June 2012 Newsletter
Pastor's Article... Empowered! Excited!
“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.” Acts 2:17a
A family driving a large camper pulled up in front of the church just as the pastor started toward home. Desiring to be friendly, the pastor introduced himself and expressed his admiration for the camper. The man of the family told him rather proudly, “This camper sleeps eight people.” Then he asked, “What is the capacity of your church, Pastor?” The beleaguered pastor replied rather glumly, “Oh, it sleeps about eighty.”
It is embarrassing sometimes how little the modern day church resembles the church that first Pentecost. The sound of a windstorm, tongues of fire, disciples speaking in different languages, thousands being added to the church and lots of excitement seem to be all but gone from the church today.
Sad to say the church today is more like a small town I heard about. A traveler stopped at a gas station in the town to buy gasoline. He asked if there was a place close by to get something to eat. The attendant answered, “No, there’s just the café down the road and it closes at 6 o’clock.”
“What do you folks do around here for excitement?” the motorist asked.
“Well,” the attendant said, “around here, folks don’t get excited.”
Such could be said of many churches. I say because many in our circles have forgotten what the church is really about. If we go back to the Day of Pentecost, the day the church was born, we will see that God gave us the church to satisfy one of the great hungers of our time.” EMPOWERMENT.
Have you heard that word before? It is a current buzz word in our society. Everyone nowadays wants to be empowered. We want to feel that we have control over our lives. We want to feel we can take charge of our destinies. We want to know we can follow the dreams of our hearts. But many of us feel powerless. Some of us are held back by our lack of initiative. Others by our lack of education. Others by barriers in our society. And yet the truth of the matter is that only in Jesus and the gift of the gospel can we poor miserable sinners be empowered.
If you don’t believe this is true just look what Jesus did with a handful of farmers, fishermen, tax collectors and housewives. They became so empowered by the message of the gospel, that they turned the Roman empire upside down. That’s quite an accomplishment. In fact it may very well be the greatest single act of empowerment in recorded history. How did they do it?
The answer is quite obvious. They immersed themselves in Jesus. Through the faith and courage that was poured into them on that first Pentecost these ordinary folks were empowered to extra-ordinary things in Christ’s life saving name.
And the same can be true for us as well. For the same Spirit who came upon those early disciples has also come upon us. Through the waters of Holy Baptism we have been empowered by the Spirit of God to do amazing things as well. And because this is so may we ever be excited to worship and serve our Savior!
We will be starting a new Study on June 3rd. It is entitled “Keep Climbing: Why God Doesn’t Give you Everything You Want.” In four sessions, Todd Phillips leads a team to Russia to climb Mount Elbrus, the tallest mountain in Europe. He uses their perilous trek as a backdrop to explore how God works with us through the challenges in our lives. Please consider joining us.
Another year has come to an end here at St. John’s. Kindergarten and 8th grade graduation was on Sunday, May 13. Jack Burns, Deanna Fittje, Adyson Grotesuchen, Jordan Noonan & Brenna Wemhoff (kindergarten) and Tate Janssen, Sarah Kudrna and Austin Maurer (8th grade) were presented with diplomas during church service.
School registration was held on May 23 for the 2012/2013 school year. If you did not make it or are a new member interested in sending your child to St. John’s, please call the school at 285-0335. Final registration will be held August 8. The first day of school is August 22.
Please continue to help our school throughout the summer by recycling paper/magazines (no plastic please) and by purchasing Scrip. Your help is much appreciated!
Lutheran Laymen’s League
St. John’s LLL hosted the Spring Rally on April 29, 2012. President Elden Kapels welcomed approximately 56 zone members and guests. Pastor Birtell led devotions and a pork loin meal was served by the St. John’s PTO. Roland Rosendahl and Dave Rosendahl showed pictures and explained how the combine was disassembled and shipped to Kyrgyzstan. The Zone business meeting followed presided by Lorin Woltemath and District Representative Larry Silhacek gave a report.
The next meeting will be June 5th at 8:00 P.M and Jerry Leffers will serve lunch.
