Connect

Join us here as we share uplifting messages
during these times of uncertainty and the coronavirus pandemic.

Daily Devotions

See the Daily Devotions page for devotions provided by Pastor Linda and Pastor Loren. You can use the devotions with your families or as an individual.

 


A New Way of Living
Saturday Message
April 4

Pastor Loren talks about the similarity between living during these unexpected times and how Jesus lived. Jesus led people to a new way of living and He continues to do so today.
(2 mins., 38 sec.)

 


Family Friday

The Palm Sunday Story and “Messiah” Song

April 3

Jim, our Youth and Family Minister, explains why the Sunday before Easter is called Palm Sunday. Jim and his sons also perform the song “Messiah.” Feel free to sing along! #letitshine
(4 mins., 38 sec.)

Word

Messiah

“Someone’s shouting from the desert
Someone’s shouting from the sea
Someone’s shouting from the mountains
Someone’s shouting from the valley

Chorus:
Messiah, come and be our King
Messiah, come and be our King

Someone’s shouting I am broken
Someone’s shouting make me whole
Someone’s shouting come and change me
Someone’s shouting save my soul

Chorus:
Messiah, come and be our King
Messiah, come and be our King”

 


Word for the Day Thursday – Patience

April 2

Pastor Linda talks about how patience is a gift from God, and some of us have been given more of that gift than others. During this uncertainty we face, we are encouraged to be patient both with those we love and ourselves. #letitshine (2 mins., 6 sec.)

 


Tuesday Tunes

“When the Saints Go Marching In”

March 31

We hope this fun family performance brings some extra “shine” to your day! Join in and sing along! #letitshine

When the Saints Go Marching In

Oh, when the saints go marching in
Oh, when the saints go marching in
Dear Lord, I want to be in that number
When the saints go marching in

Oh, when the light begins to shine
Oh, when the lights begins to shine
Dear Lord I want to be in that number
When the light begins to shine

Oh, when the saints go marching in
Oh, when the saints go marching in
Dear Lord, I want to be in that number
When the saints go marching in

 


God’s Presence is With Us

Sunday Message

March 29, 2020

I don’t know about you, but I am just ready for some Easter, some good news. Now, I know that Easter is not for 2 more weeks, but let’s take a peek at it anyway. For the next 2 Sundays I will be sharing a devotion that uses some of the ideas from a posting of the Northeast Minnesota Synod of the ELCA. It uses the 4 parts of the Easter Gospel from St. John to help us think about how we can use the Bible to consider the anxiety we might feel at this time. (On Easter Sunday, Jim will bring us an Easter Devotion, and I will conclude this series the next two weeks.)

Here is the first part of that Easter Gospel:  John 20:1-10

“Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’ Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.”

We can be so familiar with the Easter story that we don’t really think much about this first part.  We know that when Mary and John and Peter see the empty tomb, that Jesus had Risen! The resurrection has happened! But what was Mary thinking? What was Peter thinking? John, we read, “believed,” but did not understand. It must have caused considerable anxiety for all three of them! It must have caused uncertainty! ‘What now?’ they must have thought.

I think we all can identify with those feelings of being anxious and overwhelmed at this time. Was Mary thinking, where was her Lord? Where was God in all of this? Was Peter wondering what in the world had happened? John believed but did not comprehend or understand.

Honest feeling at an uncertain time! There is nothing wrong with our feelings of anxiety and worry. There is nothing wrong with wondering and questioning. But the good news, the Easter news is that we know the answers to the questions that Mary and Peter and John were asking. The Lord was no longer in the grave. Jesus had risen from the dead. You see, the Easter Good News reminds us that God’s love is so strong that even death cannot overcome it. God’s love and God’s presence is with us in the midst of our worry and uncertainty. And that is the truth that will see us through this time!

In the weeks to come, Mary and John, and Peter, will see the light of Jesus’ resurrection shine ever brighter.

As we go through this time of uncertainty, may we remember that not even suffering or pain or death could destroy God’s love for us and God’s presence with us. Keep your light shining!

May God bless you!

Pastor Linda

 


Time is a Precious Gift

Saturday Message

March 28

Pastor Loren Schumacher talks about how time is a precious gift, and that when our lives slow down, we are drawn closer to God and find peace in a renewed connection with Him.
(2 min., 39 sec.)

 


Christ’s Light in Your Life

Family Friday

March 27

Youth and Family Minister Jim Ranney talks about light and Christ’s light in your life. Jim and his son Andrew perform a verse from the popular camp song Pass It On. #letitshine (2 min., 25 sec.)

Pass It On

It only takes a spark to get a fire going,
And soon all those around can warm up in its glowing.
That’s how it is with God’s Love,
Once you’ve experienced it.
You spread His love to everyone,
You want to pass it on.

