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SEPTEMBER Pastor s Jibes September, 2021


Academic year: 2021

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Immanuel Lutheran Church, ELCA 726 Fuller Avenue, Big Rapids, MI 49307

Website: www.immanuelbr.com

Facebook: @immanuelbr Instagram: ILCbigrapids

Phone 231/796-8273 Fax 231/796-9599

Sunday Morning Worship Service 9:30 a.m In Person & Live on Facebook Office Hours: Monday-Thursday – 9:00 am to Noon and 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm - Closed on Friday

MISSION: To inspire members to grow in loving devotion to Jesus Christ, caring concern for one another, welcoming outreach, and loving service to our neighbors.

VISION STATEMENT: Immanuel Lutheran Church will be known for welcoming hospitality, passionate worship, intentional faith development, risk-taking mission and service, and extravagant generosity.

Office Staff: Mary Larkin, Administrative Assistant is in the office Tuesday – Thursday 9 am – 4 pm. Shirley Hamelund, Office As- sistant is in the office Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 9 am – 4 pm. Pastor Jack Ferra is in the office Sunday and Monday.

The Church office is closed on Friday.

Office e-mail addresses:

Church: immanuelbigrapids726@gmail.com

Mary Larkin (Administrative Assistant) marylar726@gmail.com

Shirley Hamelund (Office Assistant/Receptionist) shirleyh403@gmail.com Pastor Jack Ferra (Pastor) dj911bgr@yahoo.com


Pastor’s Jibes September, 2021

Thank you for your partnership during the past 2, most unusual and challenging, years.

I have appreciated the support of Shirley, Mary, Phyllis, Janet, Lee, and Millie. As well, the members who took the time to share their needs and affirmations.

Your congregation is rich in service:

Pastoral Care from Phyllis; Administration

from David; Planning and Development from Gunder; Organization from Lee; Social Ministry from Roger; and Worship leadership from Carol and Pr. Theresa. Shirley and Mary provide excellent office management and ser- vices.

It has been a privilege to share a relationship with many of you and those are valuable to me. I thank you for the

opportunity to know you and learn more of the world through you. You will continue to be in my prayers for your



As to “What Now?”, we know that God walks with you and your congregation as you live and serve into God’s future.

Pax Pr. Ferra

If you need to speak with me my contacts are: 616-204-8980 dj911bgr@yahoo.com <><><><><><>

Affordable Housing

Samaritas, formally Lutheran Social Services, is constructing “Affordable Living” units in Grand Rapids and Muskegon.

Rent is 30% of the renter’s income whatever that is. For more details visit the Samaritas website.

Resources from our North/West Lower Michigan Synod

1. Sunday sermons by our Synod staff will be available Sunday afternoons on the Synod YouTube.

2. On the same Synod YouTube homepage you can view the seminars on racial justice given by our Synod.

If you have a current email address, could you call the office and notify us for future mailings. You may also email Shirley at shirleyh403@gmail.com.

Stewardship Appeal – Lee Wolken

For our 2022 Stewardship Appeal, we have selected a paraphrase of 1 Chronicles 29:14 -We give thee but thy own, whatever the gift may be; All that we have is thine alone, A trust, O Lord from thee.

God has blessed each of us with gifts that he expects us to use to serve others. Immanuel has been very good at serving others through forwarding 10% (tithing) of our ministry giving to the synod which forwards 50% to ELCA Worldwide. Our Social Concerns Committee does an excellent job sharing our gifts with local charities especially the Dump and Run effort.

The Temple Talks in September will elaborate further on how Immanuel serves others, and during the last week of September, you will receive a letter and the Estimate of Giving document for 2022. October 10


will be Commitment Sunday where all of us will have the opportunity during worship to present our com- mitments to the Lord in a basket by the altar. On Sunday, October 24th, we will have our Annual Congrega- tional Meeting where the 2022 budget is approved, members are elected to the council and delegates for the annual synod meeting are elected.


SEPTEMBER Readings Schedule (Readings from New Revised Standard)

Sept. 5th - 15th Sunday after Pentecost Pastor Jack Ferra - 9:30 am Virtual Facebook on Immanuel Lutheran page.


