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The Spirit February 11, 2020

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February 11, 2020

NEW IN THIS ISSUE

FEB C3 CURRICULUM
OMAHA WORLD HERALD
CHILDCARE LAUNCH
CHILDCARE JOBS
SENIOR LUNCHEON
CHRISTMAS CHILD UPDATE
VIRTUAL SANCTUARY TOUR
SUNDAY SCHOOL

MORE NEWS

KUNTZ MEAL TRAIN
YOUTH MINISTRY
IMPORTANT DATES
MEN’S MINISTRY
PRAYERS
WOMEN’S MINISTRY

A Note from Pastor Jay

Someone asked me the other day, “Pastor, what is the most significant lesson you have learned thus far in your ministry?”  When I first heard the question I thought to myself, “Wow!  That’s a heck of a question…am I supposed to answer that right now?”  I was surprised, however, at how quickly and confidently I answered.  “I have learned it’s not mine.  It’s not my ministry.”  I’m not sure my answer was what my questioner wanted to hear (or if they had an expectation at all), but they simply replied, “Interesting.”  Though there wasn’t much more discussion at that time, the question stuck with me all week.  As I thought further about the question and my answer, the words of Brian Blount, New Testament scholar and President of Union Presbyterian Seminary, kept coming to mind.

Blount said, “Prayer is not about getting what we want, or even what we oftentimes are sure is right for us and those around us; prayer is about unleashing the frightening, unstable, uncontrollable power of God.”  I love that.  As I have said several times in our leadership meetings here at St. Mark, our job is not to come up with our own mission and ministry and ask God to bless it.  Our job is to prayerfully seek what God is already doing in our midst and ask God to humble and equip us to faithfully follow Him.

The same is true for our individual lives as Christians.  Can you number the individual hairs on your head?  Neither can I.  But God can (Mtt. 10:30).  Can you predict what you are going to pray about tomorrow?  Neither can I.  But God knows (Mtt. 6:8)  How many times have you thought about each individual breath as you have been reading this?  Me neither.  But God holds each one in His merciful hand (Acts 17:25).

As you walk as disciples of and following after the All-Mighty, Risen, Death-conquering, Satan-Smashing, Sin-Shattering, Universe-Wielding and Life-Giving Lord, Jesus Christ, know that He most certainly is an awesome God who is already at work in your life to bring about things bigger than your imagination can fathom, more fulfilling than all your dreams coming true, more joyous than seeing all of your problems go away, and more blessed than anything this dying world has to offer.  God is already at work in your life and working things out in your life perfectly.  Pray not to see what you hope for or have concluded should be, but for the eyes of faith to see the hope that is already yours in Christ, in His resurrection from the dead and His promise to work that salvation out, in and through you even now.  Pray for His time, His way, His glory, His will.  As Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all that you need to live fully in the Kingdom of Heaven, that has come and is here, will be given to you.

– Pastor Jay

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reverend eric jayPastor Jay is a regular contributor to the Omaha Herald’s “From the Pulpit” op-ed section that is published in the Saturday edition of the Herald.  About every 3 months Pastor publishes an article.  Here is the latest article that was in the February 8th edition of, “From the Pulpit” in the Living section of the Saturday paper.

“Would-a, Should-a, Could-a”

Regret is arguably one of the most powerful and destructive emotions a person can have.  Few prisons are worse than the prison of a mind shackled by “would-a, should-a, could-a.”  The constant and unrelenting thoughts of what we should have done differently, what we could have done instead, and what would have been, are no less isolating and punishing than solitary confinement.

Created by God, we all have a conscience that knows there is right and wrong, that we should live rightly, and even if we have tried to bury it and hide it from ourselves, we know in the deepest parts of our soul that we are not as we should be, that the world is not as it should be, and that we cannot fix ourselves.  Unattended regret can result in especially destructive  thoughts and behaviors that attempt to make it all just “go away.”  Unfortunately, denial or the attempt to disguise regret only amplifies its reality.  READ MORE (click here)

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NEW CONNECT CARDS

As you no doubt have noticed, we have new connect cards in our pews. Some of you have been asking some questions about them, so here is a little info:

Q: Do I have to fill this out every time I come to church?

A: No. Unless you would like to, have a prayer request or would like to leave a comment.

Q: Where do I mark that I am taking communion?

A: If you would like to indicate that you communed, you are welcome to write that in the comments section, but you do not have to do so.

Q: What do I do with the tear off section?
A: Give it to someone that needs to learn about Jesus or is looking for a church home!

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I have heard such great things about your experience thus far with the American Gospel Documentary!

As we get into the 2nd video, we are going to be diving into some much deeper theology and Christian doctrine that is essential for every Christian to know and be able to articulate. I can’t wait to continue to engage with you on this incredible series. This is good stuff!

