What’s New With YOU? Updates from congregations around the Church of the Lutheran Confession
“See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My Word, and have not denied My name.” (Revelation 3:8) Ascension Lutheran Church in Batavia, Illinois, is a small congregation. But we have a big God Whose Word does not return to Him empty, but accomplishes what He pleases (Isaiah 55:11).
“Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” (John 4:35) One field white for harvest in our country is retirement homes, nursing homes, and care centers. If your congregation has a ministry to these people, get involved! Many of the residents are hungry for God’s Word, and you can help feed them. Ascension conducts weekly Bible studies in three different care centers. What a blessing from God to be able to give the people what they truly need in our Savior and His Word! Attendance at these Bible studies is voluntary, and they are well attended. The people constantly express their gratitude for the opportunity to hear God’s Word, and to be blessed, comforted and strengthened by it. Five of our current members are residents of care centers who joined as a result of our Bible studies.
Last fall our congregation joined some of our area congregations in hosting a mental health seminar, open to the public. This December we will mail out Christmas cards with a letter explaining John 3:16 to people in our area, inviting them to come to our services. We also plan to have a one-afternoon Vacation Bible School, while the parents of the students do Christmas shopping. We plant the seed of God’s Word and water it, looking to God to give the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6).
Our women very much enjoy gathering together for brunches, during which they each share a Bible passage with the group and tell why it is special to them. This strengthens their fellowship with each other while at the same time giving them practice in sharing their faith with others.
In October our congregation hosted the Great Lakes Pastoral Conference, which was a special blessing for our little group.
Our church is located forty miles west of Chicago, far enough away that we do not have the big city traffic and congestion. We are in the semi-countryside on a pretty, five-acre setting with lots of trees. Sunday worship is at 10:00 A.M., followed by Sunday School and Bible study. Some of our members and regular attendees are students at colleges in our area. The majority of our members live at a distance from our church, including some who travel over an hour each way to attend worship. They come regularly to hear the truths of God’s Word preached and taught, and to enjoy Christian friendship. “Lord, I have loved the habitation of Your house, and the place where Your glory dwells.” (Psalm 26:8) If you are in the Chicago area, we would love to have you worship with us.