Have you ever talked to someone about religion or church only to have them say to you, “Oh I’m not religious, but I’m very spiritual?” I have. I even read an article about it recently. The phenomenon must be fairly common, since the author even referred to it by the initials “SBNR,” (Spiritual, But Not Religious). The thought is that religion is institutional, narrow, impersonal, artificial and contrived. Spirituality, on the other hand, is personal, universal, heartfelt, genuine, and sincere. Religion is formal; spirituality is relaxed. Religion is fixed words; spirituality is felt emotions. Religion takes place in a church; spirituality happens within your heart. SBNR is a very popular idea, because we live in a world where beliefs are considered personal property.
In my experience, those who use this SBNR line usually aren’t Christian. Even so there have been movements within Christianity that buy into this distinction and base their worship upon it. You may have noticed churches that have no liturgy during worship. Why is that? Well, things like confessing the Apostles Creed in unison, or reciting prepared prayers, or prompting the congregation to speak certain responses during worship are considered contrived, even unspiritual. If worship is prepared beforehand, it is thought to be little more than acting or playing a role. To be spiritual, prayer must be spontaneous; to be genuine, creeds must be personal and self-made; to be real, responses must be off-the-cuff.
Truth be told, there should be nothing contrary about religion and spirituality, they are supposed to complement one another. Yes religion can be false, but so can spirituality. Lutherans can mechanically mouth the Apostle’s Creed without believing it, but Baptists can cry crocodile tears. Catholics can say “Hail Mary” in their sleep, but Pentecostals can simply pretend to speak in tongues. The real issue is not how emotional or spontaneous your worship is. The issue is not how much you show your feelings or whether you are the author of your prayers. The issue is whether and how the Holy Spirit is at work in your worship. For the follower of Christ, the only religion is the religion of the Bible. For the Christian, the only spirituality is the working of the Holy Spirit. Jesus charges the religious leaders of his day of “These people worship me with their lips but their hearts are far from me” (Matthew 15:8). In that way, Jesus is saying they are religious but not spiritual. But is SBNR any better? Is it any more sincere to worship God with your heart, while your lips are far from Him? St. Paul says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). What you believe in your heart is spiritual; what you confess with your mouth is religious, and the Holy Spirit is both spiritual and religious. It is fashionable today to let so-called spirituality replace religion. Don’t buy that snake oil! We are spiritual by being truly religious. We confess with our mouth and believe with our hearts…not either/or but both/and.
As a matter of fact, during the most emotional time of Jesus life, he spoke a prepared or “contrived” prayer. When he was hanging on the cross he cried, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me,” and these words were not His own, but the words of David…found in the 22nd Psalm. Contrived?...yes, but genuine as his suffering. Narrow?...certainly, as narrow as the path that leads to eternal life. Religious? You bet, and spiritual…as spiritual as Jesus’ religious love for you, and as heartfelt as the love of his Father who raised him from the dead.
In Christ, Pastor Nathan Fuehrer
Putting the Pieces Together Ministry Opportunities at Immanuel Booklet is now in your mailbox. If you have not received one of these booklets and would like one please speak to Katherine, the Parish Coordinator. Not all the programs mentioned in the booklet are currently available; we need volunteers to make these programs run! If there is a program, something of interest or you have an idea to share please speak to the parish coordinator. All input is welcome. Much like the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” so it is with the church family, “It takes many volunteers to nurture and build up our church community/the body of Christ”. We need you all...the brain, the heart, the eyes, the ears, the hands, the feet, the fingers, toes etc. There is no insignificant part of the body of Christ and no one person can do it all. Please look through this booklet, consider if you could possibly volunteer in any capacity. Contemplate your gifts, talents & skills and complete the skills inventory at the back of the booklet and drop off any Sunday in the offering basket or during office hours at the church office.
TURKEY DINNER & SILENT AUCTION
Tickets for the Turkey Dinner & Silent Auction on Nov. 17th are now available after the 11 a.m. service or stop by the church office Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Tickets are the same as last year $12.50 per person, $6.00 per child under 12 years. All funds raised go toward our Building Fund and Faith Life Financial will match funds raised to a maximum of $500. Volunteers are needed for the Turkey Dinner/Silent Auction Nov.17th. A sign-up sheet is now up in the narthex by the fellowship hall. Volunteers are needed for Set-Up, Clean-Up, & Cooking etc.
Donations for Silent Auction are needed and appreciated. Donations may be dropped off at the church office. Please only new items for the silent auction. Attach your name to your donation for recognition or it will be labeled as an anonymous donor. Thank you for your generosity. For more information contact Irm Kuhn 403-327-4336 or Kerri Masnyk 403-381-3455
Save the Date January 27, 2012 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. for a fun Family Curling Bonspiel. A group calling themselves the Inter-Lutheran Fellowship committee consisting of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Christ Trinity Lutheran Church, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, & Redeemer Lutheran Church would like to get together for some fun activities starting with curling. Ice has been booked at the Coaldale Granite Club at the Coaldale recreational centre. Cost is $6.00 per person. Soup & sandwich or Burger & fries etc. are available if you so desire from concession for about $6.00 a person after the game. Look for a sign up sheet in late November. For more information contact Katherine Canfield 403-756-2149.
