Pulse Newsletter – JUNE 2017


The 500th Anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation is being commemorated in 2017.  On October 31, 1517, professor Martin Luther nailed his historic 95 theses for discussion to the Church door in Wittenberg, Germany.  His actions and understandings of the God’s Word still affect many nearly 500 years later.  One of the realizations of Martin Luther was the whole understanding of Justification.  That God alone justifies us.  We have no part in our conversion, it is all the work of God.  No wonder one of our favorite passages in the Bible is from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, Chapter 2, verses 8-10:

For by grace you have been saved through faith.

And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

10 For we are his workmanship,

created in Christ Jesus for good works,

which God prepared beforehand,

that we should walk in them. ESV

To see how our salvation unfolds is a prime importance for our lives as Christians.  God grants the grace.  God gives the faith.  God transforms us into His treasured people.  God prepares good works for us to do as we live out our grace filled lives.  God alone be the glory for His sacrifice of Jesus to atone for our sins and to grant us new hope and a new life.

In June, we will celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The third part of the Apostles Creed and Luther’s explanation ties directly to how we are saved and given faith and a new life. 

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian church,

the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. 

What does this mean? I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith. In the same way He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church He daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers. On the Last Day He will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ. This is most certainly true.

 

In June/July, I encourage you to do three things: 

1.    Memorize the Ephesians 2:8-10 passage of Scripture. 

2.    I also invite you to join me in reading through the New Testament in 95 days.  (Starts at end of July)

3.    You are also invited to a new Bible Study on the Augsburg Confession on Monday evenings starting at 6:15pm – 7:30pm on July 10th.  For I have heard from many how they would like us to have some evening studies for those who work and those for whom mornings are difficult. 

Isn’t it great that we can grow in our understanding of God’s Word by having the privilege to immerse ourselves in it?  God’s Word will accomplish the purpose and mission of He who sent it!  May we be in the Word and witnesses to it as well!

So you want to take a Summer vacation from the Word??? 

No, No, No!  Say it isn’t so! 

Instead of vacating, how about we dig into that life saving Word even deeper and experience the incredible gift that God reveals to us for our lives now and in eternity.  May God bless each of you this month as together we learn more of God’s truth for us.  – Pastor Schwartz


                        WORSHIP PLANS FOR JUNE

*6/04/2017

Day of Pentecost

  

Num. 11:24-30

Acts 2:1-21

John 7:37-39

 

8:15/11am

Divine Service 4

Holy Communion

*6/11/2017

Trinity Sunday

 

Gen 1:1-2:4a

Acts 2:14a, 22-36

Matt. 28:16-20

 

8:15/11am

Divine Service 4

Holy Communion

*6/18/2017

2nd Sunday after Pentecost 

Father’s Day

Ex. 19:2-8

Rom. 5:6-15

Matt 9:35-10:8

 

8:15 - DS 1

11 – Contemporary

Holy Communion

*6/25/2017

3rd Sunday after Pentecost 

Jer 20:7-13

Rom 6:12-23

Matt 10:5a, 21-33 

8:15 - Matins 

11 - Contemporary

 

 


ALTAR GUILD – We are in need of folks to help with our Altar Care.  If you would like to serve in this area please see Bernice Priest or Linda Lack.  We sincerely appreciate your consideration.

MUSIC MINISTRY

The Service, Handbell, and Children's Choirs have completed their ministry season with a pizza party and discussions about next year.

The Children's Choir traveled to Columbia, SC wearing their new choir shirts to attend and participate in a spring concert by the USC Youth Choir. Everyone was pleased by the contribution, appearance (and behavior!) of our children.

Construction continues on schedule on our new Allen organ at the manufacturer's site in Pennsylvania. If there are no unforeseen delays, the instrument will be completed in June, shipped to Augusta in July, and placed into service in early August.  Praise the Lord for His provision of this wonderful new enhancement to our worship.


