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10285 Ravenna Road – Twinsburg Ohio 44087

FROM THE SENIOR PASTOR – JUNE 2014

Greetings in the name of the risen Christ! I am thankful for your prayers on behalf of the voting members who attended this year’s synod assembly. The theme of our assembly was “God’s Work, our Hands. Always Being Made New.” One of the highlights for me was the numerous times that the whole assembly gathered in worship and in prayer. It brought joy to my heart to be asked to help lead the closing prayer worship on Friday night of the assembly by singing in a quartet. The sheer act of lifting our voices in praise to God was memorable enough, but the process of electing our next synodical bishop will remain with me for a long time to come. I have included the press release detailing the election of Rev. Abraham Allende as our new bishop in the NEOS synod. [See page 5.] What the article cannot convey is the work of the Holy Spirit in the entire election process. As the election proceeded through numerous ballots, the candidates for the office of bishop were Spirit filled in their comments and presence in front of the assembly. God’s Hand was evident not only in the pastor who was elected, but in every candidate who was willing to stand for election to the office of bishop. Bishop Allende will serve our synod well, and I am grateful for my friendship with him. I ask you to keep Bishop Allende in prayer, the people of Church of the Covenant in Maple Heights as Rev. Allende leaves them to begin his call as our synodical bishop on September 1st, and the entire synod staff as they make the transition as well.

Throughout the course of the assembly, all of us were reminded of who we were as a part of the Body of Christ. The assembly was instructed to repeat four phrases which define us. These are: we are church, we are Lutheran, we are church together, and we are church for the sake of the world. I invite you to check out the video concerning these phrases on the ELCA website or on YouTube with the heading “we are church together ELCA 2014”. The work of building up God’s kingdom through the various ministries and mission work of the ELCA was also a highlight for me. Christ the King is a part of this vital work, and God is calling all of us to use our gifts in mission and ministry. The sense of call was evident in our assembly, that all of us are called to carry our cross and follow Jesus in becoming a disciple of Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit.

There are some important events coming up in June. On June 1st, Christ the King will hold a farewell meal and reception for Frank Schenck. Frank has meant so much to so many of us that it is difficult to say goodbye, but Frank is being called by God to serve as a spiritual director in our synod. At 11:15 on June 1st, the meal and reception will commence. Please plan to attend to show your appreciation for Frank’s faithful, spiritual, and grace-filled leadership and presence at CtK.

On June 8th, the affirmation of Baptism will occur during the 10:00 service through the rite of confirmation for Alaina Reyes, and Jason Stahlman. A reception will be held in the narthex after the service as they embark on the next stage of their faith journeys.

On June 29th, one service will be held this weekend for the theme of Bring a Friend to Church Sunday at 9:30. Plan on staying for a meal, fellowship, and music. From 3 – 7 the event called Bring It On will occur in the narthex with line dancing being offered. A big day indeed for CtK!

Beginning on June 29th, one service will be held on Sundays at 9:30 am through August 31st. On Rally Day, September 7th, Sunday worship services will return to the regular 8:30 and 11:00 times. The Church Council has approved this worship change during the months of July and August after receiving a proposal from the worship and music ministry team. Saturday night worship at 5:30 will continue to be held throughout the summer except on these dates : June 28th, July 19th, and August 23rd, per a previous council decision to have services once a month all together through the one worship service format. Having worship together on Sunday mornings throughout the months of July and August will be an opportunity to build community and experience different styles of worship along the way. I am excited for this opportunity to worship together while at the same time knowing that change can be difficult, and can raise the anxiety level of CtK. Come and see what God has in store for you, and for all of us here at CtK as we shine the light of Jesus, reflect his unconditional love, and mirror his kindness to all people.

Living in God’s amazing grace,
Pastor Matthew Groenke

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