April 19, 2021

Dear Beloved Sheep of the Savior’s pasture,

This coming Sunday is “The Good Shepherd Sunday.”  I have a few visuals I will be using throughout the service on Sunday that will only be able to be seen by those inside.  If you have been vaccinated and are ready, please consider coming in for worship this week!  Throughout the Bible, human beings are often metaphorically described as “sheep.”  If you know anything at all about sheep, you will know that this is not exactly a compliment!!  Sheep are, after all, particularly unintelligent and helpless creatures.  So….if sheep are to have any hope at all, it will be because they have a good and loving shepherd!  We do!!

Baaaaa, Pastor Greg

*INSIDE WORSHIP is now being offered for ALL worship services utilizing the safety protocols set forth by the council.  Drive up worship via radio broadcast FM 107.5 will continue to be available. 

*OFFICE HOURS this week:  Monday, Wednesday & Friday 8:30-12:00

*RUBY’S PANTRY next food distribution is tomorrow…Tuesday, April 20 from 12:00 – 1:30 rain or shine.

*KINDNESS PANDEMIC  Thank-you to all who participated in the March Easter grass growing project and for donating to Family Pathways.  A check for $50 was sent on behalf of LLC,  which has buying power of $350, so a little goes a long way!

“Shower the people you love with love, 

show them the way that you feel.

Things are gonna be much better

if you only will.”  (James Taylor)

April is upon us, so of course the old saying “April showers bring May flowers” comes to mind, and this, along with the verse from James Taylor’s song “Shower the People” leads to the theme for April’s Pandemic of Kindness:  “April Showers of Gratitude”.  The idea is to pick a person each week of April to shower your gratitude in as many ways as you can think of.  It could be sending a note, a phone call, making a favorite meal or treat, some flowers or a small gift.  Choose whoever you wish; someone in your family, a friend, a co-worker, anyone that you feel needs some gratitude from you.  If you wish to share a gratitude story for the website or weekly email, published anonymously, please send to Pastor Greg.  

Have fun, and Happy Spring!  The Outreach/Evangelism Committee

*LUTHERAN DISASTER RESPONSE is always ready with assistance whenever & wherever a disaster happens.  LDR is most often one of the first to arrive and last to leave when such things occur.  LDR is also one of the most reliable organizations to support with our financial gifts with virtually every dollar donated going directly to the need.  Don’t wait for another disaster to make a financial contribution, do it today.  Please give today. Your gifts ensure that our church will be able to provide help and hope.   Give by phone:  (800) 638-3522 or write a check to Lutheran Disaster Response and mail to Lutheran Disaster Response P.O. Box 1809 Merrifield, VA 22116-8009.  If you want your donation to go to a particular disaster, please write that on the memo line. 

 *WEEKLY READINGS:

Monday           Acts 3:12-19               Peter speaks in the temple

Tuesday           1 John 3:1-7                Children of God

Wednesday     Joshua 1:1-9                God’s commission to Joshua

Thursday         2 Timothy 3:14-17      Paul’s last instructions to Timothy

Friday             Nehemiah 8:1-8           Ezra summons the people

Saturday          Psalm 4                       An evening prayer

Sunday            John 10:11-18             The Good Shepherd

*GENEROSITY QUOTE for the week:  “Be the change you wish to see in the world.

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April 12, 2021

Dear Easter People,

Christ is risen! (Christ is risen indeed!) Even though all of the Peeps and chocolate bunnies are now in the 75% off carts, we are still in the liturgical season of Easter, which spans 50 days from the Resurrection to Pentecost.  It’s important that we think about Easter as more than just one day of celebration.  A whole season of Easter prompts us to maintain the energy of those who first ran from the empty tomb.  Even two weeks later, we should be buzzing with excitement over the news of Christ’s resurrection.  In fact, most theologians remind us that every Sunday is truly a celebration of the Resurrection, although practically speaking it can be hard to sustain that level year-round.  For the disciples, the days after Christ’s crucifixion were a mixture of emotions.  Many of them had fled the scene at the garden of Gethsemane and foot of the cross.  We might imagine they huddled together in the shadows, trying to stay under the radar and out of sight so that they would not meet a similar fate.  John’s gospel reveals them shutting out the rest of the world in a locked upper room, presumably from fear.  But we know the gospel message continued to spread.  Do you remember the refrain from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s famous rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar?  The apostles sing “what’s the buzz? Tell me what’s  happening’” over and over again.  In Luke’s account of these days, just before this coming Sunday’s text, (Luke 24: 36b-48) two disciples travel to Emmaus, and a stranger joins them to talk about it all.  That stranger, of course, turns out to be the risen Christ, revealed in the breaking of bread.  Almost immediately, Cleopas and the other disciple race back to Jerusalem, a 7 mile trip, to proclaim that “The Lord has risen indeed”  This is the news that should keep us buzzing!!

Continued buzzing,  Pastor Greg.

*INSIDE WORSHIP is now being offered for ALL worship services utilizing the safety protocols set forth by the council.  Drive up worship via radio broadcast FM 107.5 will continue to be available. 

*OFFICE HOURS this week:  Monday, Tuesday & Thursday 8:30-12:00

*RUBY’S PANTRY next food distribution is Tuesday, April 20 from 12:00 – 1:30 rain or shine.

*KINDNESS PANDEMIC  Thank-you to all who participated in the March Easter grass growing project and for donating to Family Pathways.  A check for $50 was sent on behalf of LLC,  which has buying power of $350, so a little goes a long way!

“Shower the people you love with love, show them the way that you feel. Things are gonna be much better if you only will.”  (James Taylor)

 

April is upon us, so of course the old saying “April showers bring May flowers” comes to mind, and this, along with the verse from James Taylor’s song “Shower the People” leads to the theme for April’s Pandemic of Kindness:  “April Showers of Gratitude”.  The idea is to pick a person each week of April to shower your gratitude in as many ways as you can think of.  It could be sending a note, a phone call, making a favorite meal or treat, some flowers or a small gift.  Choose whoever you wish; someone in your family, a friend, a co-worker, anyone that you feel needs some gratitude from you.  If you wish to share a gratitude story for the website or weekly email, published anonymously, please send to Pastor Greg.  

Have fun, and Happy Spring!  The Outreach/Evangelism Committee

*LUTHERAN DISASTER RESPONSE is always ready with assistance whenever & wherever a disaster happens.  LDR is most often one of the first to arrive and last to leave when such things occur.  LDR is also one of the most reliable organizations to support with our financial gifts with virtually every dollar donated going directly to the need.  Don’t wait for another disaster to make a financial contribution, do it today.  Please give today. Your gifts ensure that our church will be able to provide help and hope.   Give by phone:  (800) 638-3522 or write a check to Lutheran Disaster Response and mail to Lutheran Disaster Response P.O. Box 1809 Merrifield, VA 22116-8009.  If you want your donation to go to a particular disaster, please write that on the memo line. 

 *WEEKLY READINGS:

Monday           Acts 4:32-35               The sharing of goods

Tuesday           1 John 1:1-2:2             The word of life

Wednesday     Hebrews 11:1-40         The meaning of faith

Thursday         2 Corinthians 4:7-18   Living by faith

Friday             2 Corinthians 5:6-10    We walk by faith

Saturday          Psalm 133                   The blessing of unity

Sunday            Luke 24:36b-48           Jesus appears to the disciples

*GENEROSITY QUOTE for the week:  “This is what Is considered true generosity: You give your all, and yet you always feel as if it cost you nothing.”

 

March 29, 2021

Dear Easter People,

On Sunday, we will be celebrating an event that over a billion people around the world are gathering to celebrate.  An event more people will bet on than the Super Bowl.  An event more people will cheer than the Oscars.  It is an event ROOTED IN TIME AND HISTORY, AND YET TIMELESS IN ITS IMPACT.  Like a stone tossed into the waters, the ripples of this event continue outwards.   Like any event in time it relates to all that came before it and all that will follow…so it is with this most definitive invasion of God.   Years of prophecy had been revealing that God had higher plans for human history.   At one definitive point in time there was one who entered into the fulfillment of that prophecy; one whose authority bowed to no one, but to the Creator and Father of all… who he came to make known.   One whose power defied that of both political and religious leaders and instead showed his power in touching and transforming the most simple and sinful of all, and any who in humility and hunger had ears to hear. To them he preached of a new Kingdom…the Kingdom of God, not a new political order, but the very reign of God over the powers of evil behind the order of all things. And in many acts of power he revealed signs of this Kingdom.  Lives around him were being filled with hope. But the climax of this great invasion surprised them all. Suddenly a triumphant entry into Jerusalem was leading the appearance of tragedy…talk of suffering and betrayal…an arrest…a trial filled with mockery …and finally a most hideous crucifixion.  There in the grave their hopes were sealed by a stone.  But then, early that third day, the early morning dawn revealed the power of God beyond anything they had known.  Only now could they begin to understand the cross…God hadn’t lost to the opposition, but used the opposition to reveal his opportunity.   The Easter celebration is simply this: WE LIVE IN A WORLD IN WHICH GOD GETS THE LAST WORD. Whatever stones have sealed your hopes, I pray you may know God’s power to move them.  Even stones of uncertainty for those of you searching.  Please join us for worship to hear the entire story…on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  You are welcome as openly as Christ Himself welcomes. Love, Power and Resurrection,   Pastor Greg.

*INSIDE WORSHIP is now being offered for ALL worship services utilizing the safety protocols set forth by the council.  Drive up worship via radio broadcast FM 107.5 will continue to be available. 

*OFFICE HOURS this week:  Monday & Wednesday 8:30-12:00; Friday 1:00-4:00

*HOLY WEEK & EASTER SCHEDULE

In order that we might best plan for the safety of all in our set – up, we would like to get an idea of how many are planning to attend inside the sanctuary for the 9:30 a.m. Easter worship service.  Please call and leave a message on the church answering machine (715) 472-2605 or Pastor Greg (715) 419-0010 directly with your name and number of those in your group. 

Maundy Thursday worship at 6:30 p.m. with Holy Communion.  Four of our young people will be recognized at this service as they receive their first communion.

Good Friday worship at 6: 30 p.m..

