BEAUTIFUL SAVIOR MONTHLY NEWSLETTER CONTENTS. -Pastor Groth. Pastor s Update: Evangelism Corner

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1 BEAUTIFUL SAVIOR MONTHLY NEWSLETTER Flower: Pencils: Pastor s Update: Evangelism Corner CONTENTS 8.1 EVANGELISM CORNER 2015 Rally Day celebration coming up on Sunday, August 30. We have a big opportunity to invite family, friends, and neighbors to our church coming soon! This year s Rally Day celebration will be on Sunday, August 30. The heart of this celebration is our new series of adult Bible study and Sunday School lessons. The celebration continues with a chance for fun and fellowship after the 11am service. We ll be grilling out with hamburgers and hot dogs available for lunch. You ll also be able to enjoy some familiar and popular games and activities such as the jump house, face painting, and the dunk tank. This kind of event provides all of us a chance to show people around us the many blessings God has given us at Beautiful Savior. Look for printed invites you can use in the narthex on Sunday mornings. -Pastor Groth 8.2 A LETTER ON GAY MARRIAGE A mom s reaction to the Supreme Court ruling on marriage. 8.3 A BRIEF HISTORY The 7th installment of our congregation s history, covering the years EXPANSION FAQS Answers to some of the frequently asked questions concerning the proposed expansion. 8.6 CALENDAR Upcoming events for August conveniently organized in a calendar view. PAGE 1

2 A Letter A Reaction to the Supreme Court Ruling on Marriage Thoughts from a Mom The June 26 Supreme Court decision struck like lightning, with thunder rumblings still booming. The news brought mixed emotions in my world. We have a son who is gay and many gay friends that we love very much. On one side they are joyful, ecstatic, and I understand why they celebrate. I want to be happy for them, but as a Christian I'm vey saddened and concerned that this will move them further away from God than ever. I believe that God's way is always best, even when it's not easy or popular. It puts me in the middle many times and it's hard for me. I love them. I love them a lot. So, how do we react and respond in a God-pleasing way that does not deepen the divide? The answer I keep coming to is..... L O V E. Lead with love. Love cost Jesus His life in dying for us. Love takes us to our limits and beyond. But love is the only way I can see to convince others who don't understand us that we mean it. How else will they believe we want what's best for them unless they know how much we love them? It will take time and patience, love and commitment. So please, as this subject is discussed, please lead with love. Focus on how much God loves and forgives all of us and that His way is best because He loves us. Make an effort to get educated. Find out what names and phrases are offensive, and eliminate them. Spend time listening to a person who is gay and pray for God's help in showing love. Be open. Examine your own fears and opinions. Ask God to show you how to think, speak and act. People who are gay are people - people who hurt and have hopes and dreams just like you and me. Go out of your way to show respect and develop a relationship. Be different - be kind and compassionate. Pray to love like Jesus. I don't have all the answers (I wish I did!) If you need someone to talk to please don't hesitate to contact us or any Christian family member of a person who is gay. Trusting God to take us through the hard issues is really the only way to go. Blessings, Our Pastor s Response Joyce Lehman I pray Joyce s letter prompts each of us to think about how our Lord would have us respond to homosexuality and gay marriage. How do we show love and respect and also give a Christian witness to those who practice a homosexual lifestyle? What is the appropriate Christian response to the Supreme Court's decision? Certainly, we cannot ignore what is happening in our society. So let's turn to the Scriptures for answers. Here we find the truth which will be our surest defense of God's design for human sexuality and marriage. Here, also, we will find His guidance on witnessing to those who struggle with same sex attraction. A new Bible class, entitled, How do I respond? begins on Sunday, September 13, at 9:55 am, in the multi-purpose room. You are invited to join us. In the meantime, Pastor Bill Monday s book, Rainbow Savior, is an excellent resource for help in witnessing to those who struggle with same sex attraction. Reading it would also be a great way to prepare for the Bible class this fall. Pastor Westra PAGE 2

3 A Brief History A Treasure to Receive, A Legacy to Leave (As part of our 45 year anniversary as a congregation, we are recounting the events of those 45 years in a series of newsletter articles. This is the 7th installment, covering the years ) I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow... 1 Corinthians 3:6 During the 80s and 90s, many called workers came and went at Beautiful Savior. In the mid-80s, there was a change of pastors. In the 90s we saw many teachers who were gifted and dedicated, and each served us in their own way, but 5 years was the longest any of them stayed. Through all the changes, God was continuing to cause His Church to grow. There is a great blessing in continuity of staff especially in an organization as young as Beautiful Savior Church and School. In the next decade we would experience that blessing. Miss Susan Brickham, an 86 graduate of Doctor Martin Luther College, had previously served at Mt. Olive Lutheran School in Bay City, MI, where her duties included teaching grades K-4, playing organ and directing the choir. She was now teaching at Zion in South Milwaukee, WI, where her duties included teaching second grade, playing organ, directing choir, and coaching volleyball. In April of 2000, she received and accepted our call to Beautiful Savior to teach grades K and 1 and play organ. Over the years her duties have changed to include various combinations of grades from K-2, playing organ, and directing the choir. While at Sue Taylor helping with crafts at Taste of Colerain Beautiful Savior, she met her future husband, Mr. Eric Taylor. Mr. Daniel Markgraf, also an 86 graduate of DMLC, had previously served at Zion Lutheran School in Valentine, NE, where he taught grades K 8. He was serving as principal of a new school at St. Peter s in Kekoskee, WI, in the spring of 2001, when he received our call to teach the upper grades and serve as principal. He accepted and arrived in Cincinnati that summer. His wife, Carol, who had graduated from DMLC in 87, had also taught at Zion (kindergarten) and St. Peter s (kindergarten and preschool). After her husband Daniel Markgraf, Principal accepted our call, she was also was called by Beautiful Savior and accepted our call to teach preschool, play organ, and assist with music. All three remain at Beautiful Savior School today, fifteen years later, and our school and congregation have been tremendously blessed through them. The experience and the dedication each of them has brought to their ministry here has had a profound impact on many lives. In 2002 the congregation completed another major building program in terms of square feet, the largest of its history. The multi-purpose room was added, to serve as auditorium, classroom, and gym, along with two classrooms (the larger was intended to be a kitchen), three restrooms, and a new entrance. While a project of this size was a stretch financially for our congregation at the time, God has richly blessed the additional ministry we have been able to carry on as a result of that expansion. It would be hard to imagine Beautiful Savior today without these additional facilities. PAGE 3

