Greetings everyone, and welcome back to what seems like the beginning of another church year! Seems like everything these days follows the school year schedule, and the church is no different. Summer vacation happens here too. But, fall is on its way, and our Sunday School and Preschool programs, and two church services are all beginning again. Summertime is busy, and people are away much on holidays and other things. But regulars always return in the Fall because something draws them back to worship. For those who know the faith, what draws them is the presence of Jesus.
There are many and various reasons why people come to worship. The Lutheran and Biblical view is that the reason faithful people come to church is because Jesus is there. In Divine Worship, Jesus makes himself available in three modes, Preaching, Baptism, and Holy Communion. Everything else in the church, from Sunday School programs to air conditioning, is to aid in pointing people to these things, because these things are where Jesus is found. Preaching, Baptism and Communion don’t simply point to Jesus or remind us of him. These things ARE Jesus. And where Jesus is, that’s where faithful people want to be.
The truth is that most churches believe and teach that Jesus is ruling everything from heaven…and if he’s in heaven, he can’t be at church. And so if a church doesn’t think it really has Jesus, it will try all sorts of tactics--usually focused on entertainment and consumer-oriented marketing approaches--to get people to come to worship without Jesus. But the bible gives many accounts as to what draws people to true worship…and it’s not entertainment or programs…it’s that Jesus actually comes to town. He makes an appearance. Jesus comes teaching and forgiving and healing souls.
There’s a famous account in the bible about a man named Zacchaeus who heard that Jesus was coming to his town of Jericho (read Luke 19:1-10). Zacchaeus was a tax collector and burdened by his sin. When he heard where Jesus was going to be, he ran out of his house and climbed a sycamore tree just so that he could get a glimpse of Jesus. Zacchaeus thought that being in the presence of Jesus was important. Could you imagine if Zacchaeus said, “Jesus is in my heart, so I don’t need to go to him. I believe in Jesus already, and I pray to him from home. God is in heaven and everywhere, and so I don’t need to meet him with the crowds…I’ll just reach out to him in faith.”
If the Bible is true, then Jesus came to be Immanuel…”God with us” (Matthew 1:23). And he is with us every bit as much as he was with Zacchaeus in any and every church where believers gather around the preached Word and sacraments of Jesus. If Jesus is really present in His preached word, his body and his blood, and they believe it, they will come. And if he’s not really present in a unique and exclusive and essential at Divine Worship, then shoot…I wouldn’t bother coming to church either.
We at Immanuel Lutheran Church have something that most other churches, by their own admission, do not. We have Jesus who says, “Take eat,This is my body; Drink, This is my blood”…in Holy Communion Jesus says, “Here I am, available to you and for you in flesh and blood.” Entertainment and consumer-oriented market strategies didn’t get Zacchaeus out of his home and up a tree to see Jesus in the flesh. Jesus didn’t market anything to him, to try and be relevant to tax-collectors, except that he offered--from his own person--the forgiveness of sins and salvation.
Zacchaeus heard that Jesus was going to be in Jericho and so he went. So if there’s someone you care about who doesn’t think church is important, don’t try to win them back by saying things like, “Church is fun,” or “God wants you there” or “it’s important to go” or “Church makes me feel good, just give it a chance” or something vain like that. Just tell them the truth…Jesus is going to be there forgiving sins and offering salvation. That’s why people return to church in the fall. That’s why the Holy Christian and Apostolic church will never fall (Matthew 16:18)…because Jesus in the flesh comes to church, and so we do too. For we have Jesus.
Pastor Nathan Fuehrer
OUR FALL SCHEDULE
Our Fall schedule will resume on Sunday, September 8, 2013. At that time please watch for the following opportunities for worship and for Christian Education.
• 9:00 a.m. Traditional Worship will again be offered. This service is normally from the Lutheran Service Book, makes use of traditional hymns, and is lead by the organ.
• 11:15 a.m. Sunday School following the Object Lesson at the 11:00 a.m. service.
• 11:00 a.m. Contemporary Worship. This service is lead by a worship team which may include piano, guitar, bass guitar and other instruments. Normally the liturgy is spoken and the songs are selected from a variety of contemporary resources.
Psalm 18: vs. 30 (As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.)
Welcome to a new Sunday School year!! Thanks to all the wonderful people that have volunteered to teach and assist with the Sunday School program! May God bless us again this year! Hallelujah!!!!
September 8th will be our first day of Sunday School and the curriculum is normally complete by mid May. We will have a Registration Table set up in the church Foyer before the 11 a.m. church service on the first day of Sunday School. All the Sunday School children: Pre-School through Grade 6, that will be attending Sunday School can be registered on this day. All Sunday School children need to be registered each year.