Easter Sunday Easter worship with Holy Communion at 9:30 with the 2nd Annual “Beeping the Good News Car Parade” to follow.  Don’t forget to decorate your car with streamers, balloons and signs!!!!  “He is Risen”  “Christ is Alive”  “Happy Easter” …anything appropriate for the day.  Also, there will be a photo booth set up before and right after worship outside by the “tomb.”  Have your individual, family, friendship etc. pictures taken….lots of fun!!

 *COVID-19 VACCINATIONS are being offered as a drive through service located the Polk County Highway Department.  There are still openings available for Wednesday, March 31st.  However, you are encouraged to act fast as it fills up quickly.  The attacked link is provided to register.  Reservations are online only.  Please call 715-485-8400 if someone needs assistance in registering.   http://www.polkcountyhealthdept.org/home/covid-19-information/covid-19-vaccine-appointments/

*WEEKLY DEVOTIONAL VIDEOS are, most often, a glimpse into the coming Sunday’s gospel reading and message.  Where, oh where, will Pastor Greg show up next!!?? Look for these videos to be posted sometime between Wednesday and Saturday each week.

 *LUTHERAN DISASTER RESPONSE is always ready with assistance whenever & wherever a disaster happens.  LDR is most often one of the first to arrive and last to leave when such things occur.  LDR is also one of the most reliable organizations to support with our financial gifts with virtually every dollar donated going directly to the need.  Don’t wait for another disaster to make a financial contribution, do it today.  Please give today. Your gifts ensure that our church will be able to provide help and hope.   Give by phone:  (800) 638-3522 or write a check to Lutheran Disaster Response and mail to Lutheran Disaster Response P.O. Box 1809 Merrifield, VA 22116-8009.  If you want your donation to go to a particular disaster, please write that on the memo line. 

 *WEEKLY READINGS:

Monday           John 12: 12-16                        Jesus enters Jerusalem

Tuesday           Isaiah 50: 4-9a                        A servant song

Wednesday     Philippians 2: 5-11                  The Christ hymn

Thursday         John 13: 1-17, 31b-35             Jesus washes the disciples’ feet

Friday              John 18: 1-19:42                     The passion of Jesus

Saturday          Psalm 31: 9-16                        Prayer for deliverance

Sunday            Mark 16: 1-8                           The tomb is empty

*GENEROSITY QUOTE for the week:      “Faith is believing BEFORE what will only make sense AFTER.”

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March 21, 2021

Somehow my weekly opening devotional got cut off from my Monday email.  So, here it is!  Peace, Love and Thankfulness, Pastor Greg.

We now come to the Sunday with a split personality… Palm Sunday/Passion Sunday.   It starts with an upbeat gospel recounting Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  It is a festive affair, complete with a parade route strewn with palm branches instead of ticker tape.  But we quickly progress to the stark reading of Jesus’ passion, bearable only because we already know its happy ending.   So there are two names for the same day: Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday.  I propose a third name: Fickle Sunday.  For the same crowd that was cheering during the parade into Jerusalem was jeering a few days later. They’d been wowed by his sermons, fed with loaves and fishes, healed of their diseases, delivered of their demons. But as soon as the tide began to turn, so did they. Their cries of “Hosanna” turned to shouts of a very different kind: “Crucify him!”  Of course, Jesus was not surprised in the least. The gospels tell us that he knew the human mind and heart all too well.  He was not fooled by all the acclamation and fanfare. Flattery could not swell his head.   He had no ambition for worldly glory. In fact, Paul tells us that he had willingly emptied himself of heavenly glory in pursuit of his true passion – his Fathers will and our salvation (Phil. 2:7f)  Jesus “set his face like flint” (Is. 50:7).  He was on a mission and nothing would deter him.  He barreled through barriers that usually stop us dead in our tracks – fear of ridicule, fear of suffering, abandonment by our closest companions.  He was willing to endure the sting of sin to blot out sin, and was eager to face death in order to overcome it.   He did indeed have a “well-trained tongue” (Is. 50:4).  His words had mesmerized the crowds, intrigued Herod and even made Pilate stop and think.  But now his lips are strangely silent.  All the gospels point out that he said very little during his passion, collecting only seven brief statements from the cross.  Maybe this was to fulfill the Scripture that said “like a lamb led to the slaughter or a sheep before the shearers, he was silent and opened not his mouth” (Isaiah 53: 7b).  Actually, everything that happened in these fateful hours fulfilled Scripture.  Isaiah 50 had foretold the beating and mockery.  Psalm 22 lays it all out hundreds of years before it happens: his thirst, the piercing of his hands and feet, and the casting of lots for his clothing.  The opening line of this psalm happens to be “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Could it be that the Lord uttered this phrase to remind us that this was all in the plan?  So the virtual silence of his well-trained tongue was to fulfill Scripture.  But there was another reason for his silence.  Though Jesus was destined to preach on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, his message was not to be delivered in words.  The language of these sermon was to be “body language.”  It all begins on Maundy Thursday at the last supper.   Jesus gave us the verbal caption of his last and greatest sermon: “This is my body, given for you; this is my blood, which is poured out for you.” “I love you” is not so much something you say as something you demonstrate.   As we enter Holy Week and before we celebrate the resurrection on Easter morning, let us remember Jesus’ ultimate demonstration of love for each of us in his betrayal, suffering and death.

*HOLY WEEK & EASTER SCHEDULE

In order that we might best plan for the safety of all in our set – up, we would like to get an idea of how many are planning to attend inside the sanctuary for the 9:30 a.m. Easter worship service.  Please call and leave a message on the church answering machine (715) 472-2605 or Pastor Greg (715) 419-0010 directly with your name and number of those in your group. 

Maundy Thursday worship at 6:30 p.m. with Holy Communion.  Fourth graders will be recognized at this service as they receive their first communion.

Good Friday worship at 6: 30 p.m..

Easter Sunday Easter worship with Holy Communion at 9:30 with the 2nd Annual “Beeping the Good News Car Parade” to follow  (note parade time change…..we thought following worship would be better than before)

*INSIDE WORSHIP is now being offered for ALL worship services utilizing the safety protocols set forth by the council.  Drive up worship via radio broadcast FM 107.5 will continue to be available.    

*WEEKLY DEVOTIONAL VIDEOS are, most often, a glimpse into the coming Sunday’s gospel reading and message.  Where, oh where, will Pastor Greg show up next!!?? Look for these videos to be posted sometime between Wednesday and Saturday each week.

*OFFICE HOURS this week:  Paula is out of the office this week.  Please call Pastor Greg (715) 419-0010 for anything that can’t wait until she returns.

*5th & 6th GRADE BIBLE STUDY will meet every other Wednesday from 5:30-6:30.  The next session will be this Wednesday, March 24th  (5th & 6th Graders are encouraged to join the full OFJ group on the alternating Wednesdays for scripture, activity and worship)

 *KINDNESS PANDEMIC “Now the green blade riseth, from the buried grain.  Wheat that in dark earth many days has lain  Love lives again, that with the dead dead has been:  Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

When our hearts are wintry, grieving, or in in pain, Jesus’ touch can call us back to life again, Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:  Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.”  (John Macleod Campbell Crum 1872-1958)

The March Kindness Pandemic is all about GREEN!  Kits to grow your own GREEN wheat grass for an Easter Basket will be available both outside and in the sanctuary starting March 3. Instructions are included to get your grain going.  Be kind to yourself and enjoy watching the “GREEN blades rising” this month, when we usher in Spring on March 20. It’s a sure tonic for your ‘wintry’ heart! Here in the north, we don’t really get to see spring GREEN until April or May, but it always seems hopeful to reach that first day of spring milestone.

Once the grass has grown, arrange in a basket with colored eggs, candy and other decorations.  Keep the basket for yourself or share with family, friend or neighbor…someone that could use some Spring GREEN.

Speaking of GREEN, now through April 11 is a great time to donate some GREEN cash to Family Pathways food bank.  Any money donated not only is increased sevenfold in purchasing power, but will be stretched further through a grant from MN FoodShare. The Family Pathways in St Croix Falls and Frederic are part of this regional  network, and they say the need expands on a weekly basis.  There will be an envelope with the grass kit, but if you choose not to participate in the Easter grass project, you can drop a donation off at church, in a basket near the kits.  We’ll mail them in together as a (hopefully) large donation from our church! (Checks of all colors can be made to “Family Pathways”)  Happy Spring from the Outreach/Evangelism Committee!

*MIDWEEK LENTEN WORSHIP services on Wednesdays at 6:30 during Lent.  This year’s theme is “Prayer, A Conversation with God.”  Prayer is communication with God, but so often we put all of our emphasis in our praying on recited prayers or intercessory prayers, but this leaves out the equally important part of listening in our praying.  Join us for midweek Lenten worship; this year as we explore the listening part of prayer.

*OFJ  (PreK-6th Grade) WEDNESDAYS DURING LENT  From 5:30-6:15 each Wednesday during Lent, there will be an activity, a lesson and the children will go find the hidden “Resurrection eggs” with something inside. Each week will be a new Lenten theme with snack and activity.

*LUTHERAN DISASTER RESPONSE is always ready with assistance whenever & wherever a disaster happens; most recently, the unprecedented winter storms in Texas.  LDR is most often one of the first to arrive and last to leave when such things occur.  LDR is also one of the most reliable organizations to support with our financial gifts with virtually every dollar donated going directly to the need.  Don’t wait for another disaster to make a financial contribution, do it today.  For this most recent need: Please give today. Your gifts ensure that our church will be able to provide help and hope for those whose lives have been devastated by the severe storms in Texas.  Gifts designated for “U.S. Severe Storms” will be used entirely (100%) for direct response.   Give by phone:  (800) 638-3522 or write a check to Lutheran Disaster Response and mail to Lutheran Disaster Response P.O. Box 1809 Merrifield, VA 22116-8009.  If you want your donation to go to a particular disaster, please write that on the memo line. 

 *WEEKLY READINGS:

Monday           Jeremiah 31: 31-34                 A new covenant from God

Tuesday           Hebrews 5: 5-10                     Jesus as high priest

Wednesday     2 Corinthians 3: 5-18              Ministers of the new covenant

Thursday         Nehemiah 1: 5-11                   Nehemiah prays for his people

Friday              Hebrews 8: 6-13                     A better covenant

Saturday          Psalm 51: 1-12                        A prayer for cleansing

Sunday            Mark 14: 1 – 15: 47                The passion of Jesus

*GENEROSITY QUOTE for the week:      “Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.”

