Thursday, July 25, 2013

Getting Ready! Confirmation and Junior High Activities

First Class and Parent Meeting - August 20th. 6 p.m.

Fifth through eighth graders SIGN UP for confirmation class.

This year's confirmation class will once again be a team effort. Mrs. Rezabeck, Mr. Clark, Mr. Weber, and Pastor Sell will work closely together to develop a strong confirmation and junior high youth program. We will integrate a bunch of good times with learning the Christian faith. Parents, you can sign up your children online.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Up Up and Away - What is Ascension?

I'm showing my age - again. When I think of Ascension, my silly little mind thinks of the Fifth Dimension song, "Up Up and Away in my Beautiful Balloon." Or, with my kids, the movie Up was a big hit.

Up is always a something that fascinates us, probably because gravity keeps us down.

Easter's celebration highlights Jesus' life as divine and human. The miracle of the Ascension is a revelation of Christ's power as God, but it reveals the company of heaven in His humanity.

Forty days after Easter, Christ went up to heaven by His own will and power (Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51 Acts 1). According to Acts, it seems that the Ascension took place on Mount Olivet.

Jesus Himself spoke of His Ascension (John 6:63; 20:17). 

Ascension and You!

Ascension is point in Christ's life where He says goodbye to the physical world as you and I see it. The person, Jesus Christ, in His humanity and divinity assume the power and glory of the eternal God. 

The eternal gift of God in the Ascension is that Jesus in His humanity is everywhere, all-powerful, the sovereign God who is not in heaven, but is the God that is even above the heavens. Being beyond the glory of heaven places the God-man in the authority only reserved for God as the creator.

His Ascension catapults him into the God-man who not only is above all, but more importantly for us poor sinners, is with us in our sinful miserable world that He may suffer with us as God and man. He does not, in His humanity, stay in heaven!

The power and glory of the Ascension is what places Him back into service here on earth in the Word, Baptism, and the Lord's Supper. His Ascension as the personal God-man Jesus is exactly why Lutheran s believe the true body and blood is in the Lord's Supper. His humanity is not in heaven, rather, because He is God, His humanity is where God is and wills to be. God Himself, for our salvation, commits himself to be in the Word, Baptism, and Lord's Supper. 

The Ascension unites heaven on earth. He does not take us to heaven, rather, He brings eternity above all power to earth.

He Ascends so that He might be here in His fullness! Thanks be to God for Jesus' full presence in our lives and the life of the Church. He Ascends that forgiveness flows from water, word, bread, and wine in the same mystery of the Word becomes flesh.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Culvers, Secret Pals, and the Big Day

This week was filled with preparation for our confirmation celebrations this weekend. It started at Culver's last Tuesday, where the 7th and 8th graders gathered for some fun and ice cream.

After Culver's, we headed back to church for a once over of what will happen this Sunday at the confirmation service
. We practice walking in, kneeling for the confirmation, etc.

Then, we enjoyed some cake and the secret pals were revealed. The cake was beautiful! Of course, it was delicious.

Then the time came and the confirmands found out who their secret pals were for the last year. Thanks to all the pals who participated in this and kept the confirmand in your prayers.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Confirmation Confession - Who and When in Church

Wow! The confirmation class (morning and evening) is doing a great job on their Confirmation Confession wherein they explain either Baptism or the Lord's Supper. I've read half of them already and am impressed. Contact Pastor Sell if there are any discrepancies.

Here is the schedule for reading their Confirmation Confession in the church services at Our Savior.

+ Saturday; 4–20;  5 p.m. Service; Samantha Murrell and Brittany Calvin
and Ryan Dintleman

+ Sunday; 4-21; 8 a.m. Service

+ Sunday; 4–21; 10:30 Service; 
Madison Zalman and Emma Coleman

+ Wednesday; 4-24; 7 p.m. Service
Daniel Johnson and Jack Meuser

+ Saturday; 4-27; 5 p.m. Service
Kailey Kohl 

+ Sunday; 4-28; 8 a.m. Service
Daniel  and Jonathan Gacioch

+ Sunday; 4-28; 10:30 a.m. Service
Emma Rezabek and Tyler Thornton

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for...