Verse 1

Kurt Kaiser


Word for the Day Thursday – Gratitude

March 26

Pastor Linda Schumacher discusses the word for the day this Thursday, which is Gratitude. She explains how gratitude is important to keep in mind, even when we are experiencing challenging times. (3 min., 51 sec.)

 


“Seek Ye First”

Tuesday Tunes

March 24

Enjoy more uplifting music from our Youth and Family Minister, Jim, and his family!

Seek Ye First

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God
And His righteousness
And all these things shall be added unto you
Allelu, alleluia

Ask and it shall be given unto you
Seek and ye shall find
Knock and the door shall be opened unto you
Allelu, alleluia

Man does not live by bread alone
But by every word
That proceeds from the mouth of God
Allelu, alleluia”

 


Guided by Our Lord

March  22

Dear Friends in Christ,

Since we got back to Madison, I have noticed that when each day dawns I feel as if the pace of life has changed dramatically. Things that I would normally do each day no longer are the norm. Our daughter, Amanda, asked the question of Linda when we were with her, “How is Dad going to do when he can’t just get in the car and go to the store?” Of course I said I would be fine, but perhaps they know me better than I know myself. This time in history is one where we all need to take a long look at ourselves and how much we have been defined by the ability to do all the things we do.

As we all know change is hard, especially when it is change that is so totally out of our control.  I thought about the uncertainty of each day. What will the new reality be tomorrow in the face of COVID-19?

As I thought about this, the image of the Hebrew slaves who set out from Egypt into the Wilderness came to mind. They were uncertain of what they were getting into or where they would end up. But they were not going it alone. We read in Exodus 13:21-22:

“The Lord went in front of them in a pillar of cloud by day, to lead them along the way, and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light, so that they might travel by day and by night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.” 

So too is our assurance in these times of stress and anxiety, when we are asked to meet new challenges that we never expected to be placed before us. We too are guided by that every presence of our Lord.

Linda, Jim and I have met remotely over our phones to talk about how we can best be a ministry presence to each of you and hold up the word of God which is actively leading us all through these days. We will be utilizing the resources of Faith Inkubators’ Faith5™ as a daily devotion which will be posted to our website and Facebook daily. Each devotion will focus on a scripture passage or a hymn, and then present some questions for thought that families or individuals can focus on in their homes each day. In this way, we can come together in our hearts and minds for a time of reflection and sharing that will center our lives in the presence of our Lord.

To continue spreading the “light” to everyone, we will share a special message on Sundays. Jim is working on bringing a musical selection to post as “Tuesday Tunes” and a youth and family message on “Family Friday.” We will share the content on this Connect page and on the Springdale Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/springdalelutheran1/)  and West Blue Mounds Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/westbluemounds).

Check your email, this webpage and Facebook to keep updated on our continuing ministry outreach to all our family in Christ.

As we gather in spirit, the continuing work of the church goes on. Please remember to send your offerings to the church office or make use of the online giving option so that we may continue to reach out to all in need at this critical time in our world. To give online, go to the homepage and click on “Give” in the upper right.

God’s Grace, Peace and Blessing be with you all,
Pastor Loren

 


Let Your Light Shine!

March 19

“For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of the light.”  Ephesians 5:8

 

Dear Two Steeples Brothers and Sisters:

So much has changed so quickly! Loren and I got back from visiting our daughter in Georgia yesterday. When we left, almost two weeks ago, things were pretty much normal. Oh, we had our hand sanitizer in the car and tried to stay away from large crowds. But by the time we got to our daughter’s, last Wednesday, things began to change so quickly. Her university announced that it would go online after break. More and more cases of the coronavirus were being reported. By Thursday, we were talking with Jim R. and leadership about canceling church services and activities. By the time we were driving home, motels were taking extra precautions and most restaurants were only doing take out.

This new normal seems a bit scary and we worry, not only for our own health and the health of our loved ones, but for a world dealing with a pandemic. There is so much uncertainty.

But, in the midst of, this we are reminded of who we are and whose we are. We are God’s own beloved children and God is present with us. Loren and I watched, with joy, delight, and thanksgiving, Jim and his boys singing for us, “This Little Light of Mine, I’m Going Let it Shine.” What a reminder that God’s light shines on us and through us.

The verse from Ephesians, at the top of this letter, is a part of the Second Lesson for this Sunday. And, just like the song, it reminds us that through the love of God we no longer live in darkness (even in the midst of a pandemic!). We are light! And we are called to live as children of the light!

So what can we do to be light at this time of global emergency? Take time to pray and read your Bible. That will help to keep our light burning brightly! Just like people of faith have always done, remember all that our Lord has done for us. And know that God is with us as we journey through this difficult time.

