By Barb Mazarakos
As Thanksgiving comes upon us and we start to plan menus, think about trips to Grandma’s house (over the river and through the woods, perhaps?), and mark flyers for Black Friday shopping trips, don’t forget to make Thanksgiving Worship part of your holiday weekend plans. Holy Communion services will take place at Christ Lutheran on Wednesday, November 22nd at 11am and 7pm (there are no services on Thanksgiving Day). A regular worship schedule will take place that weekend with a 5pm service on Saturday the 25th, and 8am, 9:30am Holy Communion, and 11am Holy Communion on Sunday the 26th.
We also want to be sure to give our office staff a chance to celebrate with their own families, so the office will close at 5pm on Wednesday the 22nd and remain closed throughout the weekend, reopening at 9am on Monday, November 27th.
Our Stewardship Committee has much to be thankful for this year- good health, steady jobs, loving families, and YOU- our brothers and sisters in Christ. May you have much to be thankful for this year as well.
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his love endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16:34
By Melissa Petersen
With a new school year well underway, our Christ Lutheran Early Weekday School (CLEWS) teachers are back to work with a bright and wonderful group of students. As always, the program aims to combine play and learning with activities that are age-appropriate, experimental, sensory and manipulative in a Christian preschool setting.
CLEWS is thankful to have so many of its amazing teachers returning for the 2017-2018 school year. Patti Bareither, lovingly known as Mrs. B, has returned for her 30th year. Mrs. B has over 50 years of education experience. Her greatest gift to CLEWS is her love of all children and her passion for teaching. She is always creating and establishing an innovative, exciting, interactive, age-appropriate curriculum for students. All of the teachers, parents, alumni, and students would agree the Patti is the glue that holds the CLEWS program and its loving spirit together.
With over 18 years at CLEWS, 3-year-old classroom aide, Karen Ketelaar has always referred to CLEWS as her “happy place.” Being separated from parents for the first time is difficult for many new students, and Karen has the wonderful gift of being able to put nervous children at ease with her happy demeanor and infectious laugh.
Four’s teacher Lisa Grant quickly realized after putting her own children through CLEWS that she wasn’t ready to leave the program. Lisa has been with CLEWS for over 9 years. Her patience knows no bounds and she has a great love and respect for the program and the teachers. Lisa has had a significant impact on the success of the four’s program at CLEWS.
Former CLEWS parent, Ronda Gilchrist is beginning her 7th year with the school. Whether she is teaching in the three’s classroom or aiding in the fours class, Ronda is energetic and excited to educate young minds. She knows how to start the day for each child with her an outgoing and special welcome.
Whitney Corbin has been with CLEWS for 4 years as both an aide and as the school’s administrative assistant. (Although she has been volunteering in the production of the teddy bear picnics since 1996.) Her degree in psychology and her certificate in organizational psychology brings a good balance of business and fun to the school. As a CLEWS alumnus, Whitney has had a soft spot in her heart for CLEWS since she was 3-years-old. Her sons have also attended the school just like mom.
CLEWS is also fortunate to have four’s aide Patty Nolan as part of the program. Having been with CLEWS for three years, her background in speech therapy makes her an invaluable resource in assessing each child’s needs and then quickly adapting lessons to their needs. Her understanding of child development has been a wonderful gift to the school.
Lisa Niedziela is completing her second year at CLEWs as an aide in the three’s class and has quickly become an invaluable staff member. She is always ready to pitch in and help in both her class and in other classrooms. Her love of working with children shows through every day in her positive attitude and personality. CLEWS loves having Lisa as their go-to-gal for extra help and assistance.
This year CLEWS welcomed Melissa Petersen as an aide in the 3’s and Just 3’s program. Her youngest daughter just completed CLEWS last year and there was no getting rid of mom. Her background in graphic design and marketing has been helpful in finding new ways to get CLEWS news out in the community. Her fresh perspective has been helpful in adding new and fun elements to the program.
It has been said that CLEWS parents are attracted to the program because it affords daily opportunities to share in many special moments and experiences with their child. However, much of the school’s success and stellar reputation is because of this talented and caring teaching staff. Christ Lutheran Church is blessed to have so many special and unique individuals associated with CLEWS.
As Chairman of the Stewardship Committee, and also President of the Congregation, I would like to take the time to ask those who are part of Christ Lutheran to seriously consider serving on one of the four open positions I will explain below. November is stewardship month when we prayerfully look at the time, talents, and treasures we are blessed to receive from God and how we can put these to work to further God’s Kingdom.
Recording Secretary of the Church Council. Record the transactions of all meetings of the Voters Assembly and of the Church Council in a book or other recording device provided for that purpose and present such records at the respective meetings; record all amendments that are adopted by the congregation on a master copy of this Constitution. The original minutes taken at such meetings shall be filed and kept in a depository provided by the Church Council.
Financial Secretary – It shall be the duty of the Financial Secretary to:
- Receive and properly record all contributions to the congregation.
- Provide envelopes to all communicant members and others upon request.
- Prepare yearly statements to be submitted to each communicant member.
