Pastor Archive

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.

Pastor’s Devotional for the Month

Posted May 1, 2018 By admin

Strengthened through Faith
Acts 15:36 – 16:5, 1 Peter 5:1-14

Everyone faces a time when the best made plans fall apart. Projects seem too daunting, resources don’t add up, or
perhaps we simply cannot rise to the occasion. Barnabas and Paul planned to revisit those churches included in
their first missionary journey. But prior to leaving they had a stark disagreement. At issue was John Mark’s
abandoning them early on. When the going got tough, young John Mark retreated to his home in Jerusalem. Yet this
was not the end for Mark.

As Mark grew in years and experience, he also grew in faith. At the point of our reading today, Barnabas is ready to
offer him another chance. Barnabas took Mark along to Cyprus where he continued his ministry. Later, Mark would
also serve extensively with Peter (1 Peter 5:13). Even Paul would come to rely upon Mark as a servant of the gospel
(Col. 4:10-11).

Mark serves as an example for Christians today. Even in our failures, God strengthens the faithful through the power
of the Holy Spirit. And so we continue in our calling, persevering in faith, ministering to our neighbor, and proclaiming
the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Prayer: Mighty God, strengthen my weaknesses and give me confidence to boldly share the truth of your Son
Jesus Christ. Amen.

Pastor’s Devotional for the Month

Posted April 1, 2018 By admin

John 20:1-18

“Early in the morning while it was still dark.” That is when Mary Magdalene went to visit Jesus’ tomb. It is likely she had no idea what she would do when she got there. The great stone would be blocking the entrance, and the other women who would assist with anointing his body would not arrive for some time. So in the darkness of her grief, Mary would wait, and she would mourn the death of Jesus.

Today, many still live in darkness. Some are lost in grief and time does not bring healing. Others suffer the darkness of loneliness, love escapes them, and relationships seem distant. Still others walk in the darkness of addiction, divorce, anger or neglect. Such is the weight of darkness. It steals away joy from those who cannot escape its grip, and it robs people of hope, casting doubt on the future. Darkness; that is what Mary felt as she made her way to the tomb.

In her darkness, Mary imagined the worst, that Jesus’ body had been stolen. In their darkness, Peter and John believed, but did not understand. It seemed the darkness of Jesus death would only become more intense, and the absence of light and life appeared to lay claim upon their future hope. Only a risen Lord can dispel such darkness.

As the first rays of sunlight pierced the darkness of Jesus’ tomb, the darkness of the grave was overcome. As the great stone was rolled away, death gave way to life. In a moment, the light of the resurrection obliterated the darkness of death. As she cried out in her grief, Jesus uttered one little word that would change her forever. The Lord said “Mary.”

Prayer: O Lord Jesus, call me by name and lift me out of the darkness of sin and into the light of your resurrection. Amen.

From the Pastor’s Heart

Posted April 1, 2018 By admin

Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Luke 24:5-6

Soon, our Lenten journey will reach its conclusion and our prayers for mercy and grace will again include resounding shouts of “Alleluia!” With the Easter celebration the church springs to new life in Christ. If you would like to get a jump start on the Easter season, read the events of Holy Week and then the first Easter. As I do this, a few words quickly come to mind.

The first word is “Surprise!” – Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, women went to Jesus’ tomb only to find the stone rolled away and his body
missing. Inside the tomb, the angel of the Lord told them that indeed, Christ has risen! Imagine their surprise when they witnessed this, and then saw Jesus very much alive. Imagine the surprise of the two disciples who walked with Jesus on the road to Emmaus when they finally recognized the stranger was actually Jesus himself. How many times are we surprised to find Jesus in our midst? How many times have we experienced a moment of God’s grace and seen the face of our Lord through the actions of others? Easter is a time of such surprises and grace filled moments, especially as we seek to spread the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ to the entire world.

