He Can Do All Things!
By Pastor Steven Borst
There are certain Bible verses that become favorites for Christians. It’s not that these verses are any more important than the rest of the Bible, but rather that these verses provide great encouragement for God’s people. I have been hearing one such Bible verse quoted often during the difficult days of 2020:
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
We run into problems, however, if we quote our favorite Bible verses out of context. Do you know why St. Paul makes this great proclamation to the Philippians? Further, do you realize that Paul is not the first person in the Bible to make this claim?
Long ago, Job’s life was turned upside down by tragedy. He had good health, a beautiful family, a successful business, and many friends. Overnight, he lost all of it. He became ill, had to bury his sons, and lost his business along with most of his friends. Job was tempted to give up on God and His promises because everything in his life had gone terribly wrong. He cried out to God in prayer and wrestled with grave doubts.
In the final chapter of his book, Job comes to a great realization. God alone is Almighty, and God alone is good. If we don’t always understand His ways, that’s because of our own limited abilities, and not His. Therefore, Job declares:
“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted…therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:1-2, 6)
Job realizes that his questioning God was in vain. It moves him to repent and put his trust completely in the Lord his Savior. Despite his difficult circumstances, he is confident that God will prevail, and that He will fulfill His promises to His people. As it turns out, Job would not have to wait much longer. Just a few verses later we’re told: “And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.” (Job 42:10)
Perhaps St. Paul was thinking about Job when he wrote his well-loved words to the Philippians. Paul was facing Job-like circumstances. He was imprisoned in Rome, awaiting trial because of his Christian faith. He was lonely and felt abandoned. He comments that although he planted many churches throughout Asia Minor, the Christians there had neglected him and forgotten about his suffering.
It’s in a moment like this when we face challenges and isolation that we have a choice. We can engage in a pity party for ourselves, or we can recall God’s promises and trust that He is faithful. Because of Christ, we can literally do all things through Him! No sin or regret can hold us down, for we are fully redeemed by Christ’s sacrifice. Not even death can stop us, for we shall rise from the dead at His command. Because of Christ, our life is full of limitless and eternal possibilities. Yes, our suffering is real, but God’s grace is much greater.
While Job’s response to God’s faithfulness was repentance and faith, Paul’s response to the kindness of Christ was contentment. In Christ, he “learned in whatever situation to be content.” (Philippians 4:11) These godly saints give us great encouragement as we face our own difficult circumstances. They remind us that God is good and that God is faithful. They also show us how to live through trying times. Like the saints of old, we are called to faith and contentment. Through Christ, we can do all things.
School Reopening “Finally”
Immanuel began instruction on September 1 using a distance learning program. Our teachers and staff worked very hard over the past 2 weeks to prepare and provide an excellent educational program for our students. Immanuel had applied for a waiver to reopen in person with the Riverside County and City Health Departments. On September 8 we received confirmation from these agencies that our application for a waiver to
reopen had been approved. Our teachers and staff, with the help of a number of parents and congregation members planned a work day to reorganize our classrooms to adhere to our stated protocols. On Monday, September 21, we welcomed students back to our campus. GOD IS GOOD!
We continue to accept enrollment from new families to Immanuel from our church and community. If you know a family who is searching for an excellent, Christ centered education, share this information with them. For more information call the school office 951-682-4211 or contact our Admissions Coordinator, Brianna Foster, at email@example.com or Heather Pingel-Au at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Please continue to tithe and give offerings, and if you are able, give
generously! You can do so by sending a check or giving online through our
IMPORTANT UPDATE: NEW DATE FOR VOTE MEETING
The County is now allowing indoor worship and meetings! In order to allow
greater participation for our Voters Meeting, the Board of Directors is changing the date and location for our October Meeting. Please update your calendar with the following dates:
- Zoom Informational Meeting, Wednesday,
- September 30 at 6:30pm — An online
- meeting to review the proposed budget, meet
- BOD candidates, and receive updated School information.