WAYS TO SUPPORT ORLC’S 2017 MISSION TEAM:

·       PRAY

·       DONATE ITEMS FOR FIRST-AID KITS FOR THE FAMILIES

Triple-Antibiotic cream

Hydrocortisone cream

Small plastic jar of Vaseline

OFF wipes (not spray)

Hand sanitizer 2-3 oz.

Assorted Band-Aids

Gallon size storage bags

·       Donate money to be used to:

Purchase paperback Spanish/English Bibles ($12 each) to be given to ladies who attend our Bible study.

Purchase (in Belize) groceries to be given to families of San Jose Village Mission. 

·       Our VBS offering will go to support the church in Belize.

·       VOLUNTEER TO BE A PRAYER PARTNER FOR ONE OF THE MISSION TEAM MEMBERS.

A BIG THANK YOU to all who supported the Belize Mission Team spaghetti supper on May 9th. We fed an estimated 100 people and raised $1,360. Expenses were covered by Thrivent Action Team project "seed money", so all of the money raised will be used to buy food and toiletries for needy families, VBS snacks, VBS supplies and other expenses for our ministries in San Jose Village, Orange Walk, Belize in July.

SUNDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY

  • 3 year old through 1st grade -- Room 303 
  • 2nd-3rd grade -- Room 304
  • 4th-5th grade – Pre-Confirmation -- Room 311
  • Confirmation – Room 307
  • High School & 8th grade Class – Room 301 
  • Young Adult/Singles/Couples –306 – “The Book of Romans”
  • Adult Room 305 – “The Book of Hebrews”
  • Adult Room 309 –  “Fruit of the Spirit - patience, kindness and goodness”

June 4th will begin the 4 week session of Summer Sunday School for the children of all ages.  See Sarah Bender for ways you can assist us short term for teaching, and leading the children’s Sunday School.

WEEKLY BIBLE STUDIES

WEDNESDAY BIBLE STUDY - 9:30-10:45am, Room 309 studying “Holy Spirit” led by Pastor Schwartz. 

LADIES AM BIBLE STUDY (LAMBS) – Thursday at 9:30am to 11am in room 309 studying "I Corinthians". Come join us!  For more info please call Lois Axson at 803/507-7223.

MEN'S BREAKFAST BIBLE STUDY (MBBS) – Friday at 6:30 am in room 309 studying a “2nd Peter”.

LEE’S SMALL GROUP BIBLE STUDY – Sunday, 6:30pm – 8pm at the Frank & Pam Lee home at 3548 Granite Way in Martinez. Topic is the Passion Story. 

NEW MEMBER CLASS – Monday June 12th and Monday June 19th from 6pm – 8:30pm.  Let Pastor know if you need child care to be provided.

AUGSBURG CONFESSION STUDY – Begins July 10th from 6:15pm – 7:30pm.  Let Pastor know if you need child care to be provided.

VBS 2017 is June 25-29th from 5:30-8:30pm each night and includes supper.  God is our mighty fortress!  There will be an adult class that will be held each night from 6:15pm – 7:30pm.  Come and while the kids have fun learning about Jesus, so will you!

QUILTERS – Meet in Room 309 every Tuesday from 9am until noon to work on quilts and share in fellowship.  They are open to newcomers and no experience is needed! 

REMINDERS—We are collecting old Portals of Prayer, soup coupons, and used eyeglasses.  See the LWML shelf outside the Fellowship Hall.


ONGOING NEEDS AND COLLECTIONS:

·      Downtown Co-operative Church Ministries food bank is in need of volunteers. Four of ORLC members are currently helping to distribute food on Fridays 11:00am to 12:30pm. Four more are needed so that each pair of volunteers would serve one Friday a month.

·      Continue to bring in the used plastic grocery bags.  They are always needed.

 

YOUTH GROUP SCHEDULE

JULY 2017 

What - Youth Lock In for entering 6th graders up to High School graduates 

When - Friday, July 14th to Saturday, July 15th  

Time - Friday 6:00 p.m. to Saturday 10:00 a.m.

