Way back, before I was born..before my parents were born...a book was published by a man named Norman Vincent Peale. The book was called, "The Power of Positive Thinking", and this book defined the spirituality of the world we live in today. The book wasn't necessarily trend-setting as much as it was prophetic. The title alone suggests what most people today think of faith ...wishful thinking. In fact, Peale was a pastor in a Church where he gained fame for his sermons on "a positive approach to modern living." Through Peale and men like him, popular Christianity is now reduced to little more than a positive philosophy of life...a type of personal therapy. I never heard him preach, but I imagine Peale to have been the precursor to our modern-day Joel Osteen. This is not meant to be a compliment.
Now there certainly is a sense in which Christians should think positively. We know that what some men intend for evil, God can intend it for good (Genesis 50:20). We know if we ask anything in Jesus name--that is, according to his will--he will do it (John 14:13). We know that situations that look bad now are really building to something better, for instance...the crucifixion of Christ. That's not really positive thinking though, that's just listening to what God has said in his Word. In the Small Catechism when Martin Luther expounds on the 8th Commandment, he essentially says that you should put the best interpretation on your neighbor's actions, even if your immediate instinct tell you he's a liar, or a cheat. This sounds like positive thinking, but really, it's a form of humility...knowing your perceptions could be wrong so don't judge too hastily based on the limited evidence in front of you at the moment. That's not positive thinking though...that's just treating people with respect and giving them the benefit of the doubt.
On the other hand, there is the type of positive thinking that, as its first rule, negates all negativity. There is a type of positive thinking that promises you can do anything if you believe in yourself. This thinking puts words in God's mouth and promises, "God will accomplish anything through you if you just adopt a positive frame-of-mind." It's quite the scam really. If the person finds success, it's because the positive thinking worked. If they don't find success, well, they mustn't have been positive enough. If you question the program altogether, you're being "negative", which breaks the first rule...no negativity.
It's strange that anyone could adopt and promote such a shallow and false teaching. I can't think of anywhere in the bible where a writer attributes special power to "positive thinking." The only power that thinking has is in apprehending reality, not creating it. If the reality is sad, be sad. If the reality is happy, be happy. If the joke is funny laugh. If not...well, be polite. Control your emotions and your responses, but don't think you control the universe with your thoughts. The only power that forced positive thinking has is to trick your mind into welcoming a fiction. Disconnecting yourself and your thoughts from reality in order to protect and promote certain emotions is a dangerous road to go down. Instead, there is a type of thinking that is much more powerful than this...and that is the power of accurate thinking.
This Thanksgiving we should remember that it doesn’t take a special mental effort to count our blessings. Our true blessing is this: because God in his Word has revealed who he is and who we really are, we have the power to think accurately about things, and give thanks. Faith is not positive thinking...it's honest thinking about God and his promises for his people according to his Word. We don't need to try to see the good, or choose to ignore the bad. Because we have God's own testimony, we can face things as they really are. When we are suffering, we can consider the cross and think, "Suffering happens even to people God loves...that's the reality." When we fear death, we can consider the empty tomb and think, "Because Jesus' grave is empty, mine will be too...that is my sure and certain hope!" When we are anxious to receive Jesus in faith, we can see the wafer and the wine and think, "Jesus offers himself to me in his body and blood, and I receive him through this Communion...not because I choose to believe it, but because he said it. And whatever Jesus says isn't positive or negative...it is accurate and it is true."
Sunday School is off to a great start for the year! It is so great to see so many smiling faces back at Sunday School. There are 28 children registered so far. There are 9 teachers and 8 assistants.
Our Sunday School needs to have two more Pre-School teachers and three more Grade 4,5,6 teachers. Teachers only teach their class once per month, on the same Sunday each month. The lessons are all planned and organized by Concordia Publishing House (“Growing in Christ” curriculum), Pastor Nathan and the Sunday School Coordinator. Please let Kathy Withage know if you are interested in teaching Sunday School.
