No. 12-2003 DECEMBER Santee, CA
The Monthly Newsletter of:
Carlton Hills Evangelical Lutheran Church
9735 Halberns Blvd., Santee, CA 92071
Voice/Fax: (619) 448-1888
Carlton Hills Evangelical Lutheran Church Council and Staff
Pr. Molly Knutson-Keller
SDSU Lutheran Campus Pastor
Principal, Day School
Prayer Chain, 334-6457
Julie & Terry Borchard
Pastor Mark Neuhaus passed away on November 25, 2003
Note: The news of Pastor Mark’s passing arrived just as the newsletter was to be sent to the printer. All article’s were written prior to this heartbreaking event.
From the President:
It is the season of Advent. We are waiting. But we are waiting for two different reasons. One of the events we anticipate is heart-breaking. The other is heart-mending. As I write this, we have been told our beloved Pastor will be called home to his Lord soon. He has completed his walk of faith and has heard the words “Well done, good and faithful servant.” We are bewildered. We are sorrowful. We are aching. We are encouraged to groan and cry out. The Holy Spirit groans with us. Out Father in heaven hears us. Our Savior intercedes for us. The Psalms are full of a faithful servant’s agonies:
Psalm 6: 1- 6
1 O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your anger, nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure.
2 Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled.
3 My soul also is greatly troubled; but You, O Lord – how long?
4 Return, O Lord, deliver me! Oh save me for Your mercies’ sake!
5 For in death there is no remembrance of You; in the grave who will give You thanks?
6 I am weary with my groaning; all night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears.
We are called to comfort each other. God gave us Pastor Mark for a while. He has given us each other to continue the work Pastor did. We are the people of God. We are to love one another and help one another and shelter one another. Let us be about our work.
And we are waiting for another, heart-mending event. We are to spend the season of Advent in anticipation of the birth of our Savior. We read about John the Baptist as he preached:
As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying,
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough ways smooth;
And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”
Our hearts are somber but they contain a golden seed of hope. We know that our Redeemer lives. We look to the birth of our salvation. There is an indestructible core of faith and love in us. It was placed there by our Father in heaven and secured by our Lord, Jesus Christ.
President, CHLC Council
Why Do I Need, or Want to Be a Stephen Minister?
Since writing last month’s article on Stephen Ministry I have given considerable thought to the question I raised, “Why do we do it?” I have found answers to that question in some surprising ways. Answers that satisfied me, and I hope, will satisfy you.
1. Yes, being a Stephen Minister is work. And it’s fun, educational, spiritual, spirit lifting, soul gratifying, and did I mention rewarding? Friendships have been forged in steel, tested and passed. Friendships that will endure. We all have that need.
2. All that work and no paycheck? Well, there is that. Remember what I said about it being a gift, freely given? Guess that means no taxes to pay, or deductions either. Not too shabby. A gift, freely given. We all want gifts.
3. So we pay our own way. Shouldn’t everyone? Don’t we all pay at one time or another? Jesus paid for each of us on that cross. Ouch! What we pay doesn’t cost or hurt anywhere what He paid. We all benefit, no exceptions.
4. Confidentiality! Which one of us doesn’t need to unload and know it isn’t being banted about? Who doesn’t have the need to talk, cry, ramble, or complain at sometime, and know you are not being judged? Just being accepted and loved. We all need acceptance and love. Confidentiality is good!
5. Cookies. Yep, we provide refreshments the first Sunday of the month. No pats on the back there. Nancy and Janice, among others, see to it that there are things to eat and drink every Sunday of every month all year long. Guess a long overdue thank you should be given to them by everyone. We all need to help out there.
6. Stephen Minister of the day. Hmmmmm. Had to think on that one for a minute, then I did some remembering. We’ve shaken hands and become acquainted with people we didn’t know before. We’ve been asked to pray with someone, to listen to a problem, to direct someone to another entity of the church. We all need to be a minister on Sunday.