- CANCELLED: Outdoor Voters Meeting, Saturday, October 3 at 8am.
- NEW Voters Meeting: Sunday, October 11 at 10:30am — we will
- gather indoors after our 9:30am Worship Service.
For more information, feel free to contact one of our current Board Members:
- John Lundi, President
- Carol Kessler, Secretary
- Brad Davis, Treasurer
- Lori Breunig
- Joy Fosgett
- John Uhles
- Chip Sartorius, Head Elder (ex-officio)
IMMANUEL NEEDS TECH PEOPLE
As you may be aware, we are currently taking steps to install equipment in our sanctuary so that we can live stream our Sunday morning services. When the system is finally installed, we need a team to come together and help run the software on Sunday morning so that everyone who is not able to join us physically for sanctuary worship will be able to worship at home. If you would like to use your technology talents to learn the new system and help us in this new season of ministry, please contact Pastor Robert by sending an email to email@example.com.
Singers Wanted for Virtual Choir Project
Attention singers! The choir is currently in search of singers for a new project in September. Due to current restrictions, the choir can’t meet and praise the Lord in person so they’re doing it virtually. If you ever felt like
you were too busy or shy to sing for choir, now is your chance! Vocalists will record themselves singing a hymn on video safely at home and then submit via email to be edited together into one big video, which will result in a big virtual choir! To participate in this recording project all you will need is a heart full of praise, a device that can record video (camera, phone, laptop, webcam etc.), headphones, and a device that can play music
over headphones (phone, laptop, computer, mp3 player etc.). Since this is online, participation is open to anyone who has an internet connection and can be submitted from anywhere! If you would like to find out more please contact Alex Waggoner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 707-490-9023.
October is Pastor Appreciation Month!
Please take time during the month of October to share kind thoughts of appreciation and encouragement to our pastors and church leaders. Show them that you care! Words of gratitude go a long way towards feeling appreciated and cherished. We have so many ways to communicate our thanks. Consider sharing a simple message, text, post, email, phone call or card of gratitude. Another way we are blessed to show appreciation is by using the envelopes on the pew backs to place your monetary gifts. Please put your gift in the envelope, mark it Pastor’s Appreciation, and then simply place it in the offering plate at any time during the month of October.
2020 ROADRUNNER GOLF CLASSIC
This past November many members of our church and school
parents participated in Immanuel’s “Roadrunner Golf Classic.” We had a fantastic day at the Victoria Club. We have reserved a date for our 5th Annual Roadrunner Golf Classic. MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR MONDAY, NOVEMBER 2 for a fun day to support our school. The event will be held again at the Victoria Club. Don’t be left out. Mark your calendar TODAY!
During the spring of 2019 ILS began the self-study process to prepare for a visit from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the
National Lutheran School Association (NLSA). These 2 agencies will be evaluating our educational program. We completed our self-study and submitted it for a visit in April, 2020. When our school closed because of COVID-19 the visit was postponed. We were able to reschedule the visit for October 5-7. Representatives from WASC and NLSA will be conducting a virtual visit over 3 days. Members of our Board of Directors, School Ministry Team, teachers, school parents and students will be representing our school. Please keep this process in your prayers as we strive to maintain our standing as a school of excellence.
Outdoor Sunday School!
During part of the outdoor worship service at 8 a.m. children will be
invited to their own special Bible story and craft just for them. Children 4 years old and up will be invited to meet in the shade for this special time. We will social distance and please have them wear their masks.
High School Youth
We are taking a look at Apologetics (defending our faith) on Tuesday nights in the lounge. Wear a mask and sit apart (socially distance) when you come from 6-7:30 p.m.
PUMPKIN PATCH AND TRUNK OR TREAT INFORMATION:
We will NOT be hosting a pumpkin patch this year, but hopefully it will be back in 2021. We ARE planning to have some version of our very special and fun Trunk-or-Treat on Saturday, October 31st. We are still working out all the details so look for more information coming soon. We will be looking for volunteers to bring and decorate their car. Please bring in candy donations so we can pass out goodies!