******************************************************************************
March 1, 2021

Dear People of God,

The gospel account of Jesus cleansing the temple from John 2: 13-22 stands in stark contrast to our popular notions of Jesus’ character. Here is no picture of a gentle, soft-spoken Jesus calmly confronting the religious establishment with authoritative teaching and divine wisdom.  Rather, here Jesus appears with his sleeves rolled up ready for a fight.  After making his very own whip, he charges through the heart of the religious establishment striking forcefully and aggressively at a religious system that has become skewed.  Imagine it!  Jesus is opening pens and cages of oxen, sheep, and doves with one hand, while, with a whip of cords in the other hand, he is driving animals and people alike into confusion and retreat.  Is this really our Lord Jesus?  What about his commandments to turn the other cheek or to give your cloak also if anyone takes your coat?  What about loving your enemies and praying for those who persecute you?  Mercy and love do not seem as evident in this account of Jesus driving people out of the temple like so many animals.  Yet all four gospels agree that our merciful and loving Lord Jesus charged through the temple like a bull in a china shop.  He overturned tables and poured out the coins of inappropriate commerce on the floor.  Jesus drove money changers and animals from the temple.  At the height of the Passover season, no less, in a city filled with pilgrims gathered at the temple to commemorate God’s delivering mercies and  love, an angry Jesus — God’s Son, our merciful Lord — is overturning tables and disrupting the religious life of the people.  This account of Jesus’ aggressive behavior doesn’t mesh too well with our cherished views of Jesus as teacher, healer, comforter and gentle shepherd.   So we may be prone to think Jesus didn’t swing the whip too hard.  If he did wield the whip forcefully, he surely didn’t hit anyone with it.  Our Lord would never do anything that disruptive, would he?  As a good friend and colleague said to me once, “Maybe, maybe not.”  But overturning tables and disrupting life really is the way of our loving and gracious Lord Jesus, you know.”   What about the lives of his followers?  Didn’t Jesus cause substantial disruption in their lives?  Fishermen who were successful enough to have boats and hired hands left their livelihoods behind to follow Jesus in the far more difficult and unsettling work of fishing for men, and women, and children. Similarly an affluent tax collector walked away from a lucrative business and the security it gave him in order to journey with the One who, unlike even foxes and birds of the air, had no-where to lay his head.   And others…….Jesus disrupted the lives of Mary Magdalene, Mary, Salome and countless other followers.  Jesus had that kind of disruptive influence upon people’s livesHas he disrupted your life?

Peace, Love and Disruption,  Pastor Greg

*INSIDE WORSHIP is now being offered for ALL worship services utilizing the safety protocols set forth by the council.  Drive up worship via radio broadcast FM 107.5 will continue to be available.    

*WEEKLY DEVOTIONAL VIDEOS are, most often, a glimpse into the coming Sunday’s gospel reading and message.  Where, oh where, will Pastor Greg show up next!!?? Look for these videos to be posted sometime between Wednesday and Saturday each week.

*OFFICE HOURS this week:  Monday, Tuesday & Thursday 8:30 – 12:00

 *5th & 6th GRADE BIBLE STUDY will meet every other Wednesday from 5:30-6:30.  The next session will be Wednesday, March 10th  (5th & 6th Graders are encouraged to join the full OFJ group on the alternating Wednesdays for scripture, activity and worship)

 *KINDNESS PANDEMIC “Now the green blade riseth, from the buried grain.  Wheat that in dark earth many days has lain  Love lives again, that with the dead dead has been:  Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

When our hearts are wintry, grieving, or in in pain, Jesus’ touch can call us back to life again, Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:  Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.”  (John Macleod Campbell Crum 1872-1958)

The March Kindness Pandemic is all about GREEN!  Kits to grow your own GREEN wheat grass for an Easter Basket will be available both outside and in the sanctuary starting March 3. Instructions are included to get your grain going.  Be kind to yourself and enjoy watching the “GREEN blades rising” this month, when we usher in Spring on March 20. It’s a sure tonic for your ‘wintry’ heart! Here in the north, we don’t really get to see spring GREEN until April or May, but it always seems hopeful to reach that first day of spring milestone.

Once the grass has grown, arrange in a basket with colored eggs, candy and other decorations.  Keep the basket for yourself or share with family, friend or neighbor…someone that could use some Spring GREEN.

Speaking of GREEN, now through April 11 is a great time to donate some GREEN cash to Family Pathways food bank.  Any money donated not only is increased sevenfold in purchasing power, but will be stretched further through a grant from MN FoodShare. The Family Pathways in St Croix Falls and Frederic are part of this regional  network, and they say the need expands on a weekly basis.  There will be an envelope with the grass kit, but if you choose not to participate in the Easter grass project, you can drop a donation off at church, in a basket near the kits.  We’ll mail them in together as a (hopefully) large donation from our church! (Checks of all colors can be made to “Family Pathways”)  Happy Spring from the Outreach/Evangelism Committee!

*MIDWEEK LENTEN WORSHIP services on Wednesdays at 6:30 during Lent.  This year’s theme is “Prayer, A Conversation with God.”  Prayer is communication with God, but so often we put all of our emphasis in our praying on recited prayers or intercessory prayers, but this leaves out the equally important part of listening in our praying.  Join us for midweek Lenten worship; this year as we explore the listening part of prayer.

*OFJ  (PreK-6th Grade) WEDNESDAYS DURING LENT  From 5:30-6:15 each Wednesday during Lent, there will be an activity, a lesson and the children will go find the hidden “Resurrection eggs” with something inside. Each week will be a new Lenten theme with snack and activity.

*LUTHERAN DISASTER RESPONSE is always ready with assistance whenever & wherever a disaster happens; most recently, the unprecedented winter storms in Texas.  LDR is most often one of the first to arrive and last to leave when such things occur.  LDR is also one of the most reliable organizations to support with our financial gifts with virtually every dollar donated going directly to the need.  Don’t wait for another disaster to make a financial contribution, do it today.  For this most recent need: Please give today. Your gifts ensure that our church will be able to provide help and hope for those whose lives have been devastated by the severe storms in Texas.  Gifts designated for “U.S. Severe Storms” will be used entirely (100%) for direct response.   Give by phone:  (800) 638-3522 or write a check to Lutheran Disaster Response and mail to Lutheran Disaster Response P.O. Box 1809 Merrifield, VA 22116-8009.  If you want your donation to go to a particular disaster, please write that on the memo line. 

*WEEKLY READINGS:

Monday           Genesis 17: 1-7, 15-16           Sign of the covenant

Tuesday           Romans 4: 13-25                    God’s promise

Wednesday     2 Timothy 2: 1-13                   A good soldier of Christ

Thursday         2 Timothy 2: 14-26                 A worker approved by God

Friday              Proverbs 8: 32-36                   Listen to what you are taught

Saturday          Psalm 22: 23-31                      Suffering and praise

Sunday            John 2: 13-22                          Jesus cleanses the temple

 

*GENEROSITY QUOTE for the week:  “Generosity the most natural outward expression of an inner attitude of compassion.”

February 15, 2021,

Dear People of God,

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season – a season that begins with dust and ashes–an ancient tradition, symbolizing our humility before God.  The Ash Wednesday liturgy calls us to see ourselves as we truly are; to reflect on our attitudes, actions, and priorities; and to return to God through penitence and prayer. Ash Wednesday is the beginning of a 40 day  journey – a journey from brokenness to restoration; from darkness to light; from fear to love; from mourning to celebration; and from ashes to joy.   In one of the readings appointed for Ash Wednesday, from the Prophet Joel, God proclaims; “Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” (Joel 2: 12-13)  Lent is all about returning to God – a God who desires to be in relationship with us; to be in conversation/communication with us.  Are you feeling a distanced or disconnected from God? Are you as close to him as you want to be? Do you need to draw closer to him?  Are you listening as well as speaking in your prayers”  Do you need to return to God this Lent?  This Lent, God invites us to come home to him – to receive his restoring grace and feel his loving embrace.  How are you going to spend the next 40 days?  This year’s mid-week worship theme is “Prayer, A Conversation with God.”  Prayer is communication with God, but so often we put all of our emphasis in our praying on recited prayers or intercessory prayers, but this leaves out the equally important part of listening in our praying.  Join us for midweek Lenten worship; this year as we explore the listening part of prayer.

Peace, Love, Prayer…….(and Listening),  Pastor Greg.

*INSIDE WORSHIP is now being offered at 9:30 utilizing the safety protocols set forth by the council.  Drive up worship via radio broadcast FM 107.5 will continue to be available.    

*PASTOR GREG IS REQUESTING PICTURES OF YOU PRAYING These pictures can be of yourself, you and your spouse or loved one, your family around the dinner table, at the bedside, inside, outside, hands folded, hands raised….whatever….however you pray!!  Please email your pictures to Pastor Greg at llcpastor@lakeland.ws.  These pictures will be used in a musical collage at worship on Ash Wednesday.

*WEEKLY DEVOTIONAL VIDEOS are, most often, a glimpse into the coming Sunday’s gospel reading and message.  Where, oh where, will Pastor Greg show up next!!?? Look for these videos to be posted sometime between Wednesday and Saturday each week.

 *OFFICE HOURS this week:  Monday & Wednesday 8:30 – 12:00;  Thursday 8:00 – 11:00.  Paula is back in the office now!!  Please call her at the church during office hours.

 *5th & 6th GRADE BIBLE STUDY began Wednesday, January 27th and will meet every other Wednesday from 5:30-6:30.  The next session will be Wednesday, February 24th. (5th & 6th Graders are encouraged to join the full OFJ group on the alternating Wednesdays for scripture, activity and worship)  The first meeting went very well and all of our 5th & 6th graders were able to attend!!!  Quinn Stone, new member of Luck Lutheran Church and Program Director at Luther Point Bible Camp will be leading this study with help from Pastor Greg.  This will be a great time for fun together and to learn more about the Bible, each other, and to answer some of those really pressing questions about faith and tradition.  Some questions might include, “Why is Quinn bald?” and “Seriously, he is so young, where did his hair go?”    “Is it hanging out at the same place as Pastor Greg’s?”  …along with the “Why do bad things happen to good people?” and “Why is grace important?” questions.  All  students in grades 5 & 6 are welcome!

