Grace, mercy, and peace be yours this year through Christ who became one of us so that He might take our sins on Himself!
We live in trying times. Many of you have commented to me how the world seems to be crazier all the time. Which makes Christ, the cornerstone of our lives, an even more comforting presence. The annual remembrance of His coming in our flesh to be Emmanuel—God with us—is soon approaching. It is a time of joy and comfort, a moment to lay our sorrows at the foot of Jesus’ cross, casting all your burdens on Him, for He will take care of you. (1 Peter 5:7)
Despite the strangeness of our times, we have an ever present help in Christ our Lord. And I pray this year has been one of blessing to you as it has been to me. I continue to grow in faith which trusts in the Lord as He continually calls me to repent of my fear and doubt and trust in His suffering, death, and resurrection for the forgiveness of my sins and the strengthening of my faith!
One of the great blessings of 2017 is that it marked 500 years of preaching the free grace of God! We celebrated this 500th Anniversary of the Reformation throughout the last year by hosting a circuit-wide read-through of the Book fo Concord. Along with reading through that book which contains our Lutheran confessions of faith, we had monthly get-togethers for teaching and question and answer sessions (videos of these can be found on Grace’s Facebook page). We culminated the year with a circuit wide Reformation Service on the 500th anniversary itself, October 31, 2017.
Myself and the other pastors enjoyed these events greatly, as did many of those who participated. It was fun gathering with the saints of Regina and team-teaching with other pastors. This year we’d like to continue having some circuit-wide get-togethers, but we’d like to focus on singing! After all, it was singing the beautiful hymns of the Reformation era that helped pass the message of the free salvation of sinners on to a desperate world. To that aim we are planning to gather around new and beloved hymns, where we both sing them, and hear about what they teach, who wrote them and why. There are fascinating stories of faith embedded in the music of the Church.
Another blessing for me has been your ongoing support. My father had two hematomas this fall. Many of you have been praying for him and asking about his health. Thank you. Your support is very uplifting.
We are ready to launch a new website for the church. (Thank you Joel for all your hard work!) We pray that it may be a light in the darkness of our world, and a resource to you: not only for what is going on at church, but especially as a place you can access sermons (audio & manuscript form), Bible Studies (handouts and video), and other useful information. Check it out at www.gracelutheranregina.com
Lise and I have been renovating our house for the last year. Most of the baseboards are even on now! (Though I still need to refinish the hardwood.) We hope to have an open house sometime in the New Year. You are all invited!
The Lord bless and keep you and make His face shine on you this year and next,
Pastor David Haberstock
2017 Christmas Service Schedule:
Theme: The 3 Solas of Reformation: Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura—Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Scripture Alone
The messages can be found on our website.
Christmas Eve Candle Light Service, 5pm
Christmas Day, 10am
Carol Setting of Divine Service
New Year’s Eve, 9:30am
Divine Service with Holy Communion
Ring in the New Year with the Lord on your lips!
The Epiphany of Our Lord
Circuit Festival Service, January 6th, 7:30pm at Mount Olive (Pastor Haberstock will preach)
The “13th” Day of Christmas, or, “Gentile Christmas”, the day Gentiles first worshipped Jesus!