Yes, There is Hope!

Categories: Shared Thoughts

Pat and JoeDear Friends,

I think it’s been three weeks that I have been remiss in getting the formal Parish notes out. You have received our notes of information – some joyous and some sad. Like family news communicated to keep those loved ones informed of events that impact everyone.

This Sunday Pastor Paul was on vacation and attending a conference. So Rev Annette Rihovsky gave the sermon – asking us to bear with her in leading the service. She did beautifully, of course. I’ll put something of her sermon below and try to add items from previous weeks also at the end. I find in every sermon there are certain things that stand out. These are the pearls we take away and add to our repertoire for living

Loss
Grief of loss hit our LNPC family in this last month. Three members are now in God’s arms. Even though we know they are in heaven, our sadness and their dear family’s heartache is real.

Please continue to hold Marilyn McCloskey in your prayers. The sudden loss of Jerry, her husband of many years, is just so hard. And how we miss him too! But, we remember with joy Jerry’s memorial so well attended by people representing groups from all walks of life. Jerry was active in more things than most of us even know about!  He touched many lives.

Al Farnoudi, a choir member, died unexpectedly while visiting in Iran. His wife, Nazi, was not with him and is grieving that loss.

And our dear Ray Wells, who was active for many years with his wife Vannah in LNPC. They have now both joined the heavenly brigade after long years of earthly life

Family Camp  – Into The Wild
It was a great time for all. Fun and camaraderie and and Worship and adventure.   Our son in law and two grandchildren loved it. Joe wanted to love it but was still trying to get over that dreaded flu/cold and found he was not well enough to remain for more than a day – and that pushed it. But it was,  as Claire Burrill says: all ages, family like and “almost” 4 star accommodations – well, comparatively speaking! Save your spot for next year!

The Youth BBQ was fabulous.
Hope you all saw the update I forwarded from John Denton and the photo if the BBQ staff!   The lunch was – Well attended. Well eaten (delicious). Another example of  “food talks” – and in this case raises funds for Mission work. Our troops are headed to the orphanage we support in Mexico this weekend

Church Flowers
Don’t forget to sign up on the flower chart in the Narthex for your future week of flowers.  Make out a $65 check to McCool Florists and take to church office or bring Sunday AM and put in offering plate . Remember the purpose of these flowers is for the beauty of the service but more importantly we Deacons take them after church to those who are not well or not able to come to the church service. It is so nice for them to receive and gives a cheery visit with them also. If you know of someone who needs a cheery bouquet please let me know!!

Our Pastor Nominating Committee
They are still working hard. Hopefully we’ll have another update soon. By the way if you have heard of someone who might be a good pastor candidate, please let one of the PNC committee members know. The people you know or a friend knows may be the best potentials!  Don’t forget to pray for  these  hard working members who are taking so much of their personal time for our church: Fred Ehlers, Greg Heath, Carl Hess, Howard Hirakawa,  Pat Kun, Stacy Malone, Brett Riordan, Cecil Spearman and Carol Stocksdale.  They have a most important duty for the future of  LNPC. Their responsibility is awesome!

Church Activities
1.  Missions. – Our job is to spread God’s word and care for others as Christ’s disciples. We have so many projects of outreach. JoAnn Renning, whom I call “ The Lady of Perpetual Mission” is constantly reminding us of our responsibilities in charity.
Hands of Grace Meal  Feed the homeless the first Wednesday of each month. Bring food and help serve and sit down and eat with these interesting people.  It is not held at our church,  the food is taken to Faith Episcopal Church in Laguna Niguel. You don’t have to stay, you can just drop off food if you prefer . Pastor Paul attends and several of our congregation. Call JoAnn Renning or the church office for more information.
Food Drive for South County Outreach –. Special Spring Drive for 1000 pounds of food Look for the barrel in the narthex and bring your non perishables.  The need never ends! And if you want to help sort and work at this main Orange County center, they definitely need help.
2.  Mission Trip – youth and adults. This coming weekend. To Mexico- to the orphanage to take boxes of clothing and other items to the children. And to work. I have a grandson and son in law going.

3. Prayer Groups Monday mornings 8-8:30 in the sanctuary a group meets to pray for our church, our PNC , our church members and the person who will be called to be our Pastor. Come and join in prayer. Just show up.
4   The Gathering  Every Sunday at 4:30 -5:30 You have the opportunity to meet for Praise, Prayer and Fellowship. The Music is all Praise Music  It’s held in Gard Hall. It’s a try to meet the needs of those who can’t come Sunday AM or those who prefer a more contemporary Worship style.
5.  Training Session for Stephen Ministry in co-op with Lutheran Church of the Cross . Meeting  Tuesdays 6-8:30 PM at the Laguna Woods Lutheran Church on El Toro Road. Call Margaret Lee for more information ( 949-230-8999)
7.  The Open Door started their study again on May 24th.  It continue at  2 PM every Tuesday. This time it is centered on a book titled  “The Call, the Life and Message of the Apostle Paul” by Adam Hamilton. It takes you through Paul’s background, conversion, early ministry and the missionary journeys via maps,scripture and DVD.  Karen Vassey has all the scoop.

