St. John/Norrona News

Newsletter – November 2019

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 anyone is interested in receiving this newsletter by email, please send a message to stjohn.norrona@sasktel.net

Pastor Carlton Larsen

Church – (306) 725-3113

Email – stjohn.norrona_pastor@sasktel.net

If you have a loved one in hospital and want a pastoral visit, please call Pastor Carlton @ (639) 590-6400 or Chaplaincy @ (639) 560-4773.

November 3, 2019:

Daniel 7:1-3, 15-18 Psalm 149

Ephesians 1:11-23 Luke 6:20-31

November 10, 2019:

Job 19:23-27a Psalm 17:1-9

2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17 Luke 20:27-38

November 17, 2019:

Malachi 4:1-2a Psalm 98

2 Thessalonians 3:6-13 Luke 21:5-19

November 24, 2019:

Jeremiah 23:1-6 Psalm 46

Colossians 1:11-20 Luke 23:33-43

Meals On Wheels

Thank you to everyone who helped with Meals On Wheels in the month of October. This was greatly appreciated!

Sunday School

God’s Left Hand

Bobby was spending the weekend with his grandma. They decided to go to the park on Saturday morning. It had been snowing all night and everything was beautiful. Grandma remarked… “doesn’t it look like an artist painted this scenery? Did you know God painted this just for you?”

Bobby said, “Yes, God did it and he did it left handed.”

This confused his Grandma a bit, and she asked him “What makes you say God did this with his left hand?”

“Well,” said Bobby, “we learned at Sunday School last week that Jesus sits on God’s right hand!”

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Norrona Sunday School hosted a movie night on the evening of October 5th. We featured the movie “Evan Almighty”, we had a sing-a-long, did a Stretch and Mingle game and of course ate a lot of popcorn. It was a full house and a fun evening. We hope to do another fun event in the spring.

In November we will have Sunday School on November 10th and November 24th. All are welcome.

Here We Go Again!

Whether it’s “Yippie!” or “Oh no,” or something in between, it’s going to be Christmas season again soon. The merchants would have us believe it is here already! This season is so predictable and unpredictable at the same time. It changes so much through the seasons of our life. So many stages, and so many different tones and messages. It can come back to us differently so many times.

Often when we have small children, it is at its most magical. Children have the eyes of innocence that are open to the miraculous and the incredible. They are ready to accept and celebrate what they do not understand. The stories of jolly overweight strangers sliding down tiny chimneys don’t faze them. Packages appear by magic all the time in their world. Everything is fresh and new and mysterious. One more mysterious set of circumstances seem just the kind of thing to expect and to accept.

As they age, some of the sparkle and the fairy dust get brushed off. That can turn into cynicism, maybe even a mercenary sense of “what can I get?” This stage can last for years. Sadly, some get stuck in it for a long time. Marketers are very clever and they can play on this stage too, selling their winks and sly asides as quickly and profitably as they sold us toys for tiny shiny-eyed tots. It’s tempting to fall into the disappointment and the dark side of “knowing better.” But being a cynic is over rated and maybe a bit too easy.

Scratch just beneath the surface of that crusty world-weariness, and that magic is often still there. As the teen years are survived, the magic can come back, deeper this time. Giving can gain value for its own sake. We might come to understand the meaning of “it is better to give than to receive.” Sometimes it takes the birth of our own little ones before the light breaks back in. Sometimes it is a crisis in the family or community that overcomes our distance and makes us able to be open hearted again.

As Christians, we can get our own sense of smug superiority. We can get addicted to criticism of “the world” and of the commercial veneer over the season. We can get so caught up in the pursuit to “keep Christ in Christmas” that we miss the wonder in those little eyes. The urge to purge the commercials from our life can lead to throwing the figurative baby out with the fir scented and candy-cane coloured bathwater.

At one stage in my life, I was a bit of an anti-Santa crusader. I have come around though and I no longer see that story as one in competition with the message of Christmas. Good Saint Nicholas is an excellent illustration of generous giving. Frankly, there are stories of Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, that are inspiring and make him a compelling character. He is worth excavating from the costume that Coca-Cola gave him. Saint Nicholas was a real person, and a fascinating one, as much as we can tell through the many layers of legend over the mystery of the man.

So as the overload of Christmas themed music and advertising pours down over us, let’s try to stay open to the mystery behind it and under it. The malls do not own St. Nicholas of Myra. Frosty the snowman cannot freeze our hearts if we keep our eyes on the truth behind the tinsel and crepe. There is still love in the giving heart, and giving is always of value. There is still magic in having a tree, the symbol of the wild forest, invade our homes. Christ is come! God made flesh! The miracle is here, is coming, has come, Merry Christmas!

Pastor Carlton

Norrona Lutheran Church

Financial Report – September 2019

Norrona Revenue

*Regular Sunday Offering (envelopes,

benevolence/missions (including CLWR),

loose, and other Norrona regular offering) $3,214.35

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

fundraising, and other Norrona-specific

revenue) $ 23.85

Total Revenue $3,238.20

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 $2,001.23

*Norrona Congregational Expenses (e.g.

maintenance, insurance, utilities, fundraising,

worship & office supplies, organist) $ 334.45

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

CLWR, and other Norrona specific mission

projects) $ 180.00

Total Expenses $2,515.68

Net Income $ 722.52

Norrona News

Saturday, October 5 the Sunday School teachers organized a movie/games night. We watched the movie ‘Evan Almighty’. There was popcorn, drinks, snacks and even a visit from a clown. The evening was well attended, and by all accounts, very successful! Thank you to all the helpers and a special thank you to Corri Gorrill for making the black curtains which will definitely make movie watching a little easier in the church.

