October 2, 2017


More than a decade ago, my wife, Barbara, my then 2-year-old son, Ben, and I all went to small town in Iowa known as Waverly with a population of about 8,000 people. We went to see Barbara’s long-time friend from her high school youth group. My wife’s best friend-Sue-was a part of her youth group. While there, my wife reconnected with her old high school youth pastor-Jim-who is now known as the Rev. Dr. Jim. Further, she saw two more friends from youth group that have taken over the pastorate at a thriving local church. One night, after hours of reminiscing, it struck me that my wife’s high school years were impacted dramatically by her youth group experiences. She was closer to the Savior, developed long-lasting Christian values, made major life decisions, developed life-long friends, and encountered many mission-minded moments. As I sat there at the table, my heart raced, my eyes teared up, and my passion for the Lord grew.

It made me nostalgic of my own experience. I reflected upon my youth pastors who challenged me to live for the Savior. I thought about the youth pastor who shared with me the Gospel during my freshman year in high school. It was during those critical teenage years that God molded my character, guided my decisions, and placed within me a passionate desire to serve Jesus Christ.

If the truth were known, in recent months, I started to feel “too old” or “not hip enough” to even hang out with the students in our youth ministry. This might be due in part because some students have told me “you’re old” or because I’m not as tech savvy as most middle school students and couldn’t figure out my smartphone, who knows? I started to feel like my dad who wore dress socks with Bermuda shorts and dress shoes. That being said, I can honestly say that I truly love youth ministry. But, why do I love youth ministry?

The first reason why I love youth ministry is that teenagers are meaningful to God. In other words, teenage students are important to God. People, including teenagers, matter to God. Peter said, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9). Is a teenager’s soul any less important than a forty-year-old adult’s soul? Jesus Himself had and has a special place in his heart for children, including teenage children. In the Gospel of Luke, it says: “People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it" (Luke 18:15-17).

A second reason why I love youth ministry is because youth are moldable. They are open to change. If you’re anything at all like me, it’s hard to change. Someone wise once said, “The only person that likes change is a newborn and even they aren’t crazy about it.” And yet, I find that teenage students are very willing to change.

A third reason why I love youth ministry is that youth ministry can help students make major decisions in their lives. Students are making choices about identity, career, goals, and lifetime values. Many major spiritual decisions are made before the age of eighteen. When I was a teenager, I had decided to serve the Lord Jesus Christ in full-time church service while at Angeles Crest Christian camp. Nearly thirty years later, I continue to serve the Savior.

The fourth and final reason why I love youth ministry is because youth and youth ministry make a mark for the kingdom. The apostle Paul in writing to his young protégé Timothy said: “Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” (I Timothy 4:12). Since the early part of 1989, I am blessed to say that at least twelve of my former youth group members are serving the Lord as either part-time or full-time pastors at various Christian churches.

Clearly, I love youth ministry because teenagers are important to God, teenagers are moldable, youth ministry can help students make decisions, and youth ministry makes a mark for the kingdom. I pray that you will pray for, support, and get involved in our local church’s youth ministry.

I love being your pastor!

In Jesus—the best place to be,

Foundations class will not be meeting the next couple of weeks. Sunday's class will resume on October 22 at 12:15 p.m. and Wednesday's class will start back up on October 25 at 7:00 p.m.

The 500th anniversary of the Reformation
is fast approaching!

Learn about Martin Luther, his writings, and the impact of the Reformation on the church today.

Discover a variety of resources on the Reformation for readers of all ages.

On Sunday, October 8 and 15, we will have a table set up in the courtyard with samples of books available for purchase along with an order form. The books will then be delivered to the Church for distribution.

To receive up to 50% off plus free shipping all books must be preordered and prepaid.

We will also have some other reformation themed items available for purchase at this time.

Hephatha Lutheran Church Youth Ministry Golf Tournament Fundraiser
The annual youth Golf tournament fundraiser is coming up. All golfers are welcome to participate in the golf tournament. This year the tournament will be held at Coyote Hills golf course in Fullerton on Saturday, October 14. The first tee time will be at 11:00 am, check-in will begin at 10:00 am.

