2022 Advent Devotions:
This year’s daily Advent Devotions are made available to all NALC congregations at Advent Devotional 2022- North American Lutheran Church
Access the devotions as a daily e-mail at callingpost.site/ReadingTheWordofGod. [Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the box that says “Sign Up Now.” Note — if you wish to receive only an email, do not enter your phone number on this form.]
Text message sign up, text: ReadingTheWord to 24251
Missionary News from Kathleen Lutz (November 2022)
Greetings from Kenya,
Tomorrow, I am leaving early morning to travel with Pr. Koskey and several others, traveling with Family tv for them to capture a story. Last week Family tv came to our office and interviewed Pr. Koskey and me. We invited them to visit the Masai tribe community near Narok (about 2hrs. west) where we have done training on the audio Bible and to see the work we do.
On Monday we take the train to the east and travel to Malindi, Kenya, on the coast, to do audio Bible training for a couple days. We have guests for two weeks, two men from the Theovision headquarters in Ghana. There will be many meetings and we are learning from one another, hoping to gain more support for the Kenyan work we do.
Having been home bound for months, I am not used to such activity.
In Christ’s service,
Mission & Development Associate
World Mission Prayer League wmpl.org
Missionary News from Kathleen Lutz (August 2022):
GREETINGS FROM KENYA!!
Thank you for your prayers as I continue my recovery of foot surgery. I’ve gone from casts to wheelchair
to boot. A long 3 to 6 months. Never thought it would take this long! My first days in the Nairobi
Hospital was spent in the Pioneer Ward. Interesting, because a part of me is a pioneer and as a
missionary, pioneer fits. Working with Theovision International gives me opportunity to travel to far
reached places in Kenya and beyond. And I can’t wait to get back on the road again! The thought of
reaching unreached people with the Good News of the Gospel excites me. With the use of the audio
Bible, many are hearing the Bible for the first time in their languages. They are becoming disciples of
When I think of “pioneer” I also think of the very first missionaries. Imagine – no phone, no internet and
rare mail. They were to take risks and had courage and faith beyond knowing what to expect. Such faith!
Now, I have a cell phone, can call my family and even see them on Zoom. When I was a child, seeing
someone on a phone was just in our imagination. How far we’ve come! And of course, we can email… all
these as long as we’re in an area where internet exists.
Pioneers of the old days relied on horse or mule and wagons. Today we have SUVs. I have worked with
Pastor Silas who works in northern Kenya and rides a motorcycle to his 3 parishes out in the bush.
Theovision relies on public transport such as matatus (long public vans), public buses and sometimes
motorcycles to get to the smaller rural villages. It’s a challenge carrying our equipment, Bibles, food, etc.
As I will soon be getting back on the road to further my mission work, I am wondering how will I
manage. Jumping off and getting on matatus and buses is a challenge and for Theovision, it is costly to
take public transport. When I asked staff what is needed most, it is a vehicle for our mission…
specifically, a Land Cruiser, which is best for the rural roads and can hold up in the distant travels.
Pioneers by modern means, it seems. So, we are praying for such a means in order to further our mission.
Please join us in praying for this vehicle. And thank you for your prayers and support all along the way.
Pray These Things:
Peace to you, your partner in mission,
Vacation Bible School
June 13-17, 9 a.m.-noon, at the Chattanooga United Methodist Church. This year’s theme is MONUMENTAL-Celebrating God’s Greatness. Activities include singing, games, snacks, and experiments, all focusing on the greatness of God. All youth 3 years-6 grade are welcome to join for the week.
Missionary News from Kathleen Lutz (May 2022):
Hello…I am now home, recovering from foot surgery. I have 5 screws holding the foot together to correct the fallen arch. The cast is a challenge, even with a walker. Eventually I will try a foot scooter. I will get the stitches out on the 12th and get a different cast. I was given a boot for future use. Full healing can take 3-6 months. I have my moments but our Lord is my strength and Joy and lifts me up. I appreciate your prayers. Kathleen
Missionary News from Kathleen Lutz (Feb 2022):
Greetings from Kenya!
I am sending you the latest news about TheoVision, where I have begun my new work in Kenya.
Please know that I appreciate your prayers and support as we are moving forward to share the Gospel in places where people are now hearing the Bible in their languages for the first time ever. You are a valued part of my mission!
Prayer Request-TheoVision is in need of a mode of transportation, preferably a Land Rover that will enable us to travel safely to the far reached places rather than having to rely on public transport with our teams and equipment. Please pray for provisions for this need.
Thank you and may God bless you.
The NALC Disaster Response Fund provides resources for:
The North American Lutheran Church presents Come!, an Advent devotional booklet for 2021. This year’s booklet is based on the two-year daily lectionary provided in the North American Lutheran Church’s Devoted To Prayer daily prayer and reading guide, which is also an adapted version of the daily lectionary in the Lutheran Book of Worship, Year II. The executive staff of the NALC have prepared devotions for each day from the First Sunday of Advent to Christmas Day.
