Recently, there was an article in the Charlotte Observer about a young man who had been abusing children over the course of five years through his volunteering with their soccer league. To make matters worse, the newspaper listed all the area churches where this abuser had volunteered at their children and youth programs.
It’s happening, folks. Yesterday marks the day I saw my first Christmas Tree being driven home. Strapped to the top of a Nissan Altima, you just know this car is pulling into a house fully decked out with 5-foot-tallcandy canes plunged throughout the yard, faux icicles dangling from the gutters, tinsel strewn around the banisters, and mistletoe over every doorway.
I am so excited for you to meet Kenny Champagne this Sunday, November 20, at all the services at Christ Providence. With over fourteen years of working with youth and their families, Kenny will be taking on the position of Director of Family Ministries for Christ Lutheran.
There are more churches in Charlotte than there are foster children in the system in Mecklenburg County. Come learn how we can make a difference and band together as THE CHURCH to make an immeasurable difference in the lives of vulnerable children.
Matt 16:24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any wish to come after me, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?
Cue the theme from Mission Impossible. A new AOL Instant Messenger window pops up on my desktop. It’s an upperclassman and new friend of mine asking if I, a freshman at Valparaiso University, am busy. It’s Wednesday, October 31, 2007, 11:00 PM (“Do you know where your children are?”).
Retirement. It’s a strange new world, most of us only experience once. We can’t practice it or experience it until it arrives (kind of like having a first baby). We wait…and wait…and wait and start preparing and then suddenly things start changing... really fast! Little things you may not think about until it hits you in the face; like removing all the ongoing staff meetings on your calendar that were there in perpetuity for 22 years, and you are deleting the entire series or figuring out how to word an email away message that says you’re never coming back! I guess Teams will disappear when my email is disconnected. It was my lifeline to my colleagues during Covid and working from home… I’ll miss it.
I am pleased to announce that we have extended an offer to fill the position of Director of Family Ministries with an excellent candidate, Kenny Champagne. He will start on November 20.
I find, when I’m talking to people about the Bible, that sometimes they have the opinion that the Bible is a book of rules. That God wants us to do XYZ and is looking to see if we follow.
He offered this advice, “Just look where doors and windows seem to be opening and walk through them.”
Were you in Church Sunday? I was in the house, as well as online, (as usual). The Spirit of the Lord was present. We had an amazing meal together thanks to Mike & Alicia, activities for the kids, and of course Worship. Over the last few months, nearly a year in fact, there have been a LOT of changes at Christ Lutheran, pastoral and staff. There have also been dramatic changes in the world we’re living in, amen?? But as Pastor Scott has been saying for a while now, it’s time to get back to our community in the house of the Lord. So, we kicked it off Sunday!
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
That’s what I think of on Labor Day. Potatoes.Some of you have heard this story.It was only about 3 acres. But, to us, it was a farm. Growing up in Ohio with Depression-era parents meant that you provided as much as you could for yourselves. We had an orchard with many varieties of fruit trees, animals of every kind, and a garden—a garden large enough to justify using our antique John Deere tractor to plow and disc it in preparation for summer crops. The garden produced crops large enough to also use the tractor for harvesting in the Fall.
Those who come from a more liturgical church background (Lutheran, Catholic, Episcopalian, etc.) may remember your confirmation. Mine was in 1976 at Our Savior’s Lutheran in Austin, Minnesota. I remember the years of going to church on Saturday mornings with Pastor Knutson, struggling with the memory work and reading my own copy of Luther’s Small Catechism.
Looking up in the sky, you can tell what kind of weather the day is going to bring, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes it changes without much warning.
Picture this situation: you’re in your car, sitting at a red light, singing your heart out along with your favorite song on the radio. Out of the corner of your eye, the person next to you in traffic is staring at you. You know what they’re thinking, and in an instant your face is red and you stare straight ahead, praying the light turns green as soon as possible.
“Hey CHAPS, I have a question for you.” I am three months into my ministry as a US Navy Chaplain(or “CHAPS” as most sailors call me.) I love whenever a sailor says they have a question. Each time is an opportunity to listen, care for them, and sometimes share the Gospel of Jesus. This time the question was, “What’s God think about tattoos?” I could literally feel the sailors around me lean closer as we stood together in our ship’s small, medical room. Most of them had—you guessed it—LOTS of tattoos! This is what one version of a modern-day mission field looks like. A crowded room full of sweaty, tired, mostly 20-something year old sailors. To enter the US Military at any age is like entering a foreign country. The Navy has its own customs, traditions, rituals, and language. My first day aboard the ship began with a meeting called the Executive Officer call (The Executive Officer or “XO” is second in command of the ship). I understood about 5% of what was said in that meeting. That’s an exaggeration, but not by much. It is a good thing I love to learn. There is SO much to learn. Thankfully, there are many sailors willing to teach you. You just need to be humble and ask for help! Another good thing is my days are full of variety. As a CHAPS, I get to roam the entire ship. I may start my day by going to a training led by the medical team. Then I’ll attend an exercise that involves lowering a RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) into the water. Afterwards, I may spend 1-2 hours counseling sailors who are having marital difficulty or struggling with anxiety. Then I will prepare for a Sunday worship service. I do all of this while our ship—the USS PHILIPPINE SEA—is undergoing maintenance. Maintenance is a stressful time for a Navy ship. The days are very long. Our sailors paint, fix broken parts, check equipment, stand watch, and then fix more broken parts. It is a grind. The pace takes a toll on even the toughest sailors. Whether they are religious or not, many of them come to me for a listening ear and a caring word. Our ship will eventually go to sea and believe it or not, doing so will be easier for many sailors that the long days right now. I am thankful I spent 12 years as a pastor before I became a chaplain. God used those years to shape me. I learned how to better rely on His power. “Hope,” Thomas Keating once said, “is the mercy and power of God.” Each day my hope rests not on what I can do, but on what God can do. And what can God do? Everything. God provides us with the right words when we don’t know what to say. God sustains us with strength. God opens doors to share His love. I am a witness of these things. This summer at Christ Lutheran’s VBS, the children and youth made LOTS of “Thank You for Your Service” cards for my crew. They also took up a special offering. I will use the offering to buy non-perishable items(i.e., snacks) for our sailors. They will be SO grateful! You all make a difference! This will open the door to share God’s love. Thank you! To the sailor who asked me about tattoos, how did I respond? The short answer is, with the gospel. “Whether you get a tattoo or no t”I said, “doesn’t change how God loves you. What matters is that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus.” “Huh. We like that CHAPS.” The sailors said. To which I replied, “Good. And oh, by the way. We have a worship service this Sunday at1745 (5:45 PM). Why don’t you come?” Thank you for prayerfully supporting Megan, our boys, and me, as we serve Jesus. The campus of “Christ Navy” is going great! God’s blessings,Drew
This week's Blog is from Laura Scott the Executive Director of Thrive Day School. Thrive Day School is a special education school for preschool through 8th grade students that meets at the Christ Lutheran Church.
