EMPTY PEWS NO MORE!
After careful deliberation, and following local and state guidelines, our pastors have developed the following bullet points designed to keep our congregants and staff safe during the return to worship, an event for which we have prayed in earnest. Click on the highlighted portion to read the protocol.
You are strongly encouraged to register to attend a service in order to assist the staff in keeping the number in attendance no greater than 120. Click here to register for worship.
If you are among the vulnerable population of over 65 years of age and/or immuno-compromised or have other health-related issues of concern, please consider staying home for now and enjoying the 8:30AM service on live-streaming.
May the Lord be with us as we gather together in praise and thanksgiving for His abundant mercy in these challenging times.
You’ve heard the story of the ocean liner in rough seas. A passenger asks the captain if the ship is in danger, to which the captain replies, “You should start praying now.” The lady gasps, grabs the captain’s arm, and cries, “Oh, surely, it’s not as bad as that!”
We CTK Lutherans are a praying people. We pray all the time, not just in times of crisis, when the “ship is in danger” — private devotional prayers, Bible study group prayers, email prayers, bulletin and worship service prayers — we pray for and with each other daily. But in such a time as this, we are moved to offer additional prayers for our families, friends, neighbors, first responders, healthcare workers, and anyone affected by COVID-19, which is basically everyone.
Below is a prayer offered by Pastor Mark in response to these times. Also note that beginning on Wednesday, April 15, 7:00-7:30PM, Pastor will offer a live-streaming Prayer Half-Hour, during which you can text him your prayer requests and he will pray for them in real time, from the altar of our Lord. These half-hour Wednesday prayer sessions will continue for the foreseeable future.
Pray now, the following petitions:
Dear Heavenly Father, we come before Your throne of grace with many things on our hearts and minds. For the sake of Jesus, we pray that You would hear and answer us. Forgive us our sins, Lord. Wash us clean by Your Word. We pray that You would calm our fears. Lead us to remember Your truth: You will never leave or forsake us. We pray that Your Spirit would guide, bless, and enlighten those in our medical community who are hard at work trying to overcome COVID-19. We pray for healing for those who are infected. In their isolation, Lord, please let them know that You love them and are with them. We pray for all medical and hospital staff, first-responders, police and fire personnel. Sustain them, Lord, in their work on our behalf. Protect them, Lord. May our nation show appreciation for their sacrifice and work in the middle of dangerous times. We pray for the elderly, and those confined to nursing homes and other facilities, who have been otherwise quarantined. Let them know that they are not forgotten by their families or church. Help them, Lord, know they are loved and prayed for, and that You are with them. Let them know that soon we will be reunited. We pray for our local, state, and federal leadership. Help them lead and make the best decisions possible for our nation, Lord. May all citizens put aside partisan politics, and support them and pray for them as they try to do the very best they can for us. We pray for our Christ the King congregation. May we, Lord, be a beacon of light to our community and even our nation. Enable us to preach the Gospel; to speak of the hope we have in Christ; to love our neighbor and all in need. Protect and guide us, Lord, not only that we may be safe, but, being protected by your grace, we may all the more do Your work. For the sake of Your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, please hear and answer our prayer. Amen.
It’s unfortunate that the first three letters of the word “pandemic” are the same first three letters in the word “panic.” So before you’ve even completed saying or reading the word, you’re already on edge.
At Christ the King, our pastors and leadership have remained steadfast and calm amid the ever-changing community landscape, and are committed to providing spiritual guidance and comfort through regular live-streaming services. We are most thankful for the technology and the people who know how to use it, so that the membership stays informed and connected to their CTK family. You can view the live-streaming at http://ctkmemphis.com/live-video-streaming at 8:30AM every Sunday. Weekly bulletins are available through the Friday Reminders email, the website, and the Events tab on CTK’s App.
We look forward to the time when this crisis is behind us and we are together not only in spirit but in person, loving on each other, and praising and thanking our heavenly Father for His tender mercy.
Stay home, take care, check on your loved ones and neighbors, and know that Jesus loves you and cares for you always.
When becoming a new member of a congregation, it may be a little daunting finding your way around, not only through the physical buildings, but through the labyrinth of ministries and fellowship opportunities that are offered to you. Who do you contact? Where do you go? How do you find the latest information and RSVP or volunteer? And why is there a dog in the narthex?*
To answer these questions and others that new and prospective members might have, Dave and Genie Swan of Christ the King Lutheran Church developed the Connect Class, a three-week class for new members and those considering membership who want to know more about how things “work” at CTK. After their daughter-in-law joined CTK, they realized from her perspective how overwhelming it can seem to a new member, and they determined to create an informational class to answer questions and encourage participation in worship, service, and fellowship activities.
During February of this year, more than twenty people, both new and prospective members, gathered on three consecutive Sunday mornings to learn about the history of Christ the King, the communication networks available both to and from the church office, the ministries offering opportunities for service and fellowship, CTK’s social media outlets, and the worship schedule for the year. They enjoyed the church’s 50th anniversary video (available on youtube), guest speakers from various ministries, a visit from *Job Comfort Dog, demonstrations of CTK’s App and Mobile Directory, and even “insider” info on the embroidered kneeler cushions.
Most importantly, new bonds of friendship were created and strengthened as they navigated all the information shared. Each class member went home with a packet of information as well as a Time and Talent Survey to be completed and returned.
The class is offered twice a year and will continue to be a part of welcoming new members into the family of forgiven at Christ the King Lutheran Church.
(Above) Genie Swan encourages the class members to get plugged in to the many avenues of communication offered at CTK, from Friday Reminders to Facebook to CTK’s App and website.