Isaiah 35:4-7a Psalm 146

James 2:1-10 [11-13] 14-17 Mark 7:24-37

Sept. 19th – 17th Sunday after Pentecost Rev. Teresa Foster - 9:30 am Virtual Facebook on Immanuel Lutheran page.



Jeremiah 11:18-20 Psalm 54

James 3:13--4:3, 7-8a Mark 9:30-37

Sept. 26th – 18th Sunday after Pentecost Rev. Teresa Foster - 9:30 am Virtual Facebook on Immanuel Lutheran page.


Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29 Psalm 19:7-14

James 5:13-20 Mark 9:38-50

Sept. 12th - 16th Sunday after Pentecost Rev. Teresa Foster - 9:30 am Virtual Facebook on Immanuel Lutheran page.


Isaiah 50:4-9a Psalm 116:1-9 James 3:1-12 Mark 8:27-38

YTD thru July 2021

Ministry Fund

Building Fund

Giving - $83,267 Giving - $43,120 Expenses -$80,075 Mortgage Payments- $55,892

When Pr. Jack Ferra is not available, pastoral duties

will be referred to Rev. Teresa Foster. Please first

call the church office (231) 796-8273. The referral

will be passed on to Rev. Foster.


If you were left off this list, or if a birthday or anniversary is listed wrong, please contact the church office.

4 Todd Aardema

Tom Pennington Neil Perdue

6 Steve Neumann

7 Ron Decker

8 David Misoni

9 Helen Engstrom

Danielle Metzger

14 Don Schuberg

16 Roger Barr

Irene Schuberg

21 Bette Jo Brown

Ongoing prayers for: Woody & Dee Neumann, Vir- ginia Schuberg, Elaine White, Joyce Conley, Len Crys- tal, Shirley Baumunk.

World Concerns Prayers:

Our President and Leaders of the Nation Racism

Prayer of guidance for our neighborhood churches People hurting, suffering, homeless

Concern for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading in the US/Foreign Countries and people suffering losses during Covid-19 Pandemic

People in poverty (hunger, homeless) Military troops in the U.S. and abroad Wounded Warriors

Victims of Human Trafficking

Victims of natural disasters here & abroad Victims of shootings, bombs, terrorist groups

Victims of hurricanes, flooding and earthquakes and vol- canoes and wildfires

North Korea, Iran, Syria, Puerto Rico, Islamic community in New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia - Drone bomb- ings, Hong Kong - Unrest, Kurdish people, Israel/Hamus (Gaza)

Healing & Health Concerns for:

Roger O’Dell, Judy O’Dell, Phyllis Obermier-Striho, Barry & Linda Borton, Bob Krueger, Don Nelson, Bill Biers, Nancy McReynolds, Jean Swarthout, Beth Hame- lund, Leah Monger’s parents Phil & Ann, Marcy Nel- son, Steve Neumann, Leroy Larson, Beth Hamelund, Bonnie Biers.

Comfort: Donna Acker family Judy O’Dell family


1 Craig & Toni Windquist 5 Fred & Carol Zimmerman 10 Tom & Diane Manor 26 Jim & Phyllis Lindsey

Craig & Sherrie Hamelund

Prayers for our Community churches:

St. Andrew’s Episcopal, Augustana Lutheran in Tustin, St. Paul’s in Reed City, United Church, St.

Peter’s Lutheran, Immanuel Lutheran in Big Rapids

(All have had their share of problems with Leader-

ship/Pastors serving the churches these past few



therapy, chemotherapy or a combination.

Blood Pressure Checks will be on Sunday as needed.

“Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” . . . Psalm 9:10

Love In Christ

Phyllis Lindsey, Parish Nurse

The Nurses 23


Psalm By Elsie M. Brownell

The Lord is my Physician, and shall always be on call.

He maketh my morning rounds with me.

He is with me in the night watch.

He readeth my chart; He leadeth me in the path of duty for His name’s sake.