Where - Our Redeemer Lutheran Church

What to bring - Pillow, sleeping bag/blanket(s), games to play, movies to watch, and snacks

Chaperones: Ashley and David Beasley:  

Please complete a sign-up sheet located on the table in the crosswalk area and return signup sheets to Kathy Ferguson's mail folder. If you have any questions, she can be contacted at cell #706.373.8675 or email at auggakat@gmail.com

WE NEED YOUR INFO - We will be starting a Youth Group text and email weekly devotion and events reminder. We need all middle school and high school youth to provide me with their cell # or email address. Please text Kathy Ferguson at 706.373.8675 or email auggakat@gmail.com with your information.

YOUNG ADULTS Ages 25-39 - If you are interested in meeting and getting to know others who, not only are your same ages but share the same Christian ideals, come out & join us! We meet one Friday a month at a different location around the CSRA!  If you are interested, please text or email your contact your information to Ashley Beasley 706-799-3056 andrea.g.beasley@gmail.com

 

 CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2017 GRADUATES

Please keep them in your prayers as they embark on a new endeavor.

Ashley Greenwood Beasley is graduating from the University of Phoenix with a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education.

Hailey Branch is graduating from Grovetown High School.  She plans to attend Augusta University and study theater and cyber studies.

Elizabeth Dellinger is graduating from the University of North Florida with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy.

Caitlyn Ferguson is graduating from Evans High School.  She plans to attend Augusta University and study Pre-Vet.

Cory Greenwood is graduating from Augusta University with a Bachelor's Degree in Finance.

Noah Lee is graduating from Westminster.  He has a scholarship to attend Covenant College.  He will study Nursing and play Soccer.

Emily Murray is graduating from the University of Georgia with a Doctorate in Pharmacy.  She has been accepted to residency in Sioux Falls, SD.

Jordan Rawls is graduating from Fox Creek High School.  He plans to train as an Electrician.

Ethan Schwartz is graduating from Lakeside High School.  He plans to attend the University of Georgia and study Mechanical Engineering.

Hunter Sonnenberg is graduating from Augusta Christian.  He plans to attend Georgia Institute of Technology and study Chemical Engineering.

Meredith Stanley is graduating from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor's Degree in Archaeology and Religious Studies.

 

God’s many and abundant blessings to our 2017 Confirmation students who were confirmed in their faith on Sunday, May 21st.  They participated in the two year confirmation curriculum taught by Bonnie Annis and Delores Schwartz.  They completed monthly meetings with Pastor Schwartz during their 2nd year and composed a faith story that was shared during the reception.  They also took the PEDCT – Pastor Emeritus Dunker Confirmation Test. 

Rhys Bender - Olivia Morris - Miles Williams - Dmitri Bender

Lift them up in prayer as they walk in faith with their Lord Jesus!

 

 

FAITH STORY OF RHYS BENDER

Everything that you are about to hear is what I thought at the time. This means that the facts may be exaggerated from what was really going on compared to what I thought was going on. I have decided to base my faith story off of the verses Matthew chapter six verses twenty-six through thirty. These verses say “Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying? And why do you worry about clothes? Learn how the wildflowers of the fields grow: they don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these! If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t He do much more for you-you of little faith?”

Back when my family and I first moved back to Georgia, we came back to our house having a major problem with mold. Apparently, the bottom of the water heater fell out and caused the floor of the house to be coated with water. The renter decided not to tell anyone about it and when she moved out because we were moving back in, we found out about the damages.

The people we hired to take care of the problem had to pull out all of the flooring and cut off the bottom foot of the drywall. We moved down here because the Navy let my dad go. When this happens, the Navy gives you a certain amount of money for you to live on while you find another job. We ended up having to use that money to fix all kinds of things in the house that we were moving back into. This meant that we had a sudden shortage of money and we even had to pay certain bills one month and ignore the others until next month. At the time, there was a very big contract that all of the contractor businesses were trying to get. This meant that all of the businesses liked my dad and said that they would hire him...if they got the contract.

