Lutheran Lights, March & April, 2020

Lutheran Lights is our in-house publication, published bimonthly. 

Please contact us to receive copies regularly via email.

From our Pastor


Lent - What am I Willing to Give Up?


Throughout history, humans have included sacrifice, the act of giving up something of value and offering it to a deity, as part of worship. “The Lord looked with favour on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering the Lord did not look with favour” (Genesis 4:4-5). Both considered it important to give something of value to God. Abel freely offered the firstlings of his flock, while Cain reluctantly offered from the fruit of the ground. There was no command to sacrifice. Giving up something of value appears to have spontaneously begun with life outside Eden. It may be a basic instinct for us to do something for a deity.


By the first century, perfect sacrificial animals and ritually pure currency could be purchased by travellers in the temple for sacrifice to God. Animals were purchased and sacrificed in order to atone for one’s sins in order to appease an angry God. Only ritually clean money could be used or offered within the Temple. The original free-will offering became associated with sacrifice, as the giving of money was formalized and corrupted by the legalists of history. The Temple Tax (offering) became a mandatory tithe (ten percent) payable by all based on Abraham’s free-will-gift to King Melchizedek in Genesis.


Cain was warned; “if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door” (Genesis 4:7). Christians are no better at distorting and corrupting the good things of God. One attitude hurting the church is our desire to be more like Cain than Abel. Abel understood that everything was given to us by God. Abel considered everything he received from God and joyfully, willingly and freely gave up the best he had, in thankfulness to God. Like Cain we allow our human-ego to direct our motives. Churches have also been reduced to empty skeletons when its people introduce human-ideas rather than Biblical truths into the church’s life.


This is what happened to the Penitential Season of Lent as you may be asked “what are you willing to give up” or “what will you sacrifice” for Lent? We have allowed human-ideas priority in shaping one of the oldest observations in Christianity. Irenaeus of Lyons (130-200 AD) wrote about a two to three-day period of self-examination for catechumens about to be baptized prior to the celebration of Easter – only a hundred years after the Resurrection. Two hundred years later, the whole Christian church at the Council of Nicaea (325 AD) discussed a forty-day Lenten season of fasting which over time would encompass all church members.  


Forty is considered an important biblical number as Moses spent forty-days on Sinai (Exodus 24:18), Elijah spent forty-days walking to Horeb (1 Kings 19:8), God sent forty-days of rain in the Flood (Genesis 7:4), and the Hebrews wandered for forty-years (Numbers 14:33). The sacrifice of Lent became a commemoration of the forty-days days Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness (Mark 1:13) tempted by Satan, before beginning his public ministry, as the solemnity of the season focused on the Christian’s preparation for Good Friday through prayer, fasting, penance, mortification of the flesh, repentance of sins, almsgiving, denial of the ego and giving up the luxuries of life in order to replicate the sacrifice of Christ. The seriousness of the festival was further reflected in worship with abstinence from the ‘Gloria in Excelsis’ and ‘Halleluiahs’.  


The season of Lent actually has a twofold character: joy and repentance. Our preparation for Easter begins with Palm Sunday as we journey through the chronological last week of Christ’s life on earth. This catechesis (oral teaching) developed early in history around the Gospel’s recounting of Christ’s final days; the institution of the Last Supper and Christ’s final teaching and command to “love one another” (John 13:34) prior to His death and burial. Saturday was a solemn day of reflection on Christ’s time in the tomb followed by His resurrection. In the early church this was a time of teaching, reflection and preparation for catechumens’ entry into the fellowship of the church through Baptism and the gift of Salvation found only in Christ Crucified.  


But the church twisted Lent into a sacrifice. Works oriented sacrifice began to change with Luther’s understanding of the centrality of the words “Christ Crucified for me” in the baptismal life of a Christian. He challenged the church’s understanding of trying to appease an angry God after he stumbled upon Paul’s words that “a person is justified by faith apart from works” (Romans 3:28). Argumentatively, God had been trying to point us in that direction long before Luther’s appearance. “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” declares Hosea in chapter 6:6 which Jesus further repeats in Matthew 9:13. Instead, the institutional church says that our sacrifice to God is necessary (cause of reluctance) while Paul reminds us that “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).  


And so, the Season of Lent is not about what you can give up or sacrifice for Christ. Scripture is clear; God doesn’t want your sacrifices. The early church understood what Jesus was doing in his last days on earth as he prepared his followers for His death and what it meant. As we journey through the Season of Lent, we recall the gentle and loving ways Jesus nurtured and prepared (catechized) the Baptized for life in the Kingdom as we are mindful to not place any emphasis on our own efforts along this journey because Jesus is the only One who does all the work of salvation. Lent is about relaxing in the presence of God, sacrificing those things in our lives that are hindering us from spending time with our Lord as we allow ourselves to be catechized (taught) by the Holy Spirit who is stretching us spiritually into becoming disciples for Christ, assured of our salvation as we freely and joyfully give of ourselves to the Lord without reservation or reluctance.  

