January 2020 Newsletter

The Lamplighter

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

January                                                                             2020


Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and a most Blessed Epiphany Season to you all:


What makes it feel like Christmastime and a new start for a new year to you? Shirley Erena Murray wrote the Christmas Carol called “Carol Our Christmas” in 1999. Some know it as “Upside Down Christmas” The song is from New Zealand, where when the time of the Nativity arrives it is Summer. The perspective for some is different. (You can hear a 2015 version sung by the Virginia Girls’ Choir at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMMLHl7WCCY


Carol our Christmas, an upside down Christmas:

snow is not falling and trees are not bare.

Carol the summer and welcome the Christ Child,

warm in our sunshine and sweetness of air.


The birth of Jesus is a herald of the message that “God with us.” And, the Epiphany season of light is a courier of good news for all. Mary, Mother of our Lord Jesus, sings in Luke 1:46-54 of a reversal of sorts. And Jesus speaks of the first being last and the last first in Luke 13. Often a change in perspective, like Shirley Murray’s song does for us in the Northern Hemisphere, can open us to seeing God and salvation as bigger than just “about me” and about “my sins and shortcomings.” The song goes on to invite us to “Sing in the happiness of open spaces.” That to me is suggestive of our physical landscapes, but even more so of the interior lives we live as we walk in faith, and still more, of the opportunities that knowing we are bounded by God’s love opens for each of us.


The last stanza of the song begins insightfully, “Right side up Christmas belongs to the universe.” What a right point of view for the church and each follower of Jesus to embrace and carry with them. Mary’s song in Luke 1 is preemptively singing of the God setting things “right side up.” We in this time, get to participate in the ongoing creativity of this God, in the salvation that is already at work, and in the New Creation dawning, even as we await its fullness.

We’ll be starting our intentional journey through Mark’s Gospel account December 29, 2019.  As we read this
 gospel in worship together over 16 weeks—from the Christmas Season right up to Easter Sunday—I invite 
you to look for and be open to new perspectives that God’s grace, love, and abiding presence puts right 
before us.  
Pastor Russell Makant







Jan. 8                *Seniors Luncheon (11:45 AM)

Jan. 14                Evangelism Committee meeting (3:30 PM)

Jan. 20                Newsletter info DEADLINE

Jan. 21                Church Council meeting (6:30 PM)


*See Notes for More Information




New Council Members

During the December 1 congregational meeting, David Keller, Tim Killian, Amy Sigmon, and Brenda Sluder were elected to 2-year terms on the Church Council. Please keep them in your prayer as they begin their service.


A heartfelt thanks and gratitude to our outgoing Council Members: John Bumgarner, Dot Hawn, Dean Knight and Janet Hawn. Thanks to Janie Dellinger for serving a year and 9 months, before having to step down, her work during that time is very much appreciated.


To All Officers and Committee Chairs

Please have your End of Year reports to Jennifer by January 31.


Seniors Group News

The seniors will have their monthly luncheon Wednesday, January 8 at 11:45 AM in the Fellowship Center. We will have a speaker following the meal. All members 60 years of age and over are invited to attend.


Message of Appreciation

Thanks to everyone who participated in and attended the special holiday events and projects of the past two months. You have helped to give meaning to Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas. Without your assistance and presence, most of what we do would not be possible.





1/2 - Gary Deal                                            1/7 - Ronald Craig

1/8 – Mindy Makant                                    1/9 – Ashton Arrington

1/13 - Landon Eckert                                    1/15 – Taylor Arrington

1/19 - Kay Bumgarner                                  1/ 21 - Jeff Dellinger

1/26 – Janie Dellinger                                   1/29 - Michael Propst

1/30 - Lana Craig



1/16 - Bill & Lynn Henson


Serving This Month (January)

Ushers – Allen Hefner, Amy Sigmon

Reader– Summer Eckert

Communion Assistant – Brenda Sluder

Prayer Assistant – Linda Keller

Greeter – Judy Hefner

Offering Counters – Joyce Baker,

Flowers – 1/5 – Mr. & Mrs. Gary Hefner; 1/12-1/26 - OPEN





Bucket Money

The money taken up in the buckets during this quarter (January-March) will be for NETWorX



Remember in Your Prayers

Those among us who are:

Serving in the military

Are homebound or are in nursing facilities

Sick or chronically ill

Nearing death or have recently passed away


Dealing with drug or alcohol addiction and their families

Victims of violence or hate

Disaster victims

The Church Council and all groups in the congregation

Prayer Partners: The Children’s Advocacy Center, St. Stephens Volunteer Fire Department, Sipe’s Orchard Home, St. Francis of Assisi Service Dog Organization


We will pray for individuals in our weekly worship and our personal prayer life