Celebrating 102 Years 1918-2020
“Fear not!” is one of the most repeated commands in the Bible. In fact, it’s been said that there are 365 “Fear nots” in the Bible — one “Fear not” for every day of the year! Lloyd Ogilvie – former chaplain of the United States Senate even said in his book, “Facing the Future without Fear” that there are 366 “Fear nots” in the Bible, one for every day of the year, including Leap Year! God doesn’t want us to go a single day without hearing his word of comfort: “Fear not!”
One of my favorite “Fear not!” Scriptures is Isaiah 43:1-3, “But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. 3 For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. . . .”
In this scripture, we are assured God knows our name, we are His in Christ Jesus now and forever, and nothing will change that. God promises to be with us in the good times as we pass through the waters. God promises to be with us in the turbulent times as we pass through the rivers and are forced to deal with forces we have no control over. God promises to be with us, even when our time in this world comes to an end, and we go to join Him in heaven. Our lives are secure in Christ, and nothing will change that.
We are familiar with PTSD—post-traumatic stress disorder. Now doctors, along with countless others in the world are dealing with pre-TSD, pre-traumatic stress disorder.
A physician in the San Francisco Bay Area published today a sobering article for the Washington Post about her healthcare colleagues. It is so relevant that I would like to share a large portion of it with you.
“Trauma is defined as a deeply disturbing experience. With post-traumatic stress disorder, after suffering a trauma, a person experiences intrusive negative thoughts and psychological distress. Doctors and nurses see news from our colleagues in China, South Korea and Italy, letting us know in no uncertain terms what is coming. The result is that we are all feeling the psychological ramifications of the trauma. We just haven’t experienced the trauma yet.”
She continues: “We’re expecting systems overwhelmed with sick patients who will line the hallways of our emergency rooms and hospital wards. We know doctors and nurses will get sick and have to self-quarantine for fourteen days, leaving the healthcare workforce decimated. Physicians unknowingly exposed to the coronavirus will spread the disease to our most vulnerable populations. We will run out of beds and ventilators in intensive care units, and we will have to make harrowing, traumatic decisions about who lives and who dies based on nothing more than utilitarian guesses about remaining ‘life years.'”
This part of her article was especially sobering: “We know that we will get infected, and we hope that we will be fine after fourteen days of quarantine. But we will almost definitely infect our children. And they, in turn, will infect their caregivers—in many cases, our aging parents, because there is nobody else to care for them, because healthcare workers cannot telecommute. And then, in the darkest of nightmares, we imagine becoming directly responsible for the deaths of our own parents or other loved ones.”
She concludes: “As I put my young children to bed tonight and answer their questions about the coronavirus, I tell them it will be fine. But I know it won’t be. I’m not anxious; I’m pre-traumatized. And with good reason. We’re all in for the fight of our lives.”
Rev. Chris Elkins wrote this post a few weeks ago, “The reality of uncertainty and the absence of control are the most distressing things I am experiencing in all of this. There’s no certainty about how this virus will spread or whom it will impact. The economic uncertainty is palpable. As well, I have zero control of the stock market, the hoarding, or people’s compliance to guidelines. I find all of this troubling and deeply distressing.”
However, “Coronavirus did not create this reality—it just made it clear. To this point, I have mistakenly confused a measure of material success with the myth of certainty. Nothing in this world is certain, no matter the balance in my checking account or the investments in my retirement plan. Control is an illusion. I often cannot even control myself, much less anything outside of me.”
He adds: “The myth of certainty and the illusion of control are the result of the devil’s oldest temptation: being like God. God’s word is all I have that is certain.”
Like Dr. Block and like Chris, we are all facing an uncertain and frightening future. It’s human nature to fear what we cannot anticipate or control. In days like this, it is vital that we turn to the One who sees what we cannot see and promises his hope for our unknown future.
Our Lord says to his people, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
Let’s focus on his promise for the present: “I am with you.” No matter where you are today, your Lord is with you. He feels what you feel and loves you as you are.
And let’s also remember his promise for the future: “I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you.” There is nothing we can experience in the future that our Lord will not help us through.
God’s peace and blessing in Jesus – today and always!
Yours In Christ’s Service,
Pastor Terry Grzybowski
UPCOMING SPECIAL SERVICES
Join us on Facebook Sundays at 8:00 am & Wednesdays at 7:00 PM
April 1 – Lenten Service 7:00 pm
April 5 – Palm Sunday Service 8:00 am
April 9 – Maundy Thursday Service, 7:00 pm
April 10 – Good Friday Service, 7:00 pm
Tentative plans are to hold Easter Services at Emmanuel Lutheran Church.
April 12– Easter Services, 7:00 & 10:30 am
Thursday, February 20, 2020, revised —
Approved at PPC Meeting on March 19, 2020
Present: Charles L., Marcia En., Jean C., George V., Dave J., Val J., Danielle C., Robert W.
Meeting was called to order at approximately 7:05 pm by Vice President Charles L.
