Vigil of Easter – April 15

EasterVigilCandles

 

The Great Vigil of Easter

Saturday, April 15, 7 p.m.

Click this link to view a blog post from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) regarding this service and its connections with Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

Click this link to view a blog post by our own Jennifer Clark Tinker which tells about her experience and joy related to attending the Great Vigil of Easter each year.

 

An Introduction to the Vigil of Easter

Like the children of Israel who watched and waited through the night for the Lord of the Exodus, we too come together this night to watch and wait for the Lord of the Resurrection. We come, as Christians have come since the first century, to keep vigil and to prepare ourselves for the arrival of the Bridegroom who is chief host and guest at the Resurrection feast to come.

First, we must break the darkness of the night.   Like the virgins in the parable, we must light our vigil lights. Our light will be a very special light, for it is the light of Christ which burns atop the Paschal candle and which dispels the darkness — of night, of sin, of death. Our light will be a constant reminder of the Resurrection victory during the coming season, at every baptism and at every funeral. But for now, it will burn in vigil as we await the Bridegroom.

When we have settled into our pews for the watch, we hear the storytellers among us sharing the stories of our faith — the stories of God’s salvation history and the covenants which he made with our people. These are our “family” stories. We listen. We sing. We watch. And we wait for the feast to come.

After hearing our stories, we make our last minute preparations to meet our Lord. All must be right for the feast. On some years those among us who have not yet joined us are brought into membership with us this night, making all who are here part of the Church family, known as the Bride of Christ.  Each year, so that the whole family is prepared, each of us reaffirms our faith through the Apostles Creed. As we interact with the water and the Lord, we hear and we feel that grace which was given to us through our baptism.

We are nearly ready. The time is close.  We prepare the room and set the table for the Feast of Victory, the First Holy Communion of this greatest festival day of all. And then at last He comes! The Resurrection victory is won! The Bridegroom has come through the darkness to claim his Bride, the Church, to be his own. This is the feast of victory!  In the end flowers and banners must adorn the space, for our time this evening and tomorrow will be a feast to remember.

Our Celebrations of the Resurrection of Jesus

The Great Vigil of Easter – 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 15 – see the introduction below. Shared with Waldeck Lutheran Church.

Easter Sunrise – 6:45 a.m. on Sunday, April 16, at the Carmine Cemetery. Bring a lawn or folding chair for seating.  Shared with Waldeck Lutheran Church.

Easter Festival – Sunday April 16.  Opportunities at both MLLC and Waldeck

MLLC Schedule:

9:00 a.m. – Sunday School

10:00 a.m. – Festival Worship

~11:15 a.m. – Easter Egg Hunt

 

Waldeck Schedule:

8:00 a.m. – Festival Worship

~9:00 a.m. – Pot-luck Easter Breakfast – bring an item to share

9:30 a.m./After Breakfast – Easter Egg Hunt

 

Reflecting on Ash Wednesday 2017

ashwednesday03_abc

Ash Wednesday

Adapted by Pastor David Tinker, from the writings of Pr. Thomas L. Weitzel – in some form these items will be part of the bulletin used for the Ash Wednesday liturgy.

 

This day is something of a slap in the face, especially when one hears the words, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”  The original name – “Day of Ashes” – was a reference to the ancient Christian practice of sprinkling or rubbing ashes on the head or forehead as a sign of one’s mortality.  The same ancient gesture appears in the baptismal liturgy: a cross is traced with oil on the forehead of the person being baptized.  In this simple gesture the person is claimed by Christ.

There can be no more solemn and appropriate action on this day than to distribute ashes to all who gather for the beginning of the Lenten season.  Here are gathered together both the young and old, men and women, rich and poor, as well as the learned and simple.  Here the cross is the sign of salvation that all believers share.  It is the sign of death and resurrection.

What is Ash Wednesday?

On Ash Wednesday, the community of faith comes face to face with two realities.  First, we confront our own mortality.  None of us lives in this life forever. Secondly, all of us are sinners and need to confess our sin to God.  These two themes (death and sin) are brought together in light of God’s redeeming love in Jesus Christ.  As the Apostle John says in 1 John 1:9b, “…(God) who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  The confession of sin on Sundays reminds us, “In the mercy of almighty God, Jesus Christ was given to die for us, and for his sake God forgives us all our sins.”  The Lutheran Book of Worship (1978) confession also includes, “To those who believe in Jesus Christ he gives the power to become the children of God and bestows on them the Holy Spirit.”

