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Hometown News


1711 Grant Street Hopewell, VA 23860 JANUARY 2010 TO GOD BE THE GLORY

“Discerning God’s Will For Our Future”

Inside this issue: Committee Updates 2

January 29/30, 2010
“I know what I am doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not to abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” (Jeremiah 29:11)



Pastor’s Corner


Led by Rev. Arthur Umbach Mission & Ministry Facilitator, Southeastern District, LCMS

Dr. Paul Maier Visit


Register today!
1) 2) 3)

We want to make sure we plan for your meals and atten-

dance. Registration deadline is January 17. Sign-up in one of three ways:
Call the church office (458-7994) E-mail the Secretary ( Fill out a registration form and put it in the offering plate (brochures are in Narthex)

Our purpose in this retreat is to: Look at the quality characteristics or ―building blocks‖ of a strong, healthy, mission-focused church and to determine which of these should be given priority in the ministry of our congregation. Write a mission statement Establish our critical targets (who we will be reaching out to) Our focus would be on discerning God’s will for the future of Nazareth congregation
FRIDAY - January 29, 2010 6:00 – 6:30 pm 6:30 -- 9:00 pm Dinner (Hosted by David and Joy) Marks of A Mission-Focused Congregation

SATURDAY – January 30, 2010 8:30 – 8:45 am 8:45 am–10:45 am 11:00 am – 12:15 pm 12:15 -12: 45 pm 12:45 – 3:00 pm 3:00 —3:30 pm Gathering Time (coffee, donuts, fruit) Marks of A Mission-Focused Congregation Developing A Mission Statement Lunch Establishing Critical Targets What’s Next? (Develop Mission Statement)

Now is the time to share what God has shared with you and speak the vision that God desires for our church.

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

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Hometown News

Sincere Thanks...
To my Nazareth Family, My heartfelt thanks for your cards, visits and prayers. I miss you all and with God’s loving care, I look forward to being back with you soon. God loves you and so do I! Borgny Hampton ________________________ Dear Nazareth, Thank you for all your prayers, cards, visits and calls. We sincerely appreciate your thoughtfulness and are blessed to have such a wonderful, caring congregation. Yours in Christ, The Petik Family

Christian Stewardship
The Committee on Church Finances and Stewardship did not meet in December, but takes this opportunity to share the last of eight Biblical Stewardship Principles adopted by the LCMS. This principle states that ―God’s stewards live with an awareness of the present and future, of time and eternity.‖ This means that we live intentionally in the light of the Lord’s eternal purpose while being firmly committed to His rule in the here and now. Put another way, what are we, as Christian stewards, doing here on earth that will make a difference for all eternity? While it is true that we are citizens of the United States, St. Paul tells us in Phil 3:20 that ―our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,‖ This is our ―real‖ treasure, it is based on what Jesus Christ has done for us as our Savior and Redeemer. It is a treasure that cannot be destroyed by moths or rust nor can thieves steal it away from us. (Matt 6:19-21) St John assures us in Rev 14:13 that all of our deeds done in the name of Jesus for the welfare of others will follow us into eternity. All of us would like to cast a large shadow and through the Godly use of time, talents and treasures that shadow will be large enough to reach into eternity. This principle urges us to reflect on the eternal dimensions inherent in the decisions we make, especially with regard to money. We make sound stewardship decisions through planning that supports the work of God’s kingdom through our offerings while we are still alive and through our bequests after the Lord has called us home. As God’s stewards, doing the right things for the right reasons like developing good gift and estate plans that aid in extending God’s kingdom will provide a huge sense of joy knowing that such actions have lasting benefits.

Happy Birthday to… January 1st Doris Cavin, Emily Lineman, 3rd Danny Petik, 5th David Schaarschmidt, Birthdays 22nd Ilse Appleby, 29th Anna Klein, 31st Eva McKenny


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Spiritual Care
The Committee on Spiritual Care met December 14th 2009
♦Present were: Steve Foxx, Thelma Klein, Bob Dry, Ed Hanford, and Arnie and Carol Slimmen ♦Steve led a devotion centered on Col 3:16 ♦Pastor asked to perform the funeral for Mary Nemetz. ♦The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved. ♦Karen asked if everyone was contacted with the info about Ed Appleby’s funeral. Will try to set up a better list for this purpose. ♦ Discussed individual parishioner/caretaking concerns* ♦Steve noted that The Elders and Deacons will start meeting separately in January, unless a joint meeting is needed. ♦The committee recommends that the board of Evangelism plan to have greeters each Sunday for worship. ♦Will continue to use more experienced acolytes with the two younger ones at least through February. ♦Arnie has met with two ushers and asked them to get with the other ushers about leading visitors to the registration book, and about personally ushering visitors to their pew. * ♦The meeting closed with the praying together of “The Lord’s Prayer”. ♦The next meeting will be January 11th 2010. –Submitted by Carol Slimmen *Edited for appropriate confidentiality (D.V.)

