Thoughts and Ponderings from Pastor:
The month of November begins in such an awesome way, celebrating All Saints Sunday!
A question that continually arises in my ministry is...what do Lutherans think about Saints?
The one thing people do know is, we don’t pray to them.
Yes, we Lutherans don’t pray to Saints. We can go straight to the top, so to speak, to God Himself. So, does that mean that Lutherans ignore Saints?
Certainly not! There are many Saints’ days, all Biblical Saints, such as, St. Andrew, St. Stephen, St. John the Baptist, St. Peter and Paul, and many others.
What about Saints after Bible times?
Oh, you mean like Athanasius, Augustine of Hippo, and Bernard of Clairvaux who all were very influential. Yes, we believe, but we Lutherans have been a bit jumpy about recognizing them in Church.
When the Lutheran Book of Worship (LBW, the green hymnal) was issued, it included a calendar of many post-Biblical Saints, including figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and Albert Schweitzer.
However, our Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod ultimately didn’t accept the LBW and came up with its own hymnal.
The 1982 Lutheran Worship (LW, the blue hymnal) pretty much rejected all the post-Biblical Saints, with 3 exceptions. This hymnal had special feast days for Martin Luther, C. F. W. Walther, and for Saint Laurence.
No Athanasius, no Augustine, no Bernard...but St. Laurence? Who exactly was St. Laurence?
He was a 3rd-century Roman deacon who gave his life for Jesus. A worthy believer, certainly. A great story stands out about St. Laurence.
When he was arrested, the Roman authorities demanded, show us the treasures of the Church! They expected, of course, a bunch of jewel-encrusted, golden chalices. Instead Laurence gathered the poor and the lame, and told the authorities, here are the treasures of the Church.
They were so angry that they had a great gridiron prepared with hot coals beneath it, and had him placed on it, hence his association with the gridiron. After he had suffered pain for a long time, legend concludes, he cheerfully declared, I'm well done on this side, turn me over! From this he derives his patronage of cooks, chefs, and comedians.
Even if this legend is not completely true, he was certainly a worthy figure to celebrate. But the question still arises, why Laurence, and not Augustine or Athanasius or Bernard?
The answer lies...in Frankenmuth, Michigan.
Frankenmuth is one of the cradles of the Lutheran Church. It began as a Lutheran mission to the Indians, which didn’t work out very well.
Frankenmuth is the most popular tourist destination in Michigan. It has the largest Christmas store in the world, a wonderful glockenspiel that, several times a day, tells the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, and has the busiest, and best, chicken restaurant in the country. And, Frankenmuth has a huge Missouri Synod Church, St. Lorenz, the 2nd largest Church in the Missouri Synod.
Lorenz is German for Laurence! And, amazingly, a son of that huge Frankenmuth congregation was on the committee that assembled the 1982 blue, Lutheran Worship hymnal!
So, St. Laurence beat out Augustine, Athanasius, and Bernard...simply because he had clout on the hymnal committee.
The situation is different in our LSB (Lutheran Service Book). Instead of just 3 post-Biblical Saints, there are many. And yes, Athanasius is there, and Augustine is there, and Bernard is there. Francis is not, don’t Lutherans like animals?!
But exactly what do Lutherans do with Saints?
If we don’t pray to them, what role do they play?
First, they are role models. We think about the way they served Jesus and loved Jesus, and it inspires us! We think of how St. Athanasius stood up for the truth that Jesus is God, and it inspires us to stand up for truth today.
We think of how St. Peter and St. Paul gave their lives as martyrs for Jesus, and it inspires us to proclaim Christ’s truth in today.
No, we don’t seek them out as intercessors, but they do something even more important for us…they show us what it is like to worship and serve Jesus.
Secondly, even though we don’t pray to them, we pray with them.
One of the great hymns of the Church, Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones, we call upon all the ranks of angels, upon the Apostles, and the martyrs, and all the Saints to join us in praising God.
Lutherans don’t pray to Saints, but we pray with Saints?
As our liturgy says, we join with angels and archangels, and all the company of heaven in praising the name of the Lord.
But one thing I need to emphasize is this, all believers are (small ‘s’) saints.
Indeed, we celebrate St. Laurence, St. Athanasius, and all the rest, but everyone who belongs to Jesus is a saint, a holy person.
In his letters, St. Paul often addresses ‘the saints’ in Ephesus, Rome, Corinth, etc. And Paul wasn’t addressing a Spiritual elite, he was talking to all the believers, all those who belong to Jesus are holy people, saints!
If you want to see a saint...look in the mirror!
There are some people who are holy, special Saints like Laurence and Augustine, but ultimately, all believers are holy people, all believers are saints.