During the Fall semester the children will learn about David, Solomon, Elijah, Jonah, Daniel and Esther .
When the children come to the Fellowship Hall for their first day of Sunday School they will be greeted by this year’s staff. We will do some “Meet and Greet” activities so that everyone gets to know each other. We will sing songs, play games, make a group bulletin board decoration and do other exciting activities. It will be a wonderful beginning to this year’s Sunday School Program. Our study of “David” will begin on Sunday, September 15th.
Sunday School normally takes place during the 11 a.m. worship service; so it runs from approximately 11:15 to 12:15. The Sunday School children attend church with their parents until after the “Object Lesson.” The children, aged 3 through Grade 6, are then dismissed to their Sunday School classrooms. In the classrooms the children review the “Lesson of the Day” that was introduced to them at “Object Lesson” time, during the worship service. Then they work on “The Activity of the Day”, which could be a craft, a game, a song, or some other relevant, fun activity. Attendance is kept by the classroom teachers. The class time ends with a prayer. Parents need to pick up their Pre-School through Grade 3 children up at their classrooms.
There are awards for excellent attendance given out at the end of the year.
There is an urgent need to fill some staff positions in the Sunday School program. If you are interested in being part of the Sunday School program in any way please let the Sunday School Coordinator, Kathy Withage, know. Her home phone number is 403-345-5454. Teachers and assistants work on a one-time-a-month rotation, which means that you only teach once a month and on the same Sunday each month, unless you would like to teach more often which would be wonderful, for the students!
Psalm 8: vs. 1 (O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, You who set Your glory above the heavens!)
Our Lord Jesus Christ commands in the last Chapter of Matthew "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and TEACHING THEM TO OBSERVE ALL THAT I HAVE COMMANDED YOU." The Holy Bible is God's own self-disclosure, and so Jesus commands his church to teach God's Word because it's not something we're born with, but something we need to learn. Therefore, confirmation is a program to make disciples by teaching them God's Word. "Discipleship" or "Learning" is a lifelong exercise for the Christian, but confirmation is designed to confirm in the student a basic knowledge of the God of the Bible in Jesus Christ, and the way that he intends to work in and through all believers. Those who are "confirmed" in the faith have been given the tools needed to "examine themselves" before receiving Christ's own body and blood in Holy Communion (1 Corinthians 11:28). Confirmation instruction is intended for youths in Grade 7 and Grade 8. If you know of any such youth who wishes to participate in confirmation this year and hasn’t received an invitation, please contact Pastor Nathan at 403-915-4336 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
MENS BIBLE STUDY
The Wednesday morning Men's Bible Study will resume on September 4th at 7:30a.m. at the church. If you are interested, please join us as we weekly consult God’s Word for your life.
LITTLE LAMBS CHRISTIAN PRESCHOOL
Little Lambs Christian Preschool is gearing up for another great year! We would like to welcome Teacher Kindra Birss back from her maternity leave, as she will be teaching the afternoon classes, and Teacher Shannon Steeves will be returning to teach our morning classes. Our classroom assistant this year will be Becca Wever. We will also be fortunate this year to have 2 assistants from Palliser Regional School, Andrea Hanna and Melody Thiessen. This summer our classroom got a bit of a facelift, in the way of new paint. It looks great, and we are sure the kids will love it! The first week of September will be orientation days, where the children can come to check out the classroom and meet the staff. Regular classes will start on September 9th. Though many of the classes are full, there are still a couple of spaces left. If you or someone you know is interested in attending Little Lambs Christian Preschool, please have them call our Administrator, Tanya at 403-892-6627.
THE QUILTING GROUP
The Quilting Group, also known as (The Empty Spools) will be meeting again from 1 to 4 on Wednesdays, starting on Sept 4th. All interested people are invited to attend.
Now that fall is in the air, we may be turning our thoughts to some indoor activities. We will begin playing bridge on Thursday, September 5th here at the Church at 2:00 p.m. and play for about two hours. For our returning bridge players we would ask that you phone Irene Jorgensen at 403-381-7378 ONLY if you are NOT able to attend. For any new players who wish to play, please feel free to show up at that time.
MOMS & TOTS GROUP
Moms & Tots Group Will run the second & fourth Thursday morning of each month 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Our first session will begin again this fall on Thursday Sept. 26,2013. 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.
