Printable March 2009 Gleaner

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                                                                                                                 March 2009

                                                       Immanuel Lutheran Church
The Gleaner                                                               Church Council Update
A publication of                               I am actually writing this on the 10th of February, and it has been 60 degrees
                                               today. By the time this is published, many of you will have been on spring break,
Immanuel Lutheran Church                       and we have hopefully had more “pre-spring” weather. As of this date, I am still
320 S. Bradley                                 waiting for the Synod to set up the Bridge Building sessions that we have all been
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858                         waiting for since last December. I can only image how busy the Synod office is,
(989) 773-4205                                 but this is something like waiting for the government to become involved in a
                                               project. I plan to contact the Synod office tomorrow to see if we can get this                             moving forward a little faster.
If you would like your name removed            The Church Council has been spending a lot of time reviewing the budget and
from our mailing list, please let us know.     comparing it with our current giving. We may have to make some adjustments in
                                               our spending if the giving continues to be lower than anticipated. We appreciate
Layout and Editor: Melanie Zalewski            all the help we are getting from the various committees to help us maintain a
Pastor: Mark Behenna                           balanced budget.
Parish Nurse: Dorothy Fetting
Interim Youth Director: Jan Podolsky           I have had several church members ask that the weekly giving and attendance be
                                               published in the bulletin like it was in the past. I have asked that these be placed
The Deadline for submitting articles and       in the bulletin to make it easier for church members to be aware of the present
information is the 1st of each month.
                                               giving and how it relates to the budgeted amount.
                                               I would also like to encourage every member to ask a

             Mission                           friend or acquaintance to attend a church service with
                                               them. There are many people in the community that have
We welcome you into faith in Christ Jesus,     no church home and are looking for a place to worship
we equip you with a faith that works in        and find a church family. Also, think about inviting them to
real life, and send you to serve in the name   attend one of our adult education sessions. These are
of Christ.                                     proving to be very successful and a wonderful opportunity
                                               to learn about and answer questions we may have about

               Vision                          our faith, the Bible, and relationships, while having the
                                               chance to become better acquainted with members of the
Jesus is Lord! Every person is nurtured in     church.
building a strong relationship with God. Our
                                              Thank you for your continued support and with everyone working together for
response to God’s grace is to faithfully care
                                              Immanuel, we will continue to be an example to others of our love for Christ
for each other, our community, and the
                                              and for one another.
                                                             ——Gary Knight, Church Council President
                                               Note: Since Gary wrote the update above, our Church Council entered into an
INSIDE:                                        agreement to bring our Synod’s Bridge Building Program to Immanuel. Bridge
Page 2--           Pastor’s Page               Builders bring a new opportunity for us all to weave an even, more loving
Pages 3, 5-7,9-10--News &                      atmosphere into the fabric of our congregation. This process will begin with a
                   Upcoming Events             session open to all members on Saturday, April 18th. We will start at 10:00 am
Page 4--           Serving This                and conclude at 4:00 pm. There will be a noon-time break with a light lunch
                   Month                       provided. Please mark your calendar! It is important that we have as many
                                               members of Immanuel attend and take an active part in the program. More
Page 8--           Staying Connected
                                               details will follow in the coming days which will outline the entire Bridge Builder
Page 10-11--       Health/Healing              process. Please prayerfully consider taking part in this important first step. If
                   Update                      you want more information, contact any member of Church Council.
the Pastor’s
Dear brothers and sisters;
The presidential election was in November, our new president was inaugurated in January, and now as we enter the month of
March you would think that things political would have settled down. Of course, the political world is still in turmoil … but
then, it always has been in turmoil.
One of my favorite books on my shelf is Everett Fox’s special translation of First and Second Samuel entitled, “Give Us a King!”
Much of this work describes the call of the prophet Samuel as he acts as a conduit between God and the people of Israel
when they first demand to have a king of their own. The Israelites were jealous of the earthly kingdoms which surrounded
them. They had lost their trust in the God who brought them out of slavery in Egypt and into the Promised Land. The people
wanted a big, strong, handsome leader they could see and rally around; they wanted someone who their enemies could see and
who could garner respect by virtue of his appearance and eloquence. So God relented and gave His people what they wanted.
What they got was the growing disaster which was the reign of Saul (and almost all of the subsequent kings of Israel and Judah
As we enter the month of March with so much political controversy swirling around us, we also begin our Lenten journey.
