Sunday, October 17, 2010

The 21st Sunday After Pentecost

Today's service was an interesting departure from our typical Sunday rituals in that we did not have a sermon per se, though the Lord's voice could be discern through the music and testimonies shared this morning. Chuck Vanderscheuren lead the service, welcoming us with Brad's traditional greeting. Pastor Brad, it was noted, is in Florida for a wedding.

Announcements included the following...
1) On Thursday, October 28 we are gathering here at the church for our semi-annual meeting, which will begin at 6:00 p.m. with a chili dog fundraiser for Adventure Club. The event has been titled Navigate 2011 and it's importance cannot be understated as we will be discussing how to implement our vision for the coming year.
2) Joanne noted that she is seeking a substitute teacher for October 31.
3) Pam Johnson shared that there is a need for diapers at the Union Gospel Mission, that we are collecting sizes 3, 4 and 5 diapers.

The quartet opened the service with a joyous song followed by more, and then led us in worship after which we shared in the offering. Today's Scripture reading from Luke 18:1-8 tied remarkably to a later portion of the service. After a time of prayer, Chuck as Norm Livgard to share his testimony.

Norm's Story
Norm began by sharing about his Lutheran roots and some lessons he learned as a young man. His career as a surveyor eventually ed him here to the Northland where he became county surveyor in 1974.

In 1999, after personal turmoil brought him low and he married Mae, they went to the Southwest for the first time. In February 2000 they found themselves painting a children's home in Apache Junction when he had a powerful experience. Previous to this trip Norm felt that there was something missing in his life. Here he felt this visit was an answer to his prayers.

As it turned out, the city of Mesa had been putting pressure on the children's home because they wanted it gone. Though once located in the desert, the developing outskirts of Phoenix now surrounded the children's home. City officials had been demanding that the property be surveyed in order to permit any further remodelling of the facilities. This surveying could amount to a twenty thousand dollar expense. Instead, Norm being there at the right time, was able to complete the land survey at no cost to the home.

This past year Norm also had a chance to be involved in the Modest Home Makeover project, which was similarly rewarding. With his sleeves rolled up, Norm is ready for new marching orders, eager to help where needed.

Ed's Dream
Before singing, Ed shared that while a youth growing up he used to keep a dream diary, and through this exercise became skilled at recalling many of his dreams. One of these was shared with us this morning you can read here: In Another World. After sharing, he was joined by Peggy Carlson and together they sang the classic hymn O Sacred Head.

Peggy's Testimony
Peggy then briefly shared from the heart about being parents of two adult children, about being persistent in prayer, sharing Jeremiah 31:15-17 and Psalm 9:10, and yes, reminding us that today's Scripture about the woman persistent in prayer was so intended for this morning. She then sang a beautiful rendition of "His Eye Is On the Sparrow."

Gwen's Songs
At the close of the service Gwen Cressman shared a word of encouragement to dad's. She recalled for us one time when her dad read to her from Psalm 23, and then told about how God was the Good Shepherd. This incident put a desire in her heart to know the Scriptures like her dad. This was followed by an unaccompanied, beautiful version of Psalm 23.
In closing she shared a second very short message in song: "So let us press on to know the Lord."

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