Week of July 6, 2020

Hello Sowers of Seed,

I pray you all had a restful and peaceful 4th of July!  Too hot for me!  As I’ve sweltered away out in the heat these past couple days (sounds like hot coming all week!) I was thinking of Jesus’ “Parable of the Sower” from Matthew 13: 1-9, 18-23; particularly verses 5 & 6, “Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil.  But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away.”  It seems like with everything happening around us these days, there is nothing but “rocky soil” for us to plant our seeds.  We want to share the good news of Jesus, but to what reception?  We want to hear and believe the good news of Jesus, but again, to what reception?  Only “rocky soil” where seeds cannot take root?  We can worry over such things!  However, we are called not to worry, but rather to stand on the faith we have been given.  As I mentioned in my message at worship yesterday, “Faith is about presence, not knowledge.  Faith is being fascinated even in our worry; it is about being quiet in our action.  Faith is not about figuring things out.”   Rather than casting our concerned eyes on a world filled with “rocky soil”, the “Parable of the Sower” calls us to trust that we are not the Lord of the harvest; it is not for us to worry about.  We are simply called to sow the seeds of love, grace and mercy over new ground and leave the rest up to God.

Love and Peace,  Pastor Greg.

*Attached please find your notice and instructions for the narthex remodel vote coming up on July 19.

If you plan to vote remotely, please make sure we have your updated email address.  If you receive this email, you are obviously good to go.  However, if you are the only one in your household or family who receives it, please make sure the church office has every adult member’s email address so that each of you can vote.  There is only one vote per email allowed, so we need to have every adult member’s email address. Please call Pastor Greg if you have questions.

*The most up to date information and devotional videos can always be found on our website, www.lucklutheran.org

*Church Council voted (not unanimously) to continue with drive-up worship as we have been doing due to the continuing rise of covid cases.  This will be revisited at the July 20 regular council meeting.

*As we all know, the Covid-19 pandemic has made food banks even more important to even more people.  The Loaves and Fishes Food Bank in Luck has an urgent need for more volunteers.   Loaves and Fishes operates on Tuesdays and Thursdays from  10:30am to 1:00pm for lead, and 11am to 1pm for general volunteers.  At least 3 people need to be present to manage the need.  Please give volunteering some prayerful consideration.  Remember, as people of God, we do God’s work with our hands, always!  If you are interested in helping, please contact Sharon Paulsen @ 612-819-1741 or Lori Aherns @ 715-441-0707.

*At home VBS is being offered by Luck Lutheran Church.  Please check the July newsletter and watch for more details on our website and Facebook page.  The dates are: July 15, July 22, July 29, August 5, and August 12 Time: 6:30-7:15 p.m. To Register: Join the Facebook Group “Mystery Island VBS at LLC” or via email at newsletter@lucklutheran.org

* If you would like a mid-year contribution statement, please call the church office and let Paula know.

*PLEASE NOTE:  In regards to collecting school kits for World Relief, we will be able to use 70 OR 80 sheet notebooks.  Thank you!

*Church office hours this week:  Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8:30-noon.

Weekly Readings

 Monday:          Zechariah 9: 9-12                    Coming ruler of God’s people

Tuesday:          Romans 7: 15-25a                   The conflict in us

Wednesday     Genesis 24: 34-67                   Marriage of Isaac and Rebecca

Thursday         Psalm 45: 10-17                      A royal wedding

Friday              Song of Solomon 2: 8-13        Springtime love rhapsody

Saturday          Psalm 145: 8-14                      The Lord is kind and merciful

Sunday            Matthew 13: 1-9, 18-23          Parable of the sower

 

Week of June 28, 2020

Dearest People of God,

I can’t speak for all of you, but the gospel reading for this coming weekend couldn’t come at a better time!  In the midst of everything going on in our world, Jesus comes to us in Matthew 11: 28-30 and says, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  Sometimes when I take a walk with my little dog Mabel, I imagine Jesus walking with me, and I ask him, (hopefully no one is watching!) “What am I supposed to do?”  “How am I supposed to minister during these times?”  And I imagine him saying to me, “Calm down.”  “Take a deep breath.”  “Let it go.”  “I want to give you rest!”  This works for me sometimes – not always.  Yet, Jesus continues to say to each one of us, “Come to me.”

