April 2007

  Grace Lutheran ChurchPastor Dennis WildermuthHYMN STORY:  Children of the Heavenly FatherLina Sandell, the author of this hymn, was a Lutheran pastor's daughter in Froderyd, Sweden.  She was a "daddy's girl" - very close to her father.  As a child, she enjoyed playing quietly in her father's study as he worked.Lina began writing hymns at an early age.  Then, when she was 26 years old, tragedy struck.  She and her father were passengers in a boat crossing Lake Vattern when the boat lurched and her father fell overboard.  As Lina watched in horror, her father drowned before anyone could mount a rescue effort.When tragedy strikes, some people allow it to destroy them, but Lina's faith saw her through the tragedy.  Her grief gave her music new depth and sensitivity.During her lifetime, Lina wrote 650 hymns.  "Children of the Heavenly Father" is one that is most familiar to English-speaking congregations.  Many people will also recognize the hymn that begins with the words, "Day by day and with each passing moment, Strength I find to meet my trials here" - a hymn of quiet assurance.The hymn, "Children of the Heavenly Father," offers that same kind of quiet assurance.  It speaks of resting safely in the father's bosom - of the Father tending and nourishing his children and protecting them from evil.Listen to this verse, and imagine Lina thinking of her father's death as she wrote it.  "Neither life nor death shall ever/From the Lord His children sever;/Unto them His grace He showeth,/And their sorrows all He knoweth."The Easter resurrection of Jesus makes those words and that faith possible.  Because Jesus has conquered death and forgiven our sinfulness we can live with a certainty and peace in the midst of whatever the world may throw our way.The Holy Week and Easter services give us the foundation of our faith and hope.  We now live in this world, but we live with one eye on heaven, our final destination.  It is the events of Holy Week and the reason for our Lord's sacrifice, that makes Easter the most glorious and joyful day of the year.  See you in worship.New RoofAt a congregational meeting on March 18, we voted to go ahead with a new roof.  It will cost about $33,000 and will be done the first part of June.  We are waiting until after our preschool closes for the summer.  With $20,000 on hand, we need to raise another $13,000.  We are selling bundles of shingles for $50 each, and there are forms that you can use to donate. Also any contributions made to the Building Fund will go to the roof.  If we oversubscribe for the roof, we will do some renovation in the restrooms putting in new stalls and doors.  Our Stewardship for MarchAttendance averaged 96 for the month and 107 for the quarter.  Lenten services averaged 51.  We communed 366 in six services.  Offerings averaged $2,556 per Sunday.  Also given in March: $150 - Mexico Orphanage, $165 - Helping Hand Fund, $2,550 - Building Fund for the new roof, $80 - World Ministries, $50 - Benevolence, $450 - new pew bibles.  Thank you for your stewardship.+ Remember to include the Lord's work in your will +How Your Love Loaf Can Help            The WorldVision Love Loaf campaign is a wonderful way to deepen your personal awareness of needs around the world.  Our participation in the Love Loaf program for just one month can change the lives of orphans and vulnerable children forever!  A dollar a day - totaling just $28 - can provide them with basic necessities such as:-Food and clean water-Access to education and vocational training-Access to basic health care-Caregivers who will show Christ's loveLutheran World Relief and World Vision have been working in up to 100 countries around the world for 5 decades.Please return your Love Loaf on Sunday, April 29tA Mother And Daughter TeaDecorate With Your Own Settings!The Mother and Daughter ‘Tea' is Saturday,  May 12th.  Reserve a table and decorate with your own dishes, place settings and style. It is a wonderful gift to share with your loved one.  For more information contact Marlene at 366-5604 or Rika 366-5830.Preschool NewsTime has flown by and we are already approaching the end of the year.  The children have grown so much both physically and academically.We had a great time learning about colors and doing a science experiment to discover mixing colors to make new colors. We are also keeping an eye on our carnations in colored water and observing the changes that they are making.   Our unit on community and community helpers had us busy with special activities as well.  We were able to take a very exciting field trip to Ferndale Hagen where we had an exclusive tour of the inner workings of a grocery store.  Martin Kuuskmann came and played his bassoon for us. The children were very interested in how big the bassoon was and how it made neat sounds. We are keeping busy and learning a lot every day.We will be enrolling for the next school year.  