Next is “Joy.” To say those who witnessed his resurrection were suddenly overcome with great Joy is perhaps the greatest understatement ever made. It is impossible for us to imagine the events of Holy Week with all of their extreme grief and sorrow. It would stand to
reason that we also could not imagine the joy the disciples and friends of Jesus felt once they realized he had been raised for the dead. The immense joy and power of Christ’s resurrection changed the lives of the disciples and followers of Jesus forever. Even though we too know the sorrow of death at the passing of a loved one, this same Easter joy is ours as well. The Easter celebration and the good news of Jesus’ resurrection give the church
reassurance that God has redeemed his people, and we are also changed forever. Saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ Jesus, we are inheritors of eternal life in God’s kingdom. The grave no longer has the final word. This is the good news to be shared.

The third word is “Renewal.” – On that first Easter Sunday, when it was evening, Jesus appeared to the remaining eleven and opened their hearts and minds to understand the scriptures. He empowered them to be witnesses to all that he had said and done. Suddenly, being fishers of men took on new meaning. During Easter, we too can renew our commitment to follow Christ. Easter is the perfect time to recommit ourselves for mission and ministry. It is a good time for those who have gotten out of the habit of weekly worship to once again join the Sunday assembly in praise and thanksgiving. Easter is also a great time to rededicate ourselves in our life of discipleship, to support the mission of the church, to give generously in ministry to those less fortunate, and to join the church in prayer for our world and all who are in need.

I look forward to sharing the joy of this Easter season with you. I also look forward to renewing our efforts to follow Christ to those places the Holy Spirit leads us. Who knows what blessings God has in store for us as we continue to share the good news? Who knows the joy we will find? The answers to these questions and many more will certainly be yet another Easter surprise.
Grace and peace,
Pastor David Nuottila

St. Jacob’s Lutheran Church Congregational

Posted March 22, 2018 By admin

Council noted Good Things at St. Jacob’s this past month included that the Lenten meals went great, worship services have been very good, the improved and revamped church bulletin is a great new change, youth choir has been successful thus far and the Gideon offering was very generous.

Ministry Teams- Thank you to those that submitted monthly reports. A few highlights of the monthly reports are included below.

Staff Support- Members have been selected for the Mutual Ministry Team and they plan on meeting with Pastor David in the near future. St. Jacob’s job (Christian Education Director / Youth Minister) opening/description has been officially posted. The staff birthdays of Bryan Metze and Sherry Floyd were recognized.

Spiritual Life- Robin Lindler has prepared announcements and order forms for Easter Lilies. The storage cabinets in the Sacristy and the Worship and Music cabinets have been re-arranged and organized. Altar Guild is meeting with Pastor David on March 11, 2018. Ash Wednesday Service was planned. Laurie Lackey is working with Pastor David to plan and
prepare for Holy Week and Easter. A parent or youth assistant is needed for Children’s choir every Sunday morning at 9:15am. Sandra Brown meet with all Team Leaders, which would be affected by changes, met to discuss revamping the church teams. It was a very productive meeting. Thank you to everyone that helped with the Lenten meals. They were all covered and very successful. A special thanks to John Wallace family for graciously providing GREAT food from “The Mellow Mushroom” to our church! A reminder to keep team members advised on the condition and needs of those on the prayer list.

Short Term- A March 17, 2018 audit is planned on the church and youth treasure books. Robert Lindler met to communicate with all team leaders by March 31, 2018 to discuss various changes to the Ministry Teams. Council approved for Robert to draft these changes to the Constitution/Bylaws were reviewed for approval by Church Council. and approved.

Witness- St.Jacob’s appeared in “The Lake Murray Times” in their February edition. Planning is taking place for the spring yard cleaning with the St.Jacob’s Youth.

Parish Life- Fund raising is taking place for the Youth BBQ on March 17, 2018. Up and Going meet on February 9, 2018 and traveled to Brooklyn Banquet Facility in West Columbia for a seafood buffet. They also enjoyed “Free Friday” at the Riverbanks Zoo and the judging of the “Orchid Show” at the Botanical Gardens. Special thanks to Gerald Lindler for driving the bus! Hospice Easter bags will be prepared in March. Lutheran Women have planned an Easter Egg Hunt for the morning of March 31, 2018. Plans are being made for the Mother/Daughter Tea on June 23rd at 4pm. A congregational meal fundraiser is planned for May 6, 2018.

