Outreach Archive

From the Pastor’s Heart

Posted November 1, 2018 By admin

It’s hard to believe it’s already time to write my article for the November newsletter.  Today, it’s raining, strong winds are blowing, and tropical storm Michael just deposited a tree in my driveway.  I am also  preparing to go on vacation tomorrow (Oct. 12) but truth be told, my mind is on our shared ministry in  November.  This is a busy time for the Church, and November is a month filled with opportunities to serve God and His people.

Think about it.  We begin November as a church family celebrating the Sunday of All Saints.  We remember fondly those beloved saints who have gone on to glory before us.  It is a special time for Christians as we  reflect upon the lesson taught to us by so many faithful followers of Christ Jesus.  It’s also a time for us to consider the ways we serve our Lord as well.  Then, a few weeks later, we conclude the month in celebration of Christ our King, a time to reflect upon the ways our Lord makes His grace known throughout the seasons of the Church.

Sandwiched in between these two festivals, there are so many other things that beg for our attention.  There are elections of  government officials and football rivalries to enjoy.  And don’t forget setting time aside to enjoy the annual Thanksgiving feast!  All of these beg the question, “How do we juggle the demands of our daily life and our life as a disciple of Christ Jesus?  It seems something has got to give.

Sadly, all too often it is the church that takes a back seat.  As life gets busier and busier, we know and  understand that we must cut back.  Each of our  activities is important to us, and we hate to miss out.  But God calls his people to be disciples first and above all else.  This is where All saints Sunday and Christ the King intersect.  Remembering the saints who taught us the faith, we strive to follow the example of Christ our King.  Doing this, we follow the faithful examples of those saints who have died and now live in Christ’s glory.  One such person in my life was my  Grandma Bea.

Grandma Bea was a leader in the community in which I grew up.  She was the first woman ever  elected to our town’s council.  She was also  chairwoman of the Northville Beautification Society, and the founder of the Northville Business and  Professional Women’s League (some of you may have noticed her B.P.W. placard on my desk).  Somewhere in all that, Grandma found time to put up preserves and vegetables, care for her many  grandchildren, bake wonderful bread and volunteer with the Red Cross.  I don’t know how she managed to do all of this.  I do know, however, that she never missed a Sunday in church, she was a generous giver with her tithes, and always took time to tell others of the wonderful things God has done and  continues to do.

This November, I invite you to remember the saints who have gone before us and follow their many examples of faithful living.  There is much to do here at  St. Jacob’s, many ways of being a part of our ministry together.  Above all else, remember to attend worship each Sunday and give thanks to the One who provides all we need, and whose mercy and grace endure forever.

Grace to you and peace,

Pastor David Nuottila

Pastoral Devotion for November

Posted November 1, 2018 By admin

Christ the King

For just a few seconds, close your eyes and relax. Get comfortable, clear your mind and imagine seeing Jesus. Imagine actually seeing his face, imagine being there with him. What image did you see? Did you see him as a baby born in Bethlehem? How about as a shepherd, or blessing little children? These are often the images we see of Jesus in our mind. Such images provide us with popular metaphors associated with Christ. Jesus our friend, Jesus our brother, Jesus our comforter. We learn to see Jesus as the one who walks with us and talks with us.

I would imagine that few if any saw Jesus as King. Kings aren’t normal images for too many folks these days. In folklore, Kings wore long purple robes and golden crowns. Today’s kings mostly wear suits and look like presidents, or wear military uniforms and look like soldiers. Jesus doesn’t fit these descriptions. He doesn’t wear gold around His neck or rings on His fingers. He doesn’t wear a suit and certainly not army fatigues.

I’m curious, when you imagined seeing Jesus, how many saw a man beaten to within an inch of his life, his outstretched hands nailed to a cross beam and gasping for breath with bystanders mocking and taunting him? Oh…and as for his crown? Thorns, sharp and pointed; digging into his forehead. When a few finally recognized Jesus as King, this is the image they had before them. Yet, in this image we see the glory of our King Jesus.

Jesus came to earth to save His people from sin. He came to rescue those who believe in Him from eternal death. In the stripes of His wounds runs the blood from which we are saved. From His dying words, “It is finished” we have the proclamation that Christ has won the victory, God and creation are reconciled through His innocent death on the cross.

So once again I invite you to close your eyes, picture Jesus in your mind. What do you see? Yeah, me too. I see the babe of Bethlehem, the Good Shepherd and the one who feeds the hungry and cures the sick. But that’s ok, that’s who Jesus is as well. And next week Matthew will begin telling us the story in his words; the story of Christ our King.

Thanks from The Lutheran Women

Posted October 31, 2018 By admin

The Lutheran Women would like to thank all of you for your generous support for our Congregational Luncheon Fund Raiser on Sunday, September 23. It was such a big success. The total raised was $2,053. God bless all of you for your continuing support throughout the year. Without your help, our group could not help those in need. We have had a great year and have put smiles on many faces. We will also be helping some families at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Thank you and God bless,
Phyllis, President

Children’s Christmas Program

Posted October 31, 2018 By admin

This year’s Children’s Christmas Program will be Sunday, December 16 at 6 pm with a short reception following the performance.
The program, “O Come Let Us Adore Him”, is based on the hymn “O Come, All Ye Faithful.”
All children from kindergarten through 5th grade are invited to participate.
Practices will be on the following Sundays from 4 – 4:45 (immediately after Children’s Choir rehearsal): November 11th & 18th and December 2nd & 9th, with a dress rehearsal on Saturday, December 15th at 10 am.
Adult volunteers are also needed; please contact Angela or Laurie if you would be willing to assist us with this program. The deadline is to let us know is November 4th if your child(ren) will be participating; it will help us greatly in our
preparations for the first practice.

NALC Disaster Response

Posted October 31, 2018 By admin

With the ongoing recovery from Hurricane Florence and now the recovery efforts from Hurricane Matthew, there is an urgent need for disaster response items. As we are able, St. Jacob’s should help meet the needs of others just as we would hope our neighbors would come to our aid. Our congregation’s focus is on three items for recovery; flood buckets, health kits and cases of bottled water. Please provide these items as you are able. We can store them on the stage in the fellowship hall and then deliver them to St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Lexington. If you are not able to put together a flood bucket or health kit, you may donate a gift card from either Lowes or Home Depot. Gift cards can be dropped off in the church office or placed in the offering plate on Sunday.

 

Click here for the Current NALC Flood and Health Bucket contents list.

 

Lutheran Men

Posted October 31, 2018 By admin

Our next meeting will be Sunday, November 18 at 6 PM in the Fellowship Hall. Ken has devotions.  Our cooks will be Eddie, Ken Smith, and Don. Also, don’t forget following the Thanksgiving Eve Service to bring your cakes or wrapped cakes slices and meet the Lutheran Men in the fellowship hall to prepare the cakes to be taken to the HUB so families in our community can have a Thanksgiving Meal.

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.