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Hometown News

NAZARETH EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH

1711 Grant Street Hopewell, VA 23860 www.nazluthchurch.com NOVEMBER 2009 TO GOD BE THE GLORY

Thanks and Giving by Pastor Voss
2009 has been a year of loss for many. Surely you have been directly affected by a lost loved one, a lost job, or even a loss in your physical health. That’s just scratching the surface. What do you tell someone who is suffering in these ways? Unfortunately, many think it is uncaring and trite to say, “God will provide” and that is a shame. Telling someone that “God will provide” does more than we imagine when we bundle that with His Word. “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” – Matthew 6:26-27 Reminding someone that “God will provide” is the most important gift you can give them. When you remind them that God is our provider, the burdens and self-perceived failures of that individual are rightly shattered by the power and providence of God. You remind them that they have a without God. This alone should be enough to make us Christians and to keep this thought in mind, ‘Undoubtedly, I never held in my own hands even one fleeting moment of my life.’” Those who reject faith in Jesus Christ will very likely consider suffering a personal failure and they will become isolated for that failure, because the world, including family and friends, rejects failure. It is why we will always have people who are poor and live in the streets and the poor in spirit who are lonely and afflicted. Jesus said, “You will always have the poor among you." – John 12:8 heavenly Father who values them and actively cares for them. Martin Luther once said, “It’s obvious that we’re incapable of providing for our basic needs But, for those who know Jesus Christ by faith, they will know that their suffering is a time for patience and reflection in the LORD. We know from the very (continued on page 2)

Inside this issue: Lutheran History Mystery What is Christian Giving? A letter from Phil and Sally Tappert Advent and Christmas Worship Information Pray for One Another 2

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Mission Opportunities

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Photo Gallery

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The Hometown News is a publication of Nazareth Evangelical Lutheran Church. Member of the Lutheran Church— Missouri Synod.

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Hometown News

Thanks and Giving, cont.
life of Christ that God sometimes calls even His most righteous people to suffer. The paradox is that through suffering, God provides. It was Jesus, dying on a cross, who was seen as a failure, a suffering joke in the eyes of man, but through His suffering God provided for the salvation of all men. We suffer and through that trial God provides for us the important truth that we cannot rely upon the world or even our own bodies – we can only rely upon God. When our friends or family reject us as being a failure, the Cross of Christ is a gift to us, because God is with us in our rejection as He was with Christ and God is the only one who can provide for our true restoration. The Cross of Christ is a reminder that our suffering does not last forever. God raised Jesus Christ from the dead to receive a crown of glory for the salvation of mankind. The prophet Jeremiah looked past the suffering of his sinful and dying generation to a future with hope. We read from the Book of Lamentations that, "Men are not cast off by the Lord forever. Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love.” Saint Paul, in the Book of Philippians, tells us that God, “will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus”. God may not meet the needs of the suffering as we expect, but God provides all that He knows we need. Through our Baptism in Christ, God has provided for our eternal needs. Through our regeneration by the Holy Spirit, God strengthens us to provide for one another’s temporal needs. “For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” -Ephesians 2:8-10. This means that by faith in Christ, suffering was never intended to be our final destiny. Suffering may feel like a deep pit that one cannot get out of on their own. They are right. We should give thanks they have recognized they must rely upon someone far greater than they are. The only way out of their pit is for it to be filled with God’s grace by faith alone. This comes through Word and Sacrament and the body of Christ – the church – whose many hands and hearts for Christ can provide according to the compassionate will of our Creator. Grace shatters our meaningless dreams of earthly prosperity and showers upon us an eternal relationship with our Creator defined by mercy and love. I give thanks that God is building us up in the image of Christ so that together we are giving the world what it so desperately needs: the message that God provides.

“The Cross of Christ is a reminder that our suffering does not last forever.”

