Random Thoughts from Pastor::November 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

A number of very important events are taking place at St. James the very end of October and first part of November.  These events range from an opportunity to celebrate our Lutheran heritage with our fellow Lutherans from the Lafayette Circuit, to an outreach event in our community, to the honoring of a beloved member of our congregation.  I will highlight them for you here.  Print out these two pages, along with the calendar, and place it in a prominent spot on your refrigerator.

Here are my random thoughts (with  lots of dates) for November:

Random Thought #1 - Circuit Reformation Worship Service Oct. 30

The Circuit Reformation Worship service is right around the corner. This event will provide us with the opportunity to celebrate our Lutheran heritage and the wonderful Gospel message about Jesus that Martin Luther restored to the Church 499 years ago. This celebration will begin with a free dinner of spaghetti and meatballs served by our Stewardship Committee at 6:00 pm.  A choir, made up of members from five Circuit congregations, will enhance our worship with a special choral anthem.  They will also lead us in learning a new hymn composed specifically for the 500th Reformation Anniversary.  Our new adopted Seminary student, Mike Terkula, will serve as lector and the Rev. Geoffrey Robinson, the Indiana District Executive Counselor for Outreach and Human Care will deliver the sermon. The worship service begins at 7:00 pm.

This worship service is also the “kick-off” to monthly celebrations in our Circuit leading up to the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. The overall theme this year in our Circuit is The Reformation: Confessing the Faith and Shaping Lives for 500 Years. Under this theme, monthly events are being planned which will help us recognize and celebrate how the Reformation shapes our understanding of the world in which we live as we explore what we believe, teach, and confess about our faith and life. Each event will have a sub-theme of “The Reformation and _________.” The first event after this worship service will be hosted by St. John Lutheran Church, Rochester, on December 11 at 4:00 pm.  The Rev. Dr. D. Richard Stuckwisch will speak on the topic of “The Reformation and the Incarnation.” In December we celebrate Christmas when Jesus was incarnated (became flesh) and was born of the virgin Mary. But Jesus still comes in the flesh to us each time we celebrate Holy Communion. Pastor Stuckwisch will remind us of this as he teaches us about the proper respect for the Body and Blood of Jesus in Holy Communion.

Random Thought #2 - Trunk -R- Treat October 31

Once again, the Youth Group will sponsor a “Trunk -R- Treat” event at St. James on October 31. They cannot do this alone and really need the help of many in our congregation. At a Trunk -R- Treat event, car trunks (or pick-up beds or backs of vans) are decorated. At each vehicle a carnival type game is played by the children and they are given candy.  This is a fun and safe event for children to attend instead of (or in addition to) going “trick or treating” from door-to-door in Logansport. “Trunk - R- Treat” is a great way for St. James to be seen as a good neighbor in the community.  Please, even if you haven’t already signed up, consider helping the Youth Group with this event.  If you cannot “run a game”, please make a donation of candy or a healthy treat to be handed out. More information about “Trunk -R- Treat” can be seen on the Youth Group page.

Random Thought #3 - Darla’s Retirement Lunch November 6

The day that you receive this issue of the St. James Scroll will also be Darla’s last day as our church secretary. While she is not leaving our congregation, she will be greatly missed in the church office. To recognize Darla’s forty-two years of service to St. James and our Lord, and to honor her for this service, a retirement lunch will be served after worship on November 6th. Please make every effort to join us for this special day to thank Darla and wish her well in retirement.

Random Thought #4 - Adopted Seminary Students

Yes, you read this random thought correctly: Adopted Seminary Students. This year we have adopted two seminary students: Mike and Carole Terkula.  Mike is the son of Nancy Terkula and he enrolled in the Seminary at Fort Wayne last year to begin studying for the Pastoral Ministry.  At the same time, his wife Carole also enrolled in the Seminary to study in the Deaconess program.  They are both second year students and they are both studying theology and the practical aspects of ministry in a congregation.  When they graduate, Mike will be certified for ordination in the Pastoral Office and Carole will be certified as a Deaconess in the Church.  Mike will serve as lector for the Circuit Reformation Worship Service and hopefully, he will also be able to be with us soon on a Sunday morning to proclaim God’s Word in the sermon and also lead a worship service, or two.

The Deaconess program may not be very familiar to many of you. The LCMS website describes deaconesses as “women who are professional church-workers, trained to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ through works of mercy, spiritual care, and teaching the Christian faith.”  Hopefully, we will be able to schedule a time for Carole to come and speak with our congregation and especially our young women and girls about the types of classes she takes that are specific to the position of Deaconess and what she hopes to do when she graduates.

Random Thought #5 - Thanksgiving Worship November 23

Thanksgiving Day is a day many congregations gather for worship to recognize that all we have is a gift from God and to give thanks for all of our blessings. While this is actually something we should do each day of our lives, it is good to gather for worship at this time of the year. In recognition of a Day of National Thanksgiving, our Midweek Communion Service at 2:00 pm on November 23 will have a “Thanksgiving” emphasis. Please join us for this special Thanksgiving Worship Service.

Random Thought #6 - Advent Begins this month on November 27

The end of one Church Year and the beginning of another is almost here. The new Church Year begins Sunday, November 27, with the First Sunday in Advent. The first Midweek Advent Service will be on November 30. As in past years, our Midweek Services at St. James will be on Wednesdays at 11:00 am and 7:00 pm.  Meals will be served at Noon and 5:30 pm.

Because we are approaching the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, our Advent theme will be “Reformation Advent Truths.” Please join us each Wednesday for a dual celebration of Advent and the Reformation.

Blessings in Christ,