My dad ended up being unemployed for six months. We were using all of the money that we got from the Navy and we had no income. I didn’t realize the crisis we were in until around the middle of the six months. It had become winter and I started to notice the lack of new shirts to replace the old shirts I had grown out of. I also started to notice the fact that we started to go out to restaurants less and when we did, we went to Taco Bell and other cheap places. I started hearing the hushed conversations that were happening when mom and dad thought that we couldn’t hear them. Sure they had never kept it a secret that we were short on money, but I hadn’t really thought that it could possibly get to this point.

I had just recently read the verses about how the sins of one person can bring terrible punishments to an entire family, and I started to do what I do best which is worrying. I am usually what everyone in my family calls a ‘happy’ pessimist. This means that I could say that the worst possible thing would happen and, unlike normal pessimists, not be controlled by it. I think that it will happen and I either accept it or I formulate a plan that prevents it. While I did not outwardly show my worry, I was more of a normal pessimist in my mind then a ‘happy’ pessimist.

I thought that I had done something terrible and God was punishing me and through me, my family. I knew that God will forgive one’s sins but, no matter how much I prayed, nothing was getting any better. I thought that we would have to end up selling the house because we couldn’t pay the bills and then be homeless and that thought really scared me. I started to ask God why he was doing this to us and what do I have to do to fix this?

“If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t He do much more for you-you of little faith?” This verse could have easily been directed to me during this time. I think that I matured a little bit through that experience. However, once again, God supplied and looked out for us.

My dad got a job at Mosaic and we celebrated by going out to a sit-down restaurant. Even though we were still very tight with money, at least we had an income. This meant that we would have more time before hitting the bottom of the well of money we had. We were still in trouble though. when my dad got a new job, we had almost run out of money. This meant that we still had to get through the first month before his first paycheck at his new job came in. For some reason, while that month was hard, in my opinion it was less hectic. Part of this may have been the fact that I was starting to worry less at that time which was good.

After that first paycheck came in, we were able to pay more and more bills on time. It was sort of like we were playing a card game against our crisis and even though we had a terrible start, with the help of God my family and I were slowly making a glorious comeback. Thankfully, my family and I have now won that card game and we have moved into our other house which is much bigger. The other house which caused this fiasco is all fixed up and better than before and we have a new renter in it. The moral of this story is sometimes we don’t understand why something is happening to us until much later in time and, even though we don’t understand and we think that we know better, God always knows best and will do what he thinks is best for his children.

Looking back, I think that God stretched it out that long to test my faith and to let me see exactly how strong he can be. This allowed me to truly stop seeing him as someone who is out there not really doing too much and someone that I will have to worry about once judgement day comes but as someone who is always ready to step in and lead you back to safety from any danger. I found Matthew chapter six verses twenty-six through thirty the perfect verses to sum up this story of how I got even closer with God.


 

 

FAITH STORY OF OLIVIA MORRIS

So, I have learned faith and God are tricky things to understand. For most people, you are taught who God is and who Jesus is at a very young age. You grow up knowing that you are always loved and protected by God. But as you get a little bit older, you maybe start to question your faith – which is totally normal – but you grow stronger because of it. And I have realized that God created me this way. God created me to questions the things we know. God sent me to strengthen other people’s faith.

The thought of Jesus gives me a comfortable feeling. It’s that feeling that you get on Sundays, during church and after, of pure comfort and bliss. When you say your bedtime prayers and go to sleep with your heart feeling full. It’s clarity, understanding, and knowing that we are all God’s children and we have been saved. It is loving one another. Because God is love. You feel it every day.

Jesus, for everyone, is our savior. He is almighty, and he has saved us of the consequences of sin, in exchange for our love and confession, a small price to pay. But when we think of Jesus as our savior, we shouldn’t just think of him dying on the cross, but what he does for us every day. We and our loved ones have been saved so many times by our Lord.