7. We train. If we don’t learn, we stagnate. Not just in Stephen Ministry, but in everyday life. God gave us brains for a reason; He wants us to use them. Study, grow, change, and learn. We are going to age every day whether we do those things or not. We all have the need and desire to learn.
8. Ok, we are understaffed, and under-used. I don’t know why. That is for you to figure out. I do know we are here when you are in need of us, or if you want to join us. We need you!
9. So we commit for two years. Big deal. Council members commit for two years. Most are re-elected. Our Stephen Ministers range from four years to fourteen years in service. We may take a breather once in a while, and then we come right back for more. Care Receiver’s may need a Stephen Minister just one time, or for several years. We’re here, and we want to help.
10. Why do we do it? Because we care. Pure and simple. We aren’t heroes, we aren’t special, and we aren’t magicians. We are just everyday people who love and care, who are trained to listen, and want to be there when there is a need. We need you. We pray you will call on us when you have a need, or would like to become a Stephen Minister.
Tuesday Morning Fellowship
December's Tuesday morning fellowship has been X'd off the calendar of events for the month of December. "Why?", you may ask? Well, folks, Christmas is but a month away! A month! There is positively, absolutely too many other important things THAT MUST BE DONE each and every day until then. No time for sitting around with your friends of a morning, drinking coffeee, eating a bagel, laughing, talking, just having a good ol' time. Nope. Christmas is coming. So, let's make the most of each day. Celebrate. Sing carols. Turn on the lights. Rejoice. Worship Him. Christmas comes just once each year. Enjoy it. January will come, and we will gather together again. Have a most Blessed Christmas, remember how loved we all are, and share that joy!
God, I called tonight
To talk a little while
I need a friend who'll listen
To my anxiety and trial.
You see, I can't quite make it
Through a day just on my own...
I need your love to guide me,
So I'll never feel alone.
I want to ask you please to keep,
My family safe and sound.
Come and fill their lives with confidence
For whatever fate they're bound.
Give me faith, dear God, to face
Each hour throughout the day,
And not to worry over things
I can't change in any way.
I thank you God, for being home
And listening to my call,
For giving me such good advice
When I stumble and fall.
Your number, God, is the only one
That answers every time.
I never get a busy signal,
Never had to pay a dime.
So thank you, God, for listening
To my troubles and my sorrow.
Good night, God, I love You, too,
And I'll call again tomorrow!
Spotlight on Hymns
“Joy to the World” LBW #39
Music adapted from George F. Handel, 1685-1759
By Lowell Mason, 1792-1872
But the angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” (Luke 2:10)
Although we feel especially joyless now and are experiencing a great loss at this particular moment in the life of our congregation, we must remember that the joy we celebrate at this time of year is born in the yearning for deliverance from the evils of the world, a sense of being “between times”, and the hope, however faint at times, that God, however distant He sometimes seems to be, will bring salvation to the world in the coming Messiah.
As one of the most joyous of Christmas hymns, this carol omits references to shepherds, angelic choruses, and wise men. It emphasizes instead the reverent but ecstatic joy that Christ’s birth brought to humanity. For centuries hearts had yearned for God to reveal Himself personally. At last it happened “as the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”
“Joy to the World” is a paraphrase of the last part of Psalm 98. Although it was originally a song of rejoicing for Jehovah’s protection of His chosen people and the anticipation of the time when He would be God of the whole earth, this psalm was intended by Watts to be a New Testament expression of praise. It exalts the salvation that began when God became incarnate as the Babe of Bethlehem who was destined to remove the curse of Adam’s fall. The text originally was titled “The Messiah’s Coming and Kingdom” when it appeared in a hymnal of 1719 by Isaac Watts. The music for this popular carol is though to have been adapted by Lowell Mason from some of the phrases used in parts of George Frederick Handel’s oratorio, The Messiah, first performed in 1742.