If you are in a Connect 3 small group, then you should have already received an email not only with this months curriculum but also two other important articles associated with this month’s study.

For those of you in small groups, you should have already received the curriculum. If you are not in a small group, please join one so you don’t miss this incredible documentary series and study!

Blessings on your fellowship!
Pastor Jay

CONTACT PASTOR JAY
TO JOIN A SMALL GROUP
AND RECEIVE THE CURRICULUM
AND WATCH THE VIDEO


CURRICULUM

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Let God’s praises be heard!

We are very excited to announce the Grand Opening of the all new St. Mark Lutheran Preschool AND CHILDCARE! In addition to our outstanding preschool classes, all current students and new students can take advantage of a wide-ranging selection of childcare options. Once the preschool year is over, our learning-based childcare programming continues right on through the summer, all year long! Stop by our brand new website dedicated to our new Preschool and Childcare Center to check it all out.

Calling All SUPER TEACHERS!

As our childcare center starts taking registrations on Monday, we can see the Lord’s hand at work and the need for us to find additional Preschool and Childcare professionals!

Are you or do you know someone that is experienced and passionate about children, teaching and caring for the Lord’s little ones?

Please see our new JOBS PAGE on our website and be sure and tell those you know who may be interested.

Candidates should contact our Center Director, Julie Kyriss, at jkyriss@stmarkomaha.org or by calling 402-913-2255.

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A New Way to See St. Mark!

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February Senior Luncheon

All Seniors are invited to our February Senior Luncheon on Wednesday, February 12th in the Fellowship Hall at 11:30 am.

Menu: Spaghetti Casserole, Garlic Toast, Lettuce Salad & Fruit Salad

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Operation Christmas Child Update

In the month of February please look for accessories. Accessories include items such as hair bows and ties, necklaces and bracelets, sunglasses and watches. Also, please continue to look for hats, gloves and scarves.

Thank you for your donations of t-shirts, pill bottles and shoe boxes we have received so far. We are not needing quite as many shoe boxes this year as we are purchasing boxes from the organization, but please continue to bring in t-shirts and pill bottles. We take the old t-shirts at any time and it doesn’t matter if they are stained or a little thin, they are cut up and used to make jump ropes.

If you have any items to contribute to Operation Christmas Child, please deliver them to the new collection bin near the gathering area.

Thank You,

Rhonda Zebolsky and Helen Oldenkamp

Kuntz Family Meal Train

Mrs. Kuntz continues to battle Clear Cell Kidney Carcinoma. It has continued to regress and spread at different times throughout her journey. As many of you know in 2018 she broke her femur and she had to have a plate placed to stabilize the break. Recently the plate broke and she had to have another surgery to remove the broken plate, replace it and provide greater stability to that area of the bone.

She is home now but has a lot of rehabilitation and therapy ahead of her. We would like to bless the family with a meal 4 times per week. Feel free to bless them with breakfast, lunch or dinner.

We continue to lift Cindy, Chuck and their family up in our prayers.

We hope she can return to working with the Concordia Academy students next fall. We know they are anxious to see her!

Meal Train Sign-Up

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God’s Love Is For Everyone

This week the kids learned about the story of the Samaritan woman at the well to show how Jesus extended love and the news that He was the messiah to someone unexpected. They learned that after that meeting the woman ran back to town and brought others to meet Jesus too.

The kids made stained glass cookies with Cheerios in them and they played ring toss where they tried to collect words to complete the theme of the day: God’s Love Is For Everyone!

Remember if you see a kid from Sunday School walking around with their craft ask them about it. It gives them an opportunity to share God’s Love.

If you would like to volunteer in this fun ministry please contact Torri in the Church Office at tmerten@stmarkomaha.org or call 402-913-2258.

Mark Your Calendar:

Upcoming Youth Events

 

Sunday, February 16th

2:30 PM – Middle School Youth Group – Youth Room

4:30 PM – High School Youth Group – Youth Room 

Parents are always welcome at any of our events!!

New Women’s Bible Study

Join Us for a new Women’s Bible Study starting at 6:30 pm on Thursday, February 13th. We will meet in the Fellowship Hall every other Thursday.

Enough For Now: Unpacking God’s Sufficiency

The concept of ‘having enough’ is one that is not often experienced. If I only had more money … more success … more time … then I would be fulfilled. Yet, even when more is attained, it rarely satisfies.
It is not ‘enough’.

An eight-lesson Women’s Bible Study, Enough For Now, explores the idea of ‘enough’ through the study of Scripture – specifically the parable of the rich fool, personal stories and practical experiences. Over the course of the eight lessons, women will discover how to escape the insatiable quest for more by finding their ‘enough’ in God.

