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lutheran week 2016

Did you know that TSA at the Charlotte airport does not open until 4:30 a.m? Jan and I arrived two hours early as suggested for our 6:00 am flight to Anaheim, California as we traveled to the NALC Lutheran week 2016. And then we had to wait for TSA to open.

I arrived in Anaheim in time to attend the Braaten-Benne theological conference entitled, “Who Do You Say That I am? Lectures on the Person of Christ.” The first lecture by Dr. Michael Pasqarello was framed around the writings of the Early Church Fathers on the proclamation of God’s word. Quoting Augustine, he reminded us who we proclaim: “Laid in a feeding trough, he became our food.”

The second lecture was given by Dr. Phillip Carey and titled, “The Form of Christ is us: Christ and the Christian life.” This lecture evolved around this statement of Luther, “Every good deed of a righteous Christian is a mortal sin.”

The last lecturer of the day was Dr. Carl E. Braaten. A memorable quote from Dr. Braaten’s lecture was “The historical Jesus is the real Jesus who suffered and died on the cross.”
Wednesday lectures began with a bible study led by the Rev Dr. Jim Nestigen. Dr. Mickey Maddox presented “Christ the Center of Everyday Life: Lessons from Luther’s Genesis Lectures”. He reminded us that we are sinners in a country that is turning away from God and we have the politics we deserve.” The last of the theological lectures was given by Dr. Wesley Hill on “Admirable Conjunctions: The Person of Christ in Philippians 2:5-11” illustrating that “the worship of Jesus is tantamount to the worship of God the Father… and we might also say the reverse.”

The 2016 NALC Mission Festival began Wednesday afternoon with the Serviceof the Word. Bishop John Bradosky preached on the theme, “Faith is Made Whole in Community.” He asked “Does our faith in Christ make any difference in our worldview and behavior?” His message was: because we have a holy God, we must have holy lives. He encouraged us to persevere in God’s Word, quoting Luther: “God’s Word is holy and sanctifies everything it touches.”

NALC Assistant to the Bishop Gemechis Bubba gave a presentation lifting up Matthew 10 as the “apostolic handbook for Mission.”

The mission festival continued on Thursday morning with devotions by Steve Bell and Dr. Malcom Guite using poetry and song to lift us up and prepare those assembled for the day. They did the same on Friday morning.

The mission Festival ended with a presentation by Gary Pecuch, “teaching through story-telling”.
Thursday afternoon, the convocation began with worship and Holy Communion. The Rev. Dr. Jim Nestigen preached a rousing sermon reminding us that through the blood of the lamb we are all saved and have holy lives.

The convocation continued with reports of committees, greetings from visitors and elections (see NALC web page for results). The convocation ended on Friday afternoon.

Jan and I departed from Anaheim Saturday morning by train. Traveling up the west coast to Portland then east to Chicago. We learned that TSA at O’Hare airport did not open until 3:30 am.
We both had a great week of personal growth and community with peers and friends at Lutheran week 2016, and we are grateful for a few days of vacation. And now we know, it’s not always prudent to get to the airport 2 hours ahead of time.

In Christ,

Pastor Ernie

news & events

October 2First Sunday

First Sunday is October 2nd. We will gather in fellowship hall from 5 to 6 pm for a casual, relaxed hour of eating, singing, reading scripture and praying to connect and grow as a community. Bring your favorite bible, sandwiches for your family and a few to spare. St. John’s is providing chips and soft drinks.

October 6Men’s Breakfast

Thursday, October 6th at 7:00 AM at Cracker Barrel in Statesville.

October 8Community Breakfast

8 AM-10 AM in St. John's Fellowship Hall. Come & bring your neighbor—Donations to benefit local charities.

October 9Congregational Meeting

There is a called congregational meeting after worship on October 9, 2016 to answer questions and vote on the acceptance of the proposed new constitution.


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Wednesday, September 21

3:00 pm Worship & Music
6:00 pm Handbells
7:00 pm Chancel Choir

Thursday, September 22

12:00 pm Lunch, Scripture & Prayer
6:00 pm Civitans

Sunday, September 25

9:30 am Bible Studies
10:30 am Worship

Monday, September 26

7:00 pm Communication Team Meeting

Tuesday, September 27

7:00 pm Yokefellow Meeting

Thursday, September 28

6:00 pm Handbells
7:00 pm Chancel Choir

Sunday, October 2

9:30 am Bible Studies
10:30 am Worship—with Rev. TC Plexico
5:00 pm First Sunday


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