I remember when I was about four, one morning I had left a stool by the kitchen counter from getting a cup from a cabinet (or something like that) and completely forgot about it. About fifteen minutes later, I heard a loud scream come from the kitchen and saw my mom rush to get my little brother. He had climbed up the stool, crawled onto the counter, and poured scalding hot coffee all up his arm. Now, it certainly wasn’t a life or death situation, but his burns were so severe and he cried so loud that you would think it was.

Thinking about it now, it could’ve been worse. Ethan could’ve fallen, hit his head, and landed in a burning coffee puddle. I thank the Lord it wasn’t that bad. No matter how much we fight, I don’t want the kid dead. I really am blessed to have the healthy family I do. I am reminded of this verse from 1 John 4:8; “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

Blessings and gifts from God are always to be cherished and appreciated. I have food on my table, a roof over my head, clothes to wear, and a huge family that loves me just the way God created me. I live in a first-world country, I have free schooling, and there are options for me and my life everywhere I turn. I guess you could say I’ve won the lottery out of all the other circumstances I could’ve been born in. I have nobody but God to thank for that. I’m not the dumbest kid in the world, and I have a few tricks and talents up my sleeve. All of that is God’s work too. My life is defined by Jesus in every which way.

God has always been there. Sometimes he feels closer or further away, but he’s there. But a time when God really truly felt as close as ever was when my little sister, Ava was born. I was 10 years old, and my Nana and aunts were in Arizona to be there when she was born. June 9, 2013, we were all waiting in the hospital for what felt like an eternity (which was really a few hours). Everybody was excited for Ava to arrive, and we all hoped and prayed that she and Mom would be okay during and after the surgery. It wasn’t until during the birth that my dad came into the waiting room in scrubs, looking like a nervous wreck, that I heard her status. He told us that they physically couldn’t get Ava out of Mom. He ran back into her room, and I still didn’t know what was happening. My Nana got a text from Dad that it was scary. Ava wasn’t breathing.

We prayed and cried, hoping, knowing that they would make it out okay, and by only the Lord himself, they did. Ava is the most energetic, sassy, healthy little girl I have ever met. I found out later that the doctors had to push on Mom’s ribs to get Ava out, and that a nurse told her that they would rather break her ribs than not succeed in the birth. Since she wasn’t breathing, they had to hook her up to a machine that breathed for her, and only then could Mom hold her.

I couldn’t be more grateful of my family, my faith, my Church, and my God. It is by His power that we can all be here today and hear stories like these, of love and trust in Jesus. There is no power that is greater than Him.

FAITH STORY OF MILES WILLIAMS

My faith story began when I was born on June 1st, 2004. I was baptized as an infant on July 11, 2004. At the time of my baptism, my parents vowed to practice their faith and provide me with a Lutheran upbringing as a child of God. I continued my faith and learned about Jesus by going to Sunday School and church. My confirmation will help me to further grow in my faith, as I renew the promises that my parents made for me at my baptism. I will be filled with the Holy Spirit through communion. I believe that Jesus, the only son of God, lived a perfect life and was crucified and died on the cross.

He took this punishment for our sins. Jesus said, “If you hold my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32.

I believe as long as you in grace and faith in Jesus and follow Scripture and what he says then you will be forgiven of sin. Sometimes it's hard to obey the Bible. No one is perfect. Whenever I sin, I pray and ask God for forgiveness. The Bible says everyone needs forgiveness from God because everyone commits sins. Ecclesiastes 7:20 states “There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins.” Forgiveness of your sins is available by putting your faith in Jesus Christ. Thankfully, God is merciful and will forgive our sins. I know that wherever I go that I am never alone, God made a promise to always be with me. God said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” Hebrew 13:5.

One example of this is when I had an accident at school and hurt my head while playing football. I prayed to God and had faith that I would get through this, even though it hurt a lot. I didn't feel alone or afraid, because I knew that God was with me and I had faith that I would be alright. God was with me when I got fifteen stitches and helped me be calm and heal. By living in faith and trusting in God, I have confidence that he will take care of me. I also know that whenever I have a tough situation that God will guide me to make the right decisions.

