Pastor Joel Bjerkestrand

Pastor Joel Bjerkestrand was born of missionary parents in India and moved to Illinois at age twelve. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minn.
Pastor Joel Bjerkestrand served one congregation in California and three in the Phoenix area before retiring from his career of full-time ministry after 32 years. In 2011, he began his work at La Casa de Cristo Lutheran Church as Visitation Pastor, visiting shut-ins and those hospitalized.
Through his “On the Way Ministry”, Pastor Joel officiates at weddings and funerals for those who don’t have a church home/pastor.
Pastor Joel also teaches Sunday morning adult education classes, occasionally preaches, and is invited frequently to speak with groups within the congregation. After retiring from his full-time ministry, Pastor Joel Bjerkestrand received training to become a professional, certified life coach. As well, he was an adjunct professor at Western International University for six years.

Fourth Sunday After Epiphany 2022

 

Fourth Sunday After Epiphany. Pastor Joel Bjerkestrand leads us this week with his sermon “Jesus In His hometown”.

 

Luke 4:16-30

16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19     to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”[a]

20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked.

23 Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’”

24 “Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25 I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27 And there were many in Israel with leprosy[b] in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.”

28 All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. 30 But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.

 

———–Music———–
🎶 The Joy of the World
🎶 Graves Into Gardens
🎶 Build My Life
🎶 Goodness of God
🎶 Yes I Will

All performed by the Band of Believers, La Casa de Cristo

——-AV Team——–
Gary Spears, Connor Treude, Derik Hicks, Anthony Xavier, Drew Atchison, Noah Xavier and Monty Scudder

Fourth Sunday After Epiphany 2022

 

Fourth Sunday After Epiphany. Pastor Joel Bjerkestrand leads us this week with his sermon “Jesus In His hometown”.

 

Luke 4:16-30

16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19     to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”[a]

20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked.

23 Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’”

24 “Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25 I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27 And there were many in Israel with leprosy[b] in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.”

28 All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. 30 But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.

 

Download the Bulletin for this service

———–Music———–
🎼 PRELUDE – “A Simple Song of Praise”
🎼 GATHERING HYMN – “God, Whose Almighty Word”
🎼 HYMN OF PRAISE – “Glory to God”
🎼 OFFERING MUSIC – “Make Me An Instrument of Thy Peace”
🎼 MUSIC FOR MEDITATION – “O Word of God Incarnate”
🎼 SENDING HYMN – “Lord, Dismiss Us With Your Blessing”
🎼 POSTLUDE – “Fowler’s March”

Dr. Jeremy Peterman, organ, piano
John Stackel, worship leader
Sanctuary Choir

——-AV Team——–
Gary Spears, Conner Treude, Derik Hicks, Anthony Xavier, Drew Atchison, Ethan Lindquist and Chase Coletta

Our bulletin is created by Jaci Olsen.

Give Thanks for the Gift and TO the Giver

 

Thanksgiving Eve Traditional worship. We give thanks for the many blessings in our lives. Our visitation pastor, Joel Bjerkestrand explores giving thanks to the Giver beyond the gift in his message titled, ‘Give Thanks for the Gift and TO the Giver”.

In Children’s Time, Pastor Joel leads us in the ‘Turkey Song’

Luke 17:11-19 NIV
“Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

2 Corinthians 9:6-15 NIV
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”

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