Our Mission Statement:Outreach links:
We are a Gospel-centered community of people blessed by God to be a blessing to others.
Highlights of our upcoming events:
Our children will present a program of Lessons and Carols.
-Come to hear them between the services on December 10. There will be singing, dancing, and instruments, plus the handbell choir from East High School.
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This month's letter from Pastor Roger Osbeck
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
For quite some time, in 2017, we've been remembering issues, events, and people surrounding the Protestant Reformation movement as we've considered its 500th anniversary. One of the things upon which
we've focused are the writings of Martin Luther. And they are many.
From all we've learned about Luther, we know he enjoyed the celebration of Christmas. Among his many roles--theologian, reformer, professor, scholar, exogete, hymnodist, and prolific
author--Martin Luther probably considered his role as preacher to be most important. Biographer Roland H. Bainton in his work on Luther's life, Here I Stand, writes,
Luther is at his best and most chacteristic in his sermons on the nativity," and then experpts one of them in which Luther unfolds the familiar story of Joseph and Mary traveling to Bethlehem:
The inn was full. No one would release a room to this pregnant woman. She had to go to a cow stall and there bring forth the Maker of all creatures because nobody would give way. Shame on you,
wretched Bethlehem! The inn ought to have been burned with brimstone, for even though Mary had been a beggar maid or unwed, anybody at such a time would have been glad to give her a hand. There are many of you in this congregation
who think to yourselves: "If only I had been there! How quick I would have been to help the baby! I would have washed his linen! How happy I would have been to go with the shepherds to see the Lord lying in the manger!"
Yes you would! You say that because you know how great Christ is, but if you had been there at that time you would have done no better than the poeple of Bethlehem.
Childish and silly thoughts are these! Why don't you do it now? You have Christ in your neighbor. You ought to serve him, for what you do to your neighbor in need, you do to the Lord Christ himself.
What a marvelous way in which to transcend the story of Christmas to Luther's own generation. The timeless message resonates with our own as well. Christmas is that season
of the year we seem to best consider how to serve God in reaching out to our neighbor in need.
At Christmas, we share so many gifts to mark the blessings of the season. We have the gift of hope. Because Jesus has come, we have hope for healing,
for refuge, for deliverance, and for salvation. In Christ, we have love. His love casts our fear. His love comes to us where we are so we are never alone. His love is a gift which leads us longing
for what we are so we are never alone. Christmas brings us the gift of joy. In Christ we know the joy of encouragement, thoughtfulness, and graciousness. The story of Jesus teaches us we can find joy in scary and seemingly impossible
situations. The birth of Christ is the very sign God is, indeed, with us. Through Christmas,we find peace: peace with God, peace with ourselves, and peace with others. We
pray as we receive the gifts of God in Christ, this Christmas, we may share them with our neighbors in need today.
Join us for worship Sunday December 24th, as we gather on the Fourth Sunday of Advent, in the morning: one service at 10)) a.m. Then, Candlelight Christmas Eve services at
4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Peace to you. See you in church.
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