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Church Council


NOTED: All minutes placed in Lutheran Lights will be clarified as not approved as of the printing date.


St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church – Council Minutes


December 17th, 2019 5:00pm

Present: Dennis Kujat, Pastor Marc Lapointe, Leona French, Walter Behnke, Gary Westphal, Rick Senum, Erika Funk

Regrets: Dale Metzner, Pat Stalker, Richard Kliewer

Council opened with prayer and Devotions: Luke, the three parables

The three parables were read and discussed as to their meaning. The passages stress the meaning that it addresses all people regardless of station. To God, we are all equal and therefore our judgement of another is not the same as God’s. All passages refer to the value of what was lost and recovered. 

ADOPTION OF AGENDA: Carried by council

ADOPTION OF MINUTES: 

Motion by Walter to accept with one correction, seconded by Dennis, accepted by council

TREASURER REPORT:

Motion by Gary to accept the report, seconded by Rick, carried by council

PASTOR REPORT:

Regular duties reported. 

OLD BUSINESS:

1./ Washroom conversions. $6000.00 estimate in for conversion. Ongoing

2./ Flat roof repair – first estimate in at $10,800.00, second estimate in at $19,000.00. Out for a third estimate. Ongoing

3./ Neighbourhood watch: The church is now affiliated with our local group.

4./ Chairs: New chairs for $18.00 a chair discussed from Costco. Ongoing

5./ Acoustic paneling: Council discussed sound panels to improve sound quality in the building. It is presently being sent out for cost estimates. Ongoing

6./ Emergency evacuation plans: Accepted as is by council. A ramp is needed for the back door of the sanctuary, Rick to investigate this. 

7./ Email accounts: separate email accounts for the music group approved. 

NEW BUSINESS:

1./ Annual meeting date has been reset for February 23rd, with January 14th set for the budget meeting

2./ PayPal: Approved for use. Set up for an account still needed

3./ Christmas dinner has been set for December 29th service  

4./ Affordable Housing Initiative: This initiative is about the church being involved with and benefitting by part ownership of an affordable housing building. Council is not interested in this as it would essentially change our status from a non-profit foundation to a business with obligations we may not be able to fulfil. 

5./ Music for Life: This initiative is about being a host for musical concerts of which some may be large in size. Council felt our building would be too small for this. 

6./ Sprout fundraising: Council is not interested in joining this initiative which is essentially fundraising as a paid service. 

7./ Windows 7 updates and security: Pastor and Walter to look at replacement of the old office desktop among other computers. Windows 7 will no longer be supported soon, and the old desktop has this system. 

8./ Travelling Angels: Drivers needed for a few congregation members. This item will be raised with the congregation for volunteers. 

9./ TOPS photocopier. Information only, TOPS has been sold to an Albertan company. 

COMMITTEE REPORTS: 

Next meeting: January 14th, 2019

Adjourned at 7:10 pm with prayer led by Pastor 

Submitted by council member – Walter Behnke 

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St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church – Council Minutes

January 14th, 2020 5:00pm

Present: Dennis Kujat, Pastor Marc Lapointe, Walter Behnke, Gary Westphal, Rick Senum, Erika Funk, Dale Metzner, Pat Stalker, Richard Kliewer, Walter Behnke

Regrets: David Borth, Leona French

Council opened with prayer and Devotions: 2 Corinthians 9:6-15

This passage refers to giving freely and receiving freely. Generosity is encouraged in a cheerful manner by God, so that you may be blessed also. 

ADOPTION OF AGENDA:

Carried by council

ADOPTION OF MINUTES:

Motion by Walter to accept, seconded by Dennis, accepted by council

TREASURER REPORT:

Motion by Gary to accept the report, seconded by Pat, carried by council

PASTOR REPORT:

Regular duties reported. 

OLD BUSINESS:

1./ Washroom conversions. $6000.00 estimate in for conversion. Ongoing

2./ Flat roof repair – first estimate in at $10,800.00, second estimate in at $19,000.00. Out for a third estimate. Ongoing

3./ Neighbourhood watch: The church is now affiliated with our local group. This item needs clarification in that this is merely a neighbourhood crime watch program, not the request from the library square which was rejected by council earlier. 

4./ Chairs: New chairs for $18.00 a chair discussed from Costco. Ongoing

5./ Acoustic paneling: Council discussed sound panels to improve sound quality in the building. It is presently being sent out for cost estimates. Ongoing

6./ Emergency evacuation plans: Accepted as is by council. A ramp is needed for the back door of the sanctuary, Rick to investigate this. Ongoing.

7./ Windows 7 updates and security: Pastor and Walter to look at replacement of the old office desktop among other computers. Windows 7 will no longer be supported soon, and the old desktop has this system. 

