Pastor Archive

Pastoral Devotion for December

Posted December 1, 2018 By admin

Read John 1:1-14

Since the beginning, light has been a sign of life and hope. As God spoke, light burst forth and shattered the darkness. Throughout John’s account of the gospel of Christ, a theme of darkness and light winds its way through each chapter.

Imagine the first Christmas morning, the first hint of sunlight breaking through the dawn of a new day. Its warm rays illumine the form of the new family; the father and mother huddled close, gazing upon their child born during the night. Those first beams of light shine upon the child who is wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Yet even brilliant rays of sunlight cannot compare to the splendor of his radiance. For this child is light for the world.

In these days of uncertainty, in the midst of doubt and fear, darkness often falls upon the human family. Yet, through the babe born unto Mary and Joseph, light shines. In Christ there is hope; in him there is peace, through him only is light, and the light is life for all people.

In the beginning, God said, “Let there be light.” Today, this same light shines in the hearts of God’s people, a light that no darkness can overcome. Ours is to testify to the light of Christ. Through him only, is there hope for life without end.

Prayer: We thank you, O God, for the light that shatters the darkness, the light of your Christ. Amen.

Married Couples Retreat

Posted November 27, 2018 By admin

If you have been wondering about attending our Married Couples Retreat but thought you missed the deadline you are in luck. There is still time to get your name on the list and reserve your place. This retreat will offer time for married couples to relax at a beautiful camp along the beach while learning more about God’s blessings in marriage. The retreat will begin at 7:00 pm. Friday, January 25th and continue through 11:00 am. Sunday, January 27th. Participants may check-in on Friday as early as 3:00 p.m. and enjoy some of the sights and sounds of the Carolina coast. Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday is included, as well as supper on Saturday evening. Supper on Friday and lunch on Saturday are on your own. Registration fee is $300.00 per couple. Registration forms are available in the Narthex. Please contact Pastor David Nuottila if you have any questions.

Pastor David and Angela are hosting a Christmas party for the children’s choir and Christmas program participants. We will gather in the fellowship hall after rehearsal on December 9th. All those participating in the Christmas program please join us for pizza, cookie decorating and Christmas fun.

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.

Council noted Good Things at St. Jacob’s this month included that the October fest was a big success. Everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy the German food that was prepared. The congregational meeting on September 30th went well. St. Jacob’s looks forward to bringing on a new Director of Youth and Family Ministries. The Youth choir is doing an excellent job under the direction of Angela and Laurie. They make a dynamic team and the children are singing so well! A special thank you is extended to Angela and Laurie for your continued work with the newly formed Youth Choir.

Pastor Report- Pastor David noted that South Carolina is now the largest (46 congregations) geographic area in the
NALC. South Carolina will elect its own Dean and each region will have their own Dean. Pastor commented that by
dividing into more regions this will reduce the Bishop’s travel during the year.

Pastor David was very pleased with October fest and hopes to continue this annual tradition at St. Jacob’s.

Pastor David would like to create a Disaster Response protocol for St. Jacob’s. This would require the church to gather materials to get to the various staging areas after catastrophic damage. The Disaster Relief Coordinator for the NALC is Ms. Mary Bates.

Staff Support- The Staff Support Team is advertising the position for Director of Youth and Family Ministries. The position is also listed on the St. Jacob’s website.

Spiritual Life- The donation from the Altar Guild for new communion ware was approved by Council. These new items were ordered from “CM Almy” and St. Jacob’s looks forward to the use of these new and improved pouring chalices
and flagon.

Short Term- Council approved that the settlement we receive for our damaged parking lot from SCE&G, be earmarked for the specific purpose of repairing and paving our parking lot in the future.
Parish Life- The Up and Going Group made their annual Apple Run trip on September 26, 2018. The group visited “Lyda Farms” in Hendersonville, NC. Lyda Farms is a 5th generation family farm that has been locally growing fruits and vegetables for 60 years. The St. Jacob’s Up and Going group enjoyed purchasing apples, cabbage, tomatoes and other goodies. A big thank you to Gerald Lindler for driving the group and helping unload all their many purchases!Support of

Ministries- Cemetery Team needs to schedule a work day for cemetery work. The volunteer turn-out for this specific work day needs to be excellent in order to accomplish all of the work that needs to be completed.

Statistical information- 356 total membership as of 10/10/2018

Advertising has aggressively started for the Director of Youth and Family Ministries position. Resumes are currently being collected and reviewed.
Brandon Slice is gathering various quotes for phone and internet service for St. Jacob’s. Brandon is also in the process of setting up a place in the nursery to view the weekly sermons. Brandon noted that he will need assistance with pulling some wire for this project. Thanks to Brandon Slice for all your many efforts with this project!