Missions and Outreach
Update on our Christmas Families - On December 22 the Board of Missions and Outreach delivered boxes of food and gifts to four local families. This is exciting news, because this includes one family that was not initially planned for. Thank you, people of Nazareth, for your great generosity! It could not have happened without you. The Board of Missions is seeking others to serve in 2010. We are looking forward to an exciting year! We have identified some missions for each month of the year! Warning - they are to subject to change! We are always looking for more ways to reach out to those less fortunate! If you are a fellow Christian and looking for ways to make a difference in the lives of others, just let us know! Contact Martha (586-4358) or Ann (514-3909)! (The entire calendar of mission projects was published in the December Hometown News.)

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Hometown News

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

Prayer List for January, 2010

For our Brothers and Sisters in Christ in Nursing Homes: Mary Blaho, HHCC 229 , Velma Fleming, HHCC 227, Mildred Skroback, HHCC, Mary Nemetz in Charlottsville, Phyllis Kane, Conover Nursing & Rehab Center For our Brothers and Sisters in Christ who are home-bound: Elsie Voda, Mary Petik For our members and friends serving our country in the military: Bruce Layne, Danny Petik, Chris Graham, Dustin Petik, James Eckenrode, David Petik, Scott Naumann, Jeff & Stacy Crosson, 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, Kay Grochowaski , Barney Hampton

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

For our friends who are sick, hospitalized or recuperating: Darleene Farley, Jonathan Weston, Connie Williamson, Rita Joyner, Pam Maiberger, Joann Miller, Jeff Walter, Mark Black, Francis Brinkley, Shelby Slayton, Nick Doize, Pastor Kane For the families of Saints departed — Ed Appleby, Billy Joyner, Louis Harvey In peace, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
Crossword Puzzle Answers from Last Month Across 3. Advent 4. Music 5. Catechism 6. Gospel 9. Font 10. Evangelical 11. Grace Down 1. Rierson 2. Communion 7. Howard 8. Preaching

Praise and Thanksgiving
―Dear Father, we thank You for the multitude of opportunities to show
your love to people in our community. We live in a hurting world. You have not only called us, You have also equipped us to serve our neighbor. Thank Your for these abundant blessings, and especially for the Good News of Jesus You give us to share.‖

Nazareth Hosting...
January 29/30 February 11 September 18 Nazareth All-Member Mission Planning Circuit-10 Pastor’s Conference Dr. Paul Maier Seminar, ―Jesus, Legend or Lord?‖


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Unrealistic Expectations
When a child runs up to a parent and proclaims, ―I want to be the President of the United States!‖, that parent will most likely give their unconditional support to the unrealistic expectation. ―You can do it!‖, they will say. The same proclamation made by an adult friend will return different results. ―Are you crazy?! What makes you think you can be President?!‖ It seems, with age, comes lowered expectations. If adults shoot too big, the naysaying begins. be given to you as well.‖ Jesus gives us ―clearance‖ to approach our Father with unrealistic expectations and Our Father will only encourage us! With Christ at the center of all that we do, we are free to ask God to bless His mission for our church. We can share with God our unrealistic expectations because our trust is in Him. We know God can do things that mere humans cannot even comprehend. What unrealistic expectations do you have for our church? How far do you see our outreach? How many people do you see us helping? How many people do you see worshipping with us?! Be unrealistic! My unrealistic expectation is that we have over 60 people in attendance at our mission planning seminar in January. I know, it’s totally unrealistic to expect over 50% of the congregation to take part, but you know what? If God’s Holy Spirit blows through this congregation as I pray it will, my unrealistic expectation may even be to low. I’m praying that our unrealistic expectations are surpassed by God’s Will. See you this Sunday… see you in January… see you in heaven!

How do you know if worship or Bible study has been cancelled?
We never want you to put yourself in danger, but please note that rain, sleet, or snow, worship will not be cancelled. If you have any doubt as to whether worship and/or Bible study is cancelled, simply call the church phone. We will have a message stating so. We will also have it posted on our website in the ―Recent News‖ section on the homepage.

How does this play out in God’s Church? Unfortunately, we can get into a mind-set that the church should no longer have big expectations. We should be just content with who we are and what we are doing. While it is true we will all see the Glory of God by faith alone, God still wants us to have the enthusiasm that a child has. God desires that we move from concern and worry about what might go wrong and focus on what God does and can do right for us. esus says in the Gospel of Matthew, ―Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will

Who’s That Answering Our Church Phone?
When Karen or I are not in the office to answer the phone, we have enlisted the help of an answering service. We’ve done this for two reasons. First, every time someone calls Nazareth Lutheran Church, regardless of what time they call, they will talk to a person instead of a machine. Second, any message that is taken is immediately forwarded to the Inbox of both the secretary and Pastor. The message is normally read within 30 minutes, regardless of where we are. If you have an emergency, it is always best to call Pastor on his mobile phone at 804-721-9381.

