Shower Thoughts

Walt and Linda Wismar

Walt and Linda Wismar

By Walt Wismar, Stewardship Coordinator

This week I wanted to help pastor by writing a little article for this weeks “News and views”. He has been working hard on this for the past 5 weeks. All week long I could not really get my thoughts together.  However this morning when I woke up and stepped into the shower,  this is what flashed through my brain.  It was so clear then.  Now 11 hours later I can still remember most of it.  Isn’t that weird?   I wonder if Tesla or Einstein had a shower.   So here you are: shower thoughts from your stewardship helper.

Sometimes I think in hymns and liturgy. Maybe it’s because my grandpa was an organist and choirmaster.  He was the most important person to me as a child.  And maybe because of that, I have a way of translating life through hymns and liturgy.  It may be kind of nerdy, but hymns and liturgy bring me home.  They center me. They speak the words of faith that I so often need to hear.

As I got up this morning, in my head was that opening hymn, God Himself is Present. Who knows why? I thought to myself, “Wow. what a wonderful experience we have each Sunday.”  We are transported to the very presence of God.   Sometimes it seems like you can actually feel it.   I know that “feeling” word is a bit edgy for Lutherans -- but you know what I mean.   Some days you go to church and your mind is wondering, some days you go to church and you are in a real funk, some days you go to church and it all “comes together”.   To think-- there we are with God.  When that fact sinks in; its mind boggling.  What wonderful comfort and renewal we have with God and with each other. What a sharp contrast to this is compared the cold cruel world.  I wish everyone could have this faith and understanding.  I want to give it away.   Giving faith away what this body of Christ at Holy Cross is all about.

After working hard on this campaign, I have to say for all of us, what a positive experience this has been.  It’s not just our dedication to our financial situation.  It’s all the action I see. All of us working together, becoming closer, and learning about one another.  It’s the faith in action. We see all the seeds that have been planted both 25 years ago and last week.  God himself IS present.    Right here, with grace, God has blessed the work that our fellow members have done.  God himself IS present .  Blessing  this body of Christ and the work we are doing today.   What started in a house has grown to this church and soon to 125 little souls being taught Gods word every day.  How awesome has been God’s blessing to Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Rocklin CA.  

Another hymn verse that flashed through my head was hymn verse that says.  “We are one in the Spirit we are one in the Lord”.  Certainly these last few weeks we have all worked together, prayed together learned together. We have been one in the Spirit.  Shortly we will take a step in faith together by completing this campaign.    We are one in this work.  The Holy Spirit is working on us and working through us.  This body of Christ.  Working together.  We are promising one another in faith a portion of our financial blessing.  Our unity is being built up.   Why?   Because we love God, we love each other and we love our neighbors as ourselves.  As the song verse says: “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”   Faith, love and action, not necessarily in that order but  it is what we have been talking about for the last six weeks.  

The other song that flashed through my head was that portion of the liturgy praise song “power riches wisdom and strength and honor and blessing be to God and the Lamb forever Amen”.    I always notice as that hymn is sung, how each of us get louder as the hymn comes to a climax.  Why is that?  Is it because the organist slows down and pumps up the volume?   Well maybe, but I think not.  Not every organist plays the hymn that way. Even if I am not paying attention, when we get to that part of the hymn I am right there with you cranking up the volume.  Feeling those words and meaning those bible verses and rededicating myself for the week ahead. It’s kind of a cleansing situation. It puts aside anything else in my brain.    Something very important is happening.    That is my final point.    Something very important is happening here. Right here at 4701 Grove Street.  What we are doing here is very important to our community, to the world at large and to each other.  We are building up this body of Christ.  We are building for the future just as our brothers and sisters in faith have done in the past.  Holy Cross is living proof that faith works.  

Thanks for the Cottage Meetings!

By Gary Yee

Gary Yee and Pastor Meyer answering questions at the Hashimoto home.

Gary Yee and Pastor Meyer answering questions at the Hashimoto home.

Between April 9 and May 7, Pastor Meyer and I were charged with the privilege of gathering congregational members in small, cottage- meeting groups. The objective: to present information and give purpose and merit for the Living as the Body of Christ Campaign, formally concluding on Pledge Sunday, May 20th.