Each Sunday in worship during this season we sing the same Verse just before we hear the Gospel lesson: “Return to the Lord,
your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.” If we are to “return” it must be
because we have gone somewhere else. Where? Well, we have followed the idolatrous path of wanting a king of our own
making, for our own benefit.

                                    The kings we choose nowadays are those who seek our allegiance through promises to
                                    satisfy our wants, lead us successfully into and/or out of battle, and improve the moral
                                    character of our society by the superiority of their personal qualities. (Please note that
                                    these traits are held in common equally by leaders of both major American political parties
                                    and all the minor parties of which I am aware, now and in the past few decades.) In return
                                    we are called to turn over a significant amount of our income, participate in wars chosen by
                                    our leaders by sacrificing precious lives and additional treasure, and ensure the legacy of
                                    our “kings” is glowingly recorded for the benefit of future “kings” and the people who
                                    choose them.

                                      In contrast, God makes one promise given at the time of your baptism, reinforced through
scripture, and echoed endlessly in the congregation of the saints that you have been saved eternally. Your most important need,
that of communion with God’s self, has already been met. This gift has been given to you freely and no amount of treasure has
been demanded. God does not call you into conflict at all; instead, He asks that you hear the quiet call of the Spirit to join
across all boundaries into one Body of Christ. This call certainly does not come at the forfeiture of treasure or life; this call is
life-giving and joy-filled. Finally, God leads quietly and invisibly. He has no concern for His personal legacy, which is assured
without human assistance. God has no successors to impress or influence. God’s gift to you of life eternal came through a
price only Jesus could pay – on the cross, in the grave, and in His ascension.
God’s “kingship” demands very things from us than do earthly kings – faithfulness, the sharing of the Gospel, and our calling of
other to God’s baptismal promise. Given the choice between the demands of the secular “kings” and God’s reign, shouldn’t we
all reorient our lives so that we “Return to the Lord our God?”
                                                   ——In Him, Pr. Behenna                                                        2
                                                                                                            News &
         Lenten Worship Schedule
Mid-Week Lenten worship services will be held
on the following Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm:
                                                          Upcoming Events
                                                                Campus Ministry Committee Wants to Grow
March 5, 12, 19, 26 and April 2.
                                                       The Campus Ministry Committee is looking for new members. This
The Maundy Thursday worship service will be            committee meets on the 4th Thursday of the month from 6:30-8:00 pm at
held April 9 at 6:30 pm. A Maundy Thursday                                                   Immanuel. As a committee we
Prayer Vigil will also be held this day beginning at                                         generally plan events for the college
7:00 am and ending                                                                           students and for the rest of the
with the service at                                                                          college community who worships at
7:00 pm. If you would                                                                        Immanuel. Other things we do
like to be a part of the                                                                     includes sending information letters
Prayer Vigil, sign-up                                                                        to new students, organizing and
sheets will be available                                                                     distributing Goodie Bags for the
in the Narthex.                                        college students during finals week, and offering small scholarships to
Good Friday (April 10) and Holy Saturday (April        college students who provide service to Immanuel. If you think you
11) worship services will also take place at           might be interested in serving the Immanuel community in this way, please
6:30 pm.                                               contact Katrina Piatek-Jimenez at or 779-7477. Both
                                                       college students and year-round members are welcome to join!
Easter Sunday falls on April 12. The Easter Vigil
worship service will begin at 7:00 am, and the
Easter Festival worship service will begin at                       First Communion Classes Are Coming!
10:00 am. An Easter Bruch will be served          Do you have a child or children that are asking about First Communion?
between services this day. If you would like to   At Immanuel Lutheran Church, we recommend that families with children
bring a dish to pass, sign-up sheets will be      ages Kindergarten and higher, consider preparing their child for Holy
available in the Narthex.                         Communion. Most families begin to commune children around 2nd grade,
If you have any questions, contact Pastor Mark at but some children show interest far earlier, and for others, this is still too
773-4204.                                         early. We ask you to pray for guidance in this important and special gift
                                                  from God. This is an exciting time for you and your child to celebrate and
                                                  grow in God’s love.
   Lenten Devotionals Available for All
                                                       We are planning to schedule First Communion
A variety of Lenten devotionals are available for      classes on Sunday mornings, between services
all ages in the Narthex. Please make plans to pick     on the following dates:
up a devotional to deepen your relationship with
God. All Lenten devotional materials (as well as           •   Sunday, March 8th
Advent devotionals) are paid for with the money            •   Sunday, March 15th
we receive from the Meijer Rewards Program.
