As we explore this theme together, you’re invited to fall in to a rhythm of worship and learning on Sunday mornings, with new classes offered for all ages. Fall in to a new small group through our four week “Why Groups” in October. Fall in to an activity that allows you to share your gifts, whether that’s helping on a property work day, singing in the choir, volunteering at a service project, or joining any of the other opportunities happening this fall. As you read through this webpage, find the opportunity that piques your interest, and don’t hesitate to Fall In!
-Pastor Lauren and Pastor Alex
“Fall In” Weekend - Sat. Sept. 9 & Sun. Sept 10
Saturday September 9 - ELCA Day of Service Project, “Rise Against Hunger” - Kate Collins Middle School, Waynesboro - This Year Marks the 10th Anniversary of our ELCA “Day of Service” and on Saturday, September 9, Muhlenberg and other area congregations will mark this milestone by joining together for “Rise Against Hunger” at 10:00am at Kate Collins Middle School in Waynesboro. “Rise Against Hunger” is an international aid program feeding those who are chronically hungry around the world with dehydrated meals of rice, vegetables and other fortified ingredients. Our task that day is to assemble 40,000 meals, pack them, and make them ready to ship out! This is a wonderful event that allows us to truly be the “hands and feet” of Christ. For planning purposes, please let Karen Thomsen (email@example.com) know if you plan to attend. Carpooling is possible and encouraged.
Sunday, September 10 - Join us as we "Fall in" to our programming year this special Sunday. Worship at 8:30am and 11:00am; learning for all ages at 9:45am; and a Skate Party at Funky's at 3:00pm (see “Children & Youth” for details!)
Church Picnic - Sun. Sept 17, 4:00pm
Fall In to Food and Fun! Muhlenberg's annual church picnic is happening Sunday, September 17 at 4:00pm! Come to Purcell Park, Shelter 2 (by the wooden play structure) for food, friends, and fun. Hamburgers, hot dogs, and drinks provided - we'll eat at 5:00pm. Bring a dish to share and a chair or blanket for seating, as well as any outdoor games you'd like to play. In order to spread out the culinary wealth, we suggest the following:
Blessing of the Animals – Wednesday, October 4 - Plans are underway for an ecumenical “Blessing of the Animals” service on Wednesday, October 4 in the evening. Mark your calendar now and keep an eye on The Chimes for all the details.
Jazz Vespers – Wednesday, November 15 - Muhlenberg will have a “Jazz Vespers” service on the evening of Wednesday, November 15. Check The Chimes, details to come!
Installation of Bishop Milton – First Presbyterian Church, Waynesboro - Saturday, October 21, 1:00pm - The Virginia Synod has a new bishop! The Rev. Dr. Phyllis Blair Milton begins her duties as bishop on September 1, 2023. You are invited to attend her installation service on Saturday, October 21 at 1:00pm at First Presbyterian Church in Waynesboro. Want to carpool? Contact Pastor Lauren (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Wednesday, October 18.
“Welcome to Muhlenberg!” - Sunday, October 1, 9:45am
Interested in learning more about Muhlenberg or joining our church family? We offer a "Welcome to Muhlenberg" session several times a year that provides an opportunity to learn about the mission and ministry of the church. All are welcome to this overview of life at Muhlenberg, which includes a tour of the building and information on the many ways to get involved in our community. We'll also give details about how to become a member of Muhlenberg (though attending this session doesn't commit you to anything!) Come and explore what Muhlenberg is all about on Sunday, October 1 at 9:45am in the sanctuary. New members will be received in worship on Sunday, October 8. Sign up for "Welcome to Muhlenberg" by clicking HERE, and contact Pastor Lauren (email@example.com) for details.
Children’s Classes on Sundays, 9:45am
Pre-K to 5th Grade - Muhlenberg Activities Center (MAC) and Outside (weather permitting) - Led by Children’s Minister Ashley Saunders, kids will have an opportunity to grow together through the “Living the Word” curriculum, which follows the Narrative Lectionary. Kids will enjoy learning biblical stories, doing activities to put the stories into action, and building strong relationships. Older students will have the opportunity to help share the stories with younger students to cultivate a collaborative community.
