Blessings to you on this beautiful Friday! This is a shorter than normal “Cyber Saints” but here are some quick notes about the Gospel ministry of Suburban Bethlehem Lutheran Church & School:
This Sunday (January 28) we will celebrate Concordia Lutheran High School Sunday in our services and Sunday Bible Study. The A Cappella Choir from CLHS will be at both worship services to praise our God with us through song. We will have a special representative from CLHS (John Schoedel) to briefly speak at the worship services about the ministry of our high school and also have the main Bible Study time in the School Commons to talk more about CLHS. There will be a door offering that will benefit the music ministry of Concordia. I say “our” high school because SBL is a member congregation of the association and we have roughly 45 member students (and more that are non-members but went to SBLS and then on to CLHS) who attend CLHS. As a pastor of the association – and as a parent of a sophomore at CLHS – we are blessed to be part of this association.
Youth – Parent Competition
Pastor Alex is working at putting together a fun afternoon of competition between our youth and parents on Sunday, February 4 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm in the gym. Since there are no meaningful teams playing in the Super Bowl later in the day this will be a great time of fun and fellowship. I’ll put on my tennis shoes and allow what athletic ability the good Lord gave to be on display….for whatever outcome. Youth and parents – look for more information in the bulletin announcements this coming Sunday.
Yes, it’s that time of the year! We’re just two weeks away from what we affectionately call “The High Holy Feast of the Fish Fry.” Saturday, February 10, is the date – get involved and connected. If you haven’t been contacted yet about helping out in some fashion, please call the church office at 484-7873 and we will get you connected with someone to be involved. The Fish Fry is always a great opportunity of fun and fellowship!
A new event is coming up – the Mother-Son Dance on Saturday, February 17. Bethany Carter and Kay Howard will be in the back on church on Sundays February 4 and 11 where you can make arrangements to participate. It will be fun! This is a great follow up to the Father-Daughter Dances the last couple of years (and, in our family at least, this will allow the other half of the family to have some fun).
Worship Service Length & Focus
One of the most central activities – if not THE most central activity – of Suburban Bethlehem is worship. Our worship services are holy moments where the Lord Himself engages our hearts and lives through His Word and Sacraments. SBL has many groups which, when they participate in the worship services, bring such joy and beauty to the worship services. We also live in a culture that is increasingly conditioned to be aware of time and how long things take. Pastor Alex, Matt Johnston and I are keenly aware of these competing interests. We routinely have discussions about how best to navigate through this myriad of interests without losing focus on the real nature of worship: the one true and living God desires to interact with us so to forgive our sins, to encourage our Christian living so that we grow in our faith. Personally, I’d like to do away with all announcements (except for the “good morning, welcome to worship – please rise and greet each other”) – I kind of feel like the announcements after the worship service are like you’re paying the pastors to read the bulletin to you. If we’ve been conditioned that “when the pastors mention something in the announcements it means it will be better” maybe we can condition ourselves to read the bulletin? Just some thoughts – and to ask for your prayers on this matter so that we don’t lose focus. I do welcome your thoughts on the matter as well.
Engaging People with Christ
This kind of feeds into the last topic – engaging people with Christ. Pastor Alex and I have been doing some talking about starting some sort of an SBL Blog. This would be an opportunity to share some thoughts, provide a platform for discussion and engage people with the message of Jesus. I was recently talking with someone who has struggled and great deal and has a great many questions about God and what is the truth. We are looking for ways to engage, encourage and bring the sweet assurance of Jesus to hurting souls. Stay tuned for more information.
Yours in Jesus!
–Pastor Bill Mueller
PS – Sunday’s 8:00 service is traditional in format.