Who Am I Challenge
Last month’s Who Am I winner: Joey Rierson. Answer: Martin Chemnitz (November 9, 1522 – April 8, 1586). He was an eminent secondgeneration Lutheran theologian, reformer, and churchman. This month’s “Who Am I”? No hints, picture only. Give your answer to Pastor

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Hometown News
Church Council Minutes 12/21/2009

The meeting was opened by President Clint Rierson and a Christmas message, taken from the book of Matthew, was read by Pastor Voss. The minutes were read and approved as amended. Each committee gave their report (see submitted reports within this month’s Newsletter). Old Business: Alfred Schneider spoke about his findings concerning the new sign that has been discussed. New Business: Pastor Voss spoke about some key points which he listed with the Pastors report, namely the office keys, Spiritual Care & Elders meeting separately, music with the teens and the Lenten devotional. President Reierson read a Thank-you note from Pastor Schmick regarding the rocking chair given by the congregation and a Thank-you note from the Cavins. Martha Staples mentioned there was a Thank-you note on the bulletin board from her and Steve Foxx thanked everyone for their care and concern concerning the birth of his and Bonnie’s baby girl. Bob Dry mentioned that flooding near the handicap ramp needs to be addressed. Clint Reierson expressed thanks to all those that helped clear the snow during the bad weather. Thelma Klein moved to adjourn the meeting it was 2nd by Jean Joyner. The meeting was closed with the Lord’s Prayer.

The Nazareth Lenten Devotional
We are looking for volunteers to contribute to a devotional created by Nazareth Lutheran Church for the season of Lent. You will be given a scripture passage and some material that will help you write the devotional. You will also be given an example devotion so that you know exactly what it should look like and how long it should be. Pastor will review your devotion and work with you to iron out any questions you have. We are looking for at least 6 volunteers, but welcome as many who would like to contribute. Please contact Pastor Voss for more details. Please signup by January 15. Final submissions will be due in early February.

Website Data for December
We are looking for snow removal volunteers.

Number of visits: 308 Unique number of visitors: 146 Percent of Visitors that were new: 40%

Please contact Andy Martin if you can help.


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Dr. Paul Maier to Visit Nazareth Lutheran Church
Dr. Paul L. Maier will be visiting Nazareth Lutheran Church next year! We are honored to announce that he will present a seminar for the Hopewell and Ft. Lee area on Saturday, September 18, entitled, "Jesus, Legend or Lord?" Dr. Maier, Professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University, is one of our country's leading authorities on the biblical world and a widely acclaimed author and speaker. His seminars add a fresh dimension to the Scriptures, illuminating them with important evidence from archaeology and secular history. This special event will be held at our church! Ticket prices and further details will be made available in a few months. This is a terrific opportunity for us as a congregation to be a beacon of God’s light not only for Christians who may be interested in attending, but for non-Christians who are skeptical of who Jesus was and is. This is a terrific evangelism opportunity that we can and should be telling everyone about!

Book Review: Three Cups of Tea and Stones into Schools Greg Mortenson, Author
These books illustrate the Christian values of community, compassion, selfless service and love. The story is true. -The Editor In 1993 Greg Mortenson was a mountaineer attempting to climb K2 in the Karakoram mountains. The attempt failed. Totally spent, Mortenson arrived at the impoverished community of Korphe in northern Pakistan. The kind attention of the villagers who showed him great hospitality likely saved his life. Mortenson promised to return and build them a school. This was to be the first of over130 schools, built by Mortenson and the institute he founded, the Central Asia Institute. This amazing feat is described in two books, ―Three Cups of Tea, One Man’s Mission to promote Peace, one School at a Time‖ and ―Stones into Schools‖. The first book describes the hard work of relationship building that was crucial to any kind of success. The backbone of his support came from local elders and their communities, who came to understand the treasure he was offering them. Mortenson also recruited a network of helpers, some of which were unlikely allies, such as former Taliban fighters who renounced violence and went to work building schools for girls. None of the schools Mortenson has helped build have been forced to close, despite the growing insurgency, because, he says, ―the community is so fiercely devoted to something they’ve put their sweat, tears and blood into.‖ ―Stones into Schools‖ was just published this year. It traces the Central Asia Institute’s efforts to work in a whole new country, the secluded northeast corner of Afghanistan. It is different from the first book in another way: It makes a compelling case for what Mortenson calls the ―Girl Effect‖--the importance of educating girls and young women in the developing world. ―Educating girls,‖ he says, ―reduces infant mortality, reduces the population explosion, and improves the quality of heath and of life itself.‖ In addition, Mortenson points out, young men wishing to go on jihad must first get permission from their mothers. The Taliban very deliberately target impoverished, illiterate communities because many educated women refuse, even at the risk of their lives, to allow their sons to join the Taliban. There is a profound influence from the mother, especially if she is educated.‖ Therefore, communities where Mortenson’s organization builds schools must agree to send their girls to school. Summarized from the Appomatox Library’s “Bookpage” column by Alden Mudge, and the Introduction to “Three Cups of Tea” by David Oliver Relin.

Nazareth Lutheran Church 1711 Grant Street Hopewell, VA 23860


The Hometown News of Nazareth Lutheran Church
EDITOR: Susan Skalleberg EDITORIAL ASSISTANT: Rev. David Voss PRODUCTION EDITOR: Karen Van Worth
SUBMISSIONS Please submit your articles and ideas electronically to: or call 7316959. Newsletter information is due in by the third Sunday of the month. All committees should send a summary of each month’s meeting to the Editor. 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. Peace be with you.

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: