Dear Members and Friends of St. John,
I’ve heard many times in recent years that we live in “The Age of Communication.” People are “on-line”, “plugged-in”, and “connected” . . . supposedly. Modern technology exists all around the world. People in Alaska can talk to and see what is happening in New York City, in China, or Africa! Even in the village of Eek we saw children on their cellular devices – connected!
But some say, with good reason, that there is too much information available and we experience “information overload.” Have you gone to Google to find out information on a topic? Have you visited Wikipedia? Once you find your information, is it reliable?
Others say that we are so “connected” that there is no real communication. People communicate by Facebook, or by text message, or by e-mail (like this one). But, how many people sit down and look another person in the eye, and talk person to person about something really vital or important? Perhaps in this “Communication Age” there is less real communication going on in the lives of individuals.
These topics fill my mind and heart because we had a communication challenge while our St. John AMC VBS team was in the village of Eek in early July. I had thought of trying to get a GCI cell phone for our trip, knowing that GCI is the only network that works in much of rural Alaska. (I learned this fact most vividly when my daughter, Mary, was teaching in Chevak.) But, I never got around to making those arrangements. We had no GCI network phone.
So, while in Eek, all our adults had cell phones, but we could not use them to call, or to text, or to get onto the internet. This created some communication challenges. Not only could we not communicate with family at home, but also had some challenges reaching people in the village. For example, our contact, George Alexie, would come by the place we were staying a number of times a day. We could ask questions and get things taken care when George visited. But, if we needed to contact George we could not do so. We did not have phones that worked.
In order to travel by plane to and from the villages, a person gets in touch with the Airline Contact. Emma was the airline contact person in Eek. When we wanted to check on our flights out of Eek we were told to get in touch with Emma. But, we did not have phones that worked.
One of the blessings in Eek is they now have a water system up and working. George says he got water to his home last summer. However, there was no running water yet in the place we stayed. Yet, the village did open up the washerteria for us. Fritz was the person in Eek in charge of the washerteria and opened it up one night so we could use the showers. Realizing how much we appreciated the showers, Fritz later came by to tell me, “Anytime you want a shower, just call me up and I’ll open it for you.” But, we couldn’t call Fritz. We did not have phones that worked.
Our team is not the only example of people having trouble with communicating, even with all our technology. How about you? Have you ever called someone, but they did not answer? Have you ever text-messaged someone, but they did not text back? Have you ever e-mailed someone, but have gotten no response? Listening is the most important part of communicating. But sometimes we also need to speak. What if you speak, but you are not heard?
There is one very important communication that does not require cell service, and where the One with whom we communicate always hears our message and always answers. Listen to what Jesus teaches His disciples about prayer.
7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
Jesus tells us that our Heavenly Father always hears us. The Lord always answers us, even if we can’t understand His answer, at least for the moment. God’s answer always includes His goodness, even if we have trouble seeing, or understanding God’s goodness.
If communicating with others is important, communication with our Lord, our Creator, our Savior, our Comforter, is even more vital. God speaks to us first in His Word, in the Scriptures and in His Son Jesus. But, when we respond and speak to God there is never a network problem. Our Heavenly Father hears and answers with His wisdom and love. 7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
A Child of God, Thankful for Vital Communication that is Always Open,
P.S. Here are some pictures from our garden last week. https://photos.app.goo.gl/PmAr8tNoALNHQd9cA
P.P.P.S. Here are some pictures of an evening of fishing on a local lake. https://photos.app.goo.gl/kqSquY7RU8a8Q6tR6
ABOUT ‘THOUGHTS FROM THE PASTOR’ - I am sending these e-mail messages, hopefully weekly, to all St. John members and friends whose e-mails I have. (I am regularly adding new names of friends and members – in case you are just receiving this e-mail for the first time.) However, if you do not want to receive this e-mail, please let me know, and I’ll gladly leave your name off my list for this message.
OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!! - ST. JOHN VBS! – St. John Vacation Bible School is held during the mornings at St. John, July 23-27. WE NEED VOLUNTEERS! Please sign up on the sign up sheets in the narthex to help with VBS.
THERE IS A VBS VOLUNTEER MEETING THIS THURSDAY AT 6:00 P.M. AT ST. JOHN!
HELP NEEDED!! – Mark and Nicole Ford will be moving to Minnesota for Mark’s new job with the FAA which starts August 19. The Ford’s are very active at St. John. We will need folks to fill their place.
· Treasurer – Mark works with Garnet Robertson on the job of treasurer for St. John. They have the treasurer job down to a regular routine. If someone can help in this area or is interested in serving please talk to Mark, or Garnet, or congregational president, Karl Kopperud, or Pastor Rockey.
· Nursery – Nicole Ford staffs the nursery on Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. If you are interested in helping in this area please talk with Cathy Glaser, or Karl Kopperud, or Pastor Rockey. There is a $50.00 a week stipend for this service.
ST. JOHN ACTIVITIES AND OPPORTUNITIES
During Summer months our schedule changes. However, we still have many regular activities for growth in faith and Christian Fellowship, . . . IN ADDITION TO regular summer worship.
Please note our schedule below for your personal growth in Jesus.