November Birthdays Happy Birthday to... Mary Blaho, 4th Joy Voss, 6th Juliana Layne, 10th Polly Sodat, 11th

Christian History Mystery
Our future is in God‘s hands and so was our past. There is a lot we can learn from those who have come before us. Are you ready to be a detective of the divine? A sanctified sleuth? Each month, the Hometown News will offer clues and a picture of someone or something from our Christian Faith that will require wisdom, wit, and really good investigation skills to answer. The first person to answer correctly will get their name listed right here! One guess per person. Your submissions may come in person or via email! This is open to members and non-members, near and far. This month‘s history mystery: My portrait can be found on the left My father was a pastor I came to America, against my will and fighting the decision I gathered scattered Lutherans into a tightly knit family of churches Good luck and peace be with you!

Who Am I?

NOVEMBER 2009

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What is Christian Giving?
Let’s begin with the negative—with what giving is not. Giving is not paying your dues. It is not paying for the privilege of using the church for Baptisms and funerals and everything else in between. It is not doing your fair share. It is not to support the programs of the church. Christian giving is giving to the Lord. Look at the graphic on this page. What is on the offering plate? It is the cross of Jesus Christ! Whatever Christian giving is, and it does take many forms, it always has its beginning and its motivation at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ. Christian giving honors God and brings Him praise and glory. Psalm 96:8 reads, “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering and come into His courts.” We are to bring offerings when we come to church. The offering is for God, not for anyone or anything else. It is God who has blessed us so that we can give. King David said, “Now our God, we give You thanks, and praise Your glorious name. But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from You, and we have given You only what comes from Your hand.” (1 Chronicles 29:14) St. Paul also understood this. He wrote: “Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store and seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generou s on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” (2 Co. 9:10-11) What an amazing God! He tells us to give. He gives us what He asks us to give. He uses our ggifts for the good of His people. He makes us rich so that we can continue to be generous. And all of this, which has been generated by God and circulates through the giver and the receiver, goes back to God in the form of thanksgiving from His people. This is what God wants Christian giving to be.

Sunday School and Nursery News
A MISSION GOAL MET! On October 4, the Sunday School met its goal of raising over $400 to purchase a clock for Christ Lutheran School in Illinois, which was severely damaged by a tornado. The clock has been ordered, and it will be here soon. All who donated toward the clock are encouraged to sign the back of it, once it arrives. Tina Doane will take the clock to Illinois when she goes up in December. Abundant “thanks” to all who contributed. -Your Sunday School CHILDREN’S NURSERY Nazareth provides a Nursery for children that are 4 years old and younger. When you take your child to the Nursery, please fill out one of the Information Sheets on your child. It is important to know if your child has allergies, if they are taking medicine or if they need special assistance. The forms will be located outside of the Nursery door. It is also important that you sign your child out or make special arrangements with the nursery attendant. The Nursery is located on the first floor near the sanctuary. If you need assistance to locate the Nursery, please see an usher. NURSERY: HELP! We need someone to be in charge of the Nursery for next year. If you are interested, please see Sandy Wunder.

Church Website is Your Resource
The church website is a constantly updated resource built for you and those inquiring about our church. Did you know that our website (www.nazluthchurch.com) allows you to... Listen to sermons online. View the Order of Service days in advance. Access Synodical Resources such as Concordia Theology online and Lutheran Hour Ministries Get frequent updates on what is happening at church during the week via our Twitter updates View the church calendar Listen to a weekly broadcast of ―Words from Worship‖ from Pastor Voss Find all the contact information you need to communicate with the church via telephone or e-mail View an interactive guide to Jesus Christ and the Small Catechism And much, much, more!

REMINDER: Last year we made a commitment to financial support the work of ABLAZE! over a five year period. So far this year, our contributions have lagged behind. Through your contributions to ABLAZE!, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod reaches out to the unchurched with the saving news of the Gospel. Let’s continue to make that possible by supporting the important work of ABLAZE! Envelopes for your contributions are available in the Narthex.