“Joy to the World” will be our last Advent hymn for the December 21 service.
“Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room!”
Resource: Osbeck, Kenneth W., Amazing Grace, Kregel ,1990
Last month four of us began a study of the book Reclaiming the “L” Word: Renewing the Church from its Lutheran Core by Kelly Fryer, who is the pastor of Cross of Glory Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Lockport, Illinois. Pastor Fryer has such a winsome way of articulating the connection between mission and the Lutheran Theological tradition. She believes that there appears to be some confusion over what is essential to our understanding of what it means to be Christians who happen to also be Lutherans…and what is not essential. If our congregations are struggling, it is most likely because we are struggling with this issue. We’re not entirely sure of who we are. Vibrant & growing churches have this in common: They have a clear sense of vision, and they are open to change.
Cross of Glory Lutheran Church was a struggling congregation in 1992 and today worship attendance has grown 500%. Their church council decided to put some energy into clarifying who and what they were as a congregation. They came up with a set of core values, which they call the Five Guiding Principles:
1. Jesus Is Lord
2. Everyone Is Welcome
3. Love Changes People
4. Everybody Has Something to Offer
5. The World Needs What We Have
Copyright ăKelly A. Fryer and Cross of Glory Lutheran Church
Even if you have not been able to attend the group study on Tuesday nights, this 94-page book is very much worth your time to read. AND there are still 3 copies at $9.00 each available in the church office. See Leslie Atkins if you’re interested.
The Meaning of Colors in the Church Year
Since Advent begins liturgical year, this is a good time to explore the meaning of the colors we use each Sunday. In the Christian tradition colors are used for vestments and paraments, but a standard system of colors developed only gradually and haphazardly up through the Middle Ages. Today, ELCA congregations use the same system of colors that is also used by Roman and Anglican churches in the United States and by many churches around the world.
The colors serve to adorn the worship space, and to call attention to the nature of the season or festival being celebrated. A brief summary of their usage, according to the church year, follows. In our congregation, we have substituted gold for white with the choir wearing their gold stoles against their off-white robes.
Advent: Blue is used for its references to hope. It originated in Scandinavia, probably because purple dye was too expensive for churches to use. The alternate color for Advent is purple, the royal color of the coming King (note that this is a different meaning than when it is used in Lent; see below).
Christmas: White is used, as a reference to the purity of the newborn Christ, and to our light and joy in him.
Epiphany of Our Lord: White (see Christmas).
Baptism of Our Lord: White (see Christmas).
Sundays after the Epiphany: Green is used for its symbolism of our growth in Christ. Green, in a sense, is a "neutral color," used when more festive or more somber color is not indicated.
Transfiguration of Our Lord: White (see Christmas).
Ash Wednesday: Black is the preferred color, since it is the color of the ashes to which we will all return. Purple is the alternate color for this first day of Lent.
Lent: Purple is indicated, as the stark color of repentance and solemnity.
Sunday of the Passion: Scarlet is the preferred color of this first day of Holy Week, as it suggests the deep color of blood. (Scarlet is to be distinguished from the brighter color of red, which is appointed for the Day of Pentecost, martyrs’ days, and certain church celebrations). If a parish does not have scarlet vestments, purple may be used.
Days of Holy Week: Scarlet or purple may be used for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of Holy Week.
Maundy Thursday: For this fourth day of Holy Week, celebrated as the institution of the Lord’s Supper, scarlet or white is used.
Good Friday: No vestments or paraments are used on this day, after the stripping of the altar on Maundy Thursday night.
Vigil of Easter: White as the color of joy in the Resurrection is used on this night.
Easter Day: On this day of the church year, gold may be used. White is the alternate, perhaps with gold running through it. The gold color indicates that this day is the "queen of feasts," unique in the entire church year.
Sundays of Easter: White (see Vigil of Easter).
Day of Pentecost: Red as the color of fire is used on this day when we remember the tongues of fire descended on the crowd in Jerusalem. In contrast to the color of scarlet, Pentecost’s red is a bright color.
The Holy Trinity: White is appointed, the expression of joy in the mystery of the Triune God.
Other Sundays after Pentecost: Green is used, to indicate our growth in faith as we follow the teachings and ministry of Christ.
Christ the King: The final day of the church year uses white, a festive color of light, joy, and the celebration of our Lord.
Lesser festivals and commemorations are white, unless a martyr is celebrated, in which case bright red is used.
Copyright © 2003 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Healthy Share Food Distribution
Healthy Share is a nondenominational, nonprofit food distribution program that is committed to building healthy families by providing affordable groceries. It is open to everyone! There is no income or age qualification!
The prepaid, prepackaged groceries are first quality food with no donations or government surplus. No merchandise is outdated. The packages have a retail value of up to three times cost. You order and pay for it in advance and pick it up on the next distribution day.
Information is available on the bulletin board of the Acts Center
Council meeting highlights held on Monday, November 17th.
We were updated on Pastor Mark's condition and we said a prayer for his quick recovery.
A letter was read from Pastor Frank, indicating he was going to miss several weeks in December due to his son's illness in Sweden. He should be back to us in January.
Consecration Sunday will be held November 23rd, with members filling out pledge cards and time/talent sheets. This will be held immediately after service, with a pot luck brunch to be held following the meeting. Attendees are asked to bring a dish for the pot luck.
Beginning in January, council meetings will be held on the third Wednesday of the month instead of the third Monday.
The proposed budget was discussed and this will be brought before the congregation at the Budget and Election Meeting to be held on Sunday, December 7th after service.
Due to our current situation, we have been offered a Christmas concert by the choir of Friends Church of Santee. Their pastor, Pastor Dennis Martins, has called and wishes to assist us in the holiday season. Council was very open to his offer and we also decided to sing Christmas carols after the concert, then have refreshments. The tentative date scheduled is Sunday, December 14th at 2 p.m. Look for definite information soon.
Next meeting Monday, December 15th at 6:30 p.m.
The ladies are busily making their craft items for the Christmas Bazaar to be held on Sunday, December 7th & December 14th after church service. We will meet at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 6th to organize and price the items for the bazaar.
We are sponsoring the Santee Food Bank for donations for non-perishable food items and cash for purchases of other foods.
Our Christmas tea will be held on Thursday, December 11th at 3 p.m. at Cobblestone Cottage in Alpine. Any ladies are welcome, please see Marie Freeman, Charlotte Arthurton or Deanna Sampson and prepay $12.95 by December 1st.
Nominations were held for our 2004 officers. Nominated were Marie Freeman, President; Charlotte Arthurton, Vice-President; Grace Otto, Treasurer and De Ryder and Deanna Sampson will share the position of Secretary.
We will assist in the brunch on Sunday, November 23rd for Consecration Sunday.
Family Advent Wreath night will be held on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Dorcas will furnish all the supplies and also the prayers to be recited when lighting the advent candles.
Our next meeting will be held Wednesday, December 3rd.
FAMILY ADVENT WREATH NIGHT
The second annual Family Advent Wreath Night was held on Wednesday night, the 19th of November. Approximately 35 people attended and we made family advent wreaths for use at home. Charlotte Arthurton assisted us with the directions in making our wreaths. Sue Lisowsky gave us the history of the advent wreath, and distributed the prayers to be read when lighting each candle. Cookies and milk were available, and we all had a good time.
OUR SYMPATHY TO: Michael & Robin Judd. Michael’s father, Lyle recently passed away.
v SR. FELLOWSHIP meets at Orange Blossom Restaurant on Navajo in La Mesa at 11;30 a.m., Tuesday, December 9th. Join in for some good food and wonderful fellowship. For more information call either Grace Otto, 448-9347 or Nancy Funick, 561-7823.
+++REMEMBER IN PRAYER those who are affected by anxiety, depression, guilt, grief, loneliness, poverty, illness and in need of God’s healing and loving touch:
Friends: Arnold, Glen, Kathy, Patty, Fred, Marsha, Helen
Members: Crystal & Rod Boisvert, Arlean Lane, Laura Kramer, Norie Feltner, Ralph Beyer, Joseph & Gertrude Geiler, Gunda Richardson, Grace Otto, Judy Johnston, Ed & Marge Whitehead, Elsie Erion., Linda Tomsick, Cole & Marie Freeman, Betty Keehn, Charlotte Kimbrough, Marty Freer, Arnold Flurry, Pastor Mark & Jan Neuhaus.
NOTE: We currently have two prayer chains that can be easily activated by calling Mary Thomas, Prayer Chain Coordinator, 334-6457(note this is her new number).
Acolyte: 7/ Brian Meyers 14/ Ericka Davis 21/ Louie Quintanilla 25/ TBA 28/ Anna Bloemen
Assist. Minister: Leslie Atkins
Coffee Fellowship: 7/ Stephen Ministers 14/ 21/ 28/ Nancy Funick, Laura Vaughan, Janice Davis et. al.
Communion Assist.: 7/ Lyn & Charlotte Arthurton 14/ Laura Vaughan & Jim Thomas 21/ 25/ 28/ Marcy & Kathryn Metz
Communion Care: Susan Lisowsky
Edgemoor Hospital Worship: (4th Sunday of ea. mo.) Jim Thomas
Greeters: 7/ 14/ Tom & Susan Ellison 21/ 25/ 28/ Ed Teichner & Jim Thomas
Lector: 7/ 14/ Marie Freeman 21/ 25/ 28/ Molly Lisowsky
Sound: 7/ Randy Catron 14/ Neil Johnson 21/ Tom Davidson 28/ Randy Catron
Stephen Minister of the Day: 2/ Bill Blue 9/ Carol Davidson 16/ Ellie Timan 23/ Ed Teichner 30/ TBA
Ushers: Darrel, Bethany and Ellie Timan, Bob Metz, Gloria & Tommy Wiley
OUR SYMPATHY TO: Ralph and Lorraine Beyer. Lorraine’s father Ferd passed away Oct. 29th at the age of 103 years.
The Beyers would like to take this time to thank everyone for the thoughts, prayers and cards.
Note: If anyone that has a digital camera has any pictures that we might be able to use in the newsletter please email them to the office (chlc@CarltonHillsLutheran.org). Thanks.
02/ THERESA CRAIG
03/ ROY MONROE
04/ ROYCE PRIVETT
08/ SUSAN ELLISON
09/ DAVID HUBER
12/ JAMES MACHES
14/ ARIANA QUINTANILLA
19/ MAY HUSTAD
20/ FRED BORGESON
23/ GUNDA RICHARDSON
26/ MARK NEUHAUS
27/ KOURTNEE HENSON
04/ STEVEN & ARLEAN LANE
06/ THOMAS & KIMBERLY INSEL
14/ RONALD & CAROLE DIXON
18/ MICHAEL & ROBIN JUDD
19/ JEFFREY & MARY HELEN ARNDT
20/ JIM & MARILYN THOMAS
RONALD & JACQUALINE TONINI
Texts for the Sundays in December:
Dec 7th 2nd Sunday in Advent
Mal 3:1-4, Phil 1:3-11, Luke 3:1-6
Dec 14th 3rd Sunday in Advent
Zeph 3:14-20, Phil 4:4-7, Luke 3:7-18
Dec 21st 4th Sunday in Advent
Micah 5:2-5a, Heb 10:5-10, Luke 1:39-45
Dec 24th Christmas Eve
Isa 9:2-7, Titus 2:11-14, Luke 2:1-14
Dec 28th Holy Innocents, Martyrs
Jer 31:15-17, 1 Pet 4:12-19, Matt 2:13-18
From USS ABSD #1, Inc.,
Submitted by Dick Maxa
This is worth remembering, because it is true. It’s familiar territory, but… Those of you that graduated from school after the early 60’s were probably never taught this. Our courts have seen to that!