Thank you for using your reward card to make               •   Sunday, March 22nd
these programs possible. If you have any               We ask that at least one parent be present with your child(ren) each
questions, please contact Jan Podolsky at              time we gather. A part of the preparation will provide you with some
772-7762.                                              tools that will help continue your child’s instruction. This course will help
                                                       parents fulfill their promises to raise their children in the covenant of
                                                       their baptism. By sharing in the preparation of Holy Communion, this
               Lenten Offerings                        strengthens our growing relationship with God together with your child.
This year’s Lenten midweek service offerings will      If you would like to sign up for the First Communion classes for your
be given toward the Community Compassion               child or if you have questions regarding the preparation for receiving
Network Red Cross Mobile Food Pantry that              Holy Communion, please get in touch with Pastor Mark (773-3204 or
will be coming to Immanuel on April 25, for use or Cindy Keller (772-5717 or
in feeding the needy of our county. Thank you
all for your generous offerings!
                                                           ——God’s Blessings, Pastor Mark Behenna & Cindy Keller
This Month...
Assisting Ministers—Contact Ruth Magnell (772-5896)                  Counters—Contact Hans Fetting (773-9514)
1st      Dan Eversole                                                1st    Jacque Jackson & John Lorand
8th      Joe Caleca                                                  8th    LT March & John Warriner
15  th
         Rose Prasad                                                 15th   Harry Plouff & Marcella Armstrong
22nd     Dan Digmann                                                 22 nd
                                                                            John Emmons & Tom Endres
29th     Marilyn Zorn                                                29th   Chuck McCollom & Ben Prasad
Ushers—Contact Dave Ebert (433-2053)                                 Nursery—
1st    Steve MacGregor, Ed Berthold & John Emmons (9:00 am)          1st    (9:00 am)
       Tom Mueller (11:15 am)                                               Susan Shock (11:15 am)
5th    Dave Ebert (6:30 pm)                                          8 th
                                                                            (9:00 am)
8th    Bill Jensen, John Emmons & Ed Berthold (9:00 am)                     (11:15 am)
       Dave Ebert (11:15 am)                                         15th   (9:00 am)
11  th
       John Emmons (6:30 pm)                                                Susan Shock (11:15 am)
15th   Dave Ebert, Larry Leemaster & Scott MacGregor (9:00 am)       22nd   (9:00 am)
       Dave Ebert & Tom Mueller (11:15 am)                                  (11:15 am)
18  th
       Tom Mueller (6:30 pm)                                         29  th
                                                                            (9:00 am)
22nd   Dave Ebert, Bill Jensen & Scott MacGregor (9:00 am)
       Dave Ebert (11:15 am)
                                                                     Sunday Snow Removal—
25  th
       Dave Ebert (6:30 pm)
                                                                     1st     Paul Geisthardt
29th   Larry Leemaster, Dave Ebert & John Emmons (9:00 am)
                                                                     8th     Gary Schwerin
       (11:15 am)
                                                                     15  th

Greeters—Contact Deb LaBlance (772-7899), Billie Plouff (772-0323)   22nd
1st     The Keller Family (9:00 am)                                  29th
        Harry & Billie Plouff (11:15 am)
                                                                     Church Cleaning—Contact Carl Graef (772-5228)
8th     Bert & Paula Krueger (9:00 am)
                                                                     4th    Margaret Skop
        Allen & Susan Shock, Donald Poynter (11:15 am)
                                                                     11 th
15th    John & Cil Lorand (9:00 am)
        (11:15 am)
22nd    The Podolsky Family (9:00 am)
        (11:15 am)                                                   Sunday School Teachers—Contact Cindy Keller (772-
29  th
        Kate Henry & Mary Lou Fell (9:00 am)                         5717)
        The French Family (11:15 am)                                 1st    Cindy Keller (Pre-K-1st Grades)
                                                                            Steve & Jan Podolsky (2nd-6th Grades)
Cantors—Contact Dianne Granstra (832-8346)
                                                                     8 th
                                                                            Holly Hoffman (Pre-K-1st Grades)
1st    Mark Sprang
                                                                            Steve & Jan Podolsky (2nd-6th Grades)
8th    Dennis Marshall
                                                                     15th   Cindy Keller (Pre-K-1st Grades)
15  th
       Joe Caleca
                                                                            Steve & Jan Podolsky (2nd-6th Grades)
22nd   Totally His
                                                                     22  nd
                                                                            Cindy Keller (Pre-K-1st Grades)
29th   Beth Mundwiler
                                                                            Steve & Jan Podolsky (2nd-6th Grades)
Altar Guild—Contact Bonnie Schaeffer (773-9738), Marcella            29  th
                                                                            Holly Hoffman (Pre-K-1st Grades)
Armstrong (772-2497)                                                        Steve & Jan Podolsky (2nd-6th Grades)
1st      Denise Little & Peggy Recker
8th      Deb Reimer & Bonnie Berthold
15th     Ruth Magnell & Sandy Warriner                                If you can fill any of the blank spaces,
22 nd
         Marilyn Zorn & Jan Kruska                                    please let Melanie know by calling
29th     Judy Emmons & Ann Ferguson
                                                                      773-4204 or by email at
                                                                                                     News &
 First United Methodist Church to
   Host Food Truck at Immanuel
The First United Methodist Church in Mt.