Access the Advent Devotional here: NALC Advent Devotional 2021
Remi’ Fokine Creates Biblical Garden at Zion Lutheran
Welcome to The Enchanted Biblical Garden. Step into the world that once was thousands of years ago. This garden is a picture frozen in time as you discover the plants that Jesus walked beside when he was here on earth. There are 4 different plants, each have their own story to tell. There are 7 different stepping stones that represent our relationship as faithfully followers of Christ.
Please enjoy your time here. Leave a prayer request or any feedback you may have in the prayer box. I encourage you to keep reading and divulge learning more about the connection that lies in front of you.
James 1: 9-10, “But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.”
In the far back of the garden, you will see 4 tall plants. These are called Lupin or scientifically known as Lupinus. James 1: 9-10 mentions Lupin as it is a wildflower that grows in Israel. James is explaining how materialistic items in this world mean nothing in the next. The only significance as Christians is that we are children of God and he has made us a place in eternity to live with him. James is comparing life before eternity to a wildflower, although beautiful it’s simply temporary.
Ezekiel 47:12, “Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”
In the front of the garden, you will see 4 large leaf, but small green plants. In Ezekiel 47:12, the plant mention is Lady’s Mantle. The plants were used for medicine for a wide variety of issues (wounds, stomach issues, and female ailments). It was consumed in a tea or as a grinded topical paste.
Matthew 6: 28 -30, “And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith.”
The vibrant red, orange, pinkish-yellow flowers you see in the semi-circle is called Ranunculus. Ranunculus is a wildflower that grows in Palestine. Matthew 6: 28 – 30 takes place at The Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is preaching about how worrying and dwelling on materialistic items is serving the items instead of God. Jesus makes the comparison between the lilies and men. Lilies grow while doing no work and they are still dress in beauty. They are clothed in the way the God wants them to be, similarly how God has clothed us in the way he wants us to be. He then goes to say that yet beautiful, they can be damaged easily. In comparison how man can be damaged easily, but Jesus is urging us to trust God because he will provide what we truly need.
In the middle of the garden in a bush called a Burning Bush. In Chapter 3 of Exodus, God appeared and spoke to Moses through a Burning Bush. The enslaved Israelites cried to God to be rescued. God needed Moses help to set them free. While attending to the flock of sheep, Moses saw a bush on fire, but it was not burning up. As he got closer, the voice of God called to him. Moses was told that God needed him for the task of saving the Israelites, but Moses said he wasn’t capable of doing what was asked. God reassured him and said that he must complete the task.
There are 7 stepping stones within the garden. The light colored stepping stones of the hands and feet represent our walk with Christ. In that he is there through every challenge and hardship holding our hand. The darker color stepping stones represent the qualities we must have to have a good relationship with God. We must love him as he has provided us a place with him in eternity. Having a strong faith is having trust in God. We have reason to hope as God has offered us total forgiveness for our sins through as his son Jesus.
My name is Remi’ Fokine and you are looking at my Girl Scout Gold Award Project. I’ve been working on my Gold Award for quite some time and I’m excited to share with you my garden. I absolutely love plants and God, so I was able to combine my two loves and create what you see before you!
I am a college student at Malone University studying Biology on the Pre-Med track. I have been a Girl Scout since I was 7 and have worked up through the ranks to finally accomplishing the biggest award of all. The Gold Award is the highest achievement within the Girl Scouts of the USA, earned by Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts. Only 5.4% of eligible Girl Scouts successfully earn the Gold Award.
Mission News from Kathleen Lutz, January 2021
I hope this finds you doing well and safe. While you are in winter, it is like summer in Kenya. Challenging times with Covid-19 for all. Unfortunately, my next home assignment in the U.S. is delayed because of the virus, but I visit my family on Zoom. Be blessed at Christmas and throughout the New Year.
Mission Reflections, December 2020
There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven. Eccl. 3:1. With the pandemic, meetings with support groups were outdoors, spaced and with masks. Enjoyed Zoom meetings with family, WMPL, and Thrivent Gatherings of missionaries. Now at times Bible funds become food for those who have lost their jobs or homes. Time in lockdown means messaging and creative ways to do the work. Year 2 of teaching Faith Formation course with sixty 7th and 8th grades; each given a Bible. Traveled to Narok and Maralal for audio Bible trainings and visit to Faraja Children’s Home. Work Permit application delayed 9 months due to Covid-19, causing government offices to close. Eye surgeries for retina hole and cataracts successful; thanking God for healing. New opportunities to write devotions sent by messaging to many and outdoor tent meetings. Trusting in God in times of trouble as fears of the world can overwhelm; God is with us. Your prayers and support throughout my year in Kenya are truly appreciated. I pray for you. In 2020 we have experienced the world going through challenging times including Covid-19. It has been difficult for many. We mourn overwhelming loss of lives. Yet, along the way there have been many blessings. I pray that you will be blessed in the New Year with God’s peace, love, and goodness. Thank you to those who have given your support for my mission work in various ways so that God’s Word of hope will reach more people. “And the angel said unto the, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” –Luke 2:10-11.