Ice Cream! 5:45 at Culver's

Final Confirmation Requirement for Morning and Evening Confirmation Classes! All students in 7th, and 8th grade, yes especially your friends who are not getting confirmed at OSLCS. No excuses. You must eat ice cream. :)
Our final confirmation class is Tuesday, April 30th at 5:45 p.m. at Culver's. Let's enjoy an ice cream or milk shake and Pastor Sell will teach a short closing class (10 min.) at Culver's.

Then, those who will be confirmed on May 5th will head back to church and have a short practice for Confirmation Sunday.

Immediately after practice, we will then join in with your Secret Pal at a gathering of treats and fellowship.

Culver Night - April 30th - Tuesday

5:45 p.m.     Everyone Meet at Culver's     
6:45 ish  Confirmands head back to church to practice for Sunday.

IMMEDIATELY AFTER PRACTICE IN CHURCH - we will move to the Secret Pal Reveal for more refreshments.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Integrity - Did You Eat Sprinkles?

What a hoot. We've all been there before. When mom caught me red handed, deny, deny, deny. Sin is sometimes funny and sometimes sad. Adults sometimes know to do the right thing, but we don't. It's cute when the little ones get caught. It's embarrassing when adults get caught.

It all boils down to integrity. What is integrity? It means to hold to the truth of what you believe and follow through. Especially when telling the truth my not seem to work out well for you at the time.

Our little friend in the video did not uphold his integrity. He lied to his mom. Even when confronted with sprinkles on his face, sprinkles all over the counter, and sprinkles surround a half-empty sprinkle jar.

Confirmands, I want to help you maintain your integrity with what Jesus gave you in your baptism. He gives you the strength to trust, 

  • the gifts of forgiveness;
  • that you are saints because Jesus gives you His holiness;
  • the confidence He gives you in Word and Baptism to keep the integrity of being a Christian;
  • the gift to repent, to say that you are wrong and have sinned; and God forgives you;
  • to get on with life, learn how to do better under His forgiving umbrella of Grace with a "fresh start" each day.

Integrity to live the baptized life is the integrity of being Lutheran. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fresh Start for Confirmation

As we move forward and May 5th quickly approaches, I thought I'd explain why confirmation is so important.

Confirmation fulfills Matthew 28:19-20. The Lord commanded us to baptize and teach, not just baptize. As we raise our children, Our Savior offers the teaching portion through the Divine Services, bible studies, Sunday School, VBS, youth program, our grade school, and confirmation.

Confirmation is a summary of everything your children have been taught since their baptisms. In their baptisms they received their faith, forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. Since then, the Lord has been preparing them to join in with all believers in the Feast of Victory, the Lord’s Supper.Your children are growing up. They are on their way.

Of course, there is a place and time for fun and silliness. Those of you who know me, know how much I enjoy being silly. But then, there is a time to grow up and take seriously our actions and their consequences. The same goes for our Christian faith and life in the Church.

My objective with our confirmands is to teach them God's Word and help you help them to grow up to be faithful Lutherans. Just as all of our education gives us the tools and information into which we grow, so it is with our Christianity. What they will learn is what Christ taught us and commands us parents (I have two children) to hand down to our children.

Will they "understand" everything? Of course not.

However, they will learn a lot. Just as we didn't fully understand why 2+2 = 4 was so important until we got our first paycheck, so too, do we continue to grow and learn how important our repentance and being forgiven is. 
What confirmation does is summarize what it means to be a Christian and participate in the holy gifts of God, the sacraments.

The Word, Baptism, and the Lord's Supper become more and more meaningful and "understandable" with every crisis, every tribulation, every moment of suffering that we all face.

As parents we are preparing our children so that we can let them go and learn the easy and hard lessons in life. As Christian parents, we want them to learn that when they sin, God's grace and mercy brings to them the forgiveness for their sins through faith in Christ. That is the Christian life.

Our children will not automatically grow up when they get confirmed. But they will certainly know that they are members of the Bride of Christ, whose Groom always forgives them and continually calls them home to church every week. And they will certainly know what Church is and what Church isn't.

We all continue to "grow up" until we reach our full maturity in heaven. Then we will be completely "grown up."

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor Sell
Mt. 28:19-20