March 2018 Newsletter

President's March 2018 Message

I pray Lenten Blessing on you from the Savior, Jesus Christ!


We, as a church, are well into the Lenten preparation for the most important day in the Church Year-Easter!


Have you noticed that something is missing in our worship?  If you said, the Alleluias," then you are correct!  Lent is a penitential season in which we consider, for forty days, in the wilderness of our lives apart from God had He not sent His only Son to be our Savior.


Our condition,dead in sin, and aliens of God is a most somber reality were it not for the death of Jesus on the Cross-as payment for our sin.  Jesus has reconciled us to the Father and has paid the price, which should have been ours.  We omit, during Lent, "Alleluia", that joyful refrain, as the Law shows us how severe is our condition and our need for a Savior.  It prepares us for the Gospel Message of Easter:  He is Risen!


As a congregation, ours is indeed an introspective and concerted reflection, during this season of Lent, of the great love of God, who so loved us that, even in our rebellion, reconciled us to Himself by sending Jesus to Redeem us.  But notice, NOTHING is actually missing within our lives:  Jesus has done it all and we cannot help but respond in joyful praise with thanksgiving.


There are many opportunities for us to respond at Community Lutheran Church and even more than ever as Gordon and Barbara Allen surrender their herculean contributions to us as Financial Secretary, Trustee, jack-of-all-trade and cheerleader extraordinaire!  As if that were not enough, we recently learned that David and Judie Wiley will be leaving us to move to Connecticut.  The huge void created by these faithful servants will cause each of us to notice how much joy and love has been given to us because of their following the example of Christ.


The model of Jesus is servanthood, love and sacrifice.  Especially in this year's Lenten journey.  I ask that each of us ask ourselves how God is calling us to lend our hands to continue the work that was begun by the Allens and Wileys and now passes to us as these seasoned members transition the responsibilities that were always ours, but which they shouldered for us out of devotion to Jesus.  The vast contributions these two couples have made for years has been a tremendous blessing and I urgently ask you to take up the work they began.


Entrusted with the Gospel Message, it is our privilege to be in service at Community Lutheran Church.  During this Lenten season, please ponder the great sacrifice of Jesus on the Christ on the Cross-and what that will enliven in you so as to respond, "Alleluia,"  "Lord, here am I, send me!" Isaiah 6:8.


With penitent heart,



Congregational President


Financial Secretary Report

During the month of January amounts were received for the following:


Mortgage Debt Reduction                             $1,908.00

MOM: Duke(Peru)Missionaries                          260.00

MOM: Veterans of the Cross                                40.00


Mortgage Principal                                             1000.00


Coffee Hour in the Narthex

CLC Fellowship with coffee and cookies will be Sunday, March 11th, immediately following the divine service.  The Scripture for this event is: Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame.  Please join us.


Shell Jewelry Making

Kathy Elgert and Amy Harrson have graciously accepted to help our Youth create pendants, earrings, and pins made from some exquisite seashells.  If you would like to help, please contact Kathy, Amy, or Judie Wiley.  Watch for March meeting dates and times in church bulletins.  This event is sponsored by the Stewardship Committee for a Mother's Day Sale, Sunday, May 13, 2018.  All proceeds will go to the Mortgage Principle.


Summit Club

Calling all cheese lovers.  Do you like sampling different delicious cheeses?  The Summit Club has a trip for you.  On Thursday, March 22nd, we will be traveling to the Cabot Cheese Creamery Visitor Center in Cabot, Vermont.  We will watch a video tour that will show us how they make the delicious Cabot cheeses.  Then, we will have the opportunity to taste the different samples.  If we still have an appetite, we will have lunch at a nearby restaurant.  We will meet at church at 10:00 AM for carpooling.  If you have any questions, please talk to Marilyn Van Houten or Ann Isley.


Women's Guild News

Getting to Know You-is our theme for the Tuesday, March 6th, Women's Guild Meeting.  We'll gather ar 6:00 PM for dessert and beverages supplied by the Board and then commence to find out a bit more about each other.  To have some fun with this, bring along a couple of favorite photos of yourself(perhaps a that cute baby picture).  Let's share what our hobbies are, where we were born, what jobs we have held, etc.


Several reminders for our ladies: we continue to collect aluminum tap tops from cans for the Ronald McDonald House, which they sells them and uses the money for items at the House; the tops may be left in the church kitchen.  We will also be supplying a box in the months of March and April for donations of travel size lotion, toothpaste, deodorant, etc-also to be used at the Ronald McDonald House and their room at the hospital for families of patients.


