I want you to meet Ruby A Flodin. She is no longer on her earthly journey, but she leaves a rich legacy of stewardship. She generously used her pantry, and whatever she had, to supply an abundance of nourishment, help and love to friends and strangers alike. Today, Ruby’s generous heart is honored by creating a ministry with the same value — taking the resources God has entrusted us with and turning them into that which supports families and communities through Ruby’s Pantry.
Ruby’s Pantry has been serving communities in Minnesota and Wisconsin for over 18 years, with donated overstocked food. It is a faith based non-profit organization that allows families to stretch their grocery dollar. With each $20 donation, guests receive an abundant share of food valued between $150-$200. There are no income or resident limits/requirements, and you can attend a Pop-Up Pantry at any city/state location.
Would you like to volunteer? A new Ruby’s Pantry site is being established in downtown Appleton as a community partnership. Christ the King is one of those partners in ministry. The Pop-Up Ruby’s Pantry will be located at First English Lutheran Church (downtown site) and they need volunteers from about 3:30-6:30pm for the first night, August 3. This Pop-Up Ruby’s Pantry will serve the community every first Tuesday of the month. Sign up to help by using this link https://www.rubyspantry.org/become-volunteer
If you would like to be a lead person, there are a couple of positions that need to be filled - https://www.felc.com/rubyspantry or by contacting Deni Kuchler 920.358.0554 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Deni will also be joining us for worship Wednesday June 30, 6:30pm of how God spoke to her about beginning this ministry to serve our community.
This is one of CtK’s ministry action items to eventually start a Ruby’s Pantry, but in the meanwhile we will serve generously like Ruby and bring God’s love to life!
Christ's Blessings & Peace,
The beginning of June has been all about living into new patterns for life and worship at Christ the King. Not only have we begun to gather indoors for Sunday worship, but we have also begun our new summer worship schedule that the congregation voted on in our January annual meeting. With the incoming of the summer season, we are now hosting one in-person, indoors worship service on Sunday mornings, and one in-person, outdoors service on Wednesday evening.
On Wednesday, June 9th we had our second outdoor service, and this week we were on our campfire worship service night. Y'all....it was like the kingdom of God was in the here and now. Admittedly, worship itself wasn't theologically profound, but here's what was particularly beautiful about it...
The gathering of people- for many of those who gathered, it was the first time they had been in any kind of in-person worship setting in over a year. There were familiar faces, there were face that had aged a touch, there were smiling faces, and they were all together safely IN PERSON.
The sacredness and joy of baptism- part of our worship service included a remembrance of baptism. Worshippers came to the font and retrieved a sponge to drip water on those in their households and remind them of their baptism. This included a 3 year old (who was THRILLED to be back at church!) dribbling some water on a 92 year old with dementia and reminding him of his baptism. That 92 year old's response: "I remember, I'll remember." Later in worship, once the bowl had to be moved for the curious children present, a 2 year old showed us the complete joy of baptismal life by rejoicing in the refreshing living water through jumping in the bowl and having a seat. If all that's not a little glimpse of heaven, then I don't know what is.
Saints and servants of all ages- I think one of my favorite things about being church together is the gathering of people of all ages to love and serve God. We all come with different gifts and skills, and when we can share those gifts and skills with the community, it's a joy. Having one of our older adults run home to get wood for us to burn, and seeing a teenager work with a familiar adult to build a fire together-- THAT'S what serving the community looks like. Nobody asked ahead of time, but these individuals saw a need and stepped up to serve. For their gifts we give so much thanks!
Y'all- it was SO GOOD to be together again. Worship going forward is going to be different, because we as a community and we as individuals are different. There are some things that got lost during the pandemic that might not come back. But what HASN'T changed, is the incredible way that God is working through our community to remind us that we are beloved children of God, woven together by the power of the Holy Spirit. For that we sing and shout ALLELUIA!
Woo hoo! We had our first in-person worship service Sunday, June 6! We all have yearned for this day. Our patience and our practice of safe living has paid off. 81 people were in attendance and many others participated virtually. What a joy to hear people talking, see familiar faces (and some new ones) and interact with people in the liturgy. People of all ages were gathered, and I especially loved to hear and see the children moving around.