A Christmas Message from Bishop Dan Selbo
Dear pastors, congregations, partners in ministry, sisters and brothers in Christ,
I am writing this Christmas letter to say thanks for your good and faithful work, for your partnership in the ministry of the Gospel, and in hopes that it might serve as an encouragement to you in your witness to the saving message of Jesus during this Christmas season and into the new year.
This past year has been like no other in our shared history. The year 2020 will be remembered for many reasons. A worldwide pandemic, the ups and downs of the stock markets, the loss of jobs, the closure of businesses and schools, the death of loved ones, racial tension, political divide, masks and social distancing and lockdowns like we have never seen before.
Add to those culture challenges the ones faced in the Church and it is no different. Pastors have been struggling to serve their people, even as they have been limited in how they are able to be with their people. Churches have had to close; some of them for many months. Even as things begin to reopen, it is never fully clear how and when and in what ways we should begin to move forward.
We were all surprised by the advent of the coronavirus. We have all been working to adjust to the changes that have become ever so real in our world. This past year is one, in many ways, that we lament. We pray that the coming year will be one in which some of these past and present difficulties will be truly in our past.
At the same time, we need to remember that our surprise was not God’s. The things that were difficult for us were not hard to navigate for Him. God is sovereign. He is in control. And even though we cannot see the future and the way out, we trust in the One who knows all and who is all.
The promise of the Christmas message to those shepherds in the fields is as needed and relevant today as it was back then. “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11 NIV84).
Those two little words “to you” are at the heart of the Christmas message. Those two little words “to you” are at the heart of what’s in the heart of God. God loved this world so much that He was willing to send His Son. God loves you so much that He was willing to offer Him on the cross as a sacrifice for your sin.
You and I are privileged to be among the ones called and chosen by God to carry and proclaim that Good News to the world. In spite of the pandemic, independent of the social and cultural challenges we find and face in the world, we trust and believe and follow the One who has redeemed it all in Jesus.
As I reflect on the events of this past year, in particular within the NALC, I cannot help but give thanks to the God who has been with us from the start. We are now more than 10 years into our life together as a church body. We have missionaries and ministries in more than 10 countries around the world. We have a vision for our future. We have a new and renewed focus and energy for our work. We have the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit. We have the gift of forgiveness and life eternal in God’s only Son. And we have the promise of Emmanuel, “God with us” in all things.
I look forward to the year ahead and to the events of this past year being in our past. At the same time, I do not want you and I to wish our lives away. For now, we find ourselves in a challenging chapter in our world’s story. We cannot see, nor predict, what the chapters ahead might bring. We do, however, know how the story ends and where and in whom we find hope. His name is Jesus. He was born into our world more than 2000 years ago. And He is still with us, through His Holy Spirit, to lead us and to guide us into a future that belongs to Him.
Thank you for your faithful witness and work. Thank you for the partnership we share in Christ. Thank you for persevering in what has been a challenging year. I look forward to the year ahead and to continuing the work and the witness we share.
We are a privileged people. We carry a message our world needs to hear. Let us be bold in our witness and confident in the words we speak.
It continues to be a joy and an honor to serve as your bishop. Know that my prayers are with each of you. Have a blessed Christmas!
North American Lutheran Church
NALC Advent Devotional 2020
Visit the link: NALC Advent Devotional 2020, Prepare the Way of the Lord
The North American Lutheran Church presents, Prepare the Way of the Lord, an Advent devotional booklet for 2020. This year’s booklet is based on the two-year daily lectionary provided in the Lutheran Book of Worship, Year I. The Rev. Dr. Daniel Selbo, bishop of the North American Lutheran Church (NALC), has prepared a bit longer devotion for each of the Sundays in Advent, along with a devotion for Christmas Day. The Rev. Dr. David Wendel, NALC assistant to the bishop for ministry and ecumenism, has prepared the brief weekday and Christmas Eve devotions. Ways to receive the devotional:
Global Mission News and Reflections, World Mission Prayer League, September 2020
Pray these things: Give Thanks to God for Kathleen’s 11 years serving in Kenya, started September 9, 2009. Pray for Kenyans listening to the Bible for the first time in their language. Pray for the proposed paper-making project, for God’s provisions for the needed materials and machines to move this project forward. Pray for those suffering from the coronavirus in sickness, loss of jobs, and dying and suffering, and for the nurses and doctors in their difficult work at this time. Pray for missionaries in their travel and work, to keep them safe and well. Bless their work for your sake O God, that your love and Word be known. Inspire young people to desire to become mission workers as the harvest is great. Two conflicting tribes brought together listening to the Word, in training for developing Bible listening groups in their villages.