Yea, tho I watch at the bedside in the shadow of death I have no fear, for Thou art with me.

Thy love and Thy promises shall steady me.

Thou causeth me to think clearly and to act calmly.

Surely Thou shalt write the prescriptions and issue the orders in the profession I follow, and I will serve in the Hospital of Love with the Great Physician, forever.


We continue to have Covid-19 concerns. The third Pfizer vaccine for Covid-19 is now available to make appointments. Telephone number for Spectrum is (833) 755-0696. Call me (Phyllis Lindsey) if you have ques- tions about it.

Our Health News for September:

September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.

One in three children in the United States has a problem being overweight or obese. Childhood obesity puts children at risk for health problems usually only seen in adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. The good news is that it can be prevented. Encour- age families to go on walks together, keep low calorie fruits and vegetables available for snacks and keep a weekly record of weights.

September is National Cholesterol Education Month. Cholesterol is a waxy fat found natural- ly in the human body and in many foods. Our bodies need cholesterol to function normally and make all we need. Too much cholesterol can build up in our arteries. After a while these cholesterol deposits narrow our arteries and put a person at risk for heart disease and stroke.

High cholesterol usually doesn’t have any symptoms, but a simple blood test your doctor can order will let you know if it is high and what can be done about it by life style changes and/or medications. Even children, especially if obese, can have high cholesterol.

September is Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month.

Atrial Fibrillation is a type of irregular heart- beat. Normally your heartbeat is 80-100 per minute. In atrial fibrillation the rate can go as high as 175 beats per minute. Atrial fibrillation is called when two of the upper chambers of the heart beat unpredictably and sometimes rapidly which can cause blood to collect in the heart and form a clot which can travel to the brain and cause a stroke. Atrial fibrillation is more common in people 65 years and older and with people who have high blood pressure, heart dis- ease or diabetes. Diagnosing and treating atrial fibrillation prevents 65-80% of strokes!

September is Prostatic Cancer Awareness Month.

Prostate Cancer is cancer that occurs in a man’s

prostrate, a small walnut-shaped gland that pro-

duces the seminal fluid that nourishes and trans-

ports sperm. Some symptoms include difficult

urination, blood in the urine, pelvic area pain

and because the tumor may progress slowly,

some doctors prefer waiting for surgery. Other

options include surgery, radiation, hormone


A message from the Council President

After the Church Council met on Sunday, August 8 to discuss the worship situation, Pastor Ferra informed me of his intent to resign effective September 5, 2021. Pastor Ferra asked the Synod for an interim pastor situation which “…would use more of my meaningful abilities. Such an opportunity has arisen.” (quote from his letter). Naturally, this comes at a most challenging time, and I ask for guidance as we move for- ward and look for our next pastor.

My plans are to meet with the Vision Committee and the Church Council to determine our steps moving forward. We have supply pastors in place until October 3. Watch the bul- letin and your emails for updates. We will also make an- nouncements as needed after worship services and call any special meetings of the congregation as needed. The decision to continue worship considering the increase in COVID-19 numbers was a difficult one, but with the Pastor’s decision, the Council thought that closing worship at this time would be very challenging for us. We are back to conducting the proper protocols by wearing masks in church & distancing. We will likely hold a congregational conversation soon where we can discuss this in person as a group and move forward as a con- gregation. God has a plan for us, we just need to determine what that plan is, and we can do that together.

In Peace, Dave Immanuel Lutheran Church

Council Meeting Minutes

Council met on August 8 after worship

• Reports were accepted as written/presented

• Herrick Fund will likely have 4 recipients each receiving $400. Council will approve these in September

• Worship and Music meeting on Tuesday , August 10 to discuss worship moving forward

 Dave will send letter to congregation based on that discussion and further discussion with Council as needed

Proposal from Vision committee to look at the possibility of partnerships with other churches in the area approved. There are many steps to make this happen

Possible Conversation on Sept. 10 to dis- cuss. Note: This has been delayed pending Pastor’s notice to resign

Immanuel Activities Bible Study will be held on Monday, Septem-

ber 20, 2021 at 2:00 pm in the Fellowship Cen-

ter. Bible study is open to both men & women.