Did you know that 52 of 55 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were orthodox, deeply committed, Christians? The other three all believed in the Bible as the divine truth, the God of scripture, and His personal intervention. It is the same Congress that formed the American Bible Society, immediately after creating the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress voted to purchase and import 20,000 copies of Scripture for the people of this nation.
Patrick Henry, who is called the firebrand of the American Revolution, is still remembered for his words, “Give me liberty or give me death;” but in current textbooks, the context of these words is omitted. Here is what he actually said: ”An appeal to arms and the God of hosts is all that is left us. But we shall not fight our battle alone. There is a just God that presides over the destinies of nations. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone. Is life so dear of peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it Almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”
Consider these words that Thomas Jefferson wrote in the front of his well-worn Bible: “I am a real Christian, that is to say a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our creator.” He was also the chairman of the American Bible Society, which he considered his highest and most important role.
On July 4, 1821, President Adams said, “ This highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.”
Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President of the United States reaffirmed this truth when he wrote, “The foundation of our society and our government rest so much on the teaching of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country.”
In 1782, the United States Congress voted this resolution: “The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools.”
William Holmes McGuffey I the author of the McGuffey Reader, which was used for over 100 years in our public schools with over 125 million copies sold until it was stopped in 1963. President Lincoln called him the “Schoolmaster of the Nation.” Listen to these words of Mr. McGuffey: “The Christian religion is the religion of our country. From it are derived our nation, on the character of God, on the great moral Governor of the universe. On its doctrines are founded the peculiarities of our free institutions. From no source has the author drawn more conspicuously than from the sacred Scriptures. From all these extracts from the Bible, I make no apology.”
Of the first 108 universities found in America, 106 were distinctly Christian, including the first, Harvard University, chartered in 1636, in the original Harvard Student Handbook, rule number one was that students seeking entrance must know Latin and Greek so that they could study the Scriptures: “Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies, is, to know God and Jesus Christ as the only foundation for our children to follow the moral principles of the Ten Commandments.”
James Madison, the primary author of the Constitution of the United States, said this” “We have staked the whole future of all our political constitutions upon the capacity of each of ourselves to govern ourselves according to the moral principles of the Ten Commandments.”
Today, we are asking God to bless America. But, how can He bless a nation that has departed so far from Him? Prior to September 11, He was not welcome in America. Most of what you read in this article has been erased from our textbooks. Revisionists have rewritten history to remove the truth about our country’s Christian roots.
You are encouraged to share with others, so that the truth of our nation’s history will be told.
John 3:16, For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life!
These sentences have been erased from our textbooks. Was Patrick Henry a Christian? The following year, 1776, he wrote this: “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great Nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here.”
This information shared is only a drop of cement to help secure a foundation that is crumbling daily in a losing war that most of the country doesn’t even know is raging on, in, and around them.
Please do your bit and share this with as many as possible and make the ill-informed aware of what they once had.
“If each of us can be helped by science to live a hundred years, what will it profit us if our hates and fears, our loneliness and remorse, will not permit us to enjoy them? What use is an extra year or two to the man who ‘kills’ what time he has?”
These are certain truths that are true no matter how much we may deny them. In the economic realm, for instance, you cannot legislate the poor into independence by legislating the wealthy out of it. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. Government cannot give to people what it does not first take away from people. And that which one man receives without working for, another man must work for without receiving.
Christmas is more than a day at the end of the year.
More than a day of joy and cheer.
Christmas is really God’s pattern for living to be followed each day by unselfish giving.
Then Peace on Earth will come to stay when we live Christmas every day.