The Flea Market is just around the corner and we need volunteers to work in the various areas.  Please consider helping to set up the week before; on Friday or Saturday of the sale; or clean up afterwards.  "Many hands make light work" my mother always said.


Looking ahead to the April 3rd meeting we are going to have a movie night-"The Case for Christ."  Information about this film will be included in upcoming bulletins.


Pew Sisters Women's Study

We have begun Demystifying the Proverbs 31 Woman from Concordia Publishing House.  Please read the second chapter in preparatiom for our next gathering on Tuesday, March 27th, at 7:00 PM in the fellowship hall.  There are still copies of the book available for $11.00 each.  Even if you weren't able to join us in February, you can jump right in!  If you'd like to go out for dinner prior to the meeting, please meet at the Ninety-Nine in Williston at 5:30 PM(expense on your own).  Lap babies are welcome.









February 2018 Newsletter

February President's Message

     1 Corinthians 3:11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.


At our last Church Council Meeting, I outlined a few of my goals for us together for the year ahead and wanted to share them with you as well.


In the year ahead, I desire for us to:

*  Dedicate the Memorial Garden, with congregational input

*  Complete the transition of the Financial Secretary position

*  Define a ministry vision for the future as we retire the mortgage

*  Transition some of our activities to younger members while sustaining momentum

*  Plan for Pastor's sabbatical in 2019


The Memorial Garden is a thought that has long been a vision and whose execution has occupied more time than we might have thought it should.  It is, however, an important vision which must begin on a firm foundation of Lutheran Scriptural understanding and theology.  It demands many seemingly "small" issues to be investigated and ultimately resolved in order for us to move forward confidently and with few future areas left to chance.  I am eager to share where we are currently and receive congregational input in the near future!


After 30 years of most capable service, Barbara and Gordon Allen are transitioning out of the extremely important position of Financial Secretary.  Marta Vosburgh has been working diligently with them and Tony Cowart to smoothly transition the responsibility with Synod suggested "best practices" in place.  That endeavor is in process and progressing.  It does, however, offer all of us the opportunity to again consider electronic direct contribution.


Direct contribution not only assures you that your support of Community Lutheran Church occurs even if you are unable to attend worship some week, but also allows us to budget more confidently.  It also preserves greater confidentiality, as only the Financial Secretary knows what you have contributed.  It is more secure and less labor intensive as well.  This is a great time to set up direct pay or to review your contributions if you are already using this method and haven't changed your contribution in some time.  Of course one can give additional offerings at any time for special considerations, such as Mission-of-the-Month, by placing a check in the offering plate with a notation.


As God has blessed us and we retire our mortgage (many thanks to all who have made this a priority and possible!) it is vital that we as a Church move forward to authentically share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Foundational work is underway and we are exploring some broad concepts that we will eagerly share with you and seek your guidance and input in the near future.  The opportunity for us to sustain our giving as though we had a mortgage and further the building of God's Kingdom is exciting and should engage every one of us!


This last year most especially has seen several fun activities and opportunities for us to have fellowship and a renewed focus on who we are as CLC in these times and in this place.  However several of the people who shouldered most of the responsibility for the success have indicated that for a variety of reasons, they will not be able to be the ones to continue the excitement and bear the work alone.  We need YOU to help us in an area where you have time and talent so rhat the journey ahead may be God-pleasing and fun for all!


Finally,in the summer of 2019, our pastor will have a three month sabbatical.  While work has already begun to plan for this great blessing for us and the pastor, it behooves us to focus some attention to plan and ready ourselves for it so that God can use it for His glory.  Please stay tuned for updates and details!


We are the Church Militant!  It is vitally important to be of the same mind and with determination so that all that we do may redound to God's Glory.  CLC is lifting high the cross of Christ and you are vital members; please join in and receive the blessings that Jesus has for us!


Blessings in Christ, Jesus


Congregational President


Financial Secretary Report

Cumulative income to support the operating expense budget of CLC for the year ending December 31, 2017 showed an increase of 3.9% compared to last year.  During the month of December amounts were received for the following:


Mortgage Debt Reduction                                         $14,928.63



Thanksgiving Offering                                                         25.00

MOM: Veterans of the Cross                                             575.00

Lutheran World Relief                                                        100.00



Mortgage Principal                                                            $4,380.09

(includes $338.25 from the sale of Christmas Cards)

MDR Match(anonymous gift)                                               1,000.00



Kruger Education Fund                                                           100.00


From Tony Cowart

The Financial Secretary responsibility has been passed from Gordon and Barbara Allen to Marta Vosburgh.  Gordon and Barbara have faithfully served CLC in this position for 30 years, and we thank them for this steadfast service.