What Do I Do Now!? Oh, Lord, with the pandemic restrictions of wearing masks in public and social distancing by the government, how can a missionary do her work? And even I, along with everyone else, am being told and encouraged to stay at home. How Lord? Lord, what do I do now? The answer to my prayer came quickly, even before I got the words out. I soon realized that God had been preparing the way for such a time as this. As god would have it, before the Covid-19 began and even before the virus was a reality, I was introduced to Pastor Koskey and TheoVision International and attended a 2-day training on the audio Bible. Illiteracy is a major barrier for Bible reading for millions in the world. With the work of Theovision International people are able to hear the gospel in their own language with the use of the audio Bible, produced by Theovision, reaching the unreached. Together we distributed audio Bibles to various tribal communities in rural areas of Kenya. I also provided 70 Bibles to support groups which I regularly meet with in the Kawangware and Rongai slum areas of Nairobi. Then, to deaconesses of the ELCK and others trained to develop Bible listening groups. Such groups meet once a week to listen to and discuss God’s word in their mother tongue. The timing…With Bibles in hand and their various languages, now many are able to listen or read the Word while they are isolated at home. Along with this, I have been developing devotions which are getting out through the phone system. And more recently, we have been able to have outdoor spaced meetings with the support groups. And so we sing behind our masks. What a fellowship, what a joy divine, Leaning on the everlasting arms. What a blessedness, what a peace is mine, Leaning on the everlasting arms. And next…Lord, what do I do now? The answer to that, so I am learning, is yet to be. God is making the way. With your support, we are gifting more Kenyans with Bibles. Mama and child listening.
SERVING-Are you or someone you know hearing the call to serve? Pray with us for more workers. Learn more at https://wmpl.org/go/
GIVING-Tax-deductible donations gladly received at: wmpl.org/give; World Mission Prayer League, 232 Clifton Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403 (612)871-6843. Make checks payable to WMPL with memo notating a designation for the donation. CONTACT INFORMATION-Please use the following contact information for personal correspondence. (Note, mail may be opened en route, do not include valuables.) Kathleen Lutz, P.O. Box 7427-00300 Nairobi, Kenya. Kathleenmlutz@yahoo.com.
Another WHAT DO I DO NOW? In times like these, many have lost their jobs and here in Kenya, there is no government help for the jobless. Though I have always been happy to give members of the support groups Bibles and to teach bout our Christian faith, in the back of my mind I know they cannot easily survive the poverty especially now with the affect of the virus. With the help of your support and World Mission Prayer League, I have been able to distribute unga (flour) and basic food, but now, not often enough. The suffering has just become more. Lord, what do I do now? So, during this time of the pandemic and with the help of others, we have researched for a sustainable income generating project for the support groups served by Heart to Heart. The idea of a handmade paper making project seems a good idea, as the process will help to clean up the environment by using raw materials such as straw, waste paper, fibers, rags, etc. Plus, it will be possible for members to have a means of income. We will need a room, water, electricity, and machines like a hydraulic press and molds, etc. We are praying. Members of the Kawangware Support Group who were given Bibles.
PERSONAL-Updates I recently had the opportunity to attend and participate serving in various countries and in various capacities. Through the week we had sessions of the Bible study, of early women missionaries along with Florence Nightengale and Mary. It was meaningful and inspiring for me to get to know other workers in God’s mission to the world as we shared our joys, challenges, hopes, and matters which missionaries face. I hated to see the week come to an end and hope we can do this again.
THRIVE provides such retreats (usually not through Zoom) for women missionaries every year as a support and special time of fellowship and caring for those in service.
On September 9, 2009 I began my work in Kenya. Thank you for your support and prayers, as God hears our prayers. You are partners in God’s mission to the world. May God bless you!
Regular Sunday in-person church services resumed 7 June 2020 at 10:30.The Adult Sunday School class resumed on 11 October at 9:30, meeting in the church basement. Youth Sunday School classes resumed 7 September at 9:30.
Due to national and state guidelines pertaining to COVID-19, all church services and activities have been cancelled until 19 April.
During this time we are offering a number of ways to engage in hearing God’s Word for us:
Visit us on Facebook. Vicar Adam Poe is recording sermons on the Zion Lutheran Church-Chatt Facebook page, where they are saved and can be viewed at any time.
Zion Lutheran St. Marys will continue to broadcast its 8 a.m. worship service live on WCSM Radio and on iHeartRadio. It will also be streamed on their web site, https://zionstmarysohio.360unite.com/home. People are welcome to attend their 8 a.m. service, which will be modified to have no music.
Some other NALC congregations are sharing their worship services online:
Pastor Brian McGee is sharing here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm6j3M3pyx4JM3f7VgJRnWQ
Living Water is sharing here: Living Water Lutheran Church – Dayton, Ohio. (Will also be streaming Holy Communion on Sunday afternoon and next week.)
The NALC has established a coronavirus page. On it you will find many resources, including ones designed to help you keep in touch with your congregations: https://thenalc.org/projects/resources-during-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/.
2020 NALC Lenten Devotional
2020 NALC Lenten Devotional
The NALC is offering a Lenten Devotional for 2020. It is available to print, download, read as an e-reader, as a podcast, or receive daily reminders via Facebook Messenger.
From their website: We will all benefit from additional time, if brief, spent reading God’s Word, meditating on it and responding to it. This is the aim of this Lenten devotional booklet — to stimulate regular, personal, daily time in the Scriptures in an easy to use format that encourages faithfulness. We also hope that these brief readings and meditations will help those not used to daily Bible reading, to begin, at least during Lent.
May our love for and knowledge of Holy Scripture grow, in some small way, as we take a Lenten walk together, through the Word!
