My son Noah is beginning Preschool here at Immanuel the first week of October. I’m excited that he’ll have a chance to play and interact with other kids his age on a regular basis. I think that’s part of the purpose of preschool--to help kids interact with one another, to learn how to play together. At first when Noah was around other children, he would simply play alongside them, but not really with them. He’s since grown out of it, but I think all children do this at first..they engage in what is called “parallel play.” Wikipedia has a great definition for it. “Parallel play is a form of play where children play adjacent to each other, but do not try to influence one another’s behavior.”
The notion of parallel play fits quite well with the way the modern world thinks, especially with respect to religion. Essentially, the message that children are given in schools, that adults hear from talk shows, politicians speeches and even sometimes from church pulpits is that tolerance is more important than Truth. That somehow, it doesn’t matter what you individually believe about God, or the bible, or about where we come from or where we’re going, so long as you keep it to yourself so that we can all “just get along.”
We are taught that if one tries to persuade others to believe in God, or to influence them to change their behavior that he is “forcing his beliefs on others.” In other words, everyone is expected to choose their own god and then keep it to themselves lest they offend. It’s that whole cliché about how you’re never okay to talk about religion or politics because it’ll cause conflict. It’s so absurd when you think about it. If someone found the cure to cancer, but kept it to himself, he’d be considered greedy and uncaring for not sharing his information with others; and yet if a person found the Way and the Truth and the Life and shared it with others, he could be considered greedy and uncaring also for forcing his “cure” upon them.
It’s really quite astounding that, when it comes to belief in the only thing that really matters, the only thing that answers the deepest questions of human existence…when it comes to answering Who God is; what He wants; and what He intends for his people…we’re expected to keep our answers to ourselves, or at least not offer them to others. Each person’s religion has become his own toy to play with, and we are told by the world to just be content parallel playing alongside one another.
Parallel play is a promising and necessary stage of a child’s development; but something has gone amiss if he never grows out of it. Eventually the child ought to recognize that it’s more satisfying and more real to play with someone than it is to simply play next to them. So is it also with the children of God.
I am so proud to be the Pastor of a church that understands that getting together on Sunday morning is not just a session of parallel play. Sin is ever crouching at our door, and if we aren’t open to the influence of others, the only influence left will be our sinful self and the evil desires of our heart. What we need is faith, and it doesn’t come from our own heart or intellect or will. The world thinks that outside influence is brainwashing, but Jesus says, “Nothing outside a man can make him 'unclean' by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him 'unclean'" (Mark 7:15). Faith comes from outside of us. “Faith comes through hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). Faith comes to us through hearing the Gospel from others... others who are commanded to influence one another through the Word of God.
In church we open ourselves to the influence of the Word of God as it read from the same bible, preached from the same pulpit, eaten from the same loaf, drank from the same cup. We don’t come to worship different gods alongside one another; people who only want to parallel play with their own god sooner or later figure out that they can do that just as well at home. We come to worship the same Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of God., begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried. And the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures and ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. And he will come again in glory to judge both the living and the dead, whose kingdom will have no end.
Dear Friends in Christ,
On September 9th I was officially installed as a part-time Parish coordinator here at Immanuel. On that day I made the following vow and would like to share it again with you. I do this for two reasons, first so everyone knows my role and responsibilities and can help support me in this role and second to hold me to accountability in a Christian God fearing way.
• You have been chosen to fill a specific office and position of responsibility at [Immanuel Lutheran Church]. You are to work with the pastor, that our life together in Christ may be orderly and pleasing in His sight.
• You are to see that the temporal affairs…activities, events and programs held within and under the auspices of this church are coordinated effectively in a way that fosters Christian fellowship and love.
• You are to see that volunteers who wish to lend their time and talents for the sake of the church might be identified and assessed according to their interests and abilities, that leaders within the church are raised up and supported in their roles, and that church members, old and new, are given constant and meaningful opportunities to form relationships with one another thereby building the family of Christ.
