Posted by & filed under The View from Zion's Window.

New Life

2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

The New Year is upon us again, and like many of us, I begin to think about the changes that I want to make in my life that will make me a better person. I want to lose weight and exercise more, read more books, spend more time with family and friends and grow in my faith and love of Christ. I would also like to shake off the Rasmussen gene of procrastination, and stop putting things off to the last minute.

These goals I have for my life will hopefully make me a better and more effective pastor. And yet, often, as time does, the New Year begins and my hopes and goals often aren’t accomplished as I have planned. I don’t always see the results that I dreamed of.

But I hope when we think of our lives in Christ, that we see ourselves as we truly are. We are baptized into the body of Christ. We are a NEW creation; this is not a work in progress but a statement, a promise from God’s Word. He has marked us as one who is redeemed. HIS work in our lives, every day of every year, is one in which He is reminding us of HIS work which He accomplished for us on the cross. It was finished, our salvation was complete. We die to ourselves and our sinful nature each day. We rise new, whole and beautiful works of God. The “old” has passed away.

Forgiveness and grace are the heart of the new creation we live in, and we give it to those around us. And that is what makes our lives so special. I often have been asked to use 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 as a text for weddings. But I think it’s even more important as brothers and sisters in Christ, to live out in their daily lives.

4 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of
wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”

Living a new life in Christ, every single day of the year, is an amazing way to live in the promises of God.

Happy New Year and God Bless,
Pastor Christian Rasmussen

Posted by & filed under Stewardship.

Have you ever noticed how children emulate their parents? Children watch their parents and they do what they see them doing. This is how they learn to speak. They watch the shape and form of their parents’ mouths and they try to make the same shape so that they can make the same sounds.

But children copy their parents even on a more mundane level. They watch how their parents cross their legs, how they fold their hands, how they stand and sit and walk, how they do and say most everything: and children try to copy it. This can be quite humorous when caught in the act. They do this even when parents don’t want them to. Everyone has been in the uncomfortable, and sometimes rather embarrassing, situation where a child does or says what one of their parent’s have done or said…something that is not too flattering! Sitcoms thrive on this sort of thing. And it only works because of the truth that children emulate their parents. And they do it because they want to be like them.

We are the children of God by grace, through faith. In Holy Baptism, God the Father declares of us what He declared of Jesus at His Baptism in the Jordan, “You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” God the Father claims us as His own. He takes away all our sins, and in exchange He gives us His righteousness, His purity, His holiness, and His Spirit, by which we cry out, “Abba, Father.” We are born again, born from above, born of water and the Spirit, to a new life in Christ as His children. We are sons of God in Christ, through Baptism. And since we are sons, we are heirs; heirs who share in the glory of the Son of God. The inheritance is ours because of the Father’s grace and mercy, because of His generosity in sending His Son in time to save us for all eternity.

stewardshipAnd this is why we give generously of our income to the work of the church. Through the working of the Holy Spirit, we are enabled to lead holy lives. We are strengthened to emulate the generosity of our heavenly Father by being generous ourselves. We give to the work of the church because we have witnessed the generous giving of our Father in heaven. More than that, we are recipients of it. It is because we have received God our Father’s gifts that we desire to give ourselves. And His gifts are not just spiritual. They are temporal and earthly as well. As the Small Catechism teaches in the Fourth Petition of the Lord’s Prayer:

“Give us this day our daily bread. What does this mean? God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayers, even to all evil people, but we pray in this petition that God would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving. What is meant by daily bread? Daily bread includes everything that has to do with the support and needs of the body, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, land, animals, money, goods, a devout husband or wife, devout children, devout workers, devout and faithful rulers, good government,
good weather, peace, health, self-control, good reputation, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.”

In other words, he gives us everything that we need for the care of both body and soul. His generosity knows no bounds.

Therefore we sit down at the beginning of the year, the beginning of the month, or the beginning of the week, and set aside a generous portion of God’s daily bread for His work in the church. Not because He has commanded us so to do. But rather because we, as His children by grace, want to emulate His generosity in our own lives. He is our Father; we are His children. And children want to be like their parents.

Posted by & filed under The View from Zion's Window.

For All The Saints Who From Their Labors Rest

All Saint's DayAll Saints Sunday is a time to ring the bells as we remember each person at Zion who was called home to be with Christ. It’s a difficult time for those who have recently lost one they love. But it’s a time of hope and joy to know and hear the promises fulfilled by Christ. Sinners are released from their bonds of sin. They now see their Lord face to face and He gives them the robe of HIS righteousness.