 *KINDNESS PANDEMIC “Continue the spread of the Kindness Pandemic!  February is here, and it is the traditional month to celebrate love, especially romantic love.  As followers of Christ, we know that love is much more than just romantic love, and the Bible is full of references to all kinds of love.  A Google search reveals the word “love” is used many times in the Bible, from 310 times in the King James Version, to nearly 900 times in newer translations.  Jesus used the word 13 times.  While not that great of a number, those verses are among his most powerful.

Little wooden hearts with an attached Bible verse that contains “love” are available in baskets both outside for those worshipping in cars and as you enter the sanctuary.  Keep this token for yourself and your family, or pass it on to someone who needs to hear of God’s love. Many thanks to Jackie and Robert Sorenson for making them!  May these little hearts help you to think of some ways to spread love this month.  Some ideas might be to do a family project making valentines to give to neighbors/friends/family, being sure to attach a “love” Bible verse; do extra volunteering or making extra food bank contributions this month, or maybe even signing up to donate blood in this time of critical need.  The Red Cross has made this easy via an app you can load on your smartphone.  It lets you know of blood drives near you.  Luck Lutheran recently hosted a blood drive, and the donation goal was exceeded!  No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:12″

 *ASH WEDNESDAY is this week, February 17th and begins the Lenten season.  Worship will begin at 6:30.  There will be no Wednesday meals this year.

*MIDWEEK LENTEN WORSHIP services on Wednesdays at 6:30 during Lent.  This year’s theme is “Prayer, A Conversation with God.”  Prayer is communication with God, but so often we put all of our emphasis in our praying on recited prayers or intercessory prayers, but this leaves out the equally important part of listening in our praying.  Join us for midweek Lenten worship; this year as we explore the listening part of prayer.

*OFJ  (PreK-6th Grade) WEDNESDAYS DURING LENT  From 5:30-6:15 each Wednesday during Lent, there will be an activity, a lesson and the children will go find the hidden “Resurrection eggs” with something inside. Each week will be a different colored egg.

Ash Wed. Feb. 17th

Theme/ Bible lesson: Jesus in the Wilderness.  Mark 1: 12-13.   Activity: Skating, bird feeders & campfire with s’mores.  5th & 6th graders join full group.

Coming up….Wed. Feb. 24th

Theme/Bible lesson: Change & Growth.  Matthew 13: 31-33.  Activity: Folding paper to make palm branches and planting daffodil bulbs (will bring to UPH at Easter).  5th & 6th graders will have Bible Study with Quinn.

*LUCK RUBY’S PANTRY food distribution is tomorrow…… Tuesday, February 16 from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

For more information or to connect with Ruby’s Pantry:

Web: www.rubyspantry.org

Luck Phone: 715-472-7770

MN Home Office Phone: 651-674-0009

Luck email: luckrubyspantry@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RubysPantryLuckWi

 

*WEEKLY READINGS:

Monday           2 Kings 2: 1-12           Elijah is taken into heaven

Tuesday           2 Corinthians 4: 3-6    Proclaiming Jesus as Lord

Wednesday     Psalm 51                      A prayer for forgiveness

Thursday         Genesis 3: 17-19         You are dust

Friday              James 1: 19-25            Hearing and doing the word

Saturday          Psalm 50: 1-6              God shines brightly

Sunday            Mark 1: 9-15               Temptation of Jesus

 

*GENEROSITY QUOTE for the week:  “God loves you. He loved you yesterday. He loves you tomorrow. He loves you always. Regardless if you mess up.”

February 1st, 2021

Dear People of God,

What are your expectations of Jesus?  We, as Christians, all claim to be followers of Jesus and think of ourselves to be in a relationship with him.  But what are your expectations of how Jesus impacts your daily life?  As with any relationship, it is something we grow into and our expectations change over the years as we gain more experience together and mature in the faith.  But it is very easy for us to get stuck with a fairly naïve, perhaps even immature expectation of Jesus’ activity in our lives.  For many Christians, they never move beyond treating Jesus a little like the genie in a bottle: if I pray to him and ask him for things, (perhaps three wishes!) then I expect him to respond to me and give me what I ask for and I will get angry with him if he doesn’t deliver and maybe even stop coming to worship him altogether.  That genie in a bottle mentality doesn’t represent the fullness of relationship that we are called to enjoy with Jesus. But it is very common amongst many people and it was particularly prevalent amongst the people who first knew Jesus when he began his ministry in Palestine 2,000 years ago.  The gospel lesson for this coming Sunday is from Mark 1: 29-39.  It is a very good example of this all-to-common misunderstanding of who Jesus is and what our expectations of him should be.  If you think that finding a genie in a bottle with three wishes would be good?  Well, let Jesus out of the box that you keep him in with your own self-imposed limitations and see what happens!!

Peace, Love and Wonder,  Pastor Greg.

*INSIDE WORSHIP is now being offered at 9:30 utilizing the safety protocols set forth by the council.  Drive up worship via radio broadcast FM 107.5 will continue to be available.     

*WEEKLY DEVOTIONAL VIDEOS are, most often, a glimpse into the coming Sunday’s gospel reading and message.  Where, oh where, will Pastor Greg show up next!!?? Look for these videos to be posted sometime between Wednesday and Saturday each week.

 *OFFICE HOURS this week:  Monday & Wednesday 8:30 – 12:00;  Friday 1:00 – 4:00.  Paula is back in the office now!!  Please call her at the church during office hours.

 *COVID VACCINE from the Polk County Health Department: The State of Wisconsin DHS has announced that people age 65 and up are eligible to receive the COVID vaccine.  The first drive-thru vaccination clinic was in Balsam Lake, WI  on January 28, 2021.  Visit their website or call (715) 485-9258 for more information and to register for upcoming appointments.  There is an anticipated need for volunteer drivers.  If you are able to drive please let us know; more volunteer drivers will be needed as drive-thru clinics are scheduled.

*5th & 6th GRADE BIBLE STUDY began Wednesday, January 27th and will meet every other Wednesday from 5:30-6:30.  The next session will be February 10.  The first meeting went very well and all of our 5th & 6th graders were able to attend!!!  Quinn Stone, new member of Luck Lutheran Church and Program Director at Luther Point Bible Camp will be leading this study with help from Pastor Greg.  This will be a great time for fun together and to learn more about the Bible, each other, and to answer some of those really pressing questions about faith and tradition.  Some questions might include, “Why is Quinn bald?” and “Seriously, he is so young, where did his hair go?”    “Is it hanging out at the same place as Pastor Greg’s?”  …along with the “Why do bad things happen to good people?” and “Why is grace important?” questions.  All  students in grades 5 & 6 are welcome!

 *KINDNESS PANDEMIC “Continue the spread of the Kindness Pandemic!  February is here, and it is the traditional month to celebrate love, especially romantic love.  As followers of Christ, we know that love is much more than just romantic love, and the Bible is full of references to all kinds of love.  A Google search reveals the word “love” is used many times in the Bible, from 310 times in the King James Version, to nearly 900 times in newer translations.  Jesus used the word 13 times.  While not that great of a number, those verses are among his most powerful.

Little wooden hearts with an attached Bible verse that contains “love” are available in baskets both outside for those worshipping in cars and as you enter the sanctuary.  Keep this token for yourself and your family, or pass it on to someone who needs to hear of God’s love. Many thanks to Jackie and Robert Sorenson for making them!  May these little hearts help you to think of some ways to spread love this month.  Some ideas might be to do a family project making valentines to give to neighbors/friends/family, being sure to attach a “love” Bible verse; do extra volunteering or making extra food bank contributions this month, or maybe even signing up to donate blood in this time of critical need.  The Red Cross has made this easy via an app you can load on your smartphone.  It lets you know of blood drives near you.  Luck Lutheran recently hosted a blood drive, and the donation goal was exceeded!  No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:12″

 *LUTHER POINT BIBLE CAMP WELLNESS RETREAT January 22-23.  Camp is offering a new Wellness retreat,  Healthy Habits:  The Key to Wellness.  Presenters will be Wendy Peterson and April Johnson.  Go to www.lutherpoint.org to register or for more information.

*ASH WEDNESDAY is February 17th and begins the Lenten season.  Worship will begin at 6:30.  There will be no Wednesday meals this year.

*MIDWEEK LENTEN WORSHIP services on Wednesdays at 6:30 during Lent.  This year’s theme is “Prayer, A Conversation with God.”  Prayer is communication with God, but so often we put all of our emphasis in our praying on recited prayers or intercessory prayers, but this leaves out the equally important part of listening in our praying.  Join us for midweek Lenten worship; this year as we explore the listening part of prayer.  Pastor Greg is requesting pictures of you praying.  These pictures can be of yourself, you and your spouse or loved one, your family around the dinner table, at the bedside, inside, outside, hands folded, hands raised….whatever….however you pray!!  Please email your pictures to Pastor Greg at llcpastor@lakeland.ws.  These pictures will be used in a musical collage at worship on Ash Wednesday.

 *WEEKLY READINGS:

Monday           Deuteronomy 18: 15-20         A new prophet like Moses

Tuesday           1 Corinthians 8: 1-13              Love builds up others

Wednesday     Acts 16: 16-40                         Paul and Silas in prison

Thursday         Exodus 15: 22-27                    Bitter water made sweet

Friday              1 John 4: 1-6                           Testing the spirits

Saturday          Psalm 111                               Praise for God’s wonderful works

Sunday            Mark 1: 29-39                         Jesus heals many people

 

*GENEROSITY QUOTE for the week:  “Generosity could be as contagious as a zombie plague, as long as enough people were willing to be carriers.”