Fred Siefken, Secretary
The Lutheran Hour
June 3 From "Woe Is Me" to "Here I Am"
Lutheran Hour Speaker: Rev. Gregory Seltz
Jesus is God in action for you, transforming your "Woe is me" situation into the joyful "Here I am" place of victory by grace. (Isaiah 6:1-8)
June 10 "We Do Not Lose Heart"
Lutheran Hour Speaker: Rev. Gregory Seltz
The secret to not losing heart is knowing that God raised Jesus from the dead and He will also raise you. Because God is at work in the world, the troubles of today will not have the last word in your life. (2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1)
June 17 "Bridging the Gap"
Lutheran Hour Speaker: Rev. Gregory Seltz
God bridges the gap between His holiness and our sinfulness, because only He can, through the person and work of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:19-20)
June 24 "God, Don't You Care?"
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour: Rev. Dr. Ken Klaus
There is no storm so strong that Jesus cannot still it or bring you through it. (Mark 4:35-41)
WJAG Norfolk, NE 780 AM Sun 12:30 PM
KFAB Omaha, NE 1110 AM Sun 6:30 AM
KTIC West Point, NE 840 AM Sun 11:00 AM
KZEN Columbus, NE 100.3 FM Sun 9:00 AM
Our Annual Fun Fair will be on Sunday, June 10th.
This is put on by our Fellowship Club members and many congregational volunteers. If you would be willing to help out; running games, setting up or taking down, etc., please speak to Nancy Kapels, Carol Rosendahl or Lois Kapels.
UPDATED MISSION CENTRAL SPEAKER SCHEDULE
The following special events are planned at Mission Central near Mapleton, Iowa. Gary Thies invites everyone to come and hear these wonderful folks talk about their work around the world. All speaking events are in the barn at Mission Central, and the newest additions to the speaking list are in red. For more information on Mission Central or on these special events, visit the Mission Central website at www.missioncentral.us.
June 5, 7:00 p.m. - Al and Shirley Piepenbrink, Hong Kong
June 19, 1:00 and 7:00 p.m. – J.P. Cima , health care worker in Vietnam
June 23, 1:00 and 7:00 p.m. – Matt and DeeDee Wasmund, Korea
July 7, 1:00 and 7:00 p.m. – Rev. Dr. Fungchatou Lo, Cambodia
July 11, 1:30 p.m. – Sarah Cusson, Hungary
July 14, 1:00 and 7:00 p.m. – Sharon Owens, Macau
July 21, 1:00 and 7:00 p.m. - Rev. Joel Scheiwe, Hong Kong
August 11, 1:00 and 7:00 p.m. – Rev. Mark Eisold, Peru
August 18, 1:30 and 7:00 p.m. – Shara Cunningham, South Africa
August 21, 1:30 p.m. – Josh Lange, Southern China
August 29, 1:30 p.m. – Rev. Robert and Rita Flohrs, Germany
September 19, 1:00 p.m. – Dennis and Monta Denow, Bangkok, Thailand
November 8, 1:30 p.m. – Coral Rose, Pretoria, South Africa
Have you ever dreamed of visiting the Holy Land? Well, the time has come! A group is now forming of Columbus area Lutherans who will travel to Israel in the summer of 2013. The incredible tour will include places like Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, Nazareth, Bethlehem, and much more. The stories you have heard in the Bible your whole life will come alive as you follow in Jesus's own steps. The adult tour is being organized by Lila Brock, (Spanish teacher at Lakeview High School) who has led over a dozen international tours in the past. If you would like more information about this tour, please contact Lila, at firstname.lastname@example.org or give her a call at 402-246-4081. This is an incredible opportunity you won't want to miss!
Camp Luther 2012 Summer Schedule
Go to the Camp’s new website (www.campluther.org) to see the list of dates for summer camp programs of 2012. There are some new camp activities offered, two weeks of Horse Care, Cooking, Woodworking, Music and more. Registration forms will be available online during January. Check them early since some will be limited in numbers and fill up.