 

What are the ashes for?

The “ashes” of Ash Wednesday are rooted in the ancient worship of both the Jewish and Christian communities.  They are a sign of mortality and penance.  Even though we have used the imposition of ashes in our Ash Wednesday worship for many years, they still may seem new or uncomfortable to some of us.  What we should remember about the ashes is they are a visible sign of our cleansing and rebirth, both a recognition of our daily dependence on God for life and a promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ.

Should I receive the ashes?

The ashes are not compulsory by any means.  You may choose, if you wish, to remain in your seat during the imposition of ashes.  But remember that they are a powerful and visible way to participate in the call to repentance and reconciliation.  If you choose to participate, come forward at the appropriate time in the liturgy with others desiring the ashes.  The pastor will dip his thumb in the ashes and trace the sign of the cross on your forehead.  Afterwards, return to your seat and the liturgy will continue.

The Invitation to Lent

Friends in Christ, today with the whole church we enter the time of remembering Jesus’ passover from death to life, and our life in Christ is renewed.

We begin this holy season by acknowledging our need for repentance and for God’s mercy. We are created to experience joy in communion with God, to love one another, and to live in harmony with creation. But our sinful rebellion separates us from God, our neighbors, and creation, so that we do not enjoy the life our creator intended.

As disciples of Jesus, we are called to a discipline that contends against evil and resists whatever leads us away from love of God and neighbor. I invite you, therefore, to the discipline of Lent—self-examination and repentance, prayer and fasting, sacrificial giving and works of love—strengthened by the gifts of word and sacrament. Let us continue our journey through these forty days to the great Three Days of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

–From “Evangelical Lutheran Worship” – Ash Wednesday Liturgy (2006)

Ash Wednesday is March 1, 2017

 

Ash_Wednesday with ashes

 

Lent Begins March 1, 2017

Ash Wednesday services will be at both MLLC and Waldeck Lutheran Church.  You are invited to choose which one best suits your situation.  Both services will offer Holy Communion and the Imposition of Ashes as we begin our Lenten Season.

Worship at MLLC at 7:30 p.m.

Worship at Waldeck Lutheran Church at 5:45 p.m.

Waldeck Lutheran Church is in a shared ministry with MLLC.  The Church is located at 6915 Waldeck Church Lane, Ledbetter, TX 78946 – this is about 6 miles south of Ledbetter at the corner of FM 2145 and FM 1291.

The Exhortation on Ash Wednesday invites us into the season of Lent.  Here is that Exhortation as presented in Lutheran Book of Worship – the book used at Waldeck Lutheran Church:

Brothers and sisters: God created us to experience joy in communion with him, to love all humanity, and to live in harmony with all of his creation. But sin separates us from God, our neighbors, and creation, and so we do not enjoy the life our Creator intended for us. Also, by our sin we grieve our Father, who does not desire us to come under his judgment, but to turn to him and live.

As disciples of the Lord Jesus we are called to struggle against everything that leads us away from love of God and neighbor. Repentance, fasting, prayer, and works of love—the discipline of Lent—help us to wage our spiritual warfare. I invite you, therefore, to commit yourselves to this struggle and confess your sins, asking our Father for strength to persevere in your Lenten discipline.

We are very blessed by the opportunity to work side by side with the people of Waldeck Lutheran Church.  Together we are glorifying God, loving our neighbors and loving one another.

All are Invited – December 14 – Christmas Program Sunday

Christmas Program 2014 Group song 1

 

The 2014 Sunday School Children’s Christmas Program is currently in rehearsals.  The children and adults are working faithfully to prepare for this annual presentation.  This is always a fantastic program and we are thankful for the leaders, musicians and cast who make it happen each year.  All are invited to attend worship on December 14 as these young people present the good news that Jesus Christ is born.

Worship at 9:00 a.m. – the program will be the Word of God on this day, replacing the readings and sermon.  Holy Communion will be offered as usual.

~10:15 a.m. – Jesus’ Birthday and Christmas Brunch pot luck.  All are invited to this new tradition of MLLC.  We will gather in the Fellowship Hall for this special event.  Please know that this is for all ages and it was very well attended last year.

Here are some photos of the rehearsals on November 23.