Please speak to Gail Wildermuth if you have a child age three and a half by the beginning of September, and mention our preschool to your friends. Blessings, Miss KristaCamping on Lake Samish Lutherwood Bible Camp on Lake Samish has published its camping schedule for this summer.  They have varied programs for all age groups.  The information can be found in the Narthex.  You can also go online to access this information and to register: http://www.camplutherwood.org/.Be part of the Lutherwood ExperienceA Weekend Hosting Opportunity We are in need of people, couples or families to come up to Lutherwood to host our guest groups onsite.  It's Free! This involves staying onsite at Lutherwood Friday through Sunday. Times will be determined by individual groups.  What's in it for you? You can bring your own tent, RV, sleepunder the stars or use our trailer onsite. Canoe, swim, or bring yourboat during the summer months: come and enjoy camp!We ask that you: -Greet the rental groups when they arrive. -Help groups when needed. -Check, clean and stock bathrooms. -Empty trash cans as needed.Please take a look at your schedule and see if a weekend will work for you. We would love to have you here!Call Lutherwood's office to schedule your weekend at 360-734-7652 or email jayne.schloemer@camplutherwood.org.   We will be having a "Weekend Host" orientation to let you know the date after you sign up for your weekend.Nominating CommitteeA nominating Committee will be formed in April and begin to function.  The executive officers, the board directors, and members of the various boards will be up for election in late May or June.  If there is a particular position in which you would like to serve, please feel free to speak to one of the Nominating Committee members.  Their names will be published when the committee is formed. Church PropertyRoof: The congregation voted to have the roof replaced at a cost of $33,000.  We have $20,000 on hand for the roof and need to raise another $13,000 by June.  So far in March, $2,550 has been given.Church Yard:  We have a work party Saturday morning, March 31st.  It seems that there is always weeding and pruning to be done.  Aside from work parties, we need people who see a need and come and take care of it.  Sharing Your FaithA workshop for Everyday Evangelism from Lutheran Hour Ministries May 5th in Mount Vernon  9:00 am to 2:00 pm Do you need help in sharing your faith?  As reported last month the Lutheran Hour Ministries has developed a training experience to strengthen and encourage believers for  today's evangelism challenges.  The mission is God's, the message is God's, and the  power is God's.  Equipping to Share workshops concentrate on the believer's privilege to  speak the Gospel, express the impact of Christ in life, seek understanding of the lost, and connect new people into the church family.  Biblical models are discussed in the context of              our everyday relationships and encounters.  The training also draws from current research on the unchurched and practical ways to engage them.Participants will learn to better:Express the Gospel and its impact in lifeUnderstand more about the lost and their worldviewsPrepare for different types of "mission moments"Connect people into the church familyThis Equipping to Share workshop will be held Saturday, May 5, at Trinity Lutheran Church  in Mount Vernon.  The tentative schedule is from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. with lunch provided.  There is a sign-up list posted on the bulletin board in the Narthex.  Please indicate if you can drive.World Mission News "The Lutheran Bethesda Hospital School of Nursing and the Women's Training Institute, both in Ambur, India, are making a difference in the lives and families of their graduates.   Both the school of Nursing and the Woman's Training Institute provide professional training      for women from rural areas in the state of Tamil Nadu in Southern India. "The School of Nursing has such a good reputation, that every graduate from a recent class was offered a nursing job at one of the most respected hospitals in India.  The Lord has used the dedicated teaching staff and the hard work of the students to change the lives of these young nurses.  The lives they touch through their nursing care will bring healing and comfort to many people in India.  The income they will receive from their professional career will enable them to help support their family still living in rural parts of India."The Women's Training Institute prepares women to work in leather and textile factories located throughout Southern India.  These factories seek skilled labor and the graduates of  the Women's Training Institute are known for their high level of training and skill.  This   training allows these women to secure jobs and income that will help support their families. "The India Evangelical Lutheran Church (IELC) is changing lives and families through these educational institutions.