Pastor Archive

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

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.

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

From the Pastor’s Heart

Posted June 1, 2018 By admin

Many folks express a common concern when it comes to church worship attendance. “How can we grow in number?” “What can we do to attract new members?” These are two frequently asked questions. They are very good questions, but it seems that so often we struggle with the answers. Could it be our focus is misplaced? Or Perhaps our definition of evangelism needs clarification. It could be our hopes and expectations are what need to be re-aligned rather than our focus on membership rolls.

It goes without saying that as we welcome visitors among us on Sunday morning, our worship is enhanced and we are glad they are here. Wouldn’t it be great if we saw several new faces among us each week? In that light, perhaps it’s time we roll up our sleeves and get back to the basics. After all, it’s not just that we want more people to worship with us. Rather, we have a wonderful gift that we are called to share; the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Before we can grow the church, we must first learn to grow as disciples. We must learn that living within our baptismal covenant with God means loving God with all our heart, and loving one another as we are loved. We need to come to the house of the Lord for worship, prayer and fellowship. Living together in Christ means enjoying the gifts we all bring to those gathered in this place and beyond. It means sharing our mutual joys and celebrations, grieving together in our losses, and experiencing life together. God calls his people to lives of faith, love and service towards their neighbors. These sound simple, but the reality is that most congregations struggle with the aspects of discipleship. Certainly, we have room for spiritual growth.

The life we present to the world makes a difference. All too often, the un-churched look upon Christians and see no appreciable difference in the way they live their lives. Too many Christians continue to live according to a worldly standard. Jesus, however, calls his disciples to live for God alone, loving and serving as Christ loved and served. The world is filled with people searching for hope, peace and love in their lives. Such hope is made sure and certain through Christ, and seen through the Church at worship, in the community and in the mission of God according to the gospel. Such hope is shared by those who know Christ as Lord and God. Such is the life Christians are called to live. In short, we need to study God’s Word earnestly and learn to apply it to every aspect of our lives.

Sharing faith and God’s love is what brings people into the community of believers. When the un-churched see the people of God living differently, they are provided a vision of hope for a life filled with God’s blessing. The real evidence that we are doing the work of evangelism comes when the life we live as Christians looks less like a fallen and broken world, and more like a community of faith, a com-munity inviting others to come and see the goodness of God.

The evangelizing Church is one that grows in faith and love. It is filled with disciples, not members. Growing together in faith and our calling as disciples will most certainly strengthen our ministries. My prayer is that we are faithful disciples, serving as Christ served. In order to do that, we must first grow in faith and learn to share our many blessings with others.

Grace and peace,

Pastor David Nuottila

Summer Sermon Series

Posted May 30, 2018 By admin

On Sunday, June 3, Pastor David will begin a summer sermon series based on the Ten Commandments. Join us for worship this summer as we take 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.

From the Pastor

Posted May 30, 2018 By admin

One of the things I enjoy most about being at St. Jacob’s is that our congregation has a very high regard for the sacraments. Holy Baptism and Holy Communion are the means through which God personally, physically and spiritually imparts His grace upon us. I am a bit concerned; however, at the amount of consecrated wine that seems to be wasted each week. Most members probably don’t realize it, but the majority of wine used each week is poured out, especially on days we serve by intinction. This is due to the size and shape of our chalices. But even on days we serve by individual cups, there is still too much wine left over.

Jesus says of the bread and wine, “This is my body…this is my blood.” Therefore, we are bound by faith to handle these elements with the utmost care and reverence. I have been working with members of the Altar Guild to address the problem of wastefulness. We have discussed simple modifications to the way we dispense the bread and wine. I believe that soon we should be practicing better stewardship of the communion elements.

Vacation Bible School

Posted May 30, 2018 By admin

GAME ON is scheduled for July 15-19. We invite your kids to grab their megaphones, lace up their cleats, and tune up their instruments. As they fill up the offensive line, sideline, and drum line, your players, cheerleaders, and band members will realize God has given them His ultimate playbook. He wants them to join His team, train hard, celebrate salvation, and encourage one another. Get in the spirit with Game On – Gearing Up for Life’s Big Game!

(2 Peter 1:3) Adults don’t forget we will also be having classes for you too, so Game On.

Coffee Talk

Posted May 30, 2018 By admin

As a means for communication and information, once per quarter, Pastor David, will be sharing thoughts and insights with our church family, and answering a few questions along the way. This “Coffee Talk” will take place during our coffee hour every third month. Following the worship service on June 3 make plans to attend. The session will last about 30 minutes in the fellowship hall.

New Bible Study Upcoming

Posted May 1, 2018 By admin

Pastor David will be conducting (two) six-week study sessions on The Lord’s Prayer beginning May 9.

This is a study you will really want to engage in so mark your calendars.

Wednesday Morning Bible Study will be at 9:30 AM in the fellowship hall.

Wednesday Evening Bible Study will be at 6:30 PM in the church office.