The meetings were hosted by nine (9) individual families: Yees, Ada Towers, Meyers, Olsons, Baughmans, Radmores, Hashimotos, Matrangas, and Barbara Hull. THANK YOU, gracious hosts, for opening your lovely homes and providing light refreshments for your guests.

Thirteen (13) total sessions were conducted, including two (2) make-up

Jack Strobel, Jerry Matranga, Jerry Fallon, Shirley Fredericksen, and Richard Schultz listen in on the presentation from Gary & Pastor

Jack Strobel, Jerry Matranga, Jerry Fallon, Shirley Fredericksen, and Richard Schultz listen in on the presentation from Gary & Pastor

opportunities. Information about the past, present, and future of Holy Cross and the city of Rocklin was presented to 97 members representing 74 families. A BIG THANK YOU to all the participants for carving time from your busy schedules to attend, listen and share your perspectives and insights.

Pastor Meyer and I would like to thank Pastor Peperkorn and Walt Wismar for asking us to assist with the campaign drive, granting us the chance to use our time and talents in this effort. We enjoyed meeting members face-to-face in hospitable surroundings.

Should you desire a copy of the PowerPoint material, please contact Gary Yee gcyee1@gmail.com.

Fundamental Lutheran Teaching: Meet the Paynes

Rod and Barbara Payne have been members of Holy Cross since 2009. Rod currently serves on the Financial Review Committee.

Rod and Barbara Payne have been members of Holy Cross since 2009. Rod currently serves on the Financial Review Committee.

To fully understand our connection to Holy Cross Lutheran Church, we need to start our journey at Faith Lutheran Church and Pastor Maynard Schulz, located in the city of Ukiah in Mendocino County CA.  Faith Lutheran is a small rural church servicing a small population.

Pastor Schulz is a teacher, leader, and guardian of Lutheran theology, and one of the all-around good guys.  He made Faith Lutheran the place to be on Sunday mornings and all times between.  Pastor Schulz’s family were our friends and since our congregation was small, we were a very close knit family and our lives revolved around our church. 

As we planned our retirement we felt that Pastor Schulz and our family at Faith Lutheran Church would be difficult to replace and we were not optimistic that we would find another like Faith Lutheran.  

When it was our time to retire, our search for a retirement location was a long and arduous process directed by a long list of priorities that included finding a confessional Lutheran church. 

After settling in the Roseville area and on the recommendation of Pastor Schulz, the first church on our list to visit was Holy Cross Lutheran Church Rocklin where we met Pastor Jordon. After an hour or so visiting with Pastor Jordon we felt the fundamental Lutheran teaching that we were looking for were being preached and taught at Holy Cross.  We began attending services and shortly thereafter we requested a transfer of our membership from Faith Lutheran Church to Holy Cross.  The year was 2009. 

Every now and then some of the decisions we make in life turn out to be winners.   Our decision to settle in the Roseville area and join Holy Cross Lutheran Church has enriched our lives in a Christ centered environment.  The lay leadership at Holy Cross has been exceptional, we are blessed with a treasure of musical talent and we have also been blessed with three truly outstanding Pastors since joining Holy Cross. We enjoy attending our Divine Services, Bible classes and the fellowship of our church family.   We pray that God will continue to bless our congregation, Pastors, leadership and our community outreach through the children that attend our Academy.

In Christ,
Rod & Barbara Payne

 

From Evangelical to Lutheran: Meet the Nunninks

Levi Nunnink is the newly elected Administrator for the congregation, who will begin in July. Suzanne helps with fellowship, altar guild, and the Higher Things youth group. They are joined by their children: Jack, Lily, Sam, Jane, Lucy, and Charlie.

Levi Nunnink is the newly elected Administrator for the congregation, who will begin in July. Suzanne helps with fellowship, altar guild, and the Higher Things youth group. They are joined by their children: Jack, Lily, Sam, Jane, Lucy, and Charlie.