I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying: God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.
It was a fantastic week! 14 of us from all Christ Lutheran campuses joined together last week to go on a mission trip to Mexico. Half the group were youth and half were adults—a great mix! The stated objective was to build a house for a family.
We asked for tough questions, and you gave them. In fact, you astounded us with the depth of your questions. There are far too many to fit into a four-part sermon series. And quite frankly, some were too big to tackle in a single sermon, such as, “Who is the Holy Spirit?” That will be a complete sermon series.
Parents have a lot of choices when it comes to activities for our children. We fill their afternoons and weekends with sports, dance, and competitions. Our children and youth are so busy. It’s like we’re rushing here and rushing there ALL DAY long. We have every minute of our children’s lives scheduled. It’s exhausting! We don’t want to add one more activity.
Hate is a strong word.I have had whole conversations with people, and fully agreed with them, that we shouldn’t use hate flippantly. You know what I’m talking about. “I hate when I see dogs wearing pink tutus. Everyone knows that green is the only appropriate color for a tutu on a dog.
As I dropped my boys off at their last day of school on June 8th, I was filled with emotion. Some of it was because it was the last day of elementary school for my oldest Jackson, but as I sat briefly watching him enter elementary school for the last time, it hit me – this year was special – he had gone to school the entire year. Yes, restrictions were still in place, but he was there and so were his friends, every day since August. For the first time since 2nd grade, life felt normal. Let that sink in – since 2nd grade and now he was embarking on middle school.
You know when they start to squeal that it’s probably time to think about maybe someday possibly checking out how much is left on your brake pads? When the squealing turns to occasional rubbing metal sounds when you turn corners, you know that the time is getting closer. When the occasional rubbing metal turns to constant head-turning, metal-on-metal grinding…well…you know it’s time.
Often on Saturday I will pick up the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal, sit on our porch with something cold to sip on, read through the paper, do the crossword puzzle and talk with Gretchen. It’s like a perfect afternoon.
The year is 2005. I am a sophomore in high school. Somewhat aware of the proud legacy of my high school’s marching band, and admittedly reluctant to join a marching band altogether, I was invited by my friends to go to the band room to hang out during lunch. Upon entering the room, I was promptly stared down by hundreds of trophies all littered about the room: some in trophy cases, some on shelves, a few on the floor, and still others precariously leaning against the walls. Several were broken, most were more than ten years old, and all of them were covered with a thin layer of dust. The most intimidating were the two large trophies from 1976 and 1978, when the band had won national championships. Placed at the entrance to the room, these trophies almost felt like an idol that I was supposed to genuflect towards upon entering.
These are the lyrics to a popular song, presently, by the artist Gayle. If you haven’t heard it, I don’t know that you’re missing out, but it is catchy. The essence of the hook is that the woman singing is mad. I mean, like, super mad at her boyfriend over breaking up.
…oh, not literally. Not like she’s crawled under our stove and slathered her backside in grease or anything. But, she is sticky, meaning, wherever we are, she is. She sticks with us.
In 2020, it was a very happy coincidence (or divine intervention) that here at Christ Lutheran we decided Online Ministry was a worthwhile endeavor. Two years later, our little virtual community is growing and trying to find a niche in this post-COVID world. I believe we have a unique opportunity to fill a void, eliminate your excuses, and continue spreading the Word of God.
Easter baskets! They’re one of the best traditions about Easter. They’re colorful, full of candy and goodies, and bring joy!
Easter baskets! They’re one of the best traditions about Easter. They’re colorful, full of candy and goodies, and bring joy!
It’s old, but it runs better than it ever did.Many of you know that I have a restored antique tractor. It’s a 1941 John Deere Model B. Hearing it do its “putta-putta-putta” as it dutifully tows a wagon-load of people up a hill takes me back to my childhood. I love that sound! And so do many others.
At the Last Supper, the disciples ate, probably sang songs, and we know they enjoyed each other’s company with food and wine. This would be the last time they would be together as they had; as a group doing life and ministry together. After that last supper everything would change. They didn’t understand it then but they would see Jesus in a new light. His rightful light, as the God incarnate. Knowing that everything would change for them, Jesus wanted to teach them. He wants to give them one final lesson. He knows that, soon enough, each of them would become leaders. Apostles, no longer disciples, sent out to start communities and teach the world the good news of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ final lesson to them was to stay humble. Stay humble and not fall into the traps that the world has set for people of leadership.