If you believe in Jesus, you are a saint!
Now the challenge is...to act and behave like saints!
November Bible Readings:
1: Revelation 7:9-17; 1 John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12
8: Amos 5:18-24; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 25:1-13
15: Zephaniah 1:7-16; Romans 11:33-36; Matthew 25:14-30
22: Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24; 1 Corinthians 15:20-28;
25 (Thanksgiving Eve): Deuteronomy 8:1-10; Philippians 4:6-20; Luke 17:11-19
29: Isaiah 64:1-9; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 11:1-10
Sunday Morning Bible Study: The Sermon Text of the day.
Bibles and Coffee: Fire On The Mountain. Our target date to resume is Tuesday, November 17th at 10:00am. Look below for more information.
Hope Womens Center: World of Today, World of Yesterday.
LutherAnns: Wednesday, November 11th
Last month we began with a wonderful bar-be-que and watched the classic, Singing In the Rain!
Join us on Friday, November 6th at 5:30pm as we watch The Monuments Men and begin with a delicious bar-be-que!
Special Days in November:
According to our records, this month Jean Winklemann (7th), Duane Schellhouse (12th), and Janice Schellhouse (19th) celebrate their birthday, and, Jim and Becki Peterson (11th), Jean and Larry Winklemann (24th), and Rev. Robert and Carol Tasler (29th) celebrate their wedding anniversary. God bless your special day!
Bibles and Coffee Bible Study:
We look to resume our Bibles and Coffee Bible Study on Tuesday, November 17th at 10:00am.
We will be viewing and studying Ray Vander Laan’s, Fire On the Mountain, Displaying God In A Broken World.
When the Israelites left Egypt, they were finally free. Free from persecution, free from oppression, and free to worship their own God. But with that freedom comes
a new challenge…learning how to live together the way God intends.
In this study we will discover how God teaches the Israelites what it means to be part of a community that loves Him and the lessons we can begin to live out in our lives today.
This month our Member Spotlight is on Donna Carney!
1. Where do you live? San Tan Valley, Johnson Ranch.
2. Who makes up your family? My family is made up of my husband Bill. We also have 3 children and 5 grandchildren.
Melissa, our oldest, is married to Brian and they live in Crown Point, Indiana. They have 2 children, Eli, who will be 9 in November, and, Natalie, who is 6.
Heather, our middle child, is married to Vince, and lives is Merrillville, Indiana.
Their oldest daughter, sweet Evelyn, died at 3 ½ due to Krabbe disease. Molly will be 3 in December and Owen is 18 months old.
Our youngest, Thomas, lives with his wife, Emily in Levittown, Pa, in our old subdivision, Twin Oaks.
3. Have you always lived in Arizona? No. I was born in Niagara Falls, NY and grew up in Wheatfield, a small town outside of Niagara Falls and north of Buffalo. I have lived in several places in New York, a short stay in South Dakota, 6 years in Levittown Pa and 6 years in Hawai’i before moving here in 2017.
4. What did you do? I was a Lutheran elementary school teacher. I taught 1st grade, Preschool, 3rd grade, 5th and 6th grade and 5th-8th grade science.
5. What is your favorite Bible Passage? 1 Peter 1:3-9.
6. What is your favorite food or meal? My favorite meal is grilled salmon, baked potato, and asparagus.
7. What is the last book you read? I love reading historical romances, especially if they have a twist like a murder mystery. The series I’m currently reading is by Deborah Wilson. The last one I finished as #4, The Last Duke.
8. What is something interesting that we may not know about you? When I was in college, I had a partial scholarship to play basketball. I really enjoyed playing college ball but unfortunately my knees said, ‘no thank you’, and I had to give it up in my first year.
WOW (Women of Worth—LWML) Noisy Offering:
W.O.W. (LWML) has been gathering monthly Noisy Offerings. To help assist mission projects of the PSW (Pacific Southwest) LWML.
The mission project for November is: Equipping, Encouraging, and Empowering in Christ (Christ Care Ministries), Phoenix.
By preparing Church workers, teachers, and others to reach out to those who are suffering from mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts, God provides opportunities to serve and plant seeds of the Gospel. Workers will be equipped to reach out, offering emotional and spiritual encouragement, practical help, and hope for the future.
W.O.W., A New Society:
At the recent Estrella Zone of the Lutheran Women’s Mission League (LWML) Rally our W.O.W. (Women of Worth) society received its charter as a new society in the LWML!
Below are the photos of our women receiving their charter.
On Sunday November 8th and 15th, W.O.W. will be holding a Honey Sunday to help raise funds for the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch.