(Below) Representatives from various ministries spoke to the class about the service and fellowship opportunities available, including Chris Cardona, Choir Director; Lindy Stephenson, Stephen Ministry; and Chris Miller, Youth Minister.
Christ the King’s Tanzania Mission Team continued its fund-and-awareness-raising with a Valentine’s Bake Sale on a recent windy Sunday. Festively wrapped cakes, cookies, breads, and treats were available for purchase and the Mission Team was all smiles with each loving transaction. The Team’s progress with preparations has been aided by the congregation’s generosity and encouragement. Thanks to previous fundraisers, airline tickets to Tanzania have been purchased and additional monies will go toward in-country flights, ground transportation, housing, and food.
If you missed the Bake Sale, you don’t have to wait for another fundraiser to donate toward the Mission Team’s goal of spreading the Gospel to the people of Tanzania! Simply drop a donation marked “Tanzania Mission” in the Offering plate, or bring it by the church office. No donation is too small, and all are accepted with sincere gratitude.
The team members pictured (from left) are Jacob Behnke, Jeanette Novy, Sharon Hyde, Mike Jurgensen, Cindy Jurgensen, Natalie Hyde, and Jim Novy. (Not pictured: Hubert Dellinger)
Cherishing memories is high on the list of things being done this week as the membership of Christ the King takes a collective sigh while watching the demolition of Building 2, the Fellowship Hall, and the Church Administration offices. It is a week of mixed emotions.
The Schrader Fellowship Hall, once the sanctuary where so many baptisms, weddings, and funerals took place, and where the faithful received weekly gifts of the Sacrament of Holy Communion and the preaching of God’s Word, also — in its reincarnation as a fellowship hall/gathering place — was the site of gaily decorated dances, wonderful-smelling potluck dinners, sweet kindergarten graduations, raucous movie nights and weeks of VBS, Nehemiah mornings and Super Bowl afternoons, and so many more activities that are at the heart of a church family.
Through the years, the church offices housed a number of hard-working, loyal, dedicated, and CTK-loving staff members and volunteers, some of whom number among the saints in heaven, and their laughter and noble spirits held that building together when the plumbing failed and the air conditioning went on the fritz. From the noisy ice machine to the regularly flooding basement to the Jesus painting guarding the women’s bathroom, every nook and cranny of that building captured and held the love and devotion of Christ the King’s faithful servants.
But progress, come she will. And we will rejoice when the doors open to an awesomely beautiful, visitor-welcoming renovation and expansion where God’s work will continue and blossom under the care of those same faithful servants, and many more to come. Take heart, CTK! The Lord loves you and, with you, cherishes the memories that you have made. He continues to lead you and encourage you as you make this bold step in His name.
Celebrating Christmas at Christ the King means lovely candlelight, precious children lighting the Advent wreath and Christ Candle, beautiful choral and instrumental music, a surprise animal during Pastor Mark’s children’s message, the Sacrament of Holy Communion, and powerful Word heard from our Pastors — all combining to bring a reverence and peace to our Christmas observance and to increase our joy at the coming of the Infant Savior and King. This is the kind of peace and joy that we can take with us into the new year, where uncertainties and the vagaries of time can make us less than sure-footed in both our personal relationships and our faith life. Christ is with us! He has come! He is coming again! We sing “Alleluia!” with the angels.
Thank you to Michella Novy and Caroline Johnson for additional photos.
“In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the Desert of Judea…Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.”
There’s a ton to get done this time of year, isn’t there? As much as we try, it’s hard not to get caught up in the frenzy of the season, running all over the place. A lot of our preparation is secular, which isn’t bad in and of itself. Parties and presents and decorations have their place. God calls us to prepare, too. What does it mean to “to make straight paths for Him?” It means to make the way of God’s Advent as easy and smooth as possible. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. We all have things that are obstacles to God. You know what yours are and I know what mine are. Get rid of them. Make it as easy as possible for God to come to you. I look at my life, and maybe you can look at your life, too, and I see where God has never failed to bring me His good gifts despite many obstacles I’ve put up. This year, I’m going to try something different. I’m going to try to make it less difficult for Him.
“You can put this another way be saying that while in other sciences the instruments you use are things external to yourselves (things like microscopes and telescopes), the instrument through which you see God is your whole self. And if a man is not kept clean and bright, his glimpse of God will be blurred — like the moon seen through a dirty telescope. ” C.S. Lewis
A blessed Advent —
Thanks to the donations from the congregation and the loving, creative hands of the members of the CTK’s Altar Guild, the chancel area was beautifully decorated for Thanksgiving, a witness to God’s bountiful goodness.
Bathed in the reflective light of the stained glass window, the arrangement was a reminder that it is truly from God that all blessings flow!
On a recent Sunday, CTK’s Choir Director Chris Cardona came down from the balcony to issue this unique invitation to join the choir. Set to the tune of the Beatles’ hit “Yesterday,” the lyrics were fun and creative, and served to encourage those who like to sing but who may be a bit shy about joining up. We hope a number of people will take this invitation to heart and come on up to the balcony and add their voices!
Here are the lyrics:
CTK – I know the choir seems so far away
But I came down here just so I could say
We need your voice on Sunday.
Communion time — when I come down to take the bread and wine
I hear you singing and it sounds divine
You know who you are — stop wasting time.
We have so much fun, when we’re done we wanna stay (for both services)
So, if you like to sing, come on and bring yourself today.
CTK- don’t postpone it, make a choice today
You don’t even need a resume’
Join the choir of CTK.