St. John/Norrona News

January 2023

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

Pastor Carlton Larsen

Office – (306) 725-3113

Email – stjohn.norrona_pastor@sasktel.net

Website: stjohnnorrona.com

Just a reminder that you can receive your Newsletter by email. If you wish to do so email the church at stjohn.norrona@sasktel.net

Scripture Lessons

January 8, 2023:

Isaiah 60:1-6                             Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14

Ephesians 3:1-12                      Matthew 2:1-12

January 15, 2023:

Isaiah 49:1-7                             Psalm 40:1-11

1 Corinthians 1:1-9                    John 1:29-42

January 22, 2023:

Isaiah 9:1-4                               Psalm 27:1, 4-9

1 Corinthians 1:10-18                Matthew 4:12-23

January 29, 2023:

Micah 6:1-8                               Psalm 15

1 Corinthians 1:18-31                Matthew 5:1-12

Sunday School

If anyone is interested in Sunday School for this fall please contact Teresa Kuski at (306) 540-4108, I am open to different times or places – it doesn’t have to be Sunday mornings or specifically at either church.

Norrona Lutheran Church

Financial Report – November 2022

Norrona Revenue

*Regular Sunday Offering (envelopes,

benevolence/missions (including CLWR),

loose, and other Norrona regular offering)    $2,261.00

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

fundraising, and other Norrona-specific

revenue)                                                        $         .54

Total Revenue                   $2,261.54   

Norrona Expenses

Paid to St. John

*Norrona portion of Parish Expenses (e.g.

Pastor salary, benefits, EI, mileage, Pulpit

Supply, office & worship supplies, telephone

office secretary)                                          $2,170.37

*Norrona Congregational Expenses (e.g.

maintenance, insurance, utilities, fundraising,

worship & office supplies, organist)             $1,109.36

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

CLWR, and other Norrona specific mission

projects)                                                     $   265.00

Total Expenses                  $3,544.73

Net Income                      -($1,283.19)

St. John Lutheran Church

Monthly Financial Summary – November 2022

Revenue

Total weekly regular offering (includes for

our church CLWR, Benevolence, and

preauthorized monthly giving)                           5,760.75

Total other revenue (e.g. rental property,

donations, interest, etc.)                                      8,635.75

Total revenue                                              $14,396.50

Expenses

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

mileage, etc.)                                                     5,542.42

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

Fundraising                                                       1,632.20

Worship and services (e.g. Pulpit Supply,

travel time, mileage, worship and office supplies, Organist, Secretary, Treasurer, Envelope

Secretary, etc.)                                                      1,946.14

Church properties (e.g. power, telephone,

natural gas, bank service charges, line of

credit, insurance, church maintenance, etc.)       16,127.80

Total expenses                                               $25,248.56

Net Income                                                 -($10,852.06)

NOTE: On line donations for this month   $230.00

Lamp

If anyone would like to donate to LAMP (LAMP is a cross-cultural ministry sharing Jesus Christ with God’s people in remote areas of Canada), this can be done by mailing cheques payable to LAMP to 4966-92 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6B 2V4 or visit www.lampministry.org.

Hello everyone: We are in the process of migrating St. John-Norrona’s Facebook “Page” to a private Facebook “Group”.  The reason we are doing this is that more than half of the accounts following our “Page” have nothing to do with our faith community or region, and we want to ensure that people feel safe interacting with our social media without being targeted by spammers, scammers or having their accounts cloned.

Posts made to a private group can only be seen by people who are part of the group.

We will continue to use our website for making public announcements.

Thanks.

Pastor’s Message

            Happy New Year! I hope you had time with family and some lovely meals over the Christmas season. I hope you had fun too with our exercise from the December newsletter! Did you notice that self critical voice? Did you hear yourself say something negative about yourself at time or two? If you are like some of us, that voice can be almost constant. I have worked hard at getting that voice to stop being so mean and derogatory.

            Many of us got that critical voice in our youth or childhood. Even if our parents were encouraging and positive, there were others who told us we were stupid or foolish. Maybe it was a teacher. Maybe a playmate. It does not matter where it came from, it came. And that voice began its attacks. At the start it may have been a helpful voice. “Don’t say that! Don’t do that! People will be angry at you.”

            It was intended to keep us out of trouble and on the good side of others. We are intensely social creatures. Our ability to cooperate and help each other is our superpower. We do not do well on our own. One human, all alone, is a very vulnerable creature. We are very finely tuned to connect, to relate, to cooperate. As God said in Genesis, “it is not good for a human to be alone.” As a result we will do almost anything to connect with others and to maintain our connections. That is a big part of where these self critical voices come from. We need to make sure we don’t do things that offend or push others away.

            With time, this voice meant to keep us from making mistakes became a voice of judgment. Judging and condemning can become a habit. We can find ourselves speaking to ourselves in a way we would never speak to a friend. It is not acceptable to call our loved ones “stupid” so why is it normal to do that to ourselves?

            Think about this situation: We do something that does not work out well. Or we say something that offends or hurts a person we love. When we realize what we have done, or when we see the hurt on the face of the beloved, a thought arises. We find ourselves saying “that was so stupid! Why did I do that, why did I say that?” Can you identify?

            Strange isn’t it? Even stranger when we take it apart and look at it. Who is stupid? Who is smart enough to call out the stupid thought? Who is speaking and who is listening in that bizarre exchange? It is like there are two persons inside ourselves, one smart person and one stupid person and they are arguing about what they should and shouldn’t do. We are divided. Does that sound scary?

            Don’t worry. That is perfectly normal. It is a part of the human condition. We have many voices inside ourselves. We are complex and confusing even to ourselves. There is one part of ourselves that wants to eat the whole chocolate cake and another part that wants to be on a diet. I know which part is stronger in myself. There are many such internal divisions. We have different agendas and priorities and desires and they often are in conflict. A big part of growing up is getting those agendas and priorities sorted out as best we can. But no matter how grown up we are, the voice of the little kid inside us does not go away. It just wants ALL the chocolate cake and sometimes it is loud enough to get a second or even a third slice.

            From time to time it can be very helpful to sit down with those voices and listen. Sometimes they have something very important to say. There may be deep needs we have pushed aside and ignored. There may be stories we need to hear. If we never listen, they will make themselves felt eventually. We may even find ourselves saying or doing something we regret or just don’t understand. Something deep can rise up within us and shock us in a moment of weakness.

            Usually it is better to pay attention and listen to that internal dialogue. It is not necessary to do everything your inner child wants. It is not necessary to believe all of those stories either. They can come from a very young, very immature place. But it is a part of our own self speaking and that inner child, even when being a brat, needs to be loved and cared for. Maybe even more so when the behaviour is difficult. Often that means there is a deep hurt somewhere that needs love and healing.

            Sometimes it is necessary to get help with these things. A counsellor can be very helpful. Sometimes it can be enough just to sit for a while and listen. We really are “fearfully and wonderfully made” as the Psalmist wrote. We are complex, hard to understand. But we always need love.

            We are worthy of love. God does not make junk. You are beautiful in all your complexity and confusions. When the voice says “I am so stupid” it is coming from inside you, at a deeper level of wisdom and that part is you too. And the God who made it all loves you deeply, profoundly, passionately. Learn to love yourself, including the mean judge that says hurtful things about yourself. It may not be easy, it is never simple. But most certainly it is worth it. YOU are worth it.          Amen.