My Dad was raised Catholic and my Mom was raised Pentecostal. Somehow this led them to Calvary Chapel, and that’s the tradition I grew up in and also where I met and married my wife, Suzanne. I was an “on- fire” evangelical in my teens and an exhausted evangelical in my twenties. It seemed the Christianity I knew was a mile wide and an inch deep. There were a million ideas and trends to chase after but nothing to rest in. It got even worse when I realized that I had very little “faith” to pass on to our children. There were a lot of catchy songs, intense emotional experiences, and some interesting ideas, but no core confession that would last from generation to generation. By my late twenties I was desperate and was seriously considering converting to Roman Catholicism, which seemed to have the sobriety, reverence, and tradition that my Christian experience had lacked up to that point. It was only through God’s grace that I stumbled across Lutheranism, and I discovered a church that seemed to be a miraculous answer to my search.

Holy Cross is a Lutheran Church in the best sense of the word. Early on in our transition to Lutheranism we moved a lot and had the opportunity to attend a number of Lutheran churches in a relatively short amount of time. Our experience was positive compared to our evangelical background, but also a little disappointing. Many of the churches seemed to be trying to adopt the evangelical style that we were fleeing; and maybe seemed even slightly embarrassed by their Lutheran identity. Holy Cross, on the other hand, is a church that knows who it is. It’s proud of our sacramental faith and piety. It embodies the best of Lutheran tradition, doctrine, and worship, therefore firmly rooting it in the great catholic tradition of the Christian faith. The people here care about theology and the Bible; they debate, discuss, and study our history and our confessions. From liturgy, to sermons, to catechism class, to pastoral counseling this church is not confused; it’s confident and speaks and worships with a clear, articulate voice.

C.S. Lewis once compared the different confessions of the Christian faith to “rooms” branching off from a large “hall”. The room that Holy Cross inhabitants with our fellow Lutherans is small compared to churches like Rome or Evangelicalism, but it is an incredibly joyful place where I am happy to raise my children and grow old. The secret of our little room is that we know Jesus is with us: he’s at the center of our worship, he’s the point of the sermons, he gives us his body and blood at the altar, and his promises his forgiveness in baptism. Holy Cross, in its corner of Rocklin, with our church members young and old, is one of the happiest places I can be.

On a final note, there’s an ironic result to approaching worship and faith with sobriety and reverence, making Christ the center of all that we do: we take ourselves less seriously. The saints at Holy Cross have an amazing ability to carry out the mundane tasks of church life (Sunday school, choir, organ, school board, member meetings, snacks and refreshments, planning council, painting, altar guild, etc.) with humility and humor. We don’t have to baptize everything we do in pious language (“I have the spiritual ministry of changing the coffee filters”) because we are already baptized by Christ himself. Some people have different words for this but I think the Bible calls it “speaking the truth in love”. I suspect it’s one of those things that naturally happens to people who take the forgiveness of sins seriously. Whatever it is, we’re grateful to be here with all of you.


- Levi Nunnink

You Can’t Out-Give God: Meet the Boehle-Silvas

Dennis and Pamela Boehle-Silva, with their children: Kali and Christian. Dennis is one of the elders at Holy Cross. Pamela is our deaconess. 

Dennis and Pamela Boehle-Silva, with their children: Kali and Christian. Dennis is one of the elders at Holy Cross. Pamela is our deaconess. 

I was baptized Catholic, but grew up in a nominally Christian home in Redding, California.  Even though Christ was not a steady part of my upbringing, I always searched for a power, a holiness greater than myself. I ventured far in search of God’s true holiness.  Thanks be to God for His gracious, caring people in my life.  Starting with the strong faith of my wife, Pamela, and many others, eventually Christ called me home to Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rocklin.  

This congregation is the place where my life in Christ truly began and continues to this day.  You all have had a steady, strong influence over me.  In your compassion, your gracious way of dealing with each other, and your generous hearts, you are Christ’s face to me every day.  I and those in my household receive forgiveness of sins, life and salvation through the ministry that you support here at Holy Cross.  What better gift could you all give to me and to those I love most! 

In the small and the great, your generosity simply awes me.  It’s in the simple giving hearts of the Peperkorn children, who when they heard that Deaconess Pamela was collecting money for water filters for families in Africa, decided to “Make Change for Kenya!”  And you all took that idea and have given so generously.  Out of simple jars of coins, over the past years, you have raised upwards of $5,000 for Kenya.  Closer to home, you have supported the congregation, too.  Recently, when it became necessary to do roof maintenance for the church, you all came through with over $75,000 to start bids on the roof work.  

