St. John Norrona Newsletter

April 2021 Newsletter

Please have any reports or information to be included in the newsletter, submitted by the 24th of each month to stjohn.norrona@sasktel.net Thank you.

If you would like to receive your newsletter by email, please send a message to: stjohn.norrona@sasktel.net

Pastor Carlton Larsen

Parish Phone (306) 725-3113

Email – stjohn.norrona_pastor@sasktel.net

Mailing Address: Box 505

Strasbourg, Sk. S0G 4V0

Website: stjohnnorrona.com

Online Services Only

Live services have been suspended until further notice. Online services will continue. All St. John and Norrona Lutheran Church services may be viewed at http://stjohnnorrona.com

Scripture Lessons

April 4, 2021:

Isaiah 25:6-9 Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

Acts 10:34-43 John 20:1-18

April 11, 2021:

Acts 4:32-35 Psalm 133

1 John 1:1-2:2 John 20:19-31

April 18, 2021:

Acts 3:12-19 Psalm 4

1 John 3:1-7 Luke 24:36-48

April 25, 2021:

Acts 4:5-12 Psalm 23

1 John 3:16-24 John 10:11-18

Norrona News

The first meeting of Norrona’s 2021 Council was held on March 3. Executive positions will be:

Chairperson George Flotre

Vice chairperson Teresa Kuski

Secretary Corey Nordal

Treasurer. Brenda Small

In appreciation for the online services, notes of appreciation and donations have been received from non-members.

George and Carrie Flotre have kindly donated a beef to Norrona. Many thanks to George and Carrie and Westbridgeford Meats for the generous gift of the meat and processing, and also to those who purchased the meat. It was all sold with no need to advertise!

After some discussion, it was decided that a takeout Scandinavian Supper was not feasible. Therefore, it has been cancelled again this year.

“Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection not in books alone, but in every leaf of springtime.”

Martin Luther

Have a happy and blessed Easter!

Norrona Lutheran Church

Financial Report

February 2021

Norrona Revenue

*Regular Sunday Offering (envelopes,

benevolence/missions (including CLWR),

loose, and other Norrona regular offering) $2,900.00

*Other revenue (e.g. bank interest, Norrona

fundraising, and other Norrona-specific

revenue) $ 129.64

Total Revenue $3,029.64

Norrona Expenses

*Norrona portion of Parish Expenses (e.g.

Pastor salary, benefits, EI, mileage, Pulpit

Supply, office & worship supplies, telephone

office secretary) – paid to St. John $2,188.15

*Norrona Congregational Expenses (e.g.

maintenance, insurance, utilities, fundraising,

worship & office supplies, organist) $ 581.10

*Missions of the Church (e.g. Sask. Synod,

CLWR, and other Norrona specific mission

projects) $ 230.00

Total Expenses $2,999.25

Net Income $30.39

St. John Lutheran Church

Monthly Financial Update

Month of February 2021

Revenue

Total weekly regular offering (includes

for our church, CLWR, Benevolence, and

pre-authorized monthly giving) 7,290.00

Total other revenue (e.g. rental property,

donations, interest, etc.) 1,407.25

Total revenue 8,697.25

Expenses

Pastor Payroll (e.g. salary, benefits, EI,

mileage, etc.) 5,235.69

Missions (e.g. Benevolence, Sask. Synod,

etc.) 505.00

Worship and services (e.g. Pulpit Supply,

travel time, mileage, worship and office

supplies, Organist, Secretary, Treasurer,

Envelope Secretary, etc.) 1,040.45

Church properties (e.g. power, telephone,

natural gas, bank service charges, line of

credit, insurance, church maintenance,

etc.) ­ 894.66

Total expenses 7,675.80

Net Income 1,021.45

Pastor’s Report

Ouch! Well, that was not so bad. I have had worse mosquito bites. Certainly nothing like a horsefly or deerfly! But that little pinch is a whole lot different. That tittle sting was a fine and quick way to help me be safe. More importantly, it is something that will help me keep my loved ones and everyone around me safe. Yes, I am talking about vaccination.

There is a strange phenomenon out there in our world. There are people living in this modern world who reject science. There are people who are suspicious about vaccination. There are even some who reject it outright. They have the great benefit of living in our advanced technological world but they don’t believe the scientists who produced all these wonders. They use cell phones but don’t believe that the satellites they depend on exist. They are safe from polio and smallpox but they don’t believe in vaccines. Some believe the world is flat. They still use GPS which is completely built on satellites going around our globe shaped (NOT flat) world.

Now I am not saying that people don’t have the right to say stupid things and to believe stupid things. Every one of us has at least one thing we believe that is not in fact true or correct. The problem is that some false beliefs are deeply dangerous. If enough people choose not to get vaccinated, diseases will not be controlled. If we do not reach a high enough level of immunity as a planet, COVID will continue to spawn new variants. Some of those new variants will be less dangerous and some will not spread. Some could be far more dangerous. We are already facing new strains here that spread much faster than before.

God has given us our brains and our imaginations. When we use our wisdom we are using the gifts of God’s abundant grace. When we choose to believe nonsense and foolishness (like flat-earth stories and anti-vac websites) we abandon that gift of wisdom.

The internet is a wonder. It is a powerful resource and can provide so much information. The great challenge it presents our God given judgment is that some people with foolish ideas are able to present them in ways that can appear appealing. It is not easy to assess sources. It takes time to look at documents and determine what is real and what is made up.

32.3% of all statistics are made up on the spot. Where did I get that number? Of course I just made it up. If someone is telling you something it is important to know where that new knowledge or information is coming from. A youtube video is only as good as the source of its information. It is vital that we always consider the source. If someone has the agenda of selling you something, that is a red flag. They have a definite agenda and it is prudent to be very skeptical about their sales claims.

As for sources and independent research. If they are telling you something that sounds outrageous, they had better have outrageously good evidence! Great revolutions come along rarely and it takes a lot to overturn the consensus. Science moves cautiously and questions all new ideas deeply and at length. The great benefit and glory of science is however that anything and everything can be, will be, and must by definition be questioned, proven, and proven independently by many sources. Only then will there be a consensus formed on a new theory.

There is not a conflict between faith and science. Scientific knowledge is from God. The medieval church struggled with Copernicus’ and Galileo’s discovery that the earth went around the sun, and not the other way around. The scientific community did too. But in time we learned they were right and the old model was not. We learned new things about God’s creation. The church accepted the truth as did the scientists. We are all in this together learning about God’s amazing and abundant creation. We will keep learning and keep growing in knowledge and wisdom. We do well to pay attention to those who have the skills and the expertise to learn more. With that wisdom we cure diseases and do miraculous things for and with one another.

There will always be snake-oil salesmen, hucksters and deluded fools. There will be flat-earthers and anti-vaxers, and conspiracy theorists. They existed in Jesus’ day, in the last century, in this one, and every time and place. Some are cynical would be profiteers. Some are just deluded fools with enough knowledge to think they know something, but not enough to know they are wrong. Keep learning. Keep questioning. Keep looking at sources and judging wisely. God give us all enough wisdom to know we might be wrong, the humility to know that we probably are, and patience with each other too.