Reflections from Pastor Mark
Well we have all had a chance to slow down because of CV19. Some of us may see it as a blessing, others more of a curse. It may well be a little bit of both. I have certainly seen an abundance of spiritual growth taking place within our community but that is not to minimize the heartache as well.
If you have not already done this, it might be a great time to start a journal of your feelings and experiences within this pandemic. Questions to consider might be:
How do you see God moving in all of this?
Where do you see compassion, mercy, justice and forgiveness? What are your fears?
What are your hopes?
Funny moments? Tragic moments? Shear boredom moments?
You might want to write a short reflection and give it to Tara as a submission on Facebook. If you haven’t visited our website, please do and become more familiar with who and what we are. You may have a suggestion to add.
In the meantime, we will continue to do zoom worship at 10:30 am throughout May. In addition, we will continue our Wednesday evening at 7:00 pm zoom bible study on the book of Acts throughout June. Finally, I want you to know that from where I stand (or sit) TLC is in great shape! We have a wonderful spirit and willingness to share the peace with each other. Keep praying, keep talking, and by all means keep your masks on when shopping!!
A Note from Your President
Spring is finally here! We made it through the April Snow.
The leadership team is continuing to meet to monthly. Our next meeting is Saturday May 9th via ZOOM. If you have a topic or concern, please reach out to anyone on the leadership
team and we can arrange for you to join. We are already discussing about how to get things back to normal. TLC will continue to follow the government guidelines and gradually ease back into things. As we create our plan, we will share it with the congregation and collect your feedback. Key point is we want what is best for the health of the congregation. Some good things have come out of this, we had one of the largest bible study groups (28 people) a few weeks ago via ZOOM. As we navigate through this, we
Faithfully Sharing God with All People!
Pastor Mark doesn’t have office
hours right now, but he can always
be reached at
will continue to utilize ZOOM as tool to help support meetings, bible study and other worship events. Thank you, Pastor Mark, for purchasing the ZOOM account for the Church! Please take a deep breathe, go for walk, and enjoy the spring weather, and we will see everyone soon either online or face to face!
Worship & Music
Sunday, April 26 was the seventh Sunday without being able to attend Sunday worship services in church due to Covid 19. I miss being in our Sanctuary each Sunday, I miss singing together, hearing the Praise Band, listening to Pastor Mark’s reflections in person. I miss taking communion together at the Altar. I miss all of us being together on Sunday mornings.
The last three Sundays we have had Zoom services. Thank you to Dan Stickel for hosting these services. These services are a good alternative for the time being. We will continue with Zoom until we’re able to return to our church building. At this time, we don’t know when that will be.
To our members who don’t have electronic devices to join us on Zoom, please know you are in our thoughts and prayers. You are not forgotten! I look forward to when we can all be together again. Peace and God’s Blessings,
Greetings from your Spiritual Outreach Committee
During this very real time of slowing down and staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic, I hope we can find some of the joy in a slower pace and staying close to our faith and family. It seems like so many things that are important to us right now are "on hold," and the future looks a little uncertain. But we have so many things to be thankful for, and some level of normalcy will return, although it might look just a little bit different than it did before. Some of those changes will actually be good. It will be fun to begin making new plans, maybe for this fall, with a renewed spirit.
While we're not able to meet, our SOC members are offering their own informal outreach to TLC and beyond. This ministry may be more important than ever as this pandemic runs its course . . . Here is how SOC is still reaching out to others:
Jan Cooley: We are opening our property and trails to anyone at TLC for your own enjoyment and
meditation, or for families to bring kids for nature lessons. Forsythia, daffodils and hellebores (Lenten roses) are blooming and tulips are getting ready to open up. Watch for blossoming trees, redbuds and phlox coming soon, before summer flowers begin their show. Just call or text us at 810-577-9902 to let us know when you’re coming.
Sandy Berra: I’m teaching my daughter’s mother-in-law how to use Zoom so she would be able to
attend our Zoom birthday party for our turning-6 grandson, Olin. I’m also trying to reach out to someone each day, even if it’s just calling a friend who lives alone.
Marlene Leaman: Jim and I have been calling TLC members and other far away friends each day. I
also have sent several cards to our Pathway connections at Wellbridge. I can’t send many more though because these people are dying. We just got another message that one of our last hospice patients has passed.
