Pastor Scott’s Blog

Pastor Scott’s Blog – FAITH 5: Bless

 
Greetings People of God,
 
Here is the “Verse of the Week” for this week…
 
“Be Strong and Courageous.
Do not be frightened,
do not be dismayed,
for the Lord your God is with you
wherever you go”
Joshua 1:9
Do you feel strong and courageous today?
Is it because you have everything under control in your life? What if courage was not because of your sense of control—or your sense of life going as planned? What if courage and strength could be yours when you feel week and vulnerable? Look again at the Verse of the Week. Read it carefully. How does it end?
 
This is God’s word of promise to Joshua. Joshua has a new job the day these words are spoken to him. Joshua has the same job Moses used to have. And Joshua has the same promise that Moses had from God. “I will not leave you or forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5) This is the same promise that God gives to every born again child of God. It comes with saving faith, it comes with your Holy Baptism.
 
When life seems overwhelming and out of control that is when we need this verse and its promise. Take heart dear friend—you are not alone. God is with you. These are great words to hear. Who can you say this to today, this week?
 
I will not be surprised if God brings someone across your path this week who needs these words. How awesome to speak these words of comfort and peace to someone you care about. I know it’s true—I got to speak them to my wife last week—we repeated them together— it was one of those days—we needed to be reminded and strengthened with the promise that God is with us.
 
This weekend our FAITH 5 series focuses on the fifth faith practice—“Bless”. And I’m pretty sure
to bless someone is to remind them that God is with them.
 
Who are you going to bless?
 
See you in worship!!
Pastor Scott
 
PS If you want to join the Faith 5 Experience check out the information and videos at www.faith5.org
 
PSS Back in the Box will be available after worship on Wednesday and Sunday by the Community Room entrance for only $5. This is a great time to start getting ready for the Spiritual Growth Campaign—by reading and praying. Will you also join the prayer team– in praying for God to pour out the Holy Spirit to encourage and transform every member? Thanks
 
 
If you like to download the week 3 copy of the FAITH 5 practice for the home, click HERE

Read more...

Pastor Scott’s Weekly Blog – (FAITH5) Pray & Talk + Holy Manners Invite

 
Greetings Jesus Followers,
It’s time for the big reveal. Drum roll please. The Verse of the Week is…

“Pray without ceasing”
1 Thessalonians 5:17

If you are wondering about topics for prayer you could use my favorite acronym: P-R-A-Y.

Praise God for Who He is and What He has done.
Repent of your sin against God and your neighbor
Ask God to meet the needs of others and yourself
Yield to the answers that God gives

Perhaps this list of prayer topics is why St. Paul was confident that prayer could happen with
such frequency that it would be like we never stopped praying.
 
When do you pray?
Why do you pray?
Who do you pray for? Or pray with?
 
These are great questions for adults and older students to reflect on and to share with one
another today and in the coming week as you practice the TALK and PRAY steps of FAITH 5:
 
 
One more thing about prayer–Do you recall what Jesus said about difficult people and prayer? Jesus said, “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44) If that is how we are to treat difficult people—then prayer for family, friends and fellow Jesus followers sure makes a lot of sense too.
Want more encouragement for prayer? Come to Worship and Education Time this weekend—prayer is our theme as we continue to introduce and encourage FAITH 5. If you want to join the Faith 5 Experience check out the information and videos at www.faith5.org
See you at Community!!
Pastor Scott
 
P.S. Now is the time to register online to participate in a 2-Part Workshop for Community Leaders and Members. Some leaders have received a personal invite—we need you. All members are welcome to participate. Registration deadline is Monday, noon September 16 and attendance maximum is 50. Thank you for joining in this next step in the Intentional Interim Process. See Description below and sign up through this online link (click here).
 
Part 1: “Healthy Relationships start with Knowing Your Colors”
Date: Monday, September 23 in the Community Room
Time: 6:30-9:00
 
Do you know your Colors? That is, do you know your “go-to” behavioral styles and your ways of making sense of the world—which also impact the ways you tend to speak and interact with others? Other’s already know how you tend to lead and interact with those around you—why not know that about yourself too? This also helps God’s people serve together at home, work, and the church as healthy teams. Fortunately, this experience combines humor with keen insight so all stay safe in the midst of growing self-awareness and insights on how you can best foster and exemplify healthy relationships with everyone God’s brings along your path. For more information, you can visit www.holymanners.org
 
Part 2: “Creating Holy Manners for Community Ministries
Date: Monday, September 30 in the Community Room
Time: 6:30-9:00
 
This interactive experience including all elected leaders and staff and those interested in the health and future of Community will feature the whole Community Team working together to create the first draft of “Holy Manners for Community Ministries”. It all comes together in Part 2!

