Messenger Of Grace – December

by | Nov 30, 2018

December 2018


Advent is from the Latin word for “Coming.” The four weeks leading up to Christmas are the time of Advent. Advent is the beginning of the “Church Year”, which is different from the usual way we mark the time using the Julian calendar. This year, Advent begins December 2.

To help us prepare for Advent, the coming of Jesus, we have an Advent wreath or stand, which traditionally has four candles in a circle of evergreen branches weaved into a wreath around one candle in the center. There are three candles of purple, one of rose, and the center is of white. There are many variations to the traditional Advent Wreath, but the following one is most prevalent among our churches.

The first purple candle lit is the Prophecy candle, commemorating the prophets of the Old Testament, chief among them Isaiah, who foretold the birth of the Messiah. This candle is sometimes called Hope or Expectation.

The second is the Bethlehem candle, where Jesus was born. It can also be called Peace or Preparation.

The rose-colored candle is the Shepherd or Joy candle. It represents the shepherds’ joy at seeing the newborn Savior. It is lit third.

The fourth is the Angels’ Candle, celebrating the angels’ announcement to the shepherds. Sometimes it is called the Love Candle.

On Christmas Eve, the white Christ candle is lit.

The Advent season not only looks back to the birth of Jesus, but it also looks ahead to the coming of Jesus on Judgment Day. Advent is a “Penitential” season, which is fitting because we appreciate our Savior’s coming only when we understand why we need him. The coming of Jesus in judgment on the last day also causes us to recall our sins and to be thankful for his forgiveness.

There is a tendency to rush through Advent, or even to skip it altogether. The world celebrates Christmas beginning already on Thanksgiving Day. Stores promote Christmas even earlier than that in order to lure shoppers. I would encourage you not to skip or hurry Advent. Let the quiet wonder and a repentant spirit linger until Christmas Eve, when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Dec 2: Be Ready! Jesus is Coming Soon!
Dec 9: Repent! Jesus is Coming Soon!
Dec 16: Be Faithful! Jesus is Coming Soon!
Dec 23: Rejoice, For Jesus is Coming Soon!

Advent Messages from Isaiah 40
Dec 5: The Promised Messiah is at Hand.
Dec 12: The Redeemer of All People Is Come.
Dec 19: The Holy One of Israel Is Revealed.

LIFE LINE SCREENING, a leading provider of community-based preventive health screenings, is pleased to offer a preventive health event at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church of Yorba Linda on 12/11/2018. Five screenings will be offered that scan for potential health problems related to: blocked arteries which is a leading cause of stroke; abdominal aortic aneurysms which can lead to a ruptured aorta; hardening of the arteries in the legs which is a strong predictor of heart disease; atrial fibrillation or irregular heart beat which is closely tied to stroke risk; and a bone density screening, for men and women, used to assess the risk of osteoporosis. Register for a Wellness Package which includes 4 vascular tests and osteoporosis screening from $149 ($139 with our member discount). All five screenings take 60-90 minutes to complete. There are three ways to register for this event and to receive a $10 discount off any package priced above $129, please call toll-free 1-888-653-6441 or visit or text the word circle to 797979.

THANKSGIVING BASKETS were distributed before Thanksgiving. Twenty baskets, which included at least $25.00 in gift cards for turkeys and other thanksgiving dinner supplies, were picked up or delivered. In addition, another 9 families received gift cards without baskets. We have received more gift cards and these will be given to needy families. Thank you to Dina (project lead), Jamie, and Debbie, and to everyone who donated supplies, gift cards, and cash. Jamie Van Keirsbelk has volunteered and has been appointed to be the lead on this project next year.

SOCIAL MEDIA: You are encouraged to sign in on Facebook when you are here, and to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. This is one way to perk up peoples’ interest in our church. Some who see will come, and some who come will join a class.

CHURCH DECORATING: On December 2, stay for a few minutes after worship to help decorate the trees, put up wreaths, lights, nativity sets, and the outdoor JOY.

BROADWAY KNIGHTS CHRISTMAS CONCERT: December 14, 7:30 pm, the BK Christmas Concert will feature some amazing talent from the area, including Jimmy Mulligan, a Disney artist and star of several musicals. Thrivent will help sponsor the event, which will include dinner and a bake sale. Donations for California Wildfire relief will be collected.

YORBA LINDA ARTS ALLIANCE FOUNDATION has invited interested members of our congregation to a “Random Act of Culture” (flash mob style) singing the Hallelujah Chorus at South Coast Plaza on Saturday, Dec. 1, at 12 noon in the Jewel Court and again at 12:30 by the Carousel.

KING OF KINGS ADVENT BY CANDLELIGHT: The women of King of Kings, Garden Grove, invite the women and girls of Grace to join them for Advent by Candlelight Sunday, Dec 2, at 4 pm. RSVP 714-530-6584.

GRIEFSHARE is a grief recovery support group that will help individuals understand the journey of grief and move from mourning to joy. Thirteen sessions include living with grief, the journey of grief, the effects of grief, God’s prescription for grief, heaven, and other topics. Pastor Wagenknecht will host the GriefShare group on Thursday nights, 7 pm. Tell Pastor if you will be able to participate!



Every Nativity Scene ever sold has them. The Magi, or wise men, seem very familiar. They followed the Star from the East, went to Herod in Jerusalem, learned that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, and found him in a house there. They presented gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They worshipped the baby and then returned home by a different route, in order to avoid King Herod.