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Hometown News

Walk the Walk

A letter from Phil and Sally Tappert

Here is a special letter from Phil and Sally Tappert, of the University Christian Fellowship, in France: Dear Church Family at Nazareth Lutheran Church, Putting our faith into action by helping the students is an integral part of the CFU ministry. By setting an example for the students to follow in their own lives, they have a living Bible study – Living out God‘s Word daily! Love compels action. Your support gift this month, as well as your prayers for us and for the CFU, show the students that you also believe in living out God’s Word. Thank you for your partnership with us as we reach out in love to these very special young people! We often feel that we‘re a second set of parents to these kids. You can‘t push or coerce them, but sometimes you need to take charge. Jonas, for example, hurt his knee playing soccer last fall. During our March retreat, Phil realized that he was still favoring that leg because of much pain. Phil convinced Jonas that ―toughing it out‖ wasn‘t working, and Jonas agreed to see our family doctor, who ―just happens‖ (there are no ‗accidents‘ with God) to specialize in sports injuries. Dr. Bru recognized the problem immediately and scheduled a muscle scan in preparation for possible surgery. Phil continued to shuttle Jonas back and forth to his appointments, so he wouldn‘t have to walk on that leg. In the end they decided to try out-patient therapy before surgery. Now Jonas was really thankful that Phil took the situation in hand when he did, before the damage became permanent, but we were thankful that God had put us here to help him out. It‘s a blessing to be involved in the students‘ lives and to reach out by putting our love and faith into action! Truly, faith without works is dead, and we want the students to see that actions often speak louder than words when it comes to witnessing. Much of their testimony among their non-Christian friends will be more effective if they reach out to others in Jesus‘ name, rather the just saying they are Christians. Do they talk the talk or do they walk the walk? Again, we all thank you for your support and prayers as you reach out to the students in deed and in truth (1 John 3:18) setting these new believers an example of conduct (1 Tim. 4:12) and demonstrating your faith by your works (James 2:17). God bless you! Thank you for your faithful support and prayers! Love in Christ,

“God bless you! Thank you for your faithful support and prayers!”

Phil and Sally

Advent and Christmas Worship
Join us for worship, prayer, and fellowship during the Advent and Christmas Seasons. We will give thanks and praise to our LORD in many righteous ways. All services will include a homily. Christmas Services Thur., December 24—7:00 PM, DS Fri., December 25—11:00 AM, PS New Year‘s Eve Prayer Service Thur., December 31—7:00 PM, PS

DS= Divine Service, PS = Prayer Service
Thanksgiving Service Thur., November, 25—7:00 PM, DS Advent Mid-Week Service Wed., December 2—7:00 PM, PS Wed., December 9—7:00 PM, PS Wed., December 16—7:00 PM, PS

During the Advent and Christmas seasons, we will hold our Sunday worship services at their normal time, 11:00 AM.

NOVEMBER 2009

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The Hometown News
EDITOR: Susan Skalleburg CO-EDITOR: Pastor David Voss PRODUCTION EDITOR: Karen Van Worth Thank you to all who submitted articles and information to this newsletter. SUBMISSIONS We encourage you to submit your articles and ideas electronically to: sueskallenberg@yahoo.com or call 731-6959 Newsletter information is due in by the third Sunday of the month. CONTRIBUTORS We are looking for regular contributors to the Hometown News. If there is a certain article you would like to write on a regular basis, please let us know so we can discuss it with you. Young and old are encouraged to volunteer for this very important newsletter. SAVE MONEY AND PAPER The Hometown News is posted online at the same time it is mailed. Please consider reading it online so we can save on postage and paper. It can be found on the home page of our church website: nazluthchurch.com

Spiritual One Liners
―When you get to your wit‘s end, You‘ll find God lives there.‖ ―Don‘t let your worries get the best of you; Remember, Moses started out as a basket case.‖ ―Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisers.‖ ―It is easier to preach ten sermons than it is to live one.‖ ―A lot of church members singing ‗Standing on the Promises‘ are just sitting on the premises.‖

OPEN HOUSE
The Nazareth Lutheran Church Quilters are in the process of putting an “Open House” together for November 5, 6 and 7. We want to show off our new abode and some of the items we’ve been making that will be for sale. We want to include our “church family” in our plans by asking you to bring us some baked items to sell. The hours will be 10-2, November 5th; 11-4, November 6th; 9-2, November 7th. Please join us for coffee and cookies.