Read more...

Pastor Scott’s Weekly Blog – OneChurch and Fall Fest and FAITH 5

 
OneChurch and FallFest is THIS Sunday—September 8 starting at 11:00!
 
We are gathering for worship as OneChurch at 11:00 for one celebratory OUTDOOR service kicking off the new year all together!
 
Such an exciting Sunday—worship is outdoors by the main entrance—come casual, bring your lawn chairs or blanket. FallFest immediately follows—what a great time to connect with new friends and re-connect with fellow members and friends at Community!
 
It’s not too late to invite a friend or family member to join you for this exciting Sunday at Community. For more details see the attached.
 
(This blog is also a reminder that since everyone is worshipping together on Sunday—there is no Wednesday worship this week. See you Sunday.)
 
“Your Word is a lamp unto my feet
and a light to my path.
Psalm 119:105
 
Introducing FAITH 5 for Community!
 
I am so excited to introduce you to FAITH 5. Faith Active In The Home (or FAITH 5) is the focus of this 4-week preaching and teaching series during the month of September. This simple and repeatable practice can help each of us bring God’s Word into our daily lives as a light for our life together as a family of one or many.
 
FAITH 5 is a blessing for every home—Single Adults, Couples of All Ages and Homes with Children. It gives you a chance to share your heart and hear the heart of others, to read God’s Word together, to talk about the bible verse, to pray and be prayed for and end by passing on God’s blessing to all involved.
 
Wouldn’t it be worth as little as five minutes a day to bring this blessing to your home?
 
We are encouraging the homes of Community Lutheran to be faith-forming centers where forgiveness, trusting God’s Word and serving others are cherished and embodied.  This is why homes of every size and generation are encouraged to learn and practice FAITH 5 during the month of September. 
 
FAITH 5 is a simple, daily process designed to make faith come alive in your home, whether you are a single adult, a couple, a parent, or a child. The key is to find out what works best for your situation.
 
Try these daily, in your car, at the dinner table, or at bedtime. Here are the 5 steps:
  1. SHARE your highs and lows
  2. READ a Bible verse
  3. TALK about the Bible verse
  4. PRAY for your highs and lows, your family, and for the world
  5. BLESS one another
 
See you at Worship—as OneChurch this Sunday at 11:00 and FallFest at 12:00!!
Pastor Scott
 

Read more...

Pastor Scott’s Weekly Blog – CONVERSATIONS in Christ

“At the same time,
PRAY also for US,
that God may open to US
a DOOR for the word,
to declare the mystery of Christ”
Colossians 4:3
 
Conversations—In Christ
 
What kinds of conversations does Paul mention in the final chapter of Colossians?
I notice three.
 
First, conversations with Christ. We call this prayer. In the final chapter Paul now asks his readers to pray for him and for the sharing of the mystery of Christ. Did you notice that he models prayer throughout the letter before he asks them to pray. He prays for them in 1:3 “We thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you.” In verse nine in the same first chapter he writes “…we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will.” Then in the final verses he invites them to pray also, and to pray for him and spreading of the Good News of Jesus. How are your conversations with Jesus?
 
Second, conversations with those who are “not yet” followers of Jesus. We call this witnessing. Paul writes in 4:6 “Let your speech always be seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” I love this verse because it reminds me of grilling and smoking meat. Seasoning. Seasoning so that others find it enjoyable. Did you also notice these conversations are about “answering.” This means that someone must be asking. How are your conversations with those “not yet” following Jesus? Are you giving seasoned responses to their questions?
 
Third, conversations with one another. We call this encouragement. Paul mentions the prayers of Epaphras who prays and encourages the readers to “stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God” (4:12) These are sweet conversations indeed. Conversations that encourage friend and family to stay strong in faith and active in love. Who are you encouraging toward maturity?
 
We will give attention to these three conversations with special emphasis on “declaring the mystery of Christ” mentioned in the key verse above. The mystery of Christ is intended to be made known.
 
What is this mystery? Is it humanity’s problem with sin and rebellion? No that is not a mystery– it is lived out and clear to see and know every day. What is the mystery then? It is God’s unrelenting grace and mercy in Christ for those who struggle daily with their sin and brokenness. This is the mystery that Jesus followers get to tell one another and all those who will blessed to know this great mystery.

See you in Worship!

Pastor Scott


Read more...

