Self Improvement: Where does it come from?
There are countless programs, supplements, and advisors who promise to help make us better, healthier, happier, or more self-fulfilled. In our Lenten services this year we will be visited by various consultants who will try and offer their advice on how to improve ourselves. Then they will compare that advice to petitions from the Lord’s Prayer. Here is the schedule:
1st Week: Tues. Feb. 20, 7:00pm at Pleasant Valley Wed. Feb 21, 7:00pm at First
An Image Consultant looks at “Hallowed be thy name.”
2nd Week: Tues. Feb. 27, 7:00pm at Pleasant Valley Wed. Feb. 28, 7:00pm at First
A Personal Development Specialist looks at “Thy kingdom come.”
3rd Week: Tues. Mar. 5, 7:00pm at Pleasant Valley Wed. Mar. 6, 7:00pm at First
An Assertiveness Trainer looks at “Thy will be done.”
4th Week: Tues. Mar 12, 7:00pm at Pleasant Valley Wed. Mar. 13, 7:00pm at First
A Life Coach looks at “Give us this day our daily bread.”
5th Week: Tues. Mar. 19, 7:00pm at Pleasant Valley Wed. Mar. 20, 7:00pm at First
A Personal Injury Lawyer looks at “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive.”
There will be Lenten Suppers at First at 6:00pm prior to the services, and coffee will be served following services at Pleasant Valley. Come and join us for Lent this year!
O God, Our Help in Ages Past,
Our Hope for Years to Come
Last week I ran into one of the kids Pastor Sara and I had in confirmation when we first came to Bristol. It was fun to see them and talk with them. But afterward, I made the mistake of applying arithmetic to that pleasant little meeting and figured out that this “kid” was closing in on 50 years of age. Where does the time go?
It’s 21 years ago about this time that we came here to Britton. We brought with us a fourth grader and a first grader. They are 30 and 28 now living hundreds of miles away from us, on their own. Where does the time go?
This last year I went to the funerals of three of my closest friends. I had experienced all parts of life with them, worked with them, had loads of fun with them, and gone through tough times with them. We stayed in touch even when there was distance between us, and now they are gone. Where does the time go?
Tempus fugit said the Romans, “time flies” and indeed it does. For us it goes far too quickly and we are left to wonder, where does the time go? To give an answer I will begin by saying where the time comes from. It comes from God, the creator of the universe and the rolling spheres. Time is a gift given to us by God, and he doesn’t just give us time, he fills it with his blessings. He gives us blessings like confirmation students, children, parents, dear friends and family, and a thousand others.
Now the, where does the time go? It goes to the one who gives it. It goes to our Lord and maker. He stands over and above the calendar and clock. He is the one who through Christ’s death and resurrection has brought salvation to us and opened up eternity for us. The time, our time, all time, is going to his new day, his new kingdom where we will need no watches or day planners.
So as the days fly by don’t fear their passing, enjoy them and give thanks for them. Know that this life is but a taste of the time your God has stored up for you.
God’s blessings in the New Year!
Sunday, Jan. 28, 10 am at First Lutheran
Luanne Jensen, the long time faithful office secretary for the Britton Lutheran Parish has officially retired. Luanne kept the church office and records organized for 35 years. She prepared and printed off an uncountable number of bulletins and newsletters, not to mention handling all kinds of correspondence for our congregations.
She was always a friendly face at the church and a friendly voice on the phone. She, more than the pastors, knew where everything was and what was coming up next. We are grateful for her long and faithful service and want to honor her.
To that end we will be having a joint service on Sunday Jan. 28 at First and will recognize her during a brunch following worship prior to First’s Annual Meeting. We invite you to come and say thanks and wish her a happy retirement.
December 6 our youth group JAWS held their annual Christmas gathering. We started off caroling at Wheatcrest and Spruce Court and had a great time bringing a little Christmas cheer to the residents. Then we returned to the church where we enjoyed a yummy lasagna supper provided by Pastor Sara. Thanks to her for doing this for us year after year.