Support of Ministries- Total membership is 360 as of 03/05/2018

From the Pastor’s Heart

Posted February 26, 2018 By admin

[The LORD said] “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the
seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God.” Exodus 20:8-10

The world is a busy, noisy place filled with people at work and play. Our culture is one in which we try to fill every moment with the sights and sounds of modern day life. There is so much to choose from, so much to do, and so little time. The “other” gods of the world demand our precious time and we have to work longer and harder to make enough money to appease them.

The rhythm and pace of life today drives us to unhealthy habits of eating fast food (The defendant will rise), neglecting our families, (Guilty as charged), and not getting the rest needed to rejuvenate our bodies. (Bailiff, take him away!)

The world is so busy and distracted, that the voices of competition, success, selfishness, pride and pleasure deafen our ears while filling our hearts and minds with earthly troubles. But as God’s people grow quiet and still, we hear yet another voice. We hear that whispering voice that calls out to us. As we listen even closer, we hear the voice of God.

If we can only break out of the fast paced cycle of life set by “other gods” we will soon find that it is the one true God who truly establishes the rhythm of life. God blesses his people with all we need. He allows six days for work and gives the seventh for rest, worship, and prayer.

According to Luther’s Small Catechism, we are to fear, love, and trust in God, so that we may be rested and refreshed; not only by our taking time away from unnecessary work, but especially by gathering with the people of God to worship, pray, to hear God’s Word as it is preached and to receive the Sacrament of the Altar which is Holy Communion. Remembering the Sabbath begins with God’s people gathering as a community. We celebrate the love that God so freely gives to the world. Remembering the Sabbath day means we acknowledge God is the source of our very lives and livelihood. Keeping it holy means we gather with the saints for worship and thanksgiving.

As we consider this commandment, remember to pray for those who are under stress from overwork, sleepless nights, and driven by the urgency of a fallen and broken world. Pray for those who continually choose earthly pleasure over giving
thanks to the one who makes them possible. Pray for the ones who feel lost and have no one to turn to and for anyone who might feel abandoned, neglected or afraid. Pray for our church family, that we might continue to listen to God’s call for us as a community of believers who are working and living together in the peace of Christ. And finally, pray that for one day in seven, all may find peace and rest, so that we may also hear the whispering voice of God calling all people unto himself, that we may refresh ourselves by drinking from the living water of Christ Jesus, abiding in his Word and sharing the gospel wherever they may go.

Here in the midst of our Lenten journey, we have the opportunity to renew our commitment to striving toward keeping God’s Ten Commandments, especially toward our commitment to weekly worship and keeping the Sabbath holy. Let this be our prayer throughout these forty days.

Grace and peace,

     Pastor David Nuottila

Vacation Bible School

Posted February 26, 2018 By admin

Are you making Summer plans? All of us need time away from our routine to refresh and recharge! It is the
same for our faith life! Doing more than the routine can really ignite our spiritual walk with the Lord, especially with
the young Christians. Plans for Vacation Bible School at St. Jacob’s will soon be underway. Please: 1) Pray for the
attendees and the leaders, 2) Prayerfully consider serving as part of the VBS team, 3) Mark your calendars for July
15-19 for VBS, and 4) Watch your worship folder for more details.

First Communion Instruction

Posted February 26, 2018 By admin

First Communion instruction for those children in our congregation who do
not yet commune, but whose parents feel they are ready to begin receiving the sacrament. Parents who feel their
child is ready should contact Pastor David. First Communion instruction will be held in the Purple classroom each
Sunday morning from March 4 -18, 9-9:20 a.m. Children participating will receive their first communion on Palm Sunday,
March 25.

WONDERFUL WEDNESDAYS

Posted February 26, 2018 By admin

On Wednesday evenings at 7 PM or following Lenten Vespers Service,
Pastor David is providing the opportunity to explore Jesus’ call for his people to be and make disciples.

TUESDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY

Posted February 26, 2018 By admin

On Tuesday mornings at 10:30 AM in the fellowship hall, Pastor David is
having Bible Study. Bring your Bible so we can learn, discuss, and share our faith while reading God’s Word together.