Our first in-person worship was also our first real test of how the newly installed projection system works. Some of you asked, “Where are the bulletins?” A volunteer responded, “We don’t have any, because the whole worship service is on screen.” “Huh wow,” was the response. Life together will have some new realities. Our tech people and volunteers were asked to do new things. We all are learning. In the coming weeks, you will see some tweaks of how we welcome people and how the worship service will look as we figure out flow, camera angles and other needs for worship. I give thanks for your patience and understanding. I give thanks for the Re-entry Team and their work to keep people safe, while balancing how to re-enter.
Life together is so important. No one could have imagined that we would not be gathered physically in-person, for 64 weeks or 14.5 months! Fortunately, CtK had been doing virtual worship for about three years prior to the pandemic. Thanks be to God that we were able to use our livestreaming abilities and equipment to continue to worship virtually and never miss a beat.
For now, was ask people during worship to continue to mask and distance. When we gather and have mixed ages of children and adults, we care for one another by practicing safety measures to show that we care and to walk together until everyone has had the opportunity to be vaccinated. Thank you for your continued patience and for the adjustments we make so that we can all share life together.
Life together will take some time to figure out, but in the meanwhile, continue to think about other people, their situations and be open to the ways God calls us to be safe, show love and welcome one another. We will get there and with God’s help we continue to be faithful and minister in such ways as we could have never imagined.
Christ’s Blessings & Peace,
[my standard line about this is "My daughter will periodically say to me "dad, you are such a tool" which I have only recently come to understand may not be the compliment I thought it was.]
The King's Tools is a small group ministry within our church that offers help to people when they need it. It may be with home repairs or yard work or cleaning and organizing but it is help they might not be able to get elsewhere. We are available to anyone, church member or not. We offer help and hope to those in need.
A recent project was for a family in Neenah. Never met them before and are not church members but they were referred to us by another organization who was unable to help them The husband/father had died in November after being under the care of his wife for the past 7 years. She is now suffering from a significant medical event of her own which limits her mobility. We replaced both front and back exterior steps to correct structural issues that made it unsafe for her to enter or exit her home.
We exist as a resource for our pastors to turn to when they receive calls from people in need. . If we are notified of a situation that might benefit from our attention, we assess the scope of work, put together a schedule and budget and then send out an email call for help to the members on the Tool's list. If someone is able to help, they reply as such. If they can't help, they do nothing and wait for the next email with notice of work to come out.
Two things about that. We are at a dangerously small number of willing Tools members. Please contact the church office if you are interested in hearing more about this ministry. Also, we don't charge for work done and often provide materials as well. As such we need a level of financial support to allow this work to go forward. If so moved, you may donate to the Tools designated funds account at church.
To serve is this way doesn't always take a lot of effort by any one person but it often makes an enormous difference in the lives of those being served. This is a very hands on way to show Christ's love to others.
Aubrey is Christ the King’s Finance Manager and she wants to share her thanks with you and inform you about simple ways of giving through SimpleChurch.
Last summer I was thinking about retiring from my career and possibly finding a part-time job. The position of Custodian/Maintenance for Christ the King became available and with the guidance of Pastor Nate I accepted the position.
As we are getting closer to a possible reopening, I thought you would all enjoy seeing how busy we have been inside the walls of our church.
Please watch this video https://youtu.be/2_Awj7Ue1HI as I walk through the projects that have been completed.
We all want to know the “why” questions of life. Our Christian faith explores the elements of the human condition. It attempts to expand and explain our existence. These three letters seem to unlock the mystery or the unknown. By asking “why” again and again we can continue to dive deeper with the next “why” to unlock mysteries we wish to have answers to?
However, there are times we are stopped at the crossroads of understanding and the “why” question cannot be answered. Christ the King is at such a crossroads as we have parted ways with our Director of Music Ministry. People desire understanding as emotions bubble to the surface, from confusion, to sadness, anger, and concern for how to move forward, especially during a global pandemic. It’s a lot to process, and it may take time. Christ is dwelling in each and every one of those emotions. As a community centered on Christ, we all cling to the cross as we feel what we feel. We’ll get through these times. Christ never promised a smooth path when he bids us “Follow me.” Just look to the earliest Christian communities who struggled with how to move forward or in many letters the Apostle Paul wrote in our New Testament scriptures.