Opening: Devotion read by Chuck L — The Lord Is My Shepherd, A Prayer Page for March.
Secretary’s Report: Marcia E presented report.
Jean C presented the Balance Sheet as of February 19, 2020, and the Profit and Loss Budget vs. Actual for January 1 through February 19, 2020. It was noted that four persons are currently using online giving. Marcia E moved to approve, Chuck L seconded; approved.
Safety and Security: Report given by Robert W.
Personnel: Report given by Dave J.
Preschool: Written report from Cheryl was read by Chuck L.
Elders: Report given by George V.
Education: Report given by Danielle C.
Stewardship: No report given at tonight’s meeting.
Trustees: Chuck L provided information that Clark J was ill. Reported that the light needs repair in the Preschool area.
Youth: Val J reported for group.
Pastor’s Report: Written report provided by Pastor Terry.
Next Meeting: Thursday, March 19, 2020, at 7:00pm.
Closing: Group ended meeting with song of praise.
Adjournment: Motion made by Marcia, seconded by Jean to adjourn meeting; approved. Meeting adjourned at 9:20pm.
Respectfully submitted by,
Marcia Engvall, Parish Planning Council (PPC) Secretary
Attention Facebook Users
Did you know that Emmanuel Lutheran Church has an official Facebook page? It is a public page that is currently being used to post live streaming video of Wednesday evening and Sunday morning worship services. You may also request copies of worship bulletins, to go along with the worship services, to be emailed to you. To access this page, go to your Facebook page and in the search box, type in Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Elk River, MN. This should take you to the site and you should be able to click on the particular worship service video that you would like to view.
Did you know that we also have a private group on Facebook, just for Emmanuel members? The purpose of this site is to share congregational information that we might not want to share with the entire community, such as our prayer list. To access this private group, called Emmanuel Lutheran Church Family, you must have a current member of this private group invite you to be a member. If you have questions about this private group, or have issues being invited to join the group, please contact Pastor G. or. Marcia E.at 763-263-3110.
It’s a trying season for all of us, whether because we’re busy, worried about illness, or worried about providing for our families, so I wanted to start out with a reminder of Philippians 4:6-7. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Even though we may be worrying about many things, which is understandable, we have such a great God. We have the reassurance that we can go to Him with anything, big or small. While He might not take care of us in the way we expect, He knows what He’s doing. We can rest in the assurance of Christ’s death and resurrection, and the knowledge that God always has an amazing plan for us all.
I want to extend a thank you to everyone who helped out with Feed My Starving Children on March 14th. I got a message that the food we had packed was shipped on March 20th. 59 kids are being fed for a year, and in a time of fear such as this, that’s a wonderful message of hope that we were able to give.
Unfortunately, Rise Up With Jesus was cancelled because of health concerns, but Vacation Bible School is still scheduled to happen from July 19th to July 23rd. We still need volunteers, specifically, people to lead groups to different stations, as well as volunteers to assist within the different stations. There is also a growing supply list on the board at church, and if you’d be willing to help out with materials, that would be wonderful. If you’d like more information on anything involving VBS, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Tilted Halos Sisters
In looking back over my previous writings, I noticed that we have been active for almost a year. Now we are certainly in troubled times in our community, our nation and the world. Because of the current situation we are not meeting as a group. I would encourage those of you who are able to do so, to continue to work on various projects at your home. If you are sewing the little burial gowns and need more material, please contact Wendy to arrange a time to pick up more supplies. If you are putting together the backings for lap quilts and dementia quilts, keep them at your home for now. I am quite short on storage space at mine!
We have discussed the possibility of making items to sell as a fund-raising effort at the garage/vendor sale at church. This is something that could be done at home, also. Pinterest has many good ideas and patterns for Christmas and other holiday items, kitchen items, children’s toys, knit and crochet items, etc. You may have patterns and materials in your own stash that could be used. Karen gave me a lot…a lot!...of satin type material that could be made into beautiful scarves.
Through all of this “new normal” that is our life now, remember the promise of Jesus: “Be not afraid, for I am with you.” Call God’s 911 Number—Psalm 91:1 and the rest of that chapter. Lean on my two favorite verses—Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28. God is still in charge! Blessings from me to you in this time of trial.
If you have 1/4inch elastic and cotton material available, you may consider making face masks during this time of shortages. There are patterns available from various sites.
In His Service to Others,
The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML) will have Easter cards available. Please purchase some to send. Tell your loved ones, and anyone else, that Jesus Christ is risen! Hallelujah! Also remember, that any cards you choose to recycle can be put into the box at church.
LUTHERAN WOMENS MISSIONARY LEAGUE
All Women Are Invited!
LWML provides a monthly gathering and fellowship opportunity for women. Each month we'll examine topics provided by LWML which address issues relevant to women of today.
Need to feel refreshed and strengthened in your faith?
Then come to one of our meetings. We would love to see you there!
"Serve the Lord with Gladness” Psalm 100:2
TOGETHER WE MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Lutheran Women’s Missionary League
This devotional is from a 2019 Portals of Prayer. It is written by Mr. James W. Meyer of Shawano, WI.