We Support the Girl Scouts
GIRL SCOUTS This November, the Girl Scout Hopewell Service Unit are participating in Hand to Hand Help the Homeless’ Project. Our Girl Scout Troop will be collecting new socks, gloves, hats, mittens, and scarves to help all people who are in need. If you would like to help, please bring in your items and place them in the basket. ________________________ This November, the Girl Scout Hopewell Service Unit is participating in the “Hand To Hand Help the Homeless” Project. Our Girl Scout Troop will be collecting new socks, gloves, hats, mittens and scarves to help all people who are in need. If you would like to help, please bring in your items and place them in the basket.

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Hometown News

Pray for One Another
Lord, in your mercy, hear us as we pray….

Prayer List for November 1, 2009

For our Brothers and Sisters in Christ in Nursing Homes: Mary Blaho, HHCC (229) , Velma Fleming, HHCC (227), Mildred Skroback, HHCC, Barney Hampton, HHCC (216) For our Brothers and Sisters in Christ who are home-bound: Louis Harvey, Elsie Voda, Mary Petik For our members and friends serving our country in the military: Bruce Layne, Danny Petik, Chris Graha, Dustin Petik, James Eckenrode, David Petik, Scott Naumann, Jeff & Stacy Crossen, Courtney Williams, Jeffrey Head, Steve Foxx, Brandon Edwards, Michael McKinzie For our members and friends away at college: Landry Doane, Casey Davis, Brandon Edwards For our members who are sick, hospitalized or recuperating: Gerald Rayner & Family, Betty & Al Schneider, Rowena Carter, Leann Eckstein, Annette Dry, Ilse Appleby, Tina Doane, Jordan Layne, Charlene Logan, Steele Peden, Joey Flahart, John Petik, Sr.(JRH), Frankie Bobb(JRH), Kay Grochowaski(St.Mary‘s), Brianna Thomas

Our Father, Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done.

For our friends who are sick, hospitalized or recuperating: Darleene Farley, Jonathan Weston, Connie Williamson, Pam Maiberger, Joann Miller, Arlene Billings, Jeff Walter, Susan Mills, Mark Black, Francis Brinkley, Rita Joyner, Noel Compton Thanksgiving For All the Saints: Benny Skroback, Sr. brother in Christ In peace, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

FAST FACTS BIBLE STUDY SUNDAY AT 9:30 AM WEDNESDAY AT 7:00 PM CATECHISM (YOUTH) WEDNESDAY AT 7:00 PM FELLOWSHIP DINNER WEDNESDAY AT 6:00 PM

Bible Study and Catechism
Whether you are young or old, visitor or pillar, we have a Bible Study for you! SUNDAYS Meet in the “Old Church” Room at 9:30 AM for a Bible Study led by Al Schneider. Those who desire to go over the basics of Christianity are welcome to the God 101 class in the Sanctuary led by Pastor Voss. WEDNESDAYS Our Men and Women’s Bible Studies, along with our Youth Confirmation Class, will continue on Wednesday evenings at 7:00pm with a supper starting at 6:00pm. Bible Stories will be read at 7:00pm to children who also attend. Join us for fellowship, food, and faith strengthening by God’s Word!

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Opportunities to Give
THANKSGIVING is a wonderful time to get together with family and friends for fellowship. However, there are some people including members of Nazareth who will be unable to gather with family and friends for the Thanksgiving holiday. Please remember those who are hospitalized, shut-in or away at college or on military assignment in your prayers. If you can send a card, a letter or just a note; make a telephone call or a personal visit it would be very meaningful for those who cannot be with family and friends on Thanksgiving. The names of our hospitalized, shut-ins, military and college members are listed in our worship folder and in this newsletter. If you need an address for someone, you may call the church office. THANKSGIVING FAMILIES: There are many people less fortunate. For the Thanksgiving Holiday, Nazareth will be collecting food for two families in need. Look in your pantry or pick a can or two up at the grocery store. Monetary donations are also accepted. If you cannot donate food, pray for the families in need. Let’s show our Christian Outreach.

“Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ: Thank you for your prayers, cards, visits and phone calls during my stay at JRH. I am very blessed to have such a caring congregation. Yours in Christ, Ilse Appleby”

In Case You Didn’t Know...
FLU SEASON is a reality we have to face. We have provided hand sanitizer for you in the narthex and encourage you to use in on your way in and out of Worship (or anytime you enter or leave the church). Please respect, without offense, anyone’s desire not to shake hands during the sharing of the peace. May God graciously comfort all who have contracted the flu thus far. INVITATION CARDS are available in the Narthex in the clear stand on the table next to the door. You are invited to take an envelope. Inside you will find two cards to leave with someone to invite them to worship with us at Nazareth. [You can return the envelopes at any time for refills!] You might want to carry them with you in your wallet or purse, having them ready to hand to someone you've met. You might also want to consider leaving them on the table if you go out to eat, along with your tip and a cross. Remember our job is to ignite the world with Christ's Love!

From the Pastors’ Desk
PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH Beginning in the new church year, we will be accepting individual prayer requests to be spoken by the Pastor during the Prayer of the Church. To submit a name, please call or email Karen or Pastor Voss with the name and nature of the prayer (for healing, for comfort, etc.). We trust that the LORD hears our prayers, therefore we will not repeat the prayer the following week unless it is resubmitted. If you have any questions about this, please contact Pastor Voss. TEACHER’S RETREAT The teacher’s retreat is just a few weeks away. Keep an eye out for a letter from Pastor Voss. If you do not receive it by November 6, please contact the church office.

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Mission Opportunities
Reverend Richard Finck recently sent out a notification of short-term mission opportunities. Please prayerfully consider if you are called to serve in the Lord in this way. If you are interested in either opportunity, please Pastor Voss and he will put you in touch with the appropriate contact person. Honduras, March 13-21 by Janet Arnold I am co-leading a medical mission team to Honduras from March 13-21. We have a few spots open on our team for both medical and non-medical persons. Do you feel called to travel to the mountains of the second poorest country in the western hemisphere to share God's love while providing healthcare and healing. We work with an organization based in Chesterfield County called the Friends of Barnabas Foundation, fobf.org. P.S. Not available to travel? Please pray for our team. That is the key to success in our mission. Florida, February 14-20 by Pete Adler I am leading a mission team to Volusia County, Florida from 14-20 February, 2010. Volusia County has been designated a Presidential Disaster Area 7 times in the past five years due to hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes. Many elderly, handicapped, and underprivileged are living in storm damaged homes. Your hands are needed to repair roofs, walls, floors, and most importantly lives.

A Prayer for this Month
Loving Lord Jesus, The extent of Your love for Your children sent You to our world; a world filled with pain and suffering and death. The extent of Your love carried You to a cross where in Your dying breath you begged Your Father to forgive us. The extent of Your love reaches all people and does not cease to provide opportunities for all to come to Your loving arms. We pray Lord that our love for all Your children would model Your example. We pray that we would persevere as Your disciples and never cease to open our loving arms to all those who so desperately need to know You. We pray that You would direct our hearts to love those who are heard to love, showing unconditional love and forgiveness at all times and at all cost, just as You have done for us. Amen.

NOVEMBER 2009
Photo Gallery

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Here is a sampling of the dozens of pictures that can be found and downloaded off of our website at www.nazluthchurch.com

Faith, Fellowship, and Fun

Nazareth Lutheran Church 1711 Grant Street Hopewell, VA 23860

TO:

Nazareth Lutheran Church - A Community in Christ