We spent some time hearing the good news of Christ’s birth and ended the evening playing the goofy Christmas gift exchange game.
Coming up for JAWS in January:
January 10, 6:30pm at First Regular JAWS Meeting
January 28, 10:00am JAWS serve brunch for Annual Meeting at First
We thank God for all his blessings this last year and ask his hand to guide us in this new year.
Why Should I go to the Church’s Annual Meeting?
It’s easy enough to talk about why you might not want to go to the annual meeting. We get to sit through a lot of meetings in this life and it isn’t always all that much fun, why add another when you really don’t have to? Then probably the biggest reason is that you just might wind up with a job if you are on hand at the meeting.
So why should you go? Well here are a couple of reasons:
- It is your church and maybe God will surprise you by what he shows you.
- When you get involved it will make it easier for others to join in, and well you just might find out it is more fun than you thought.
- God might have something for you to do, it’s happened before: Abraham, Moses, Peter, Paul, etc.
- You’ll get a sense of what all it takes to make the church keep going and you may get a better appreciation for all the wonderful people who do so much.
There are many other reasons besides these so come and see what’s going on. It won’t hurt a bit. You might even have some fun.
Annual Meeting dates:
Sunday Jan. 21, 11:45pm
Pot Luck Dinner to follow.
Sunday Jan. 28, 10:30am
JAWS will serve brunch before meeting
Sunday May 19, Noon
Pot Luck Dinner to follow
If you have a report for the Annual Report please get it into the church office as early as possible in January so we can get the whole report assembled. Thanks for your help with this.
Thank you to everyone who supported the Women of First Thankful Thursday Take-out Lunch!
We could not have asked for better weather, and the crowd was awesome! We sold out of almost everything, with just a few chicken salad sandwiches left. Thank you also to the women who spent hours planning and preparing and to those who worked the day of the lunch. Thank you also to Gail for taking our phone orders. I would also like to thank the women who donated food and money to make this year’s event a success.
As I write this, we have not had our lefse sale and raffle yet, but I would like to say thank you to the women who worked during our two lefse work days. It is getting harder to find people who are familiar with making lefse, and this year we had two new people step up and help even though they had no experience. So, when next year rolls around, if you are interested in learning more about lefse, feel free to join us!
More thanks to everyone who donated items for our raffle. We have some great items on our raffle this year. Next month I will report on who the lucky winners were with a list of the donors. We finished up the month by decorating the fellowship hall. The Christmas tree is lit, and the wreaths are hung. Thank you to Anita, Steve, and Brian for donating your time.
As always, if you are interested in serving a more active role in the Women of First, please give me a call.
Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2024!
Women of First Coordinator
Our high school youth group JAWS has been busy again. We met on November 1 and went out to wash windshields for folks at work at the hospital and Wheatcrest and various other places. We had a delicious supper courtesy of some of the parents, heard a word from our Lord and had a lot of fun. Then, thanks to the hard work and planning of our leader Kari Feldhaus, we had a Fill The Bowl event. The JAWS members put on a delicious Soup Supper with salads, bread, and all kinds of desserts. Each person attending got a beautiful bowl to take home with them. It was a lovely evening with 70 some people in attendance. With the help of a Thrivent Action Grant more than $1000 was raised for the Marshall County Food Pantry.
Our thanks to everyone who bought a ticket and all the people who furnished food!
Our next meeting will be our Christmas party and caroling on Dec. 6. We’ll meet at First Lutheran at 6:30pm and go do some caroling at Spruce Court and Wheatcrest. Then we’ll return to First and enjoy Pastor Sara’s famous Christmas lasagna. We’ll have fun and games including our annual strange gift exchange. Bring a $1 to $2 goofy gift, wrapped. Come and join the fun.
