Stephen Ministry is the one-to-one lay caring ministry that takes place in congregations that use the Stephen Series system.
Stephen Ministry congregations equip and empower lay caregivers—called Stephen Ministers—to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting.
At Immanuel Lutheran, lot of progress has been made in training our lay caregivers. By the end of September, the team will be ready to be matched with care receivers. That’s where you come in. Who do you know that could benefit from the care a Stephen Minister can provide? Contact Pastor Linda or Charla.
A note form Arnie regarding garden work party….
The official Garden Work Party scheduled for Saturday at 10:00 is cancelled. It's fair week, we have our grandson for a couple of days and the weed situation looks pretty good. If you need something to do then go for it. Or maybe wander by next week and pull some.
Though the corn is only knee high there is corn developing. So perhaps I bought a mini variety??? Potatoes, beans and tomatoes look good.
Kids Kloset Needs Your Help
Come to the church on Tuesday August 27th at 11:00 AM to sort the freshly laundered coats into sizes. Please meet upstairs and with many hands we can get the project completd quickly.
Season of Listening
In August, we will begin a “Season of Listening.” The Redevelopment team wants to talk with each of you. The goal is to get your prospective on the future of our church. We all know change is coming. However, we want to know what you think are the essential, the core values that can never change. Starting with a review of our Purpose Statement and Guiding Principles…
GATHER as one in Christ
GROW in Grace
GIVE of ourselves to God’s Mission
Rooted in Prayer
Led by the Spirit
Responding to Needs
…we are seeking your wisdom with one critical question.
“Moving forward, what do we need to retain in order to fulfill our purpose as Immanuel Lutheran?”
We’ve already spoke with many of you, but we still have over half the congregation to go and we only have two more weeks. Make your voice count. Speak up!!! Track down any one of us… Arnie, Kevin, Yvonne, Gwen, Claudia, Scott.
HIGHLIGHTS from August newsletter
Claudia’s Holden Village Experience
Last week I enjoyed a family trip to Holden Village in the mountains of central Washington. If you’ve never been there, you should go! Holden Village is a Lutheran retreat center, staffed by year-round residents who live in community. Getting there takes car travel, boating 2 hours up Lake Chelan, and finally 10 miles of gravel road on an old school bus. It’s very remote--no cell service, no TV, no road access--just the beauty of the mountains, hiking trails, wholesome food, time to focus on renewal, and lots of good company. As a guest, you are privileged to join the community for a short time. During the summer months, visiting faculty provide classes and a great deal of intellectual stimulation. The week we visited was “interfaith week”, and classes were provided by a Jewish rabbi, a Muslim imam, and several Christian pastors, all leaders of the Abrahamic religions.
There was much to enjoy and think about, but I was particularly struck by comments from the current directors, Chuck and Peg Hoffman. They have managed the village for nearly 5 years, and have focused on the question “Who is Holden for?” Their answer, after much prayerful consideration continues to be “Holden is for those who are yet to come.” This provides the basis for all their management decisions. In their remarks to the new arrivals, they emphasized that not only had God been preparing a visit for us there, but the Holden staff had been preparing for our arrival for a very long time. Wow--how welcoming did that feel! As we settled in, we could see that philosophy in action--previous guests had prepared our rooms (as we would prepare them again before we left), dietary limitations were provided for in the dining hall, and each day residents went out to wave at and welcome arriving guests. Beyond that, facilities and programmatic management decisions are guided by that sensibility.
This got me to thinking--“Who is Immanuel for?” It seems our actions often imply that Immanuel is for its current members. What worship style and music do WE like? What programs would best meet OUR needs? What new directions would draw people in who are most like US? But if we consider that maybe, just MAYBE, Immanuel is actually for those who are yet to walk through our door, our focus might change. How can we show that same sense of hospitality, welcome, and acceptance that says, “We, in partnership with God, have been preparing for YOUR arrival for a long time!” How would that shift influence our goals, our dreams, and even our thoughts about ourselves? Perhaps we’re not here to primarily serve ourselves, but to prayerfully and thoughtfully prepare to serve “the other” who is yet to come. And if we do adopt that concept, who knows what might happen!
Pastor Linda’s August Letter
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:18
Time is flying by so quickly. As I write this, stores are busy advertising all the “back to school” items that children will soon need. Summer just got here, but it is already waning. And even harder to believe, I’ve already been with you for three + years, having completed the initial call that we entered into. While you have extended my contract through the end of January next year, I think this is a very good time to evaluate where we have come in our ReDevelopment process and where we are going.