Life is a precious gift given to us by God! We do not choose when or where to be born and yet we live each day with a hope for a better tomorrow. For the baptized, we also live in the flesh, but we have a hope that is promised to us by the work of the Holy Spirit. Christ calls us by name and places His precious name upon us. By grace you have been saved. While we don’t ring a bell for the newly baptized saints in Christ we do want to remember the Work of God to bring new spiritual lives to the body of Christ here at Zion. So we will remember all those baptized from last All Saints Day to this one.

Baptism is where the promise of God’s work begins in the life of the saint. We take pictures and celebrate the new life the child has in Christ. Funerals are a very different setting. We don’t often take pictures, we don’t wear bright colors, and we mourn the loss of our loved ones. And yet we know that baptism leads us to our hope in Christ even in death.

I was reading some of the places people feel like home on their name tags. On mine I put I felt like home was Scottsdale, Arizona, but I saw one that said Heaven is my home! What a witness that was! Heaven is truly our home, where Christ is and his desire is for us to spend eternity there. It’s where the saints of all ages will be together, baptized, cleansed and holy. So as we celebrate and give thanks for our loved ones being home with the Lord, may we live our lives in the hope of Christ, that others will see the love of Christ and desire to know the hope that we have too.

Pastor Christian Rasmussen

Posted by & filed under ZLC News.

OktoberfestCelebrate Reformation and our Church’s German Heritage

Date: Saturday, October 25th
Time: 6:00pm
Place: ZLC Fellowship Hall/gym

Northern German Food
Sauerbraten (German pot-roast)
Rotkohl (red cabbage with apples)
Brӧtchen (rolls)
Nachtisch (dessert)

Southern German Food
Bratwurst & Sauerkraut
Kartoffel Salat (potato salad)
Brӧtchen (rolls)
Nachtisch (dessert)

Limonade (lemonade) und Kaffee (coffee)

Please note: Tickets must be purchased in advance so that we know how much food to prepare.
Catering by: CJ’s Catering (Dede Haiar)

TICKETS:

  • $15 for adults
  • $10 for Kids 12 and under
  • Tickets will be sold each Saturday and Sunday, starting September 28th, after each service.
  • Tickets will also be available at both the Church and School offices.
  • Tickets will be available until October 21st.
  • To Go Boxes available with purchase of ticket for those who can’t stay for the dinner.

We need Volunteers to help sell tickets, provide desserts and with set up/clean up. Please contact Erika Armistead at 720-685-8635.

If you are interested about learning more about the Reformation Tour of Germany.  Please click here to download the proposal. We are planning on going in June 2017 and will be visiting several Lutheran Heritage Sites and other fun cities in Germany.

Posted by & filed under ZLC News.

Photo DirectoryFinal picture taking opportunity for the Zion Lutheran picture directory: Do you ever see people and wonder what their names are? Have you ever heard an announcement regarding a member and wished you could put a face with a name? Are you a new member and wish you had something to help you put names with faces? Help is on the way! We are producing a new pictorial directory! There is no cost to our church, and each participating family will receive a complimentary 8×10 portrait and directory and have the opportunity to purchase additional portraits to share with family & friends. You may visit our website to schedule your photography appointment. We look forward to seeing you! https://www.securedata-trans14.com/ap/zionlutheranchurch55/index.php?page=10
If you need help with signing up, I will be there on September 20th and 21st, 27th and 28th, October 5th and 12th to sign up persons who have not had their picture yet.

Portrait sessions will be October 14-15, 17-18, and 19, 2014. We will have a table for online signups available after the Saturday night services and between the Sunday services for your convenience. Portrait sessions will run from 1:00 PM through 8:00 PM Tuesday and Wednesday & Friday. Saturday session will be 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Volunteers are needed to help make our new directory a success! Shawna Karl and the Fellowship Board are coordinating volunteers for our new directory. If you are interested in helping during our photography sign-ups, telephoning our members, or serving as a host or hostess during the photography sessions, contact our Fellowship Board: Shawna Karl 303.637.0443, Gretchen Lillich 303.659.3963, Teri Reck, Jean Rathman or Jo McWilliams or the Zion church office 303.659.2339.

If you have additional questions or need assistance, please feel free to contact our Center of Excellence Team. They will be happy to help you between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:00 pm EST. Center of Excellence toll free number: 1-866-756-0281

Business owners, cottage industry owners, private contractors, etc. Do you have a business you want to advertise in the new Church Directory we are compiling with Lifetouch Photos? You now have an opportunity to reach out to your fellow congregation members and let them know of your business. We can place copies of business cards, half-page or full page advertisements in the back of the new Church Directory we are currently assembling. Please contact Shawna Karl at 303.637.0443, 1sweetpea@cheerful.com or ks.toto@cheerful.com Gretchen Lillich-303.659.3963, Teri Reck, Jo McWilliams, or Jean Rathman for more information.

