The acronym CIA may conjure up strange images but, rest assured, CIA stands for Cross in Action! This is a congregation wide initiative to “spur one another on in love and good deeds” Hebrews 10:24. On Saturday, October 1, we are asking people of Cross to go “out” and love our neighbors through service.
The Cross in Action (CIA) initiative is being led by a team of staff and volunteers but it needs to be a grassroots effort to be effective. Who has God placed in your life that could use some Love? Do you have the skills and the time to help out? Are you willing ask others to join with you? Maybe your answer is ‘no’ to all these questions but, are you willing to help someone else love their neighbor?
Bill Ziech and a team of volunteers are gathering people and groups together, coordinating a gathering and sending celebration, and will help you to get resources to accomplish what God has put on your heart. Please fill out a CIA application or call the church office if you would like to volunteer to serve, pray or donate to make this day impactful as we go out to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the community.
Do you and/or members of your household have a life insurance policy or investment with Thrivent financial? If so, you are eligible for two $250 grants from Thrivent to serve your neighborhood. You can use these grants to help fund CIA service opportunities or other needs that you see around you. These funds could be used to throw a block party, thank public servants, teachers or any other opportunity you could imagine! Please call the church office to learn more about this or go to www.thrivent.org under Actions Teams. These grants need to be applied for, at minimum, 21 days in advance so please plan ahead.
If October 1st doesn’t work for you and your community group to serve on that day, don’t worry. We are here to serve God in His timing, and in any way He sees fit. Please pray for eyes to see and a heart to respond in any moment and in any season. We will be the hands and feet of Jesus to believers and unbelievers alike because we are filled with His grace and power. When we are weak, we are strong in Him!
His servant and yours,
Pastor Erik Gauss
This weekend we celebrate the beginning of the school year throughout Kendall County. We invite all current students to bring their school bags to worship this weekend. We will ask a blessing from God over them and the school year. Each child is a representative of Christ in their classroom and in their neighborhood.
Cross Lutheran School will open its doors for the 135th consecutive year of Christian education. An opening Worship Service will be held on Wednesday, August 24 at 8:45 AM to celebrate the beginning of another year. Parents and guests are welcome to attend. What began as a one room school house with classes being taught by the pastor has flourished into our current facility with a staff of 15 dedicated teachers. While facilities and staff have changed over these years, what has remained a constant is teaching our students the love of Jesus as their Savior and preparing them to be witnesses in faith.
Our teaching staff for the 2016-2017 school year is:
Preschool – Mrs. Alicia Gauss
Preschool – Mrs. Cathy Schmeckpeper
Preschool with Extended Care – Mrs. Kimberly Robbins
Kindergarten – Mrs. Karen Miller
First Grade – Mrs. Alissa Bocek
First Grade – Mrs. Jessi Fisher
Second Grade – Mrs. Miriam Ulrich
Third Grade – Miss Barbara Pinnow
Fourth Grade – Mrs. Sonya Lutze
Fifth Grade Homeroom/Reading – Mrs. Mary Neyer
Sixth Grade Homeroom/English – Miss Karen Schumm
Seventh Grade Homeroom/Science – Mrs. Kami Stone
Eighth Grade Homeroom/Math – Mr. Jeff Hahn
Special Education – Mrs. Jessie Mouis
Principal – Miss Susan Lopez
Our teaching staff will be supported by our school secretaries, Candy Nolan and Laura Laesch. Also supporting our staff will be our librarian and teacher aides. We ask you to remember our students, their families and our staff in your daily prayers. We are committed to ensuring every student who wants to attend Cross is able. Please contact the school office for more information about how to enroll at 630-553-7861.
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.
-1 Corinthians 16:13-14
His servant and yours,
With the school year starting there will soon be many questions asked of teachers. Can I use the bathroom? Will I be graded on this? Am I ever gonna use this in real life? What’s the point? School is filled with distractions like relationships, recess, and discipline. We get concerned about jumping through the hoops and what our grades are. We often can miss the point of school if we aren’t careful. What point? Learning!
The same thing can happen at Church. The activities and preferences of individuals, the relationships and politics can cause us to become distracted. We can miss the point; to worship God with all of our life and love others in His name.
Worship is two-fold; to praise God but also to receive His gifts and to value His gifts above all others. When we get caught up in the music, the preaching, the atmosphere, we can miss the gift God wants to give. It is not an emotion based on human excellence or human preferences, it is an emotion based on truth. That we have a Savior in “Jesus Christ, who died for us. But, more than that was raised to life and is at the right hand of God and is interceding for us . Romans 8:34
The point of faith is not more than this; the humble recognition that we need a Savior from our sin and we have that Savior in Jesus Christ. Our sin causes irreparable harm to the relationship between us and God until Jesus Christ heals it through His perfect work on the Cross and in the tomb. Now it is repaired wholly and fully for all who believe it. In this we greatly rejoice!
So why do we make it so complicated? That is a great question! This fall take the opportunity of the fresh start to simplify your life, your faith. Refocus on what God has laid out before you. Get connected to other believers to strengthen you on the journey and see what God does. This is called worship; laying down our life in honor and service, out of thankfulness, to Him.
“…present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1
His service and yours,
Pastor Erik Gauss
This August starts our 135th year in ministry here at Cross. 135 years of the body of Christ coming together to work together in accordance with God’s will. Some years it seems like much is accomplished; other years, not as much. In reality every year is a battle against the devil and his schemes. He never quits and so too, we must continue on proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ.
This year we have big plans to celebrate our time together, to commemorate those who have gone before us and to prepare for those who will come after us! This whole year we will be focusing on God’s story. We are calling it HIS story. We will walk through the whole Bible together to see and hear how God has and will continue interacting with us, His chosen people.
As we launch into His story in September there are multiple events to build excitement and momentum for this great year, starting with the Hometown Days concert and family event September 2nd and 4th. On Friday night the 2nd, we will host Christian bands at the Hometown Days stage in Yorkville. Then on Sunday morning the 4th, we will gather there again for outdoor worship and fellowship.
On September 16th we are bringing back “One Heart.” This is a special worship concert/experience led entirely by people from Cross. This is a night unlike any other and a great time to restart your spiritual journey. The night is for spiritual healing and unity as we receive God’s blessings and return our praise. Interactive stations allow the time to be intimate and personal with God and/or God’s people.
Cross In Action (CIA) launches October 1st and is a special day to get out and serve in Christ’s name. This is similar to Big Day of Serving except it is not focused on youth but rather the entire Christian community serving as God’s hands and feet. We are asking you and your community group to look around and see who could use an extra blessing and then let God use you and the Christian community to provide that blessing. We are only limited by our creativity. Don’t have a community group or can’t think of anything? Or maybe your idea is too big to accomplish? No worries; that is why we are working together, each one of us as a member of the body of Christ with Him as our head.
I am personally looking forward to this 135th year of ministry at Cross. I am excited about this team/community/family of faith working together. Please mark your calendars, talk to your neighbors and join in the fun as we serve Him in His name and continue to learn and tell His story!
His servant and yours,
Pastor Erik Gauss