                                                     Upcoming Events
                                                             Immanuel’s Mission Endowment Supports
Pleasant will be hosting a Community                                   Local Organizations
Compassion Network Red Cross Food
Pantry Truck at                              Two long running mission projects at Immanuel had to be eliminated from
Immanuel on Saturday,                        budget approval in 2008; however, these projects were able to continue
March 28 from 8:00 am-                       through the use of earnings from the Immanuel Lutheran Church Mission
12:00 pm. If you would                       Endowment Fund. Earnings were used to continue paying for the secretarial
like to volunteer, contact                   support of the Christmas Outreach program and a monetary gift from
Carolyn Hoffman at                           Immanuel for the AIM (Association of
772-3408 or                                  Interfaith Ministries) Friendship Classes                      which have been supported for many

           Address Change                    The Mission Endowment Fund
                                             Committee fields requests for uses of
             SPC Ross.John                   the fund’s earnings and forwards these
              Co B 628th ASB                 requests on the Church Council for
         6609 NA Fort Sill Blvd              approval when merited. Principal is
        Fort Sill, OK 73503-1800             never spent, only the earnings. If you
              (until 3/30/09)                are interested in leaving a legacy gift so
      email:         that our church can continue its
                                             mission in the future, contact any
                                             member of the committee or Pastor
                                             Mark for more information. Committee
                                             members are: Tom Endres, Chair, Dave
                                             Simon, Treasurer, Nancy Simon, Secretary,
                                             Jan Eversole, Bill Gallaher, Tad Richards
                                             and Gary Knight.

      Celebrate This Baptism                 (Photo: Pr. Ron Vredeveld from AIM accepts the check from Immanuel’s Mission
                                             Endowment Committee, presented by Pr. Mark Behenna.)
Tanner Dwight Goodrich was baptized at
the 9:00 am service on February 8. Tanner
is the son of Gabriel and Martha Goodrich.
Tanner’s sponsors are Mandy Cooley, Jack
                                                               2008-2009 Church Council Members
Spratto, Andrea Gastmeier, and Mike          Mark Behenna           Pastor
Gastmeier. Tanner was also presented with    Charlie Burke               Vice President
a commemorative medallion provided by                                                             Fellowship
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.            Kathy Gray               Stewardship
                                             Len Jackson            Mission Service
                                             Ian Kabell             Adult Education
                                             Sue Keilitz            Finance
                                             Gary Knight    President
                                             Billie Plouff             Worship & Music
                                             Sam Staples            Personnel
                                             Mark Strandskov      Campus Ministry           5
News &
Upcoming Events
                                                                                           Living Waters Ministries
                                                                                          Phil and Marty’s Excellent
                      What is Geothermal Energy?                                                  Adventure
                                                                                     This weekend retreat at Michi-Lu-Ca is
Geothermal energy. Does it sound a little farfetched? Maybe so, but it is the
                                                                                     for confirmation students to increase
wave of the future for cooling and warming homes. Cil Lorand and Dawn Moss
                                                                                     their understanding of what Lutheranism
chatted with Bonnie Schaeffer who, along with her husband Ken, had geothermal
                                                                                     means today. We will go back into the
heat installed in their home last fall.
