

Our Homecoming meal will follow the worship service. Bring your favorite side dish and dessert. BBQ, fried chicken and tea will be provided.

Join us as we celebrate our first homecoming with Pastor Nuottila and family!

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Lutheran Men News

Posted July 31, 2018 By admin

Our next meeting will be Sunday, August 19th at 6 PM in the
Fellowship Hall. Danny has the devotions. Cooks for this meeting are Lynn, Danny, and Robert.

Lutheran Women News

Posted July 31, 2018 By admin

We are planning a Social for August 19th. Please watch your worship folder for more information. Also, don’t forget your items for We Care. Thanks!
Phyllis, Leader

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

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