A Holy Season message from the Texas District President, Rev. Michael Newman

Receiving and Giving

Dear Colleague in Ministry,

Have you heard that a new movie version of the "Grinch" was released this month? Maybe you've already seen the most recent iteration of Dr. Seuss's classic tale. I shouldn't be surprised, but isn't it amazing how the Grinch keeps coming back? More than fifty years after the original Grinch tried to steal the joy from Whoville, he's up to his old tricks again today.

What "Grinch" is trying to invade your holidays this year? Grumpy people? An overwhelming schedule? Money problems? Fatigue? Health issues? A broken relationship? Habits that fill you with guilt and sabotage your life? Grief and loss?

As you approach the busy days of this holy season, please take heart. John the Baptist made a declaration to every Grinch that would try to wrest hope from us-from within or from the outside. He quoted Isaiah's Grinch-repelling proclamation: "Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God." Luke 3:5-6

I don't know about you, but I sure need the valleys of life filled in, the mountains of challenge made low, the twisted pathways of the world straightened out, and the rough roads of my fallen existence smoothed over. When the holidays arrive and the "Grinches" become more active, my need for God's salvation becomes crystal clear.

That's the gift you've been given in Jesus. As the holidays bring big challenges, you're given a greater Savior who meets you where you're at and steps into your life with His grace. This Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas, hear it, see it and taste it. Because of Jesus' life, death and resurrection, Grinches have no chance against you because your Savior holds on to you.

This is the grace you receive and this is the grace you give. Yes, you're in ministry because you are bringing the message of relief and rescue to people who may know only low valleys, intimidating mountains, crooked pathways and very rough roads. Share the gift, dear brothers and sisters in ministry. The Grinch may keep coming back, but in these holy days, you share the eternal treasure of God's grace and love in Jesus Christ. It is what our Grinch-laden world needs to hear!

May the strength, joy, and valley-filling grace of Jesus embrace you and flow from you this holiday season!

Yours truly,

Rev. Michael Newman

Grace, mercy and peace be to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!


What a year it has been. It is already November. For some of you the year has dragged by but to me, it doesn’t seem that long ago that I was buying Christmas lights on clearance.

With the close of October, we are beginning the festival part of the Church Year. We celebrated the 501st Anniversary of the Reformation last Sunday and this coming Sunday we will be observing All Saints’ Day.

Towards the end of the month we will be celebrating Thanksgiving and then things will really begin picking up speed. We will be gathering together as a Church Family on Thanksgiving Eve, November 21st at 7 p.m. to celebrate Thanksgiving for the many blessings that God has bestowed upon us on this earth and most importantly, giving thanks for the sacrifice of His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. The theme for our Thanksgiving Eve service is “Let All Creation Join to Praise”. We will have readings and reflections from each day of creation, giving thanks as we do so. We will also celebrate Holy Communion during the service, again, giving thanks for the forgiveness found in Christ. I encourage everyone to attend. I know it is a busy day before Thanksgiving. There may be family coming in, or maybe you are preparing to go and visit family. There may be food to prepare, however, the Lord’s Table has been set and Jesus has already prepared His feast of forgiveness for you. I am planning on having a children’s message during the service so bring your children too. What better way to begin to teach them about giving thanks than in God’s House as we give thanks to Him.

After we all recover from Thanksgiving, there are plans for our Sunday School leaders to host a Black Friday babysitting event. Keep an eye on your Sunday bulletins as well as elsewhere in this newsletter for more details. There will be many opportunities to help out on Black Friday so if you are interested in helping out, you don’t have to wait, speak to Kristin or Jeannine and they will find you a volunteer opportunity.

There are lots of other things and activities in store for our Sunday School children. As the plans are finalized the information will be coming out in future bulletins and newsletters.

For a bit of long-range planning, start looking ahead to Advent, beginning the first Sunday in December. Our Advent Theme this year will be based on the hymn “What Child is This”.

Concordia Publishing describes this series in this way:

What Child Is This? The angel answers the question this way in the presence of the shepherds: “a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). The hymn writer answers it this way: “This, this is Christ the king” (LSB 370:1). They both want to leave us with no doubt regarding the identity of this Child.

Every component of this series reflects on the Scriptures and the beloved hymn to proclaim the story of the little human Child who is also fully God, who took on human flesh so that “Nails, spear shall pierce Him through, The cross be borne for me, for you” (st. 2). He is the Lord in human flesh, our Savior, the joyous answer to the question What Child Is This?

The Sunday School has also decided to follow the same theme based around the same hymn. Concordia describes the Children’s service in this way:

Each stanza in the well-loved hymn, "What Child Is This?" addresses important people in the nativity account: Mary, angels, shepherds, Wise Men, and even us. But the main focus is on the Child sleeping on Mary's lap. In this Christmas service of all ages, children point to the Bible for the answer, "This is Christ the King, Whom shepherds guard and angels sing."

Although the festival part of the Church year can be stressful and very busy, it is a wonderful time of the year. The secular world is celebrating with “tidings of comfort and joy” and this gives us a wonderful opportunity to share with them the reasons for that joy and the ultimate reason that we can have comfort. Not only in our lives on earth, but in Christ, our lives into eternity!


   January 2019   
Upcoming Events


Women's Bible Study
6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Bible Study open to all women. We are currently studying a book by Max Lucado. Books are available but are not required to participate in the study.


Youth Confirmation Class
For 5th grader and above. This is a two year program if study that leads to full membership in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Membership is not a requirement, but the student will be eligible if they so choose.
All materials will be provided. We follow the Bowie ISD schedule so if the school is closed for holidays or any other reason we will not hold class.If you have any questions, please call the church office at 940-872-1886.
Choir Practice
6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Come on in and sing a spell! Choir meets in the practice room at the church; everyone is welcome.
Wednesday Night Bible Study
7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Bible Study for all ages. Meets weekly in the Fellowship Hall
Bible Search
Bowie, Texas


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