Dear Church Family,

 

            We have a song in our hymnal that begins saying, “In times like these, you need a Savior. In times like these, you need an anchor.” In Psalm 46, the Psalmist writes, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” And, in Hebrews 10, the author of Hebrews says, “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together … but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

With these statements in mind, the last thing I as a pastor want to do is call off opportunities for us to gather together, to seek the Lord and find refuge in Him, and be able to stir up one another in love and good works. Yet, that’s the decision that’s before us. As others on our councils have done as well, I’ve wrestled with what to do in this unprecedented time; going back and forth in my mind. However, it seems to be clearer now than ever that the right thing to do is to call off or postpone all churchwide activities for the next couple of weeks in order to limit the spread of this virus. Therefore, be aware that all church activities from March 17-30 are officially cancelled or postponed. This may be extended further based on the trajectory and prognosis of this virus. We will communicate any such extensions to you in a clear and timely manner.   

Please know that we are not taking this step out of a sense of fear or faithlessness. God is still our refuge and strength, and we do not fear “though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling” (Psalm 46). Rather, we are taking this action out of love for the most vulnerable, to help those in the medical field be able to adequately treat everyone diagnosed with this disease, and out of respect for our God-ordained authorities who are asking us to take such action. If you have any questions or are in need of council or just want to talk, please don’t hesitate to contact me. 

In the meantime, here are some things I would encourage you to do:

 

  1. Continue to keep the Sabbath. My plan is to have sermon content available for viewing online for at least the next two Sundays. Please use this to worship at home. I will also do my best to have something available for Lent. If you do not have access to the internet, I’d encourage you to check out The Pastor’s Study. It airs every Sunday morning at 9am on channel 23.1.

 

  1. Pray! There is power in prayer. Therefore, as the church, please continue to call out to God that He would bring an end to this virus, but not before His good and perfect plan for this is complete. With that, please pray that revival in our nation and world would come as a result of this; that people would truly turn to the Lord in this time of uncertainty and need. 

 

  1. Reach out to your friends and neighbors. Of course, we all must do our part to distance ourselves from unnecessary social interactions. So, utilize the phone. Call your friends and neighbors and see how they’re doing and if they need anything. In this way, we can continue meeting together and encouraging one another. In other words, we can continue being the church. After all, we are still the church. Not meeting together doesn’t change that reality.

 

  1. Help where you are able and feel comfortable or ask for help. If you know of someone that has a need that you aren’t able to help meet or if you have a need, please let Ali Coulter (507-824-1249) or me (612-751-2862) know. We will either do what we can to personally meet the need or will try and find someone that can. Needs can include anything from running an errand, to making and delivering a meal, to caring for kids, etc.

 

  1. Continue to tithe. Although meeting together may cease for a time, our financial obligations as a congregation do not. In other words, we still need to pay the bills and we still desire to support the various work we’ve agreed upon (e.g. missions and other ministry ventures). Therefore, in order that we might continue to meet those obligations, I’d ask you to send in your tithes and offerings to the financial secretary.

 

Deanna Gard (Hauge Financial Secretary):

131 4th Street

Kenyon, MN 55946 

 

            Sarah Tennessen (Emmanuel Financial Secretary):

                        32348 59th Ave. Way

                        Cannon Falls, MN 55009

 

Of course, if you’ve suffered a financial hit in this time, we understand and trust that the Lord will continue to provide for all of our needs as a congregation. We trust that He will continue to provide for all of your needs as well. Let us know if we can be of service.

 

Also, as most are aware, we do take offerings during our Lenten services. This year we designated the offering at Emmanuel to go to the Jared Trost family for their upcoming mission work to Uganda. At Hauge, we designated the offering to go to Heather Olson to support her upcoming mission work in Europe. With that being said, due to the fact that we will not be meeting for at least two Lenten services, if you still desire to support either or both of these works, you can send a check to the financial secretary. Simply, make the check out to the church and write in the memo line which mission work you’d like to support.

 

  1. Stay occupied with something other than the news. As you take measures to socially isolate yourself, perhaps the worst thing you can do is sit around and watch the news all day. Yes, continue to stay informed and up to date with what’s going on in the world and our nation. But don’t be consumed by these things. Rather, occupy your mind and your time with a hobby, maybe with some spring cleaning, with writing a letter or doing some extra reading. Take a spring walk or two, watch an old movie, listen to some good music, play a game, plan your summer vacation, start planning for a garden, and, above all, don’t neglect the Word and prayer.