As Marta steps up into the position, new procedures suggested by the Synod are being put in place.  These procedures incorporate best practices, to protect all church members who handle cash donations from unwarranted suspicion.  They are also designed to assure donors that their contributions are handled in a secure and accountable manner, with the careful stewardship and confidentiality expected by members.


As part of the updated procedures, a few assistants selected by the Financial Secretary will help with the weekly count of collection plate donations.  These assistants will be instructed that confidentiality is of the utmost importance.  The assistants will only see what flows through the offering plate on any given Sunday.  They will not have access to accounts, recorded giving information for members, or funds donated through electronic giving.  Only the Financial Secretary would know the complete summary of individual giving.


We would encourage members to give electronically as it preserves confidentiality of donations, eliminates handling, is secure and is highly accountable.  Doing so also eases the job of the Financial Secretary and assistants when processing the offering plate after each service.  We plan to have the new process commence at the beginning of March 2018.


Altar Flowers

The sign-up sheet for altar flowers is located on the window bordering the library.  Many Sundays are available to sponsor flowers, either one or both vases.  The cost is $35.00 for one vase and $70.00 for two.  Please sign your name to the Sunday desired, and then Marilyn Van Houten will contact you the week of to get your flower request.  The church secretary will contact you via email before the Sunday selected to write the bulltetin blurb.  Any questions, please see Marilyn Van Houten.


Watercolor Class

Watercolor class will meet on Wednesday, February 7th.  During Lent, class will meet on Tuesdays including Tuesday February 13, Tuesday February 20, and Tuesday February 27.


Coffee Hour in the Narthex and Stewardship News

Calling all bakers!  Please sign up to bake something for the Youth Valentine's Day Bake Sale during Coffee Hour on Sunday, February 4, 2018.  All goodies are welcome including cookies, bars, sweet breads.  Youth please sign up if you are available to decorate fancy cokies on Saturday, February 3rd from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM.  Questions? Please ask Judie Wiley.  If you are a baker, please bring your baked goodies on Saturday afternoon so they may be wrapped and decorated.  On Sunday, after church, we hope everyone will stop to look and buy.  This event is sponsored by the Stewardship Committee and all proceeds will benefit the mortgage reduction fund.


Women's Guild News

Please join us on Tuesday, February 6th, for our next Women's Guild meeting.  Wouldn't you all love to take a wonderful trip to Austria and see the beautiful Alps?  Well, if that's not on your vacation list this year, we have the next best thing.  Mary Diesing visited this area last year and is going to present a program on it-The Sound of Music Tour.  You won't want to miss this!  We will start our evening at 6:00 PM and, of course, dessert and beverages will be provided by our Board.  We hopr you will set aside this evening and join us.


Summit Club

The Summit Club will be hosting its first ever Puzzle Mania Tournament on Thursday, February 22nd.  We will meet at church at noon for a potluck lunch, so bring a dish to share.  Beverages will be provided.  We will split up into at least two teams perhaps more if we have enough people.  The teams will attempt to complete a jigsaw puzzle in a certain amount of time.  Each team will have an identical puzzle.  The team that gets the most pieces connected will win.  If you think you have a case of Puzzle Phobia that is the fear of connecting little cardboard shapes, don't worry.  Come anyway and cheer the teams on.  Any questions should be directed to Marilyn Van Houten, our own Puzzle Master.


Pew Sisters Women's Study

In February we will kick off our new book, "Demystifying the Proverbs 31 Woman." from Concordia Publishing House.  From the publisher:


     Proverbs 31:10-31 has become a beloved, often

     quoted passage-yet it is often misunderstood 

             and misapplied.

As today's culture lauds the woman who does

and has it all.  Christians seek to reconcile what

they hear from the seculat, feminist world with

     what God says in His Word.

Demystifying the Proverbs 31 Woman is an authoritative yet inviting

discussion of the passage in terms of language, history, purpose, and

application.  Readers will come away with a sense of renewal and

affirmation--and a keener understanding of the biblical example of

the Proverbs 31 woman.  What shines through is not a prescription

of how to become a better wife, mother, woman or friend, but a

description of our Savior, the Church, and ourselves.

Unfold the riches this proverb offers.  You will find Jesus there.

Please watch the bulletin announcements for our February meeting location and time.  Any questions, please contact Adrienne Rasmussen.













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