Youth Classes on Sundays, 9:45am
Middle School Sunday School - Augsburg Room - 6th through 8th graders are encouraged to join each week for an in-depth Bible study together on the focus text of the Narrative Lectionary. This class is open to all middle schoolers, and will serve as the foundation of our Confirmation curriculum as we focus this year on the Bible. Classes will afford our students the opportunity to learn more about important biblical figures, central stories in scripture, and learn with peers about how to apply the lessons of scripture to our daily life.
High School Sunday School - Campus Room - 9th through 12th graders are encouraged to join together each week for fellowship, conversation, and learning among friends and peers. You’ve been confirmed–now what? You have doubts–is that allowed? What does it mean to live out your faith publicly in the world? This class will be one that leaves “Room for Questions” as our youth find space, time, and community in which they can grow and learn together. We hope this class will be youth-led, guided by the questions on their hearts and rooted in a study of scripture together. We won’t promise to have all the answers, but we trust that together we’ll build a safe space for searching!
Confirmation - 1st Sunday of the month from 6:00pm - 6th through 8th graders are invited to participate in the journey of growth and discernment as they prepare to Affirm their Baptisms. At the conclusion of their 8th grade year, students will have the opportunity to share their faith statements and take on the covenant of baptism for themselves. In preparation for this moment, students will join together weekly for Sunday School, prepare individual reflections on Sunday worship, and serve the community together. Our Confirmation Curriculum is on a three-year rotation of topics including “the Small Catechism,” “Lutheran History/Theology,” and - the focus of this year - “The Bible.” While Biblical study is a part of the entire confirmation process, this year we’ll take a closer look at the stories of scripture on Sunday Mornings, and then have monthly classes to learn broad themes and the history of the Bible with an eye toward Lutheran Theology. This monthly class will happen on the 1st Sunday of each month from 6:00–8:00pm with dinner provided. Confirmation Students and their parents/guardians are expected to attend this class. The monthly class is also open to anyone in the congregation who would like to learn alongside our confirmands, and continue the lifelong journey of Affirming our Baptisms! If you are interested in being a part of the confirmation class and/or helping to provide monthly meals, please contact Pastor Alex (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Adult Classes on Sundays, 9:45am
Faith Lens Adult Class - Kairos Room - Join in lively conversation focused on the Bible text used in worship that day. Explore the background and context of biblical stories, and consider how they apply to our lives today. Convener: Jean Helmick
40-Day Journey Adult Class - Nielsen Room - Join a journey that deepens your spiritual life using excerpts from the work of author Madeleine L’Engle. Participants read a brief excerpt, respond to engaging questions, and join together in prayer. Order a copy of the book HERE or just drop in and check out the class! Convener: TBD
*NEW CLASS!* Civic Life and Faith - September 10-October 15 – Pastor Lauren’s Office - The old adage says to never discuss “religion, politics, or sex,” but this class will invite you into conversation about two of the three! Disciples of Jesus Christ throughout the ages have had to figure out how to serve God within a political society, and we are no exception. This six-week class will follow the ELCA’s study curriculum for a closer look at the intersections of our Civic and Faith lives. Topics will include: How do Christians address controversial civic issues? What are Lutheran views on civic life? How does living by faith affect our civic life? Feedback from class participants will be used by the ELCA’s task force on Civic Life and Faith. Convener: Karen Thomsen
There are fun events scheduled each month for our Elementary kids, so join your friends and make new friends too! See The Chimes for details each month.
Giving of the Word – Sunday, October 8 - As the congregation hears the story of God giving the 10 Commandments to the people of Israel, Muhlenberg will join in the work of sharing God’s living word through the generations. During worship we will have a time of blessing for our students who will be receiving new bibles designed for students in their age group.
Roller Skating at Funky’s – Sunday, September 10, 3:00-5:00pm - A private party just for us during “Fall-In Weekend!” Muhlenberg will have the rink all to ourselves. Skate rentals are covered, and snacks and drinks will be provided. This is open to all families of kids from Pre-K to High School.
Second Annual Muhlenberg Trunk or Treat – Sunday, October 29, 4:00 - 6:00 pm - Join in a time of fun and celebration for the Muhlenberg community and our neighbors! From 4:00-5:00pm, children of all ages will have the opportunity to “trick or treat” around cars parked in the Ott St. and MAC parking lots. Adults and groups are encouraged to sign up and use their creativity to decorate their trunks and have a chance to win the Trunk Cup. From 5:00-6:00pm we will have snacks, hot cider, games, and a dance party! Invite your friends and neighbors to mark their calendars now, and contact Ashley Saunders (email@example.com) if you’d like to volunteer.