4 Expansion FAQs by Pastor Tom Westra We have been considering a building expansion proposal for several months now. During that time, many questions have been asked. Here are a couple along with answers. Q. I ve heard that this proposal has no net increase of Lutheran Elementary School classrooms. How then does this proposal help our Preschool and Lutheran Elementary School? A. Two current classroom areas are being replaced with two significantly larger classrooms. In addition, the removal of the conference room will result in the expansion of two other classrooms. The result will be that our LES and Preschool classrooms will be better sized for the number of students currently enrolled and that we are anticipating in the next several years. Q. I understand that the proposal will increase the number of Sunday School rooms. Why do we need more Sunday School rooms? If the LES and Preschool can hold 100 students, why can t the same building hold 100 students in Sunday School? A. The two new classrooms will have dividers so that they can serve as four classrooms on Sunday morning. This will allow us to have smaller class sizes in our Sunday School than we have in our LES. One reason for this is that we want our Sunday School teachers to develop strong relationships with their students that will last for many years. Studies show that the more adults a young person is connected to in a church, the more likely that young person is to stay involved in the church. Small class sizes help develop these relationships. The other reason is that Sunday School and Lutheran Elementary School require different student to teacher ratios. In an elementary classroom setting, one teacher may be able to work well with students. But in a Sunday School classroom setting, one teacher is usually Continued next page... The life-changing Gospel of our Savior is the greatest legacy we can pass on to the next generation. Our Sunday morning youth program is an invaluable piece of our partnership with parents in teaching the Christian faith. -Pastor Westra PAGE 4

5 able to work well with 5-10 students. There are several reasons for this. Two are: Sunday School teachers generally do not have the same level of training that the LES teacher has. The learning environment is much different in Sunday School. What a LES teacher may be able to accomplish by his/her authority, a SS teacher will have to accomplish by his/her relationship with the student. For example, if a child misbehaves in LES, the teacher may take away certain privileges and the parents will still likely send the child to school the next day. But if a child misbehaves in Sunday School and the teacher takes away certain privileges, there is a chance the parent will decide not to send the child the following Sunday. The bottom line is that we believe a strong Sunday School is critical to the mission of our church, and that smaller class sizes (fewer students per teacher) is critical to a strong Sunday School. Dan Markgraf Volunteers Needed Our Lutheran Elementary School will be expanding the hot lunch program this school year. In the past, we have offered a hot lunch served by volunteers on every Friday. This year, we plan to offer hot lunch on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Due to the increase, we are looking for volunteers who may wish to help out an hour or two in our school. Right now we are scheduling our volunteers through the end of September. If you are available to help serve meals from about 11:15-12:45 on any Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays, please let Mr. Markgraf know. Send an to or call We could also use volunteers to help out at school with math and reading throughout the school year. The times could be somewhat flexible. If you have an interest in helping out, please contact Mr. Markgraf to ask questions or to work out the details. PAGE 5

6 PAGE 6

7 Pastor Groth Youth Trip During July, 11 students and 2 chaperones drove to Philadelphia for a few days of worship, Bible study, and growing closer together. Our time at the Youth Rally, hosted by Villanova University was very enjoyable. The keynote speaker, worship services, and nighttime devotions pointed us to Christ again and again. The theme of the rally was Freedom 513, taken from Galatians 5:13, You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. Pastor Gene Sims spoke about the freedom we have from indulgence and the freedom we have to serve others in need. The chance to interact and worship with other WELS teens from across the country was refreshing for our group. It was great to see our teens mixing with teens from Canada, New York, New Jersey, and many other places! As chaperones, we were continually impressed with the behavior, attitude, and personality of the teens on the trip. God has blessed us with wonderful young men and women here at Beautiful Savior, and they certainly gave us a reason to thank God as they reflected His glory in their words and actions throughout the week. We would like to thank the congregation for supporting this trip! Next summer s International Youth Rally will be at Colorado State University. Pastor Tom Westra Pastor Alex Groth Principal Dan Markgraf PAGE 7

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