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
"The office of bishop is now committed to you in the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
Let me tell you a little bit about the Holy Spirit's work as it played out here at Christ the King last week...
Well...actually, back in September the East Central Synod of Wisconsin elected our first female bishop during our online synod assembly. We had originally planned to have Bishop Anne's installation in early January, however the covid-19 surge that we were experiencing in the fall led us to postpone the service to April 11th, when it would be safer for bishops from other areas, including Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, to travel to this area.
Leading up to last Sunday the 11th, there was a LOT of work from very faithful people done. There was an installation team that was made up of pastors and lay leaders to plan all aspects of the installation, including the worship liturgy, the adornment of our sanctuary at Christ the King, and communicating with both the churchwide office and our local congregations on all the details.
Up until last week, it was all planning, but as soon as Monday hit, the pieces were moving quickly. One of the most remarkable things to witness was the transformation of our sanctuary. For the last several weeks, the installation team had been gathering fabric from congregations throughout the synod. As fabric piled up here at Christ the King we had NO idea what the intention was with it. However, when Pastor Leah (Good Shepherd, Plover) and Pastor Sara (St. John, Marion) showed up on Tuesday, the piles of fabric were slowly transformed into the beautifully adorned wall you saw in worship. Some pieces of fabric came with notes, others came with stories, and all of it from the congregations were combined to show a beautiful representation of our synod coming together to surround Bishop Anne during her installation. Later in the day, Pastors Leah and Sara found they were weary and called for some reinforcements. With a quick phone call and without question, faithful folks of Christ the King showed up to help hang the beautiful arrangements of fabric.
Then there was the video and production piece....WOWZA what a team effort! All music and videos were coordinated by Dr. Kartika Putri who is the music minister up at Good Shepherd in Wausau. Throughout the last month she has been sending me videos of the hymns, which were sung by representatives from throughout the synod. In addition to those hymns, I was also receiving videos from pastors who were serving as readers, as well as photos for the virtual processional, AND our visual storyteller, Sue Wendler, was working tirelessly on powerpoint slides and the paper bulletin for the local worshippers.. ALLL of these pieces, were then passed to one of our CtK producers, Brent Schuettpelz, who sorted, organized, and rehearsed everything you saw on your screens on Sunday, AS WELL AS everything we saw locally in the sanctuary. The time and energy put in by Kartika, Sue, and Brent was a wonderful gift to the synod!
Fast forward to Sunday. Ya'll....the JOY in the room. One by one, bishops from other ELCA synods and leaders of other denominations arrived at Christ the King. Bishop Eaton, who is the presiding bishop of the ELCA came as well, as it is her ministry to install bishops of synods. It's the most people we'd had in the building at one time (15) in over a year, and it felt SO good. There were masked, long distanced hugs, there were people greeting one another from different rooms, and the whole time we all did our best to abide by Christ the King's re-entry plan.
If you had a chance to watch it, the worship service speaks for itself. The Gospel was proclaimed, a fire was lit in the baptismal font, and our Bishop Anne was installed. JOY! JOY! JOY!
After worship we filed outside to take photos and to admire the port-a-pulpit. I didn't get a photo of it, but let me tell you...it was quite the sight to see Pastor Nate explaining to a handful of bishops, including Bishop Eaton, how we use the port-a-pulpit, and to see the amazement on their faces.
I could truly go on and on about what a BIG and Holy day it was on Sunday, but I won't. What I will say however is that Holy Spirit was for surely present, and God's love was alive and kickin' here indeed!
Peace be the journey,
National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) is April 16, always the day after Tax Day as there is nothing more certain in life than death
and taxes (Benjamin Franklin). NHDD is a national initiative to encourage people of all ages to share their personal wishes regarding
their future medical care, and for healthcare teams and facilities to respect those wishes whatever they may be.
Next week Fox Valley Advanced Care Planning Partnership (FVACPP) is sponsoring a series of conversations to share information pertaining to Healthcare decision making. They include presentations from a medical doctor, an attorney, and individuals with
expertise in cancer and hospice care. Click on the link below where you can find out more information and how to
Wisconsin, unlike many states, is not a "next of kin" or "family consent" state for adults - Wisconsin law does not
authorize family members (except for hospice admissions) to make decisions for incapacitated adult family
members. Visit Fox Valley Advance Care Planning Partnership at www.FVACPP.org for information on opportunities
to fill out an Advance Care DIrective and resources to start these conversions with your family.
For more information contact Julie Meitzen <firstname.lastname@example.org>