In order to do this effectively, we need to hear from you. During the month of August, we will enter into what we will call a “Season of Listening.” The ReDevelopment Team will be asking you, members and friends, for a one on one conversation. In these conversations, you will be asked some specific questions that will serve to help leadership determine what some of the next steps need to be in our process. It is vitally important that we hear from each of you. Without your voice, we will not have an accurate or complete picture. Please take a few minutes of your time on one of the Sundays in August and sit down with a ReDevelopment team member for a chat. Your responses will be gathered together and then presented back to the congregation.
While we have a cherished history as a congregation, we have to look toward the future. We all have things that make Immanuel special to us. We need to sort out what is essential and what is optional to be faithful to our mission. One question that will be asked of you that probably warrants some thought in advance is, “Moving forward, what do we need to retain in order to fulfill our purpose as Immanuel Lutheran?”
Some of you may be wondering, “Aren’t we done with ReDevelopment yet?” In reality, this process of transformation needs to be part of our life together at all times. Our culture has and continues to change radically, and the needs of the community are not what they once were. How can we be most effective in bringing the good news of God’s love to those coming after us?
One of the most important aspects in this whole process is our own spiritual growth and allowing God to transform us. It’s not about some fancy new program that will have new people coming through the doors in droves. We’re not looking for a silver bullet that will solve all our concerns. Rather, it is about us diving deeper in prayer and study and letting God renew us. Then through these spiritual disciplines, becoming who we need to be to communicate God’s message of hope and love with this newer generation.
“Now to Christ who by the power at work within us, is able to accomplish abundantlyfar more than all we can ask or imagine.” Ephesians 3:20
August will be a month of comings and goings for many of us. Pastor Linda will be attending the Churchwide Assembly in Milwaukee the first part of the month, so Revs. Linda Smith and June Johnson will be leading worship a few Sundays. The lectionary texts will include a few more weeks in the book of Hebrews, followed by texts focused on aspects of the Apostles Creed.
On September 1st, there will be a shortened service in preparation for Immanuel to participate in the annual ELCA “God’s Work. Our Hands.” event. (Please see the outreach page for more on this.) The worship service will feature a hymn sing and other special music.
Starting on September 8th, we will begin year 2 of the narrative lectionary. We will start in the Garden of Eden and weave our way through Old Testament stories until Advent. From Advent until May, we will walk through the life of Jesus using the gospel of Mark as our reference.
If you are interested, copies of a listing of the entire year’s scripture readings will be available for you to pick up by the beginning of September.
Communication Team Update
The past few months have been relatively quiet for your communication team. Travel, weddings, and other activities have taken their toll.
However, it hasn’t been all quiet on the Immanuel front. We’re living in a digital world. To be relevant we at Immanuel have to get aboard that train. To that end our presence on the internet is important. So, our web-site is regularly updated with the adjustment made to our weekly schedule. Also, the Current Events section is changing weakly with news about Immanuel happenings of note. Go to the web-site and see for yourself.
One way to get there is to Google: GodWithUs.Today (type exactly as shown)
Do that and our web-site pops up. Pretty cool huh?
Or the more traditional method…. https://ilccentralia.org/
Additionally, check out your YouTube channel. It’s simple. On the internet, go to YouTube.com
Once there, type into the search bar: Immanuel Lutheran Church Centralia WA. That is the name of your YouTube channel by the way.
We currently have 5 videos posted and soon will add a new “Meet a Congregant” video. I’m not telling you who it is. You have to either go to the website or the YouTube channel to find out.
Facebook is another internet-based method of communication to our members and also the community around us. We’re grateful that our place on Facebook is kept up to date.
Going forward we are developing plans to “get the word out” with an immediate focus on the local neighborhood around us, but also looking to extend to all of Centralia and the surrounding communities. As we solidify our plans for events between now and the end of the year, we’ll be bringing that news to you, our congregation, but also to the Centralia community.
On another note…
Sing For JOY!!!
Lewis County Community Hymn Sing
Sunday, September 8th
6:00 – 7:00 pm
Harrison Square Presbyterian Church
1227 Harrison Ave.
Join us for an evening of singing some of the great hymns of the faith. This non-denominational gathering will open the hymn book and invite everyone to sing some of their favorites. Open to all.
David Judd, Song Leader
Sharon Miracle, Piano