1July , 2011
Pastor Raymond Barclay
Immanuel Lutheran Church Bethany Lutheran Church
“WHAT WAS IT ALL ABOUT?”
The twelfth Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, what was it all about? Well, the theme of the assembly was ‘Freed in Christ to Serve’ which expressed a Lutheran way of living using our faith in Christ. A way of living that calls for humility, accountability, courage, and compassion. As we live in a world filled with the evidence of sin and its power.
First of all, the ELCA is confident that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God for salvation for everyone who has faith. [Romans 1:16] The Gospel of Christ is the power to create and sustain the Church for God’s mission in this world. As ELCA Lutherans, we trust in the Word and Sacrament, trust in the work of the Spirit, and confide in the power of the Cross for our lives. With these statements of what our faith is like and guided by, we are a Church that will not yield to cultural and religious pressure nor will we ‘draw lines in the sand’ for people who are different than us. The ELCA is a Church, therefore, that lives in the midst of today’s complex questions and dynamic themes that intersect at the crossroads of life and faith.
We as the ELCA affirm an ecology of life. This means that we have a relationship to both the earth and the people. The ELCA affirms this necessary relationship with people of all nationalities, faiths, and cultures. In essence, Lutherans are called upon to be accountable for the good stewardship of all of God’s wonderful creation. Congregations are the ‘bedrock’ of this new movement in the ELCA. And, although we vary in terms of size, ethnicity, history, and context, we share the ‘missions’ emphasis of our Church. Synods partner with both the congregation and the Churchwide ELCA organization to support congregational leaders, develop new leadership, and strengthen the emphasis on missions by our Churches. Direction was given in this year’s Assembly to ‘global partnership to the needs of the world,’ developing ecumenical partners between other denominations and foreign countries, and a more visible witness to movements that support worldwide peace, reconciliation, violence prevention, and service to our biblical ‘neighbors.’
The educational ministries of the ELCA were celebrated for the types of graduates that are entering today’s work-world. All are critical to the growing needs of science, medicine, and humanitarianism needed in this world today. Bishop Hansen placed emphasis on our need to change in the context of ministry. This means a transition to being helped by the ELCA to be recognized as ‘centers for missions to others’ and the ‘building of abilities in witnessing to our faith.’
The Bishop’s report confirmed the reality that has been suspected for the last several years in the ELCA. First, we are in the midst of demographic changes in the world, nation, and Church. Particularly in the ELCA, we are aging and have limited diversity. This means that we will have to relate better to the people outside of the Lutheran Church. The LIFT commission is already suggesting pertinent changes within all ELCA congregations which we will soon see. Financial challenges abound, but so do opportunities, too. Bottom line…..Global Missions cost money to support. Second, the landscape of today’s religious life requires a renewed commitment to reach out to those who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Only 26% of Americans attend a Church! The figuring of our ELCA analysts contends that if the population of our nations exceeds 300 million people, then, the Lutheran Church should relate to these people effectively and immediately. Using our people and our technology, people of all types should be reached as we plan in our congregations.
Personally, I gathered from reading the full report of the Bishop regarding this Assembly that the ELCA is finally looking ahead. And, I mean this positively. I am excited about the LIFT Commission, I do think that we grow only as we serve our Lord, and that, although the Church will become smaller in terms of congregational size, I can honestly see a new dynamics being implemented in the ELCA; which has been needed for years.
Thanks to our faith in God…….the ELCA will become even a more vital Church in the world!
Keep In Your Prayers
The following members,
Dear People Of Immanuel,
Thank you so much for everything! For planning and executing the reception; for your support in numerous ways these past years; for the beautiful cross; and for being witnesses of Christ to me and to the world! God has richly blessed me because of you all! I really think my ministry will be all that much more because of how God called our stories together. It’s my prayer that you continue to have faith in the One who call you by name as you continue your own ministry in Minonk, Toluca, Dana, and wherever else you find yourselves. You all are a huge blessing, and I am so grateful that so many of you were able to participate in the ordination in various ways, I will remember forever, I think (and hope).
Peace in Christ
Pastor Trish DeBoer
Mark your Calendars
November 7th Noon—7pm
Contact Jessica Overocker for an appointment.
Immanuel’s Helping Hands for August 2011
Media4th Joyce Kiefer 11th Hannah Redenius 18th Allyson Bane 25th Patrick Luckey
4th Deb & Matthew Carr 18th Nancy Redenius & Joyce Kiefer
UshersCharlie & Matthew Carr
Donis Klein & Evon Meierhofer
Acolytes 4th Evan Seggerman
11th Alexis Redenius
18th Emily Weisenhofer
25th Stefanie Carr
Lectors 4th Marcia Hartzler
11th Nancy Redenius
18th Linda Budde
25th Carol Hood
If you can not serve these Sunday’s please make sure you find a replacement and notify either Pastor or Joyce of the change.
It is greatly appreciated.
Also for those of you who have graciously graced our Altar with flowers, I truly hope you have enjoyed them. Please make sure you bring back the green vase as the florist does not charge for these.
Helping Hands for Bethany September
Jan & Bob Bakewell
Lectors 4th Bob Bakewel
11th Allan Richard
18th Peg Goulding
25th Bob Kurrle
Acolytes 4th Connor Kuehn
11th Colin Kuehn
18th Levi Schmillen
25th Jeremy Sullivan
Communion Assistants / Ushers
4th Tami & Keith Coons / Dawson White
18th Marla Antolik & Kim Morris / Kathy Sullivan
Immanuel Sunday School begins
Installation for the Staff will also be the 11th.
gatherFor Faith and Action.
"…..where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them."
Gather is the Lutheran Women’s magazine that the WELCA ladies use for their bible study.
So please gather with us and explorer great articles and columns that inform, challenge,
comfort and encourage us.
These gatherings offer a great many things not only for us, but our whole church family.
We gather the second Monday of Each month.
Hope to see you Sept 12th. 7pm