If it works, “Come to me.”

If it fails, “Come to me.”

If you become rich and famous, “Come to me.”

If you never have a full time job, “Come to me.”

If you are in prison, “Come to me.”

If you are struggling, “Come to me.”

If you are going through a really good time, “Come to me.”

If you are…………, “Come to me.”

Jesus’ invitation is not pretend, make-believe or something we just toy around with until “the real” happens.  It is a real invitation, right here, right now –  to rest in him.

Blessings to you,

Pastor Greg.

*The most up to date information and devotional videos can always be found on our website, www.lucklutheran.org

*Church council voted (not unanimously) to continue with drive-up worship as we have been doing due to the continuing rise of covid cases.  This will be revisited at the July 20 regular council meeting.

*Church council voted (unanimously) to call a vote concerning the narthex remodeling project.  The vote will be held on Sunday, July 19 following the 9:30 a.m. drive-up worship service.  A letter will be sent to every member household with details about the vote. Voting details will also be clearly spelled out in the upcoming newsletter, on our website (soon) and in all upcoming emails.

*As we all know, the Covid-19 pandemic has made food banks even more important to even more people.  The Loaves and Fishes Food Bank in Luck has an urgent need for more volunteers.   Loaves and Fishes operates on Tuesdays and Thursdays from  10:30am to 1:00pm for lead, and 11am to 1pm for general volunteers.  At least 3 people need to be present to manage the need.  Please give volunteering some prayerful consideration.  Remember, as people of God, we do God’s work with our hands, always!  If you are interested in helping, please contact Sharon Paulsen @ 612-819-1741 or Lori Aherns @ 715-441-0707.

Church office hours this week:  Monday & Wednesday, 8:30-noon

Weekly readings: 

Monday           Jeremiah 28: 5-9                     Hananiah opposes Jeremiah

Tuesday           Romans 6: 12-23                     Slaves of righteousness

Wednesday     Genesis 22: 1-14                     Command to sacrifice Isaac

Thursday         Psalm 13                                 Prayer for deliverance

Friday              Acts 6: 5-15                            The arrest of Stephen

Saturday          Psalm 89: 1-4, 15-18               God’s covenant with David

Sunday            Matthew 11: 16-19, 25-30      Rest for the weary

Generosity quote for the week:  “The meaning of life is to find your gift.  The purpose of life is to give it away.”

Week of June 21, 2020

Dear Friends,

I am just returning from a few days of continuing education.  At the beginning of each year, when I look ahead to the many options available for courses of study and learning, I always consider first those classes that I hope will be most beneficial in my current ministry setting.  These past few days were originally intended to be “in classroom,” however, due to the virus, it ended up being an on-line course.

The current state of affairs in our society ended up guiding our discussions:

-does love really conquer hate?

-do hope and faith really overcome fear?

-what is God saying to us today?

-how do we minister to each other in these times?

-what might the church (and worship) look like in the coming months & years?

……and so on.

It was a wonderful time of study, fellowship (although on-line!), collaboration, rejuvenation, and insight.  I am thankful for the time to participate in yearly continuing education.

This morning, as I was looking at the gospel reading assigned for this coming Sunday and as I reflected on the conversations and questions from my time of study, it hit me that some of these questions and struggles do not have to be difficult at all!  In Matthew 10: 40-42, Jesus says, “…..and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple-truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”  When Jesus speaks of sharing a cup of cold water he is speaking of the practicality of living the Christian life.  Our life with God is a life that is designed to touch others in practical ways.  I’m thinking of it this way……do the small thing to show the main thing of God’s love at work!  A cup of cold water…..who knew it could be that simple??

Peace and Love,Pastor Greg.

