Sermons & Media
 
 
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Sermons & Bible Studies

Advent records sermon and bible study content from Pastor John Fiene, and guest pastors, through SoundCloud. You can access and download our content from this site, via the SoundCloud app on the App Store and Google Play, or as an iTunes podcast.
 

Notes from Advent

From self study to commentary, Notes from Advent shares the latest news, events and other information from Advent Lutheran Church.
 

An Interview with Vicar Debner

Please describe your family background and hometown.

I was born the first grandson of Michael Debner, the father of my dad Gregory Debner, who himself was the youngest of four brothers. My grandpa Mike went to be with the Lord on July 1st, 1983, over a full year before I was born on July 24th, 1984. He never met his first grandson. My three older sisters were like three additional mothers to me and my younger brother, and all five of us graduated from the same high school in Sylvania Ohio. I was baptized at Olivet Lutheran Church in Sylvania where my dad was an elder. After the congregation’s merger into the ELCA my parents left Olivet for King of Glory LCMS in Sylvania where I was confirmed. Sylvania as a community offered a panorama of different ethnicities, economic strata and faith backgrounds, all of which were present in the public school system I was educated through.
 

Who inspired you most as a child and your formative years. How?

The term “inspiration” carries a heavy connotation. I could look to a number of people who were influential toward my development in my early years such as authors, educators, professional athletes, pastors, doctors, coaches, etc. I would be dishonest if I was to look toward such persons as the greatest inspiration of my growing years. Regardless of how trite it might seem, I was influenced the most by my Savior Jesus Christ. It was a very difficult experience to stare death in the face during the ordeal with advanced Hodgkin’s disease at age 13-14. I don’t think a single person beyond the one who carried our sins to the cross at Golgotha outside Jerusalem impacted me more than anyone else. Reading about the endurance He showed in His passion was a terrific motivation and inspiration to stay mentally tough during such a testing time. I owe my mental toughness to the example of He who demonstrated true mental strength in the face of the most extreme adversity imaginable.
 

How did you meet your wife, Emily?

Emily and I met when I transferred to Concordia Ann Arbor and joined the wind ensemble playing trumpet. She was the music librarian for the ensemble and after a rehearsal in the fall of 2011 I helped her stack chairs in the band room. She called my assistance “precious” and we all know how the story ended (married on May 24th, 2015).
 

Where did you attend school and church?

As mentioned, I attended public school in Sylvania, Ohio. I was a 2003 graduate of Sylvania Southview and went on to study at four different Universities before completing my B.A. in Religious Studies at Concordia Ann Arbor in 2014. Prior to CUAA I was a student at Ohio Northern University from the fall of 2003 to the spring of 2005 studying chemistry, a student at the University of Toledo studying biology from the fall of 2005 to the spring of 2007, and student at Lourdes University in Sylvania from the fall of 2009 to the spring of 2011 studying theology.

All the while I maintained a membership at King of Glory LCMS in Sylvania, a congregation that had become my family and support during the wanderings of my 11 year undergraduate endeavors.
 

What were some of the activities you were involved in?

Prior to cancer I was an active Cub, then Boy Scout, reaching the rank of first class before diagnosis. I participated in youth soccer leagues from age 6 to 12, flag football from age 9 to 11, and tackle football from age 12-20 (I played a year of football at Ohio Northern). I was also a track athlete in the events of 300m and 110m hurdles, 4x100m and 4x400m relays, and the sprint medley team for my high school alma mater. At age 11 the task of learning to play the trumpet was undertaken, and apart from the year I was treated for cancer and 8 years of hiatus after graduating high school I have been playing ever since. I did some public speaking at fundraisers for the Make-a-wish foundation and spoke on the radio about my recovery from cancer through the autologous stem cell transplant I received at the Cleveland Clinic. During high school I also attended several Group Workcamps® where I had the opportunity to engage non-Lutheran “Christians” with my confessional beliefs.
 

What jobs did you have before entering the seminary?

The first job I had was working at a local Arby’s restaurant during my senior year of high school. After that I worked for a landscaping company owned by my sister’s husband’s mother for two seasons. Between those two seasons I was a truck loader for Fed-Ex Ground. I also had a stint as a seasonal worker at a local green house. I was a prep-cook at an Italian restaurant in Sylvania for 15 months, an employee at Chipotle Mexican Grill, and a member of the maintenance crew at Concordia Ann Arbor before I entered Seminary.
 

What led to your decision to become a pastor? How did you feel that you were called?

I decided to pursue the ministry after two years of studying “theology” at Lourdes University where their theological department was pushing Roman Catholic ecumenicalism and OT historical critical method of higher criticism. For me, I never had a problem while growing up believing that men of the OT like Jonah, Job, and others are real people who really lived in historical reality. After finding out that chemistry and biology were not going to provide avenues for celebrating the faith I was blessed with in Jesus Christ our Lord, and after confronting ecumenical Catholicism and higher criticism at Lourdes, I knew that my life had been impacted by the truth of God’s Word to the effect that I had no other calling in life than to serve the Lord in His holy Church.

What experiences have affirmed your calling?

I have had numerous opportunities to speak of Christ with non-believers throughout my adult life, all of which have left me with the impression that there in nothing in this world worth knowing if not for Christ and Him crucified. The passion and conviction I carry in the true faith given from Christ has left people who were total strangers to me with a sense of peaceful assurance that God has given the forgiveness of our sins as a free gift through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ.
 

What do you look forward to in the next year as a vicar?

I look forward to growing in my capacity to be a faithful servant of Christ in my responsibilities as a called and (to-be) ordained pastor. I hope to gain confidence in my preaching ability and continue growing more and more comfortable interacting with people who have not yet discovered the glorious hope of the crucified and risen Jesus. Most of all I look forward to learning more about the various dynamics that come with being a pastor and developing a rich understanding of the ministry in the context of our current age.
 


Announcing New Officers and Boards of Advent

Announcing New Officers and Boards of Advent

Thank you to the officers and board members who served Advent Lutheran Church during the past year. Without volunteers to assist in the important business and spiritual concerns of the church, our congregation would not be as strong as it is today.

Below are the results of the elected officers and board members from the annual voter’s meeting, held June 12

Chairman—Christopher Colson

Vice Chairman—Chuck Long

Financial Secretary—Mike Deiss

Treasurer—Dan Latimer (Assistant.Treasurer: Diane Sturek)

Secretary—Brittney Herbert

 

Board of Elders
Mike Brown
Tom Casciani
Craig Dykstra
Mark Halvorsen
Larry Irving
Mark Mayer
Craig Phillips
Monte Weimer
Board of Stewardship
Adam Cmejla
Gene Konradi
Bob McCain
Ned Ryan
Board of Trustees
Woody Bredehoeft
Mark Harris
Dave Kopeschka
Katie Krock
Pete Miller
Board of Evangelism
David Tonak
Jiaxin Oakley
Gordon & Joyce Pixley
Board of Fellowship
Donna Coomes
Spencer & Liz Bailey
Denise Long
Jacob & Allie Weimer
School Board
Kathy Blackburn
Gloria Bredehoeft
Amie Cramer
Abby Fritcha
Linda Harris
Bliss Magill
Tierney Williams
Board of Education
Marnie Engleman
Bethany Jackson
Sarah Jones
Shelley Kazmierczak
Jim Kranich
Cathy Middaugh
Board of Missions
Jacob Fiene
John & Elsie Manaloor
David & Denise Mullins
Stacy Alldredge
Holly Neff
Katelyn Redman


VBS 2017 – July 10-July 13

VBS 2016

Join us July 10-July 13 – 17 for our VBS 2017 program: REFORMATION 500:  The Life and Teachings of Martin Luther.  
 

Hosted daily from 9:00am to 11:30am, this program is designed for youth from 3 1/2 years old to those entering 5th grade. To provide a superior VBS program, we are collecting a nominal registration fee of $10/child or $20/family.

Please register by July 7th, 2017.

VBS 2017 Registration forms may be dropped off or mailed to the church office with the fee.  If paying online, please include a copy of your receipt with your registration form.

 

REGISTRATION FORM



Holy Week: How Christians Show & Tell

I am the Way Truth and Life Religious PowerPoint

Holy Week:
How Christians Show & Tell

Dear “Kindergarteners:”

 

For many years now I have written to the Indianapolis Star’s editors with the plea for them to place a feature on their front page that would tell the story of Christians and their worship of God throughout Holy Week. Whatever mention they make of Palm Sunday or Maundy Thursday or Good Friday (if there is any mention at all) will be buried on a back page. We are fortunate to get an additional picture. When it comes to Easter, what we usually get is a picture of the Pope on his balcony in Rome. Not exactly our home nor how we have chosen to celebrate the resurrection of Christ.

 

Only Christians can make these sacred days into something special. What is so special? Just that Jesus was and is the Son of God, the Word of God who created the entire universe. Just that this Second Person of the Godhead became flesh and gave his flesh over into death to destroy the power of death. This past Sunday in my sermon I spoke about the privilege of being a citizen in the Kingdom of God, a citizenship given to us in Holy Baptism. It is our privilege to worship God and to eat at His “wedding banquet,” the feast of salvation. And this is not just a feast of earthly things. It is a heavenly feast. It is a feasting upon the immortal flesh of the Son of God. It is a feast that drinks the blood of Christ for the forgiveness of sins. This is how we tell the story of Easter and make the Gospel known to the world. We celebrate. We worship. We confess.

