Greetings, in the name of Jesus, our risen Savior,
It is a wet and dreary day in southeast Michigan, so I am spending the day in my office trying to be productive with my time. I find it hard to believe that it is the end of May and I am sitting down, at my computer, to write an article for another month’s newsletter. It seems as if I just finished the last one and submitted it to Teresa, our church’s secretary.
Last Sunday, May 20th, we celebrated two special events here at Emmanuel: Confirmation for two of our youth, and the celebration of Pentecost. What a joyful day it was in the Lord’s house, as we heard two young saints, Sarah Bartush and Dylan Korunka, read their Statements of Faith and speak their Confirmation Vows before the Lord, their families and friends, congregation members, and me their Pastor. What an honor it has been to work with these two individuals over the last two years of Catechism Instruction.
With the celebration of Pentecost we left the season of Easter and entered into a new season of the church. This season of Pentecost will take us all the way up to November 25th, when we will then make the transition into Advent and the beginning of another new church year. The liturgical color for Pentecost is green. This color has been selected to signify the teaching of the Lord and its application to our lives as Christians. It is a season which focuses on our growth and the maturing of our faith as people of God.
Now that we are about to enter into the month of June, what is on the horizon here at Emmanuel? First of all, we are in the midst of collecting baby diapers and wipes for the Lenawee County Crisis Pregnancy Center. This outreach activity started on Mother’s Day and will continue till Father’s Day June 17th. Please support this effort to help those families who are in need of this specific assistance. God’s Word instructs us to help those who are at a disadvantage.
Father’s Day is another opportunity for us to celebrate the blessings of parenthood that God has established for mankind. Christian fathers are to be the spiritual head of their households. They are to be the spiritual leaders the Lord has called them to be. And they should be a God-pleasing example for their families to follow. Being a father is a wonderful honor that carries with it a great deal of responsibility. May God richly bless all of our fathers.
On June 24th we will be hosting, Bill Burmeister, a representative for Church Extension Fund. Bill will be sharing with us a message concerning Charitable Giving. This is a very important aspect of our Christian faith. God calls us, as His people, to be good stewards of the financial resources He has blessed us with. These gifts are given by our Lord and we have many opportunities to use them to glorify Him, share the Gospel, and build His Kingdom, both now and after we are taken to our eternal home. I hope you will attend this special program.
Another special outreach event will take place here at Emmanuel on June 29th. We will be hosting an American Red Cross Blood Mobile. This will be our third year of sponsorship. I am hoping we can do a better job of promoting and acquiring donations this year, than we have in the past. We will a number of volunteers to assist with this project. There will be sign-up sheets for donating and volunteering in the church corridor. You can also call the church office or Pastor McCarty to get signed up. You can help make this a great success!
For those members, who were in worship service on Confirmation Sunday, you heard me preach on the importance of staying connected to God. We can do this through prayer, regular worship attendance, reading God’s Word daily, and being in Bible studies as they are offered. These activities are all excellent ways which help us strengthen our relationship with our Lord God Almighty. At this time, I would like to set a challenge before the members of this congregation. Here is my challenge: I would like to ask each one of you to take a serious look at where you are in your faith life as a Christian. Do you have an active prayer life? Are you in God’s Word daily? How is your worship attendance? Is being in Bible study important to you? Do I have a healthy and growing relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? These are some serious questions that we all need to ask ourselves as God’s people. And, as you and I go through this evaluation procedure, I pray that we will be led by the Holy Spirit to make changes in our life that will be for God’s glory and our spiritual benefit. If you have any concerns, as you work through this soul searching process, please give me a call.
The last thing I want to bring to your attention is our upcoming Michigan District Convention. This convention will take place from June 24-26, at Concordia University, Ann Arbor. I will be attending this function with our congregational delegate, Bruce Siebarth. This will be my first District Convention here in Michigan, and I look forward to being a part of the important work our District will be carrying out at this event.