High School Youth Group Lock-In - November 11-12 - 9th to 12th graders are invited to join us for a Youth Group Lock-In at the church! In classic Lock-In style, we’ll stay overnight at the church and have time for fellowship, growing closer, sharing meals, playing games, and wrapping it up by getting to worship together. You are welcome to bring friends! The event begins Saturday at 4:00pm, and concludes after worship together at 8:30am Sunday Morning. Let Pastor Alex (firstname.lastname@example.org) know if you’re planning to attend or have any questions!
Staff Update - Wade Meyers began serving as our Music Minister in mid-July. Drawing on diverse teaching experiences from institutions like Washington Christian Academy, the Wolf Trap Foundation, and Holton-Arms School, and bringing experience from music ministry leadership in both Lutheran and Presbyterian congregations, Wade is committed to fostering musical talent, and equipping people to share their music in worship. He shares a passion for both tradition and innovation in worship and our music ministry. We intently anticipate a harmonious future under Wade's direction!
Embrace the Joy of Song!
Choirs are a pillar of our community, and everyone is welcome to join, whether you're a seasoned singer or just beginning. If you're interested, please contact our Music Minister, Wade Meyers at email@example.com. Adult ensemble rehearsals resume on August 29-30, and our initial rehearsals for choirs and handbells are a perfect opportunity for newcomers to experience the joy without any commitment.
Celebration Singers (10th grade and up): Every Tuesday, 6:30-7:30pm, and then gracing most 8:30am Sunday services. This ensemble revels in a mix of unison singing and harmonies, and diverse genres. Your love for singing is the only ticket in!
Sanctuary Choir (10th grade and up): Gather every Wednesday, 6:30-7:30pm, and elevate the 11:00am Sunday service. A tapestry of melodies, from the Renaissance era to the latest in choral music, awaits you. Prior choral experience is helpful, but not mandatory.
Cherub Choir - Sundays from November 12 - December 17, 12:15-12:45pm - Catering to the spirited voices from ages 4 through grade 2. Guided by Rachel Peters, these cherubs will serenade the congregation on the second Sunday of Advent and the 4:00pm Christmas Eve service. Practice sessions will unfold in the music room.
Youth Choir (grades 3 - 9) - Sundays from November 12 - December 17, 12:15-12:45pm - Under the guidance of Music Minister Wade Meyers, this choir is prepping for an enchanting performance on the second Sunday of Advent and Christmas Eve. Join the melodies in the Sanctuary.
Gloria Dei Ringers - every Tuesday, 7:00-8:30pm - Under the expert hand of Handbell Director Kath Wissinger, the sanctuary will resonate with the timeless tones of handbells about once per month.
Fall in to worship at Muhlenberg!
Our liturgy is, by definition, the “work of the people.” There are lots of ways to get involved in worship, and many find that serving in worship is a meaningful part of their Sunday morning.
Property Work Day – Saturday, October 7, 8:00am – 1:00pm - We have a beautiful facility and invite all Muhlenberg members to help keep it that way! Join in the next Property Work Day to help with small projects to keep our building and grounds in tip top shape. We also have a lot of fun working together! Contact Sexton Jeff Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Diamond Jubilee Luncheon – October 15, 12:00pm - Join us for an annual gathering and celebration of Muhlenberg members aged 75+. Want to help make it happen? Provide a ride for a senior, assist with set-up and clean-up, or help with planning and coordination. Contact Sandy Randolph (email@example.com)
175th Anniversary Celebration Sunday – Sunday, December 17 – help us “kick off” Muhlenberg’s 175th year on this very special Sunday! Check The Chimes for more details on all we’ll have planned for that special day and the months to come. Interested in joining the "17th Anniversary Planning Team"? Contact Pastor Lauren - firstname.lastname@example.org
Congregational Meeting – November 19, 9:45am – Hear updates on the life of the congregation, vote on the 2024 Ministry Spending Plan, and elect new leaders.
Advent & Christmas
Keep an eye out in November for a full newsletter with all the details of the Advent/Christmas season. We’ll celebrate ADVENTure Sunday, hear the Christmas story in a lively Christmas program, and more!
Christmas Eve Worship, Sunday December 24, 2023
Muhlenberg Lutheran Church
281 East Market Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22801