January 25-27 2012 Break Forth Canada held in Edmonton, Alberta is the Largest Equipping and Renewal Conference in North America. There are varieties of workshops to participate in from creative arts, music, marriage, relationships, children & youth ministry, spiritual growth & renewal, leadership, parenting etc. These workshops are for any who would be interested. For more information there are flyers on the table under the mailboxes. If you are interested in attending there is reduced rates for large groups of 5+ people and an early registration discount. The first early registration discount ends Nov. 6th. Please contact Katherine Canfield if you are interested in attending. We may be able to benefit from a group rate. Church Office 403-327-4336 or home 403-756-2149
Welcome to our Church Family. The following people were formally received into membership on Oct. 21, 2012: Mandi Hirch, Roy Hirch, Sherry, Dave and Tyrel Gagne, Coreen Bates, Darlene Turnbull, Greg, Lori, Adam and Marisa Schinkel, Courtney Goebel, Lucille Miller, Leonard and Julie Lorenz, Yvonne and William Grabowski, Terri-Ann and Larry Hyshka, Verna Gillespie, William Pender, Katie Mandel, Carole McDermott, Tish Lees, Tim, Kathy, Amy and Kyle Davies, Heather Mathur, Leena Vanhala, Trudy Korsch, Sandra and Frank Zasadny, Andrea Zasadny, Irma Morningstar, Tony Nelson, Brittan and Taylor Nelson.
Exodus 40:34 (Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.)
Thank-you for your generous donations to the Interfaith Food Bank! They will go towards the Lethbridge School’s breakfast and lunch programs. Your donations will be greatly appreciated! The Sunday School staff is now complete. We have 16 staff for the Pre-School and Kindergarten/Grade One classes and 8 staff for the Grade 2/3/4 and Grade 5/6 classes. Thank-you for your generous donations of volunteer time! Your efforts make Sunday School a memorable, learning experience for the Sunday School children. The Sunday School staff includes: Pre-School: Debbie Lemke, Caitlin Purcell, Sarah Lindemann, Joanne DesRoche, Bonnie Anton, Julia Anton, Ruth Reiter and Kayla Hamilton Kindergarten/Grade One: Gerald Snip, Katelyn Drake, Michelle Rodgers, Nicole Anton, Rachel Anton, Katie Fruson, Bailey Whipple and Kyra Natt Grade 2/3/4: Anita Marriner, Tamara Nelson, Sheri Morris and Danica Anderson Grade 5/6: Greg Fischer, Vanessa McKay, Kenadi McKay, Linda Egli and Adrien Corbiere If you ever want to see what teaching Sunday School would be like please let me know and a team teaching experience can be arranged. You would be welcome to help out in our Sunday School program at any time during the year! We will have one more lesson about Moses on November 4. After that we will begin our “Winter Curriculum”. I will have more information about this once we have received the new books. The Sunday School children will begin practicing for their Christmas Production on November 4 during their “Opening Time” at Sunday School. If you need more children’s offering envelopes, any time during the year let me know. If you ever have any questions about Sunday School or any issues let me know. My new phone number is 403-345-5454.
Yours in Christ, Kathy Withage
Exodus 40:36 (When the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys).
LITTLE LAMBS CHRISTIAN PRE-SCHOOL
Little Lambs Christian Preschool is having a great year so far. In October the children went on their first field trip to the Corn Maze. Soon the children will begin to prepare for their Christmas Concert. Details on the concert will be in the December newsletter. There are still a couple of spaces in the Tuesday and Thursday afternoon program. If you or someone you know is interested, please call the preschool at 403-892-6627.
A MESSAGE FROM THE FINANCIAL RECORDING SECRETARY
Currently we have 38 contributors who are using the Pre-Authorized-Donation program. With PAD your offering automatically processed on the 1st business day of each month. The PAD program helps Immanuel to maintain a more consistent cash-flow throughout the year. All funds received under this program, are designated for the General Budget. For special donations to other missions of Immanuel, simply use the envelopes found on the back of the chairs in the sanctuary. Be sure to write your name and amount legibly on these envelopes to make it possible to keep track of your donation. If you are considering to make use of PAD or have any questions in regards to your financial contribution to Immanuel, talk to Walter Egli.
HEADING SOUTH THIS WINTER?
Are you new to this congregation? Are you or friends of yours driving south this winter? Do you know of a group who might be driving to Mexico or another Spanish speaking country to do some social or charitable work? If you answered yes to any of these questions, do we have a deal for you. Immanuel has about 4000 copies of the books “Un hombre llamado Jesus – El vivió enter nosostros” available for free distribution. In English this means: ”A man called Jesus – He lived among us”. It is a small booklet with wonderful illustrations of the life of Jesus. An ideal gift to a young person who is just learning to read. Maybe you befriended someone and would like to leave them with the great story of the gospel. Take some with you next time your planning to for fun in the sun. The books are 50 to a box, but you may take whatever number you are willing and able to take along. Questions? Ask Walter Egli or anyone at the church office.
COUPLES NIGHT OUT Our regular couples night out will resume in January. If you have any question, please feel free to contact Candice Miller at 403-317-0258
Immanuel Lutheran Church Financial Statement September 30, 2012
MISSION OFFERINGS A-BC District Mission Donations for Month....$315.00 A-BC District Mission Donations to Date ...2538.00 CLWR Mission Donations for Month ...80.00 CLWR Mission Donations to Date ....1771.00
BANK ACCOUNTS Servus Credit Union Cheq. Acc.t Balance...$26,696.51 Dedicated Accounts Balance....18,815.17 Church Extension Term Deposit.....NIL
CURRENT MONTH Budgeted Income....31,897.08 Actual Income ....31,615.27 Budgeted Disbursements....31,897.08 Actual Disbursements....28,395.47
YEAR TO DATE Budgeted Income....287,073.75 Actual Income .....252,622.43 Budgeted Disbursements....287,073.75 Actual Disbursements....281,427.53
20 Rocky Mountain Blvd West Lethbridge AB T1K 8E1 (403) 327-4336 firstname.lastname@example.org
Office hours and worship schedule
Office hours: 8:30 AM - 2:30 PM, Monday - Friday
Sunday Worship: 9:00 AM - Traditional Service 11:00 AM - Contemporary Service 11:15 AM - Sunday School (following the Object Lesson)