Celebrating 100 Years 1918-2018
“God With Us”
Who Needs Me?
In a devotion I recently read from Ron Hutchcraft – Ron talked about how in life – it can often times can be some of the little things that totally drain us – Yet – help is never far away.
Who Wants To Be A Billionaire?
In a podcast put forth by Jim Denison on October 23rd he asked the question, “What would you do with $1.6 billion? “
As we peruse the news de jour we will read stories about hurricanes - conspiracy theories about this, that, and whatever – the plight of more than 7,500 migrants from Honduras making their way north through Mexico – along with other happenings in our Nation, and around the world.
In the context of all of this, Americans have also been paying attention to a news item closer to home: October 23rd’s Mega Millions drawing for more than $1.6 billion, the highest total in US lottery history. By the time you read this article the jackpot could go even higher, perhaps surpassing $2 billion.
Right now, people across the US are wondering what they would do with $1.6 billion (the cash payout is $904 million). A stack of 1.6 billion dollar bills would reach more than one hundred miles into the atmosphere, three times higher than commercial jetliners. It would cover 6.4 square miles in area.
It’s the classic get-something-for-nearly-nothing dilemma. A Mega Millions ticket costs $2. The payouts are so enormous that Americans spent $77.7 billion on lottery sales in fiscal year 2018, up about $5 billion from the previous year. In 2016, lottery ticket sales eclipsed what Americans spent on movies, video games, books, music, and sports tickets–combined.
However, your odds of winning the jackpot are one in 302,575,350. You are 2,649 times more likely to die from a lightning strike.
Is materialism bad for us?
The lottery is classic Western existentialism at work: most winners spend their money on themselves. One couple bought their dream home, other properties, and a Porsche. The husband also made a record with his college band. Six years later, every penny of their fortune was gone.
Another winner spent $5.4 million on gambling in Atlantic City. After losing it all, she is penniless and lives in a trailer park. Yet another spent all her winnings on luxury goods and has nothing left.
Materialism has been linked to depression, social anxiety, decreased well-being, lower life satisfaction, and compulsive and impulsive spending. The failure of money to buy true happiness shows that the Bible is right to warn us: “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have” (Hebrews 13:5).
Paul noted: “Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs” (1 Timothy 6:9-10).
Jesus has the final word: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).
Why are we so materialistic?
Given all the dangers of materialism, why are so many Americans still so materialistic?
Consumer spending is 68 percent of the US economy. Such spending is driven by marketers who persuade us that we need what they offer. They do this by connecting our sense of personal success and significance to what we own, using our 24/7 media-driven culture to sell us their goods and services.
There’s an even deeper issue at work, however.
Western civilization began with the ancient Greeks. They taught us transactional religion through which we placate the gods through sacrifices and prayers so they will give us what we want. Religion is thus measured by prosperity–the more we please the gods, the more they will please us.
From then to now, it’s been conventional wisdom in Western culture that prosperity is based on possessions.
“Money is both a test and trust from God”
If the material world were intrinsically evil, the Son of God could not have taken on flesh and remained sinless.
Luke 8 tells us of “many” women who were part of Jesus’ band of followers and who “provided for them out of their means” (v. 3). An early believer named Joseph was so generous with his wealth that he was given the nickname “Barnabas,” which means “son of encouragement” (Acts 4:36). Dorcas (Acts 9:36), Cornelius (Acts 10:1-2), and Lydia (Acts 16:14-15) were also known for their generosity.
Now God invites us to emulate them by using our means as means and not ends.
Whether you won the October 23rd lottery or not, the fact that you are reading these words in America means you’re among the wealthiest people in human history. However, since “the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof” (Psalm 24:1), all you own is actually owned by its creator.
You are a “steward” or manager of your Lord’s possessions. His word is clear: “It is required of stewards that they be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2). “Found faithful” can be literally translated as “discovered to be trustworthy.” Rick Warren notes: “Most people fail to realize that money is both a test and trust from God.”