Posted by & filed under ZLC News, ZLC Sunday School.

Sunday schoolSome of you have been wondering when Sunday School will begin this year. We have been exploring a new and exciting program. This program will be interactive and include arts and crafts, science experiments, drama, singing, and even computer time. We will combine all ages from Kindergarten up. Preschoolers will be in a separate class.

The first Sunday will be October 12th. We will also be staffing the program differently this year. For those who want to volunteer but can’t commit to every Sunday, this is the perfect chance for you to get involved. Watch for a Zion email and a full page in the Newsletter for more information about volunteer expectations and student registration.

MEANWHILE IF YOU ARE A PARENT OF SUNDAY SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN, SUNDAY MORNING DAY CARE WILL BE HAPPY TO OCCUPY YOUR CHILD WITH SONGS AND BIBLE STORIES WHILE YOU ATTEND ADULT BIBLE CLASS.

Posted by & filed under ZLC News.

Photo DirectoryDo you ever see people and wonder what their names are? Have you ever heard an announcement regarding a member and wished you could put a face with a name? Are you a new member and wish you had something to help you put names with faces?

Help is on the way! We are producing a new pictorial directory! There is no cost to our church, and each participating family will receive a complimentary 8×10 portrait and directory and have the opportunity to purchase additional portraits to share with family & friends. Watch for weekend sign-ups or click here to schedule your photography appointment. We look forward to seeing you!

Portrait sessions will be July 29-August 2, 2014. We will have a table for online signups available after the Saturday night services and between the Sunday services for your convenience. Portrait sessions will run from 1:00 PM through 8:00 PM Tuesday through Friday. Saturday session will be 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

You do NOT have to be a member to have your photos done during this photo session opportunity. Friends, neighbors, non-member families and our pets, yes pets, are welcome!

Volunteers are needed to help make our new directory a success! Shawna Karl and the Fellowship Board are coordinating volunteers for our new directory. If you are interested in helping during our photography sign-ups, telephoning our members, or serving as a host or hostess during the photography sessions, contact our Fellowship Board: Shawna Karl 303.637.0443, Gretchen Lillich 303.659.3963, Teri Reck 303.655.3022, Jean Rathman 303.732.9385 or Jo McWilliams 303.517.7882 or the Zion church office 303.659.2339.

If you have additional questions or need assistance, please feel free to contact our Center of Excellence Team. They will be happy to help you between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:00 pm EST. Center of Excellence toll free number: 1-866-756-0281

Posted by & filed under ZLC News.

voteSunday, May 4 in the Fellowship Hall at Noon. Lunch will be served.

We are very pleased with the acceptance of Pastor Christians call, however there is still a lot of work to be done. Gala-tians 6:10 “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the house-hold of faith.” Zion will be presenting the annual Mission and Ministry Program (Budget) that will have some challeng-es in it this year. Our faith and love will lead us to fulfill all of the challenges ahead. Leviticus 27:30 “Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord.” Please plan on at-tending as we move into a new and exciting Ministry at Zion, for the first time in three years we have nominee’s for our Board of Stewardship. This is most certainly a sign of good things to come. Our Lord Jesus Christ gave His own life so that we have life to serve him in every way. Acts 20:35 “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Zion’s annual Voter’s Meeting to review and approve our Ministry Plan (i.e. budget) for the coming year is on Sunday May 4 at 12pm. Your Parish Council struggled to develop a budget that balances the needs of our Church and School with our revenue forecast.

Here are some of the Ministry Plan highlights:

  • An anticipated 1.5% decrease in tithing ($8K) revenue
  • Tithing has decreased, on average, 3.5% per year for the past five years.
  • $85K in additional tuition revenue
  • $94K in additional cost for an additional pastoral position. The voters in February 2014 Special Voter’s Meeting, requested an additional pastoral position be placed in the Ministry Plan.
  • A minimum 3% increase in wages for all of our staff
  • Our staff has received only one raise (3%) in the last five years.
  • Additionally, our salaried day school staff is “5 steps” off the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Rocky Mountain District salary schedule. The proposed Ministry Plan provides for a “3 step” increase to begin to make up this gap.
  • A decrease of our Rocky Mountain District contributions from 7.5% to 5% of tithing
  • $6K increased cost associated with providing child care during Church and Bible Study

The projected budget shortfall with all of these changes is $126K. However, this deficit is not insurmountable. The budget shortfall could be erased if our 250 tithing members committed to give an additional $10 per week.
Please plan on attending the Voter’s Meeting as the choices we make will affect the Lord’s ministry here at Zion in the years ahead.