                                                                                     16th century and visit Martin Luther and
Ken and Bonnie looked at the plans of three different manufacturers. Prices          Phil Melanchton to experience the
ranged between $10,000 and $16,000. Interestingly, Bonnie stated the idea of         happenings of those times. Led by Pastor
installing geothermal energy first came to them about 20-25 years ago. At that       Will Stenke in March and Pastor Scott
time, the price was around $30,000.                                                  Torkko in April.
The reason the Schaeffers chose geothermal was because the price of propane          You have two opportunities to be a part
gas kept rising. Ken and Bonnie were told by the company that they would             of this adventure: March 20-22 or April
recover the price invested in about seven years.                                     24-26. Cost is $75 and includes meals,
Their electric bill has risen to more than $100-125 extra per month, however         materials, and lodging. To register, send
that is offset by what they would have paid for the propane, down by more than       your payment to Living Water Ministries,
one quarter.                                                                         3506 Garling Rd., Fairview, MI 48621.
                                                                                     Payments by credit card can be made by
How it works: Geothermal heating and cooling utilizes energy from the sun            calling 989-848-5797 between 8:00 am
which has been absorbed into the ground. This stored energy below the earth’s        and 4:00 pm on weekdays. Call or visit
surface is warmer than air temperature in winter and cooler in summer. By   if you have any
means of an underground loop of pipes circulating fluid, heat is transferred to or   questions.
from the ground. Bonnie mentioned that a positive impact of installing this
system has been the feeling of a very even temperature throughout the house.
Another chat is planned with Bonnie in 2-3 months. She will let us know how
                                                                                          Living Waters Ministries
geothermal energy hopefully helped make the winter a little more bearable in                   Men’s Retreat
terms of cost and warmth.                                                            Come together March 20-22 at Michi-
                                                                                     Lu-Ca with men of all ages to take a
                                                                                     closer look at men in the Bible and in
                                                                                     contemporary life. Spend time
                                                                                     decompressing from the stress of life
                                                                                     with walks through the woods, fishing,
                                                                                     and in fellowship time with friends old
                                                                                     and new. Participate by choice in
                                                                                     planned activities including devotions,
                                                                                     Bible studies, and games. Whatever your
                                                                                     current path, you’ll return home
                                                                                     refreshed, relaxed, and refocused. Led by
                                                                                     Pastor George Oberle.
                                                                                     Cost is $75 and includes meals and
                                                                                     lodging. To register, send your payment to
                                                                                     Living Water Ministries, 3506 Garling Rd.,
                                                                                     Fairview, MI 48621. Payments by credit
                                                                                     card can be made by calling 989-848-
                                                                                     5797 between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm on
                                                                                     weekdays. Call or visit
                                                                            if you have any
                                                                                     questions.                                   6
                                                                                                        News &
       March Birthdays
         Alice Lueder
         Ben Prasad
                                                       Upcoming Events
                                     ELCA Task Force Makes Recommendation on Ministry Policies and
         Mel Woods                              Releases “Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust”
         Joann Johnson
         Brian Mitchell         CHICAGO (ELCA) — The 15-member Task Force for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in
         Sam Staples            America (ELCA) Studies on Sexuality released February 19 a “Report and Recommendation
4th      Barb Dunn              on Ministry Policies” for the professional leadership of the church.
         Tom Dillman            On the basis of study and “listening to this church,” members of the task force developed a
7th      Jack Freeman           report and recommendation for the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly — the church’s
         Michael Caleca         chief legislative body — to consider as regards the church’s current policy.
         Olivia Geisthardt
8th      Susan Shock            For Lutheran pastors and other professional leaders in the ELCA, the church requires that
         Tracy McCollom         sexual intimacy “be within the context of marriage.” The church understands marriage as
         Sarah Freeman          between a man and a woman. Gay and lesbian Lutherans serve as ordained ministers in the
                                ELCA but are expected to abstain from engaging in same-gender sexual intimacy.
9th      Janice Fox
10th     David Ross             The report focuses on changing the policy that “ordained ministers who are homosexual in
11th     Keelin Wheaton         their self-understanding are expected to abstain from homosexual sexual relationships” —
12th     Katherine Brown        as stated in the ELCA’s “Vision and Expectations” for ordained ministers. The same
13th     Rachel Schwerin        expectation is expressed in policies for professional lay leaders of the church.
14th     Joanne Golden
                                The task force’s report also highlights areas of disagreement and agreement among ELCA
         Nicole Moss            members regarding current policy. Some members of the ELCA support continuation of the
15th     Amy Torgerson          policy, and some members advocate for change. Lutherans have asserted “their positions
         Cil Lorand             with varying degrees of certainty,” the report said.
