So that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. - 1 Corinthians 12:25
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A Season of Light 

The Rev. Dr. Jim FruehlingThis is a season of light. As the days get longer and the sun rises almost imperceptibly earlier in our daily routines, we celebrate the Great Light seen by the people who walked in darkness, the Light that lightens the nations.

Our Sunday morning Gospel lessons reflect that theme, and all the new beginnings that accompany it—John crying out in the wilderness, baptism, temptations in the wilderness, and ultimately calling the disciples.

Martin Luther, as he wrote on the first chapter of John’s Gospel, has an interesting comment about Andrew – how he was first a disciple of John the Baptist, and then became a follower of Jesus. Luther says the theme here is not calling the apostles into apostolic office—not here, not yet. Rather, the theme is the disciples’ congenial associations with Christ—and their call to follow Jesus.

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Weathering the Storm – How to Start a Rejoicing Spirits Ministry in Hurricane

By Glen Stewart
Rejoicing Spirits Host Site Leader

As we enter our fifth year of hosting Rejoicing Spirits worship services at St. John Lutheran Church in Ocean City, New Jersey, it’s heartwarming to reflect on the joy and love that have been shared among our faith family. Five years of sharing our faith and message of salvation. Five years of truly remarkable worship services. Five years of joyous singing and dancing. Five years of big smiles and even bigger hugs. Five years of Rejoicing Spirits!

But, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for us. In fact, our Rejoicing Spirits ministry got off to a bit of a rocky start. Our church is located a few blocks from the beach and boardwalk in Ocean City. As you might imagine, in our seaside resort we experience many of God’s gifts firsthand: beautiful sunrises over the ocean, and cool sea breezes on hot August days. But living right on the Atlantic Ocean can mean some rough weather, too. None was rougher than Hurricane Sandy, which wreaked real destruction on the Jersey coast in October of 2012, literally weeks before our very first Rejoicing Spirits service, scheduled for November of that year. 

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Addressing Behavior with a Christian Spirit of Love: Universal Behavioral Supports 

It’s helpful to have a basic understanding of how behavior works, whether it’s desirable behavior or undesirable behavior. All behavior that is repeated serves a purpose for that person; it meets a need. Behavior ultimately allows the person to get something, get away from something, or both. Often the person who does the behavior may not realize the outcome of the behavior. Behavior that works is likely to be repeated, regardless of whether or not it’s desirable to others. Behaviors that do not work will eventually discontinue. 

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