About the Author
Sharla Fritz is a Lutheran author, musician and speaker. This is her fifth book with Concordia Publishing House (Divine Makeover, Divine Design, Bless These Lips & Waiting).

There are are some books available to our group that were given to us. Please let Jolene or Lorrie know if you need a book. Books will be available for approximately $14.95 after we deplete the supply of available books. Please let Jolene Scalzo or Lorrie Wacker know if you would like to join us.

Joint Circle Meeting

All ladies: daughters, moms, grandmas, aunts, sisters………you are invited to the next St. Mark LWML Joint Meeting with lunch provided. Please join us on Sunday, February 16th at 11:45 AM in the Fellowship Hall.

Bring with you your Red Stocking Pennies, we will use these funds this year to help Camp Luther.

Along with your Pennies, please see the Project Hope Wish List of items below and bring one or two of the items.

Also at this meeting we will talk about upcoming mission projects, Bible Study and more. We look forward to seeing you there!!

Project Hope Needs
Coffee & Tea; Jam & Jelly; Shelf Stable Milk; Canned Meats; Cereal Bars & Pop-Tarts; Pancake Mix & Syrup; Fruit Juice & Juice Boxes; Hamburger Helper; Rice & Pasta Packaged Side Dishes; Soups & Ramen Noodles; Ketchup Mustard, Mayo & Salad Dressings; Deodorant, Body Wash & Shampoo; Small Bottles of Dish & Laundry Soap; Hand Sanitizer & Facial Tissues; Diapers (Sizes 3, 4, 5 & 6) & Baby Wipes

I hope that you can join us on Sunday, February 16th following the 10:30 Service.

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Verse of the Week:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. (1 Corinthians 13:4-5)

Quote of the Week:
I am going to judge my circumstances by Jesus’ love, not Jesus’ love by my circumstances.
*Tim Keller

Fun Fact of the Week:
Summer lasts for 42 years on the planet Uranus.

This Week:
More connecting of Men to Jesus to become the man God has called us to be. This is our final week in our study called Man Up!.What does it mean to be a man? Sacrifice. Man Up! doesn’t tell you to take down the feminists or reclaim your God-given role and rights. Real masculinity starts with the giving of yourself for the good of those around you and in your care. It’s counter-cultural and it’s exactly how God designed biblical manhood.Next Week:
We begin a new six-part study called Echo, lead by Pastor and author Jonathon Fisk. Christianity is not the ability to memorize or recite from books of Scripture or doctrine. It is not magic. It is not a social club, counseling group, or self-help support group. It does not promise that you will be healthy, wealthy, wise, or even happy. Christianity is a truth – a truth first heard at the beginning of time that has echoed to this present age. A truth so profound that no man can master it, yet even a child can learn it.“As Iron Sharpens Iron, Men Sharpen Men!”St. Mark Band of Brothers:  Raising up men to be warriors and disciples for Christ… for their families… as single men… in their workplaces… and in their community! All men and high school aged boys are welcome to join the St. Mark Band of Brothers on Saturday Mornings at 9 am in the St. Mark Youth Room.Join us as we work to center our lives around God’s Word to be the man God is calling us to be.To request the Band of Brothers weekly updates and study guides contact Jack Swanda at jswanda@cox.net.

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T-SHIRT / POLO ORDERS UPDATE

NEW ORDERS BEING TAKEN!!
Haven’t ordered yet? Need additional shirts??
Contact us soon!!
Or
ORDER ONLINE!

No fees or charges for ordering online! Go to www.stmarkomaha.org and click on the “Store” top menu item.

Or you can click here
to go straight there.

Discount $5 per t-shirt with 3 or more!
Discount $5 per polo with 2 or more!

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Weekly Prayers

Cancer: Marsha Baker; Gina Ellis; Cindy Kuntz

Health & Wellness: Amber, Peter Christopher; Dr. Kanchan Lodhia; Bob Wacker

Peace and Comfort: Family and friends of Rev. Harold Wahl Jr who recently passed.

Military: Jordan Hammond (Son of Steve and Mary Kay Swale); Zach Karels; Scott Lewis (Linda Wegner’s Cousin); Quenten Oldenkamp; Amber Phipps; Jarod Suhr

To request public Prayers of the Church e-mail Torri Merten at tmerten@stmarkomaha.org. For Prayer Chain requests please contact Katrina Muganyizi at 402-238-6844 or email evelkat@yahoo.com.