 

We will get through this, and the Lord will use this for His glory and for our good. So, press on and the fight the good fight of faith.

I look forward to seeing you all soon. But until then,

 

The Lord bless you and keep you

The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

Amen!

 

Pastor Gideon

x >>

Pastor Gideon Johnson

For link to sermon:

www.https://sermons.faithlife.com/sermons/561394-matthew-5:6

Council Minutes

Call to Order @ 7:30 by President Stolee.  Present were: Pastor Johnson, Allen Stolee, James Lehman, Jerry Houglum, Cory Vold, Elrene Clauson, Heather Olson, Molly Barsness, Dean Houglum, Clair Boyum, Wayne Walker and Rebecca Peterson.

 

Devotions were given by Pastor Johnson from Psalms:  His steadfast love endures forever.  Devotions followed by prayer.

 

Secretary’s Report was read and will stand as read.

Treasurer’s report was presented and approved as presented.  Balance in savings and checking account, not designated as of October 31, 2019, was $8,741.57, compared to $8,985.25, as of September 30, 2019.  

Pastor’s Report:  Seventeen (17) visits (25 individuals) total visits in October.  Pastor will be on vacation Thanksgiving week.  Pastor Aadahl will preach while Pastor Johnson is on vacation.

Youth Director’s Report:  All youth activities are well attended and going well.  Advent event will be held at Emmanuel will include activities, fellowship and supper.  Molly will present a proposed budget for discussion. 

 

Old Business:

  1. Wish List (need to think about a list in case memorial donations are available).
  2. Lights for the basement: Installed and looking great. Will add sanctuary lighting to the pending list.   
  3. Annual review for the pastor:  Will be on agenda for joint Emmanuel/Hauge Council meeting in December.  Review will be completed before joint meeting.  
  4. Church Website:  Clausons are working on website.  Discussed criteria.   
  5. Sunday School:  Is FUN!! Christmas will be celebrated December 22nd during 10:45 church service followed by lunch.
  6. Choir folders have been received, labeled and distributed.
  7. Mold in parsonage:  New kitchen cabinets, countertop and bathroom vanity are being manufactured and will be installed while Johnsons are on vacation during Thanksgiving week.
  8. Answering Machine in Church Basement:  If light is blinking please listen to message and pass on information.
  9. Address numbers on church (302 Bullis): Fred & Rebecca Peterson will get numbers on the church.
  10. Other:

 

New Business:

  1. Discussion on agenda topics for joint meeting with Emmanuel Council – scheduled for Tuesday, December 10th at 7:00 PM.
  2. Outside Drainage issue on both sides of church kitchen: pending
  3. Approve spending for “Patterns of Evidence” films – approximately $100.00: M/S/C R Peterson/E Clauson.
  4. Christmas / Sunday School Program / Christmas Eve Service
  5. Discussion on Annual meeting.  Scheduled for Sunday, January 19 after 9:00 AM church service, Sunday School  and pancake brunch.  Alternate day was set to Saturday, January 25, but Pastor Johnson has a conflict – tentative date change to February 1, 2020.  Alternate date will be approved at Dec or Jan Council meeting.  Budget items discussed which did include salary discussions. 
  6. Other:  His Servants group is looking for an additional Hauge rep.  Will be on Annual Meeting agenda.

 

Adjournment 10:00. M/S/C: R Peterson / C Boyum

 

WMF

Here it is Advent already and we are getting ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus. We will be holding our Christmas Gathering on December 7th at 9 a.m. The hostesses are the WMF Officers. The food chairmen from each circle help with clean up. Each circle should have designated a person to assist with the program. Hope to see you there as we remind ourselves the reason for Christmas isn’t Santa Claus, making your list of things that you think need to be done, trying to figure out how you’re going to find time to get all those things done and still get some sleep before December 24th. We get caught in the hustle and bustle of life and don’t take time to stop and thank God for the gift of his Son. Please join us December 7th at 9 a.m.

 

The needs for missionary families include dry soup mixes, kool aid, card games and small toys, chocolate and gummy bears, mac and cheese, and special occasion napkins. If you are interested in donating some of these items, please place your donations in the box in the kitchen.