*Our website is always the place for the most up to date information for current Luck Lutheran happenings. www.lucklutheran.org  The weekly devotional videos are posted on the website as well as on our Facebook page.

*Join us for weekly drive-up worship services on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and Mondays at 6:30 p.m.  Tune your radio to FM 107.5 while safely sitting outside the church building.  Your church council is currently in discussion concerning how we will safely return to inside worship.  Stay tuned!

*We have a new sign in front of the church building!  It looks beautiful.  It will be stained after 6 months or so of weathering.  Thank you Brian P. for building it.

Weekly Bible Readings:

Today             Jeremiah 20: 7-13  The call and cost of discipleship

Tuesday           Romans 6: 1b-11  Dying and rising with Christ

Wednesday     Genesis 21: 8-21  Hagar and Ishmael are sent away

Thursday         Psalm 86: 1-10, 16-17  Save me, Lord

Friday              Ephesians 4: 17-24  The old and the new life

Saturday          Psalm 69: 7-18  God can be trusted

Sunday            Matthew 10: 40-42  Receiving and serving others

Church office days this week:  Monday, June 22; Wednesday, June 24; Thursday, June 25;  8:30-noon

Week of  June 14, 2020

Dearest People of God,

In our Gospel reading for this coming Sunday (Matthew 9:35-10:8), Jesus speaks of a great harvest but with few laborers.  These days, it sure seems like there are even fewer laborers for the harvest.  In these verses of scripture, we get the list of the 12 disciples; most of whom would not make it through a first glance at their application in any hiring process!!  Yet, Jesus calls them.  Jesus calls YOU!! with the gifts you have.  As I read this passage, the word compassion jumped off the page at me……”When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like a sheep without a shepherd.”  As people who are called as laborers in the great harvest, we must first start with compassion….as Jesus did.    If there is anything that should define the church of Jesus Christ when comparing it to any other organization in the world, it is love, grace and compassion put into action.

Peace and Love,   Pastor Greg.

Always check out our website www.lucklutheran.org for the most updated information, videos, archived videos and messages, on-line giving, etc.  Lots of things have been happening at Luck Lutheran these past months.  Check out the website for details and pictures of the many things the property committee and volunteers have been doing!   Thank you to all of them.

Daily Readings:

Today:  Genesis 1:1 – 2:4a  God creates everything

Tuesday:  2 Corinthians 13: 11-13  Live in peace

Wednesday:  Isaiah 40: 27-31  The Lord gives strength

Thursday:  2 Corinthians 5: 16-21  Bringing people to God

Friday:  Genesis 9: 1-7  The covenant with Noah

Saturday: Psalm 8  Wonderful name of the Lord

Sunday:  Matthew 9:35 – 10:23  The sending of the twelve

Generosity quote for the week:  “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that, some have entertained angels without knowing it.”

Week of May 27, 2020

Happy Birthday!     What, it’s not your birthday?? (maybe it is??!!)

This coming Sunday is the birthday of the church.

 “I am the church, you are the church, we are the church together,” and since we are the church together and it is the church’s birthday, I can say happy birthday to you!

Yes, this Sunday we celebrate Pentecost, the birthday of the Spirit-led, Spirit-filled church.  It is a celebration in the church year that does not get quite the attention that Christmas or Easter do, but it is of equal importance.  The Holy Spirit, promised by Christ, enters the believing community to guide and protect it. The day of Pentecost is a celebration of God’s constant hand guiding the Christian community through the trials and decisions that are presented to it.  We have heard the words, “during these challenging days….” quite a lot in the past several weeks.  Indeed these have been uniquely challenging days, however, there has not been any time in history where the people living in that moment couldn’t say, “during these challenging days.”  Our call as the Spirit-led, Spirit-filled church during ALL challenging days is to rise up, with hearts and tongues on fire, meeting challenges head on; proclaiming God’s awesome deeds of power!  Since its very birth and continuing today, the Christian church has been given the awesome responsibility to share God’s message of power and love that has defeated fear, sin and death.  As church at this time and place, we meet this challenge, guided and protected by the promised Holy Spirit.  So, happy birthday church—God’s Work.  Our Hands.