Doris Malfese: I miss my church family so I have called several to say hello and check to see if they are
well. Each call is a wonderful break from my regular routine. My daughter and I made masks for
neighbors as well as for others who walk by my house. I’m also supporting local restaurants by getting a take-out meal once a week.
Debbie Stickel: I’ve been reaching out to people who live alone, just talking with them. I’ve also been calling family a lot, to keep everyone up-to-date on my mother-in-law’s health, as she has been in the hospital with pneumonia.
Sally Rummel: I sent out cards for Easter to people I thought might appreciate being remembered. I’ve
been calling TLC members to keep in touch. Mark and I are making an effort to support our local businesses: think small, not big, when it comes to buying what you need. Amazon doesn’t need our business nearly as much as our local businesses do!
Madeline Smith: I send cards and notes to people I visit regularly at Fenton Health Care; several
answered my notes, and I am glad to hear they are ok. We’re doing a fairly good job of keeping in touch with TLC members, and they have with us, too.
Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 10. Whether or not you’ll be able to visit your mom on this special day, she’ll likely be close at heart. Here’s what several TLC members had to say when asked, “What’s the best advice your mom ever gave you?”
Jerry Fagerman: When I was debating what to study in college and considered a career in
conservation, my mom told me that being outdoors and hunting was my hobby and that I might want to consider another career so I still could enjoy my recreational time outside. I became an engineer, and she was totally right.
Marlene Fagerman: My mom always taught me to treat others by the Golden Rule, and also to “clean
my plate, because children are starving in China!”
Debbie Stickel: My mom always advised me not to marry a minister, because his work would become my work, too. I grew up as a preacher’s daughter, and obviously, I didn’t marry a preacher!
Bill Thurston: My mom always taught me to be courteous and respectful to people.
Lennie Thurston: I don’t remember actual words of advice from my mom, but I knew I always had her support in everything I did.
Jenny Clapp: “This too shall pass.”
Tessa Stickel: My “grammie,” who passed away in February, and I would sit on the front lawn for hours
on Sunday afternoons, looking for four leaf clovers. We’d put them in-between tissue and sneak them into big, thick books on the shelf to press. One day I asked her why we spent so much time looking for four leaf clovers, she said, “Because we have the time. Today we have time to lay in the grass and look for luck, but one day we will NEED luck and it will already be pressed and waiting for us.” I think about this a lot . . . I’m going to laminate some and send them to family members since we weren’t able to have a service for her.
Member Spotlight on Goldie Kettelson: How does HER garden grow?
Goldie Kettelson is well known at TLC for her gardening talents and generosity in
sharing her garden bounty – from plants to produce. Our TLC rummage sale wouldn’t be
the same without the many houseplants Goldie brings to the event by the vanload. One
recipient of Goldie’s Christmas cactuses, Kristy (Thurston) Weimer, has nicknamed her
plants “Goldilocks,” in recognition of Goldie’s green thumb. All these things wouldn’t be
possible without the help of Goldie’s son, Paul, who helps his mom with home and
garden chores when he’s not at his job at Creative Foam in Fenton. He’s now working 10
to 12 hours every day as the company transitioned to making plastic face shields for
front-line health care workers in the fight against COVID-19.
Goldie is also the first person you see when you walk through the doors at TLC.
She’s been the main greeter for years, bringing a smile to the faces of members and
visitors. We’re hoping to see Goldie soon at the doors of TLC, once this quarantine is
If you have someone you would like people to pray for, please email me at email@example.com. I will make a prayer list to include in my weekly email. I am going to try to get my weekly email out on Tuesday, just trying to maintain some normalcy. Besides, if you get my email on Tuesdays, you will know what day of the week it is.
Let’s pray for: Family of Mary Jo DelVero friends of Wilsons Joy Campbell and family Wilsons
Christine Marchak Thurstons
Please add more:
God, our peace and our strength, we pray for our nation and the world as we face new uncertainties around coronavirus. Protect the most vulnerable among us, especially all who are currently sick or in isolation. Grant wisdom, patience, and clarity to health care workers, especially as their work caring for others puts them at great risk. Guide us as we consider how best to prepare and respond in our families, congregations, workplaces, and communities. Give us courage to face these days not with fear but with compassion, concern, and acts of service, trusting that you abide with us always, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A note from Tessa:
I hope this message finds you well. It has been a real joy seeing your faces each Sunday for worship! I have been brainstorming ways to keep our church family close when we can’t be together, and I have an idea:
Would you be interested in having correspondence with a youth member of our congregation? Nothing elaborate needed- just a note in the mail to check in and have a conversation every so often.