         Jennifer McCallum
         Nicholas Wentworth     The task force acknowledged that there is neither “a consensus — a general agreement —
         Margaret VanFaussien   nor any emerging consensus” either within the ELCA or within other faith communities in
19th     Samantha Umphrey       North America, according to its report. The task force stated that ELCA members “must
21st     Carl Graef             seek a common way to live and serve in the midst of disagreements.”
         Patrick Kirts          “Through careful listening to this church and to one another other, task force members
         Zachary Heinrich       share a sober appreciation for the depth of disagreement on this matter. We also share a
22nd     Doug Hill              longing for church unity,” said the Rev. Peter Strommen, Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran
24th     Nan Allen              Church, Prior Lake, Minn., and task force chair. “Our hope is that a way can be found to live
         Aiden Pendell          in the unity of the gospel amidst our differences.”
25th     Steve Smith
                                The task force recommended that a process begin with the churchwide assembly, “declaring
         Joshua Cameron
                                its intention about what it wants to do,” according to the report. It proposed four steps to
         Austin Ferguson
                                be taken consecutively. If the assembly agrees to the first, then the second, third and fourth
         Madeline Ebert
                                would be considered only if the preceding steps have been approved.
26th     Sue Keilitz
27th     Laura Richards         The first step asks the assembly whether it is committed “to finding ways to allow
         Christine Jurick       congregations and synods that choose to do so to recognize, support, and hold publicly
28th     Daniel Grant           accountable lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships,” said the report.
         Lou Saraiva            The second step asks the assembly whether it is committed to finding a way for Lutherans in
         Craig Torgerson        committed, same-gender relationships to serve as ELCA professional leaders — clergy,
29th     Paula Krueger          associates in ministry, diaconal ministers and deaconesses.
         Tim MacGregor
         Zachary Kramer         If steps one and two are accepted, step three asks the assembly to commit to implementing
         Linda Salisbury        steps one and two “in such a way that all this church bear the burdens of the other, love the
         Ethan Moss             neighbor, and respect the bound conscience of any with whom they disagree.” According to
         Morgan Oswald          the report, “decisions about policy that serve only the interests of one or another group will
31st     Joy Doremire           not be acceptable.”
         Kirk Torgerson                                                                                                     7
                                                                                                    (“ELCA” continued on p. 9...)
Immanuel Lutheran Church,
      This is so belated for me to write to some of you. I hesitate to write to each of the “givers” in our lives, but I keep
      being reminded of the times in the past that I have taken to send a thank you. I have felt a wonderful relief as I finally
      officially thanked those who have given to our family.
      I have so many things vying for my time, just like we all do. I try to keep up on my family’s household duties. I have
      been making it a priority for a number of years to learn about educating my children. This year, especially, I’ve been
      consumed with learning along with my children. Also, I strongly support my husband in his going back to school for
      his Master’s Degree.
      So, now I write a quick thank you for giving my family a gift certificate to Ric’s Food Center last year. We appreciated
              ——Much Thanks, Sherrie & Ken
Dear Immanuel Friends,
      Thank you so much for all the cards, prayers, telephone calls, and good thoughts you sent my way during my recent
      back surgery. I’m also very thankful for the Chefs with Spirit who kept us well-fed when I was unable to get up and
      cook. You all helped to make my recovery that much easier. I’m very lucky to have such a wonderful “family” to
      count on when needed.
              ——With Love, Melanie (& Mike) Zalewski
Dear Immanuel Family,
      Thank you for the comfort and support you gave when my mom passed. It meant a great deal to our family to know
      so many kept us in their thoughts and prayers. As many of you already realize, the loss of a loved one leaves such a
      void. But it is a precious gift to know that mom is with our Lord and Savior.
              ——God Bless, Billie & Harry Plouff & the Mary Neil Family
Dear Immanuel,
      Please allow me to express the gratitude of Lutheran Social Services of Michigan for your generous donation. LSSM
      appreciates your members’ commitment to serving people as an expression of the love of Christ.
      Your congregation’s contribution allows LSSM to provide much needed services to the more than 23,000 children,
      homeless families, older adults, persons with disabilities, and refugees we serve. Each of these individuals would
      personally thank you if they could, but instead I will thank you on their behalf.