You are all generous with your time and talents.  From an abundance of musical talent, the most amazing music comes out of this congregation every week.  I look forward to each Sunday in part for the music.  In gifts of time, you continue to help during work days at the property, most recently painting the sanctuary and the re-beautifying of our worship space.  That effort alone has helped to revitalize our worship and created a desire to do even more.  

I admire the day-in and day-out behind-the-scenes work that many of you do each week to make our worship and study possible: preparing Sunday school and Bible Study lessons, providing fellowship meals and snacks, cleaning up after worship and fellowship, ushering, altar preparation, secretarial work, bookkeeping, counting offerings, providing mid-week meals during our penitential seasons, visitation of the sick and homebound, praying for one-another. You all know who you are!  

You, my dear brothers and sisters, have lived out for me what Christ preached in the Beatitudes:

“Give, and it will be given to you.  Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap.  For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”  - Luke 6:38

Generosity.  You can’t “out-give” God.  Holy Cross has taught me that generosity is a ministry of Christ:  generous forgiveness, generous spirits, generous givers.  Through you, Christ will always be more generous to me and my family than I ever will be to this church and to others.  I will continue to learn from you all what it means to be generous and I look forward to what we can accomplish together during the Living as the Body of Christ Campaign.  

Whatever we may sacrifice to bring down our debt, do necessary maintenance on our property and finish building out the preschool building, God will always bless our efforts with His generous heart.  And you my brothers and sisters will always be His face in that effort.  

-Dennis Boehle-Silva

From Alaska to Sacramento: Meet the Ericksons

Zach and Katie Erickson with their three children: Sofia, Olivia, and James. Zach serves as an usher, and Katie is the incoming treasurer, beginning in July.

Zach and Katie Erickson with their three children: Sofia, Olivia, and James. Zach serves as an usher, and Katie is the incoming treasurer, beginning in July.

My husband and I grew up in two very different homes. Zach grew up regularly attending an LCMS church. I grew up “Catholic”, meaning if someone would ask me what religion I was, I would say Catholic, but did not know much about the religion itself. We were both baptized as infants, however I did not make it through confirmation. At that point sports had taken over. Zach continued to grow up in the faith, while I strayed. However, in high school, I met a very kind and inspirational teacher who motivated me to try it again. I was even baptized again as a Christian. I moved up to Alaska, where Zach and I met at a college Bible study. At that time, we were both still exploring our relationship with God, which included trying different churches and different denominations. Zach was coming back to God after drifting away from his church during his early college days.  We had first started attending a nondenominational church together, but eventually found Lutheranism fit us the most. It wasn’t showy or complicated-it was simple, logical, and humble.  Lutheranism and its narrow focus on what the Bible actually says and what the ancient church and always understood and practiced is a uniquely strong and comforting faith.  

Our family came to Holy Cross on the recommendation of our pastor in Anchorage.  When he found out where we were moving, he stated he knew of a great church nearby.  On his recommendation, we began attending Holy Cross and were welcomed with open arms.  We knew no one when we came here, but it felt like we belonged from the beginning.  In four years’ time, our family grew from two to five, we each changed jobs, and we moved again.  We have not changed churches and would not dream of it. 

We have always been impressed with Pastor Peperkorn’s knowledge and sincerity.  He does not beat around the bush or avoid tough issues or questions, but models a Christ-like response more Christians should learn: firm but loving and theologically sound. 

We knew no one when we came here, but it felt like we belonged from the beginning.
— Katie Erickson

We love the pre-school the church runs and how many families and children it reaches.  There are innumerable outreach efforts that can be undertaken, but having the ability to directly communicate with and affect so many children each day is wonderful.  The church has many wonderful members working diligently to make sure the Academy runs well. We pray that God would bless these efforts and continue to work through this congregation to serve these local children and their families.  We are so indebted to the congregation for how they have cared for our own children.  Everyone has been so loving and helpful. From godparents to Sunday School teachers to just plain friends, the members here are like an extended family.

Holy Cross has helped us grow as Christians by giving us opportunities to lead Sunday School, usher, and help oversee the finances of the church.  It has also helped us expand our relationships with other members by hosting phenomenal Bible studies and church gatherings.