In the month of November – there is a strong focus on Thanksgiving – It is my prayer that we will test well with the trust we have from God.
Thanksgiving blessing to you – as we reflect upon the many things we have to be thankful for – especially the forgiveness, life, and salvation we have in Jesus our Lord!
Yours In Christ’s Service
Pastor Terry Grzybowski
Celebrating 100 Years (1918-2018)
November History Bite
A planning committee was appointed in 1964 to plan Emmanuel’s program needs for the next ten years. It was recommended that the congregation take steps to provide adequate and modern facilities for the Sunday School and other educational programs. The Emmanuel Congregation entered into a contract with Elk River Lumber Company to construct the new Christian Education Building for an approximate cost of $78,000.00. The Christian Education Building, with six large classrooms, spacious lobby, auxiliary narthex, pastor’s study, and restrooms, was dedicated on November 13, 1966.
The children's Hosanna Choir performed during services in November and December of 2006.
UPCOMING SPECIAL WORSHIP SERVICES
Thanksgiving Eve Service – Wednesday, November 21st at 7:00 pm
Advent Worship Services –
Wednesday - December 5, December 12 and December 19 at 7:00 pm
Christmas Services -
Christmas Eve at 4:00 pm, 7:00 pm and 11:15 pm
Christmas Day Communion Service at 9:00 am
Parish Planning Council (PPC) Meeting
Thursday, September 20, 2018
(as approved by PPC on October 18, 2018)
Present: Dave J., Val J., Beth W., Pastor Terry G., Jean C., Charles L., John N., Marcia E., Arlon F., George V.
Meeting started at approximately 7:05pm, lead by PPC President Dave.
Opening: Devotion by Pastor. Theme for today: God’s Family Serves - A Servant’s Prayer.
Secretary’s Report: Marcia provided Secretary’s Report from August. John moved to approve as amended, seconded by Jean; approved.
Treasurer’s Report: Jean provided Treasurer’s Report which included Balance Sheet as of September 19, 2018, and Profit & Loss Budget vs. Actual for January 1 through September 19, 2018. Question by Jean as to what account for baptism costs; directed to put under Service Fund/Worship Supplies. Question by George as to why Kitchen Supplies and Office Supplies go under Elders budget. Also Elders are wondering if Rally Day should be under Education or Social Ministry. Request made to review what goes under which budget and why sometime in the future. Jean confirmed allocating the cost of liability and property insurance for the Parsonage and the 5th Street House by percentage of value for insurance amounts noted; this would decrease the income on the rent of the 5th Street House for purposes of IRS and MN taxes. John moved to approve report, seconded by Marcia; approved.
Preschool: Pastor shared that the first week of preschool went very well. Three classes are currently being offered—two mornings and one afternoon. There are 24 children; nine do not have a church home. Beth has been helping with preschool group.
Elders: Report was given by George. Elders met on September 6; all were present.
Elders provided ice cream and root beer for root beer floats on Rally Day. An Ad Hoc group took care of Rally Day — Thanks to Jim and Judy B, Kathy O, John N, and Robin K. and grandson Ethan for all of their work on planning and setting up Rally Day activities. Noting difficulty of recruiting new Elders, it was brought to PPC last month to only staff Elders at the Communion Service. This would necessitate the scheduled Ushers to oversee the candles, the sound system, the Offering, and offer any ordinary assistance to the Pastor. There has been ‘push-back’ from some of the Ushers with unwillingness to add historically Eldership duties. The Elder schedule will be amended to provide an Elder presence at every service. The Budget Worksheet for 2018-19 was reviewed, completed, and submitted. Elders request clarification from the PPC for many of the accounts as to what is actually being submitted for payment.