Pastor Scott’s Weekly Blog: Vocations – In Christ

“Whatever you do, in word or deed,

do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,

giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Col 3:17

 

Vocations—In Christ

 

“Whatever you do, in word or deed…” this sounds important and grand, worthy of our attention and focus. Paul writes these words then goes on to describe the key relationships for life—those that relate to life at home and at work.

These key relationships for life are also called “vocations.” Your vocations can be thought of as “holy callings” God has given to you. Each of us began life with the vocation of either “son” or “daughter.” If you are married, then you have the vocation of “husband” or “wife.” Maybe God has blessed you with siblings—so you also have the vocation, holy calling, of being “brother” or “sister.” In the workplace, you may be “employer” or “employee.” These too are holy callings given by God.
 
Consider the vocations, holy callings, you have from God. Make a mental list of them. Now turn to Colossians 3:12-4:1 and read the insights and directions God gives to you for each vocation. These will be the focus of our time in worship this week.
 
Apostle Paul is reminding us that “Whatever we do”—it can “all” be done in thanks to God the Father and in light of our trusting relationship with Jesus.
 
One of life’s great challenges is prioritizing and balancing our many and varied vocations. It can be hard to be a good “employee”, “parent or grandparent”, “church member” and “good neighbor” all in the same day.
 
A child of God might well ask, “Does God give us wisdom and guidance in his Word on how to keep these priorities straight?” That is a worthy question with a great answer.
 
 
Let’s check that out this week in worship!!

In Christ,

Pastor Scott

 

P.S. Many thanks for the prayers and encouragement you’ve shared with me regarding my Teaching Trip to Ethiopia. It was great to share my Ethiopia Report this past Sunday with the Sunday Bible Study Group.

I’d like to offer it again so others could hear the story of God at work around the world.
Here is an idea—what about 6:00-6:45 on Wednesday, September 11—prior to worship time?
If you’d like to hear my Ethiopia Report on September 11—please let me know. Thanks.

Read more...

Pastor Scott’s Weekly Blog: Life Together – In Christ

 
“Therefore as God’s chosen people,
holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness,
humility, gentleness and patience.”
Colossians 3:12
 
Life Together—In Christ
 
Friend, read the first two lines of the verse of the week one more time. Are you grasping the wonder and magnitude of these statements? You are God’s chosen one. You are dearly loved. You are holy. These are all grand realities because you are “in Christ”. This is how the God over all the universe sees and knows you to be. You can rest in this great truth and reality. All of this is yours as a gift. It all is yours because God has called you to saving faith in the one Jesus of Nazareth who gave his life for you on Calvary’s cross. Your value and identity are based on how God sees you. He sees you as his chosen one, holy and dearly loved. I guess none of us in Christ need wonder about our worth again!
 
The rest of that sentence relates to the wonderful characteristics and qualities that reflect who we are as God’s beloved. Paul writes that we are to “clothe” ourselves with these. He is indicating that these are available to us. We get to dress out of Jesus’ closet. Each of these helps us do “life together” in community safely and peaceably.
 
Compassion includes bringing help to those in distress; kindness knows no distress and one leader calls it the WD40 of relationships. Humility is putting the welfare of others above yourself; gentleness is not easily provided by the carelessness of others, and patience does not bear a grudge or seek revenge.
 
In worship this week we will rejoice in the work of Christ that makes us one in Christ and gives us the gift of salvation. We will also rejoice that God is at work in our midst enabling us to live safely and peaceably with one another. May you continue to experience the peace and joy of offering others compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience in our home, congregation and wherever you may be.
 
In Christ,
 
Pastor Scott
 
 
P.S. I hope you will be able to join in the Ethiopia Report that I will be sharing this Sunday, August 18, 9:45-10:45 in the Community Room. Again, many thanks for your prayers and encouragement regarding my recent teaching trip to Ethiopia!!

Read more...

Pastor Scott’s Weekly Blog – ALIVE In Christ

 
“And you,
who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh,
God made alive together with Him,
having forgiven us all our trespasses,
by cancelling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands.”
Colossians 2:13-14a

Made Alive

As an adult, the whole idea of celebrating me on my birthday seems misplaced. Do you know what I mean? It seems like my day of birth should be my celebration of my mom and my dad who gave me life. Right?
 