• And, most importantly, you are to achieve these objectives in a way that is consistent with the preaching of the Word of God, with the proper administration of the sacraments, the only church activities through which God has promised to work his Grace.
• While holiness of life and obedience to Christ are expected of all members of the congregation, it is especially important that you, as an office-bearer in His Church, show yourself, by word and example, to be faithful to Him in service and Christian devotion.
• In the presence of God and of this congregation, I therefore ask you: Do you accept the office entrusted to you, and do you promise faithfully to carry out your duties, trusting in the Lord and conforming yourself to His Word in accordance with the faith of the Evangelical Lutheran Church?
My response was with the help of God, I do.
COMING SOON to your church mailbox, “Putting the Pieces Together, Ministry Opportunities at Immanuel, Where do you fit?” booklet. I have compiled a booklet of activities that are currently going on within our congregation as well ideas of some programs that we would like to develop. I may have inadvertently missed some activities and/ or people’s names. If so, please forgive me and come talk to me about it. My hope is this booklet will create some awareness about to what is going on and some consideration for the potential of our church community. Please take the time to read through this booklet and complete the Skills Inventory at the back of the booklet, tear out and drop in the offering basket. I will compile a list of the available skills and talents within our church community. This would allow the church the opportunity to ask people as the need arises for assistance in the area(s) they have an interest, skills or abilities to assist. No pressure; you are always welcome to say no when asked, your talents, skills and abilities are gifts given to you by our heavenly father and it is up to you to discern how you will share those gifts. Thank you for your consideration.
Katherine Canfield, Parish Coordinator
Come meet the “Ladies of the Kitchen” on Oct.10th at 3:00 p.m. for fun conversation and a tour of OUR kitchen here at Immanuel. We welcome young, old or any age in between, new member, long time member or an attending friend of the church. Come learn where everything is in the kitchen and why we are so often complimented for the kitchen we have. Share your thoughts & ideas or just come for the tour, but please come.
Immanuel Lutheran Prayer Night This for anyone with a passion to fervently pray for our church, its ministries, minister and others. Prayer is the foundation of all ministries. We would like to see this become a weekly event; once a week for about one hour. The day & time is to be determined. Please speak to Shamus Rainford after the 11 o’clock service or call him at 403-892-6424
On Sunday Oct.21 We Will Be Welcoming New Members into our congregation in both services. A Welcome Potluck Dinner after the 11:00 o’clock service that day is being planned. This is a true potluck...Bring what you want! A signup sheet just will be in the foyer by the kitchen. Please just jot down your name for setting up or clean up or if you will bring a main dish, salad or dessert. Come welcome our newest members and fellowship together. If you have more questions call Linda Egli 403-381-4351 or Amy Rollag 403-329-1000
MOM & TOTS Organizational Meeting Oct.11 at 10:30 a.m. The Parish Coordinator would like to meet with as many moms as possible who would be interested in a Mom & Tots group. Please come out and feel free to bring your tots with you. This meeting will be to gather ideas, thoughts & concerns.
Praying mother’s group---Whether your children are adults, live a continent away or just down the street or you have young children, teenagers, young adults still living at home or grandchildren they all need your prayers. By praying for them regularly, you can have an enormous influence on their spiritual, emotional and physical well being. Pray provides comfort and security, and also fulfills the mission the Lord has for us to pray for each other and bear one another’s burdens. I cannot think of no better way to truly love your children/grandchildren than by lifting them up in prayer on a consistent basis. If you would be interested in participating in this group please contact Katherine Canfield at 403-327-4336 or 403-756-2149 Time and date of the group have yet to be determined. Please express your interest and preference.
SAVE THE DATE our annual Turkey Dinner & Silent auction will be held on Nov. 17, 2012 more information to follow in future bulletins and next month’s newsletter.
