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Apostles Lutheran Church

Missouri Synod

Pastor

Dear Friends,

We sit here at the end of the often called “Holiday Sea-son” (Halloween to New Years) and at the beginning of a new calendar year. Its an easy time to look backwards to the past and forward to the future. After looking back at the many celebrations and much gift giving and getting, I want to say “Thank You”. Thank you for all the good wishes and blessings in whatever form they came. Sometimes they looked like cookies (these are always welcome!) sometimes they looked like gift cards or greeting cards or “thank you” cards. Sometimes they looked like the extra effort given or flex-ibility shown to cover for someone who was sick. Sometimes those blessings looked like a good attitude expressed and effort given to make our many extra worship services special and meaning-ful. When we all pull together focusing on the love and forgiveness that we get from our wonderful Jesus, great things happen. The attitude of Thankfulness itself is a blessing from God. All blessings ultimately come from Him and all good things that we celebrate can be traced back to His gracious hand.

Looking forward its easy to see school resuming, the upcoming Lenten Season (Ash Wednesday is Fabruary 14th), and whatever commitments and opportunities lay ahead for each of us. An attitude of Thankfulness is a powerful way to meet whatever the future holds.

Our board of Elders has been going through a book called “I Am A Church Member” by Thomas S. Rainer. They have decided to give it to all new members and some of the elders will start sharing it with people on their care lists. The title pretty much explains itself, as do the chapter titles. Chapter #1 “I will be a functioning Church Member”, Ch.2 “I will be a Unifying Church Member”, Ch.3″I will not let my Church be about my Preferences and desires”, Ch.4 “I will pray for my Church leaders”, Ch.5, “I will lead my family to be healthy Church members, “Ch. 6 “I will treasure Church membership as a gift”. Its an interesting little book, only ¼ inch think. The idea is not to stifle creativity or different opinions, but rather to set the right attitude toward our church and church membership in general. If you would like a copy to check out for yourself, some are available in my office, just stop by to pick one up.

In the intensely consumer oriented culture we swim in, its easy for us to get the idea that everything, including the Church, is all about me. Its easy to forget that we have a Lord who protects and provides for us and also directs and uses us for His work. We will be more effective servants of Jesus if we remember who He is and who we are in relationship to Him. That’s the point of this little book.

As Apostles Lutheran Church we will have many opportunities to grow and serve Jesus in 2018. Our Pre-school has gained several new students and more are on track for the coming year. The Hispanic ministries continue to grow as people invite their friends and relatives. Plans for the Annual Car show are well underway. Rehearsals for the Dinner Theater have al-ready begun. Catalogs for Vacation Bible School are even showing up. And only God knows what else He has planned for us in 2018! Whatever God does have in store for us, it will be what we need so we can grow in our trust in Him and our knowledge of Him. It will covered by grace and the forgiveness that Jesus won for each of us on His cross.

Looking Behind, “Thank You”. Looking ahead, with thankful-ness. In all things, looking to Jesus!

Blessings,

Pastor Andrew