I have been musing over the passages in the Gospel of John that deal with the bread – “I am the Bread of Life”, says Jesus. And it reminds me of how quickly delicious bread goes! The good stuff certainly doesn’t last too long in our household, especially if it’s rolled together with cinnamon and sugary icing!! And before we know it, we tend to ask, “where did that bread go?” (as if it evaporated into thin air). That bread, as delicious and yummy as it is, doesn’t last long. Nothing does, really. This summer I’m asking the same thing – where did that time go? Same holds true with our churches and our families.
When we love that bread – or Jesus, or the church or our loved ones – we don’t want it to end. We get scared and want to gobble it down or put it on a shelf to memorialize it. And we often forget that God gives us all the good bread we need at the right time – it just changes with the seasons of our lives. And so, our summer may be drawing to a close, and our church activities that nourish us right now will change for the season – we will embrace Advent sooner than we realize!
Jesus, in giving his life for us, becomes the bread that does last forever. It is shelf-stable beyond belief, and there’s no end to it. We have a God of abundance, and our God encourages us to share that delicious bread of thanksgiving and forgiveness with everyone we meet. That is the real bread that brings us into eternal life and has carried the church throughout the ages.
Summer blessings to you… and I can’t wait for pumpkin spice!
ADULT MORNING BIBLE STUDY
· Thursdays @ 10:00 a.m
· Meets year-round in the conference room
· Current study: "Learning About Jeremiah"
Next Study: "Short Stories by Jesus"
ADULT EVENING BIBLE STUDY
· Thursday Evenings will begin on September 13th at 6pm in the conference room.
· Next Study: "Short Stories by Jesus"
· August meeting was at Betty N-C's cottage, and discussion on Rob Bell's "Love Wins". While the circle meeting has passed, you can still read about Bell’s beautiful wresting with God’s unending love by reading the book. It’s available in print or Kindle
· Next Circle meeting will be September 4th 9:30am.
· The next Rebekah Circle meeting will be September 10th at 6pm.
Photo Directory Update
We are currently waiting on Lifetouch to produce the photo directories. This has been a long process, and we greatly appreciate your patience. We will distribute the directories to you immediately upon receipt from Lifetouch.
Are you thinking about your child and the sacrament of Holy Communion? Do you yourself have questions about what the sacrament is or does? There’s good news! We will hold a “First Communion Workshop” on Tuesday, September 18th and Tuesday September 25th, 2018 at 6pm
A joyous celebration of First Communion will take place during worship on Sunday, September 30th at 10am. A small reception will follow in the fellowship hall. Please feel free to invite your friends and family to this great occasion.
· September 9th 11:30 – 1:30. Fun for the whole family! Petting zoo, pony rides, face painting, games and snacks! The Saginaw Twp. police and fire, CAN Council, Habitat for Humanity, Sammy Spirit, Covenant will all be there! Hope you will be, as well! Invite the kids and grandkids and your neighbor, too!
We rejoice in the baptism of Weston James Beckrow, who joined God’s family of faith on July 21st.
Lord, thank you for the faithful witness of these your children. Console the families who grieve, and reassure us that, at the last, we will again see you in glory. Bless the families who embrace new life, knowing that you journey with us through every step. Amen.
We are delighted to introduce you to Ms. Beth Lasky Hale as our new Minister of Music. She brings great talent and leadership skills to our congregation. More info about Beth coming soon!
Learning about… Why do we share the peace?
During worship, we engage in an ancient practice of sharing the peace. This isn’t just a time to celebrate the arrival of our neighbors in the pew beside us, but rather it is a special moment that goes much deeper than that. When we offer one another peace, we do just that: give them a moment of peace and kindness and reconciliation. The gospel of Matthew, in chapter 5, bids us to come honest with ourselves and our neighbors – any offense we may have against the neighbor should be reconciled before approaching the altar. During worship, this takes place at the time of the intercessory prayers (Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer) because our forgiveness, our hopes and our gifts are all become offerings to God. God offers to us that ultimate peace through the meal of Holy Communion.
News from the N/WLM Synod:
About a year ago, I made the decision to begin semiretirement when I concluded my ministry as Pastor of St. John Lutheran Church in Lake City. At that time, I decided to continue as the contract pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Manton. I also continued in my role as the Dean of the Traverse Conference and as chair of the Synod Response Team, a member of the MultiSynodical Candidacy Committee, and co-leader with Pastor David Sprang for Synod Boundary Training. Prayerful discernment led me to these decisions.
As is often the case in our lives of faith, the Lord had another idea! When Pastor Sarah Friesen-Carper resigned her call as Assistant to the Bishop for Congregational and Leadership Excellence effective July 31, Bishop Satterlee asked me if I would be willing to accept a call to be Assistant to the Bishop on an interim basis from July 1, 2018 through August 31, 2019. This interim call would allow for, hopefully, a smooth transition with Pastor Sarah’s portfolio and give ample opportunity to evaluate staffing needs and enter into an unhurried call process as needed. More prayerful discernment led me to accept the call. (It is always amazing how the Holy Spirit leads us as varying times in our lives!)
Over this next year, I will be serving approximately 35 hours a week in this call as Assistant to Bishop Satterlee. My portfolio will include Call Process, First Call Theological Education and pastoral presence in the Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo Conferences. I will also be synod staff liaison with the Youth Ministry Table, the Racial Justice Task Force, Living Fire Ministries and the Publicly Engaged Church Table and task forces. I will be working from the Grand Rapids Desk at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids. We extend a grateful thank you to Pastor David Blank and the Congregation of St. Luke’s for so graciously providing office space at St. Luke’s.
A bit of personal history for those who might be wondering include the fact that I served in full-time ministry in the Roman Catholic Church for twenty years as Liturgist and Director of Music, Pastoral Associate and Pastoral Administrator. Over the past twenty-four years, I served St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in New York City, Transfiguration Lutheran Church in Taylor, King of Kings Lutheran Church in Lake Orion, St. John Lutheran Church in Lake City and currently Trinity Lutheran Church in Manton.
We are in the midst of our five week “series” of Gospel lessons from Chapter 6 of John’s Gospel where we reflect upon Jesus as the Bread of Life who nourishes and sustains us. Tucked in each of these five Sundays is the Epistle lesson from the Letter of Paul to the Ephesians. In this letter, we, who are the church, are encouraged to understand both our unity and our diversity. Our unity comes in knowing that there is one body, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism and one God of all. Our diversity is expressed in our various forms of ministry.
I am blessed to be called to journey together with all of you as we live out our call to be church in the North/ West Lower Michigan Synod of the ELCA. May we continue to grow in greater unity as we share the gifts for ministry that God has given us. May we also remember that we are fed and nourished on this journey by Jesus who is our Bread of Life.
Blessings and Peace,
The Rev. Rosanne M. Anderson, Assistant to the Bishop