Bear Much Fruit
By Pastor Steven Borst
Farmers remember years gone-by not so much by what happened during that particular season but by how well their crops fared. If weather, seed, soil, and cultivating all come together perfectly, chances are that it was a good year with a bumper crop. Take one or more of these elements away, however, and the end result might not be so robust. That year might be remembered as a difficult one, producing a poor yield.
Dwight Eisenhower once quipped: “Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.” It’s pretty
straight-forward talking about producing a land of plenty, but it’s a whole lot harder once you get some dirt under your fingernails. This rings true for a Christian as well. We all have this ideal of what a mature Christian looks like, but having a deep and abiding faith in Christ is often forged through adversity.
By all accounts, 2020 is a difficult year. I don’t need to list the reasons why –
we all feel it in our bones. The trials of the day weigh heavily on us. We can’t wait to turn the calendar to a new year and write off this current one as one to forget. Yet, is this true of our spiritual life as well? Is this a year in which a poor yield of faith will be produced, or is it possible to still bear much fruit?
Jesus loved using farming analogies not only because the average person of
His day would understand the metaphor, but also because our Creator works similarly in both soil and soul. His Word is the abundant seed, planted in our hearts and watered by the Spirit. While the farmer works hard from Spring to harvest, he is still completely dependent on good weather to make his crop grow. Likewise, our faith is completely reliant on the Lord’s favor in our lives. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
2020 reminds us that our present circumstances do not always make growing in our faith easy. Quite the opposite: often God places stress on the vine in order to make it mature. Therefore, we are called to take God at His Word that He can do “abundantly more than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20)
As we head into November and give thanks to God for this year’s harvest, our congregation will spend time looking at how God produces the fruit of faith in our lives. Starting on November 8, we will examine Jesus’ teaching in John 15. We will discover that, despite our present circumstances, we can indeed bear much fruit in our lives as God works in us in three ways:
- He PRUNES away the dead things in our lives;
- He TRAINS us to grow according to His grace;
- He calls us to SACRIFICE by sharing the fruit of our faith with others.
Will Rodgers rightly observed that “the farmer has to be an optimist or he
wouldn’t still be a farmer!” During this difficult season, the people of God have every reason to be optimistic because our hope is in the Lord. As we remain in Him and His grace abides in us, we know that we will indeed bear much fruit.
POST SCRIPT: Our talented Pastor Robert created the logo for our series.
Did You Watch the Pastor Update?
Pastor Steven gave an important update on Immanuel’s worship and ministry. Be informed regarding ministry in the Purple Tier as well as changes to our worship schedule coming in December. You can watch it at our YouTube Channel!
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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
2020 ROADRUNNER GOLF CLASSIC
On Monday, Nov. 2, 60 players participated in the 5th annual Immanuel Golf Classic. Even though the Classic was different this year because of the protocols that we were required to follow, everyone enjoyed a great day of golf. We want to thank all the players, volunteers and Victoria Club for supporting our school.
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). On October 5-7 representatives from WASC and NLSA conducted a virtual visit. Thank you to Heather Au who scheduled the zoom meetings with members of our Board of Directors, School Ministry Team, teachers, school parents and students. We will receive the final report very soon and we will announce the visiting team findings at that time.
From the JOY (Just Older Youth) Group Committee
It has been some time, December 2019, that the JOY Group has had an event and we have missed seeing our Immanuel friends. We had one scheduled for March 2020, but that one was cancelled due to the Covid-19 virus. Since that time, we have been hoping that there would come a time that we could have a face to face event, but that has not happened. And right now, the near future does not look good. Therefore, until Immanuel can have non restricted church service, we will not try to schedule a JOY Group event. Stay tuned!
May God keep you all well,
The JOY Group Committee
Immanuel Lutheran Schools’ Administrative Assistant, Heather Pingel Au, will resign from her current position as of June 15th, 2021. While we are saddened by her departure, we rejoice with her as new doors open up for her family and pray only the best to come to her in the future!
A Note from Mrs. Heather Pingel Au
I appreciate all of the wonderful opportunities that I have been provided during my time with Immanuel. I am thankful for the forever friendships that have grown with me during my time here. I am also thankful for each one of you – employees and school families. While we may not work directly with each other or know each other on a first name basis, I know that each one of you plays an important role on this campus. With your dedication to
Immanuel, it is possible to minister the love of our Lord to these little hearts and minds to then go into the world and shine bright! This is what makes this a bittersweet goodbye for me, as my roots on this campus run deep. Immanuel has been home to me for the last 25+
years and will always be home for me, as I know it is for many of you, and that is what makes this place so special to myself and so many others. I pray the best for Immanuel’s future and all of the families that they minister to!
Blessings and Love, Heather Pingel Au
We are now accepting applications to fill her position. If you are interested in more information please contact Jamila Leggett at Jamila.Leggett@immanuelriverside.com
Outdoor Sunday School!
During part of the outdoor worship service at 9:30 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.
Confirmation classes will continue to meet in person for class. We will move outside to the picnic tables from 6:30-8 p.m. Be sure to take sermon notes (print out the bulletin if you are watching online worship.)
High School Youth:
We are taking a look at Apologetics (defending our faith) on Tuesday nights in the lounge, November 3, 10, and 17. Wear a mask and sit on the patio right outside the youth lounge (socially distance) when you come from 6-7:30 p.m.
Community Outreach Report
By Julia Gardner – Outreach Coordinator
A Huge Thank You
To the amazing people who came out and demonstrated kindness and helped to build community in our city, all while serving our Lord, through the Love Riverside donation projects on Saturday, October 10, 2020!
Can You Believe It?
It’s already time to start thinking about our ANNUAL ANGEL TREE. We’re gearing up, getting ready for the joy and goodness that God provides us during the holidays! Our ANGEL TREE will benefit Foster Teens & Veterans! You’ll see the ANGEL TREE in the narthex on Sunday, November 22nd.
This year let’s FOCUS our heart on JESUS’ birth and the meaning that Christmas brings us. During these uncertain and troubling times, by putting
the focus on Jesus gives us the right perspective as we show others God’s love for them during the coming Christmas season.
This year things will be very different from last year’s Christmas season for the Foster Teens and Veterans. You will be kept informed to the changes ahead for them. We WILL be collecting gift cards for both groups. If you have any questions, call the church office 951-682-7613 and ask for Julia Gardner. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO FOR THE KIDS & VETERANS!!
Dates to Remember in November
- November 1 – All Saints Day and Daylight Savings
- November 11 – Veterans’ Day
- November 15 – Drive Through Communion: 11am-12pm
- November 25 – Thanksgiving Day