 

Our knitting and crocheting group is taking a break for a couple of months. We made and donated over 300 hats, from newborn/preemie size to adult size hats. We donated newborn/preemie hats to The Birth Center at Northfield Hospital, and newborn/preemie size to adult size to the Alaska Mission, as well as the Kenyon Police Department to distribute to those in the community that are in need of warm hats. If you have any unwanted yarn laying around that you want to get rid of, please keep in mind that the knitting and crocheting group could use it. We will be resuming our group in February.

 

We are always in need of volunteers to serve coffee and refreshments on Sundays before service. There is a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board at the front door of church (right next to the sign-up sheet for communion set up and clean up); please think about serving one Sunday. Starting in January, it will be after the 9 a.m. service, as we change service times in the first Sunday of January. Don’t feel that you  need to get up before dawn to make something to serve—there are no guidelines for what should be served.

 

Julie Walker will be putting up the tree with the gift needs for the family we have been given to supply Christmas gifts for. Please pray for those receiving the gifts as you shop.  Julie asks that the gifts not be wrapped.

 

At the time of writing this, I do not have information regarding the plan for the Christmas Sunday School program. Please refer to the announcements and news that is communicated through your circle.

 

Our Hauge Annual Congregational Meeting is currently scheduled for January 19th. The council will be providing a pancake breakfast for us that morning between church and our annual meeting. 

 

 Coming events:  

* Hauge WMF Christmas Celebration is on December 7th at 9 a.m. WMF Officers serve and WMF food chairmen clean up. One member from each circle is needed to help plan the program.

*Church Service time changes the first Sunday of January. Hauge service will be at 9 a.m.

If at any time you wish to contact us with questions, comments, etc., please feel free to call Elrene at 507-951-7222 or email at clauson2000@yahoo.com, or Lois at 507-271-9434 or email at lolobauer@frontiernet.net, or catch any of us anytime.

Elrene, Lois, Polly, and Brenda

 

Youth

December Youth Schedule

Dec 1: Youth Group. Emmanuel. 5:30-8pm.

Dec 5: HS Bible Study. Hauge. 7:30am.

Dec 8: Youth Group. Emmanuel. 5:30-8pm

Dec 15: PreHEY Christmas!

                       Emmanuel.12-2:30pm

              Christmas Party! Emmanuel. 5-8pm

Dec 19: HS Bible Study. Hauge. 7:30am.

Dec 22: Movie Night! Emmanuel. 5:30-8pm

Dec 26:Fun Day&Bible Study!Hauge.2-8pm

Dec 29: HEY-all Game Night.

                       Emmanuel. 5-9pm

 

December promises to be as fun-filled as ever as we anticipate celebrating the birth of Christ!

 

HS Bible Study: This is open to students in grades 9-12. We meet at Hauge. Breakfast is ready at 7:30 and study starts at 7:40. We will be done it time to for school. This month we will be meeting December 5 and 19.

 

HEY Christmas Party: The youth group Christmas party will be Sunday, December 15 from 5-8pm at Emmanuel! We will be making homemade pizzas, decorating cookies, opening white elephant gifts, and celebrating the birth of Christ! Students should bring a ~$5 wrapped white elephant gift and wear an ugly Christmas sweater if you have one!

 

Movie Night: December 22.5:30-8. Emmanuel. We will be having a movie and popcorn night! There will not be supper provided that night but there will be popcorn and toppings!

HEY-all Game Night: 5-9pm. Emmanuel. We invite the young adults to join us for a night of fun and games! Bring a snack to share as that will be supper that night!

 

HELP! We serve supper every week at the beginning of youth group. Look to the bulletin boards for a schedule. There will be parts/ingredients listed for each week. Sign up to bring part/all of the ingredients for a given week if you feel so led. If you would like to change the meal and provide the whole thing, feel free to do that as well.

 

 

Youth group starts at 5:30 with supper then continues with our study and fellowship time together. We finish at 8. Come and join us! It is open for any students in grades 7-12. I would continue to ask for your help by encouraging our young people to attend youth group.

 

Please feel free to contact me with any thoughts, comments, questions, or concerns!

 

Molly Barsness

651.212.3919

mollymbarsness@gmail.com

 

  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PreHEY:

Grades 4-6

PreHEY Christmas Shindig: December 15.

Noon-ish-2:30 at Emmanuel.

Please join us and bring friends!

This one is our Christmas Party! We will be making pizzas and decorating cookies in addition to our lesson and games!

It is like youth group time for the 4th-6th graders!

 

Sunday School not meeting due to Governor Walz's recommendations