The cost is $150.

Last day to sign up is Monday, October 9.

Hole and other sponsorships are available as well.

To sign up, contact Timothy Potthoff at
714-637-0887 ext. 157.


Men's Breakfast

“Sean Rooney”

Sean went to Esperanza HS, earned 1st team All-League and All-County honors and signed to UC Davis on a baseball scholarship. He then signed with Pepperdine University; where his older brother, Patrick played and younger brother, Colin, would later go on to play. In June, the Washington Nationals drafted him in the 8th round of the 2006 MLB First Year Player Draft. Sean was named a South Atlantic League All-Star in 2008 in Low A with the Hagerstown Suns.

On January 11th, 2009, his father, Bill, and his older brother, Patrick, were tragically killed in a plane crash in Steamboat Springs, CO. They were traveling back from a trip of renovating a rustic barn for the reception site of Sean and Jana’s wedding to take place in the upcoming September. This life-altering event sparked a flame in him and the Rooney Family to make a life-altering impact on others.

Date: Saturday, October 21, 2017
Time: 8:00 a.m.—9:00 a.m.
Fellowship Hall

Passport to Ministry

Passport to Ministry at Hephatha Lutheran Church

Serving is about using the God-given gifts you to help others (I Corinthians 12:7) through the ministry of the local church. In fact, serving is a normal part of the Christian life (I Peter 4:10). At Hephatha Lutheran Church, opportunities to serve are everywhere. Join any of our ministry teams, partner with our Sunday school ministry, help people worship as a part of our Audio or Visual Production teams, or help with ushering and acolyting. There are so many ways to get involved! Check out all the great opportunities to start serving on October 22nd in between our morning services!

LSS Walk A Thon, Saturday, October 28 8:30 a.m. Yorba Regiional Park

Reformation 500
An Evening of Word and Song

Wednesday, November 1, 2017, 7:00 p.m.
Segerstrom Concert Hall • Costa Mesa, California

Concordia's choirs, handbells, and orchestras join with musicians from area churches and schools in a 500-member ensemble to lead a festive evening with hymns, choruses and sacred music around the themes of the reformation. The theologians from Christ College at Concordia will share what it means to always be Reforming as we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

Tickets are going fast. Please be sure to purchase your tickets.
Order your tickets here
or call 714-556-2787
Dinner Auction Friday, November 3rd from 6:30-10:30 p.m. at the Historic Fullerton Ballroom


Love the outdoors? Join us on the trails. Join us in discussion as we hike. Love hiking? So do we, and we love to share with those we hike with. This group meets a couple times a month on Saturdays to hike at places all over Southern California. A variety of scenic views, elevation gains, and distances are offered throughout the year.

November 11—Oak Canyon at 7:30 a.m.

For more information and directions contact Barbara Andrews at afandrews777@hotmail.com

What is Happening at
Hephatha this Week

MONDAY: October 2

  • Junior High School Youth Group @ 7:00 p.m. in the Youth Room.

TUESDAY: October 3

  • Hephatha Mom's Bible Study @ 6:30 p.m. at the Potthoff's home.
  • Praise Band Rehearsal @ 7:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary.
  • Women's Tuesday Evening Bible Study @ 7:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.

WEDNESDAY: October 4

  • Women's Wednesday Morning Study @ 9:00 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall.
  • Confirmation @ 3:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary.
  • No Foundations new members class
  • High School Youth Group @ 7:00 p.m. in the Youth Room.

THURSDAY: October 5

  • Women's Thursday Morning Bible Study @ 9:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall.

SUNDAY: October 8

  • Services: 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and 11:00 a.m.
  • Sunday School @ 9:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall.
  • Child Care @ 9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 6:01 p.m. in Room 6.
  • "Open in the Word" Bible Study @9:30 a.m. in the Youth Room.
  • Youth Board Meeting @ 11:00 a.m. in the Youth Room.
  • Confirmation Class @ 11:00 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall.
  • Ignite 5th & 6th Grade Youth Group @ 4:00 p.m. in the Youth Room.

MONDAY: October 9

  • Junior High School Youth Group @ 7:00 p.m. in the Youth Room.
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