 

 

 

January 31, 2021

Dear People of God,

Once there was a young, new school teacher fresh out of college, who had injured his back and had to wear a plastic brace around the upper part of his body.  The brace fit under his shirt and was not noticeable at all.  On the first day of school, with the brace under his shirt, he found himself assigned to the toughest students in school.  And so on that first day of school, the teacher walked confidently into the rowdy classroom, opened the window as wide as possible and began to address his class.  When a strong breeze made his tie flap, he took the stapler from his desk and stapled his tie to his chest.  The teacher had no trouble with student discipline from that day forward.  Mark 1:21-22 “They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.”  What was there about Jesus?  He didn’t appeal to the rabbis or the traditions of the elders; he spoke on his own authority.  From the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s gospel, we know that Jesus sometimes said, “You have heard that it was said…but I say to you…”  He spoke on his own authority.  Jesus didn’t need to staple his tie to his chest to prove his authority!  The message of Jesus was unprecedented and breathtaking.  Mark 1:15 summarizes Jesus’ message as, “The time has come, the kingdom of God has come near.  Repent and believe the good news!” Jesus’ message was that the messiah was coming, and the kingdom of God—the rule of God that brings righteousness, health, and hope—was already here in his words and deeds.  No, Jesus didn’t need to staple his tie to his chest to prove his authority!

Peace and Love,  Pastor Greg.

*INSIDE WORSHIP will be offered beginning this Sunday, January 31st at 9:30.    Your church council decided at their meeting January 17th to open the church building for inside worship and activities utilizing the safety protocols set forth when the building was opened last time.  Drive up worship via radio broadcast FM 107.5 will continue to be available.     

*WEEKLY DEVOTIONAL VIDEOS are, most often, a glimpse into the coming Sunday’s gospel reading and message.  Where, oh where, will Pastor Greg show up next!!?? Look for these videos to be posted sometime between Wednesday and Saturday each week.

 *OFFICE HOURS this week:  Monday & Wednesday 8:30 – 12:00;  Friday 1:00 – 4:00.  Paula is back in the office now!!  Please call her at the church during office hours.

 *ANNUAL MEETING of Luck Lutheran church will be on Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 10:30 in the church.  Participation via radio, call in, or on computer will still be offered.  Instructions for participating remotely will be forthcoming by email and by mailed letters to those we know who do not use computer.  The official meeting will begin at 10:30.  The time between the 9:30 worship service and the 10:30 meeting is available for those who will be attending the meeting via call-in or computer, to make sure they can get through.  Those attending the meeting via radio in their cars, will be able to hear and speak using portable microphones.  In keeping with our constitution, all members will be able to hearspeak and vote at the meeting one way or another.

 *COVID VACCINE from the Polk County Health Department: The State of Wisconsin DHS has announced that people age 65 and up are eligible to receive the COVID vaccine.  The first drive-thru vaccination clinic is scheduled in Balsam Lake, WI January 28, 2021 8am-5pm. Appointments only.  Visit their website or call (715) 485-9258 to register.  There is an anticipated need for volunteer drivers for January 28th. If you are able to set that day aside to drive please let us know. There will be more volunteer drivers needed as drive-thru clinics are scheduled.

*5th & 6th GRADE BIBLE STUDY begins this Wednesday, January 27 from 5:30-6:30.  Quinn Stone, new member of Luck Lutheran Church and Program Director at Luther Point Bible Camp will be leading this study with help from Pastor Greg.  This will be a great time for fun together and to learn more about the Bible, each other, and to answer some of those really pressing questions about faith and tradition.  Some questions might include, “Why is Quinn bald?” and “Seriously, he is so young, where did his hair go?”    “Is it hanging out at the same place as Pastor Greg’s?”  …along with the “Why do bad things happen to good people?” and “Why is grace important?” questions.  All  students in grades 5 & 6 are welcome!

 *KINDNESS PANDEMIC Heartfelt thanks to all participants in our holiday Kindness Pandemic.  Everyone had such great ideas.  We’ll never know how far our kindness virus spread, but if even only a few were impacted positively, that’s enough!  It was wonderful to see such a great and generous response.  The Evangelism/Outreach Committee would like to keep the spirit of Christmas going for the whole year!  We will try to come up with a mini Kindness Pandemic project to help us all serve our neighbors by putting love into action, in accordance to Jesus’ great command to love one another.  We’ll post a monthly project idea that hopefully will appeal to you or your family. Feel free to substitute your own idea if you prefer, and if you have a suggestion for a future project, let Pastor Greg know and he can pass on to this committee.  For January’s “spread,” this time of year there is usually a stack of Christmas cards you may not be sure what to do with.  Instead of just discarding, save them for this month and every day spend a few minutes enjoying the card and praying for the person that sent it.  Easy and powerful!”

 *LUTHER POINT BIBLE CAMP WELLNESS RETREAT January 22-23.  Camp is offering a new Wellness retreat,  Healthy Habits:  The Key to Wellness.  Presenters will be Wendy Peterson and April Johnson.  Go to www.lutherpoint.org to register or for more information.

*ASH WEDNESDAY is February 17th and begins the Lenten season.  Worship will begin at 6:30.  There will be no Wednesday meals this year.

*MIDWEEK LENTEN WORSHIP services on Wednesdays at 6:30 during Lent.  This year’s theme is “Prayer, A Conversation with God.”  Prayer is communication with God, but so often we put all of our emphasis in our praying on recited prayers or intercessory prayers, but this leaves out the equally important part of listening in our praying.  Join us for midweek Lenten worship; this year as we explore the listening part of prayer.  Pastor Greg is requesting pictures of you praying.  These pictures can be of yourself, you and your spouse or loved one, your family around the dinner table, at the bedside, inside, outside, hands folded, hands raised….whatever….however you pray!!  Please email your pictures to Pastor Greg at llcpastor@lakeland.ws.  These pictures will be used in a musical collage at worship on Ash Wednesday.

 *WEEKLY READINGS:

Monday           Jonah 3: 1-5, 10                      Jonah goes to Nineveh

Tuesday           1 Corinthians 7: 29-35            Live without anxiety

Wednesday     Philippians 4: 4-7                    Paul encourages his co-workers

Thursday         Isaiah 40: 26-31                      The Lord gives strength

Friday              Joshua 1: 1-9                           The Lord speaks to Joshus

Saturday          Psalm 62: 5-12                        God is powerful and kind

Sunday            Mark 1: 21-28                         Jesus teaches in the synagogue

 

*GENEROSITY QUOTE for the week:  “God always gives his best to those who leave the choice with him.”

 

January 25, 2021

Dear People of God,

Once there was a young, new school teacher fresh out of college, who had injured his back and had to wear a plastic brace around the upper part of his body.  The brace fit under his shirt and was not noticeable at all.  On the first day of school, with the brace under his shirt, he found himself assigned to the toughest students in school.  And so on that first day of school, the teacher walked confidently into the rowdy classroom, opened the window as wide as possible and began to address his class.  When a strong breeze made his tie flap, he took the stapler from his desk and stapled his tie to his chest.  The teacher had no trouble with student discipline from that day forward.  Mark 1:21-22 “They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.”  What was there about Jesus?  He didn’t appeal to the rabbis or the traditions of the elders; he spoke on his own authority.  From the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s gospel, we know that Jesus sometimes said, “You have heard that it was said…but I say to you…”  He spoke on his own authority.  Jesus didn’t need to staple his tie to his chest to prove his authority!  The message of Jesus was unprecedented and breathtaking.  Mark 1:15 summarizes Jesus’ message as, “The time has come, the kingdom of God has come near.  Repent and believe the good news!” Jesus’ message was that the messiah was coming, and the kingdom of God—the rule of God that brings righteousness, health, and hope—was already here in his words and deeds.  No, Jesus didn’t need to staple his tie to his chest to prove his authority!

Peace and Love,  Pastor Greg.

*INSIDE WORSHIP will be offered beginning this Sunday, January 31st at 9:30.    Your church council decided at their meeting January 17th to open the church building for inside worship and activities utilizing the safety protocols set forth when the building was opened last time.  Drive up worship via radio broadcast FM 107.5 will continue to be available.     

*WEEKLY DEVOTIONAL VIDEOS are, most often, a glimpse into the coming Sunday’s gospel reading and message.  Where, oh where, will Pastor Greg show up next!!?? Look for these videos to be posted sometime between Wednesday and Saturday each week.

 *OFFICE HOURS this week:  Monday & Wednesday 8:30 – 12:00;  Friday 1:00 – 4:00.  Paula is back in the office now!!  Please call her at the church during office hours.

 *ANNUAL MEETING of Luck Lutheran church will be on Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 10:30 in the church.  Participation via radio, call in, or on computer will still be offered.  Instructions for participating remotely will be forthcoming by email and by mailed letters to those we know who do not use computer.  The official meeting will begin at 10:30.  The time between the 9:30 worship service and the 10:30 meeting is available for those who will be attending the meeting via call-in or computer, to make sure they can get through.  Those attending the meeting via radio in their cars, will be able to hear and speak using portable microphones.  In keeping with our constitution, all members will be able to hearspeak and vote at the meeting one way or another.

 *COVID VACCINE from the Polk County Health Department: The State of Wisconsin DHS has announced that people age 65 and up are eligible to receive the COVID vaccine.  The first drive-thru vaccination clinic is scheduled in Balsam Lake, WI January 28, 2021 8am-5pm. Appointments only.  Visit their website or call (715) 485-9258 to register.  There is an anticipated need for volunteer drivers for January 28th. If you are able to set that day aside to drive please let us know. There will be more volunteer drivers needed as drive-thru clinics are scheduled.

*5th & 6th GRADE BIBLE STUDY begins this Wednesday, January 27 from 5:30-6:30.  Quinn Stone, new member of Luck Lutheran Church and Program Director at Luther Point Bible Camp will be leading this study with help from Pastor Greg.  This will be a great time for fun together and to learn more about the Bible, each other, and to answer some of those really pressing questions about faith and tradition.  Some questions might include, “Why is Quinn bald?” and “Seriously, he is so young, where did his hair go?”    “Is it hanging out at the same place as Pastor Greg’s?”  …along with the “Why do bad things happen to good people?” and “Why is grace important?” questions.  All  students in grades 5 & 6 are welcome!

