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The Bellringer
January 2019


January 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
Bells Rehearsal 7 p.m.
Choir Rehearsal 8 p.m.

January 5
Men’s Bible Study at Panera
9:00 a.m.

January 6
The Epiphany of Our Lord
Worship Service
10:00 a.m.

January 8, 15, 29
Lesson Study
11 a.m.
No study on 22nd

January 8
Take down Sanctuary Tree
6:30 p.m.

January 8
Mary Martha Circle
7:00 p.m.

January 9
Lydia Ruth Circle
10:00 a.m.

January 19
Community Meal
5:30 p.m.

January 27
Annual Meeting of the
Congregation & Dinner
11:00 a.m.


Worship Service 10:00 a.m.
Join us for coffee and conversation in the parlor
before and after Sunday School and Worship.
Sunday School:
Adults – 8:45 a.m
Children – 9:00 a.m.



From The Pastor

January 1 is more than just the first day of a new year. Ever since the sixth century, the Christian Church has observed this day as “Name of Jesus” day. This observance stems from the ancient Jewish tradition where families would circumcise and formally name male children on the eighth day of their lives. The older name for the day is “The Circumcision and Name of Jesus.” Already in his youth, Jesus bore the mark of God which all Jewish boys bore. As a good Jewish family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph followed all of the expectations for the people of Yahweh. This involved regularly worshiping, making sacrifices, and observing laws related to food and lifestyle. As the Son of God, Jesus was fully divine; as the son of Mary and Joseph, he was fully human.

There is not much recorded in the Bible about Jesus’ growing years, but we can imagine the influence that Mary had on her son. The assigned Gospel reading for the Fourth Sunday of Advent is always Mary’s song, sometimes called “The Magnificat.” We didn’t get a chance to hear that passage this year since the choir cantata was on the Fourth Sunday of Advent. Modeling her words after Hannah’s song from the Old Testament, Mary sings of the joy which is in her heart because of the favor that God has shown to her, a lowly servant. Her song has the sentiment which challenges the powers of the world, extolling God for bringing down the powerful from their thrones and lifting up the lowly, filling the hungry with good things and sending the rich away empty. Having this view from the bottom of society, Mary believed the promises of God’s love and favor for her with her whole heart.
It was the basis of her hope.

Imagine, then, the time she spent rearing Jesus. Do you think she shared with Jesus this point of view from her lowly estate? Considering Jesus’ life and his concern for the poor, sick, meek and weak, it is that Mary had an immense influence on Jesus during his early years. God chose her because of who she was, as counter-cultural as it seems. God wanted his son to be raised by a woman who lived by hope and faith, not by someone who had wealth, power and prestige.

This is the Jesus that we worship and serve and follow all the year round. As this church year unfolds, from Epiphany through Lent, into Easter and then Pentecost, may we remember the roots of Jesus’ earthly, human life. May God bless us to be a blessing to those around us, especially those who may not know many blessings in their lives.

Peace and blessings,



The 2019 chart for Chancel Flowers is posted on the bulletin board opposite the coat racks. Please sign up for your chosen Sunday. You will be contacted with necessary information before your Sunday.


Church Council for 2019 has organized itself as follows:
Council Chair – Kevin Kelley
Senior Elder/Chair-Elect – Kenn Cahill
Elders – Hillary Lorton, Monica Ray
Recording Secretary – Hillary Lorton
Financial Secretary – Martha Ratliff
Treasurer – Eva Cahill
Property Trustees -- Steve Hainen,
Randy Ketcham, Ryan Miller
Senior Deacon – John Botkin
Deacons -- Holly Lorton, Jason Zander
Youth Representative – Jabe Miller
Council members will be installed at the January 20 worship service.



After taking the month of December off, the Men’s Bible Study will meet on Saturday, January 5, from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. at our regular Panera Bread restaurant. The scripture passage we will read and discuss is John 3:1-21, the passage where Nicodemus comes to Jesus under cover of the night to ask him about his identity and how Nicodemus can himself be saved. All men are invited to join us!

Church Council has designated Sunday, January 27, as the day for the Annual Meeting of the Congregation. Reports for 2018 and initiatives and projects for 2019 will be discussed. Join us for a luncheon following our 10:00 worship service. Meat, rolls and beverages will be provided. Please bring a side dish, salad, or dessert to share.

Annual reports from committees (email or hard copy) are due in the church office by January 16 for distribution on January 20.


Applications are now available in the narthex or church office for allocations from the Outreach Endowment of Clinton Heights Lutheran Church. Deadline for submission of applications to the church office is Wednesday, February 13, 2019. They will be reviewed by the church’s Endowment Committee at its February meeting.

Allocations are made from interest earned on the principal in the endowment. According to endowment guidelines, endowment income can be used as follows: to assist programs designed for persons in our parish area who are in spiritual or economic need; to provide seminary or college scholarships for student members of the congregation; to assist with capital projects of the church; to help with new projects of the southern Ohio Synod; and to assist with special missions of the ELCA.

Income from the church’s other endowment, the Current Use Endowment, is used to support the annual operating budget. Allocations are made at the discretion of the Endowment committee, which is comprised of five members appointed by the Church Council chairperson. Additional information about these endowments and how to make a gift is available in brochures in the narthex and church office.

Welcome to WELCA!

January Meetings:

Mary Martha Circle—Tuesday, January 8, 7:00 p.m.
Bible Study & Hostess – Martha Ratliff

Lydia Ruth Circle—Wednesday, January 9, 10:00 a.m.
Bible Study & Hostess – Anne Saylor


Our monthly Community Meal is Saturday, January 19, at 5:30 p.m. This is an opportunity for fellowship with folks from our neighborhood. Please join us. If you’d like to help in the preparation, see Carol Myers or Martha Ratliff.