Jesus teaches that there is a stark distinction between the kingdom of heaven, and the kingdom of this world. This means that those who have the mind of Christ will see everything differently than those who have the mind of the world. One place where this confusion can be blurred, even for some of the most devout Christians, is in music.
Now I’m not saying that some musical sounds or instruments are worldlier than other more heavenly ones. But I am saying that certain types of songs contradict or at least confuse the whole message of the Word of God. The confusion can happen with respect to modern love songs, especially at weddings. By modern love songs, I mean those songs that make it sound as though relationships are held together at root by the powerful feelings that two people have for one another. And for instance, when such songs are used during wedding ceremonies, it gives the false impression that personal feelings are a reliable foundation for a marriage. That is not what God teaches, but what the world teaches about marriage.
This might make me sound like a stick in the mud. "C'mon Pastor. The bible doesn't say “Thou shalt have no love songs at a wedding.” Isn't a wedding about love anyway? Why can't we play nice clean devotional love songs during the day when we pledge our love to one another?"
Before I go on I need to make two disclaimers. First, I am not saying that strong feelings of attraction are evil. You'd have to be an ogre to have no feelings at all during your wedding. What I am saying though is that feelings are not the basis of a real relationship. Second, I am not saying that love songs are evil. I listen to love songs, and music that celebrates the wonderful feelings that flow from a godly relationship should be sung about and celebrated. It's just that the purpose of a wedding is to establish the basis of the one-flesh union of a marriage. And feelings are no more the root of a marriage than the apple is the root of the tree. A sickly apple tree may be a sad sight and produce no apples, but it is still an apple tree. So too, a loveless marriage is a sad sight indeed, but it is still a marriage.
The truth is, it is not your powerful feelings for one another that unites you in marriage. It's God's grace that unites you. It’s God's promise that sustains you and gives you the power to surrender all things for your spouse "in sickness and in health, until death”…not because your spouse deserves it, but because God wills it. Building a relationship on feelings is like building a house on the sand….either foundations are unreliable and can quickly and easily wash away. But what God has joined, let no man put asunder. (Mark 10:9).
God promises to join husband and wife into one flesh. And that means that, at a Christian wedding, we should sing hymns, and psalms and spiritual songs--not to praise the power of our love, but the power of God's love that alone has the power make saints out of sinners, and makes two into one.
And so St. Paul quotes Genesis and says, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cling to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is profound, and I am saying it refers to Christ and the Church” (Ephesians 5:31-32).
Isn’t that amazing?! Paul is teaching us that God didn’t create marriage arbitrarily or for no reason. The one-flesh union of man and wife is simply to be an image, a secondary reflection, a picture after the pattern of the one-flesh union of Christ and his church. And that happens when he gives us his flesh to eat and his blood to drink (John 6:54) and we become his body and his bride, “that he might sanctify us, having cleansed us by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:26-27).
In short, Jesus does not love us because we are attractive. Love is not based on some emotional magnetism that makes coming together easy and natural. Rather we love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). That’s what modern love songs can’t understand, a love that is bigger than your feelings. That’s the mystery of marriage as proclaimed from the Scriptures and profound enough to reach the very depths of the nature of God himself who is Love (1 John 4:8).
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine.” Isaiah 43:1
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 24 children registered so far. There are 12 teachers and 6 assistants. It is wonderful that so many people have stepped forward to teach and assist in the Sunday School this year. God Bless You!!
This year’s Sunday School staff includes: Pre-School staff: Debbie Lemke, Alex Purcell, Caitlin Purcell, Bonnie Anton, Julia Anton, Sarah Lindemann, Shannon Lindemann, Joanne DesRoche and Alannah Crawford; the Grade 1/2/3 staff includes: Nicole Anton, Kelsey Whipple, Tamara Nelson, Nicole Koenig, Kayla Hamilton and Katelyn Drake; the Grade 4/5/6 staff includes: Adrien Corbierre, Mary Ann Fuller, Bailey Whipple and Brendan Wiggers.
