December 2018 Newsletter

lamp            The Lamplighter

The Newsletter of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church Conover NC

December                                                                   2018

MCj02421570000[1] FROM THE PASTOR

Has something recently caused you to pause, to take notice, to wonder with a sense of joy? I sure hope there is something you can name. For me, one recent thing was getting to hold a friend’s newborn baby. What a joy. Tie this with the season of the church year we are entering. Advent, Christmas, the celebration of the incarnation of the Word made Flesh. It is not only an opportunity to gather with friends and family, not only an opportunity be giving gifts, not only an opportunity to see the twinkling of lights, but it is also an opportunity for rediscovery.

We know after the birth of Jesus, he died. The birth of our Lord and his death cannot be disentangled—Christmas and Easter are tied together. After the resurrection, Luke’s Gospel (chapter 24) records the return of the two disciples of Jesus who walked to Emmaus. In conversation with the other disciples about their experience, Jesus then appears. They are frightened. They are even disbelieving. And Luke then tells us:

“While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering,

he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?”” (24:41)


That sense of wondering is what I’d like you to consider. Again, has something recently caused you to pause, to take notice, to wonder—especially wonder with a sense of joy—maybe even in the midst of not being able to believe it or wrap your head around it?


  1. don’t know exactly what is going on with the Church (as a whole), with congregations (more locally). can name some historical trends and happenings. can point to many varying factors. But don’t care to do any of that here. do think there is a ritualism that is a hindrance for the Church. do think there is a fear of change that is a hindrance for the Church. ’m not unpacking that here. Maybe it is enough, here, for now, to name it. But it all raises questions, concerns, etc. And in the midst of all those questions and concerns, the former Archbishop to Canterbury, Rowan Williams, (the former head of the Church of England) speaks of the “sacredness of a time that is given to us for constant, cumulative rediscovery” (Being Human: Bodies, Minds, Persons, page 82).


How can we rediscover the wonder and joy of the Christ child born for us? How can we rediscover the wonder and joy of Christ’s resurrection? How can we rediscover the wonder and joy of the gift of our faith?


I’m not going to name a “top ten ways for rediscovery” or give you a seasonal check list. I’m simply going to remind you that Advent calls us to pay attention – expectantly! Christ has come, Christ has died. Christ will come again. Thanks be to God!



Pastor Russell Makant





Dec. 2	 *Guest Pastor and Luncheon
Dec. 2, 9       *Annual Congregational meeting (11:30 AM)
Sat. Dec. 8	 *Movie Night (5:30 PM)
Wed. Dec. 12*Seniors Thanksgiving Lunch (11:45 AM)
Dec. 16	 *Choir Cantata (10:30 PM)
		 *Children’s Christmas play (5 PM)
Mon. Dec. 17  Council Meeting (6:30 PM)
Thu. Dec. 20   January Newsletter info DEADLINE
Fri. Dec. 21   *Longest Night Service (5:30 PM @ Northminster
Mon. Dec. 24 *Christmas Eve Candlelight Service (7 PM)
Tue. Dec. 25     Christmas Day

*See Notes for More Information





























Congregational meeeting

Our annual Congregational Meeting will be held following worship on Sunday, December 2 for the election of new members of the Church Council and on Sunday, December 9 for the ratification of the 2019 Spending Plan. All confirmed members, please make plans to attend. The meeting is split due to our guest pastor on Dec. 2.


Guest Pastor

On December 2, Rev. Phil Tonnesen of the Bishop’s Staff will be our guest pastor. There will then be luncheon in the fellowship center following the Congregational Meeting. We hope you will stay for the meeting and the meal.



FREE Movie Nights

The final movie night for the year will be Saturday, December 8. There will be a potluck at 5:30 PM each night with the movie beginning once everyone has been served. There will be a special guest conductor for the evening. After the movie will be a 15 minute discussion period. These films are free and family friendly. We invite you all to attend and invite your friends.


Seniors Group News

The Seniors Group will be having a Chrstmas luncheon in the fellowship center Wednesday, December 12 at 11:45 AM. A free-will offering will be taken to cover the expenses of the meal. All members of the congregation 60 years of age and older, and their guests, are invited to attend. Please RSVP by Sunday, December 9.


Social Ministry News

The deadline for the return of the Salvation Army Christmas Stockings is Sunday, Dec. 9. The Social Ministry team would like to thank everyone who participated in this project.


Special Christmas Worship Opportunities

On Sunday, December 16, the Choir will present the cantata “Were You There on That Christmas Night” during the worship service. At 5 PM that day, the Children’s Christmas program “Miracle on Main Street” will be performed here at St. Luke’s. Please bring desserts and finger foods to share after the play.


Our Christmas Eve Candlelight service will be held Monday, December 24 at 7 PM. This special service will include Holy Communion, beloved Christmas carols, children’s message, and candle lighting ceremony. Invite your friends, co-workers, and neighbors to this special Christmas celebration.


Longest Night Service

December 21 is the longest night of the year, the winter solstice. Together, St. Luke's Lutheran, Mt. Olive Lutheran, and Northminster Presbyterian Church are offering "A Longest Night" service. This is a special service of light in the midst of the Advent season designed to help bring comfort to those who struggle with loss, grief, or other things this time of year. All are invited to this quieter, reflective service. Come help support those who have a hard time around the holidays. It is being hosted at Northminster Presbyterian (3730 North Center Street, Hickory) on Dec. 21 at 5:30 PM. Watch for more information in the bulletin.

It’s More Than Money

From the Social Ministry Committee: The Social Ministry Team consists of members of the congregation who volunteer their time and talent to help with different projects throughout the year for organizations that help our community. They also coordinate meals for occasions that arise during the year. We invite you to join our team and be a blessing to those in need, and to our church. By serving, you will feel blessed as well. If you are interested, talk to Janie Dellinger. [It’s More Than Money is a monthly series of articles highlighting a committee or group in the church to help you understand what they do]


An Expression of Thanks

We want to thank everyone for prayers, visits, and gifts during Gary’s recent heart attack and surgery. You are truly our family in Christ. We love you all. Joyce, Gary and Ethan Hefner.


12/2 - Rosco Troutman 12/3 - Beverly Ledford

12/5 - Nick Huffman 12/11 - John Bumgarner

12/12 - Nora Swink 12/15 - Lynn Baker

12/20 - Jayden Hefner 12/23 - Amy Sigmon



12/18 - Jeff & Barbara Hefner 12/19 - Al & Pearl Young

12/23 - Jason & Dawn Taylor 12/29 - Gary & Joyce Hefner


Serving This Month (December)

Ushers – Tim Aaron, Darrell Allen, Lynn Baker, Harry Reep

Reader & Communion Assistant– Bert Cline

Offering Counters – Dean Knight, Edna Miller

Flowers – 12/2- Nora Swink; 12/9 - Kay Bumgarner; 12/16-30 - Poinsettias.






























Bucket Money

The money taken up in the buckets during this quarter (October-December) will be donated to The Humane Society of Catawba County.