September 19, 2023
For the next couple of weeks, Connie and I will be
traveling with my brother and his wife on a cruise
of Ireland and Scotland leaving and returning to
We fly out on Thursday, so this will be the last message for a couple of weeks. Also, I will not
be able to receive phone calls, but I can receive texts.
There are a lot more studies of Happiness in our time. When I was studying psychology in
college there was a lot more emphasis on pathology. I like the newer emphasis. How can we
make life better? Rather than how do we define your pathos?
Jesus called us into an abundant life. He is clear that life is not without its suffering or sadness.
However, he shows us that even in suffering we can know joy.
Hebrews 12:2 says: For the joy set before him, he endured the cross.
Jesus found joy in two important places.
One is taking Time Off. Jesus took time to reflect at the beginning of his ministry. He spent 40
days in the desert. He took three hours in the garden of Gethsemane at the end of his earthly
ministry to catch his breath and pray. The cross was looming. His sacrifice would bring hope to
the world. On the other side of the pain would be paradise. Jesus took time at every important
juncture to pray. Jesus needed time away and so do we. I find that the Good Book and other
books aid me in my time of mindfulness and downtime.
The other source of deep and lasting joy is Purposefulness. Connie will tell you that I am not
the best at downtime. The German protestant ethic runs deep in me. A recent study suggested
that Germans would profit from an afternoon nap. I am not sure that will catch on in Germany,
but I have learned to appreciate them on occasion.
Normally, I like to have something on my plate, which brings us to another source of happiness
for Jesus and for us: having a sense of purpose. Jesus found fulfillment in healing, reaching out
to those on the periphery with Good News. In the same way, my ministry with you is good for
my soul. Together we are receiving and expressing the love of God to Yucaipa and beyond.
I have mentioned the many ways we reach out to the world. Through the pantry, the quilting,
the preschool, NA groups, and gifts to the Synod, Lutheran World Relief, Habitat for Humanity,
Lutheran Retreats, Camps and Conferences, CCLM. Our members find purpose and joy in these
We had a nice group from Faith up at the camp on September 10 at the dedication of the
Camp Director’s home. Tim and George were a huge part of the design. Sitting with Pat,
Courtney with Krissy, Tim, and Lynda behind us it was wonderful to see the fulfillment of a
dream and the continuation of lives being touched by the camp. Courtney, Russell, Preston,
Lucas, and Julian attended this year, with Trinity’s support. There is Joy in the Purpose of
bringing the Hope and Love of Jesus to a new generation. Glen will be with us this Sunday.
For a few weeks now I have mentioned the Gala coming up for Central City Lutheran Mission.
So far nine of us are going. The Gala, together with our summer’s gifts and matching brings the
total to CCLM this year to $5,300. We love supporting the good work done for homeless men.
Want to join us? There is still time. Let me know.
I thought of our ministry of music as a way of combining time away from the “normal” with
the purpose of filling the world with harmony. Martin Luther said:
“I have no use for cranks who despise music because it is a gift of God. Music drives
away the Devil and makes people joyful; they forget thereby all wrath, unchastity,
arrogance, and the like. Next to theology, I give music the highest place and the greatest
My mother would agree. She had a wonderful voice and traveled the state of South Dakota
singing with the Augustana Choir, both in High School and College. She shared her love of
music with her children, grandchildren, and children in a variety of churches. She thought of
heaven as the place where music never ends. She wondered at the end, if you do not like
music what will you do?
Last Sunday our choir sang for the first time in a while with a septet: Bonnie, Connie, Courtney,
Elisha, Rachael, me and Irm. Irm is such a great director. She also is hoping to start bells soon
on Thursday nights. Let her know if you are interested in either group. Irm has directed and
accompanied music her entire life. She has not missed a Sunday since I have been here. Her
ministry is music. What does she do for “time away”? Interestingly in her downtime, Irm loves
to garden and raise butterflies.
As Connie and I sail away for a bit, we wish you a bon voyage on your life’s journey, may it be
filled with the happiness that comes from Time Away and Purpose. The Music of Life.
Prayer: Lord, help our lives be a song which echoes the creative hum behind the universe.