      LSSM’s vision is creating a community that upholds human dignity, decries complacency, and affirms equality and
      justice. Your support is one way we further our shared ministry of “Compassion in Action.” Your congregation’s
      participation helps to strengthen and multiply our ability to lessen human suffering. Thank you for your leadership
      role in maintaining and increasing that support.
      I look forward to continuing a long-lasting relationship. Again, thank you for your confidence in LSSM and your
      caring for others.
              ——Cordially, Richard K. Martin, Vice President for Advancement, LSSM
Dear Members of Immanuel,
      We would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to you for your very generous gift for AIM’s
      We appreciate your continued concern and dedicated support for AIM. We also value your prayers and
      encouragement as we serve on behalf of you, your church, and other churches in our community, enabling people
      with developmental disabilities to experience the love of God and to grow in their faith.
      Thanks for being life-long partners with us. As we continue to serve in the name of Jesus, we pray for God’s
      guidance of our ministry and God’s continued blessings for you and your church.
              ——Serving Jesus with you, Rev. Ron Vredeveld & Thomas H. Shepard
                                                                                                     News &
(“ELCA” Continued from p. 7...)
Step four presents a proposal for how the
ELCA could move toward change “in a way
                                                     Upcoming Events    Living Waters Ministries
that respects the bound conscience of all,”                              Scrapbooking Retreat
said the report. The fourth step is
different from the previous steps in that it   Pray! Crop! Pray! Lavish yourself in a weekend getaway at Michi-Lu-Ca on
is “not simply a commitment in principle,      March 27-29 with a scrapbooking table in a beautiful rustic environment.
but makes a specific recommendation for        Exchange scrapbook secrets and faith stories as you layout the perfect page.
flexibility within existing structures and     Work till dawn or sleep all day, but don’t worry about the cooking, because
practices of this church to allow for          we’ll take care of that! Bring your daughter, mother, or friend and crop till
people in publicly accountable, lifelong,      you drop! Led by Pastor Sherry McGuffin.
monogamous, same- gender relationships                                        Spaces are filling up quickly, so don’t wait too
to be approved” for professional service in                                   long to save your spot! Cost is $75 and
the ELCA, stated the report.                                                  includes meals and lodging. To register, send
The task force’s report and                                                   your payment to Living Water Ministries, 3506
recommendation on ministry policies                                           Garling Rd., Fairview, MI 48621. Payments by
completes a directive from the 2007 ELCA                                      credit card can be made by calling 989-848-
Churchwide Assembly to address and                                            5797 between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm on
make recommendations on changes to                                            weekdays. Call or visit
policies that preclude Lutherans in                                  if you have any
committed, same-gender unions from the                                        questions.
ELCA’s professional rosters.
The 2001 assembly directed the church to
study homosexuality with reference to                                      A Man from Kenya
two topics — the blessing of same-sex
                                               Since 1998 David
unions and the “ordination, consecration
                                               Zarembka has been
and commissioning of people in committed,
                                               the Coordinator of
same sex unions.” It also asked the church
                                               the African Great
to develop a social statement on human
                                               Lakes Initiative, a
                                               project of the
 “Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust” — the       Friends of Peace
proposed social statement developed by         Teams. He has
the task force — was also released             decades of
February 19. The proposed social               experience in Africa,
statement and the report and                   and he currently
recommendation on ministry policies are        lives in Lumakanda in
two separate documents. The documents          Western Kenya.
are open to review by the ELCA Church
                                               David will speak
Council—the church’s board of
                                               about, “Peacemaking
directors—when it meets here March 27-
                                               after deadly conflict:
30, and they will be considered by the
                                               healing and
2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, Aug.
                                               reconciliation in
17-23, in Minneapolis.
                                               Rwanda, Burundi,
The task force’s “Report and                   and Kenya” on
Recommendations on Ministry Policies”          March 10 at 7:30 pm
and “Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust” is       at Wesley
available at              Foundation, 1400 S.
faithfuljouney on the ELCA Web site.           Washington, Mt.
                                               Pleasant. All are
                                               invited to this event.                                                       9
 News &
 Upcoming Events  Immanuel Youth Participate in Quake
                                                                                                CMCH Classes
                                                                                                 March 2009
                                                                                     Free Foot Screening
Six of Immanuel’s young people attended the Youth Encounter Quake this January       By Mark D. Young, Podiatrist
in Lansing. Quake is a Christian convention for teens in grades 7-9. Our teens had   When: March 19 from
a wonderful time in worship and in fellowship with about 300 other students their    9:00 am-4:30 pm by
age. This was certainly a growing experience for our youth. Check out the photos     appointment
below that were taken during “Wacky Dress Night.”                                    Where: 405 S. Mission
                                                                                     St., Mt. Pleasant
                                                                                     Cost: Free
                                                                                     Call 779-5606 to register.

