Motherhood: Miracle and Mess

Pat and JoeDear Friends,

Mother’s Day!!  We were greeted at the door as always by our smiling ushers and Elders. And if you “looked” like a mom you received a beautiful long stem red or pink rose. It was a beautiful morning. Rev. Debbie Gara gave a lovely moving sermon on mothers and Motherhood relating it to I Corinthians 13. Go on the church website to hear it first hand And read that Bible chapter which is one of the favorites and utilized over and over in so many books, articles,conversations and just plain old living.

Family Camp  – Into The Wild
Coming soon and ready to be signed up for. May 20-22 at the Lazy W Ranch , only about 30 minutes away!  Claire Burrill, 90, went last year and gave these Three reasons why we should all participate.
1.  It was like Family time – LNPC Family time   Four generations were there! Babies to 90s.
2.  Everyone knows everyone else  and we like to talk
3.  Great Facilities. Compared to her Mission Trip to Africa, Claire said these facilities are 4 star!
Talk to John Denton or Debbie Gara if you want to go. Or, sign up 24/7 on the church website. They just have way too much fun and fellowship at this LNPC gathering. Remember the varied  ages – baby to 90+. Think that’s a wide enough range for you to fit in??  Scholarships available where needed. Joe, two grandkids and our son in law are going!

Search For Deacons and Elders
Our Nominating Committee is on the search for members who can and want to serve in the church leadership. Some of our Deacons and Elders service times are ending and we need a group of fresh faces to replace the ones who will not be continuing. Please consider how you feel about service to the church and also whom you might recommend   This is a wonderful way to serve our LNPC Christian community.  We have been excited by some members who have already stepped forward and said they would like to serve. What a great LNPC group we have.

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. Greg Heath told me they should 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. Fashion Show. Ladies!…. Sign Up and Save the date of May 14th Saturday to attend the Annual Fashion Show.          at El Niguel Country Club.  These proceeds are how many of our Mission Programs are funded! This is a fun time for ladies. And I always enjoy it.
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 ( 948-230-8999)
6.  John Denton, LNPC Youth Director, is sponsoring  a meeting for parents on Wednesday, May 18th 7-8 PM with Dr. Marc D.  Skelton, Clinical Psychologist  on “Teens and Mental Health”   You can go to the church web site for more information.

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.    Confirmation Class started on November 18 and goes through May 15. That is on Wednesday 4-5PM  8th grade and above.
3.     Children’s choir.      practice is Mondays 4-5:30. 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.
4.    Pathfinders   Wednesday’s at 3:30- 5:00. with Debbie Gara and her helpers. They are always doing great activities, being creative  and learning too. Snacks, stories, games and art and crafts with Miss Debbie and Miss Susie!. They are did bag lunches for the Friendship Shelter last week and this week brought new socks for the LA homeless
5.     VBC. Vacation Bible Camp. 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.

Service Recap
Lani Colley one of our congregation mothers did an excellent job.

Service Music
The Children’s Choir, with LeeLee directing, did a piece “Heroes In Disguise” and all did a beautiful job. The Chancel choir, with Binh directing, sang “A Mother’s Prayer” – an appropriate and lovely selection    Suk played the organ and piano beautifully. And, as a special treat, the Le brothers accompanied on the violin and cello.   And we must always remember Binh’s admonition that it is all for the Glory of God

Children’s Message
Some of the Confirmation class did the message along with John. Naturally they talked about mom and why we celebrate today. Great answers : because she feeds me and my dog, when my mom says no, my dad says yes, she pays for my stuff, she gives me milk and cookies, because she is kind. The big picture was that moms are a gift from God!  We agree with that – knowing lots of moms in our church.

1 Corinthians 13
“…..Love is patient. Love is kind……..
( This is a beautiful scripture on love and living. So much of it is memorable as you find it in many speeches and allusions to living in the World of today. It is also a direction for living. The phrases I put above are only a tiny piece of the whole chapter So….Remember you must read the whole scripture from the Bible to get the real words and not just this tiny snippet)

“ Motherhood: Miracle and Mess”
Rev Debbie Gara

Today in our church there are moms all over. Two are teaching Sunday School at his moment and many are doing things to support our church and their families in so many ways
( During Debbie’s sermon, photos of our congregation mothers and the mothers of our congregants were being shown in clips on the wall. It was a lovely touch).

Mothers over the centuries have worked tirelessly for their children and the good of others. In the early 1800s a mother who had lost 8 of her 12 children banded together with others to improve health care for expectant mothers and babies. In 1908 Ana Jarvis who had no children knew how hard mothers worked  and had true respect for mothers. She started campaigning for Mother’s Day to recognize all Mothers. In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed the bill for Mother’s Day to become a National Holiday. In the USA and many other countries this date in May is celebrated as a tribute to mothers

First Corinthians 13 shows what is God’s intended attributes and role for mother’s. It also gives attributes and practices that are not worthy characteristics that we all need to stay away from, including mothers.

Debbie then asked for a single word from those in the congregation regarding their mother. Many words came:
Never ending, sacrificing, forgiving, patient, affirming, responsibilities, being an example, frenzied, confirming

God formed us in our mother’s womb – a place of safety and security  but when we are born, we become a person of this world with all its challenges

A mother is a never ending example  She gives a foundation for the life of her child. Her role is to be supportive, nurturing , loving, motivating, forgiving and constantly unwavering in all of these things!

But there are challenges in Motherhood!  There are messy times. There are often needs for reconciliation. Sometimes in a Mother’s love things can become difficult. But all relationships of love have forgiveness. And they often need forgiveness.!

We live in a world that provides plenty of sadness and loss. Sometimes the sadness is of our own making, sometimes not. Motherhood is not always perfect!  But despite the lack of perfection, mothers are so missed when they are gone. Debbie related that her mom passed away six years ago. She misses her mom everyday and said many of us can relate to that.  Yet, even in death, her mom is an ever present spirit with Debbie. We learn the nature of grief in this loss,  but God also lets us know that no special relationship and love will ever be lost to us. We have hope through eternal life and will be gathered together by God

We must always remember the truth, hope and endurance of our mothers. In times of irritation, we must forgive our mothers. We are all human. Motherhood is miraculous but it is also messy. And life is messy sometimes and we also need to be forgiven. The longing for a mother or mother figure is something we always have. God set this in within us while in that safe place in our mother’s body when we developed.

Sometimes we can be difficult to love – as can our mothers. Love and relationships can be messy. But no matter how difficult, the Miracle of Motherhood and love endures forever

Love is patient. This is so important because Patience gives balance. God is love and has a love that is so unique and full of grace. Reach for the manifestation of God’s perfect love

Love in Christ.❤
Pat and Joe

Pat and Joe Easter 2