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John Johns

John Johns

Tuesday, 09 January 2018 12:47

2017-2018 Ministry Magazine

Monday, 08 January 2018 10:53

Lord of Life Next Steps

 

Background

Lord of Life has asked Horizons Stewardship to conduct a Potential and Possibility Study in anticipation of a spring capital campaign. As you may know, over the last few years, our leadership has been prayerfully exploring priorities for renovating our existing worship and learning spaces, updating infrastructure, and paying down our debt as a way of positioning us for long-term ministry and mission. 

Read About Our Plan

Our Ministry Strategist from Horizon Stewardship, Craig Miller, surveyed the congregation to explore the possibilities of furthering our worship, hospitality, and outreach ministries. 88 households shared hopes and dreams about where we are heading.

Read the Survey Results

Thank you for your work and continuing prayers on behalf of your church.

Peace.

Lowell

Thursday, 04 January 2018 16:46

Lord of Life Next Steps - Plan

next steps 01

Happy New Year!

Lord of Life has asked Horizons Stewardship to conduct a Potential and Possibility Study in anticipation of a spring capital campaign. As you may know, over the last few years, our leadership has been prayerfully exploring priorities for renovating our existing worship and learning spaces, updating infrastructure, and paying down our debt as a way of positioning us for long-term ministry and mission. Because of your love and support of our church, the leadership team is requesting your counsel as we consider the potential of furthering our worship, hospitality, and outreach ministries.

The plan is to create a new chapel space and expand the current narthex, resolve drainage issues and upgrade lighting in the parking lot, install a fire protection system throughout the building, and eliminate our existing mortgage debt. The anticipated total cost for the chapel, narthex expansion, parking lot, fire protection, and retirement of our mortgage debt is $1.1-1.2 million dollars. Please see the colorful pages here for many more details.

Read About Our Plan

We believe that “God is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine, according to God's power at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20).

Peace.

Lowell

Thursday, 04 January 2018 16:44

Share the Light

2018 share the light PP 01

Background

Lord of Life asked Horizons Stewardship to conduct a Potential and Possibility Study in anticipation of a spring capital campaign. As you may know, over the last few years, our leadership has been prayerfully exploring priorities for renovating our existing worship and learning spaces, updating infrastructure, and paying down our debt as a way of positioning us for long-term ministry and mission.

Read About Our Plan

Our Ministry Strategist from Horizon Stewardship, Craig Miller, surveyed the congregation to explore the possibilities of furthering our worship, hospitality, and outreach ministries.  88 households shared hopes and dreams about where we are heading.

Read the Survey Results

Thank you for your work and continuing prayers on behalf of your church.

Thursday, 21 December 2017 12:55

Silent Night, Holy Night

Christmas Eve Candle Lighting

It is my favorite moment in Christmas worship in every church I’ve gone to. The lights dim, the music starts, everyone gets quiet, and the fire from the Christ candle on the Advent wreath spreads through the church as we pass the flame from candle to candle. Silent Night ...

It was another kind of silence that brought this beloved hymn to life. In 1818 at a chapel near Salzburg, Austria, Christmas preparations were underway when organist Franz Gruber found that the organ had failed and wouldn’t work for Christmas. A young priest, Joseph Mohr, had written some lyrics a couple years earlier and asked Gruber to set them to a tune they could sing easily with guitar accompaniment to replace the organ.

People liked it, but they mostly forgot about it. When the organ was repaired several years later, the organ builder found the music laying with the organ pipes, had it published, and it was a hit!

We are full of expectations during the Christmas season. The perfect gifts. Perfect family time. Perfect music. We’ve spent the entire season of Advent working and waiting for everything to come together, for the wrapping to come off, for school to let out, and to finally light that fifth candle on the Advent wreath so we can share the light of Christmas with each other. Silent Night ... What a testament to the promise of Christmas that even when things don’t go according to plan, we still receive the gift of God’s love.

Celebrate Christmas with us this Sunday at 6, 8, and 11 pm – each of the services will include communion, candle-lighting, and a weepy music director trying to make his way through his favorite song ...

Thursday, 16 November 2017 14:24

Space to Be Holy

jesus icon

In the Orthodox Church, icons (paintings of saints, often on gold backgrounds) are considered a window into the beauty of the kingdom of God. Craftspeople spend decades perfecting their art, learning to make pigments out of natural materials and techniques so their creations last for centuries. They dedicate their talent so the rest of us can step away from our ordinary lives and experience a glimpse of something sacred.

To sanctify something means to set it aside; to make it holy. We give it extra effort, we respect it, we don’t rush it. Sacred art – stained glass windows, fabric vestments on the altar, candles, flowers, statues, church buildings, and so many other offerings crafted by talented artists – draws our attention to scripture, prayer, and worship. We walk into a sacred space with sacred objects and we are inspired to see, hear, and act like the Christians we are called to be.