Matthew 2:1-12 is the only place where we read of their visit to Judea. We do not know their names or their number. The fact that there were three gifts led to the tradition that there were three men. We have no reason to think they were three kings as the popular song goes. The word Orient simply means from the east, but we don’t know how far East. Their home may have been Persia, Babylon, Assyria, or Arabia. It is doubtful but not impossible that they could have come from as far as India or China. We never hear of them again after Matthew 2.

The word “Magi” indicates they were men of learning, familiar with astrology and various sacred texts. They read in Genesis 49:10 about the scepter of Judah and in Numbers 24:17 about the scepter and the star. Herod’s advisors informed them of the prophecy in Micah 5:2, concerning Bethlehem. The Greek word for star, “Aster,” can refer to any of the lights in the sky including planets, meteors, comets, etc. We do not know what the Magi saw, but its illumination was specific enough that they followed the star to a house.

The brevity, lack of detail, and mystery concerning these people leads to many creative traditions. But we can learn from them some sure and important truths. First, Jesus is the Son of God who fulfilled the Old Testament Scriptures by becoming man. He is the Savior not only for the Jewish people but also for Gentiles like the Magi. He was protected in his infancy and throughout his life to preserve him for the ultimate sacrifice he was to give on Calvary’s cross to pay for the sins of all people.


• Judy Blaylock (Ex Sister In Law of Elizabeth Ehlers), melanoma
• Debbie Butler (relative of Hokensons), cancer
• Tanya DeLong, cancer
• Joan Dressendorfer, homebound
• June Heckenlaible, homebound
• Evelyn Hokenson, homebound
• Carol Hubbard, homebound
• Matt and Stephanie Ibarra, expecting second baby in 2019
• Bob Krueger, homebound
• Kathe Lind, hospice
• Wayne and Annette Madsen, homebound
• Steve Nelson, USAF deployment
• Hulda Stoppelmann, hospice
• Claire Wulf, homebound
• Don Wulf, prostate cancer


• Judy Blaylock (Ex Sister In Law of Elizabeth Ehlers), melanoma
• Debbie Butler (relative of Hokensons), cancer
• Tanya DeLong, cancer
• Joan Dressendorfer, homebound
• June Heckenlaible, homebound
• Evelyn Hokenson, homebound
• Carol Hubbard, homebound
• Matt and Stephanie Ibarra, expecting second baby in 2019
• Bob Krueger, homebound
• Kathe Lind, hospice
• Wayne and Annette Madsen, homebound
• Steve Nelson, USAF deployment
• Hulda Stoppelmann, hospice
• Claire Wulf, homebound
• Don Wulf, prostate cancer

December Birthdays & Anniversaries


2- Claire Wulf
5- Don Wulf
10- Holly Byrnes
12- Ilena Vandiver
13- Matt Caswell
14- Dina Lombardi Dowler
17- Roy Rymas
27- Natalie Emery
28- Erwin Gomez


17- Dick and Judie Nelson

The Mission of Grace

Evangelical Lutheran


is to make disciples for Jesus Christ by sharing the gospel in God’s Word and Sacraments. Following God’s direction and seeking His help, we will fulfill this mission by conducting the following activities:

  • Glorifying and praising God through public worship services,
  • Teaching classes for all ages
    • to strengthen those who believe,
    • to train and equip members to lead exemplary Christian lives,
    • to train and equip members to reach out to others,
  • Seeking the lost and straying,
  • Administering the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion,

The Messenger Of Grace is published monthly by: Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church. To subscribe, or be removed from our mailing list, you may contact us at one of the following:

To submit articles or announcements, please email to the same address.

We are a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod because we share its beliefs and support its worldwide mission.

Pastor Daniel M. Wagenknecht

Dec 2- Infant Baptism
Dec 9- Holy Communion (Real Presence)
Dec 16—Close Communion
Dec 23-Jan 6, 2019– Luke 1-2
Jan 13, 2019 –John 1
Jan 20- Response to LGBTQ Activism
Jan 27-Feb 10 – End Times
Feb 17 “LOVE”
March 3- Habakkuk
March 10- Hosea
March 17- Joel
March 24- Amos
March 31–Obadiah
Apr 7–Micah
Apr 14—Nahum
Apr 21–Easter
Apr 28–Zephaniah
May 6–Jonah
May 13–Haggai
May 20– Zechariah
May 27– Malachi
June 3 – July 1—Daniel
July 8 and following: Medical Ethics
August: Timely Topics

THURSDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY: At 10 am, join us for an hour and study the last chapter of Romans. We will meet December 6, 13, and 20 and then take a break for Christmas.

CHRISTMAS CAROLING: On December 16, we will go caroling at some of the homes of elderly or homebound members. We hope to visit Joan Dressendorfer at Brookdale Assisted Living in Yorba Linda, where Pastor does a Bible class every two weeks, as well as the homes of Kathe Lind and Hulda Stoppelmann.

DONATIONS: The following items can be donated and will be used for projects or sold and redeemed for money. Other items should be approved by the Property Elder before being delivered.
• Used ink and toner cartridges
• Used eyeglasses
• Used pill bottles with labels removed
• Postage stamps/collections/supplies
• Christian books, especially NPH publications
• Used cell phones
• Office supplies (paper, pencils, pens, etc.)
• Beverage containers that have California Refund Value (CRV)
• Boxtops for Education
• Grocery store gift cards