Lenten Service canceled Wednesday Feb. 24

Because of poor weather, the Lenten service this evening has been canceled. A Lenten thought is provided below.

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Have you ever noticed that the feel of the music in many churches changes at this time of year? Right now we are in the season of the Church Year known as Lent. During Lent, the sounds and singing in many of our churches could best be described as “sad” or “somber.”

Do you know what gives the music that sad, somber sound? Oftentimes it is because it is written in a minor key. In the music of our Western culture, songs are generally written in either a major or minor key. If they are written in a major key, they tend to sound more cheerful or upbeat. If they are written in a minor key, they tend to sound somber, sad or even scary.

Go to YouTube and listen to hymns like O Sacred Head Now Wounded and Stricken, Smitten and Afflicted. They sound sad and somber. They sound like a funeral. They are written in a minor key.

Lent is life lived in minor key. During the 40 days of Lent we follow our Savior Jesus on his dark and difficult road to the cross. We see him suffer. We watch him die. We are reminded that it is our cross which pressed down on his shoulders. It is our dumb and dirty deeds which caused his pain. Lent is a time of repentance and sorrow over sin.

But is Lent really such a sad season? Jesus bore that cross willingly in love. And because he did, we are forever forgiven for every last one of those dumb and dirty sins. Look carefully at the words of those “sad” and “somber” hymns that we sing during Lent. “If my sins give me alarm and my conscience grieve me, let your cross my fear disarm; peace of conscience give me” (Jesus, I Will Ponder Now Christian Worship 98:4). As we cling to the old, rugged cross, we are reminded that we will exchange it one day for the crown of heaven. Is that really something to be sad about?

Scientists call the coastal regions where fresh water and sea water mix an estuary. Lent is an “estuary” where the bitter tears of sorrow over sin are mixed with the sweet, joyful tears of sins forgiven.

So, as you live life in minor key during this Lenten season – as you sing those sad, somber melodies – make sure you listen carefully to the words. Yes, it is your sins that caused his suffering. That is your punishment which he bore. But he did so willingly in love. Because he did, you are forgiven. You are going to heaven. When we really listen to the words, we come to realize that the sad, somber songs of Lent are really the happy hymns of heaven.

By Rev. Andrew Schroera

Hedy Hedman

Eleanor Hedman, known to all as Hedy, died on Christmas Eve 2015. She was a long time member of our church and was treasurer of the Women’s Association for many years. Unable to live on her own, Eleanor Hedman (Hedy) moved, earlier this year, to be close to family in Minnesota. The funeral will be there, plans have not yet been announced.

Ahead of her time, Hedy was a businesswoman who owed and ran a book store of church and religious supplies for many years. A pillar of our church, she was a walking history of the Lutheran church in Michigan. In the photo below, she is shown (left) being interviewed by Ken Mirjah, with help from Joanne Grierson, during our Centennial celebration in 2011.

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Pastor Wayne’s Christmas Message

From Pastor Wayne:

In 1972, Johnny Nash wrote and released the popular hit; “I Can See Clearly Now.” What a great line!
A little over 2,000 years ago three astronomers went in search of a King only following a star lite in the night. Both of these actions and thoughts deal with the issue of focus. Clarity, Vision, Purpose, and Hope are all components of seeing clearly and being focused. A cataclysmic event took place over 2,000 years ago that has changed the face of life on planet earth. It involved an obscure village and a seemingly uneventful birth, but the angels in heaven as well as our three travelers were of a different mindset. FOCUS! Larry King, famous CNN talk show host was asked if he had the choice of one person to interview in all of history who would it be. He stated it would be Jesus Christ and the one question would be to ask him if he indeed were born of a virgin. The reason behind this question was that the answer would explain history.
If indeed the virgin birth were not true then Jesus would not be God and his sacrifice would be only on the human level. This historical and supernatural event does indeed help explain the depths of human history. By being born of a virgin Jesus is indeed fully God and fully man. It is absolutely a miracle, both natural (child birth) and supernatural (conception).
In this season of Christmas and Epiphany I want to encourage you with these thoughts. If you believe in Christmas then you believe in miracles; and some can happen! May you experience the miracle of God’s love in your heart and soul as we journey together in this thing called life.

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Christmas Around the World: December 19

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Saturday, December 19 at 4:00pm is our Christmas Party! The Sunday School will present their special program on “Christmas Around the World”. The kids have been working hard and this issue to be a special treat.

After the program, we will have out annual Christmas potluck, so bring a dish to share. All this excitement will leave us ready to have a joyous Christmas carol sing-along.
Do not miss this Christmas triple play of children, Christmas carols and a meal with Christmas cheer.

Food Pantry: Thrivent & Harvest Bounty

Thrivent  milk give away at the Food Pantry.
Thrivent milk give away at the Food Pantry.

The Food Pantry continues to serve our community. Recently, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans provides extra funding for milk. Through Gleaners, we are always able to provide fresh vegetables or fruit to our clients.

We always give away fresh vegetables and fruit at the Food Pantry. Last week, with the bounty of a Michigan harvest season, we had even more than usual.
We always give away fresh vegetables and fruit at the Food Pantry. Last week, with the bounty of a Michigan harvest season, we had even more than usual.

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