COVID-Response Plan Update

Advent to Return to Normal Worship Protocols Read more…



The Summer Rush

Pastor James Grady
As we now enter the summer rush, that time when we try to get every little last thing done before school starts… oh… wait it already has. Ok, that time when we get our last few days of vacation time used while… oh… wait, that is gone too. No… wait… I’ve got it. It’s the time when the whole family still has one day off during the week on Sundays and it means we… ________. (You can fill in the blank).
 
I am truly thankful that Advent is blessed with many faithful members for whom Sundays mean… we gather together to hear God’s Word and receive forgiveness for our sins. It is a beautiful thing to partake of the eternal richness of God. I say eternal to point out the brevity of every single thing we seek pleasure and joy from as we go about our daily lives. We rightly understand that vacations and other leisure activity is a gift from God, and he wants us to enjoy our time with family and friends. But he also wants us to draw near to Him and call on Him, and not just in times of trouble or distress. God desires a pattern and rhythm of worship that brings us regularly to Him to receive what he has to offer.
 
I visit my Keurig machine every morning… possibly some of you visit Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts to receive what is offered there. I will say… it makes my day better (better for those around me too). However, that ritual or any other cannot give me what God gives through regular communion with Him. The gift he gives is faith in Christ, salvation from sins, and eternal life.
 
I have pointed out before that as Christians we are actually living that eternal life now… we are in a state of now and not quite yet. Having been brought from death to life through baptism, we are no longer dead in our sin and unbelief, but have been given faith in Christ, a faith that can fear, love, and trust God. As we gather in the Divine Service to confess our sins, receive forgiveness, and the very body and blood of the risen Christ, there is no closer place on earth to heaven and the joy that waits there.
 
Let that soak in for a moment. We can seek happiness and contentment in any and all matter of locations and activities, but God chooses to come close and touch us through the means he has given. It is Word, water, bread, and wine all in the place he has set apart for that to happen – the body of His Church. Perhaps it is too simple… too available, and we can easily come to the point that we take it for granted. It will always be there next week, next month, or at Christmas and Easter. God so richly gives to us and we can barely see and comprehend what takes place. If we could visually see it, we would never leave or long for anything else! Or, perhaps, like many who saw Jesus face to face, we would desire it for all the wrong reasons. They simply wanted the earthly kingdom of glory to come with richness, power, and physical fulfillment of their fleshly desires; not seeing the eternal life given through faith in Jesus and the receiving of His body and blood. Many turned away at this difficult teaching and they still do today. But Peter rightly and succinctly answered the question Jesus posed to the twelve in John 6:67 “Do you want to go away as well?” Peter answers… “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
In John’s Gospel all of the people referenced stood before the incarnate, living, and breathing Christ and many did not believe. Near the end of John’s Gospel he tells of Thomas and his need to see the risen Christ in order to believe. When Jesus appears before his eyes he speaks to Thomas. “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
 
I give thanks to God that you come… you hear the Words of Christ, receive forgiveness, and receive His Sacrament, in faith seeing what is unseen and its eternal glory… that you see Christ. I give thanks to God that he has blessed you with that gift of faith.
 
Amen.
Pastor Grady


Reformation 500 Choir Tour

500 Reformation Choir
Pastor John and Mrs. Solveig Fiene, Vicar Adam & Mrs. Emily Debner, along with Advent members Rae Malesh and Elly Grubaums are participating this month in a whirlwind pastoral choir concert tour of Germany in honor of the 500th Anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. The choir includes over two dozen Lutheran pastors from across the country who were selected for this unique opportunity to serve as choral ambassadors of the faith.
 
The choir is lead by Maurice Boyer, DMA, Associate Professor of Music at Concordia University in Chicago, IL.  To  learn more about their trip’s mission,  view one of their rehearsals now  on YouTube.  
 
Advent member Chris Colson is accompanying the choir on their journey and will document their trip on social media.  Be sure to follow them at the following links:  
 
Twitter  –  www.twitter.com/Reform_ation500   – @Reform_ation500
Instagram –  www.instagram.com/reformation_500_choir  – reformation_500_choir
Facebook  –  www.facebook.com/Reformation500Choir  –  @reformation500Choir


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.
 


Advent Preschool & Kindergarten now enrolling for 2021-2022

Preschool

Preschool now enrolling for 2021-2022

Advent Lutheran Preschool & Kindergarten Programs are now enrolling for the 2021-2022 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 adventlutheran.org/classes.  

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.



^