Community Outreach Report
By Julia Gardner – Outreach Coordinator
Let’s Love Riverside Together We are partnering with the Love Riverside to help our community AGAIN this year!
This year will look a bit different for our upcoming Love Riverside Serve Day! Although we won’t be doing a lot of projects all over the city, we will have some amazing opportunities for you to give back and help out those who have been very impacted by this Pandemic. All of our projects are now posted live on our website. See: https://www.loveriverside.org/communityservice?fbclid=IwAR2V-kOcZv0fQL8s9jOaye1FxOT3gcUlUJqkgUfZi4xhimfv-mfWhX7SDHM
for the project list and the link to sign up to participate.
LifeStream is partnering with Love Riverside and seeking volunteers to donate blood as their project for our Love Riverside Serve Day. The volunteer will need to sign up for an appointment on Saturday, October 10th at LifeStream Donation Center at: https://giftoflife.lstream.org/donor/schedules/center/4
The volunteer will need to go to the Lifestream Donation Center to give blood (allow for an hour). When you arrive, please have them enter the code for Love Riverside: MLVA so you can receive credit for your volunteer service (and also receive a free Love Riverside T-shirt).
The center is located at: LifeStream Donation Center, 4006 Van Buren Boulevard Riverside, CA 92503 (951) 687-2530
We’re Accepting Donations
We are accepting donations at Hunt Park! Bring YOUR donations to Hunt Park on October 10, 2020 between 9am and 1pm. (You can stay in your car and we will get them out for you)
There Are 4 Different Collections Going On:
1) DONATING PACKAGES OF DISPOSABLE DIAPERS. These diapers will be
distributed by the Junior League of Riverside monthly to families in need during this season of crisis.
2) DONATING ITEMS FOR HOME STARTER KITS. These items will be distributed by Path of Life to families who are moving in to a new home. Here is a list of some of the items needed:
- Toilet Paper
- Paper Towels
- Kitchen Sponges
- Dish Soap
- Laundry Detergent
- Kitchen Towels
- Oven Mitts
- Cooking Utensils
- Hand Soap
- Light Bulbs
- Cleaning Supplies
3) DONATING ITEMS FOR OUR NEIGHBORS IN SHELTERS. These items will be distributed by CityNet Riverside to individuals that are in our local shelters. Here is a list of some of the items needed (Full sized & travel sized):
- Shaving Cream
- Body Wash
- Chap Stick
- Baby Wipes
- Hand Sanitizer
- First Aid Kits
- Cleaning Wipes
- Bug Repellent Spray
- Snacks & Bottled Water
4) DONATING NONPERISHABLE FOOD ITEMS. The food will be donated to our neighborhood pantries where they distribute weekly to families in need during this season of crisis. Here is a list of some of the items needed:
- Canned fruit
- Canned vegetables
- Dry or canned beans
- Canned spaghetti sauce
- Canned meats
- Peanut butter
- Cooking oil
If you have any questions go to: www.LoveRiverside.org
OR you can contact Julia Gardner in the church office 951-682-7613.
THANK YOU, IN ADVANCE, FOR YOUR HELP TO SERVE OUR COMMUNITY!
Cub Scout Pack 176
Open to kids kindergarten through 5th grade who want to learn action, go on hikes and camping trips, use teamwork, make friends, and serve the community, all while building character and skills that will last a lifetime. A new year of adventure is just beginning! Come join the fun!
Den Meetings: Dens are divided into grade levels and typically meet twice a month at local den leaders’ homes. Due to COVID, meetings are conducted virtually or with CDC guidelines.
Pack Meetings: Pack meetings are held once a month at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 5455 Alessandro Blvd, Riverside. Due to COVID, meetings are virtual.