The Days Ahead

Tuesday, February 11th
8:30 AM  Concordia Academy – Piano Lessons – Youth Room
9:00 AM  Preschool Chapel – Sanctuary
9:30 AM  Concordia Academy – Chapel Practice – Sanctuary
3:30 PM  Concordia Academy – Boy’s Basketball Practice – Gymnasium
6:00 PM  Lightning Basketball Practice ~ Gymnasium

Wednesday, February 12th
8:45 AM  Concordia Academy – Chapel – Sanctuary
10:30 AM  St. Mark Preschool – Valentine’s Day Party – 4 Year Olds – Fellowship Hall
11:30 AM  Senior Luncheon – Fellowship Hall
3:30 PM  Concordia Academy – 5th Grade – Wax Museum Set-Up – Gymnasium
5:45 PM  St. Mark Choir Practice – School Music Room
6:30 PM  Confirmation – Sanctuary

Thursday, February 13th
9:00 AM  Concordia Academy – 5th Grade – Wax Museum Presentations – Gymnasium
10:30 AM  St. Mark Preschool – Valentine’s Day Party – 3 Year Olds & Pre-K 5 – Fellowship Hall
3:30 PM  Concordia Academy – Girl’s Basketball Practice – Gymnasium
6:00 PM  Lightning Basketball Practice – Gymnasium
6:30 PM  LWML – Women’s Bible Study – Enough for Now: Unpacking God’s Sufficiency – Fellowship Hall

Friday, February 14th
Winter Break – St. Mark Preschool & Concordia Academy

Saturday, February 15th
8:00 AM  Omaha Japanese School
9:00 AM  Band of Brothers – Youth Room
9:00 AM  Praise Band Practice – Sanctuary

Sunday, February 16th
8:00 AM  Traditional Worship Service – Sanctuary
9:15 AM  Bible Study – Fellowship Hall
9:15 AM  Sunday School – Classroom 110 & Youth Room
10:30 AM  Contemporary Worship Service – Sanctuary
11:45 AM  St. Mark LWML Joint Meeting and Luncheon – Fellowship Hall
2:30 PM  St. Mark Middle School Youth Group – Youth Room
4:00 PM  Traditional Worship Service – Sanctuary
4:30 PM  St. Mark High School Youth Group – Youth Room

Monday, February 17th
Winter Break – St. Mark Preschool & Concordia Academy
1:30 PM  St. Mark Staff Meeting – Pastor Jay’s Office
6:00 PM  Lightning Basketball Practice – Gymnasium

Tuesday, February 18th
8:30 AM  Concordia Academy – Piano Lessons – Youth Room
9:00 AM  Preschool Chapel – Sanctuary
6:00 PM  Lightning Basketball Practice – Gymnasium

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OUR CHURCH STAFF AND LEADERSHIP

Rev. Eric Jay, Pastor
Kurt Harmoney, Director of Ministry Operations
Julie Kyriss, Preschool & Childcare Director
Torri Merten, Administrative Assistant
Daren Clark, Facility Technician
Elders
Kim Burger
Steve Barry
Andy Groothuis
Terry Matuska
Peter Oldenburg
Mike Ringler
Jack Swanda
Parish Leadership Council
Alan Meyer – President
Chuck Kuntz – Vice President
Mike Munderloh – Treasurer
Jolene Scalzo – Secretary
Lisa Buchele
Lisa Hayes
Bruce Sharp
Gale Suhr

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This Week’s Birthdays

Tuesday, February 11th
Roberta Lange
Louise Parkert
Rachel Pistillo

Wednesday, February 12th
Beverly Opfer

Thursday, February 13th
Kathryn Dahlquist
Beatrice Jandl
Carol Yetts

Friday, February 14th
Robert Grabbert
Natalie Thonen

Saturday, February 15th
Bruce Hayes

Sunday, February 16th
Andrew Conell
Don Nelson
Daniel Rosse

Monday, February 17th
Michael Rosenthal

This Week’s Anniversaries

Wednesday, February 12th
Travis & Marnie Charter
*20 Years
Bob & Lorrie Wacker
*37 Years

Saturday, February 15th
Steven & Cindy Barry
*28 Years

Next Week’s Birthdays

Tuesday, February 18th
Daniel Baumann
Peggy Groothuis
Patti Harper

Wednesday, February 19th
Evan C. Johnson
Kayla Lawton
Jacob Lentz

Thursday, February 20th
Chloe Paustain

Friday, February 21st
Steven Anderson

Saturday, February 22nd
Todd Bockelman
Richard Fiscus
Gary Krichau
Pete Pedersen

Sunday, February 23rd
Annie Christensen
Rodney Dahlquist
Benjamin McGill
Marilyn Heimsoth

 

Next Week’s Anniversaries

No More February Anniversaries
Stay Tuned for March Anniversaries

 

 

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