On Wednesday, October 16th we had our annual senior ladies luncheon at Sister’s Restaurant in Strasbourg. There were 8 ladies and Pastor Carlton who attended. Thank you to Merna Hanson and Sharon Harvey for the little extra’s they put in to making the luncheon such an enjoyable get together.

Saturday, October 19th was our annual church & cemetery clean up. Thank you to those who were able to come and help.

The Sunday School has put up a picture board in the basement and is looking for pictures from past events to display.

Norrona will have a work bee to prepare meals for Carmichael Outreach on Monday, November 25, in the church basement, beginning at 9 a.m. We have received seed money for this project from FaithLife Financial. Please bring electric frying pans and spoons. If you are able to help, let Sharon Harvey know by November 18th. We will need a lot of 500g containers, so save them up. They can be left in the church kitchen. Please note: male chefs are welcome!

Sunday, December 1st there will be a potluck lunch after church followed by our annual birthday/anniversary celebration.

****Please remember to sign up for the monthly church cleaning. We need cleaners for November & December****

St. John Lutheran Church

Monthly Financial Summary

September 2019

Revenue

Total regular offering (includes for our

church, CLWR, Benevolence, and

pre-authorized monthly giving) 6,441.35

Total other revenue (e.g. church use,

rental property, memorial donations, etc.) 3,990.07

Total revenue $10,431.42

Expenses

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

mileage, etc.) 5,399.65

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

etc.) 865.00

Worship and services (e.g. Pulpit Supply,

travel time, mileage, worship and office

supplies, Organist, Secretary, Treasurer,

Envelope Secretary, etc.) 1,075.81

Church properties (e.g. power, telephone,

natural gas, bank service charges, line of

credit, insurance, church maintenance,

etc.) _ 537.18

Total expenses $ 7,877.78

Net Income $ 2,553.78

September revenues exceeded expenses.

Expenses for September included routine expenditures, and included a $150.00 conference fee for the Pastor. Revenue for the month included receiving $2,621.50 in interest payments (paid in two installments) on the church’s “Flex Term” GIC, plus a $500.00 donation from the ELW.

If you have any questions or comments related to this financial summary report, please contact a St. John Council member.

Preauthorized Giving

Pre-authorized giving is a convenient way to automate your offerings to St. John Church.  You set the amount of your giving, and it’s automatically transferred once per month from an account with any financial institution in Saskatchewan to St. John’s account with Affinity Credit Union in Strasbourg.  All that is required is for you to provide a void cheque to James Hoffman (Treasurer of St. John) indicating the amount you wish to give each month.  If you would like more information about this program, please speak with James.

St. John Special Events

St. John Special Events Committee will be making cabbage rolls this year for the annual Farmers Market at the Strasbourg Hall on Saturday, November 9.  We will also be serving lunch and would appreciate food donations or help in the kitchen that day.

Food items needed are:

– a large pot of soup: 1 person hamburger soup, and 1 person corn chowder.

– a 9 x 13 dessert or 2 home made pies.

Workers:

-people to work in the kitchen or to sell cabbage rolls; 3 hour shifts between 8 am -3 pm.  If willing, please phone and let us know hours you could work.

-could also use a couple of men to operate the dishwasher.

A sign up sheet will be at the church so you can sign up there, or you may phone Marilyn Craswell: 725-3236, or Doreen Wagner 725-4044.

If you are unable to help, please consider supporting us by coming for lunch that day.

Worship Service at the Last Mountain Pioneer Home

Pastor Carlton will be leading worship at the Last Mountain Pioneer Home on the following Wednesday Mornings from 10:30 – 11:00 a.m.

– November 6th

– December 11th

Shared Ministry

Sunday, December 1st – 7:00 p.m. annual Prelude to Christmas in the Strasbourg Hall.  There will be baskets set up for donations towards the community Christmas hampers, and a silver collection taken at the door.  The Lutheran church is responsible for setting up tables & chairs and setting out the lunch this year so if you can help with that, please be at the hall by 5:30.  Each church is asked to provide dainties for 50 people (3 pieces/person) for the lunch following the program.

Sunday, December 8th – 2:00 p.m. in the basement of the Strasbourg Hall – the Shared Ministry Committee is organizing a Nativity Celebration.  Anyone who has a nativity scene they would like to display please bring it along.  At 2:30 we will be presenting a ‘live nativity scene’ & Christmas story from the book of Luke.  Lunch will be provided and a silver collection plate set out to help cover the cost of the hall rental.  If you would like to bring a nativity scene or need further information please speak with Carol Schultz, Margot Biller, Corri Gorrill or Brenda Small.

Friday, December 20th – 9:00 a.m. at the United Church – Community Christmas hampers will be assembled and delivered.  If you know of anyone/family who could benefit from a hamper this Christmas, please talk with them and make sure they want one and if so, give their names to Pastor Carlton.  We would like to know the ages of all children and whether the hampers need to be delivered or will be picked up.