Thanks to all the staff that take the time to make Sunday School such a memorable time for the students while they are learning about David, Solomon, Elijah and many, many other Biblical people. Your children are all learning through their Sunday School studies of these special people, that they are also called to “Go Tell it on the Mountain…that Jesus Christ is Lord!!” Your children are learning about how very special they are to Jesus, as well!
Please speak to your child about what they have done at Sunday School to show them you are interested in what they are learning and doing.
At our first Sunday School meeting, the Sunday School staff, decided that the Sunday School would participate in contributing to the Puerto Penasco Mission, that the general church population is involved in. So, throughout October please consider donating a small, unused item to the two backpacks that will go to the children (two boys) of the family we are helping in Mexico. If you would like to donate an unused backpack, that would also be wonderful.
Happy Thanksgiving!!! There will not be any Sunday School classes on Thanksgiving Sunday; the children and staff will be able to attend church on this very special day.
If anyone is in need of more Sunday School offering envelopes please see Don Withage and he will supply you with some. The children’s offerings are kept track of in a special book and their offerings are added to their parent’s offering tally for tax purposes. This process is all done by people that keep this information confidential. All the monies from your children’s offerings contribute to our Sunday School program costs. Thank-you for being so generous to this very special ministry in our church!!
If you have not registered your child(ren)for Sunday School please see Kathy Withage to pick up a form. If your child(ren) are between 3 years of age and Grade 6 they are WANTED at Sunday School!
Psalm 66: 1-2 “Make a joyful shout to God, all the earth! Sing out the honor of His name; make His praise glorious.”
LITTLE LAMBS CHRISTIAN PRESCHOOL
Little Lambs Christian Preschool had a great start to a new school year. The children have had lots of fun learning new songs like "Boom Chicka Boom" and "He's the King of the Jungle". On September 26th, they had an Ice Cream Social for families to get to know each other. October will be a busy month for our preschoolers, as they will have picture days, a fieldtrip to the Corn Maze, and Pumpkin parties!
If you have questions about our preschool, please call Tanya at 403-892-6627
ADVANCED NOTICE: Our annual fall Congregational Voters Meeting is scheduled to be held on December 1, 2013. All voting members of Immanuel Lutheran Church are strongly encouraged to attend.
SAVE THE DATE our annual Turkey Dinner & Silent auction will be held on Nov. 23, 2013 more information to follow in future bulletins and next month’s newsletter.
A Special Thanksgiving Request: Please consider bringing some non perishable food donations the next two Sundays to display on the altar for Thanksgiving Sunday. Following service on Thanksgiving Sunday the food will be donated to the Food Bank to the benefit of others in our community. 2 Corinthians 9:10-11: “Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”
It’s Not too Late!! Include yourself in the history of Immanuel Lutheran Church. If you have not already done so please call Chris Yanck Photography 403-320-1584 and book your appointment to be included in the picture directory as soon as possible. We want to have as many of our church family included as possible.
Youth Retreat Sign up today! for all Youth in Grades 7-12 (age 12-18 years) Oct. 18 -20 2013 Foothills Lutheran Church Calgary. Topic is SEX & DATING. Youth will be challenged to consider their sexuality a gift of God, to be used in a way pleasing to Him. Cost $55.00 per youth for weekend. For more information or to sign up check out the Bulletin Board by the fellowship hall or speak to Katherine Canfield 403-756-2149. Deadline to sign up & submit your registration fee is Sept. 29, 2013.
A Free Special Parents Session with Pastor Rodger Sonnenberg of our Savior Lutheran Church in California, will be held on Saturday Oct. 19 from 1:30 -2:30 p.m. on talking with your kids about sex and dating. This session is open to all parents, even ones whose youth aren’t attending the retreat. No registration required however RSVPS are appreciated.
