Greetings in the name of our risen Christ!
Milestones abound! We have celebrated our 10th anniversary of the building at 4432 Mackinaw Rd this week; last week marked our first year together as your pastor; and we celebrated high school and college graduations of many of our young adult members and family members. Let us continue to give thanks for the witness of our gracious God for the work we continue to do together, and may we see a beautiful summer ahead.
But despite all of our joy, may we also hold in prayer those who are in tender situations. Our neighbors to the north in Harrison have experienced devastating flooding. Our nation continues to be torn by immigration policies. We have brothers and sisters (or maybe even you) who are waiting for lab test results or surgeries. Hold these people in prayer - they are all children of God and need an extra measure of love and support!
And if you are away this summer, safe travels! When I'm out of town, I always try to find a church near my destination to see how they experience worship - it's always really interesting and exciting to see both the familiar and different traditions others hold dear. And if a congregation did something special and you liked it, let me know! Find a church near your destination here: ELCA Congregation Finder.
Blessings to you!
Why do we make the sign of the cross?
Lutherans have been making the sign of the cross before we were even Lutherans! It is a way of remembering our baptismal promise - that God, who raised Christ from the darkness of the cross of death into everlasting life, will also bring us from death into the fullness of life. At our baptisms, we heard the words, "marked with the cross of Christ and sealed by the Holy Spirit". By making the sign of the cross, we remind ourselves that we have been loved and claimed by God.
How do we make the sign of the cross? We begin by placing our hand on our forehead, "in the name of the Father" - remembering that God in heaven is our creator. We touch our mid-chest, "and of the Son" - where we remember that God descended from heaven to earth in the form of Christ for us; Christ dwells in our hearts. We move to our shoulder (typically left then right), "and of the Holy Spirit, amen." Amen, meaning "May it be so" is our way of making our declaration - a very efficient way of saying what we believe.
Education Opportunities (check this page often!):
ADULT MORNING BIBLE STUDY
- Thursdays @ 10:00 a.m
- Meets year-round
- Current study: "Spirituality of the Psalms"
- Book is not required, but helpful.
- Available in print or Kindle
Next Study: "The Parables of Jesus"
- Tuesday, August 7th 9:30am
- Meeting at Betty N-C's cottage (call for directions)
- Discussion on Rob Bell's "Love Wins"
- Available in print or Kindle
Help Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula
On Sunday, June 17, Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula was devastated by 6-8 inches of rain in a short amount of time, causing at least 60 sinkholes, numerous washed out roads, and one home that collapsed on a twelve year old boy. Hundreds of businesses and homes are affected in Houghton and the surrounding area. Residents will need immediate supplies for survival and long-term recovery.
If you would like to help, Lutheran Disaster Response has set up a link for donations. All funds will be used for direct support of affected residents.
We pray for the following young adults and their next steps:
- Madison Stoddard: Graduated from Hemlock High School and is attending Delta College, then SVSU to study Occupational Therapy.
- Gabrielle Raymaker: Graduated from Bay City Western High School and is preparing to study Art/Business at Delta College.
- Savannah Neilson: granddaughter of Carol and Jerry Rosier. Savannah graduated from Wauwatosa High School (Wisconsin) and will begin study at Madison State University.
- Tricia Sinicki: Graduated from Chesaning High School and has begun at Alma College to study Pre-Med.
- Jade Larkin: Graduated from Arthur Hill High School and is planning to attend Delta College. She is also employed with McDonalds.
- Liam Howe: Grandson of Judy and Tom Howe. Graduated from Carrolton College and moves on to work with Teach America.
May God to continue to bless these young adults and give them the wisdom and courage to enter the workforce and college. May their education and compassion bring the kingdom of God to all people they encounter in their labors, their work and their study.
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 after Saturday worship are back in full swing!
Many thanks to the Property Committee for working to make some significant changes. This week, Simoni Systems is installing two 90" televisions to replace the aging and failing projectors. This should be a major improvement in visual clarity during worship. Our movie nights will make you feel as if you're sitting in a theater!
Property is also working to seal and paint the parking lot, and they have replaced a commode in the sacristy. They've been quite busy lately! Many thanks for to this crew for their continued work in preventative maintenance.
We rejoice in the births of Weston Leszczynski, Eleanor Reynolds and Max Schramke.
We mourn with our secretary, Joyce Richardson, on the death of her parents, Ed and Wanda. We have learned of the death of the Rev. William Menter, who served as pastor to Faith Lutheran Church. We pray for the Mahar family upon the death of Jim Kennedy. We also pray for Shirley Craig, upon the death of her sister, Donna Chinevere; and for Lynne Lee upon the death of her grandson, Matthew.