God is all around us all the time – in nature, at home, at work, in worship. We don’t need anything else to bring us closer to God. But symbols, artwork, and sacred spaces serve as reminders to step out of the secular nature of our lives and be holy. We set aside this space, along with a portion of our time, talents, and treasures, to be sacred.

As we move into the Advent season we'll have extra opportunities at Lord of Life to worship and enjoy our own sacred spaces; and to further lift them up as we decorate for the Christmas season. Watch the schedule for our Advent Adventure midweek worship, Pageant, Blue Christmas, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day worship opportunities.

Thursday, 12 October 2017 13:37

Discovering Common Ground Through Worship

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Singing, praying, learning, fellowship, and service – these are all things that bring us together each week within our community at Lord of Life. There shouldn’t be any surprise that the same things could bring together people from other communities, too. Our first REFORM event with Roman Catholics and Lutherans from West Chester and Mason exceeded our expectations of how powerful the experience would be.

We began with a worship moment led by musicians from St. Max, Christ the King, and Lord of Life (the next event will include leadership from St. John’s as well). Through common words and common songs, we infused the evening with a joyful prayer that continued into our conversations. We heard from Lutheran and Catholic clergy from St. Susannah Catholic (Mason), Prince of Peace Lutheran (Loveland), and Zion Lutheran (Middletown) who presented different views, but we heard even more common views. We listened to a biblical message that defined us all as part of the same vine. The same body. One faith, one hope, and one baptism.

I found myself at a table made up of Catholics from various parishes. We asked questions and discussed among ourselves how we each came to the body of Christ and what that means to us. About half the table had been born into the Catholic church. But one young woman shared how she found the church through an ecumenical sports team. An older gentleman started going to Methodist Sunday school after his mother died when he was nine, and then converted to Catholicism after years of seeing the positive impact the church had on his wife. We all had stories about how we saw people’s faith overflow in their actions.

The thread that kept weaving its way to the top was: “We need to do more of this.” We need to find ways to maintain the natural bond we have through Christ and the Spirit. We need to worship together and talk together and serve together. Our connection to each other is too powerful to let ourselves be kept apart.

As the clock forced the evening to a close, we put notes on a door describing how we wanted to move forward in our relationships. More combined worship. More dialogues. More learning. More outreach opportunities together. Singing, praying, learning, fellowship, and service.

Even though the next two REFORM events are self-contained – they are three separate events rather than one continued event, I suspect we’ll see some of the same faces coming again and again because we are so inspired to move forward as one body. Come be a part of the conversation on October 19 at 7 pm at Christ the King or October 21 at 10 am at St. Max.

Monday, 18 September 2017 14:07

Go! Sermon Series

"Go!” This command shows up almost more than any other in the Bible. Go to Pharaoh. Go to Nineveh. Go to Jerusalem. Go up, go down, go over, and go between. Go tell, go find, and go share. Go and baptize. God is constantly telling people of faith to “Go!” We are a people on the move. God calls us out, inviting us to go to places and people in the name of Jesus. This fall, we’ll hear twelve “Go!” stories from the Hebrew Scriptures and see how they shape us to listen, learn, and go!

SEPT 10 Go Create - Genesis 1:1-2:4a
SEPT 17 Go Sacrifice - Genesis 21 and 22
SEPT 24 Go Bless – Genesis 27 and 28
OCT 1 Go Speak - Exodus 2, 3, 4
OCT 8 Go Share - Exodus 16:1-18
OCT 15 Go Hear - 1 Samuel 3:1-21
OCT 22 Go Look - 1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalm 51:10-14
OCT 29 Go (W)holy - REFORMATION 500!
NOV 5 Go Reclaim - 1 Kings 19:1-18
NOV 12 Go Seek - Amos 1 and 5
NOV 19 Go Walk - Isaiah 9:1-7
NOV 26 Go Settle - Jeremiah 29:1, 4-14

Wednesday, 02 August 2017 10:39

The Ever-changing Fabric of Music

musicians practicing

What does church music look like to you? As Lutherans, we embrace a rich tapestry of styles and textures from traditional hymns to praise songs; from chants to global rhythms. We lift up the gifts of those who wish to offer them. Some days, that might look like piano, drums and singers. Other days we might hear guitar and violin. Every day, everyone assembled is invited to sing along to lift up our message and praise.

This year, as some of the threads of our musical brocade come out, what threads will we weave in to replace them? What musical gifts do you have to offer? Could you play your clarinet once in a while?

Do you play the cello and haven’t been sure if we might work it into worship? Please let me know the next time you see me or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

I’d especially like to work on special music offerings, as we build up to our 500-year Reformation celebration in October.

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