WEEKLY COTTAGE BIBLE STUDY
It’s that time of year again. Please consider joining a small group Bible study. It’s a wonderful opportunity to get to know & build friendship within our church community and at the same time you will learn to—“…Respect Christ as the holy Lord in your heart , always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have.” 1Peter 3:15. We hope to begin small group cottage studies again by mid October…. Please prayerfully consider being a host, leader or participant in a small group. Please speak to Katherine Canfield 403-756-2149 or sign up on the bulletin board. Watch the Sunday bulletin for more details.
MOMS & TOTS GROUP
Moms & Tots Group Will run the second & fourth Thursday morning of each month 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Our next sessions will be on Thursday Oct 10 & 24. A Moms & Tots group is a group of mothers of preschoolers [a mother of a child from conception through kindergarten]. This group is an opportunity to build community by providing an open, caring and accepting atmosphere where women can come together to share this important season of life. A place for mentoring where mature women listen, encourage and offer information and perspectives gained through experience. A place for practical instruction, teaching focuses on areas of common interest, offering inspiration and information that is relevant to the life of a mother. Interested? Bring a Friend. Please place your name & phone number on the signup sheet on the bulletin board outside the fellowship hall. You must register as we need numbers to budget for child care. If you need more information please call Katherine Canfield Parish Coordinator 403-327-4336 or 403-756-2149.
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. Prayer 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 can 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 403-756-2149
PUERTO PENASCO MISSION
"Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his deed".Proverbs 19:17
Members of Immanuel have indeed been generous in supporting the mission trip to Puerto Penasco, Mexico. The building project is scheduled for November 11-15.
Eighteen participants were commissioned on September 22nd at the 11 a.m. service and a potluck was held following the service to support the mission. Nearly $1,000.00 was raised on that Sunday. Funds to date have surpassed my goal of $10,000.00, of which I am very grateful to Immanuel members as well as friends and family.
Mission Jim, who was away for much of the summer, is now back in Penasco and has been in contact with Maritza, the recipient of our build. Fortunately, she was able to find some work this summer but also, because of that and because of the extreme heat, she rented a home next to her mother's so that Grandma could babysit and the boys could be in an air conditioned environment. She intends to be back in her San Rafael neighborhood for October and following. Jim has reported that he will be organizing the pouring of the slab in the very near future. He was also hoping to get an update on whether or not we will have electricity by November. I will be in Penasco mid October and anticipate a couple of busy weeks gathering materials for the project and preparing for the participants.
I believe our final fundraising effort will be Tyrel Gagne's walk-a-thon so please watch for announcements about that event in the month of October.
There is a sign up sheet on the bulletin for those who would like to walk or to bring food afterwards. The menu is tacos.
If you have any questions or would like more information about the mission trip, please email me at email@example.com.
Thank you again for all your support; you are truly a blessing to those in Penasco who will benefit from this endeavor.
My next article will be coming to you from Mexico. Until then, adios.
In His Service,
Immanuel Lutheran Church
August 31, 2013
A-BC District Mission Donations for Month $50.00
A-BC District Mission Donations to Date 1118.50
CLWR Mission Donations for Month 30.00
CLWR Mission Donations to Date 4774.20
Servus Credit Union Cheq. Acc.t Balance $3604.94
Dedicated Accounts Balance 32205.23
Church Extension Savings NIL
Budgeted Income 31,803.50
Actual Income 23,179.05
Budgeted Disbursements 31,803.50
Actual Disbursements 77,610.43
YEAR TO DATE
Budgeted Income 254,428.00
Actual Income 232,739.28
Budgeted Disbursements 254,428.00
Actual Disbursements 291,624.17
Throw It All Into A River A preacher, completing a temperance sermon, spoke with great fervor! "If I had all the beer in the world, I'd throw it all into the river." With greater emphasis, he said, "And if I had all the wine in the world, I'd throw it all into the river." And finally he said, "And if I had all the whiskey in the world, I'd throw it all into the river, too!" As he took his chair, the song leader stood and announced with a smile, "For our closing hymn, let us sing number 365:" "Shall We Gather at the River."
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 (summer schedule starts June 16): 10:00 AM - Combined Service - Holy Communion on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month