Children’s Activities
1.     John Denton’s Youth Group meets Mondays.5:30-7 PM. Location. The Garage.    If your teens or your teen’s friends or your friend’s youth are available suggest they come. Everyone gets along and has fun.  And they serve the church and our needs too. Thumbs up from my grandson
2.    Children’s Choir   They are prepared for a skit and lots of songs this Sunday, Fathers Day.    LeeLee gives the Lifetime Treasure of Music to our children. 5 years plus. It provides experiences your children/grandchildren will never forget. My grandkids have been attending and they like it. Thank you LeeLee.
3.    VBC. (Vacation Bible Camp) Coming up  July 11-15. 9-12. Get your calendar marked for kids or grandkids and neighbor and friend’s kids. And don’t forget to volunteer!  We had so much fun last year. Debbie Gara and her helpers are so busy planning this big week in our church calendar. It’s such an opportunity for outreach and Debbie always hopes for mo families to find our Church as a place they want to come and Worship. Lots of opportunity and lots of hard work and planning. Better say an extra prayer for the success of this.

Service Recap
Liturgist
Our own Parish member, Steve Galloway was the Liturgist. And of course he does a fabulous job. (And it was good to have back participating  with a “better back” after surgery!)

Service Music
Always superb!  The choir sang “Yes He Did” a very jazzy song to which we clapped heartily. Binh was back – it seemed like he’d been gone forever – but not true!  All music was wonderful and gave glory to God.

Children’s Message
Carl Hess did the message. Humor and message tied together as only Carl can do. First it was a word game where each Child had a card to hold  – up/down, in/out, black/white (Carl’s comment on that set of words is that  they were like marriage – congregants laughed) night/day,light/dark( to which a Child said “we could see that coming! – hmm. Related to Carl??). Gloom/hope – June gloom, hopeless – but the opposite is Hope. And that’s what God wants us to have. It’s hope that the sun will come out tomorrow just like….Annie – suddenly a red wig appeared and Carl popped it on his head and then the song “The sun will come out tomorrow” was sung. Naturally the red wig was a shock and funny and brought shocked expressions with laughter from children and the adults too!.  It was God’s lesson with a stand up comic vaudeville act?? . Thank you Carl!

Scripture
I Thessalonians 4: 13-18
“…..Therefore encourage one another with these words”
The phrase I put above is only a tiny piece of the whole selection. So….Remember you must read the whole scripture from the Bible to get the real words and not just this tiny snippet)

Sermon
Yes, There is Hope!
Rev. Annette Rihovsky
The first thing the congregation was asked was what are the two things Ben Franklin said we can not avoid. We all knew and answered. “Death and taxes”.

Rev. Rihovsky went on to say, everything has a time. A time to be born, a time to breathe, a time to die ………. As in Ecclesiastes.

The Good News is that we cannot escape death, but it is not the end for us Christians. Yet the reality is that when someone dies it is despair – a surreal feeling. Grief is real. But as Christians, when we grieve we also have hope. A 23 year old woman had been diagnosed as a Child with an incurable disease which went into remission in her teens. But then came back and there was no hope. As she was in the hospital with a breathing tube, she asked to have it removed and then looked at each of her loved ones and asked them individually if they believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. Each answered yes. At the end of her questions she was at peace and soon died. But…….
1.    She died with hope
2.    She was a hope Giver

But there are hopeless times, that is there are times that  you may feel hopeless. Someone you love dies or you have an illness. The  World moves fast. It seems everything is beautiful.  There is only love and Joy. New relationships come. All seems well. But Jesus also made sunsets for us. They are beautiful, but also signify the parting of the day. We love God’s creation and what it offers. We want to stay.

But no matter whether we are alive or dead, we will all be together again

Rev. Rihovsky  who is a Chaplain at Saddleback Hospital, went in to work and prayed that it would be a good day and then prayed that she would not mind if Christ came to earth that day. As she finished praying and got up to go to rooms, she suddenly heard trumpets and was taken back. She wondered if indeed it was the Angels and Christ’s second coming. After all, she had just finished her prayer for that. She followed  the sound and found a Christian quartet and she actually felt a sigh of relief. Her World would not change that moment

But it will come. And it will come unannounced. So –  live each day as if it is the day Jesus will return

Remember, when you use your time, you can’t get it back. So, do something for God with your time. Call someone you know who needs a call.  Say thank you. Forgive someone even when they don’t deserve it.

Live out your life as a “People of Hope”. When Christ returns it will be a time of no suffering, no death, no pain, no tears, no Cancer…… In this life encourage one another. Reach out to others. Share your needs

Encouragement builds everyone up. Then came the story of the elderly lady who knew she was dying. She went to the Pastor to plan her funeral. She said she wanted an open casket and in one hand she wanted a Bible and in the other a dessert fork. The Pastor said he understood the Bible but not the fork. Well, she said, when you eat you never eat too much because you know the best is yet to come – dessert. She said I see death as “ the best is yet to come” based on the truth of the Bible.  I want everyone reminded of that. She was encouraging those left behind.

Thank you Rev. Annette

Love in Christ.❤
Pat and Joe

Pat and Joe Easter 2