Peace and Love…..on Fire,     Pastor Greg.

Look for your weekly “Hearts at Home” worship resource for either worshiping at home or at our 9:30 Sunday, or Monday night drive-up service.

107.5 is the FM station to tune in to in order to hear our Sunday service.  Those who live within a mile or two of the church building should be able to hear this broadcast at home.

Please see our website for safety guidelines for attending our drive-up services.

We will begin Monday evening worship on June 8th at 6:30.  (The Monday service will be the same as the Sunday preceding it)

Daily Bible Readings:

Wednesday, May 27 – 1 Thessalonians 5:13-28 (Paul’s encouraging words)

Thursday, May 28 – Deuteronomy 8:1-10 (God’s protection)

Friday, May 29 – Ephesians 4:11-16 (Unity in the body of Christ)

Saturday, May 30 – Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35 (Praise and thanksgiving)

Sunday, May 31 – John 20:19-23 (Jesus appears to his disciples)

Generosity quote for the week:  “If you don’t believe in miracles, perhaps you’ve forgotten you are one.”

 

 

Week of May 18, 2020

Dear Friends in Christ,

I am tired of saying it and hearing it.   You are tired of saying it and hearing it.   Yet, the fact remains that these are trying and confusing days.

With the latest Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling, some things are partially or totally opening while other things are remaining partially or totally closed.  What are we to think?  What are we to do?

In complete love and concern for everyone, Luck Lutheran Church will operate for the next several weeks as we have been.

Remaining the Church and staying connected with:

*Regular email updates

*Devotional videos being posted on Tuesday/Wednesday & Saturday/Sunday

*Drive-up worship services  in front of the church building on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and Mondays (beginning June 8th) at 6:30 p.m.

*Providing weekly “Hearts at Home” worship service resources

*Regular phone check-ins by myself and/or a council member

Our first and most important act is to be and care for all people……the people of God!

There are two attachments with this email.

The first is a letter from our Synod Bishop along with some other links to informational resources.    For church leaders and elder boards everywhere

The second is a letter that I feel is very well written as to how we can react to all of this and not get divided over some of these current issues.  I encourage you to utilize all of these materials!  Returning to Worship

Our community food shelves need you!!!  You may send your donation to the church for the foodshelf or send it to them directly.

Generosity quote for the week:  There is one thing that God says to every believer, regardless of their circumstances…..’TRUST ME’”

Christ walks with us.      Peace and Love,

Pastor Greg.

Week of May 10th, 2020

Happy sunny, chilly, Monday,

The Gospel lesson for yesterday included the familiar words from John 14 where Jesus says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.  In my Fathers house are many dwelling places.” The theme from the message at worship yesterday and the currently posted videos on our website and Facebook page is, as always, Christ walks with us.  We often misinterpret Jesus’ words, “In my Father’s house,” and think he is speaking of some future and far-off place (heaven).  However, every time Jesus refers to his “Father’s house” in scripture he is speaking of the HERE and NOW; our relationship with him.  As Christ walks with us in our daily lives, we are not waiting to arrive in the Father’s house; we are blessed to be in relationship with Jesus right here and right now! That is great news for troubled hearts.

Peace and love,   Pastor Greg

Generosity quote for the week:

“You are amazing, you are important, you are special, you are unique, you are kind, you are precious, you are loved. Happy Mother’s Day.”

Daily readings:

Monday, May 11: Acts 7:55-60 (The stoning of Stephen)

Tuesday, May 12:  1 Peter 2:2-10 (A chosen people)

Wednesday, May 13: Romans 8:31-39 (God’s love in Christ Jesus)

Thursday, May 14: Hebrews 11:29-40 (The faith of heroes)

Friday, May 15: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 (Contentment in suffering)

Saturday, May 16: Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16 (Prayer for deliverance)

Sunday, May 17: John 14:15-21 (The promise of the Holy Spirit)

 

Weekly Congregational E-mail