This year’s Lenten devotional, A Lenten Walk Through the Word, was prepared by the Rev. Dr. David Wendel, NALC assistant to the bishop for ministry & ecumenism.
To access the 2020 NALC Lenten Devotional: https://thenalc.org/lent2020/
News from the Women of the NALC:
The Women of the NALC (WNALC) February 2020 Newsletter
You and/or your church can register with the WNALC. There are no annual fees, membership fees, or required donations—just a registration so you can receive newsletters, upcoming information vote on business, and stay connected.
Complete the “Join the WNALC” form HERE.
c/o North American Lutheran Church
2299 Palmer Drive, Suite 220
New Brighton, MN 55112-2202
Designation: WNALC Mission Fund or WNALC General Fund
WNALC General Fund donations help with the WNALC website, WNALC Council Fall Retreat, WNALC display table at Lutheran Week & the WNALC Annual Gathering.
WNALC Mission Fund donations are collected and split between the National & International Mission recipients voted on at the previous Annual Gathering.
From our missionary in Kenya:
21 March 2020
Hope this finds you doing well. These are most extraordinary times with the Coronavirus. It is so strange and is affecting our entire world. I keep informed of the news in the U.S. while I pray for you. Imagine – whole states being locked down, sports without fans, wearing masks, etc. I pray that you keep safe and have peace.
Here in Kenya things are not so bad (few cases) and hope it stays that way because if it hits here, it would be awful. So many don’t have clean water to begin with or access to good medical care and with the cultural ways of close living, oh my. But so far the government is taking measures to inform, educate and protect people. Of course limited travel and social distancing is started. Hand sanitizing is the rule. The crowded matatu’s (large vans) which are a main means of public transport everywhere have been ordered to cut in half the number of passengers. Heart to Heart staff are staying home. Schools closed means for us, that orphaned and vulnerable children are often sent home where there is little or no food, so we need to find a way to get food to them, I think. I am helping Collin’s family where the 4 children are now home with the grandmother who has no job, a situation of many… even in the U.S. I imagine. Trying times.
We must all hang in there and stay safe for the sake of one another and the world. Today has been declared a day of prayer in Kenya, so extra prayers are being said. Please join us in prayer. Most of all, no matter what, our Lord God is with you wherever you go.
Peace and love to you,
Mission & Development Associate
Heart To Heart hearttoheartorphans.org
World Mission Prayer League wmpl.org
24 Feb 2020
Greetings from Kenya!
I am grateful for your support and prayers these past months. They have freed me to focus on putting together the second year Faith Formation course for grade 8 and to further train people on the use of the audio Bible. On March 12 I return to northern Kenya to follow up and continue training on the use of the audio Bible with Pastors Koskey and Silas. Please pray for this first time of working with two differing tribes, the Samburu and Turkana, that the focus on the Good News may bring peace and reconciliation. Tomorrow I will travel to the coast with Heart to Heart staff for the opening of a Children’s Village for orphans. So far there are 3 homes with 7 or 8 children each. Please pray for safe travel and for the children as they adjust to their new home and give thanks for our Norwegian partners, who with God’s help, have made this possible.
Grace and Peace to you,
P.O. Box 7427-00300,
Tax-deductible donations to this mission are gladly received at:
232 Clifton Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403 USA
Make checks payable to “WMPL” and note “Lutz Support” or Lutz Ministry” in the memo line.
You can give securely online at: https://wmpl.org/give/ or by phoning +1-612-871-6843.
Chattanooga Community Vacation Bible School–Rocky Railway
The theme for the 2020 Chattanooga Community Vacation Bible School is Rocky Railway. 2020 VBS will be held 22-26 June from 9 a.m.-12:00 noon. All children from 3 years of age through those that will have just finished 6th grade are invited to join in. Volunteers will be needed to help throughout the week. Please consider joining in if you can. We also hope to borrow some artificial green Christmas trees from the congregation for decoration.
Kingdom Kids Begins 12 February
Kingdom Kids will begin their winter session Wednesday 12 February. All children from 3 years of age through 6th grade are invited to join. Kingdom Kids meets every Wednesday through March, from 6-7:30 p.m. Each session will consist of Bible lessons, crafts, games, singing, a meal, and more. Please share this information with interested families. Those interested in helping with a meal should contact Candace or Kendra.
A holiday message from our missionary in Kenya, Kathleen Lutz:
Hope you are well and enjoy Thanksgiving. I just miss my family, especially on the holidays, and turkey and all the trimmings. Found some frozen turkey pieces. Good enough for me! Looks like winter is making itself known there. Here, a lot of rain. Even having warnings of heavy rain in Kenya. Never saw that before. Muddy dangerous landslides and flooded rivers up north; lives are lost. A family had 7 children swept away. Can’t imagine. Otherwise, I am fine and enjoying some down time, as it is school break. No teaching until after the New Year.