The Lord says, “ I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” Psalm 32:8. I thank God for all that he has done for me. John 1:3 “All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made.” This means that everything that was created by God exists to show the true greatness of God. The Apostles' Creed is a confession of faith. The first line says, “ I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth.” To me, this means that God has made me and everything. He made everything that exists in time, space, and matter. He created the entire universe and everything in it. He is always with me and provides me with all I need. He protects me and he does this for me asking nothing, but to thank him, praise him, serve him, and obey him.

 

  

FAITH STORY OF DMITRI BENDER

I was born with a special gift from God. I think that the gift that I was given by God is the ability to spread his love and joy. When I was a baby, people said that when I smiled it lit up the room. When I was baptized, the Old Adam in me was washed away, which allowed me to spread his love more easily. Once, when we lived in San Diego, a homeless guy came into our church for the service. During the Children’s Message, the pastor asked the children to sing a song during it. The congregation was supposed to sing along, and the man, who was in the front row, was not singing. I went up to him and asked him to sing the song with me.

          In my life there have been many incidents where I find the people who are alone and sad, and I show them love and kindness. When I do this, I am showing God’s love and compassion to them. God does not like people to be alone. In the Bible it says that God did not like Adam being alone, so he made him a helper, Eve.

          In Maryland there was a boy named Ian who was kind of unstable. He was always nervous, and his hands never stopped moving. He had a lot of trouble staying calm in class. When I became friends with him, he was always calmer when I was calm or happy. I was his cheetah-dog.  There are some dogs that stay with cheetahs and help them keep calm in the zoo. When my teacher noticed this, she always paired me up with him on field trips and class work. If he got too nervous or unfocused, then I would teach him some origami to keep his hands busy and relax him.

          Also when we lived in Maryland, there were a lot of people who did not have friends. I decide to start a club called the Friendship Club. Now in this school, they did not allow “clubs”. I told them about this one. And they agreed to aow me to hold it during recess. It was held under the playground slide, and anybody who did not have anybody to play with can come and play a game with us.

          In Georgia, there was a boy who always bullied people, and I thought that he might be bullying people because he is sad and alone and mad at the world. I decided that I was going to be his friend even if that meant other people did not want to be my friend. As I was being nice to him, little by little, he started to ease off of the bullying and he started to be nicer.  In the Bible it says “Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10”. This means that I should not be worried, even if I only have one friend and that He will look out for me.

Even though I was being friends with a bully, my true friends stuck with me even as others backed away.

          This all means to me that God has sent me on a mission to spread his love to other people who might not even be believers, and to work Him into their hearts. I think that He wants me to spread his word into the lonely and sad people of the world. He gave me this gift so that I can see all people as people instead of what they are on the outside. God’s use of me has assured me of the use of others in the future to take care of me by allowing me to make better friends who will stick to my side. Christ died on the cross to save all people not just believers, and he wants us to forgive those who hurt us. In the Bible it says “But I tell you who hear me: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Luke 6:27-28”. Even though God gave me a good gift and he tells me to forgive my enemies, I fail at it sometimes. Sometimes, I excluded a person from a game because I did not want to play with them or I was mean back to a bully. God wants us to be forgiving to the bully and put away annoyance to be nice to that annoying kid that bothers you.

  

Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, LCMS

 By grace… Chosen in Christ and Gifted to Serve

Web: www.orlcaugusta.com                    Facebook: Like our page

402 Aumond Road                       Email: Info@orlcaugusta.com

Augusta, GA 30909                      Tele: (706) 733-6076

CONTACT ORLC STAFF

Pastor:  Roger.Schwartz@orlcaugusta.com

Parish Administrator/Office: Sheri.Agee@orlcaugusta.com

Music Director/Organist: Paul.Roberts@orlcaugusta.com

Prayer Chain: Karen.Bowers@orlcaugusta.com