Microphones and props were set up for use:

Christmas Program 2014 Mics

The scripts were distributed:

Christmas Program 2014 title

Youth of various ages were in place for their roles both at the altar and in the balcony:

Christmas Program 2014 Back

Props for the songs were ready for use:

Christmas Program 2014 props

 

We look forward to seeing you at worship and the Christmas Brunch on December 14th.

Setting Up the Christmas Tree Part 1

Christmas Tree 2014 set up more work

On Sunday, November 30, after worship a team of volunteers set up our Christmas Tree. We are very thankful for their dedicated service.   This was part 1 of a two part process.  We invite you to participate in part 2 of this process.  On Monday, December 1, starting at 6 p.m., we will hang the Chrismons for the tree.  These were made following patterns suggested and offered by the originators of Chrismons (click this link for more information from the official web site of Chrismons).

Refreshments and food for all will be provided by the Mary Group Circle.  Please plan on staying to enjoy the fellowship.

 

Here are some of the Chrismons which were carefully wrapped for storage since last year.

Christmas Tree 2014 set up Crismon detail

 

Here are some photos of our crew setting up the tree and preparing the lights.

Christmas Tree 2014 set up lights on tree

Christmas Tree 2014 set up ladders

Christmas Tree 2014 set up tree top

Our Olive Wood Nativity Set will be ready for set up as well.

Christmas Tree 2014 set up olive wood box

Christmas Tree 2014 set up olive wood inside

Our pulpit is moved to a back corner to make room for the tree and Nativity scene.

Christmas Tree 2014 set up pulpit

Here is the finished product of the work on Sunday.  Remember, we will complete the work on Monday, December 1, starting at 6:00 p.m.  You are invited to come and participate.  Food and refreshments will be provided by the Mary Group Circle.

Christmas Tree 2014 set up lights turned on

 

Thank you again to all who gave of their time to get this tree prepared for decorating.

 

 

 

Martin Luther Lutheran School Links Updated

MLLS Logo Shirt

Next week, on September 2, the new school year begins for Martin Luther Lutheran School (MLLS).  We are excited about this new year and all that comes with it. With this new year MLLS has updated the web links on this web site regarding the school, tuition and fees, parent handbook, as well as the menus for snacks and lunch in September.

Note that things look much the same, but there are various items which needed to be changed based on School Board decisions, state law, etc.

Here is the link to the main page for MLLS.  Click this link.

Joyful Baptism on Sunday, August 24

IMG_4620

 

We had another joyful Sunday at MLLC.  We welcomed Kannon, the son of Tanner and Brittany.  Kannon was joined to the saving work of Jesus Christ through the Sacrament of Holy Baptism on Sunday, August 24, 2014 at our 9 a.m. worship service.  When a person is baptized at MLLC he or she also joins the congregation.  We rejoice in God’s grace which has been brought into Kannon’s life through this sacrament.

See more about this baptism and our other new members at MLLC on our New Member page – click this link.

Wilderness Escape – Day 1

IMG_3933

Moses led the Children of Israel through the Red Sea at the first night of Wilderness Escape Vacation Bible School.  Best of all, the children of the community and congregation had the opportunity to get to know more about God’s love and that we can trust in the Lord.

You can still participate in Vacation Bible School at MLLC in Carmine. Come on out Tuesday through Friday.  We begin Day 2 at 5:30 p.m.  We are having a great time and would love to have you be part of our great time together.  Thank you to God for our great time.  Thank you to parents, grandparents, friends and supporters who make it possible for this great week of learning and outreach to happen.

Our Final Program will be at worship on Sunday, July 27, at 9 a.m.

IMG_3940 IMG_3884 IMG_3861

 

 

Welcome to Martin Luther Lutheran School

IMG_3009

(Pictured above:  Pastor David Tinker, MLLS Director Kelli Meinoldt, MLLS Board President, Ed Eargle)

We are very thankful to offer an early childhood eduction and daycare center here at Martin Luther Lutheran Church.  We encourage you to visit the page for our school to find out more about the service and ministry we offer.  Click this link for more information about Martin Luther Lutheran School.

Also, feel free to contact our school director, Kelli Meinholdt, at 979-278-3380, to find out more.

Synod Assembly 2014

20140509-100010.jpg

We are thankful for our delegation of voting members at our synod assembly this year. These include: Dana Smith, Dennis Smith, Jennifer Tinker, and Pastor David Tinker. This group is representing our congregation at the assembly of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod. This is taking place May 8-10 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.