Other Happenings Archive

Pastoral Devotion for April

Posted April 1, 2019 By admin

Deuteronomy 7:12-13

Oh, that we would be obedient to the will of God. Oh, that we could keep his commandments and live a life free of sin. Yet, even as Adam and Eve gave into temptation and ate of the forbidden fruit, so too are we in bondage to original sin. Our sin is the same as theirs. We turn our attention away from God’s commandments, yes, even away from his love, only to chase after fulfillment of our own earthly desires. And to what end? A return to the dust from which we were made.

Yet, God continues to love those whom he has called his own. In great love for our fallen humanity, God gave his only Son so that we might live despite our sinfulness. Through the innocent suffering and death of his only Son Jesus Christ, God pours out mercy and grace upon those who call out to Christ as Lord and Savior. Through baptism, we are united with Christ in his death and resurrection and made inheritors of the kingdom of heaven.

The blessings and wonders spoken of in our text from Deuteronomy would seem well beyond our earthly reach. In fact, they are, for we do not keep God’s commands. But his love is steadfast and sure. Through Christ, the kingdom of God awaits those whom God saves. Blessed are those who call upon the name of the Lord, for his goodness and mercy endure forever.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your mercy and grace. Fill us with your goodness through Christ our Lord. Amen.

From the Pastor’s Heart

Posted March 31, 2019 By admin

Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.
John 20:4

Recently while looking for some new Bible study material, I stumbled upon a video that made me pause for a while. It is a video of a skit portrayed by two men enacting the first Easter morning. In this skit, Peter and
John are running to the empty tomb. Their faces display the anticipation and perhaps even a bit of fear concerning what they might find. John reaches the tomb first, but he won’t look inside or enter. Peter then
arrives, huffing and puffing, but he enters the tomb without stopping to think. As I replay this video in my mind, this is the point where I had to hit the pause button.

I wondered to myself, if I had been the first disciple to receive the reports from the women, would I be bold enough to charge into Christ’s tomb? Even as I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that Jesus was beaten, whipped and crucified, would I have the where with all to enter the tomb where they laid his body? Thinking about that, I finally decided yes, I would. Having walked with Jesus for three years as a disciple, witnessing so many miraculous events, and having come to expect that Jesus is who he says he is; I would have to go into the tomb.

I suppose the question I have for you is much the same. If someone came to you all excited and out of breath telling you they had seen Jesus and he is very much alive, you would run to the tomb to see for yourself? Would this amazing news of Christ’s resurrection stir your emotions so deeply that you would have to personally witness it? I suspect that it would. I suspect that given such extraordinary news, you too would run to the tomb of Jesus, probably because of the same reason Peter and John did, as disciples of Christ, our hope rests entirely in his death and resurrection.

Through Holy Scripture, worship and prayer, we are witnesses to the many amazing miracles of Jesus. Following Jesus throughout his mission and ministry, we too have come to know Jesus as Messiah and Lord, through whom we have forgiveness of sin and the hope of eternal life. Throughout the past twelve months, since Easter of last year, I pray that in my preaching, you have heard this gospel truth that is for all who believe in Christ.

At the conclusion of the video I mentioned, Peter finally emerges from the tomb to meet John who is still standing outside. As he holds the burial
garments of Christ in his hands, Peter can only look at John with a stare of complete amazement. As the two disciples take in the meaning of what they have witnessed, they both burst into laughter while shedding tears of joy. Jesus is alive! He is risen! It happened just as he said it would!

People of God, I invite you to hear the good news of Jesus’ resurrection once more. I invite you to run to the tomb, charge right in and behold the glory of God in the resurrection of our Lord. It happened just the way Jesus said it would. Come be a part of the Easter story. Share the good news of Christ Jesus. He is risen! He is risen indeed!

Alleluia!
Grace and peace,
Pastor David Nuottila

Children’s Choir Musical Fundraiser

Posted March 31, 2019 By admin

Mark your calendars.

Prepare to set sail with the children’s choir on Sunday, May 19th.

The children’s choir is ready for choir robes so we are holding a fundraiser spaghetti dinner on May 19th beginning at 5:30 PM. We are asking for donations at the door to cover the cost of the dinner but most especially to allow us to buy choir robes.

