June/July 2019 Newsletter

The Lamplighter

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

June/July                                                                                     2019


I planted three Carolina-Allspice or sweet shrub bushes (calycanthus floridus) the other day. These plants are native to the eastern parts of North America and have fragrant blooms that give off a pineapple-strawberry-banana smell and bark that gives off a cinnamon-like smell. The wine-red blooms attract pollinators (bees, butterflies), insects, and birds. aim to plant other native species of plants in my yard and watch it come alive as a woodland setting—not be a monoculture of lawn grass.

As a congregation, we have named 4 key values and 4 vital behaviors (below) and we’ve set some goals for the 2019-2020-time frame.


4 Key Values for 2019-2020

  • Discipleship / evangelism

  • Diversity

  • Community

  • Raising leaders

4 Vital Behaviors for 2019-2020

  • Build excitement about the future of the congregation

  • Equip members to share their faith with others

  • Seek out and use the gifts of people of all ages

  • Deepen people’s relationship with God

  • As I’ve said a number of times now, these are not the only values and behaviors, but are a focal point as we grow into the future together. I see an overlap in all the values and behaviors. Of course, there is the overlap of our bond in Christ Jesus—one body, many members—as St. Paul images it for us. There are other overlaps between our values and behaviors too. One is the fragrance we give off.

Some movie I saw years ago had the sappy line – “I like how you smell.” I’m not suggesting we need more deodorant, perfume, or need to burn incense in the sanctuary—all of which might set off asthma and allergies. I am wondering about the overall scent the congregation gives as we do the ministry we are called to do. Will it attract “pollinators, insects and birds” so as to help us plant, grow, nourish the soil and shrubs—the souls and bodies—around us?

I studied a little bit of Mahatma Gandhi’s life and writing when in college. Maybe that is why his name always catches my eye. I was recently reminded of something this heroic leader from India said about Christianity. “The rose doesn't have to propagate its perfume. It just gives it forth, and people are drawn to it. Live it, and people will come to see the source of your power.” Doris Akers wrote the Gospel song “There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit in This Place”—the Spirit of the Lord. That is true of St. Luke’s – let’s help others know it. St. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 14, “thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us…and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing him.” The fragrance that comes from knowing Christ Jesus and the gift of God’s love, peace, grace bonds our values, vital behaviors and is worth spreading.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Russell Makant


May 31-Jun.1 NC Synod Assembly - Greensboro

Jun. 2 * Worship on the Lake

Jun. 9 * Pentecost/Summer Schedule begins (9:30 AM)

Jun. 10 Church Council meeting (6:30 PM)

Jun. 12 *Senior’s Group Trip (8:45 AM)

Jul. 7-11 *Vacation Bible School (6:30 PM)

Jul. 10 *Senior’s Group Trip (8:45 AM)

Jul. 20 August Newsletter info DEADLINE



*See Notes for More Information



Synod Assembly

This year’s assembly of the NC Synod of the ELCA will be held May 31-June 1 in Greensboro. Our representatives this year are Lynn & Joyce Baker. Please keep them and all the representatives in your prayers during those two days.


Lake Service

Our annual Worship on the Lake will be held on June 2 at the Sigmon property on Lake Lookout. Begin gathering around 10 AM and worship will begin at 10:30. After worship we will be grilling burgers and hot dogs with all the fixings. We ask the congregation to bring a dessert or fruit. Bring your fishing tackle, Frisbee, ball, or cornhole boards for some fun after the meal.


How to get there from here

From St. Luke’s, turn RIGHT onto Springs Rd. Go about 2 miles, then turn LEFT onto St. Peter’s Church Rd. At the end of St. Peter’s Church Rd, turn RIGHT onto HWY 16. Take the first LEFT onto Riverbend Rd. Go about 1.5 miles, then turn LEFT onto Hafer Rd., and follow the signs.


Pentecost Sunday

We will observe Pentecost Sunday on June 9. You are asked to wear red that day. We will also be celebrating the Confirmation of Hailey S. that day. The congregation is then invited to a reception in the Fellowship center following the service.


Summer Schedule

Our Summer casual worship schedule begins on Pentecost Sunday, June 9. Worship begins at 9:30 AM. There will be no Sunday School during the summer.


Seniors Group News

On Wednesday, June 12, the Seniors Group will be visiting Crossnore School. The July trip will be Wednesday July 10 to Price Park in Blowing Rock. Please be at the church by 8:45 AM each day so we can leave by 9 AM. Please RSVP by the Sunday prior to the event.



Educational Opportunities

Pastor Russell will be offering a couple of learning opportunities for the summer. Watch the bulletin for more information.


