Cross+Words - April 2018

PASTOR'S CORNER...

Spring greetings... maybe??? It seems that spring doesn't really want to arrive this year, doesn't it?  As I'm writing this, we're preparing for a major ice storm.  Maybe?  Yesterday was 70 degrees.  If the weather prophecy holds true, we will experience a drastic change.  Well, this weekend's scripture reminds me of that drastic change.  We go from the death to the resurrection, and the disciples seem to think they've seen a ghost.  In Luke 24, Jesus goes out of his way to calm the fears of the disciples by asking for food, eating in front of them, proving that he is no ghost, but their beloved friend, in the flesh, celebrating with them the fulfillment of scripture, just as God said.

I want you to know that the best part of ministry is to bring Christ's word of peace and proclamation of good news to you.  I'm here to stir us to a point of joy and to calm your fears as we celebrate in the resurrected life together.  And yet I know there's a lot going on in our church - we've introduced new Holy Week services, we've made a special area for the children, the Alternative service is remaining on Saturdays.  I'm super-duper excited about these things and the hope that they bring - how they will enable others to become more engaged in their faith - and yet these are changes that may also bring about some anxiety.  Peace be with you; I echo Jesus' words.   

My call as pastor to this community is first and foremost to help deepen our spirituality and our connectedness to our neighbors.  We all desire that we grow as Christians, but sometimes the discomfort of change doesn't feel so good.  Peace be with you, I say again.  So I wish to invite you to speak with me about any concerns you may have - directly.  Know that as your pastor, I will hold our conversations with utmost loving care and confidentiality.  I want to know and share your joys and worries.

In the meanwhile, I excitedly await the real arrival of spring, any day, because I know that something great is just around the corner.  And that is the same hope and joy that I have also witnessed that with our worshipping community.  Peace be with you.

With Christ's love
-PrK


QUILT FOR CHARITY

Faith quilters have presented a quilt for Habitat for Humanity's annual quilt show.  It is on display from Friday through Sunday this week at Our Savior on Hemmeter.  This is the 17th year for the Quilt Show & Silent Auction, and this year's home is the former residence of Emily Hahn. For more info, click here.


SATURDAY WORSHIP
By congregational vote, the Alternative service has decided to remain on Saturdays throughout the year.  The time will also remain 5:00pm throughout the year. 
And have no fear!  The Ice Cream socials will resume on June 2nd.


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FAITH FLEA MARKET
Outdoor flea market on May 5th from 8am-3pm. 
Vendor tables are available for $20.  No clothes for sale.  Please call the office at 989-799-0162 to reserve your space.  For updates, check here.


CONFIRMATION 2018
Two young women of Faith Lutheran affirmed their baptismal promises and life in Christ on Palm Sunday this year.  We give thanks for the joy and Christian witness of Marrissa Price and Jade Larkin.


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PRAYGROUND
What is this new "Prayground" that I hear about?  Yes!  We want to show the community that we value children here, and we are doing it in a way that makes it abundantly clear that the Gospel and our worship is for them, too!  During Easter Sunday celebration, a toddler sat in the Prayground and pointed to the cross, asking "what is that?" THAT, my friends, is exactly the point of the Prayground - a place that children can clearly see what they've been missing for many years (they're tiny humans, and miss a lot of the world just by being so small).

Experience has shown that when churches fail to get children involved in worship by ages 4-6, then the children never feel that they are truly welcome or part of that community.  Worried about it being a distraction?  So far, so good for us!  Congregations that have a dedicated children's space near the front report that because children can see what's going on, it captures their attention and keeps them engaged.  What tends to be more distracting is (believe it or not!) the parent who "shushes" a child.  Plus, the plush toys are pretty quiet.  Worried about it being in the way of communion traffic?  We thought of that, too, and it's not a problem.  The recessed space occupies no more real estate than the former pew in that same place. Plus, kids get a kick out of seeing so many people pass by them on their way back from communion.  When they see familiar faces each week, its like having a number of aunts and uncles surround them in worship, and how beautiful is that?!


WELCOME NEW MEMBERS!
At Easter Vigil we welcomed several new members into our community.  As a congregation, we welcomed and vowed to support the following persons in their faith life: Kathleen and Mike Basner, Jim and Susan Lown, Sherry Leszczynski,  Samantha Leszczynski, Shyanne Leiner, Judy Rawlusczki and Thomas Wilhelm.
On April 15th, we will baptize Liam Robert-James Leiner and welcome him into the Body of Christ.


GRADUATION NEWS?
Do you have a youth in your family (child, grandchild, niece, nephew, etc.) who is about to graduate this year?  It can be a graduation from elementary school, middle, high or college.  We would like to pray for them and bless them for their next venture during worship on Sunday, June 17th at 10am.  Let the office know, either by phone or email.


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BIBLE STUDY
Thursdays 10am & 6pm continue the discussion on "Women & Justice".  See what our faith has to say about gender equality.  Meet in the conference room.  Materials are available at the church or can be downloaded here.