- Provide sufficient members of the congregation who will count , record, and deposit the money received at each worship service, and report the weekly totals to the council
- Sign checks as directed by the Church Council
Chair of the Stewardship Board – It shall be the duty of the Chair to:
- Coordinate the Christian resources (time, talents, and treasures) of the members of Christ Lutheran congregation so that its ministry might be enhanced for the sake of the growth of God’s kingdom.
- Organize and supervise such financial stewardship campaigns as are necessary to insure the financial support needed to carry on a positive and far-reaching ministry of Gospel proclamation through Christ Lutheran congregation.
- Help lead and direct the monthly e-newsletter and social media campaigns directed at reaching out to the larger community as well as reaching within CELC to inform and inspire the growth of God’s Kingdom.
CELC Elder – Duties
- Confer, consult, and assist the pastors in all matters pertaining to the spiritual welfare of the members of the congregation.
- Coordinate with ushers and alter guild to the proper performance of the respective services
- Administer and assist in Holy Communion and baptism as directed by the Pastors
- Care for the general, physical, and mental, wellbeing of the pastors and their families
The need here at Christ Lutheran is pronounced so please prayerfully consider these opportunities to serve. As Jesus says in Luke 10:2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field”. Could one of those workers be you?
Thanksgiving for Jesus and Keyboarding
I was taking inventory of my personal holiday favorites and concluded that the National Holiday of Thanksgiving is nearly at the top of the list. That might seem strange for a pastor to write. Don’t get me wrong, The Resurrection of our Lord, The Nativity of our Lord, and the Feast of Pentecost are right up there, too. But Thanksgiving is really important to me – and not because it is the only holiday I get off! It is important to me as a matter of personal faith. More broadly, the Thanksgiving Holiday attracts with issues of faith as I reflect on the faith of the Pilgrims in their new land and the generosity of the American Indians that critical pre-winter year, and as I admire the faith of Sarah Josepha Hale in appealing to five- count them, 5- presidents to establish the holiday. But beyond all of that, Thanksgiving is important on a more personally convicting level of faith.
It is a reminder for me to pause and give thanks to God. I am a doer. I come by it honestly and in a long line of doers. I like to work, not as much as I do these days, but I like to work. So I find myself being more than sympathetic to Martha in the story that closes Luke 10 and need to be reminded that Mary chose what was better in that moment. And like in the Gospel of Luke 18 for Thanksgiving, I would be inclined to first get things done with the priests.
So Thanksgiving is a good reminder for me to pause and thank God. I suspect that I’m not the only one who needs to be reminded to return thanks. Maybe Luke 18 is a kind of typical ratio: for every ten blessings we send God one thank-you note. Our hard work or chance gets the credit too often. Years ago at my congregation of St. Peter’s, Jerry Feil served as our youth group counselor. During one “Youth-In-Action” devo, Jerry asked if we prayed before taking a test at school. Yes. What do you pray? You guessed it: we asked for a good score or to remember the material. I asked Jerry, who was in college at the time, what he prayed. His answer rings in my ears every Thanksgiving: I thank God for giving me the ability to pick up the pencil.
So many thanksgivings are needed. For pardon and life in Jesus is at the top of that list. But Jerry reminds us that the list goes on and on. When we pause to thank God, we recognize how truly gracious God is and this reframes everything else. The Lord truly gives a Happy Thanksgiving!
With gratitude for Jesus and keyboarding ability,
By Barb Mazarakos
For 75 years, women have been working together to fund mission projects at both national and international levels through Lutheran Women’s Missionary League. Relying solely on their twice a year mite collections (no additional fundraising is done through LWML), they have been able to support projects such as Disaster Response Trailers in Missouri and the renovation of the JEM Seminary buildings in Nigeria, as well as provide scholarship money for the LCMS Young Adult Corps (formerly LCMS Youth Corp).
At this year’s national convention, it was voted on and agreed to that the LWML would help fund the renovation of a house in Flint, Michigan which will serve as Mercy House for Women and Children. This underserved area on the east side of Flint has a poverty rate among children at the astounding level of 80%. Mercy House will help assist mothers and their children to break that cycle by giving them access to a safe place to sleep where the best practices of parenting can be modeled and taught.
Arlene Gronwold of our congregation serves as President of our LWML unit. She attends board meetings and brings the information she gathers back to the group at their quarterly meetings (which have been combined with Ladies Aid meetings as the same women seemed to be involved in both groups). Their mission is not just one of fundraising, but as Arlene tells me, is also about enriching themselves through service to others. The fall workshop for Zone 25, which includes Christ Lutheran as well as neighboring churches, will be held at CELC on Saturday, October 14. At this meeting they will be taking an ingathering for Lutheran Church Charities; you can find the list of items needed in the church bulletin.
The ladies of the LWML are truly on a mission to make the world a better place and be the hands and feet of Jesus. You can help them by filling your MITE boxes with lose change (or bills!) and bringing them in any time during the month of October. A large bin for MITE boxes will be in the narthex. And look for our church LWML members on Sunday October 1, as we recognize LWML month and take special time out to thank the Lord for all of their good work