Mission & Development Associate
Heart to Heart (hearttoheartorphans.org)
World Mission Prayer League (wmpl.org)
Vicar Adam Poe to Intern at Zion
Vicar Adam Poe will serve his internship at Zion Lutheran, Chattanooga, and St. John Lutheran, Hopewell, for the next year. Vicar Adam has been the Youth Director at Zion Lutheran, St. Marys, for the past 17 years and has been a student at the ILT [Institute of Lutheran Theology] for the past 3 years. At Zion, St. Marys, he has preached one Sunday a month for the past 15 years, has taught the Confirmation Class for the past 17 years, has taught both youth and adult Sunday School, has covered pastoral duties when the need arose, made home and hospital visits, and organized mission trips for the youth and adults. Vicar Adam, his wife and 3 children live in St. Marys. We welcome Vicar Adam, who will begin his internship on 9 December 2019.
Blessed is He Who Comes, 2019 NALC Advent Devotional
The North American Lutheran Church presents, Blessed Is He Who Comes, an Advent devotional booklet for 2019. This year’s booklet, prepared by the Rev. Dr. David Wendel, NALC assistant to the bishop for ministry and ecumenism, is based on the daily Scripture passages from the Reading the Word of God calendar. Reading the Word of God is a three-year Bible reading calendar prepared in 2018 by the NALC, Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) and Lutheran Church—Canada (LCC).
There are three ways to access the devotional:
Pastor Karen Tamorria Retires
Pastor Karen Tamorria lead her last worship service at Zion on 27 October 2019, Reformation Sunday, and retired on 31 October. A special combined worship service and dinner was held on 20 October at St. John Hopewell to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Pastor Karen’s ordination. She and her husband Mike moved to Pennsylvania in early November. We thank Pastor Karen for her dedicated ministry in our parish during the past seven years. We wish her well as she and Mike begin this new phase of their lives.
Vacation Bible School 2019 (17-21 June)
“Roar” VBS was held at the Chattanooga Methodist Church from 9-noon during the week of 17-21 June. An average of 50 children joined each day with 58 different children being involved. Each day all participants learned and were reminded that “God is Good,” even when life is unfair, scary, changing, sad, and good!! An offering of $416.89 was collected for missionary Kathleen Lutz to use in her ministry in Africa, for the Heart to Heart school in Kenya. Over 150 food items were collected for the CALL food ministry. The week-long event concluded with a Friday evening gathering filled with singing and pictures as well as food and fellowship. A huge thank you to everyone involved in any way. Thanks to those that donated money, to those that volunteered time during the week, to those who brought children to the daily gathering and to those who kept our event in their prayers. “God IS Good!!”
Missionary News (June 2019)
Greetings Friends and Partners in Mission,
How precious are the little ones. And, how precious when they hear words of the Bible in their language for the first time!
Working together with TheoVision International we responded to the request of a Maasai tribe community to learn about Jesus and the Bible. For two days we met with pastors and community leaders to introduce the use of audio Bibles which were given out, along with Bibles in their native language. Each leader will set up Bible Listening Groups in their villages to reach out to the unreached. Such groups meet once a week to listen and discuss God’s word in their mother tongue. Illiteracy is a major barrier to people encountering the transforming power of God’s word. Bible Listening Groups creates a culture of listening to God’s word.
Members of Heart to Heart and myself stayed overnight in their home. That night, the church became full of people to see the film of the life of Jesus. Some came to faith. The next day Pastor Koskey of TheoVision trained at least 15 men and women to be Bible Listening Group leaders. Our Heart to Heart volunteer Erick and I later attended a training to enable us to train more such leaders. Use of the audio Bible has many possibilities to reach many more.
Please pray for these leaders as they create Bible Listening Groups and as people’s lives will e transformed through hearing the Word in their mother language. Please also pray for us as we travel north to Maralal to work with Pastor Silas and train more such leaders with audio Bibles, June 17-28.
Let us give thanks to God for His abundant creativity in bringing up new ways and more disciples to make the Gospel known.
“How precious to me are your thought, God! How vast is the sum of them!” (Psalm 139:17)
Missionary News (May 2019)
Dear Members of Zion,
This is such a special time as we remember our dear Lord’s passion as He spent His final days on earth, and the words He left with His disciples and with us “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” John 15:27. What comforting words for us in a troubling world. I hope that you will be blessed during these days of Easter and that you will be filled with His abiding love. And, thank you dear friends for all of your prayers and financial support. You are blessing me in special ways and your contributions are helping to spread His Word and His love to those less fortunate here in Kenya.
Easter Blessing! Kathleen
From Pastor Karen:
A note, dear reader, about last month’s article from Kathleen Lutz. She told us about the dedication of the high school that was being built 1.5 hours outside of Nairobi, Kenya, by Heart to Heart ministries. This will extend education by her school so that their students can finish their education. Here is the wonderful surprise…Half the money that was raised for this high school was raised by Kathleen’s home congregation in Auburn, Indiana, and half was given by gifts and donation from ZION LUTHERAN CHURCH, CHATTANOOGA, OHIO!! That’s us! How excited we are to see the pictures she sent, which are available for everyone to view on the back table at church. Tell your friends, God is great!!
Now, an update from Kathleen Lutz, WMPL Missionary for Heart to Heart in Kenya. Kathleen sent me an answer to this question that came from our church: “How many of the people in Kenya can read?”
