There are growing hints in the air that spring and then summer will arrive in northern Minnesota after all is said and done. What a winter! As the weather turns more used-friendly we will all be getting out more and enjoying the activities we can do without freezing or slipping on the ice. My advice: be safe and have fun. Let’s not forget about our privilege of gathering to worship and study God’s Word. There will be church services each week and we will maintain our weekly Bible study schedules.
I am looking forward to some “get-away” times in the months ahead as well. Our family is celebrating a high school and college graduation, a pending date for a grandson’s wedding, a confirmation, and a couple of road trips to see parts of our great country we haven’t seen before. Sue and I will also be celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary with family this summer. We can remember back when people who made it 50 years were really old! It doesn’t seem as ancient today.
There are some exciting things happening at church this summer. We just launched a brand new study of Acts on Wednesday mornings. We are also working our way through the Gospel of Luke Sundays. A highlight later this summer is when our youth go to Camp Bluewater for family camp. It was a smashing success last year. This is not only for the youth group. On August 1stall of us are invited for the evening to the camp to share a Pot-bless meal, cook-out and a family worship gathering by the lake afterwards. What a relaxing time together that was last year and it would be great to see even more of you enjoy it this year.
Vacation Bible School will be offered June 17-21. We had more students last year than anticipated. We are hoping to improve on that this year – not only with more students, but with more participation and interaction between staff and families. Please pray for this to be an important building block for future growth for First Lutheran and for the Kingdom of God.
In July Jessica is taking Tijanna Latimore and Abbie Serfling to the National Youth Gathering in Minneapolis, joining thousands of Christian teens to learn more and grow into their faith more deeply. These gatherings have been highly inspirational for the participants. We look forward to their report back to the congregation. They will be gone July 10-15. Keep them in your prayers, please.
At our special meeting on May 5th our voters approved a significant project we will undertake in July. Chairman Tom Latimore gave a very informative presentation on the proposed audio-visual project before us. This will include a much-needed replacement of our sound system which has been failing us frequently in the past year. A professional team of technicians will install a state-of-the art system that will last us well into the future. In addition, we will have the capability to project on large TV screens our hymns, songs, prayers, scriptures, liturgies, and announcements. This will greatly reduce the number of pages in our weekly bulletin and we will be “hands-free.” I am looking forward to being able to interject more visual aids in presenting sermons. This involves more of our senses and it is more in tune with how the younger generations view things and communicate. For the older members, did I mention that we would not have to hold hymnals or turn the multiple pages of our bulletins? I know this does not sound important to some of you, but just wait until you experience the difference. I guarantee it will turn whatever frowns there are out there into smiles (unless you absolutely refuse to admit that you like it).
A bit later in the year and into next year we will also be repairing and upgrading our pipe organ. It has served well for many years and this will give us even better use for decades to come.
We might add that much of the money is already available for these two major projects. We want to invite anyone so inclined to help with completing the financial end of these upgrades to give donations as memorials or outright gifts. Simply designate on an envelope your wishes. Your help to complete the tasks is greatly appreciated.
SPECIAL OFFERING: This July the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod is meeting in convention, as we do every three years. Officials are elected, policies are crafted, and issues are discussed to make sure that our church body is going in the same direction. Two of the most crucial issues we face is the lack of funding to send missionaries to various parts of the world and the recruitment and training of men for the work of pastoral ministry.
In conjunction with the convention this year a special offering is being gathered to bring in additional funding for these two glaring needs. Would you be interested in helping with this? We have a generous gift from Doris MacDonald of $3,000. Any gifts – up to $3,000 – will be matched by Doris’ contribution. We will be gathering donations between now and mid-August for these matching funds. Please mark your gift as: Synodical Offering. Thank you in advance for your generosity.
In a related matter – we just learned that our sister congregations at Grace, Marble and Mt. Olive in Bovey were assigned a seminary graduate. He and his young family should be arriving in June. More details to follow.
Pastor Bill Zeige has been in the ministry for 45 years since being called out of the St. Louis
Seminary to serve at Our Redeemer in Cohasset and Trinity Lutheran in Hill City in 1973. He
and his wife Sue grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where they met in college.
After moving to Grand Rapids they raised five children: Lynne, Lisa, Laurie, Sarah, and Mark
and cared for a foster daughter for several years. Sue has been involved as a director of
Independent School District 318 for several terms and is seeking re-election currently. She also
served on the Grand Rapids City Council for seven years – five of those years as mayor.
Pastor Bill served Trinity for 13 ½ years before becoming full time pastor at Redeemer where he
served for 38 years before retiring in 2011. Since retiring he has served interim ministries at
Detroit Lakes, MN., Nevis, MN., Our Redeemer in Cohasset, and at First Lutheran since
February, 2018. He also served the Minnesota North District as the Iron Range Circuit
Counselor for 16 years. He also currently serves as City Councilor for the City of Grand
Pastor Bill, although being not so successful at being retired, is grateful to be able to use the gifts
God has given him to be a spiritual leader for the members of First Lutheran congregation and
the people we can reach out to to be part of the family of God.
6/16/19, Introit through Apostle's Creed
4:20 Scripture Readings
11:30 Sermon by Pastor Bill Zeige
6/9/19 Divine Service
9:55 Scripture readings
19:55 Sermon by Pastor Wm Zeige
6/2/19 Divine Service
12:50 Scripture readings
24:55 Sermon by Pastor Wm Zeige
5/19/19 Divine Service, abridged, conducted by Bd. of Elders
2:00 Gospel reading
5/12/19 Abridged Worship Service
Gloria In Excelsis through Sermon
Scripture Readings: 1:15
Sermon (Pastor Bill Zeige): 12:35
5/5/19 Sermon by Pastor Bill Zeige
4/28/19 sermon by Pastor Bill Zeige
Good Friday, 4/19/19
Selected start times
2:10 Scripture readings
12:00 Sermon by Pastor Wm Zeige
4/14/19 Abridged Worship Service
Selected Start Times:
0:00 Sunday School Kids
7:45 Scripture Readings
15:20 Sermon by Pastor Wm Zeige