 

So I am exhorting, urging, ever compelling your Christian hearts to tell the world about the true meaning of Holy Week. Maundy Thursday is a Feast of forgiveness. Good Friday is a visual feasting upon the death of Christ. Easter is the heavenly feast. He is risen from the dead! Hallelujah.

 

So place this story and picture upon the front page of your hearts:

We are celebrating the hope of everlasting life, of divine pardon, of the future restoration of our flesh in a glorified paradise of eternity.

Do you think a newspaper could ever properly and accurately portray such a story? Maybe this is the reason for why the Star never really tried. Christians are the only ones who can truly tell the story. Like they said to us when we were in kindergarten: This week is the time for “Show and Tell.”
 
1621
In the Name of the Crucified and Risen Lord,
 
Pastor John Fiene
 
Feel free to join us at Advent for our “Show and Tell” during our Holy Week services.
  • Maundy Thursday 7 pm
  • Good Friday 7 pm
  • Easter 8 & 10:45 am


Holy Week & Easter Celebrations

Holy Week Services

Holy Week - Easter
Wednesday Evening Lent services will continue at 7pm on March 9th and 16th.
 
Join us during Holy Week for worship, reflection and celebration.
 
Maundy Thursday Service is at 7:00 pm on March 24th.
 
Good Friday Service is at 7:00 pm on March 25th.
 
Easter Services are at 8:00 and 10:45 am.  Brunch will be served between services at 9:30 am.
 
Contact Vicar Grady if you would like to help with serving brunch.


Advent Preschool & Kindergarten now enrolling for 2016-2017

Preschool

Preschool now enrolling for 2016-2017

Advent Lutheran Preschool & Kindergarten Programs are now enrolling for the 2016-2017 school year!
 
Advent offers a Christian learning environment, with small class sizes, for children ages 2 through 5. Advent Lutheran School balances teacher-directed and child-initiated learning, with an emphasis on individual learning styles and building on strengths and interests.
 
Our curriculum incorporates the Indiana State guidelines and hands-on learning to promote motor skills and brain development. Our educational philosophy is that every child is a gift from God, full of potential and ready to be nurtured in mind, body and spirit.
 
We offer a variety of half-day programs:
  • 1/2 Day Kindergarten for 5 year olds
  • Pre-Kindergarten for 4 year olds
  • Preschool for 3 year olds
  • Mom’s Morning Out for 2 year olds
  • Lunch options available for 3, 4 & 5 years

Explore these programs in greater detail at www.preschool.adventlutheran.org/classes-programs/  

Contact Deb Trewartha, Director, at 317-873-6318 for more details or to schedule a tour.

Advent Lutheran School is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Education Association.



Year of the Bible – Romans 12

Epiphany - Romans 12
 
 
 
 
In view of God’s mercy . . . offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. – Romans 12:1

Romans 12:1-15:4 (13:8-14)

The apostle Paul takes advantage of a beautiful metaphor to describe what the Christian life is like: It is like sacrificing ourselves to God. To sacrifice something means that you give the whole thing up – that it no longer belongs to you and that you no longer have any claim upon it. When people in the Old Testament era offered sacrifice to God, they were saying that they were dedicating themselves to God LIKE the animal sacrifice that they offered—with a total dedication of mind, body and soul. Of course, no one would ever be able to make that kind of commitment to God unless they were deeply moved by God’s sacrifice that a new kind of love emerged within them and they did the impossible! That, of course, is what happens to us. By seeing and grasping the greatness of the love of God, that God would give His only Son, that He would sacrifice Jesus for us, we discover a power of love arises within us, the love of God that enables us to dedicate our whole lives, our whole hearts, our whole being, TO HIM. Paul then takes us to the next logical thought – we ought not be proud about this kind of sacrifice, or judge others by the level or amount of sacrifice that we make. God will judge men at the end of time. We should not think to try and do it for Him. We should instead follow the path of humility and regard our differences of personality and talents and spiritual ability as different gifts from God. Out of love, Christians can and should treat their enemies in much the same way as Christ. Love is a powerful force and it always triumphs over evil. Love also submits to authority (13:1-7) and grants honor to those appointed to offices of authority. Love is the summation of the whole law. (13:9) It bends for the weak in faith and holds back judgment, but always for the sake of the “faith” which love serves. In this respect, Christ is an example to us, as are all the saints of the Bible, for all things written in the Scriptures were written to strengthen our faith and sustain us as we patiently wait for God to bring time to an end.

Questions – Romans 12

  1. What do Christians do with their lives as they seek to worship God?
  2. What does this mean?
  3. What moves our hearts to love God in this way?
  4. If we are humble about our gifts and talents, how will we treat others who do not have the same gifts and talents?
  5. What kinds of things does Paul tell us love will automatically do in us and through us?
Year of the Bible – Epiphany Week Three | Saturday | Romans 12 – © John W. Fiene