She said: “When we go to the bush/rural areas, some read and some don’t. What I am learning is that other missionaries show the “Jesus Movie” (basically the life of Jesus) as a basis, followed by verbal teaching; and I would offer Bibles in Swahili. The movie is available in Swahili, which seems to have a tremendous impact on people. Presently we can borrow the video machine and a generator to show the move outside at night on a screen/sheet that we set up. This means I would need to hire Nuru Media Lutheran Ministries to go with us to operate the machines, etc Today I had a discussion with Kenyans to find the cost of this equipment so that I would fund raise to purchase it. Heart to Heart, the schools and I could have a lot of use for this purpose and to enhance my teaching.
On the other hand, further into the rural area and in the slum areas around the schools, many do not read. In response to this, just last year World Mission Prayer League missionaries helped to complete the New Testament in Swahili on audio. Gloria, our other missionary, buys SC cards 2 GB and records the Bible onto those (audio). This means that Kenyans can hook it up to their phones and listen to the Bible. Most Kenyans have cell phones because there are no land lines. Imagine this—a Maasai herding his cows, goats, and camels out in the fields listening to the Bible. Quite an advancement for mission work!”
NALC Lenten Devotional 2019
The NALC offers a free Lenten devotional on its website (at NALC Lenten Devotional 2019) or in the NALC Walk of Faith app. You can get the free app in the Apple App Store or in Google Play. You can also receive daily devotions via text, e-mail, or Facebook. Visit NALC Lenten Devotional 2019 for more information.
High School near Nairobi Funded by Local Donations
Missionary Kathleen Lutz, who is ministering in Kenya, reports that Heart to Heart Kenya Mission has built a two-room high school near Nairobi with donations from Zion and Kathleen’s home congregation in Indiana.
Kathleen also reports that World Mission Prayer Missionaries have completed a Bible CD in Swahili, which will be distributed among the local population.
You can support our missionary Kathleen Lutz with prayers as well as giving an on-line gift at World Mission Prayer League , Gift Designation to: Kathleen L. Ministry Fund (for this project and her mission work) or Kathleen L. Support Fund.
You Can Help
The NALC provides help and resources for domestic disasters. You can donate here: NALC Disaster Response Fund.
They are currently providing aid for flooding in Nebraska and other affected areas.
RELEASED TIME BIBLE EDUCATION PROGRAM AT PARKWAY
Sharing the Gospel with students during school hours
The Released Time Bible Education provides a means to reach youth through a Biblical education and to plant the seeds of faith, as well as sharing a message of acceptance, encouragement, and purpose.
Kingdom Harvest Ministries in Celina has collaborated with the Parkway School District pastors for Released Time Bible Education, offered to Parkway students in grades 5-12.
The Released Time Bible Education program recognizes and reinforces the constitutionally protected right of parents to direct the religious education of their children.
The Released Time Bible Education program provides the opportunity for public school children to be released to an off-site premises during school hours, to attend a Released Time Bible class, on an entirely voluntary basis.
The Released Time Bible Education program is held during the school day and children are released from a portion of their regular school day to attend a Bible class at a local church. For Parkway students, Bible classes will be held at New Horizons Community Church, adjacent to the school. There is no inconvenience to parents or any requirements to adjust their schedules.
Parkway students can register here for Released Time Bible Education:
For more information about the Released Time Bible Education program at Parkway and Kingdom Harvest Ministries:
Donate to Hurricane Florence Restoration
Thrivent members who would like to contribute to the restoration after Hurricane Florence can donate on-line at Thrivent.com . Thrivent will double your donation, dollar for dollar, through 31 December 2018.
NALC Ministry Partnership
This year Lutheran Military Veterans and Families Ministries, Inc. was made a “Full Ministry Partner” of the church. As our relationship with the church grows, we are seeking more ways and opportunities to assist our churches with their ministry outreach to veterans and their families.
LMVFM provides veterans, contractors, and their family members with free counseling services and assessments, help with VA claims, and assistance locating and connecting with other types of resource support.
Their website, Lutheran Military Veterans and Families Ministries, Inc., is: http://www.lmvfm.org/ .
2018 Chattanooga Community Bible School
“SHIPWRECKED”–Rescued by Jesus
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Zion Lutheran Church, Chattanooga, Ohio
Chattanooga United Methodist Church & Zion Lutheran Church
Support Our Missionary Kathleen Lutz
You can support our missionary Kathleen Lutz, who is ministering in Nairobi, Kenya, with prayers as well as giving an on-line gift at World Mission Prayer League , Gift Designation to: Kathleen L. Ministry Fund (for her mission work) or Kathleen L. Support Fund.
500th Anniversary of the Reformation—October 29, 2017
What is our congregation doing to celebrate the start of the Reformation that began when Martin Luther posted the 95 Theses on the Castle Church door at Wittenberg and brought back a central teaching of the Church, that “we are saved by grace through faith” (Ephesians 2:8), against the teaching of the day that indulgences could be bought with money to secure the Pope’s allowing you time out of purgatory?