Education: Beth shared her DCE report at this time. She has been serving as support for Sunday School through helping choose Sunday School curriculum, helping with Rally Day, gathering supplies, printing lessons. Beth has conducted the weekly Children’s Message during Worship, story and song with preschoolers, weekly High School lessons, and worked with weekly confirmation lessons. She has attended visits with shut-ins/limited mobility members. Beth has also worked with finding/providing information on the National Youth Gathering that will be held in Minnesota in summer of 2019 (July 11-15, 2019). Beth asked what the current housing policy was for youth and adults when attending a conference together; current practice is that females-youth and adult-stay together, while males-youth and adult-stay together. Beth asked if funds might be available through the Endowment Fund for youth to attend the National Youth Gathering. It was agreed by PPC members that each person planning to attend would need to pay at least the initial down payment amount to show his/her commitment to attend; more details need to be further discussed through Youth Committee. Beth will attend the next Youth Committee meeting (Sunday, September 23) to determine her role with that group.
Stewardship: Arlon shared the Stewardship report. A letter to new members has been completed. New member services will be held quarterly, with cake provided and request for Pastor to take photo of new members and post in entry. Pledge drive materials are being prepared. A report breaking down budget and non-budget items has been developed; looking at keeping congregation better advised of actual budget this way. Emmanuel’s Constitution includes an addendum that lists the duties of the various Boards/Committees, including the Endowment Fund. It was proposed that there be a procedure book that documents duties and any PPC votes/discussions; this book should be kept in an area where it could easily be accessed, along with a copy in the church office. George mentioned that he attended a seminar at the Best Practices Conference that addresses this and he has many notes on the subject.
Trustees: Report given by John. He has been making and posting laminated signs on how to take care of various things in the church. The past month was very busy with a number of repairs needed at the parsonage building, outside faucet repair on the front of the church, finishing the interior of the new storage building, and removing weeds along curb line in parking lot. Several potholes have developed; prices for repairs were shared and PPC recommended go-ahead with needed repairs. Looking at Fall Clean-up in late October or early November. A self-defense group has requested use of church space for 15 youth from 5:00-6:00pm on Tuesdays, October 9 through December 18. A ‘Church Facility Usage and Hold Harmless Agreement’ has been drawn up related to usage of church space. Sample policy documents were shared from Safe Church - Child Protection Policy Sample, and Guide One Insurance - A Practical Guide to Protect Your Ministry; these will be further reviewed and discussed by the PPC with consideration to write up as By-laws for Emmanuel and include at the Voters’ Meeting in December. The proposed 2019 Trustees Budget was also shared.
Youth: Val updated the PPC on Youth activities. There will be a Garage Sale on October 5-6; monies go into the 2019 Missions account. Group is meeting on Sunday, September 23, after Choir. Local Mission this year; looking at doing the week before the National Youth Gathering (July 11-15) in order to offer opportunity to youth coming to the Gathering from other churches prior to their Gathering experience. Youth will be working with Beth on Mystery Dinner. October 26 - confirmation dinner by LWML; speaker to talk about youth service and the National Youth Gathering. October 28 - Confirmation; Marcia talked briefly with Katie R. about being official photographer for this.
Pastor’s Report: Pastor shared that there will be a Circuit meeting at Zion Lutheran Church in Crown on September 30 to elect delegates to the Synod meeting in Tampa, Florida, July 21-25, 2019. The following Bible Studies are currently in progress: Sunday morning - looking at 14 biblical personalities and examples of times when they lost their focus and when their focus was restored in God, Thursday morning - The Challenge of Islam-Defending the Christian Faith, Third Thursday Men’s group - Core Christianity, and Wednesday evenings - the Book of James. Pastor officiated at two weddings in September. Worship services continue off-site with shut-ins/limited mobility members - see monthly calendars for dates/times. Confirmation classes resumed on September 19; five students will be confirmed this fall. There is one person currently in new member class. Joseph Ryan was with us on Sunday evening, August 26th; to share about the mission work he is involved.
Next Meeting: Thursday, October 18, 2019, at 7:00 pm.
Closing: PPC meeting closed this evening with song and prayer.
