Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ of Calvary Lutheran Church, Wellington,
Greetings in Christ Jesus, who has called us to be a holy people, gathered around His Word and Sacrament and to be a light to a darkened world!
We are in the season of Advent, which begins the church year. In this time we both look back and look forward. We look backward to the coming of God in the flesh, Jesus Christ, who came into our world two thousand years ago. The people of God had been promised a Savior, a Messiah, from the very beginning, though. In the Garden of Eden, after Adam and Eve fell in their sin of disobedience and unbelief, God promised them that the seed of Eve would crush the serpent’s head. God told Abraham that through his seed all nations would be blessed. David was promised that one of his descendants would have an everlasting throne. The prophets pointed the people to these and more promises of a Redeemer from sin. But after centuries and centuries of waiting, many people had given up hope, or they looked for an earthly redeemer only, one who could at least restore Israel to her former outward glory, the good old days.
But God did not come that way, the way of earthly glory. He came as a little baby, born in a room with farm animals, laid in a manger to sleep, not on a bed of silk. His Kingdom was not of this world. His glory would be shown in His faithfulness and obedience to His Father, even to death on a cross. His glory would be seen in His love for His people, whom He healed with His touch and with His Word of life. He came in a totally unexpected way.
We also look forward in this season to Christ’s return in glory. He has promised to return on the Last Day to fully realize His victory over death, sin, and the devil, won on the cross of Calvary and His resurrection and ascension to heaven. We do not know when He will return, but we are told to keep awake, to be ready for His return at any time. We stay awake through keeping in God’s Word: in our personal Bible reading, in our devotional life, in our prayers throughout the day, in our coming to worship in God’s house, our study of scripture and the confessions in Bible class and Sunday school. These activities keep us awake in spirit, so that even while we sleep at night, we are awake in the faith, eagerly waiting our Lord’s return.
This is a time to look backwards and forwards at our church home, Calvary Lutheran, Wellington, too. We look back at the ways God has blessed this congregation over the years with his Word. He has given His Word and Sacraments to His saints through the mouths and hands of faithful shepherds, and has shown Himself among the flock, through the working of His Holy Spirit, in their faithful service to each other and their neighbors, through their faithful sharing of what they have received from God with their church, and through their love for one another.
We look forward in our congregation with trust in God’s promise that He will preserve His Church. And with trust in that promise, we are free to be God’s people, boldly reaching out to our community in Wellington to let them know here is a place where those who are looking for meaning in their lives may hear the one, true story, the story of God and His love for them in Christ Jesus. We will let the community of Wellington know that here they may find a living community, an organism, the Body of Christ, where they may find something larger than themselves, where they may find their truest self-realization in a new, ancient, and everlasting family of brothers and sisters in faith. We will let the community of Wellington know that here we are taught how to serve them through our vocations, our sharing of God’s Word, and in our acts of mercy and service.
We look forward and backward at this time of year, but we don’t live in either the past or the future. We live in the present. We have been given this, day, this moment. This is the time God comes to meet us, to remind us of His faithfulness to us in the past, and to reassure us of His continual presence with us in the future. “This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalm 118: 24, ESV) Let us rejoice in this blessed Advent season. Come, Lord Jesus!
Blessings in Christ,
“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). God became man; he took on human flesh, so that men would once again dwell with God. In the fullness of time, the Son of God from eternity became a part of history to be born under the law in order to redeem those under the law. Christ came from heaven above to earth below for us men and for our salvation. He who knew no sin became sin so that we would be declared righteous in God’s sight. He was defiled so that we would be cleansed. He was born so that we would not die, and He died for us so that we would live in Him. He took upon Himself everything that rightfully belongs to us—sin and death—and in exchange gave to us everything that rightfully belongs to Him—righteousness, life, and the status as the sons of God.
This is what we celebrate in Advent and at Christmas. We celebrate the coming of our Lord to save us from sin, death, and hell. We celebrate that God in Christ cared for us in body and soul, for He came not only to reconcile us to the Father by taking away our sin, but also to redeem us from death and hell so that we would live with Him in His kingdom, which has no end.
In a sermon on Acts 6 for St. Stephen’s Day, preached on December 26, 1522, Martin Luther said this: “From this story we learn in the first place how a Christian community should be constituted. In addition, we have a true pattern of spiritual government that the apostles here provide. They care for souls, occupy themselves with preaching and prayer, and yet also see to it that the body is cared for; for they suggest several men who are to distribute the goods, as you have heard. Thus the Christian rule is concerned for the people in body and soul, so that no one suffers want . . . that all were richly fed and well cared for in both body and soul.”
