Monday, 7 April 2014

Easter Services

Easter is nearly upon us so with the rush of services coming up, here's a reminder of dates and times...

Palm Sunday (13 April)
With Holy Communion
No Sunday School

Maundy Thursday (17 April)
Tenebrae Service with Holy Communion

Good Friday (18 April)
With Holy Communion

Easter Sunday (20 April)
With Holy Communion

Everyone is welcome to join us for one or all of these services.

And don't forget that the following Sunday (27 April) will be our first 9.30am service.  Sunday School will also be resuming on the 27th.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Thanks for your Welcome

Thanks to everyone at Bethlehem for your warm welcome - we feel that we are settling in well to our new community and very much enjoyed the Installation Service and lunch that followed. Thanks Jill K for your newsy report and pictures (although I am not sure the alb is very flattering!)

This last Sunday I was pleased to lead the service at Bethlehem for the first time and reflect on how all encompassing the grace of God is. We focussed on Romans 5 - "God shows how much he loves us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us." We also saw how real this word is by looking at how Jesus met an outcast woman at the well and engaged deeply and graciously with her despite how others saw her. Check it out in John 4. Each of us can say with certainty God is gracious to all - even me.

God bless your week!
Pastor Mike

Friday, 21 March 2014

Welcome Pastor Mike and Narelle!

This week we had a very special service, with the installation and welcome of Pastor Mike and Narelle Fulwood to our Parish.  Pastor David Grulke, Assistant Bishop of the NSW District, conducted the service.

Malcolm presented Pastor Mike to be installed as Pastor to Bethlehem Parish then...

Pastor David Grulke performed the installation of Pastor Mike.

Pastor Gary and Pastor Clem welcomed Pastor Mike and Narelle to Wagga... 

and Jenny Smith gave a warm welcome on behalf of Bethlehem Milbrulong.

After the service, the congregation adjourned to the hall, where a magnificent lunch was provided.  Pastor David was invited to tell us about his work as a Chaplin in the Army and Pastor Mike also got up and told us a little bit about himself and Narelle.

Pastor Mike and Narelle will only be with us for about a year, so please keep them in your prayers as they do God's work among us.

Pastor Mike and Narelle

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Farewell to Pastor John Simboras

Last Sunday, March 2, we bid a sad farewell to Pastor John Simboras after many months of his service to us.  The congregation has been particularly grateful for Pastor John's willingness to travel up from Albury on early Sunday mornings to get to Wagga for a 9am start, on occasion running the risk of no before-service coffee!
Malcolm presented Pastor John with a token of our appreciation at morning tea on Sunday and thanked him for his leadership and generosity of time.
We wish Pastor John all of God's richest blessings in the future and hope he will visit us again.

Bethlehem congregation enjoying morning tea after Pastor John's final service.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

50 Years of Lutheran Education!

In addition to the installation of the Lutheran Primary School teachers on Sunday, two very special awards were presented by Mr Steve Rudolph, Executive Director of Lutheran Education Australia (and the first Principal of Lutheran Primary School Wagga Wagga).

Ken Albinger, Debbie Habel and Steve Rudolf at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Wagga Wagga

Mrs Debbie Habel's 30 years of teaching in Australian Lutheran schools was acknowledged.  Her particular interest has always been in the early learning of the youngest students and in developing their literacy, numeracy and their artistic abilities.  The schools Debbie has been a part of are:
  • St John's Lutheran School, Eudunda, SA
  • St Mark's Lutheran Kindergarten, Mount Gravatt, QLD
  • St Peter's Lutheran School, Dimboola, VIC
  • Lutheran Primary School, Wagga Wagga, NSW

Mr Ken Albinger's 50 years of service to Lutheran education in America, Canada and Australia was then acknowledged.  So far, Ken is the only person Lutheran Education Australia knows about who has served 50 years in Lutheran schools, though there may be one or two others who have also reached this milestone.

While Ken's involvement in Lutheran education began in America, his service in Australia only started when he moved here from Wilton, Iowa, in 1973. He served as Principal at the following schools:
  • Loxton Lutheran Primary School, SA
  • Grace Lutheran Primary School, Redcliffe, QLD
  • Light Pass Lutheran School / Redeemer Lutheran School, Barossa Valley, SA
  • Lutheran Primary School Wagga Wagga, NSW

In addition to these schools, in 1986 Ken became Director of Lutheran Schools, QLD and in 1999 he answered the call to be a Lecturer and Head of School of Education and Theology at Australian Lutheran College.

School Installation Service

Sunday, Feb 2, was a busy day at Bethlehem.  With the new school year starting the week before, it was once again time to install the teachers at Lutheran Primary in their work.

Pastor Gary Kenny, who has been serving at the school as chaplain this past year, led the service and so was on hand to bless and install the new lay chaplain, Andrew Sharp.  There were also three new teachers this year who were introduced to the congregation.  Pastor Gary then called up all the teachers, admin staff and school board members who were present and installed them in their positions as leaders of the children in their care.

Pastor Gary, Andrew and Tiffany Sharp, and Michelle, Chairperson of the School Board)

Pastor Gary blesses the LPSWW teachers, admin staff and school board members

Monday, 16 December 2013

Christmas is nearly here!

Another sign that Christmas is almost upon us: the Christmas decorations are now up outside the Church.

A small group of hardy workers got out early on Saturday morning to pull everything out and set up the nativity scene, the stained windows and lots and lots of Christmas lights. Word is the Christmas tree will be arriving this coming Saturday, ready for the Kids Christmas Service, so volunteers for a quick decorating session will be very welcome.

Steph shows Graeme how it's done.  "See? Perfect!"

While Michael is searching for the star and Des puts the final touches on the stable...

Margaret, John, Neville, Vi and Graeme rediscover the joy of laying out the Christmas lights.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Christmas Luncheon 2013

The annual Christmas Luncheon was a resounding success once again.

Leonie began the day by welcoming everyone on behalf of the Ladies Fellowship and lead a short devotion. Pastor Clem then said grace and everyone tucked in to the wonderful food prepared by the Ladies Fellowship.

A view of the extensive spread laid out by the Ladies Fellowship.

The Year 3-6 Choir and Recorder Group from the Lutheran School entertained the guests for about half an hour.  A number of students also gave individual performances on various instruments.  It was great to see so many of the children enjoying and sharing God's gift of music.

A presentation was made to Pastor Clem and Vi in appreciation of their services to the Ladies Fellowship.  Dawn and Veronica were also thanked for their efforts in helping the Fellowship with the Gideon dinners throughout the year.

In honour of her dedicated service as President of the Ladies Fellowship
for so many years, Vi cuts the Christmas Cake at the Christmas Luncheon.

The afternoon was finished off nicely with everyone enthusiastically joining in some Christmas carols accompanied by June on the piano.

Friday, 6 December 2013

First Sunday of Advent

Bethlehem congregation celebrated the first Sunday of Advent in fine style on Sunday with some special guests.  The two Kinder classes from our School, with their teachers and parents, joined us for worship. The children introduced the advent wreath and gave a fine performance of "Everybody Get Ready".

The Kinders of Lutheran Primary School Wagga Wagga singing for the Bethlehem congregation on Sunday.

The first candle on our Advent wreath has now been lit.
Four to go!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Calling a New Pastor (4)

At the last Congregational Meeting, it was decided to Call Pastor Robert D'Antoni to serve the Wagga Wagga Parish.  Pastor Robert and his wife, Leonie, are currently with the Nazareth Lutheran Church of South Brisbane at Woolloongabba, where they have been since 2010.
Please keep Pastor Robert and Leonie in your prayers as they consider this Call.