April 7, 2021 (Second Year of the Pandemic, Week 5) Sisters and Brothers in Christ: Holy Week has come and gone, but has ushered us into the season of Easter, where we intentionally reflect on the resurrection and its significance for us and for the world. We celebrate the resurrection and how it has blessed us in ways we can scarcely elucidate. Because of what God has done in our service, we have been set free to serve! Here at Incarnation we are blessed in so very many ways.
1) Because of the steadfast dedication and commitment of our staff and corps of volunteers, we have been able to provide you with opportunities for worship and spiritual growth, despite a global pandemic. If anyone goes to our website (https://www.godamong.us), you can find links to Bible studies, Bible readings, devotions, worship services, sermons, etc., etc., all of which have been amassed there to spiritually nurture God’s children at a time when we can’t be together or come together in one location physically. But virtually, we have remained together! This is definitely a blessing, for which we are constantly thankful.
2) Last year, we were approved for a grant from the government of California to help us bolster our security on campus. The process of completing the final steps for that award is nearly at an end, and we look forward to those safety enhancements. Another blessing!
3) Through your generosity, and as recipients of a PPP grant last year, we have managed to sustain ministry and see some growth in souls touched. We intend to maintain our virtual presence moving forward, and hope to see that growth translate into in person participation. Either way, we are really blessed!
4) We have recently made application to our synod for a matching fund grant, to help us to set up a quality recording studio. That grant is up to a maximum of $5,000, and to date we’ve already received commitments from wonderfully generous members of $10,000. This is a blessing that will impact us in positive ways for years to come!
5) In recent months, we’ve been speaking about the possibility of becoming an “Anchor Church,” where we would enter into a partnership with a congregation in need, in order to help them re-vitalize as a congregation, and to deepen our commitment as a congregation in mission, (thereby revitalizing ourselves!). We have now entered into a conversation with a congregation that may well benefit from such a partnership, as would we. This represents an exciting possibility for both congregations, and is yet again, another sign of the extent to which we are blessed.
6) Prior to the pandemic, our congregation was in the throes of planning a trip to Oberammergau in Germany for the Passion play held every ten years since the Middle Ages. The pandemic cancelled that event, but the people of Oberammergau have rescheduled all of their performances for 2022. Our trip is back on, and details will be forthcoming! It will be a ten day guided tour of “Luther Land”, as well as the attendance at the Passion Play itself. The tentative dates are August 28, 2022 to September 6, 2022 at of cost of approximately $4500 per person, including airfare. Please watch for more details to come.
7) With the availability of vaccines, we are looking forward to scheduling some of the mission trips we’ve put off because of the pandemic. We have a bunch of young women and girls (11 to 18) who are living on the street and needing our support in Cameroon. We have an excellent working relationship with the Fr. Alfonso and the sisters (Mariu, Elisabeth, Adeline, and Maritza) at the Foyer de L’Esperance, but they need our help to help these young people. We look forward to serving in the best ways we can.
8) At the very end of our Easter worship service, our Church Council President , Dr. Brent Brown, shared with us the Council’s plans to begin the process of partial re-opening, beginning on May 30. That’s not far away, and it means that we can look forward to many of summertime and fall activities that we missed last year, in the coming weeks and months. These activities include social interaction to be sure, but as importantly, opportunities to be in service. And that, my friends, is exciting!
Truly brothers and sisters, we are blessed with opportunities and privileges! Give thanks to God for all that God has done for us! We are called to serve God through the service we offer to God’s children here and around the world. We have been blessed to be a blessing!
And remember, as always, we’re here for you! You are in our prayers continually, and we want to help. Please call us if you ever have need!
Grace and peace,
Coffee Before Worship
Before worship, around 9 am, join us for coffee/donut fellowship time (BYOC/D) on Zoom. We look forward to welcoming everyone in our community. Please think about joining in and saying hi to your brothers and sisters. That gathering can be found here:
Thank you for your donation. We appreciate your generosity!
A Message from Dr. Brent Brown
Our Council President would like to stress,
"Please look into getting the vaccine as soon as possible if safe for you to do so. The faster we all get vaccines safely the faster we can have more people in church."
National Brain Tumor Society
Every year, our family is comitted to raising money and awareness for the National Brain Tumor Society in memory of our daughter, Lauren. Lauren passed away almost six years ago after an eight month battle with brain cancer, and I think about how precious life is as I miss her sassy personality everyday. Please help us help those who are affflicted with this deadly disease. This year, you can take part in our virtual walk anywhere in the country! So please join us on this special day when we remember Lauren and support all those who are fighting this illness. Thank you for your support and please consider tuning in as we honor this community on May 2nd. For more information on the National Brain Tumor Society, visit www.braintumor.org.
Incarnation Lutheran remains committed to supporting this wonderful cause, and we ask you to prayerfully consider joining us!
The Stephen Leadership Team would like everyone to know a new class of Stephen Ministers is in the midst of their 50-hour training requirement at Incarnation that will come to completion in June. Please continue to pray for our Stephen Leader and Stephen Minister trainees.
This week, our Stephen Ministers will be studying Telecare. While most of their caregiving will take place in person, occasionally Stephen Ministers may also care for people over the telephone. In this session, our Stephen Minister trainees learn when using the phone is appropriate and how to provide care most effectively over the phone.
Also, please remember if you are going through a particularly difficult period and would like to pursue the idea of meeting with a Stephen Minister on a regular basis, please call Deacon Mindy or one of the Pastors, as we currently have Stephen Ministers available.
Project Mercy/Mexico House Build Mission
Our next house build for a Mexican family is scheduled for Saturday, April 24th. Due to Covid-19 and related border restrictions, we will do this build in Chula Vista again. We will assemble and paint the home components and Project Mercy personnel will deliver to Mexico and assemble. For this build, we are partnering with Spirit of Joy Lutheran of Ramona to build 2 houses!
Thank you very much to those of you who have already donated! At this time, we have reached our goal, but you could contribute for future house build projects by using the church PayPal link, or send a check to the church. Please remember to mark your donation with "Project Mercy".
Food and household donations: Since many of you like to donate items to the family, we've created an online wish list of things that are good to donate. Please look at the list and sign-up for any items you would like to purchase and donate. Please share this link too: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040a4aa9ad28ab9-mexico
Below is the bio for the family we are building a home for. We are building for the Astudillo Herrera family; a widowed mother and two sons aged 12 and 9. One of the boys suffers from epilepsy. We've also attached the bio for the family that Spirit of Joy volunteers will be building for.
Diapers needed! Interfaith is out of size 5 & 6 diapers, both very popular sizes. Also dog and cat food. If you are able please add these items to your shopping list and drop off at our usual times on Sat, Tues, or Fri between 9 and 11. If you have a person in your household that likes a project, bagging the dog or cat food into smaller sizes is greatly appreciated, 10cups in a 1 gallon bag is about right. Thank you so much for your constant generosity!
Food Drop off for Interfaith Community Services Every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday between 9:00 and 11:00 in the morning, volunteers are in the parking lot to move groceries and take all the donations to ICS.