Title is The Gift of the Spirit: A divine wild goose chase.

Shepherd’s Hooks &

Needles has started the knitting group again.

Please join us on the first &

third Tuesdays of the month at 1:00 pm.

Next dates are Sept. 7 & 21st.

I have received so many nice cards from peo- ple for my birthday. I would like to tell eve- ryone who remembered my birthday, thank you for all the sweet birthday wishes. From me.

Thank you so much.



2021 Council Members

Dave Scott, President (231) 250-5067 Tammy Lindsey, Vice President (231) 519-1212 Nedra Neumann, Treasurer (231) 796-0956

Vicky Scott (231) 250-7589

Judy O’Dell (231) 823-2845

Melanie Richardson (231) 357-0863

Megan Smith (231) 287-2061

Carol Wilson-Jungck (231) 670-3220

Roger Barr (231) 972-8276

Phyllis Cousineau (231) 796-9574 Pastor Jack Ferra (616) 204-8980 Committee Council Liaisons

Dave Scott - Finance Committee Roger barr - Property Committee

Judy O’Dell - Church Life Committee, WELCA Tammy Lindsey - Stewardship Committee

Carol Wilson-Jungck - Worship & Music committee Mel Richardson - Worship & Music Committee Megan Smith - Social Concerns Committee

Office Staff

Pastor Jack Ferra (Sun., schedule varies) Mary Larkin, Administrative Asst. (Tues.-Thurs.) Shirley Hamelund, Office Asst. (Mon, Tues, Thurs.) Phyllis Lindsey, Parish Nurse (schedule varies) Intentional Faith Development

Social Concerns (Risk-Taking Mission and Service) Roger Barr, Chairperson (231)972-8276 Lee Wolken –Habitat/Humanity (231)972-7756 Stewardship (Extravagant Generosity

Lee Wolken, Chairperson (231) 972-7756

Bob Krueger (231) 796-2012

David Scott (231) 250-5067

Committees and Organizations

Celebrate Immanuel (CIF)

Bob Krueger, Chairperson (231) 796-2012 Christian Education

Church Life

Carol Zimmerman, Chairperson (231) 796-2152 Kitchen Coordinator

Irene Schuberg, Funeral lunch (231) 796-7814 Finance

Nedra Neumann, Chairperson (231) 796-0956 Nedra Neumann, Treasurer (231) 796-0956

Roger Barr – Gifts/Memorials (231) 972-8276 Nominating Team (2021)

Phyllis Lindsey (231) 795-6400

Shirley Hamelund (231) 796-7763

Steve Neumann (231) 796-0956


Tim Vogel, chairperson (231) 796-3860 Healing Garden Min.

Carol Wilson-Jungck, co-chair (231) 670-3220 Heritage team:

Carol Zimmerman (231) 796-2152

Vision (and Ministry Leadership Network

Gunder Myran, Chairperson (231) 972-7405

Lee Wolken (231) 972-7756

Nedra Neumann – Small Groups (231) 796-0956 Welcoming Hospitality


Phyllis Lindsey – Prayer circle (231) 796-6400 Dee Neumann-Prayer Circle (231) 796-8385 Webmaster- Mary Larkin (231) 796-8273 Women of the ELCA

Dee Neumann, co-chair (231) 796-8385 Shirley Hamelund co-chair (231) 796-7763 Worship and Music (Passionate Worship

David Scott, A/V team (231) 796-4618 Dee Neumann, Altar Guild (231) 796-8385 Carol Zimmerman, Altar Guild (231) 796-2152 Millie Gillies, Choir (231) 796-2460 Readers (Volunteer)

Ron Decker – Ushers (231) 796-2706 Bill Ballard – Ushers (231) 972-4413 Phyllis Lindsey, Worship Asst.

and Intinction Asst. (231) 796-6400 Dee Neumann, Weddings (231) 796-8385 Shirley Hamelund, Weddings (231) 796-7763