                                                                                     Free Skin Cancer Screening
                                                                                     By Kris Harrison, PA-C
                                                                                     When: March 25 from 9:00-11:30 am
                                                                                     by appointment
                                                                                     Where: CMCH Medical Arts Building,
                                                                                     Suite 352
                                                                                     Cost: Free
                                                                                     Call 779-5688 to register.

                                                                                       Adult Grief Support Offered
                                                                                     Woodland Hospice (formerly Hospice
                                                                                     of Central Michigan) and the Morey
                                                                                     Bereavement Center offer an Adult
                                                                                     Grief Group on the first and third
                                                                                     Tuesday of each month from 5:30-
                                                                                     7:00 pm.
                                                                                     Woodland Hospice is also hosting a
                                                                                     Grief Support Social Group on the
                                                                                     second Friday of each month from
                                                                                     11:30 am-1:30 pm. The first half of the
                                                                                     group will be a social hour with a
                                                                                     potluck lunch. The second hour will
                                                                                     consist of a presentation and group
                                                                                     discussion. Each month a different
                                                                                     topic of interest will be presented.
                                                                                     There is no charge for attending these
                                                                                     groups. All meetings will be held at the
                                                                                     Woodland Hospice & Morey
                                                                                     Bereavement Center, 2597 S. Meridian
                                                                                     Rd., in Mt. Pleasant.
                                                                                     For more information contact Lisa at

                                                                   By Dorothy Fetting,
                                                                      Parish Nurse              Update
Faith Community Nursing: I recently attended the Spiritual Care Seminar sponsored by the Mid Michigan Medical
Center. Rabbi Chave Bhale, from northern Michigan, used story and reflection to share her ideas about enhancing a climate
of healing through joy, honesty, and spiritual practice. She emphasized how our own attitudes, values, and assumptions affect
our presence in caring for others. She also stressed the importance of self knowledge which deepens one’s ability to work
as a member of an interdisciplinary team.
March is National Nutrition Month: The Harvard
School of Public Health has developed an alternative to
the USDA Food Guide Pyramid, called the Healthy Eating
Pyramid. It is a guide to choosing a healthy diet, as well as
exercise and weight control. Five quick tips from this
guide are…
    1. Start with regular exercise.
    2. Focus on food, not servings or grams.
    3. Go with plants! A plant based diet is healthiest.
       Choose plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains,
       and healthy fats like olive oil and canola oil.
    4. Cut way back on red meat, refined grains,
       potatoes, starchy vegetables, sugary drinks, and
       salty snacks. If you eat meat, fish and poultry are
       the best choices.
    5. Take a daily multivitamin.
For additional information, visit
Thought to Ponder: Now that the season of Lent has begun, it is a good time to give up something that we enjoy and
give to others. The gift could be our time, talents, or worldly goods to share, rather than accumulating more “stuff.”
By caring, accepting, and forgiving, perhaps we can begin to understand what Christ meant by the Kingdom of God on
Make a Date to Donate Blood: All donated blood is tested for transmitted diseases. You CANNOT contract HIV or
any other infectious disease by giving blood. There is no upper age limit to those who wish to donate blood.
Chefs with Spirit: This dedicated group continues to serve those in need with food and Christian love. They have
provided 18 meals to 5 household in 2009. If you would like to help or know of someone in need, please contact Bonnie
Schaeffer at 773-9738 or leave a voice mail message at church at 773-4204.
Home Communion is provided to shut-ins on the second Sunday of each month. Servers go out after the 9:00 am
service. It is a very rewarding experience. If you wish to volunteer, please contact Marilyn Zorn at 773-9637.
Medical Equipment Inventory: We have an ample supply of items available for loan to Immanuel members and friends
on a short or long-term basis. If you know of someone in need, please call Paul Kruska at 828-5103, Dorothy Fetting at
773-9514, or the church office at 773-4204 between 8:00 am-5:00 pm, Monday-Friday.
The next Congregational Life/Health/Healing Team Meeting will be Tuesday, April 14 at 4:30 pm in the Concordia
classroom. We will not meet in March.

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