JAWS Christmas Party
Wed. Dec. 6, 6:30pm
At First Lutheran
And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they wondered at his delay in the temple. — Luke 1:21
Christmas is waiting in my office as I write this to you. That’s right. The decorations and Christmas trees that will adorn the sanctuary at First are setting in my office waiting to be put up. I suspect that many of you have a little or a lot of Christmas waiting somewhere in your home, maybe somewhere in your life.
You know how it is when you’re waiting for grown children and grandchildren to come home for Christmas and all its gatherings. It doesn’t really feel like Christmas until they arrive. We also have Christmas traditions waiting that seem to be the essence of Christmas. For some of us it isn’t Christmas until we sing Silent Night in the glow of candlelight on Christmas Eve. Or it might not be Christmas for you until you smell Turkey roasting, or the Lutefisk.
Christmas is waiting, or maybe better put, we are waiting for Christmas. Sometimes we do that with gladness expectation and high hopes. But sometimes the waiting is not so glad. Sometimes it feels like we are waiting for a Christmas that is never going to arrive. Life delivers us hard blows, dear loved ones pass from this earth, and the years can feel like they have carried everything away. So sometimes we wait without hope, like the old priest Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth. They had longed to have a family, but no children came and now they were too old. They believed there was nothing to wait for, no hope.
Then there are times when we wait with fear, afraid of what the coming days will bring. What will the results of the medical test say? Will I fit in at this new job or this new community? Will Christmas ever feel the same after a change in relationships, or residence, or now that the kids are grown? Imagine young Mary and Joseph on their way to pay taxes in Bethlehem, waiting for a child in a situation that neither of them could fully understand. What if all this was not a visit from an angel at all? They certainly had reason to wait in fear.
As the verse above says the people outside the Holy place in the Temple were waiting for Zechariah to come our after the sacrifice. They were waiting and wondering what took him so long. That long ago day all those people went home not knowing that the angel Gabriel had come to the Temple, not knowing what was about to take place. But you know. You know that the Lord God of heaven and earth had come to earth to be one of us, to be with us and for us. You know that Christmas is not waiting, that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, died for us, and rose again. The light of the world has appeared. No matter what darkness surrounds you, in him you have hope. No matter what trouble threatens, you don’t have to be afraid, you have been given a Savior. So come, let us adore him: Christ the Lord.
A blessed and merry Christmas to all of you,
The Women of First honored this year’s confirmands during fellowship on October 15th and presented each confirmand with a small gift in honor of the occasion.
Our first lefse work day is November 7, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. We’ll have a second work day, but I don’t have that scheduled yet. Feel free to join us! No experience is necessary. If you are interested in helping, please give me a call at 605-448-2627.
Plans are underway for The Women of First Thankful Thursday Take-out Lunch on November 16th. The menu will consist of our former bazaar staples of beef vegetable soup, chicken salad sandwiches and broccoli slaw salad with everyone’s favorite bar, the scotcheroo. There are two $6 options 1) Soup and Bar or 2) Sandwich and Bar. A $12 option consists of the full meal – soup, sandwich, salad and bar. All orders are take-out only. You may call the office and pre-order or place your order in person the day of the luncheon.
As we did last year, the WOF will have raffle tickets for sale throughout the month of November up to December 3rd. Tickets are $2 each or 6 for $10. Tickets are available at the church office, from any Women of First member, or contact Connie Patterson. The drawing will be held on Sunday, December 3, 2023 during fellowship. We have a wide variety of items on the raffle. There is something for everyone!
The day of Christmas on Parade, Saturday, December 2nd, the WOF will sell lefse at 2:00 p.m. at the Fun After Fifty building on Main St in Britton. Raffle tickets will be available for purchase that day. Stop by the Fun After Fifty building and join us for coffee and cookies as you shop for lefse.
It is time to think about 2024, and with that I ask all WOF to prayerfully consider how they would like to serve our church. We are looking for individual serving group chairmen and a reception coordinator. Please contact me if you are interested in learning more.
Have a warm and happy Thanksgiving!