726 Fuller Ave.

Big Rapids, MI 49307

Address Change Requested



Community Book Club -The book group at the United Church invites Immanuel members to its first meeting of the fall on Monday, September 13, at 7:00 p.m. The group will meet over Zoom to discuss the book His Truth is

Marching on: John Lewis and the Power of Hope by the Pulitzer Prize winning author, Jon Meacham. Contact Mar-

yanne Heidemann at mvheidemann@gmail.com to receive a Zoom invitation. The book is available both in print and electronically at the Big Rapids Community Library or you can acquire your own copy. Here’s a summary of the book provided by the publisher:

"John Lewis, who at age twenty-five marched in Selma and was beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, is a vision- ary and a man of faith. Using intimate interviews with Lewis and his family and deep research into the history of the civil rights movement, Meacham writes of how the activist and leader was inspired by the Bible, his mother's unbreakable spirit, his sharecropper father's tireless and an unshakable belief in the power of hope. Meacham calls Lewis "as important to the founding of a modern and multiethnic twentieth- and twenty-first century Ameri- ca as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and Samuel Adams were to the initial creation of the nation-state in the eighteenth century. He did what he did--risking limb and life to bear witness for the powerless in the face of the powerful--not in spite of America, but because of America, and not in spite of religion, but because of reli- gion."

ADOPT-A-HIGHWAY: Attention United Church and Immanuel Lutheran Church Eco-Activists!! Our Fall Highway Pick Up event is scheduled for Saturday, September 25, 2021, beginning at nine a.m. As is our usual

practice, we will meet at the United Church at nine a.m. to sign in and review the safety video. Then we will

receive our gear (safety vests, MDOT bags and trash bags for recyclables, gloves if you haven't brought your

own) and assign the highway segments to each team of workers. We will carpool out to the Highway to mini-

mize the number of cars parked along the roadway. The more volunteers we have available for teams the

better, so please invite friends, students who are working on community service assignments, and anyone else

interested in maintaining our portion of God's creation. If you have any questions or are interested in join-

ing us, please contact Susan H Grant at: adonaldgrant73@gmail.com or 231 580-1149


Immanuel Lutheran Church August 31, 2021

Gunder Myran

Vision Committee Report—August 2021 The Vision Committee met on Sunday, August 22 to discuss the following topics:

Pastoral leadership decisions based on the resignation of Pastor Ferra: The Vision Committee recommended to the Church Council that options for replacing Pastor Ferra be discussed with Bishop Satterlee. In the meantime, Lee Wolken is arranging for supply pastors. The Pastoral Leadership Circle can play an expanded pastoral leadership role during this transition period.

Exploration of partnerships with other churches: The Vision Committee recommended to the Church Council that a congregational conversation be held in September to discuss options for partnerships with other

churches prior to a Church Council Zoom conversation with Bishop Satterlee. To be discussed at the congre- gational conversation are the following questions:

What are the various levels of partnerships—from informal shared programs initiated by members to formal agreements approved by Bishop Satterlee?

Why do we want or need partnerships?

What are the pros and cons of partnerships?

What are the partnership possibilities (St. Paul’s, St. Andrews, United Church, etc.)?

Lee Wolken discussed plans for the fall stewardship appeal.

Lee Wolken presented the financial status and outlook (ministry fund OK, building fund falling short.

Monthly mortgage payment reduced by $1000 to the $6500 level based on approval of the Mission Invest- ment Fund of the ELCA. Checking account OK for now.

Social, racial, and gender justice: Book club with United Church (reading biography on John Lewis; on hold is the fellowship hour series on the ELCA social statement).

Tuba Bach Festival at Immanuel starting on September 11 and 12 with the McLain Family Band (Kentucky Bluegrass music) and continuing each Saturday and Sunday through October 16/17. Saturday 4:00 concerts outdoors at Immanuel; Sunday 4:00 concerts at Immanuel but livestreamed (no audience).

Start-up of Immanuel Vision 2025: on hold until in-home small group meetings are considered safe. Several

planning resources for “relaunching church” and “thriving beyond COVID” are available.


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