Adjournment: Meeting adjourned at approximately 9:05 pm.
Marcia E., Secretary
The holiday is almost here. Why not send a thoughtful card to those who cannot be with you this year. Let them know how thankful you are that God has put them into your life. All cards are only $1. Don't forget that Christmas cards will also be available at a later date. As a matter of fact, don't forget that our card counter can fit most of your needs (birthday, confirmation, baptism, sympathy). We'll even help you by recycling any unwanted cards you may have. Just cut off the front (make sure there are no personal messages on the back) and put them in the box by the card counter. They are sent to the Boys and Girls Ranch to be made into 'new' cards. It's a win-win all the way around! Thanks for buying your cards from us! Your LWML
OUR MISSION YOUTH GROUP THANKS YOU!
Emmanuel Lutheran Church Mission Youth Group held a Mission Sale on Friday, October 5th and Saturday, October 6th. Included was a garage sale, bake sale, crafters and business vendors. The weather was overcast and drizzling rain and still the serious bargain shoppers came. We want to thank the congregation and friends for their support of baked goods, garage sale items, sorting, setting up and cleaning up alongside with our youth and adults of our mission group. Your efforts are always appreciated. Diamond City donated bread for sale. Please visit them thanking them personally for their support. We raised $3244.51 at this event and all the proceeds will go towards our 2019 Summer Mission - "Hope for the Heartland". We will be doing repair and projects assisting our Veterans in Sherburne County area.
On behalf of the Emmanuel Lutheran Mission Youth Group, we thank you our congregation for your continued support.
Grace, peace, and mercy to you from our Savior Jesus Christ,
I cannot believe that I have been here for almost three months! I have truly loved being a part of events like the garage sale, leading our Youth group in Sunday school, teaching Confirmation, and I especially love singing with our pre-school. Each week I get to spend some time with our three pre-school classes reading stories about Jesus and singing songs about His love for us! Every Wednesday and Thursday when I come in, the kiddos are so excited to see me, but even more excited to hear and sing about Jesus. If I come into their room feeling tired, they don’t notice through their excitement, and after spending time with them I feel filled by their sheer joy! Regardless of if I mess up a word while reading or if I accidentally play the wrong chord on my guitar they are just happy I am there spending time with them.
I see Jesus in these three and four year olds. Jesus doesn’t care what we come to him with; if we are tired, or if we don’t do everything perfect, He is just so happy that we are spending time with Him. One of my favorite pieces of scripture is Zephaniah 3:17, “The Lord your God is with you, a Mighty Warrior who saves you; He will take great delight in you; He will quiet you with his love; he will rejoice over you with singing.” This verse is so powerful to me because it speaks a few truths: First it proclaims that God is with you, he is in your midst. It moves on to say that He saves you, but it doesn’t end there. God takes great delight in you. He is not just with you, he LOVES to be with you. That love is comforting and can calm your anxieties and fears; it quiets us. But our God is not quiet! He is so in love with his creation, with you, that he doesn’t just speak, he sings over you! No matter how we come to God, He will rejoice over us, just like those preschoolers rejoice over and with me.
Speaking of rejoicing! The Christmas season is upon us!! Starting November 4th we will be having Christmas program rehearsal for all of our kiddos up to high schoolers! We hope those who participate will be able to make it to as many rehearsals as possible. If you would like to help with the Christmas program, please reach out to Beth at her email: email@example.com. The Christmas program itself will be December 16th. We will have rehearsal every Sunday until then EXCEPT for November 25th. On December 15th, the Saturday before our performance, we will have a dress rehearsal and breakfast. We are so excited for
our youth to proclaim the Good News of the best Christmas gift we ever have and ever will receive: Jesus Christ and His saving grace!
EMMANUEL SNOW BIRDS - PLEASE READ
If you are planning to leave Minnesota for your warm winter retreat away from the cold, snow and ice please, take a moment to let the church secretary know. Having up to date information on our church members helps out in many ways.