If this is something you would like to do, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will provide you with the name and address of one of our youth members who is interested in participating. If you need help getting stamps or envelopes, please let me know and I will bring them to you.
I hope to hear from you soon!
Tessa Stickel 810-444-3258
Larry and Colleen Woodruff May 3, 2003 Ivan and Rosie Quinn May 13, 1989 Jim and Laurie Schwerin May 16, 1987 Mike and Jenny Clapp May 19, 1979 Neil and Jennifer Fry May 24, 2013
by Val Blanchett
Do you remember losing your baby teeth as a child? Do you remember when they fell out, they left a big, adorable gap in your smile? What we didn’t see was the tooth that was already motion underneath the gum that caused the baby tooth to fall out. That lost tooth was not an event unto itself, but the result of the new thing already that had already begun before we could perceive it.
I attended a Celebration of Life event (funeral) over Facebook live this week. Given the global health situation, it seems right to share that this was not a coronavirus-related death. Rather, someone from the healing community I have been a part of passed after many years of bravely battling a barrage of health issues. I met Bill through his lovely wife, Connie. Connie was one of the first people to guide me in healing from complex chronic illness. In addition to her wealth of health-related knowledge, Connie has served passionately as a prayer warrior for others and when she and Bill joined forces 8 years ago, they became a powerful praying duo, hosting prayer conference calls and being a strong support for others in need. Connie shared a video of Bill speaking just recently about everything that was going on in the world and our place in it. As usual, he was able to see it all from a higher perspective and offer comfort: “What can we do? What should we do? Should we look down in our hands and say I can’t do anything because there’s nothing there. Or, should we look up to Our Father so we seek out His hands, and ask to be pulled up…’”
Complex grief can make us feel helpless and lost, like staring into an empty space – aware of what is gone, unsure of what’s to come. Like systemic disease of the body, the systemic disarray of our world in this unique time becomes impossible to grapple with, not to mention the loss of loved ones many are
coping with at this time. As we face the in-between space, I think of Bill’s words and his faith about where to look – not backward
or forward, but up. As it is tempting to be grieved over the divisions among people, I also think about the huge amount of people turning their hearts and minds towards love, the reordering of our priorities, the rapid community organizing and caring about one another (regardless of our unique perspectives) many times over and without a government mandating or organizing it. At a time when hope might be challenged, this is very real hope for humanity and much more than the media or our own fears have shown us…perhaps ever.
So, in the space of massive change, where we are being inundated with more questions than answers, we can choose to ask some of our own: What do we trust is flowing from our Father’s hands? What is already in motion under the surface, which is not yet visible? What are we really witnessing as His Holy Spirit works through people in profound ways? What does this Easter season intend for us to know about grief and transformation? When our own hands feel too empty to match these times, we still have a God who is the ultimate Creator, and Who is always creating.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Marlene and Jerry Fagerman’s granddaughter is Rachel Fagerman. She is the daughter of our son Todd and daughter in law Gina. She graduated from Plymouth/Canton high school. She played soccer and was a member of the National Honor Society, and SJ5K club. Her plans are to go to Michigan State and study engineering like her dad and Papa Jerry. She is handling all the senior year disappointments like a trouper. We love this girl so much. We wish her well as she heads to college. GO GREEN!
I would like to thank Mark and Sally Rummel for all their contributions to this newsletter. I am hoping that this helps us stay connected.
Pam Gulliver May 1 Nicole Campbell May 6 Bill Thurston May 9 Karen Heinecke May 19 Rosie Quinn May 19 Eric Reickel May 26
A publication of:
Transfiguration Lutheran Church
of the SE Michigan Synod of the ELCA 14176 Fenton Road, Fenton, MI 48430
810-629-7332 • email@example.com
Rev. Dr. Mark Fisher, Pastor Rob Blanchard, Council President Laura Blanchard, Director of Music Ministry
Jenny Clapp, Secretary
Transfiguration Lutheran Church 14176 Fenton Road
Fenton, MI 48430