May our downtime and our purposeful efforts follow the abundant life of your son’s journey.
Grace and Peace,
Pastor John
Choir – We had a nice start to our choir. Join us for practice at 9:00 a.m. ahead of worship.
Bells – We meet on Thursday nights. Let Irm know about your interest.
Adult Class – We are hoping to offer a weekly adult class this fall. Interested? Let Pastor John
know at Several have responded. Steve Cady will be leading the first
Central City Lutheran Mission – We are now at $5,300 with a matching grant including the
Gala. There is still room at our table. The LSS Gala at the Mission Inn in Riverside, on Oct 7 starts
@ 5 pm. So far, the Bunges, Cadys, Guevaras, Jacque Kottmeier, Elaine Risso, and Barbara
Kuerzinger will be joining our table. Interested in joining us? Let Pastor John know at Cost: $175/person.
Next Pantry – September 23. Good News with the help of a Thrivent Action Team Joe and
Carol purchased a new refrigerator for the Pantry. The old power-eater freezer will be
replaced. $350 came in and a Thrivent matching grant added $500.
WELCA – Women’s Bible Study will be on Saturday, October 7 at 9:30 a.m. Join us in the Fireside
LAUREN SCHAFER our Office Assistant’s hours this week. 12:30-3:00 M – Th. She and her
husband, Gregg will be on vacation to Pennsylvania celebrating his mother’s 80th birthday.
The pastor will be out of the office until October 6. You can reach him by text (no calls) available
during that time.
QUILTING – Each Tuesday beginning at 9 a.m. 15 quilts were presented to CCLM’s homeless
men they are working on more.
Confirmation Classes Resume October 8, 15, 22, and 29 and November 6. Confirmation service
for Elisha and Russell will November 12. Bishop Nagler will be with us.
Diane Watson and her husband Bud shared a 68th anniversary.
Thanks again to their neighbors, the Guevara’s, for hosting the Luau.
FELLOWSHIP: Our Fall Focus on Faith Family
THIS SUNDAY, Sept. 24 – POTLUCK – Last Names ending in A-J
If your last name ends in A-J, this is your Sunday to treat the congregation.
Here’s the list: Main Dish (in crock pot) (plan to feed appx 20-30 people)
Side Dish
Please let Karen Hall know if you will be bringing a dish – 909.725.6189 Cell or text
Oct. 1 – GAME DAY – Bunco & Tacos. Jennifer will be leading the game, with prizes.
Will be Fun! Plan to stick around & play. Treats 11:00 Game around 11:30
Oct. 8 – WELCA
Oct. 22 – CHILI COOK-OFF plan to enter your favorite chili – Sign up will be in Fireside Room
on Oct 8.
Oct. 29 – Reformation the Birthday of the Lutheran Church wear red. We will also be
celebrating a Very Merry Unbirthday for July – December birthdays.
• Jan Wheeler will be hospitalized for overnight surgery at Redlands Community on September
29th. There is a 3-6 week recovery. She urges all women over 80 to have a mammogram.
• erwin appreciates our continued prayer for Lynda.
• Kyle and Dana would appreciate prayers for their son, Kevin’s, Mother-in-Law, Lisa, suffering
from cancer.
• The Koenig Family – Jeanne who is undergoing diagnosis and treatments for complications
from accumulating spinal fluid which is affecting her eyesight, speech, and motor skills. She is
also in considerable pain from the swelling in her head. Joe is awaiting kidney surgery, which
will be on October 16. Daughter, Jessica’s leukemia is being managed, but leaves her tired. We
are also praying for Lucas.
• Cesar and Kim would also appreciate prayers for their sons, Tim and Kyle. Cesar’s Sister Maria
also had a lump removed from her neck and the biopsy came back non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
She starts radiation soon.
• The Sheas would appreciate prayers for Rebecca and Chris Herandez in need of housing for
themselves and the twins.
• The Cady’s would appreciate prayers for their daughter’s friend, Brooke, who suffered a stroke
and is still unresponsive.
• Continued Godly journey for Brendan Simms, son of Bonnie Strack.