For decades, congregations across the United States have held Honey Sundays, and we are invited to join them and bring God’s love to a child.
You will be able to order a bottle of honey ($10 per bottle) and they will mail you the bottle(s) directly to your house.
Not only is this a great way to help God’s children, but they make great Christmas gifts too!
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is a Christian residential treatment and educational center for children and their families. We help the most troubled, complicated, and amazing kids by providing best-in-class psychiatric therapy and trauma-informed care, where we look kids in the eye, walk with them, and help them become their best selves.
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is a Recognized Service Organization of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.
Coming soon, mark your calendars!
Our next meeting will be on Wednesday November 18th at 1:30pm in the Fellowship area.
Our program will be presented by Becki Peterson. It will be a forum discussion on a book by Thom Rainier titled: Autopsy of a Deceased Church. Please join us, the discussion should be very interesting.
Marilyn Glick will be the devotion leader and hostess.
On Friday December 18th beginning at 12:30pm there will be a wonderful Christmas get together, Hosted by Marilyn Glick and Karen Johnson. There will be a Bible Study, led by Pastor, on the 12 days of Christmas.
Games, food, fellowship will abound! A good time to be had by all.
We may even sing your favorite Christmas carol!
All the ladies of Christ Lutheran are invited.
Rejoice in the Lord! And again, I say REJOICE! Alene
Operation Christmas Child:
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted everyday life in some way for nearly everyone. Yet, Samaritan’s Purse continues to share the hope of the Gospel and to serve in Jesus’ name.
Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, delivers shoeboxes filled with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys to children worldwide. Through a volunteer network across the U.S., the project plans to collect shoebox gifts during National Collection Week, November 16–23.
We here at Christ Lutheran will again participate in this mission project!
Looking forward to the coming season, the ministry is monitoring local, state, and national guidelines and adjusting help protect the health of everyone involved in collecting and processing shoebox gifts.
One convenient way to give shoebox gifts directly from home is to build a shoebox online. You make it your own by choosing from a list of gifts then adding a letter and a photo. Operation Christmas Child will pack it for you and send it off.
Update from the Rose Parade and Pedal Pushers:
The Tournament of Roses parade will have a 2-hour TV special during their normal TV time on New Year’s Day. The Petal Pushers (Lutheran Hour Ministries) are expected to be included in the segment on volunteering; they have provided a video to be used.
Lutheran Hour Ministries and the LHM Float Committee are developing numerous ways to additionally publicize their Rose parade Float Project.
If you would like to purchase any Petal Pushers clothing and other merchandise you can do so at: petalpushers.donorshops.com/products/ppclothing.
Lutheran Hour Ministries has their invitation to have a float entry in the 2022 Tournament of Roses Parade is signed and turned in!
We are blessed to offer Online Worship via our Facebook page and website.
Every Sunday morning at 9:00am our service is on Facebook Live at CLC COOLIDGE, and, it is uploaded later on Sunday to our website at christlutherancoolidge.com.
One way in which you can ‘share the Word’ with family, friends, neighbors, and your ‘Facebook friends’ is to share the Live Feed. Simply hit the ‘share’ button! For our website, all you would need to do is tell people to go to christlutherancoolidge.com and they will find the service, the Newsletter, photos, and other information!
Hope Women’s Center:
A huge THANK YOU to everyone who has helped these wonderful women and their children with your gifts.
We are still collecting items for the Center here in Coolidge and will be sharing monthly ‘needs’ for the Center.
This month they are seeking (large) womens underwear and dish soap. If you could bless them with these, or other gifts, please place your items in the baskets in
the Fellowship area. Thank you for your support!
News From Our Synod:
The budget for FY 2021 was reached on September 22nd when The Board of Directors (BOD) adopted an operating expenditure resolution of $59.6 million.
“A cautious approach to expenditures in FY21 was justified in consideration of major economic uncertainties in the current forecasting environment, not the least of which has been the impact of COVID-19. It hasn’t been easy,” said BOD Chairman Rev. Dr. Michael L. Kumm. “We have to be very careful moving forward.”
In the Footsteps of Y’shua:
Rev. Bob & Kristi Roegner will host this journey through Israel from November 3-14, 2021.
With almost 40 years of experience in missions, the Roegners have traveled extensively around the world.
This trip will include stops in Jerusalem, Galilee, the Dead Sea, Immanuel Church Lutheran in Jaffa for a worship service (many stained-glass windows and the organ with 1,200 pipes and 18 stops, built by Paul Ott, from Gottingen, Germany), as well as traveling along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to the ancient seaport of Caesarea, where the St. Paul was imprisoned, and much more!
For more information please pick up a flyer at Church!