8./ Travelling Angels: Drivers needed for a few congregation members. This item will be raised with the congregation for volunteers. 

NEW BUSINESS:

1./ Annual meeting date has been reset for February 23rd, with January 14th set for the budget meeting

2./ PayPal: Approved for use. Set up for an account set for Monday January 27th. 

3./ Holiday approval for Jeannie for September. Motion by Dennis to accept, second by Richard, approved by council

4./ Budget discussion took up most of the meeting with each budget item being visited and reviewed. Those details are pending acceptance at the annual general meeting in February. 

COMMITTEE REPORTS: 

Next meeting: February 11, 2020

Adjourned at 7:30 pm with prayer led by Pastor 

Submitted by council member – Walter Behnke 

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St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church – Council Minutes

February 11th, 2020 5:00pm

Present: Dennis Kujat, Pastor Marc Lapointe, Walter Behnke, Gary Westphal, Rick Senum, Erika Funk, Dale Metzner, Leona French, 

Regrets: David Borth, Pat Stalker, Richard Kliewer

Council opened with prayer and Devotions: Ephesians 6:10-17

Stand firm in the armour of God. The war against evil is a spiritual one, fought in the minds of Christians. Ephesians reminds us of this spiritual battle and how we can fall prey to lies and the acceptance of false doctrines. With truth, faith, prayer and righteousness we put on the armour of God. 

ADOPTION OF AGENDA:

Carried by council

ADOPTION OF MINUTES:

Motion by Walter to accept as amended seconded by Erika, accepted by council

TREASURER REPORT:

To be presented at the March meeting with the new council

PASTOR REPORT:

Regular duties reported. 

OLD BUSINESS:

1./ Washroom conversions- plumber is coming this week to measure for fixtures. Ongoing

2./ Flat roof repair – first estimate in at $10,800.00, Second estimate in at $19,000.00. Third estimate has come in at $12,000.00. Proceeding on to the better business bureau for consultation with a recommendation in spring to the new council. 

3./ Computer replacements – Desktop computer has been ordered and is being delivered next week. This computer will be a donation to the church. Pastors laptop in progress, selection next week as well. 

4./ Chairs: New chairs for $18.00 a chair discussed from Costco. Ongoing

5./ Acoustic paneling: Council discussed sound panels to improve sound quality in the building. It is presently being sent out for cost estimates. Ongoing

6./ Emergency evacuation plans: Accepted as is by council. A ramp is needed for the back door of the sanctuary, Rick to investigate this. Ongoing.

7./ Travelling Angels: Drivers needed for a few congregation members. This item will be raised with the congregation for volunteers. 

8./ PayPal: Button issue has been resolved with an application acceptance for a church account. 

NEW BUSINESS:

1./ St. Andrews Lutheran Ladies Tea:

Rick made a motion for $200.00 to be provided to the girl guides for financing the St. Andrews Ladies Tea party, with any other ladies in our community invited for the event. 

Seconded by Erika, accepted by council 

2./ Global Church Partnership: Council reviewed the benefits of being a regular supporter of the Gideons. Those benefits include community evangelism, scripture for youth and seasonal scripture materials at no cost. Those materials will be of great benefit in expanding our church family. 

3./ Facebook advertising. Tabled for further discussion with the new council. 

4./ Live Streaming: Discussed by council. Pastor will speak about this briefly during the annual general meeting. Of interest is the church in Sexsmith, Alberta that has been following Pastor’s sermons from YouTube as they currently do not have a Pastor. They are for the time being, an extension of our own church here in Kamloops. 

The streaming service has been viewed by Dennis and Elaine when they were ill at home. 

5./ Events: 

Annual meeting February 23rd

Shrove Tuesday February 25th

Ash Wednesday service February 26th at 3:30pm  

New Council Installation March 8th

Meeting adjourned with prayer at 6:35pm 


Submitted by council member Walter Behnke

Next council meeting on March 10th at 5pm

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St. Andrew's Lutheran Church, Kamloops

St. Andrew's Lutheran Church, Kamloops


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Services

Mid-Week Lenten Services

Held in the Sanctuary each Wednesdays at 3:30 pm


February 26  Ash Wednesday

March 4 Genesis 37:12-28

March 11 Deuteronomy 34:1-12

March 18 Judges 6:1-16

March 25 Isaiah 40:1-5

April 1 Joel 3:14-18


Holy Week Services


April 10 

Good Friday 7:00 pm

April 12

Easter Sunrise Service 8:00 am

Easter morning breakfast 9:00 am

Easter Celebration and Holy Communion Service 10:30 am

Library Corner


Unexpected - by Christine Caine

Recently donated to our Library; this 5-session devotional (DVD & Study Guide) takes a look a life’s unpredictable journey and our need to recognize that God uses those unexpected twists and as an open invitation to rely on him more deeply and completely.

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https://www.standrewslutheran.ca