"But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:24
Truth or Dare
In the game truth-or-dare, there are only two options: tell the truth (it might be embarrassing) or take the dare (it might be dangerous). In life, we need to remember that eternity also has only two options: heaven or hell.
Satan dares us to believe lies like these: God doesn't really love us; we deserve the bad things that happen; we've drifted too far away from God's grace to be saved.
Those lies are dangerous and couldn't be farther from the truth.
The truth from Scripture is this: time and time again God demonstrates His steadfast love for us. That love is best shown in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." And in Acts 20, we see that even under the threat of death, Paul remained steadfast and dared to testify to the truth of this Good News. By God's grace, through Holy Spirit-inspired faith in Jesus' sacrifice, heaven is our eternal home.
We pray: Jesus, increase my faith that I may be bold and dare to share the Gospel truth that salvation is through You alone. Amen.
This is an uncertain time in our history. My wish is that all of you will be able to stay well or withstand the illness and return to health. Please keep in phone contact with all your family and neighbors. If there is a physical need, maybe you would be able to help. If not, contact the church for people who are local and are willing to go out to help. You might come across someone who is questioning their faith or even looking for God. At this Easter season, the Good News has never been truer. Don't believe Satan's lies or that what is happening is karma. God is here. God forgives and loves you! NOTHING can separate us from His love and salvation! Share the truth and encourage one another. Blessings! Carol
Our LWML Spring Rally is supposed to take place on Sat., April 25 at St. John's Lutheran in Rush City. Cost is $6 with registration starting at 9 and the Rally begins at 9:30. If you are interested, please let Carol know for carpooling purposes. I will let you know if the Rally doesn't take place. We are collecting NEW stuffed animals. See the other article in this newsletter. If you aren't going, please still collect the animals and bring them to church for kids in need in Sherburne County.
Both the Afternoon and Evening Groups will not be meeting in April.
Pray that we will be able to get together in May.
Needed: NEW Stuffed Animals
The LWML is collecting NEW 10 inch or smaller stuffed animals. We are gathering them for our Spring Rally on Sat., April 25 at St. John's in Rush City. The theme is "Serving Others Among Us". We intend to give the animals to the sheriff's department to be used for children in a crisis situation (accident, house fire, domestic, court, etc.). They are a comfort for these young ones. We will be collecting these until the end of April when we will take them to the Rally. There will be a box by the card counter to put them into. Thank you for your generosity and 'serving others among us'. Together, we make a difference!
** If the Rally is cancelled, all stuffed animals will go to the Sherburne County Sherriff’s Office.
This is from an LWML booklet called a seasoned woman's praying heart.
Friends Are Important
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!" Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10
My gracious and loving Father, I thank and praise You for all the people You have placed into my life: my friends and neighbors, my sisters and brothers in Christ. Thank You for those special friends who pray for me, encourage me, listen to me in times of trouble, laugh with me, and worship with me. Do not let me take them for granted. Help me to remember to pray for them, encourage them, listen to them, and praise You with them. In Jesus, my Friend and theirs. Amen.
News from the “Stew”
News from the”Stew”
Thank you for your generous donations to our chosen charities so far this Lenten Season. They are no doubt very appreciative of your help.
The following are the recipients of the final Lenten Service (April 1), Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday Special Donations:
04-01-20 Lent… Bethesda Lutheran Communities. Bethesda Lutheran Communities (BLC) has as its mission to “enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through services that share the good news of Jesus Christ.” BLC provides religious life programs, camp ministries, and religious materials and resources designed for people with developmental disabilities. The services are funded solely through donations and the materials are free to congregations.
04-09-20 Maundy Thursday CAER. CAER is a non-profit, 501 (c) 3 organization, located in Elk River MN and serving Elk River, Otsego and Zimmerman families in need of emergency food assistance. CAER provides food and referrals or limited financial support for basic necessities to people in our community. CAER was founded in 1979 as a vision of the local ministerial association. Churches, schools, youth groups, civic organizations and businesses cooperate to help those in need.
4/1 Jeanette E.
4/3 Carrie R.
4/4 Ray D.
4/5 Gene K.
4/9 Melinda G.
4/10 Meagan F.
4/16 Aspen D.
4/17 Ramona D.
4/19 Alisa J.
4/23 Paul B.
4/28 Johnathon R.
4/30 Robin H.
4/16 Kelly & Linda A.
4/16 John & Alisa J.
4/28 Paul & Norine B.
The Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army is an integral part of the Christian Church, although distinctive in government and practice. The Army's doctrine follows the mainstream of Christian belief and its articles of faith emphasize God's saving purposes. Its objects are the advancement of the Christian religion ... of education, the relief of poverty, and other charitable objects
3/5 Lori N.
3/10 Dale H.
3/15 Mark K.
3/18 Ken O.
3/21 Robert W.
3/22 Laurel B.
3/6 George & Ramona V
3/24 Mark & Nicole K.