This is the approach we take on our “Baptism Birthday.” We reflect on the suffering Savior who brought us from death to life—together with Him and in Him. Paul reminds us in Colossians chapter 2 that we are buried with Christ in his death in our baptism. We are also raised to new life with Christ and in Christ in our baptism. Do you know your baptism birthday? My baptism birthday is June 18, 1960. It is a great day to give praise and thanks to God for your new life that will never end. Life with God for today, tomorrow and forever. By faith in the suffering, rising and reigning Christ you have life—you have been made alive—so alive that you will never be without this life in Christ!
 
To get ready for worship this weekend I invite you to read Colossians 2:9-16.
 
Thanks also for remembering the team of 7 representing Concordia Center for the Family as we travel to the capital city–Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to share FAM 101. This is a training course that will prepare the 37 participating pastors to become FAM 101 Instructors impacting all of Ethiopia and every one of their 9.8 million members in the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus.
 
It is a vivid reminder that we are One Church the body of Christ here and around the world—each one and all together “made alive” in our baptism.
 
I’d also appreciate your prayers as I am honored to be the preacher for worship on Sunday morning this weekend in Addis. If you are awake around 4:00 am you can remember us as we worship the Savior at 11:00 am local time.
 
Blessings on your worship!!
 
Pastor Scott

 

PS Thanks for your travel prayers as we head out Friday at 6:30 am and arrive Saturday in Ethiopia at 8:00 am (which would be 1:00 am local time in Detroit.) We head home Friday August 9 at 3:45 Detroit time and arrive Saturday at 2:30 pm. And thank you for your prayers for those receiving this training that they will be edified, and that God will bless our teaching and learning together!

Read more...

Pastor Scott’s Weekly Blog – Rooted

This is my third weekly blog. Thanks for tuning in. The goal is to have it posted and ready for

you to read and review to get a “sneak peek” of the worship theme for the week prior to the

Wednesday Worship Service. There is also a good chance you’ll find a “quickie update” on all things

related to getting started with the Intentional Interim Ministry process at Community in these blogs.

Enjoy this word from the Word…

 

…that their hearts may be encouraged,

being knit together in love,

to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and

the knowledge of God’s mystery,

which is Christ,

in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Colossians 2:2-3

 

Being an Encourager

Who is the most encouraging person you know? Can you name a person who has been

instrumental in your life as an “encourager”? Who comes to mind from your past–a teacher, coach,

youth leader or family member? How did they encourage you? Now turn your attention to today.

Who comes to mind as an “encourager” today? How is this person encouraging you? How does it feel

to know there are people in your life who are committed to being your encourager?

 

This section of Colossians starts with Paul declaring his intent to be an encourager. He wants

the saints in Colossae and us as his readers to be encouraged. Encouraging others is important to him as

a leader in the church. To encourage someone is to help them have courage when they need it. To

have the courage to trust God in the midst of changes and challenges. When do you need courage? When

trying a new thing or trying again in an area of life that brings frustration because it is a place where

learning is needed but seems slow in coming? During this season of change at Community we are

looking to God. Asking him to give us courage. And to help each of us be leaders in the area of

encouragement. Who has God placed around you—someone you can encourage today?

 

Isn’t it interesting that encouragement has a companion in Paul’s writing about the Christian

life? He describes the following companion to encouragement—that they may be “knit together in

love.” It seems like Paul is encouraging us to be close to one another and to practice caring for one

another and counting on one another. How does this happen in your home and at Community?

Later in this section of Colossians Paul will describe the Christian life as being “rooted” in Christ.

What a comfort to know that God is our constant and ultimate source of courage and encouragement as

well as the source of love we draw on as we seek to become a community “knit together in love.”

Reading the Bible and weekly worship reconnectsus to the “source” of every good gift—and strengthen

our roots in Christ.

 

Some are asking “what can I do during this season of transition?” I suggest that Paul gives each

of us a holy and beautiful calling—continue to be “rooted” in Christ so you can also encourage one

another and come close to one another being knit together in love.

May God work this good work in each of us and through each of us toward others.

 

See you in worship!!

Pastor Scott

 

P.S. Please pray for God to grant the staff and I wisdom as we set the ministry schedule for the coming

program year. We want God’s wisdom so we can “see and discover” great ways to encourage the

friends of God who are counting on Community so that each one can know and rely on the love God has

for us. (1 John 4:16) Thank you!


Read more...