Little Lambs Christian Preschool is off to a great start for this new school year! Most of our classes are full, but if you are still interested in registering, please call Tanya at 403-892-6627. We are in need of a volunteer to help with toy cleaning. If we find 2 volunteers, this would only be once every second week, and would take less than an hour. If you are interested in helping out, please call us and let us know.
ADVANCED NOTICE: Our annual fall Congregational Voters Meeting is scheduled to be held on December 2, 2012. All voting members of Immanuel Lutheran Church are strongly encouraged to attend.
On Sunday, September 25th, Immanuel was privileged to have Pastor Mike Kuhn and family visit our congregation to promote their mission project with Lutheran Bible Translators (LBT). When the requisite funding is found, LBT will send the Kuhn family to Cameroon to live among the Nizaa people.
Through offerings from the church, our congregation raised $1647.00. Combined with $500 worth of matching funds from FaithLife Financial, we were able to send $2147.00 to LBT in support of the Kuhn family’s mission to the Nizaa.
Rev. Kuhn and family and the Executive Director of LBT have extended a heartfelt thanks to the Immanuel congregation. Furthermore, Immanuel has been asked to consider providing continuing support to LBT and the Kuhn family mission in the way of prayers and budgeted offerings. Our Board of Outreach is looking into the possibility of including LBT in our annual budget for “Missions.” May God continue to bless the endeavors of LBT.
On October 14, 2012, Lutheran Church–Canada congregations across the country will join together in celebrating the church’s international humanitarian work among the poor and marginalized that is undertaken by Canadian Lutheran World Relief. The theme for this year, “Making a Difference,” gives recognition to what has been accomplished through the joint efforts of CLWR and LCC. Immanuel Lutheran Church will be observing CLWR Sunday on October 14th. During both worship services, we will pray for the work of CLWR and take a free-will offering to support their mission for the current Sudan Refugee Crisis. As you may or may not know, thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes due to violence and food shortages and are now living in refugee camps in South Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya. Your support will go to providing basic services, including food, water, and shelter, as well as for projects that include well drilling, education and social support for children, and livelihood training. Any funds raised will be matched up to $500 by FaithLife Financial.
PARISH PLANNING NEWS
Your newly installed congregational representatives on Parish Planning Council (PPC) held their first meeting on September 25, 2012. The business of the day included assigning council members to their respective boards or groups. Below is a list of your PPC representatives and the respective Boards/Group to which they were assigned. (please note that the congregational Chairmen and Treasurer were not assigned to a Board as their individual duties require more than enough of their time).
Elders: Chris Marriner, Rob Bloos, Tyler Rodgers
Board of Nurture: Kerri Masnyk, Karen Barby, Teri Smith, Dick Dunn
Board of Outreach: Candice Miller, Lori Friesen, Janet Ainscough, Don Withage
Board of Property: Joseph Euphemia, Tony Nelson, Byron Canfield
The Executive members of PPC were elected at last spring’s voter’s meeting and are as follows.
Chairmen: Dori Modney
Vice-Chairmen: Kerri Masnyk
Secretary: Candice Miller
Treasurer: Veronica Gedrasik (who begins in 2013)
PPC exists to make sure our congregational endeavors are so organized as to be able to carry out its Mission to “give honor and glory to God, to carry out His will, to assist in bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all the world, to manifest the unity of our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, to unite in worship, to foster Christian fellowship and love, to extend a helping hand in human need, and to achieve our objectives by the preaching of the Word of God, by the proper administration of the sacraments, by religious instruction and by a Christ-like witness” (Article 2, ILC Constitution). To this end, please feel comfortable to bring any ideas or concerns to your Council representatives.
Immanuel Lutheran Church
August 32, 2012
A-BC District Mission Donations for Month.................................................................................................... $305.00
A-BC District Mission Donations to Date ....................................................................................................... 2223.00
CLWR Mission Donations for Month ............................................................................................................... 325.00
CLWR Mission Donations to Date ................................................................................................................. 1691.00
Servus Credit Union Cheq. Acc.t Balance.................................................................................................. $23476.71