As entertainment for the dinner our children are working hard to present the story of Noah, from a musical written by Tom Long and Allen Pote, The Sailor’s Bible. The children will be working hard for the next two months to learn the music and present the story.

Please come help us celebrate the end of our first choir season and help the children raise money to purchase their choir robes. It’s sure to be a great evening.

Blessings,
Angela

VBS

Posted March 28, 2019 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 do the following in preparation of this year’s event:
1) Pray for the attendees and leaders
2) Prayfully consider serving as part of this year’s VBS team
3) Go ahead and mark your calendars for June 17th—June 20th
4) Watch upcoming worship folders for more detailed information.

Up & Going News

Posted March 28, 2019 By admin

Our group had an awesome time on March 14th making bows for the hospice bags. It took awhile but we thoroughly enjoyed our sandwich luncheon and fellowship time with each other. Go ahead and mark your calendar for the next meeting on April 11th at 11 AM in the fellowship hall with a surprise luncheon. Please remember to bring candies and goodies for the hospice bags as we will be putting them together to be taken to the patients.
Anyone that would like to participate is welcome to come.

Congo Missions Congregational Meal

Posted March 28, 2019 By admin

Make plans to attend our congregational meal after church services on Sunday, May 5th.
All proceeds will go to Congo Missions.
Meal: Grilled Chicken, Baked Potato, Salad, Dessert and Drink
Cost: $8 a plate (Children 3 and under eat free)
Watch the worship folder for more details and when to sign up.

The Resurrection of Our Lord

Posted March 28, 2019 By admin

The Festival worship service for the Resurrection of Our Lord will be held on Easter Sunday, April 21st beginning at 9:30 AM. Our annual Easter congregational breakfast will be served prior to worship at 8 AM. Notice, there will be no Sunday School on Easter Sunday. Sunday school will resume on April 28th. With shouts of “Alleluia!” we look forward to the celebration of Easter and Jesus’ conquering of the grave. Invite your friends and neighbors to join us and hear again the gospel truth that Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again!

The Great Vigil of Easter

Posted March 28, 2019 By admin

The Great Vigil of Easter, a traditional worship service of Christian churches, concludes the Triduum (Three days) and serves as the onset of the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Historically, it is during this service that those preparing for Baptism or Church membership are received into full communion within the Church. The Great Vigil is held in the hours of darkness between Holy Saturday and sunrise on Easter Sunday.

Among liturgical western churches, including the Lutheran Church, Anglican and Roman Catholics, the Easter Vigil is the most important service of public worship of the liturgical year. The liturgy of the Easter Vigil recounts the salvation history of God’s people from the creation of the heavens and earth, through the manifestation of God’s long-awaited Messiah. The celebration is marked by the first use of the “Alleluia” since the beginning of Lent.

This year, the congregations of St. Jacob’s and New Hope Lutheran Churches will begin the tradition of keeping Easter Vigil together. Join us at St. Jacob’s on April 20th, Holy Saturday, at 7 PM for this most holy and elaborate service of the year.

Good Friday

Posted March 28, 2019 By admin

Our Good Friday Tenebrae service will begin at 7 PM on Friday, April 19th. The Service of Shadows is a traditional worship service recounting the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, his death and burial. The somber tones of the service remind us of Jesus’s suffering for our sake. It is the second worship opportunity of the Triduum.

Maundy Thursday

Posted March 28, 2019 By admin

The Thursday of Holy Week begins what is known as the Triduum, or Three Days. The Triduum is one continual worship service spanning the three days of Christ’s suffering and death. The Triduum will commence with our Maundy Thursday service of worship beginning at 7 PM on Thursday, April 18th.
The word “Maundy” comes from the Latin “Mandatum” meaning mandate or commandment. On the night Jesus was betrayed, he gave the commandment that his followers are to love one another. On this evening, Christ also instituted the Sacrament of Holy Communion, or the Lord’s Supper. Christ himself promised his presence in, with and under the elements of the bread and wine and commanded his people to “Do this for the remembrance of me.” The Maundy Thursday service will conclude with the stripping of the altar and removal of all worship appointments. Everyone is invited and especially encouraged to attend this and all of our worship services.