The Safety Team is in process of composing a “St. Jacob’s Safety Policy” for Council review. This will include medical, fire, intrusion, and child protection type emergencies.
The Property and Building Team are working together to gather quotes and ideas for some new kitchen improvements at St. Jacob’s Church.

New Business:
The Budget Team is in process of composing the 2019 St. Jacob’s budget.
Council approved for continuance of the current cleaning contract for St. Jacob’s Church.
Council will begin obtaining nominees to serve on the 2019-2021 Council for St. Jacob’s Church.

Married Couples Retreat

Posted October 31, 2018 By admin

Our first annual Married Couples Retreat, to be held at beautiful Camp St. Christopher on Seabrook Island is less than ninety days away. This retreat will offer married couples from St. Jacob’s a time away for relaxation, Bible study and growing in faith together, while enjoying the beauty of God creation.

The retreat will begin at 7:00 pm. Friday, January 25 and continue through 11:00 am. Sunday, January 27. Participants may check-in on Friday as early as 3:00 p.m. Dinner on Friday is on your own. Registration fee is $300.00 per couple. We still have room for several couples to join in. Please register as soon as you can in case we need to arrange for additional lodging. Registration forms are available in the Narthex. Please contact Pastor David Nuottila if you have any questions.

Wednesday Morning Bible Study

Posted October 31, 2018 By admin

Wednesday Morning Bible Study has resumed for those who are able to attend. We will be meeting in the fellowship hall on Wednesday mornings at 9:30 AM. For our topic we are taking a look at several beloved hymns, their history and what they teach us about God’s mercy and grace through Christ Jesus. We will especially look at the hymns for Advent and Christmas. Join members of your church family on Wednesday mornings for this study and learn more about some of the beloved hymns of the Church.

Coffee Fellowship

Posted October 31, 2018 By admin

We will have our Coffee Fellowship on Sunday, November 4 after the service in the Fellowship Hall.

From the Pastor’s Heart

Posted October 1, 2018 By admin

As we move into the month of October, we move also into the beginnings of a busy time of year. Autumn months always seem to be chock full of activities. Plans are made for mountain trips, outings to apple orchards, football games and a host of other things. As you begin to make your autumn plans, allow me to ask a simple question. How do you plan to be a disciple of Jesus Christ each and every day?

With each new day, Christians have the opportunity to share their faith in Christ with others who may not realize God’s activity in their lives. As God’s people we also wake up to the Christian responsibility to thank God for His many blessings. In this, we should offer God the finest of what we can offer of ourselves. When a child of God begins each new day with such emphasis, the life of discipleship begins to take hold and we live into the calling God has for each one of us. So again, how do you plan to be a disciple of Jesus Christ each and every day?

In my asking this twice, I hope you are not simply waiting for my answer. I hope you are not expecting me to offer a directive for the church that challenges you to do your part as I see it, for such is not my intent. I am asking this question because as followers of Jesus Christ, we each respond to His call to follow in different ways. Some are able to engage in the life of the congregation more regularly than others. Some take time to come to the church and serve on committees, provide services such as lawn care and cleaning, others may even show up every time the doors are open. Still, others among us have different responsibilities.

We have parents with small children, members who work not just one, but two jobs, and still others who may have health related issues that prevent them from participating as they once did. Yet, no matter where we may fall in this broad spectrum, as God’s people each one of us bears the Christian responsibility to love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Jesus calls all of us to go into the world and make disciples by sharing with them the good news of God’s salvation. This is why I ask; how do you plan to be a disciple of Jesus Christ each and every day?

As Pastor, I will do my best to help you discern the answer to this question. I will do what I can to help you pray, study God’s Word and live among God’s people so that you might hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit who is calling you to a life of discipleship. I will continue to pray for you and your family, preach to you the gospel of Christ Jesus, lead you in worship and teach you and your children the faith in which we baptize. In turn, I pray that you too will help me to further discern the answer to our question, for even pastors need to learn to take time to enjoy their relationship with Christ.

Yes, we have a busy time ahead of us; one filled with opportunities to worship God, love our neighbor and enjoy the fellowship of God’s people. In all of this, choose to take time each day to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Then be sure to share His blessings of grace, mercy and love with those whom God places within your midst. Soon, you will realize you are living the life of discipleship, and the question will have its answer.

Grace to you and peace,
Pastor David Nuottila