Pastor Scott’s Weekly Blog – Resting & Striving

 
This is my second weekly blog.  Thanks for tuning in.  The goal is to have it posted and ready for you to read and review to get a “sneak peek” of the worship theme for the week prior to the Wednesday Worship Service.  (You may have noticed I didn’t get it done in time—that’s on me.  I am still adjusting to the Tuesday deadline for writing—you can expect better in the future.  My apologies and thanks for being patient with me as I adjust to the rhythms of worship at Community.)  There is also a good chance you’ll find a “quickie update” on all things related to getting started with the Intentional Interim Ministry process at Community in these blogs.  Enjoy this word from the Word…

And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind,

doing evil deeds,

he has now reconciled

in his body of flesh in his death,

in order to

present you

holy and blameless and above reproach before him….

  Colossians 1:21.22

 

Are You “Resting” in this Grand Reality?

Did you hear that?  Jesus is presenting you (and me too) “holy and blameless and above reproach” because of the cross where he reconciled you “in his body of flesh in his death.”  This is unthinkable and remarkable. 

The One who went to the cross for you is earlier described as being Lord over all– “all things were created through him and for him” (1:16) and “in him the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.” (1:20) The Holy Son of God was “making peace by the blood of his cross.” (1:20)  He took the punishment of your sin and mine and made it his and now he takes his holiness and makes it yours and mine.

There is nothing for you to “do” to receive this gift of life and salvation.  The work has “all” been “done” by Jesus “for you.”  In fact, if you and I try to “add” something to this completed work of Jesus we are actually signaling that “something” was missing, that we needed to “complete” to make salvation real.  But that clearly is not the message of the Gospel that is at work among us. 

So, friend of God, are you resting in this grand reality?  This biblical miracle of getting what you don’t deserve “by faith and through grace” is the basis of the Christian experience.  Go ahead, “rest” in it.  Be at peace.  Picture that little baby in the midst of life swirling around him or her, fast asleep in the loving arms of a parent—so peaceful and filled with trust. 

This is you in the arms of your God.  You can rest assured because He says you are “holy and blameless and above reproach.”  And God does not lie, He speaks truth, amazing truth that we can rest in.

 

Blessings on your Worship!

Pastor Scott

 

P.S.  I am having such wonderful 1 on 1 visits with the members and friends of Community.  I wish you could sit in the room with me and here these heartfelt conversations.  The next best thing is that I will summarize all of these and share the insights and attitudes of each in my Phase 1 Report.  Meanwhile, please do sign up and join this great time for listening and encouraging one another in Christ.

Also—please pray for God to grant the staff and I wisdom as we set the ministry schedule for the coming program year.  We want God’s wisdom so we can “see and discover” great ways to serve the friends of God who are counting on Community so that each one can know and rely on the love God has for us. (1 John 4:16)  Thank you!


Read more...

Introducing Pastor Scott’s Weekly Blog

 
This is my first weekly blog. Thanks for tuning in. I hope you will tune every week to get a “sneak peek” of the worship theme for the week and a “quickie update” on all things related to getting started with the Intentional Interim Ministry process at Community. Now for the blog.

Will you Pray?

Some are asking me—“What can I do to help my church family during this season of transition?” That is a great question. My answer—transition is a great time to re-energize your prayer life.

Who are you praying for?

What about adding these suggestions?
  1. Those who are grieving the loss of a dear friend in Pastor Eric and his family.
  2. All of us to experience a renewed trust and hope in God’s provision for today and the future.
  3. The staff and I to become a healthy and joyful team as we start serving together.
  4. Our Board of Directors to have wisdom and peace as they lead.
  5. All of us, that God will transform us more and more into the image of Christ for the sake of others.
 
This week’s sermon is “Doing Life” based on Colossians 1:9-14. I encourage you to read these few verses or even take the Summer Challenge. The Summer Challenge is reading the four short chapters of Colossians one time every week till the end of the summer. That’s 95 power-packed verses that the Holy Spirit can use to do His work in you and through you. Are you up for the challenge?
 
“Doing Life” focuses on Paul’s prayer in verses 9-14 and will review life’s daily rhythm for the Jesus Follower. This repeating rhythm includes trusting God, loving neighbor, recovering when we fail to love and being renewed by God’s grace and mercy. During worship this week we will discover and practice this daily rhythm once again. Thanks for your prayers and for your warm welcome as I am beginning to serve as your new Interim Pastor during this transition time. Looking forward to seeing you in Worship and Bible Study!
 
 
Pastor Scott Sommerfeld
Interim Senior Pastor
 
P.S. There are new time slots available for 1 on 1 sessions. See the display by the Community Room entrance to pick a time that works well for you and yours. Thanks.
 
  • Weekly Worship: Wednesday at 7:00 and Sunday at 8:30 and 11:00
  • Sunday Adult Bible Class going deeper in Colossians: 10:00am in the Community Room

Read more...