 *KINDNESS PANDEMIC Heartfelt thanks to all participants in our holiday Kindness Pandemic.  Everyone had such great ideas.  We’ll never know how far our kindness virus spread, but if even only a few were impacted positively, that’s enough!  It was wonderful to see such a great and generous response.  The Evangelism/Outreach Committee would like to keep the spirit of Christmas going for the whole year!  We will try to come up with a mini Kindness Pandemic project to help us all serve our neighbors by putting love into action, in accordance to Jesus’ great command to love one another.  We’ll post a monthly project idea that hopefully will appeal to you or your family. Feel free to substitute your own idea if you prefer, and if you have a suggestion for a future project, let Pastor Greg know and he can pass on to this committee.  For January’s “spread,” this time of year there is usually a stack of Christmas cards you may not be sure what to do with.  Instead of just discarding, save them for this month and every day spend a few minutes enjoying the card and praying for the person that sent it.  Easy and powerful!”

 *LUTHER POINT BIBLE CAMP WELLNESS RETREAT January 22-23.  Camp is offering a new Wellness retreat,  Healthy Habits:  The Key to Wellness.  Presenters will be Wendy Peterson and April Johnson.  Go to www.lutherpoint.org to register or for more information.

*ASH WEDNESDAY is February 17th and begins the Lenten season.  Worship will begin at 6:30.  There will be no Wednesday meals this year.

*MIDWEEK LENTEN WORSHIP services on Wednesdays at 6:30 during Lent.  This year’s theme is “Prayer, A Conversation with God.”  Prayer is communication with God, but so often we put all of our emphasis in our praying on recited prayers or intercessory prayers, but this leaves out the equally important part of listening in our praying.  Join us for midweek Lenten worship; this year as we explore the listening part of prayer.  Pastor Greg is requesting pictures of you praying.  These pictures can be of yourself, you and your spouse or loved one, your family around the dinner table, at the bedside, inside, outside, hands folded, hands raised….whatever….however you pray!!  Please email your pictures to Pastor Greg at llcpastor@lakeland.ws.  These pictures will be used in a musical collage at worship on Ash Wednesday.

 *WEEKLY READINGS:

Monday           Jonah 3: 1-5, 10                      Jonah goes to Nineveh

Tuesday           1 Corinthians 7: 29-35            Live without anxiety

Wednesday     Philippians 4: 4-7                    Paul encourages his co-workers

Thursday         Isaiah 40: 26-31                      The Lord gives strength

Friday              Joshua 1: 1-9                           The Lord speaks to Joshus

Saturday          Psalm 62: 5-12                        God is powerful and kind

Sunday            Mark 1: 21-28                         Jesus teaches in the synagogue

 

*GENEROSITY QUOTE for the week:  “God always gives his best to those who leave the choice with him.”

Monday December 21, 2020

Dear Lights,

Christmas comes at a dark time of year; a cold time. And yet it can be such a wonderful time. Why? For me, it is all the lights that go up: on Christmas trees, in yards, downtown streets, around windows, etc.  It’s not just the lights that catch my attention, but the animated lights, moving lights, colorful lights.  I believe God loves Christmas lights too.  From James 1:17 “Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”   I believe God not only enjoys the lights, but God is present in them!  God’s Christmas lights are us!  Christ is the light source, but we are the reflections of that light.  God’s Christmas lights are intended to shine!  This can be a very dark world and we all need light!  Such a strange year we have all had.  We need light….to RECIEVE light and to REFLECT light.   Our Christmas Eve drive up worship service is entitled “One Strange Night, One Strange Year…. Still The Weary World Rejoices.”  It is going to be all about THE LIGHT!  I hope you can join us for this unique worship opportunity!  Oh come all ye faithful.  Come, RECIEVE light.  Come, REFLECT light.

Merry Christmas to you all,     Hope, Peace, Joy and Love,   Pastor Greg.

*ALL INSIDE EVENTS/GAHERINGS (INCLUDING INSIDE WORSHIP) ARE ON PAUSE THROUGH JANUARY.  Your church council is monitoring this situation very prayerfully and carefully and will revise if/when the virus situation changes.

Drive up worship via radio broadcast FM 107.5 will still be available.     

 *THE MOST UP TO DATE INFORMATION and devotional videos can always be found on our website, www.lucklutheran.org

*OFFICE HOURS this week:  8:30 – 12:00  Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.   Paula is back in the office now!!  Please call her at the church during office hours.

*THE ADVENT WAIT videos are all posted on our Facebook page and website.  “The Advent Wait” is brought to you by the children of OFJ!  If you haven’t seen them, take some time this week to view them all before Christmas!

*ADVENT STORY TIME videos will be posted to our website and Facebook page on Wednesdays, December 9, 16, and 23.  Children of all ages will enjoy these!

THE DARKEST DAY Prayer Service has been posted to our website and Facebook page.     Today, December 21st……the darkest day of the year.  We know that Christmas is not necessarily the “most wonderful time of the year” for everyone; particularly this year.  The “Darkest Day Prayer Service” acknowledges the struggles many have during this season and offers prayers, understanding, love and a message of hope.  If you are finding it difficult to have the “hap, happiest season of all,” please take time to watch (and share) this service.

*CHRISTMAS WORSHIP SERVICESWe will have one drive-up worship service on Christmas Eve at 4:00 (unless it is 20 below!!)  and it promises to be a Christmas worship service like you’ve not experience before.  Please plan to come!!!  Foster Ave. (the street in front of the church) will be closed from 5th St. to 6th St. as will 5th St. from Foster Ave. to Park Ave.  These roads will be shut down to traffic and fully open for parking during our Christmas Eve worship service.

A full Christmas worship service (different from the drive-up service) will be posted to our Facebook page and website on December 23rd for all to participate in at your leisure.

 *JOYFUL SOUNDS recordings of beautiful music are available.  2020 has been an interesting year!  We all need a little Christmas Cheer!  Several area musicians ranging from the ages of 8 to 80 having created a CD entitled “Joyful Sounds”.  On the CD you will find approximately 50 minutes of vocal, piano, baritone, trumpet, mandolin, and even ukulele music.  One can be yours for a mere $10 donation, which will go to the Luther Point Bible Camp.  Please contact Sheila Brom (715-566-2187) or Barb Sparish (715-566-4283) if you would like a CD.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.   ~Barb and Sheila

*KINDNESS PANDEMIC WEEKLY UPDATE:

-2 people reported purchasing meals for the car behind them in line at various drive-ups.   

-7 meal deliveries. 

-1 pay it forward at Wayne’s Grocery Store.

-2 cash donations to families in need.

-More phone calls, phone calls, phone calls have been made this week.

Let’s keep the “Kindness Pandemic going!!!  And keep reporting to help the “spread!”

 *THE NARTHEX REMODEL PROJECT is primarily done!!!! There is a lot of cleaning that needs to be done.  Assemble your team and choose a room or two!  For times and specifics, please contact Kelly (715) 566-1747 or Steve (715) 557-0117.

 *ANNUAL REPORTS Annual Reports are about to be prepared. And if we are going to get the Annual Report out in a timely fashion, we need to get them as soon as possible. The calendar says that they are due on January 4th. However, if you finish your report earlier, we would really appreciate getting them into the church office as soon as possible. All committees and organizations are expected to submit a report.  The Congregational Annual Meeting is scheduled for 10:30 on Sunday, January 31.

*LUTHER POINT BIBLE CAMP WELLNESS RETREAT January 22-23.  Camp is offering a new Wellness retreat,  Healthy Habits:  The Key to Wellness.  Presenters will be Wendy Peterson and April Johnson.  Go to www.lutherpoint.org to register or for more information.

*SALVATiON ARMY VIRTUAL KETTLE COVID-19 has impacted so many things including how many times we leave our house.

Right now you can help our most important fundraiser of the year from the comfort of your own home.  Funds raised at this link: http://bit.ly/SerenityHouseRedKettle will stay in Polk County to help  Polk County residents who are struggling to make ends meet.  As you know, we help in lots of ways!

Ways we Help in Polk County

  • Rent and utility assistance
  • Homeless shelter assistance
  • Backpack Program for Hungry Kids
  • Help with COVID relief
  • Disaster Services

Donate to our virtual kettle today to help!  ALSO, you can become a “Virtual Bell Ringer”.   Simply copy and paste the link: http://bit.ly/SerenityHouseRedKettle and ask people  to donate to the “Virtual Red Kettle” for Polk County.

This is a great way to help without leaving your home!  Thank you in advance for helping to support The Salvation Army and the people we serve every day.

*VIRTUAL DEMENTIA EDUCATION PROGRAMS offered:

Communication Challenges in Dementia  Tips to help you communicate with and understand your loved one with dementia throughout the disease. Monday, January 4th, 5:00 – 6:00 pm Carrie Myers, cmyers@burnettcounty.org 877-485-2372

Dementia 101  Basics of dementia, common signs and symptoms, and stages of change. Thursday, January 7th, 1:00 – 2:00 pm Trisha Witham, www.adrcconnections.org 715-537-6225

Ask a Dementia Care Specialist.  Get your questions answered about dementia and caring for someone with dementia! Monday, January 11th, 10:00 – 11:00 am Lisa Wells, www.adrcevents.org 715-839-4735

Boost Your Brain & Memory (7 weeks)  Learn what YOU can do to keep your brain healthy and sharp. Tuesday, January 12th – February 23rd, 1:00 – 2:00 pm Trisha Witham, www.adrcconnections.org 715-537-6225

Book Club – “Dementia Reimagined” Lively book club discussion, reimagining dementia. Wednesdays, beginning January 13th, 6:00 – 7:00 pm Amy Luther, amy.luther@co.pierce.wi.us 715-273-6780

Dementia Friends Information Session.  Learn the basics about dementia and what YOU can do to help someone with dementia in YOUR community. Monday, January 25th, 5:00 – 6:00 pm Carrie Myers, cmers@burnettcounty.org 877-485-2372

Ask a Dementia Care Specialist.  Get your questions answered about dementia and caring for someone with dementia! Monday, January 25th, Noon – 1:00 pm Natalie Schmaltz, www.adrc-n-wi.org 866-663-3607

Dementia Friends Information Session  Learn the basics about dementia and what YOU can do to help someone with dementia in YOUR community. Wednesday, January 27th, Noon – 1:00 pm Natalie Schmaltz, www.adrc-n-wi.org 866-663-3607

*GENEROSITY QUOTE for the week:  “You can never truly enjoy Christmas until you can look up into the Father’s face and tell him you have received his Christmas gift”

.