As a practice for healthy community, and out of care and concern for those involved, issues and concerns with staff are kept close to the pastors, council president, and personnel team, rather than brought to the congregation. This is one of those cases where “why” remains unanswered. Your church leadership and pastors take seriously the important responsibility of protecting the individual and the church. Please be assured, no action was decided on by one person or in a moment of time to determine our path forward.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about God in our life together as Christ the King, it’s that God provides, time and again. God will provide us with another dynamic leader who will lead the music ministry forward. It may take time, but together in faith, through prayer, and the hope we cling to of a future in Jesus Christ. This we can do this. “Why,” because God is with us!
Christ’s Blessings & Peace,
On May 2nd, the Re-Entry Team met again to re-visit the current Christ the King Re-entry plan. We give thanks for these faithful servants who are wading through an abundance of data, guidelines, and opinions on how to safely move forward as a congregation. Their task is not an easy one, however their discussions are fueled by deep prayer and love for our neighbors.
Here are the updates they have to share with you all:
The re-entry team reviewed updated guidance from the CDC regarding safe activities for vaccinated and unvaccinated people, and feel that everyone can safely attend outdoor worship services while following mitigation practices. Unfortunately, at this time - because the CDC's guidelines indicate that indoor activities with larger groups are not the safest thing to do, we don't feel we are ready to open up Indoor Worship, but do have the option to gather in small groups indoors at the church!
Summary of Updates:
At this time, the re-entry team would like you all to know that groups of 10 people or less are welcome to gather in one room at church. To reserve a room for your group, please contact Tina Kopiske, who is our Community Life Coordinator and scheduler extraordinaire!
So what does this mean for worship?
Beginning on Sunday, May 23rd Christ the King will begin our adventure into outdoor worship! As with online and parking lot worship, we'll need to grow into this, which may take a bit of time to really perfect. Here are things you can do for now to help us along:
Above all, the re-entry team and your Pastors want to reiterate that the sooner more people get vaccinated, the sooner we can move through our phases and return to indoor, in person worship. Together we can do this!
For more complete information on the re-entry plan, please visit our re-entry page.
The sun is 93 million miles away. Sunlight travels at the speed of light and takes, on average, 8 minutes and 20 seconds to travel from the sun to earth! However, some days, even though the sun is shining, we don’t see it because of clouds or some other atmospheric disturbance keeps it from us. Yet, it is there.
I John 5:12 says “Whoever has the Son has life.” Amen, to that! We have the Son through our baptisms. No matter what is happening in our lives, Jesus, the Son, is always shining in our lives! Sunday, we saw the beautiful sun shining and the Son shining on our Confirmation students as they affirmed their faith during the parking lot service! God sure has a way of sharing the best of the kingdom, even when circumstances aren’t the greatest.
Thank you, confirmation students, for another amazing year of learning about faith. Thank you for your resilient attitudes and display of affirming your baptisms. As you stepped out of your cars and publicly renounced everything to keeps you from God and you publicly yelled the affirmation of your faith in Jesus Christ! I can say, I’ve never imagined a service like that. But together, we did it and the Son provides.
It has been a delight to watch these youth grow in faith and life over the past years. Even though they are recognized as adults in the eyes of the church, they still need (as well all do) support and prayers from their parents, Godparents, families, and the people of CtK.
Take some time today to remember your baptism and remember your confirmation day. Share your story with others around you and remember the Son/Sun is always shining no matter what we face, to reveal God’s glory!
Christ's Easter Blessings & Peace,
On Monday evening we had our first State of the Church webinar of 2021!
If you missed it, check out the recording below. We encourage you to watch it in it's entirety, but if you have specific topics you wanted to hear about, here are some time stamps:
4:50 Building and Projection Updates
8:38 Worship Update
16:38 Faith Formation
19:29 Re-Entry Plan
33:35 Thank Yous
34:52 Q & A Session
48:27 Upcoming Events
51:29 Closing Remarks and Prayer