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 give great thanks for the music ministry of Barbra Hare. Barb has blessed our congregation since September 2012. We wish Barb and her husband, Ernie, all the best in their newly retired lives together as they look forward to travel.
Recent actions of our nation's leaders regarding the treatment of immigrants, particularly the vulnerable children, have stirred strong reactions, and rightly so. Faith leaders and bishops from the following major Christian churches have already declared these practices to be deeply contrary to our Gospel and have asked us to speak out against this unnecessary cruelty: Armenian Church of America, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, United Methodist Church, Episcopal Church (USA), United Church of Christ, ELCA, Moravian Church, Mennonite Church, Disciples of Christ, Presbyterian Church. The Islamic Society of North America and the Reformed Jewish have already spoken against it. You can read more about these partners here: http://elca.org/News-and-Events/7935) And finally, the National Council of Churches urges us to speak out: https://nationalcouncilofchurches.us/end-cruel-separation-of-families/
Let us continue to pray: for the children, that their detainment may not leave lasting emotional scars; for parents to be at peace knowing they tried their best to give their children a better life; for our government, that the policies and laws that legislators pass hold all humanity with dignity and lovingkindness; and for our nation, that we relinquish our deep-seeded fear of our neighbors. Lord, have mercy.
Shalom, brothers and sisters.
Rev. Kristina M. Truhan
Faith Lutheran Church
From the NorthWest Lower Michigan Synod:
Immigration Information and Advocacy Resources
In the past few weeks, there have been a lot of questions regarding the Trump Administration’s immigration policies and decision to separate children from their families. Learn more about the ELCA’s response and how you can be an advocate for these children and their families.
North/ West Lower Michigan Synod
2900 N. Waverly Rd. Lansing, MI
A Slow Leak
This week, I tweeted that I feel like a balloon with a slow leak. This is a good thing. As I write this, I am three weeks away from a 12-week sabbatical. Thank you! As part of the sabbatical, I committed to take a “cooldown lap,” as I do on the treadmill, so that I slow down at the start of the sabbatical rather than six weeks into it. So, my schedule gets a bit lighter between now and July— “lighter” being a relative term. And the feeling of a slow leak tells me that I am doing what I intended to do. The highlight of the time between now and then is attending the ELCA National Youth Gathering in Houston. I am very excited that Chelsey is going with me–this will be our third Youth Gathering together. Worshiping, learning, playing, and serving with 40,000 young people and adults from across our church is truly inspiring. My favorite part is positioning myself in the hotel lobby in the evening to watch as people return from the day. That is truly moving. I’m excited that bishops are staying in the same hotel as their synods. My goal is to make enough noise in the hallway that someone comes out to tell me to be quiet. On Friday of the Gathering, we come together as a synod for worship and study; I appreciate our being together in a confined space because it is easier for me to say hello. So, if you’re going to Houston and see me on the street, please take the initiative and say hi! From Houston, Chelsey and I travel to England, where we will spend a week visiting cathedrals and learning some Anglican history. I’ve been privileged to tour churches in Greece, Turkey, Jordan, Israel, Italy, and Germany, so I am very grateful for this opportunity to see England. I hoped to do some writing during this time, and perhaps I will, but as the air leaks from the balloon, the sabbath root of sabbatical speaks to me. I hope that Cathy and I will spend as much time as possible at our cabin in northern Michigan. I hope I can unplug and set down my iPhone and iPad and step away from my computer. I hope Cathy gets to drive less for a while. I hope to be intentional about rest, prayer, exercise, and healthy eating–a renewed commitment I began in March. At this writing, I am 18 pounds lighter. As I prepare for sabbatical, I regularly remind myself, “But [Jesus] would withdraw to deserted places and pray” (Luke 5:16). This is what it will mean for Craig to follow Jesus for these 12 weeks. I am convinced that pastoral sabbaticals are not extraordinary luxuries but a necessary part of the relationship between a pastor and congregation. I find that pastors get the sabbatical time they need in one of three ways: (1) congregations grant pastors sabbatical time, (2) pastors shut down for the time and do the minimum in an attempt to recharge their batteries, and (3) pastors seek a new call. And so, while I cherish this gift, I’m embracing it as a time of renewal that will ready me to return to this work I love in late September. I am already looking forward to seeing you then. Have a great summer!
The Rev. Craig Alan Satterlee, Ph.D., Bishop