In Christ,
Mike Wold, President

Mike Karl, Treasurer

Posted by & filed under Stewardship.

stewardship - may2014Jesus is risen from the dead, and He is not angry. He appears to the eleven, locked and hidden away for fear of the Jews. He gives them peace, when there seems to be no peace. He gives them hope, when all hope seems to be lost. He gives them forgiveness, life, and salvation, even though they all fled and watched Him die. But Christ is risen and He is not angry. No one took His life from Him, but He laid it down willingly. He offered it up of His own accord. Thus, He does not blame them. He is not angry. He gives them His Spirit that they may be one and not alone, that they may have peace, that they may live forgiven and free from fear, that they might go do the same into all the world. Christ is risen and He is not angry.

Our God is a God who gives gifts. He gives because that is who He is and what He does. He created us for this purpose. The God who is love created us to be loved. And to love is to give of oneself for the good of another. And so He gives daily bread. He gives food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, land, animals, money, goods, a devout husband or wife, devout children, devout workers, devout and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, self-control, good reputation, good friends, and faithful neighbors.

He also gave us His only-begotten Son. And everything He did, He did for us. He took up our flesh, was born of a woman, to fulfill the Law for us. He was circumcised, had sacrifices offered on His behalf, denied Himself certain foods, and ate the Passover to end them all. The same is true of the Moral Law. He kept it for us. His fasting and temptation were done for us. He fulfilled what we were unable, and unwilling, to do. But that is not all. He not only kept the Law, He also allowed the Law to do to Him all that justice demanded it do to us. He who knew no sin, became sin. The guiltless guilty with His own Blood upon His hands.

And still he gives us more. He gave us His Spirit, the Spirit of Truth. Through the means of grace—the Word, Holy Baptism, Holy Absolution, the Holy Supper—the Spirit of Christ continues to deliver the fruits of His death and pour the benefits of His resurrection upon our heads, into our ears and mouths. We are not alone. We are not left as orphans. He is with us; He is for us, through these means. And by them we are knitted together into one body. This is the giving nature of our God. The depths of His love know no bounds.

Despite all this, we still hold back. We don’t give cheerfully from our first fruits. We don’t with glad hearts, with planning and forethought, set our minds to give to the ministry of Word and Sacrament for the life of the world. We tend to give begrudgingly, apprehensively, and with what is left over. We don’t give out of love for God and one another, as those united by His Spirit in the bond of peace, but out of a feeling of compulsion. How will they know us by our love, when we do not even love the means by which God gives us His love enough to support it with the other gifts He has given?

If you find it difficult to give freely, cheerfully, and proportionally, you are not alone. That sin, that selfishness is something inherent to our fallen nature. No, you are not alone. We have been knitted together into one body by the Holy Spirit. We are to bear one another’s burdens. So let not your hearts be troubled. For the God of Love, the giver of every good and perfect gift, has given His own Son to bear yours. He carries your anxiety and worry. He dispels all your fears. Do not be afraid. Give from out of your poverty or your abundance. It matters not. Because Jesus is risen from the dead and He is not angry. He ascended into heaven to fill all things. He fills you with His peace, His joy, His generosity, and His love. And nothing can separate you from that.

From the board of stewardship

Posted by & filed under The View from Zion's Window.

He is Risen! What a wonderful phrase we as Christians can use to celebrate! Jesus Christ, the Son of God has awoken from the grave. His body was not found in the cave waiting to receive its per-fume from the ladies who went there so early that first Easter morning. They did not know who was going to remove the stone, they just wanted to serve their Messiah in the best way they could. But how can they do anything with such a big obstacle in their way. The thing is they could not remove the stone, but Christ himself removed it for them. They did not find a dead body but one that was transformed and fully alive! This man spoke to them words of comfort and said “Peace be with you”

Jesus asked the women to “Go and tell the disciples that I have risen from the dead!” And boy did they! They ran with fear and love! Is it true that our eyes can believe and our ears have heard? It’s all too much. He is Risen! He is not in the tomb. We celebrate the resurrection of Christ even to-day with the same phrase. We recount the eye witness accounts. We go and tell others about Jesus! We have our hope just as St. Paul reminds us in Romans 6:4 “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Jesus calls us by name and places His precious name upon us. He gives us His holiness and we give him our sin. He takes our death and gives us His life. We have nothing to add to His work but we let Him work in our lives. We are free from death because he destroyed death. He was not in the tomb the first Easter Sunday and we will not be in the tomb on our last day when he calls us to himself. He is Risen! We know in Christ we too will rise!

In Christ,
Pastor Christian