There are a number of other surprises as well, so be at the service of Holy Communion on Reformation Sunday, October 29th, to celebrate! And invite a friend!
UPDATE ON THE NALC DISASTER RELIEF EFFORTS (1 Oct 2017)
The NALC Disaster Relief warehouse in Caldwell, Ohio, has delivered water, flood buckets with cleaning supplies, rakes, shovels, garden hoses, and more than 1,000 hygiene kits, 500 layettes/baby items, 2,000 quilts and Bible, school supplies, and pet food to families in need from Corpus Christi to Beaumont in Texas. They have their feet on the ground in Florida, as well, and supplies for Florida may be sent to the NALC Disaster Warehouse at 810 Main Street, Caldwell, OH, 43724, or taken to Zion Lutheran Church, St. Marys to be gathered and sent to Caldwell, Ohio, in the near future. Mary Bates has urged that monetary contributions be sent to our national offices at 2299 Palmer Drive, Suite 220, New Brighton, MN, 55112-2202. It is recommended that members who would like to send contributions specifically to the Caribbean hurricane victims send them to Water Missions International, as the NALC does not have a church building for a base of operations they can use in the Caribbean. Or you can make your check out to your congregation with a note on the memo line where you would like your money to go.
NALC DISASTER RESPONSE FOR HURRICANE HARVEY, TEXAS (Sep 2017)
Our Disaster Response Team for the NALC is working to support our congregations in Texas who are endeavoring to respond to the hurricane damage there. Mary Bates, NALC Disaster Coordinator, will be on site to work with volunteers (firstname.lastname@example.org). Michael Giese is the designated responder who lives in the Mission District area (email@example.com). If you wish to volunteer or donate, monetary donations can be sent to 2299 Palmer Dr., Suite 220, New Brighton, MN 55112, or donate online at www.thenalc.org, selecting “Hurricane Harvey” and “Disaster Response Fund.”
MAKER FUN FACTORY!
Vacation Bible School, 26-30 June 2017, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon, at the Chatt United Methodist Church. Sponsored by the Chatt United Methodist Church and Zion Lutheran Church, Chatt. Ages 3 years-6th grade. Look at all the fun they are having as they hear about God!
HELP STUFF THE TRUCK!
Collecting items for NALC Disaster Relief:
The NALC is collecting quilts, flood buckets, health kits, and school kits for disaster relief. Pastor Karen will take donated items to the convocation in Nashville in August. Help Stuff the Truck!
18 SEPTEMBER 2016, LAPTOP PRESENTED TO MISSIONARY:
Two families from Zion donated a new laptop to missionary Kathleen Lutz for her work in Kenya. The laptop was presented to Kathleen during Zion’s worship service that Sunday.
HANDS AND FEET OF JESUS MONTHLY CHALLENGE
The Monthly Challenge from Zion’s Evangelism Committee is an effort to help members of Zion intentionally think about how they can be the “hands and feet of Jesus” in very simple ways. If everyone does the challenge just ONCE during the month many seeds of love will be sown and will make a difference in someone’s life. The challenges are for EVERYONE–adults, teens, and children. Get started and have fun!
October 2017 Challenge: Smile at 4 strangers! See what happens.
SUMMER CHALLENGES: Give a plant or flower to someone, just because; send a thank you note to your local police or fire department; compliment a parent or grandparent on how well their child is behaving.
February 2017: Send a Valentine to someone who would not expect it.
November 2016: Let someone know they made a difference in your life.
May 2016: Do something for a former or present military person to show your appreciation for their service. Take time to call or visit someone you haven’t talked to in a long time. (Update: During the month of May Ed and Deb sent cards to veterans they know, thanking them for their service. Karen spent the afternoon visiting a cousin she had not seen for a while. Joe and Karen visited a shut-in.)
April 2016: Take time to call or visit someone you haven’t talked to in a long time. (Update: During the month of April Jill, Joe, and Karen re-connected with some people. Deb sent an encouragement card to a friend she hadn’t spoken to in at least 10 years and Ed sent an email to her husband.)
FALL 2015, TOMBSTONES RESET IN CHURCH CEMETERY:
27 SEPTEMBER 2015, ZION CELEBRATES 160th ANNIVERSARY:
FEBRUARY 2015, ZION GETS 2 NEW STAIR LIFTS, PROVIDING HANDICAP ACCESS TO 2 LEVELS:
6 JANUARY 2013, INSTALLATION OF PASTOR KAREN TAMORRIA:
Pastor Karen Tamorria was installed as the pastor of the St. John Hopewell/Zion Parish on Sunday January 6th 2013 at St. John. She was installed by Pastor Dan Powell, Dean of the Ohio Mission District of the North American Lutheran Church. Pastor Powell gave the sermon and Pastor William Maki of Zion Lutheran, St. Marys, assisted at the service. Pastor Karen’s husband, Michael Tamorria, was received as a member of Zion and Pastor Karen was received as a member of St. John at the service. Pastors Karen and Michael Tamorria moved to Chattanooga from Maryland in mid-November. Pastor Karen began conducting services at both churches on November 25th 2012.