And let your light shine! Follow the guidelines that are there to keep us safe. Show love and compassion to all. Call friends and neighbors and check to see how they are doing.

Please know that as your interim pastors, we are here for you. We will work with Jim and our leadership to stay in touch and use our social media to be together. Please know that you can call us, or text us, or email us!

Loren – 715-523-0422     zionloren@gmail.com

Linda – 715-529-2110     ljschumacher51@gmail.com

May God bless you all!  And let your light shine!

 

Blessings,

Pastor Linda

 


This Little Light of Mine
Performed by Youth and Family Minister Jim Ranney and his family

March 17

We hope this video brightens your day and brings a smile to your face!

This Little Light of Mine

“This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine,
let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Ev’rywhere I go,
I’m gonna let it shine.
Ev’rywhere I go,
I’m gonna let it shine.
Ev’rywhere I go,
I’m gonna let it shine,
let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Jesus gave it to me,
I’m gonna let it shine.
Jesus gave it to me,
I’m gonna let it shine.
Jesus gave it to me,
I’m gonna let it shine,
let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”

Harry Dixon Loes

 


National Day of Prayer

March 15

Recently, our President Donald Trump declared a National Day of Prayer. He called for the people of our country to take time today on Sunday, March 15 for a collective time of prayer.

He says, “As your President, I ask you to pray for the health and well-being of your fellow Americans and to remember that no problem is too big for God to handle. We should take to heart the holy words found in 1 Peter 5:7 “Casting all your cares upon him, for he careth for you.” Let us pray that all those affected by the coronavirus will feel the presence of our Lord’s protection and love during this time. With God’s help, we will overcome this threat.”

President Donald Trump goes on to say, “I now encourage all Americans to pray for those on the front lines of the response, especially our Nation’s outstanding medical professionals and public health officials who are working tirelessly to protect all of us from the coronavirus and treat patients who are infected; all of our courageous first responders, National Guard, and our Federal, State and local leaders. We are confident that God will provide them with the wisdom they need to make difficult decisions and take decisive actions to protect Americans all across the country. As we come to our Father in prayer, we remember the words of Psalm 91, “He is my refuge and fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”

So, let us take a moment to pray today:

Dear Lord, guide us all across this great Nation and Global Community, during these challenging times and days. May we seek to put our worries and fears in your hands, as we ask for your holy wisdom and grace in these times. Guide the work of our leaders, doctors, first responders, National Guard and all people in places of serving others. Guide us as a Global Community, as we work through all these health challenges in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Give us strength and peace as we seek to follow you and to show kindness, care and love to our neighbors in their time of need. Powerful and loving God, guide our paths, and teach us your ways, O Lord.

In Jesus Christ we pray!

Amen

Youth & Family Minister Jim Ranney


 

 


 

A Message from our Youth and Family Minister

March 14

Dear Two Steeples Family,

I wanted to take a moment to say hello and let you all know that you are in our thoughts and prayers at this time. Together we need to take courage, be patient, consider those that are vulnerable among us and press onward while finding ways to love our family, friends and neighbors.

We have found ourselves in a situation none of us have been in before. The news is fluid and is changing day by day. Like the rest of the world, we are trying to make sense of it all, as we discern all the information and media reports regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19). We find ourselves sifting through much shared information so we can better respond in times like these.

I offer this Bible verse to meditate on for the strengthening of your faith.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7

Although it was not in our plans to deal with this coronavirus that has become a global pandemic crisis, we have been called as a Nation and Global Community to slow down, create social space, be more hygiene-aware and seek ways to care for our own health and the health of our neighbors. Although this virus will continue to cause disruptions in our lives for a time and it may get worse before it gets better, we should live with the hope that this too shall pass. We should live with the hope and promise of God’s love and care for each us on this journey. As a family of faith, we are called to pray for our family, neighbors and world. We are also called to show love and kindness to others.

During this season of Lent with extra time at home, I would encourage you to take time for reading your Bible and devotions like Christ in Our Home. Take time for prayers. Pastors Linda, Loren and I will be working together to continue to find ways to reach out and minister to you in this time. I am including a portion of our Sunday morning worship bulletin for March 15 for you to read through and reflect on.

I also wanted to remind you that there are various Sunday morning worship programs available. Bethel Lutheran Church has a wonderful opportunity for Sunday morning worship on WKOW Channel 27 from 10:00-10:30 a.m.

Please feel free to reach out to us if you need someone to talk or pray with. For now, let’s take it one day at a time, putting our hope, trust and faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Peace, Love and Joy in Jesus!

Jim Ranney ><>

 

Worship Bulletin – Third Sunday in Lent
Gospel and Hymn
Confession & Forgiveness and Prayer