Weekly Readings

 Monday:                     2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16    The Lord’s message to David                                                                                      Tuesday:                     Romans 16:25-27        Paul’s closing prayer

Wednesday:                Luke 1:46b-55             Mary’s song of praise

Thursday:                    Luke 2:1-20                The birth of Jesus

Friday:                        John 3:11-16                For God so loved the world

Saturday:                     Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26   God’s promise to David

Sunday:                       Luke 2:-22-40             Jesus presented in the temple

Monday December 14, 2020

At the beginning of the Advent season, a Sunday School teacher was having her students put a manger scene in a corner of the classroom. It was nearing Christmas, and the pupils were excited as they set up the model barn and covered the floor with real straw and then arranged the clay figures of Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the Wise Men, and all of the animals – all of the clay figures faced the little crib with a tiny doll represented baby Jesus. When the scene was all set up one boy kept going back and standing in front of it totally engrossed by what he saw.  But he also had a puzzled expression on his face. The teacher finally asked him, “So, what do are you thinking about? Is there something you’d like to know?” The boy kept his eyes glued on the manger scene, and slowly said, “What I’d like to know is, where does God fit in?”

Great question!!  It would do us all well to remember that this story is all about God; the God who is FOR US……who comes TO US in Jesus.   In God’s love,  Pastor Greg.

*ALL INSIDE EVENTS/GAHERINGS (INCLUDING INSIDE WORSHIP) ARE ON PAUSE THROUGH JANUARY.  Your church council is monitoring this situation very prayerfully and carefully and will revise if/when the virus situation changes.

Drive up worship via radio broadcast FM 107.5 will still be available.     

 *THE MOST UP TO DATE INFORMATION and devotional videos can always be found on our website, www.lucklutheran.org

*OFFICE HOURS this week:  8:30 – 12:00  Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.   Paula will be making the transition from working at home to back to the office over the next several days.  For now, please call her on her cell phone during office hours:  (715) 554-2212.

*THE ADVENT WAIT videos have started!!!  There will be a new video posted to our Facebook page and website each week during Advent brought to you by the children of OFJ!  Please watch them as you journey through Advent!! Thank you to the kids & their families, Brad and Jennifer Werner for video technology expertise, the OFJ Team & Quinn Stone for all the work to provide these videos.

*ADVENT STORY TIME videos will be posted to our website and Facebook page on Wednesdays, December 9, 16, and 23.  Children of all ages will enjoy these!

*THE DARKEST DAY Prayer Service will be posted to our website and Facebook page on December 21st……the darkest day of the year.  We know that Christmas is not necessarily the “most wonderful time of the year” for everyone; particularly this year.  The “Darkest Day Prayer Service” acknowledges the struggles many have during this season and offers prayers, understanding, love and a message of hope.  If you are finding it difficult to have the “hap, happiest season of all,” please take time to watch (and share) this service.  It will be posted on or before December 21st and can be viewed at your convenience.

*AT HOME CHRISTMAS CONCERT will be emailed to you tomorrow.  Lots of good music and videos!  Yes, you could search and find these on YouTube, etc. yourself, but we have saved you some work.  Look for this tomorrow and enjoy at your leisure!

*CHRISTMAS WORSHIP SERVICES: We will have one drive-up worship service on Christmas Eve at 4:00 (unless it is 20 below!!)  and it promises to be a Christmas worship service like you’ve not experience before.  Please plan to come!!!…..safely in your car with those you live with.  There will also be a full worship service (different from the live Christmas Eve drive-up worship service) offered on line.  It will be posted by the day of Christmas Eve.

 *JOYFUL SOUNDS recordings of beautiful music are available.  2020 has been an interesting year!  We all need a little Christmas Cheer!  Several area musicians ranging from the ages of 8 to 80 having created a CD entitled “Joyful Sounds”.  On the CD you will find approximately 50 minutes of vocal, piano, baritone, trumpet, mandolin, and even ukulele music.  One can be yours for a mere $10 donation, which will go to the Luther Point Bible Camp.  Please contact Sheila Brom (715-566-2187) or Barb Sparish (715-566-4283) if you would like a CD.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.   ~Barb and Sheila

*KINDNESS PANDEMIC WEEKLY UPDATE:

-3 people reported purchasing meals for the car behind them in line at various drive-ups.   

-5 meals of love deliveries, including:  turkey hotdish, lasagna, chili, and home-made soups. 

-Kindness pandemic bags delivered to police officers and mail delivery people.

-Snack boxes given as thankyou to pharmacy and post office workers. 

-3 cash donations to families in need.

-Cookies given to Polk-Burnett workers.

-Recurring donation set up to Salvation Army.

-More people did their own version of “You’ve Been Socked!”

-Care package delivered to a home-care RN who is exposed to covid nearly daily, yet overcomes fear and delivers comfort, compassion and joy.

-More phone calls, phone calls, phone calls have been made this week.

Let’s keep the “Kindness Pandemic going!!!  And keep reporting to help the “spread!”

 *THE NARTHEX REMODEL PROJECT is primarily done!!!! There is a lot of cleaning that needs to be done.  Assemble your team and choose a room or two!  For times and specifics, please contact Kelly (715) 566-1747 or Steve (715) 557-0117.

 *ANNUAL REPORTS Annual Reports are about to be prepared. And if we are going to get the Annual Report out in a timely fashion, we need to get them as soon as possible. The calendar says that they are due on January 4th. However, if you finish your report earlier, we would really appreciate getting them into the church office as soon as possible. All committees and organizations are expected to submit a report.  The Congregational Annual Meeting is scheduled for 10:30 on Sunday, January 31.

 

*SALVATION ARMY VIRTUAL KETTLE COVID-19 has impacted so many things including how many times we leave our house.

Right now you can help our most important fundraiser of the year from the comfort of your own home.

Funds raised at this link: http://bit.ly/SerenityHouseRedKettle will stay in Polk County to help

Polk County residents who are struggling to make ends meet.

As you know, we help in lots of ways!

Ways we Help in Polk County

  • Rent and utility assistance
  • Homeless shelter assistance
  • Backpack Program for Hungry Kids
  • Help with COVID relief
  • Disaster Services

Donate to our virtual kettle today to help!  ALSO, you can become a “Virtual Bell Ringer”.

Simply copy and paste the link: http://bit.ly/SerenityHouseRedKettle and ask people

to donate to the “Virtual Red Kettle” for Polk County.

This is a great way to help without leaving your home!

Thank you in advance for helping to support The Salvation Army and the people we serve every day.

*VIRTUAL DEMENTIA EDUCATION PROGRAMS offered:

Communication Challenges in Dementia  Tips to help you communicate with and understand your loved one with dementia throughout the disease. Monday, January 4th, 5:00 – 6:00 pm Carrie Myers, cmyers@burnettcounty.org 877-485-2372

Dementia 101  Basics of dementia, common signs and symptoms, and stages of change. Thursday, January 7th, 1:00 – 2:00 pm Trisha Witham, www.adrcconnections.org 715-537-6225

Ask a Dementia Care Specialist.  Get your questions answered about dementia and caring for someone with dementia! Monday, January 11th, 10:00 – 11:00 am Lisa Wells, www.adrcevents.org 715-839-4735

Boost Your Brain & Memory (7 weeks)  Learn what YOU can do to keep your brain healthy and sharp. Tuesday, January 12th – February 23rd, 1:00 – 2:00 pm Trisha Witham, www.adrcconnections.org 715-537-6225

Book Club – “Dementia Reimagined” Lively book club discussion, reimagining dementia. Wednesdays, beginning January 13th, 6:00 – 7:00 pm Amy Luther, amy.luther@co.pierce.wi.us 715-273-6780

Dementia Friends Information Session.  Learn the basics about dementia and what YOU can do to help someone with dementia in YOUR community. Monday, January 25th, 5:00 – 6:00 pm Carrie Myers, cmers@burnettcounty.org 877-485-2372

Ask a Dementia Care Specialist.  Get your questions answered about dementia and caring for someone with dementia! Monday, January 25th, Noon – 1:00 pm Natalie Schmaltz, www.adrc-n-wi.org 866-663-3607

Dementia Friends Information Session  Learn the basics about dementia and what YOU can do to help someone with dementia in YOUR community. Wednesday, January 27th, Noon – 1:00 pm Natalie Schmaltz, www.adrc-n-wi.org 866-663-3607

*LUCK RUBY’S PANTRY food distribution on Tuesday, December 15 from 12:00-1:30 pm; please spread the word to friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers so more people can benefit! There are no income requirements to attend these distributions… everyone is welcome ~ if you eat, you qualify and you’ll get PLENTY for your TWENTY! 🙂 When we receive a list of food that’ll be at the distribution, we’ll send and email and post it on Facebook.

Please click on this link to LIKE and FOLLOW this community organization on Facebook.

DETAILS YOU SHOULD KNOW:

* Due to COVID-19 health concerns, our coordinators continue to streamline registration and filling containers. We want everyone to attend and get food, to be safe, and not come in contact with anyone who may not be healthy.

* Bring 2 large, sturdy, clean laundry baskets or boxes (per share) to carry your food.

* Participants will not leave their vehicles or enter the building. Our registration ladies will be set up outside for registration, payment, and numbering your containers.
* As orderly as possible, we’d like participants to pull up in front of Ruby’s Retreat Center. Click here to SEE MAP for how to line up and park.
* The registration ladies will take your $20 donation (per share), your baskets/boxes, put a # on them, and give them to other volunteers to run through the food line.
* You’ll drive to pick up your food the typical way via the alley, back parking lot, 2nd Street, and driveway up to the loading dock, where more volunteers load your containers (please make sure your vehicle has plenty of room!)
* Please check out www.rubyspantry.org for other Ruby’s Pantry distributions if you’d like to attend more – there are 80 different sites across WI and MN… whew!

Upcoming distribution dates: 3rd Tuesday of the month from 12:00-1:30 pm: Jan. 19, Feb. 16, etc.