This month the children will be learning about Cain and Abel, Noah and the Flood and Abram. Your children are all learning through their Sunday School studies, of these special people, that they themselves are also called to “Go To the Sea of Galilee to cast their nets and be fishers of God’s word.” Your children are learning about how very special they are to God, 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 April Sunday School staff meeting, the Sunday School staff, decided that the Sunday School children would participate in Communion by receiving a blessing at the altar. The teachers teaching on those Sundays were missing out on taking Communion and we wanted the children to witness Communion as well. This had been done at one of the staff member’s previous churches. We have participated in Communion twice in September and we have had comments from congregation members that they are pleased to see the Sunday School children present at Communion.
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.
The children are practicing two songs during our “Opening Time” at Sunday School: “Face to Face” and “Jesus Rescues Me”. These are two of their favourite songs from this year’s Vacation Bible School program. We will be singing these songs during the 11 am worship service on October 26th.
If anyone is in need of more Sunday School offering envelopes please see Kathy Withage and she 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.”
The preschool is off to a great start for this new school year! It is great to see all the smiling little faces everyday! The preschool is looking forward to their first field trip of the year in October, when they will go to the Corn Maze. Other exciting events include an Ice Cream Social for families and Picture Day. Though our morning classes are full, there are still a couple of spots in the afternoon program. Please email Tanya @ email@example.com or call 403-892-6627 for information.
With a Grateful Heart I would like to thank the members & friends of Immanuel for their gracious and generous support of The Cripple Creek Stephen Ministry fundraiser. Because of all of you (members & friends) and the willing assistance of our Youth Volunteers: Julia Anton, Shannon Lindemann & Taylor-Brenn Symonds serving desserts and beverages; the help of Marilynne Darroch, Pat Schielke for baking angel food cakes as well as Julie & Leonard Lorenz, Frank & Sandra Zasadny & Larry Canfield for baking, setting up and preparing for this evening and Harm Shippers for the donation of the delicious strawberries, we were able to raise a $1007.20 to purchase all the educational materials we need for training this fall! All praise glory & honor be to God our Heavenly Father who has blessed you to be a blessing. Thank You! Katherine Canfield. Mom’s Time. All mothers are encouraged and welcome to join our ‘Mom’s Time’ group. 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? Our ‘Mom’s Time’ group meets the 2nd & 4th Thursday mornings of the month from 9:45 -11:30 a.m. Next sessions are Oct.9th & 23th. The program is free and everyone is welcome. If you need more information or wish to attend please call Katherine Canfield, Parish Coordinator 403-327-4336 or 403-756-2149.
Do you have 2 ½ hours per week to watch TV, read a book or do something else? Then consider becoming a Stephen Minister. That’s about the time commitment it will take for God to use you to let his light and love shine through you to someone else. God does not always call the equipped but God does provide us with the Holy Spirit and does equip the Called. We are now recruiting for Stephen Ministers. We need volunteers for this ministry to move forward. Please prayerfully consider participating in this ministry. We like to start the Stephen Ministry Training this fall in October. To Learn more or to volunteer speak to Katherine Canfield 403-756-2149 or Julie Lorenz 403-381-8332.
The Stephen Series, in which Immanuel is enrolled, is designed to train laypeople for caring ministry. Loving others in Jesus’ name is a challenge and an opportunity for all God’s children. Likewise, the joy of helping others is the privilege of all Christians, for the Holy Spirit has given gifts to each Christian to use in service to others and to build up the church (1 Corinthians 12:7–11). Stephen Ministry will rely on the gifts the Holy Spirit has given to our lay members so that, as more people are equipped to care, Christ’s love for us will be able to go out from us in ever greater and more effective ways.