And this is one reason we give to the church. We give so that people will see the church not just as a place that cares for souls, that forgives sins, but also a place that cares for the body. For the church is a place of mercy. It is a place where we inhale God’s mercy and loving kindness through the Word and the Sacraments for the forgiveness of our sin. And it’s a place where we exhale the mercy we received there in love and service to our neighbor. The church cares for both the body and the soul.
The church is not so heavenly minded that it forgets those in need on earth. In fact, it cares for the needs of this body and life precisely because it is heavenly minded. We seek to do what God has done for us. The church is so ordered that it does both.
Giving to the church is a responsibility given to those who are the church. This can sometimes be difficult. But it is also a great joy. For in giving to the church we are giving back to God for His use for others what He has first given to us. In giving to the church, we participate in God’s work here in time for all eternity. In giving to the church, we who are heavenly minded do what God has done for us: dwell with those who live in a fallen world and care for them in both body and soul. Let us, then, in this most joyous season of the church year, dwell not on the struggles in giving, but rather on the joy set before us in caring for body and soul as God in Christ has done for us.
December 7 “We Need Something Stronger” Lutheran Hour Speaker: Rev. Gregory Seltz Jesus exchanges our weakness for His strength. (Mark 1:1-8)
December 14 “In Christ, Unbroken” Lutheran Hour Speaker: Rev. Gregory Seltz God’s grace restores those broken by sin and grief. (Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11)
December 21 “Surprised by Grace” Lutheran Hour Speaker: Rev. Gregory Seltz God’s grace comes as a surprise and blessing to those who deserve none of it. (Luke 1:26-38)
December 28 “Monsters in Our Tomorrows” Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour: Rev. Ken Klaus Unknown monsters lurk in the shadows of the new year but Christ will carry us through. (Romans 8:37-39)
The Lutheran Hour Ark City KSOK 1280 AM Sunday 8:00 AM
The Lutheran Hour Ark City KSOK 95.9 FM Sunday 10:30 AM
The Lutheran Hour Wichita KFTI 1070 AM Sunday 8:35 AM
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO…
Lisa Smith December 8
Kristi Hodson December 9
Saige Masonhall December 20
Cheyenne Cooper December 23
Otto Fischer December 24
Sherry Willis December 25
Mitzi Carroll December 26
Darlene Ferguson December 29
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO…
Dennis and Almetta Iverson December 6
William and Denise Weber December 6
Lee and Lois Hofmeier December 14
Wesley and Lisa Smith December 27
Dennis and Ellen Kerr December 29
As God’s family in Christ, Calvary Lutheran Church is committed to sharing God’s word, Christ’s love and our faith.
December 7th: Quinn McCue
December 14th: Jace Lawrence
December 21st: Karlie Biehler
December 28th: Cheyenne Cooper
Special Worship Services
December 3rd: Advent Service 7PM
December 10th: Advent Service 7PM
December 17th: Advent Service 7PM
December 24th: Christmas Eve 7PM
Midnight Service 11:30PM
December 25th: Christmas Day Service 10:30AM
Advent Services will be held on Wednesdays, December 3rd, 10th, and 17th at 7:00p.m. Come before service at 6:45 to sing some of your favorite carols.
On Christmas Eve at 7:00 p.m. we will have a candlelight service with traditional Christmas hymns. Let the light of Christ fill your Christmas with His love and power for the holidays and for everyday life.
Midnight Service on Christmas Eve at 11:30p.m
Christmas Morning Service at 10:30a.m.
The office will be closed December 24th and 25th and December 31st and January 1st.
Voters’ Meeting on December 7th following service to vote on the budget for 2015. Look for the proposed budget in the coming weeks in your email and in the Parish Hall.
All ladies in our congregation are invited to a brief meeting about the future of our LWML here at Calvary. We will meet this Sunday morning right after the service in the sanctuary. Please join us!
The Altar Guild would like to extend the opportunity for you to help beautify the altar and sanctuary this Christmas Season. If you would like to donate to the flower fund, call the Church office at 326-7715 or fill out the form included in the weekly bulletin so you can be included in the list of contributors. Gifts of any amount are gladly accepted.
New Website! Visit our new website at www.calvarywellington.org. Also, check the website to find out if service is canceled due to inclement weather along with KWCH ch 12, KSCW ch. 33 (Cox channel 5) and our Spanish language station, KDCU ch. 31 (Cox cable ch. 15)
Christmas Children’s Program will be during worship on December 14th.
Christmas Open House You are cordially invited to Pastor and Vickie’s house from 4p-7p on December 14th for Christmas cheer, carols, and refreshments. You do not need to bring anything but if you would like to, you may bring a favorite treat. 1401 N. Plum
Operation Holiday Program If you are interested in providing a monetary donation, toy donation, volunteer help to the Operation Holiday Program please contact Tracy Heath at 326-2829 or check the board in the Parish Hall for more details.