SUNDAY EDUCATIONAL AND GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES
· The Book of Acts is being taught by Jim Summers in the fellowship hall. There is nursery care offered during the class.
· Prayer Ministry Opportunity – There are Elders in Pastor Allen’s former office between worship who are available for prayer each Sunday between services.
· Summer Sunday School Starts this Sunday– Summer Sunday School is scheduled for July 8, 15, 22, 29, August 5, 12. It started on July 8!
This Summer Sunday School will be one session for all ages, and will meet at the same time as the adult class is meeting. We have six adults who have each volunteered to team up with another person for these sessions. So, we have leaders but could use others to sit in and help. The August sessions are now planned as “Intergenerational.”
o July 8 – Michelle Bower and Hunter Richards
o July 15 – Hunter Richards and Jenny Carlson
o July 22 – Nathan and Maranda Bower
o July 29 – Michelle Bower and Ethan Mirly
o August 5 – (Intergenerational), Ethan and Hunter
o August 12 - (Intergenerational), Ethan and Hunter
REGULAR SUMMER ACTITIVIES DURING THE WEEK
· TUESDAY - SUMMER HIKES! - St. John continues its tradition of weekly summer hikes on Tuesdays this year. Meet a church at 9:00 a.m. to leave. Bring a friend or a dog if you wish. Plan on a day of hiking with fellow Christians and enjoy God’s outdoors! Sara Guhl and DCE Intern Ethan Mirly are helping to lead these hikes. ETHAN LEADS A HIKE UP THE BUTTE THIS TUESDAY!
o WEDNESDAY WORSHIP – Wednesday worship is offered each week at 6:30 p.m. at St. John. This service gives another worship opportunity to God’s family in addition to Sunday worship services. If a person cannot worship on Sunday, the same readings from Sunday are used on Wednesdays, with a different sermon from the Sunday morning sermon. In addition, if someone wants an additional opportunity for growth and fellowship and praise, Wednesday worship can provide that opportunity. Come and join us on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 p.m.
o YOUTH ACTIVITIES
o Middle School Youth meet at St. John from 5-6:00 p.m. on Wednesdays.
o High School Youth meet at St. John on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m.
· FRIDAY - NEW ORIGINAL BIBLE STUDY – Twenty and thirty something’s meet at the home of Hunter and Elizabeth Richard, 340 North Bonanza, on Friday nights for Food, Fellowship, and Bible Study.
· SATURDAY ST. JOHN MEN’S BREAKFAST - The St. John men’s group, Promise Keepers, is meeting on Saturday mornings this summer at the Noisy Goose at 7:30 a.m. for food and fellowship. ALL MEN are invited to join us. “Fathers, feel free to bring your sons too! SCOTT MANKE WILL LEAD DISCUSSION AT THE BREAKFAST THIS SATURDAY!
I pray that these activities provide you with opportunities for growth in your relationship with Jesus and times of service.
OTHER OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH AND FELLOWSHIP
DAVE ANDERSON AND ROGER WALCK will present an August 5 CONCERT at St. John benefitting Shepherds Canyon Retreat Center (for church workers) at 6:00 p.m.
Plan now to attend this concert!
Anchorage Lutheran Benefit Golf Tournament
From: Deborah <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2018 10:11 AM
Subject: Benefit Golf Tournament
Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2018 10:11 AM
Subject: Benefit Golf Tournament
You are cordially invited to Join Anchorage Lutheran Church and Thrivent Financial at a golf tournament benefiting:
· Habitat for Humanity
· Lutheran Social Services of Alaska
· Anchor Lutheran School
The tournament is on Wednesday, August 8th at the Moose Run Golf Course and the
event starts at 7:00 am
Please see the attached registration and tournament sponsorship form, or go to our website at www.anchoragelutheran.org to register.
If you have any questions, or need additional information, please call Anchorage Lutheran Church at 907-272-5323.
“CHRISTMAS MARKET, MUSIC, AND LUTHER TRIP” TO AUSTRIA AND GERMANY AT THE END OF 2019
(Meeting coming SOON!)
Pastor Jonathan and Kathy Rockey will be leading a trip to Germany November 26-December 10, 2019. We will start in Vienna and end in Berlin. The focus of this trip will be Christmas markets, music, and Martin Luther. Information about the itinerary, cost, and registration can be found at this link from Luther Tours. - https://www.christiantravelplanners.com/tours/item/181-christmas-markets-austria-and-germany.html
Already, even before publicity, about 15 people have indicated an interest in attending. If you want to know more about this trip talk to Pastor Rockey or Kathy.
DID YOU KNOW THAT MUCH INFORMATION ABOUT ST. JOHN is available on our church website? On our web page you can find sermons, newsletters, and these weekly devotions. The link is: http://www.stjohnpalmer.org
In fact, IF YOU WANT TO RECEIVE YOUR MONTHLY CHURCH NEWSLETTER BY E-MAIL please e-mail Judy Stahancyk and let her know. You can call at 745-3338, or e-mail Judy at email@example.com. If you receive the newsletter by e-mail it saves printing, postage, and time compiling the newsletter. Also, you receive the monthly newsletter more quickly!!