Life is settling back into a Routine. I have had a few more requests for rides to church. If you are able to provide a senior or someone with a ride once a month or a few times per month please let Katherine Canfield 403-756-2149 know of your availability and which service you would be available to provide rides for on Sunday morning.
Parents Do You have A Youth between the ages of 12- 18 years? Please take note of this wonderful opportunity to support your youth’s learning and help them have the tools to stand firm in their faith! SPOKEN is the 2014 Fall Youth Retreat held Oct. 31 – Nov. 2 at the Foothills Lutheran Church, Calgary. A special free parent session is available free on Thurs. Oct. 30 at 7:00 p.m. Youth 12- 18 year are encouraged to attend. Cost is $55 per youth. Calvin Smith was formerly on the pastoral staff of a church in Guelph, ON. overseeing the youth and small group ministries. Through working with young people, both inside the church and with a small group at the University of Guelph, Calvin personally witnessed the devastation brought to our youth by the teaching of evolutionary rationalism. But he also saw the life – transforming effect of biblical answers that encourage people to know that God’s Word can be trusted from the very first verse. There will be a special session open to the public on Thursday Oct. 30 at 7:00 p.m. This session is open to anyone & everyone, there will be a children’s program for kids ages 4-10. There is no charge and no registration required however RVSP for children’s program are appreciated. Sign Up on the Bulletin Board today or let Katherine Canfield know you are interested in attending. Deadline to Register is Oct.5th.
This month’s: Couples Challenge Faith Conversations
Talk about the book of Colossians as a couple. Read each chapter together or individually, then focus your conversation on the passages below and discuss the questions that follow. In all you DO... “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17 • If money were no object, how would you serve God with your life? • Who inspires you by the way he or she lives out the ordinary moments of his or her life? • How can you serve God in your everyday activities, regardless of financial constraints? We all have goals or dreams of things we’d like to do for God’s kingdom, but it’s also important for us to live for Him daily, doing all things in His name. We need to live for Him in the ordinary events of life, chores, jobs and parenting, doing all things “as working for the Lord” (Colossian 3:23) –Crystal Brothers
In all you SAY... “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6 • What do you wish I would say to you more often? • If others were to listen to our private conversations, what would they hear that would make our beliefs evident to them? • When talking to others about your faith, how can you balance God’s gift of grace with His clear definitions of good and evil? When we try to represent a belief that calls us to love unconditionally and reject sinful behavior, we need to watch our mouths carefully. Our faith can only be accurately communicated when amazing grace is sprinkled with absolute truth. Speaking the truth without love can really hurt, and trying to stretch grace beyond all truth can cause pain in the long run. —Jaime Schreiner
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.”
Immanuel Lutheran Church Financial Statement August 31, 2014
MISSION OFFERINGS A-BC District Mission Donations for Month $250.00 A-BC District Mission Donations to Date 2,720.00 CLWR Mission Donations for Month 300.00 CLWR Mission Donations to Date 1,335.00
BANK ACCOUNTS Servus Credit Union Cheq. Acc.t Balance $9,956.58 Dedicated Accounts Balance 27,372.91 Church Extension Savings 10,045.48
CURRENT MONTH Budgeted Income 32,584.42 Actual Income 29,698.18 Budgeted Disbursements 32,584.42 Actual Disbursements 29,827.90
YEAR TO DATE Budgeted Income 195,506.50 Actual Income 260,688.37 Budgeted Disbursements 195,506.50 Actual Disbursements 243,477.08
They're Back! Those wonderful Church Bulletins! Thank God for the church ladies with typewriters. These sentences actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced at church services:
The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.
Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
The sermon this morning: 'Jesus Walks on the Water.' The sermon tonight: 'Searching for Jesus.'
Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.
Miss Charlene Mason sang 'I will not pass this way again,' giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
Next Thursday there will be try-outs for the choir. They need all the help they can get.
Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.
At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be 'What Is Hell?' Come early and listen to our choir practice.
Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
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