Guiding Hands Preschool
During the month of November we will be focusing on giving thanks. We will talk about the many things we have to be thankful for. We can be thankful for our Savior, our families and friends, our school and church, the food we eat and the homes we live in. There are so many things we can thank God for. I thank God everyday for the wonderful children I get to see and spend time with.
We will be having a Thanksgiving Feast for our families. We will combine all our classes and have our Thanksgiving on Monday, Nov. 19. Our 3 day classes
will combine for the morning to prepare for the feast. Our 2 day class will join us at 11:30. There will be a small program before we eat. We will eat at 12:00 and the families are invited to join us for dinner, some songs and fun.
There is no school the rest of the week, so that everyone may enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with their families.
It will be a month of being thankful and happy for the many things we have.
May God Bless,
LUTHERAN WOMENS MISSIONARY LEAGUE
Stewardship is Thankfulness
Here's a question to ponder: What would you do if you woke up tomorrow morning and all that you had is what you thanked God for yesterday? Makes you think, doesn't it? It made me want to be thankful - for everything - right now.
It also reminded me of an article I read in the Aug. 10, 2018 issue of the "Visitor". It is by Eric McArdle. It was titled, 'Stewardship as way of life, practices to be focus of ...event'. He had some answers to questions about stewardship. The concept of stewardship originates in the Bible. It is in both the Old and New Testaments and is a textbook for living a stewardship way of life. The most common misconception is that stewardship equals money. We need to give people a holistic understanding that stewardship is about every gift that God has given to you. From the breath you're taking right now, to the time God has given you today, to the talents He has given you to earn a living or to serve others, as well as all of the material and financial resources He has blessed you with. Stewardship is how we live our lives, day in and day out, as a disciple of Christ. Each individual is responsible for being a good steward of what God has given to them. Talking about and living a life of stewardship can change people's lives and helps them grow closer to Christ. It also means you are helping to build the church by helping congregations more effectively carry out their mission of growing disciples of Jesus. You can be a good steward by gratefully recognizing and receiving the gifts that God has given to you. By using those gifts in the way God wants you to use them. And returning a portion of those gifts with increase to God.
Being good stewards sounds a lot like the attitude and actions of the Lutheran Women's Missionary League. I am fortunate to be part of such and organization. I want to thank all of my sisters and brothers in Christ for supporting the work of the
LWML. More importantly, I want to thank all of you for being good stewards in your personal lives and that of Emmanuel congregation so that we can grow and also grow the church of Christ. I'd like to leave you with a poem. Happy Thanksgiving and God bless!
A Thanksgiving Picture by Laurie English Dawson
I'd like to see Thanksgiving Day
In colors on a screen,
A day of feasting, sharing, giving,
A joyful, friendly scene.
I'd like to see the countryside
A land where all are free
And opportunity holding out
A hand to you and me.
I'd like to see the hearts of men
Give thanks with humble love
For all the bounty we receive
From the Giver up above.
All Women Are Invited!
Who is the LWML? The Lutheran Women's Missionary League (LWML) is an official auxiliary of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. For 75 years, the LWML has focused on affirming each woman's relationship with Christ, encouraging and equipping women to live out their Christian lives in active mission ministries and to support global missions. Any confirmed member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod can join a congregational society.
We believe that together we can make a difference.
Come and see for yourself! Make a difference today!
11/3 Heidi H.
11/7 Anthony B., Camille (Cammie) B.
11/8 Jim B.
11/13 Lou S.
11/15 Maia N.
11/21 Mark B.
11/28 Laurel C.
11/29 Penny A.
11/30 Jean C., Jerry L., Michael R.
Joseph & Hedi H. 11/1/1986
Bud & Vivian A. 11/9/1950
Robert & Christine W. 11/9/1985
Dan & Linda S. 11/18/1972
Ken & Kathy O. 11/27/1999
Charles & Marcia E. 11/29/1968