First of all, I want to thank all who offered to do Coffee Fellowship during the last year! It was greatly appreciated. Starting September 8, we are going back to our old schedule. The 9:00 a.m. service will offer coffee fellowship every Sunday while the 11:00 a.m. service will have coffee fellowship on the NON communion Sundays. Again, those involved in a group of some kind, individual families and friends should feel free to sign up to serve coffee in the narthex, close to the kitchen entrance. You have the option of serving us in the narthex or in the Fellowship Hall. It is not what you serve or where you serve that matters but the fact that by doing a Sunday, you are encouraging us to fellowship as Christians at Immanuel and it gives us an opportunity to meet new people visiting in our church! Thank You! Linda Egli
PICTURE DIRECTORY INCLUDE YOURSELF IN
Chris Yauck Photography is pleased to have been selected to photograph your Church Directory this year. We’re looking forward to getting to know everyone at the Church and having this opportunity to photograph your families. We’d love to extend a special offer to do something different for you than just the standard Church Directory photo! For limited dates we are offering a free upgrade to a location session on your directory photo Sept. 10, 20 & 21. This can be a location at our studio, your home or backyard, down at the river bottom or somewhere else in the city. Other dates for picture directory photography may also be available in September please call for availability. This is a great chance to not only get in the directory but also to update your family photo with portraits you’ll cherish for years to come. Please call to book your appointment as soon as possible or if you have any questions. 403-320-1584. We also have free consultations if you’d like to book a time to come in and discuss your portrait session ahead of time. Each Family Group will receive one free 8X10 photograph and church directory. These will be available late October/Early November.
" Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do." Galations 2: 10 ESV
I am so pleased with the response to the Puerto Penasco Mission Project and I thank God for all of you. Your support is most appreciated.
To date, we have 18 members/friends of Immanuel who will participate in a 4-5 day building project. A single mom and her two small boys will receive much needed shelter. In addition, because of the number of participants and funds available, we will be able to extend our project to benefit other families in what was recently listed as the poorest community of Penasco. Through the summer, water and electricity have been provided to some of this area but I do not have confirmation as to whether our recipient family has received this much needed service. Perhaps we will be purchasing a couple of power poles to get electrical access to the property.
Earlier this week, I was speaking with a missionary who has worked in this area. She told me that "the community becomes interested in what God is doing around them so there are great witness opportunities". My hope is that God will provide us with the skills to be witnesses to the families, the neighbors, the children, and to our fellow Christians who have offered to help in various ways.
Our project will take place November 11-15. Please keep us in your prayers as we continue to prepare for this mission trip.
Thanks to all of you who have so generously contributed financially and/or through a fundraising endeavor. The Outreach committee is organizing a Potluck for Sunday, September 22, following the service so please participate if you are able; the proceeds from free-will offering will go to the Penasco Mission.
“For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20
We definitely had a successful weekend with the campout. There were 7 families who camped and 2 families came out on Saturday for the day and joined in on the potluck dinner. We shared lots of laughs and really enjoyed our time together. On the Saturday, we played a game of soccer, had a scavenger hunt for the kids, and played the Survivor game. I am happy to announce, the Sole Survivor was Robb Bloos who received a gift card for Tim Hortons, and Ed Baedke was voted Best Sportsman-like and also received a gift card. On Sunday, Pastor Nathan led us in worship. It is so wonderful to come together as a Church family and spend time together that we hope you will consider joining next year. I have already started the planning. A big thank you to everyone who came out to support this event and a special thank you to Angie Bloos who helped with the Scavenger Hunt and the gifts for the children. See you next year!!!!
Join us after service on Sunday, September 22 for a potluck lunch. Please bring generous portions of your favorite dish to share. Free-will proceeds will go toward the Penasco Mission which takes place in November. If you'd like to volunteer for set-up or clean-up, please contact Janet Ainscough or Shirley Masnyk.
Are you feeling God's call on your life to work with women and men in crisis? Come spend a week with the Lethbridge Pregnancy Care Centre learning how you can journey alongside anyone facing an unplanned pregnancy, sharing with them the love of Christ. The LPCC is opening this fall, and we are looking for trained volunteers to minister to our city.
When: September 16—21, 2013 Monday—Friday, 6:30—9:30, Saturday 9-5 Where: Immanuel Lutheran Church, 20 Rocky Mountain Blvd. W., Lethbridge Cost: $20.00
Call Monica at (403) 942-1819 or email at email@example.com to register or if you have questions. This training is mandatory for anyone who will work in the Centre, but is not a commitment to volunteer.
Immanuel Lutheran Church
Financial Statement, July 31, 2013
A-BC District Mission Donations for Month........................................................................................................ $100.00
A-BC District Mission Donations to Date ........................................................................................................... 1,068.50
CLWR Mission Donations for Month ................................................................................................................ 2,419.20
CLWR Mission Donations to Date .................................................................................................................... 4,744.20
Servus Credit Union Cheq. Acc.t Balance..................................................................................................... $58,746.53