Does 674 Seconds Really Make a Difference?

By Pastor Steven Borst

“With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.” Mark 4:30-32

As we all know, the date of Easter changes every year, but do you have any idea why? Because Jesus was crucified and rose during the Jewish Passover, the Western Church aligned Easter Sunday with the Passover celebration. That means that Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the full Moon that occurs on or just after the spring equinox.

This date-setting worked well until the 16th Century. At that time, the Western world was using the Julian Calendar, created during Julius Caesar’s reign in 708 BC. It calculated the length of the year at 365.25 days. It was an amazing accomplishment for Rome, but their actual calculations were just slightly off. The actual year was 674 seconds shorter. That doesn’t sound like much, but every 128 years, the Julian calendar gained an entire day.

This drifting came to a head in the 16th Century AD because the date of Easter was getting earlier every year. The Church began to panic because if nothing was done, Easter would eventually fall right after Christmas! So Pope Gregory commissioned astronomers to investigate. Using the latest technology and formulas at that time, they found the 674 second error and corrected it. Still today, most of the world follows the Gregorian calendar. We can breathe a sigh of relief because the earliest possible date for Easter is March 22 (and the latest is April 25).

674 seconds might not seem like much, but over time, it does make a difference. What could we do with 674 seconds each day? That’s just over 11 minutes. One of the spiritual disciplines our Re:Formed small groups are practicing is spending time in devotion and prayer every day. This time dedicated to experiencing God’s presence is really important. When we get busy, we’re tempted to skip this time. Before we know it, we might even end up skipping weeks or months before getting back on track.

674 seconds might not seem like much, but over time, it does make a difference. For instance, if a 90-year-old dedicated that much time each day in devotion and prayer, they would have spent over 257 days of their life in private devotion with God. That’s amazing, and that time doesn’t reflect the extra time spent in worship, Bible studies, or small groups.

The most important part of Easter, of course, is not getting the date right, but getting our celebration right. We celebrate our triumphant Christ, who defeated sin and death for us! Through Jesus, God grants us new life, and each day is a gift of His grace. How we live each day by faith matters. Over a life-time, it can make a big difference.


New Principal Announced

Dr. Sue Buster has accepted our call to be Immanuel’s next principal! We are thankful to God for providing us with such an experienced, gifted, and faith-filled leader. She will be succeeding Mr. Carl Boburka, who is retiring this June. Please keep Dr. Buster in your prayers as she transitions to our campus during the new academic year.


Preschool Accreditation Excellence

Immanuel’s Preschool, under the direction of Mrs. Trona Salgado, recently completed the accreditation process through NLSA (National Lutheran Schools Association). The staff worked for nearly a year in this process, submitting numerous documents and studies to NLSA. An accreditation team conducted a 3-day virtual visit and afterward gave their report. Immanuel was given a 99% score, with zero recommendations for improvement! Such a result is extremely rare, and sets Immanuel apart as the premiere Preschool not just in our region, but in our nation. Congratulations to Mrs. Salgado, the teachers and staff, who do such an exemplary job of nurturing our children and their families in Christ’s love!


Where Will Future Lutheran Leaders Come From?

Scholarship application deadline for the 2021/22 academic year is April 1st

Each year, the Endowment Fund Commission awards higher education scholarships in the fields of Lutheran ministry and Christian education to church members. These scholarships are made possible by the dividend income earned by the Immanuel Lutheran Church Endowment Fund. If you will be attending a Christian college or university in Fall 2021, majoring in education or ministry, contact Jamila Leggett for an application.

About the Immanuel Lutheran Church Endowment Fund

The Immanuel Lutheran Church Endowment Fund was established in 2000 with generous donations from special gifts provided by congregation members. The fund’s purpose is to receive and administer gifts and bequests outside of the general church budget, which can include physical improvements to the church facilities, higher education scholarships in the fields of Lutheran ministry and Christian education, and for special ministries in Christian education within the congregation and extended to other Lutheran congregations. The fund is managed by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Foundation, and currently valued at over $500,000; the gifts that are bestowed each year are limited to specifically selected dividend income earned, thus allowing for growth to maintain the long term health of the fund.
When considering charitable donations, or your estate plan, please keep the Immanuel Lutheran Church Endowment Fund in mind as a place where your contribution will make a perpetual impact on our congregation and those members who choose to pursue a career in Christian ministry and education.

Members of the Endowment Fund Commission include Marlin Brandt (President), George Frahm (Vice President), Susan Atkinson (Secretary), Adam Illingworth, Brian Pearcy, Gil Dyrr, and Karin Jeske.


IMMANUEL ANNOUNCES NEW PART-TIME POSITION: TECH LEADER

Immanuel Lutheran Church is looking for a Tech Leader to become part of our worship team and help spearhead our Sunday morning livestreaming. This part-time paid position would require this individual to plan the different filming angles for the cameras, put together the PowerPoint for the service, put together a schedule for tech volunteers, and set up the systems on Sunday morning. Must be knowledgeable of presentation software and camera systems, able to communicate effectively with a team, and has an eye for making our worship service the best possible for those who are not able to attend. The starting hourly wage is $15 an hour. Estimated 2 – 5 hours per week. Contact the church office at info@immanuelriverside.com or (951)-682-7613.


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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 website.


Sunday School

During part of the 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 GPEC for this special time. We will social distance (families sitting together) and please have them wear their masks.

Confirmation

Confirmation classes will continue on April 7, 14, 21, and 28. Class meets from 6:30-8 p.m. Parents, please help your students complete their requirements of memory work, volunteer hours, and sermon outlines. Check your email and our Confirmation Facebook group for updates and information.

High School Youth

The High School Youth will be participating in Re:Form along with other small groups at Immanuel. We will meet for discussion on Tuesday nights from 6-7:30 p.m. Watch for updates via text, email, and our High School Youth Facebook Group.


2021-2022 SCHOOL ENROLLMENT UPDATE

The Lord has blessed our school with an incredible number of community families who are interested in enrolling their children for the fall. Currently our Kindergarten, 1st and 3rd grade classes are full with waiting lists and our 2nd, 4th and 5th grade classes are near capacity. If you know a family who is searching for an excellent, Christ centered education, have them contact our Admissions Director Brianna Foster at Brianna.foster.immanuel@gmail.com.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES

On March 13, 2020, ILS made some drastic changes to how we educated our students. We went from in person to virtual instruction. Our teachers and staff made an incredible transition in a matter of days. Needless to say, this past year has been challenging for all of us. With all of these changes there has been 1 constant. God continues to bless those that trust in Him. The Lord continues to guide Immanuel by providing committed teachers and staff to care and teach our students. The Lord blessed us by granting a waiver so that we could welcome our students back to
campus. We continue to give thanks and praise to God for keeping our students, teachers and staff healthy and safe. GOD IS GOOD!

SUNDAY SINGING

Pastor Steven, Pastor Robert and Ms. Park, Immanuel’s music teacher, have worked together to schedule classes to share their gifts of music during Immanuel’s Sunday worship services. These recordings will continue through May 5.

KINDERGARTEN PIANO

We have an upright piano in our Kindergarten classroom that we are not using anymore. We would like to donate it to a person or family that would take care of and enjoy playing it. If you or anyone you know is interested contact Mr. Boburka at carl.boburka@ilsroadrunner.org or call the office at 951-682-4211.


Community Outreach Report

By Julia Gardner

HUGE THANKS

goes out for ALL your help with your donations of the Blessing Bag contents for our Homeless Neighbors!

Save the Date

Love Riverside: Join us for Our Annual Serve Day: Saturday, October 9, 2021 – 8am-Noon