Notes from Pastor Steve

November/December 2019

     September 14, 2019 was a day to remember in the history of our church as we saw the grand opening of the Silversmith’s House! The ceremony included a ribbon-cutting by our own Becky Millinger and a dedication of that space to the glory of God. Our youth have begun to meet in the upstairs space and the Helping Hands Food Pantry moved to this new location and began serving from there on October 23rd. One of our adult Sunday School classes has also relocated to one of the front meeting rooms. I would ask that you continue to be in prayer for other ways that God may guide us to utilize this amazing facility in ministry here in Ste. Genevieve.

     Make sure you also check behind the Silversmith’s House and note the new hand-made benches and fire pit that are being constructed by Luke Terry for his Eagle Scout project. This area will serve as an outdoor facility for groups meeting under the huge tree in the back yard. It will serve as a wonderful contribution to our church and its ministries. Thanks to Luke for all his planning and hard work!

     The Third Annual All-Church Fish Fry and Picnic took place on September 21st at Lake Forest. It was another beautiful day for a picnic and 43 members and friends of our church gathered to enjoy the good fellowship and food. There were actually more people at the picnic than had attended worship on the previous Sunday! I guess it was a different kind of worship as we communed in God’s great outdoors. Look for pictures in this newsletter.

     We celebrated World Communion Sunday in worship the first Sunday in October. This serves to remind us that we are but a small part of God’s plan for this world and that all Christians are interconnected in ministry with one another. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. Please remember that we now celebrate the sacrament of communion on the first Sunday of each month, as well as on other special occasions (Maundy Thursday, Easter, and Christmas Eve).

     The October fellowship activity was a combination Harvest Party and Hayride. A group of 32 members and friends of the church traveled to the RRR farm for this event on a beautiful afternoon and evening. Thanks to Steve Rottler for serving as our host and tractor driver. Thanks to Rick and Marcia Schaefer for putting everything together, building the fire, cooking the hot dogs, and generally doing it all as they normally do! Thanks to Joan Huck for providing special games and activities for this event. A good time was had by all!

     I attend both the New Worshiping Communities Commission meeting and the Mission and Outreach Team meeting each month in the Presbytery Office in St. Louis. As we look ahead to 2020, the presbytery is attempting to fill several vacancies on various teams (which is the currently used term for committees). If any of you would be interested in serving at the presbytery level please let me know and I will pass your name along to be placed in nomination for 2020. Of course, as is the custom in this denomination, you would be elected for a three year term of service.

      I will be taking the Sundays of November 17th & 24th as my final two vacation Sundays/weeks for 2019. This is my traditional middle of November time to go and commune with nature in the woods. Joan Huck, longtime member of this congregation, has agreed to bring the message on November 17th. We are accustomed to hearing from Joan as she regularly presents our Time With Children and Youth during the service but for this Sunday she will be moving to the pulpit to give the sermon! Thank you, Joan, for your willingness to step out and led our worship. Our choir director, Julia, is planning a Thanksgiving service on November 24th which will include the choir singing several anthems as the primary message. Julia will plan the entire service, as she did for the Veterans’ Day service last year. Mark your calendars and be sure to attend both of these special services!

      At the Faith-based Opioid Council meeting on October, we met with a gentleman from a new recovery and treatment center located outside of Dittmer, Missouri. It is called Sana Lake and has a 55 acre campus and is staffed with a capable and experienced group of people. They specifically would like to provide services for the rural communities of eastern and southern Missouri – which is a great need. If you know of anyone who might be struggling with addiction, either alcohol or other drugs, this should be a consideration. This is a private facility but they are licensed with certified staff so most insurance will cover the costs. Sana Lake also has a needs-based program through which a person’s cost can be reduced or completely covered if they meet the criteria – which includes no insurance and no feasible means of making payments to cover costs. Unfortunately we need even more of these type facilities in today’s society.

       As Thanksgiving rapidly approaches we all need to be continually thankful for the many ways in which we are blessed in our lives. For family, friends, our church community, and the blessing to take a breath each morning – we are eternally grateful. May your thanksgiving celebrations be meaningful this season.

       The Advent season also begins December 1st with the First Sunday of Advent. We will celebrate the Lord’s Supper at the end of worship on that Sunday. Also, as is this church’s tradition, we will have various people/families lighting the Advent candles during each Sunday of Advent and on Christmas Eve. Please see Pastor Steve before Thanksgiving if you or your family would like to participate in these special ceremonies.

       My granddaughter, Ceci, traveled with her parents to Cincinnati to see the doctor several times in October. The prognosis is good and she seems to be doing well, but please continue to keep her in your prayers as well.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3: 5 & 6 (RSV)

Yours in Christ,                    

Pastor Steve