VBS Roars In

This year’s Vacation Bible School, “Roar! Life is Wild, God is Good” will be held at St. Stephens ELCA on July 7-11. A supper will be served each night at 5:15 PM with classes running from 6-8 PM. We have registration sheets in the Narthex, or you can register online at sselca.com.


Bucket Money

The money taken up in the buckets during this quarter (April -June) will be donated to Women’s Resource Center of Hickory. Bucket money for next quarter (July-September) will be for Meals on Wheels.


Goals for 2019 through (about) Pentecost, 2020


Stewardship Committee

  • Complete LENT CHALLENGE for building loan

  • Create a plan for other fundraisers to reduce our building fund loan

  • Send out quarterly contributions report

  • Explore alternate plans/possibilities for contributions (example: bank draft)

  • Prepare 2020 spending plan (budget)

  • Present quarterly updates on church finances (Temple Talks)


Worship and Music Committee

  • Continue to provide quality LUTHERAN worship services, blending music styles as able

  • Continue to learn new music, hymns, songs, etc.

  • Continue to incorporate various leaders of all ages in worship as able

  • Continue to hold shared worship services with other congregations to build relationships

    (For example: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Thanksgiving—other special services)

  • Purchase & dedicate new white paraments for altar, pulpit, & ambo, and new white banners

  • Increase number of helpers for worship services (e.g. readers, prayer assistant, acolyte, etc.)

  • Hold training sessions for altar guild and worship assistants as appropriate and needed

  • Summertime of 2019 – learn new setting in ELW (either setting 1 or setting 2)

  • Try Narrative Lectionary for Fall of 2019 through Easter season of 2020


Christian Education Committee

  • Monthly movie and / or some kind of learning activity – intergenerational, child friendly

  • Pastor offering summer learning opportunities, including about Lutheran “basics”

  • Plan for VBS, shared with other congregations (July 2019 at St. Stephens)

  • Plan for Sunday school classes (2019-2020)


Social Ministry Committee

  • Continue monthly collection projects for various groups (CCM, schools, etc.)

  • Hold an “Old Fashion Day” festival type event (with other committees) that would include things like bake sale / hamburgers, bouncy house, fire trucks, bloodmobile, various booths in the fellowship hall for groups (hospice info, Living Will, blood screening, Children’s Advocacy) and so on.


Evangelism Committee

  • Create new bifold brochure for visitors; update other welcome packets

  • Invite cards for Easter

  • Explore idea / start a quilting group with brief Bible study component

  • Work with Social Ministry Committee on Festival / Old Fashion Day idea


Property Committee

Continue to maintain buildings and grounds (including cemetery)


6/4 - Mickey Miller; 6/8 - Robin Austin, Chris Bradshaw; 6/9 - Alyson Swink; 6/10 - Jim Jones; 6/12 - Lynne Henson; 6/14 - Brad Shook; 6/18 - Linda Shook; 6/23 - Kaylyn Taylor; 6/28 - Bert Cline; 7/4 - Katlyn Burch; 7/5 - Haleigh Kanipe; 7/6 - Jennifer Burch; 7/10 - Jodie Kanipe; 7/11 - Allison Barger; 7/19 - Jackie Johnson; 7/20 - Kaitlyn Barger; 7/22 - Bill Davis; 7/22 - Matthew Henson; 7/22 - Joyce Baker; 7/27 - Jerry Shook; 7/27 - Annetra Shook



6/5 - Ralph & Anita Huffman; 6/14 - Nick & Heather Huffman; 6/20 - Danny & Debbie Austin; 6/24 - Darrell & Carol Allen, Russell & Mindy Makant; 6/25 - Brad & Annetra Shook; 6/26 - Johnny & Patty Parsons; 6/28 - Ronald & Lana Craig; 7/13 - Brent & Lynette Sigmon; 7/30 - Melvin & Peggy Hollar


Serving This Month (June)

Ushers – Tim Aaron, Lynn Baker

Reader– Nancy Rockett

Communion Assistant – Judy Hefner

Prayer Assistant – Linda Keller

Greeter – Gloria Propst

Offering Counters – Dot Hawn, Anita Huffman

Flowers – 6/2 – OPEN; 6/9 – Nora & Hailey Swink; 6/16 – Lynn Henson; 6/23 – Mr. & Mrs. Jerry Shook; 6/30 – Carolyn Deal .

Serving This Month (July)

Ushers – Allen Hefner, Amy Sigmon

Reader– Mindy Makant

Communion Assistant – Mindy Makant

Prayer Assistant – Mindy Makant

Greeter – Janet Hawn

Offering Counters – Dean Knight, Barbara Hefner

Flowers – 7/7 – Mr. & Mrs. Mickey Miller; 7/14 – Tim Killian;

7/21 – OPEN; 7/28 – Carolyn Deal.




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.