Thanks to everyone for attending these monthly food distributions. Whether the food finds a place at your own table or is shared with others in your family or neighborhood, that’s Ruby’s original outreach through “caring and sharing”. Everyone is welcome to attend; you’ll receive a good quantity and variety of food for your family, or share “extras” with whomever you please. If the $20 donation is a concern, please talk to the ladies at the registration desk.

Our volunteers work together to set up, organize, and help load the pallets of food so the line moves as quickly as possible. Your donation helps cover operational and shipping costs for Ruby’s Pantry. 10% stays “local” to benefit our communities.

This email is sent by the Luck Ruby’s Pantry outreach team as a reminder to folks who have shared their email address with us. It’s an effective way to keep a lot of people connected in addition to saving time and money. Please know that we always send emails “bcc” (blind carbon copy) so your email address isn’t shared w/ anyone else.

Thanks again; hope to see you on Tuesday!

Amyon behalf of the Luck Ruby’s Pantry coordinators

Ways to connect with Ruby’s Pantry:

    Web: www.rubyspantry.org
Luck Phone: 715-472-7770
MN Home Office Phone: 651-674-0009
Luck email: luckrubyspantry@gmail.com

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RubysPantryLuckWi

*GENEROSITY QUOTE for the week:  “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Weekly Readings

 Monday:                     Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11                  Good news of deliverance

Tuesday:                     1 Thessalonians 5:16-24          A call to rejoice

Wednesday:                Romans 10:14-17                    Those who bring good news

Thursday:                    1 Thessalonians 3:6-13           Timothy’s encouraging support                                                                  Friday:                        Genesis 18:1-18                       A son for Abraham and Sarah

Saturday:                     Psalm 126                               A people who dream

Sunday:                       Luke 1:-26-38                         The birth of Jesus foretold

 

Monday December 7th, 2020

Dear Reflectors of THE LIGHT,

Some years ago, on returning from a business trip, a man brought his wife some souvenirs. Among them was a little trinket box that would glow in the dark. After giving it to her, he turned out the light, but the object did not glow. “This must be a joke!” the wife said.  Disappointed, the husband commented, “I’ve been cheated!” After inspecting the gift more closely over the next few days, the wife noticed some French words on the box. Taking it to a friend who knew the language, she was told that the directions read: “If you want me to shine at night, keep me in the sunlight all day.” So she put her gift in a south window. That evening when she turned out the light, the trinket box had a brilliant glow. The surprised husband asked, “What did you do?” “Oh, I found the secret,” she said. “Before it can shine in the dark, it must be exposed to the light.” Just as that trinket box, having been exposed to the sun, took on the nature of the sun and began to shine, so we too as Christians must constantly be exposed to Christ’s radiant love so that we may take on his nature and shine as lights in a dark world.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.” John 1: 6-8.

Shine brightly with Christ’s love,  Pastor Greg.

*ALL INSIDE EVENTS/GAHERINGS (INCLUDING INSIDE WORSHIP) ARE ON PAUSE THROUGH THE END OF THE YEAR.  Your church council is monitoring this situation very prayerfully and carefully and will revise if/when the virus situation changes.

Drive up worship via radio broadcast FM 107.5 will still be available.     

 *THE MOST UP TO DATE INFORMATION and devotional videos can always be found on our website, www.lucklutheran.org

*OFFICE HOURS:  8:30 – 12:00  Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.   Paula will be making the transition from working at home to back to the office over the next several days.  For now, please call her on her cell phone during office hours:  (715) 554-2212.

*THE ADVENT WAIT videos have started!!!  There will be a new video posted to our Facebook page and website each week during Advent brought to you by the children of OFJ!  Please watch them as you journey through Advent!! Thank you to the kids & their families, Brad and Jennifer Werner for video technology expertise, the OFJ Team & Quinn Stone for all the work to provide these videos.

*ADVENT STORY TIME videos will be posted to our website and Facebook page on Wednesdays, December 9, 16, and 23.  Children of all ages will enjoy these!

*THE DARKEST DAY Prayer Service will be posted to our website and Facebook page on December 21st……the darkest day of the year.  We know that Christmas is not necessarily the “most wonderful time of the year” for everyone; particularly this year.  The “Darkest Day Prayer Service” acknowledges the struggles many have during this season and offers prayers, understanding, love and a message of hope.  If you are finding it difficult to have the “hap, happiest season of all,” please take time to watch (and share) this service.  It will be posted on or before December 21st and can be viewed at your convenience.

*CHRISTMAS WORSHIP SERVICES: We will have one drive-up worship service on Christmas Eve at 4:00 (unless it is 20 below!!)  and it promises to be a Christmas worship service like you’ve not experience before.  Please plan to come…..safely in your car with those you live with.  There will also be a full worship service (different from the live Christmas Eve drive-up worship service) offered on line.  It will be posted by the day of Christmas Eve.

*KINDNESS PANDEMIC WEEKLY UPDATE:

-6 people reported purchasing meals for the car behind them in line at various drive-ups; one couple stated that the recipients passed by with smiles and blowing kisses!!   

-4 meals of love deliveries, including:  Thanksgiving dinner leftovers, lasagna, chili, tator-tot hotdish, and home-made soups. 

-Christmas tree purchase for a family on a tight budget.

-Cash donation to a single mother facing eviction.

-Two cash donations to families in need.

-Donation made to Greyhound Pets of America-Wisconsin; some of the dogs have medical needs.

-More people did their own version of “You’ve Been Socked!”

-More phone calls, phone calls, phone calls have been made this week.

Let’s keep the “Kindness Pandemic going!!!  And keep reporting to help the “spread!”  (See the attached article about the Kindness Pandemic)

*LUTHER POINT BIBLE CAMP – CAMPFIRE CHRISTMAS December 12, 2020 from 4 to 7 p.m. for a drive-through dinner and your choice of taking  it home, eating in your car and enjoying our entertainment or eating around one of our many campfires!  Each meal is $7 if purchased ahead of time ($8 at the door)  We will be serving: Honey Glazed Ham, Sausage Balls, Broccoli Salad, Mashed Potatoes, and Mini Pies!  Everyone who comes will receive one of our artisan hot chocolate bombs made at Luther Point!

To register and/or order your meal ahead of time go to www.lutherpoint.org or contact the camp office: 715-689-2347

*LUCK FIRE DEPARTMENT 6TH ANNUAL SECRET SANTA is looking for monetary donations to shop for 11 luck students, total of 4 families this year. As you are aware, this year has been challenging to say the least, and a lot of our local businesses are struggling and not able to donate what they normally would, if any. Please see the attached flyer.  The deadline for accepting donations has been extended to December 11th.

*THE NARTHEX REMODEL PROJECT is primarily done!!!! There is a lot of cleaning that needs to be done.  Assemble your team and choose a room or two!  For times and specifics, please contact Kelly (715) 566-1747 or Steve (715) 557-0117.

*SALVATION ARMY VIRTUAL KETTLE COVID-19 has impacted so many things including how many times we leave our house.

Right now you can help our most important fundraiser of the year from the comfort of your own home. Funds raised at this link: http://bit.ly/SerenityHouseRedKettle will stay in Polk County to help Polk County residents who are struggling to make ends meet. As you know, we help in lots of ways!

Ways we Help in Polk County

  • Rent and utility assistance
  • Homeless shelter assistance
  • Backpack Program for Hungry Kids
  • Help with COVID relief
  • Disaster Services

Donate to our virtual kettle today to help!  ALSO, you can become a “Virtual Bell Ringer”.  Simply copy and paste the link: http://bit.ly/SerenityHouseRedKettle and ask people to donate to the “Virtual Red Kettle” for Polk County.

This is a great way to help without leaving your home! Thank you in advance for helping to support The Salvation Army and the people we serve every day.

*VIRTUAL DEMENTIA EDUCATION PROGRAMS offered:

Communication Challenges in Dementia  Tips to help you communicate with and understand your loved one with dementia throughout the disease. Monday, January 4th, 5:00 – 6:00 pm Carrie Myers, cmyers@burnettcounty.org 877-485-2372

Dementia 101  Basics of dementia, common signs and symptoms, and stages of change. Thursday, January 7th, 1:00 – 2:00 pm Trisha Witham, www.adrcconnections.org 715-537-6225

Ask a Dementia Care Specialist.  Get your questions answered about dementia and caring for someone with dementia! Monday, January 11th, 10:00 – 11:00 am Lisa Wells, www.adrcevents.org 715-839-4735

Boost Your Brain & Memory (7 weeks)  Learn what YOU can do to keep your brain healthy and sharp. Tuesday, January 12th – February 23rd, 1:00 – 2:00 pm Trisha Witham, www.adrcconnections.org 715-537-6225

Book Club – “Dementia Reimagined” Lively book club discussion, reimagining dementia. Wednesdays, beginning January 13th, 6:00 – 7:00 pm Amy Luther, amy.luther@co.pierce.wi.us 715-273-6780

Dementia Friends Information Session.  Learn the basics about dementia and what YOU can do to help someone with dementia in YOUR community. Monday, January 25th, 5:00 – 6:00 pm Carrie Myers, cmers@burnettcounty.org 877-485-2372

Ask a Dementia Care Specialist.  Get your questions answered about dementia and caring for someone with dementia! Monday, January 25th, Noon – 1:00 pm Natalie Schmaltz, www.adrc-n-wi.org 866-663-3607

Dementia Friends Information Session  Learn the basics about dementia and what YOU can do to help someone with dementia in YOUR community. Wednesday, January 27th, Noon – 1:00 pm Natalie Schmaltz, www.adrc-n-wi.org 866-663-3607

*GENEROSITY QUOTE for the week:  “Honesty and contentment are the pathways that lead to a life of integrity and generosity”

Weekly Readings

Monday:                     Isaiah 40:1-1                Comfort my people

Tuesday:                     2 Peter 3:8-15a            Promise of the Lord’s coming

Wednesday:                Malachi 4:1-6              The great day of the Lord                                                                                          Thursday:                    Matthew 3:1-10          The preaching of John the Baptist

Friday:                        1 Timothy 1:12-17      Gratitude for God’s mercy

Saturday:                     Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13     A prayer for God’s peace                                                                                  Sunday:                       John 1:-6-8, 19-28      John’s witness to the light

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Congregational E-mails