02-27-2020 Hope Ev. Lutheran Church celebrates 60th Birthday; Free pre-diabetes class in  Watervlie

Hope Ev. Lutheran Church celebrates 60th Birthday

It was on Feb. 21, 1960 when a group of Lutheran families who lived in the Hartford area, officially started Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hartford which became a congregation within the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. There were other Lutheran churches in other nearby cities, some associated with the Wisconsin Synod and some not. But this group wanted to have a church in their own city. For several years the group worshipped at the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Hartford. Then in 1964, they finally dedicated their new church facility on their present property on Bennett Street. For the first few years the congregation was served by sharing a pastor with a sister church, Trinity Lutheran, in Bangor. And then finally in May of 1971, Hope received her first full-time resident pastor, Pastor David Dolan. Over the next 49 years Hope would be served by four other faithful Lutheran Pastors, Pastor Gerhardt Kionka, Pastor Dan Gawrish, Pastor John Weaver-Hudson, and finally by her present pastor, Pastor Frederick Adrian, who serves the congregation as a shared time-part pastor. Pastor Adrian lives in the Grand Rapids area, and serves the congregation on a limited basis. Over the 60 years that Hope has been in existence, some Lutheran churches and synods have turned away from their roots and have developed unscriptural ideas. Hope still sticks to the Lutheran basics they started out with. They believe that the Bible is the inspired and inerrant Word of God. They believe that people are saved by God’s grace, which means they could do nothing to get closer to God, but God grabbed hold of them, and brought them into His kingdom. God even gives them the faith they need to believe. Hope members believe that even though they have been saved by Jesus, they are still not perfect people. Christians will still sin! Christians will still make a mess of their lives. And Christians always rely on the grace, mercy and love of Jesus that daily forgives them, and keeps them safe in His arms.

For anyone looking for a perfect congregation of believers, then they won’t find it at Hope. What they will find is a bunch of sinners who have been forgiven by their Lord, and who strive to show that same love and share that same love of Jesus with everyone they can.

Free pre-diabetes class in Watervliet, Thursday, March 5

Spectrum Health Lakeland is offering a free program designed to help anyone with higher-than-normal blood sugar levels learn about lifestyle changes which may help them avoid or delay the onset of diabetes. The class will take place on Thursday, March 5, from 1 to 3 p.m. in Classroom B at Lakeland Hospital Watervliet, located at 400 Medical Park Drive. During the first hour of the program, a registered nurse will guide attendees through the disease process of diabetes and introduce healthy lifestyle changes. The final hour will be spent with a registered dietitian who will suggest meal selections that can help you maintain health and manage weight. This program does not require a physician referral. Pre-registration for this free class is required, and class size is limited. For more information or to register, call 269-556-2868.

Our first spring wildflowers, those of the skunk cabbage, will be blooming soon. Snowdrops and crocuses will make their appearances as well. Why do some flowers “choose” to ignore the snow and others wait until much later to bloom? The answer is hormones. More precisely, the genes that control the hormones. One gene, APETALA 1 (AP1), is particularly important. It is sensitive to weather, temperature and photoperiod (number of hours of daylight vs. darkness). When AP1 senses the proper conditions for its species, it sends an all stop signal to the genes directing leaf growth. Then AP1 produces proteins that switch on the genes that actually produce flowers. Some of these genes are also influenced by air temperature and have the final “say” as to whether or not a flower is produced. Warm temperatures activate the gene and a flower blooms. Cold temperatures inhibit it so no flowers. Mark your calendars for our Spring Trivia Night Saturday, March 14, for an evening of “FUNdraising” to test your knowledge on a variety of categories. A $200 prize will be awarded to the winning table. Sign up and reserve a table or spot by calling the nature center at (269) 927-4832. Cost is $100/table of 10 or $10/person. Doors open at 6 p.m., trivia begins at 7. There will be a cash bar for beverages, but you can bring snacks to share with your tablemates. Reservations & pre-payment required. Adults only.

Fishing While there may be ice in some areas of the southern sections of the Lower Peninsula, the warm-up this past weekend deteriorated the ice once again, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported. Lakes to the north still have good ice fishing opportunities. In the southwest Lower Peninsula, there were more anglers out on the ice last week. However, the fluctuating temperatures in this area over the weekend deteriorated the ice and extreme caution still needs to be used, as one group of anglers went through the ice in Allegan County. Ellinee Bait & Tackle on Paw Paw Lake near Coloma reported very little ice, mostly in the channels and the ice is poor. The cooler temperatures predicted for this weekend may help the ice, but anyone venturing out needs to be extremely careful and use a spud to make sure where they are planning to step will be a safe one. Anglers in this area that were able to get out on ice found the bite good. Bluegill and crappie seemed to be hungry and even a few pike were caught. The St. Joseph River continues to produce a few walleye and steelhead. Most were fishing near the Berrien Springs Dam. In Kalamazoo County some lakes had ice fishing, while others had variable ice thickness. Extreme caution needs to be used. Grand River near Grand Rapids continues to produce a few good runs of steelhead. Fish have been caught on jigs with wax worms, spawn and beads. Most are fishing near the 6th Street Dam and below. Walleye were caught off the wall and at Fulton Street. No big numbers, but steelhead still can be found in the Rogue River. The DNR reminds anglers that changing ice conditions could require removal of fishing shanties before required removal dates. This is a possibility every year, as all shanties must be removed once ice can no longer safely support them. It’s the angler’s responsibility to safely remove their shanty before it falls through the ice. Shanty owners whose structures fall through the ice are subject to penalties of up to 30 days in jail, fines of $100 to $500, or both. If a shanty is removed by a government agency, the court can require the owner to reimburse that agency for an amount of up to three times the cost of removal. If ice conditions don’t warrant early removal, these are the final dates for shanty removal: LOWER PENINSULA ice shanties on Lake St. Clair were to be removed before sunset Sunday, February 23. Shanties in the northern Lower Peninsula must be removed by midnight Sunday, March 15. Ice shanties in the southern Lower Peninsula must be removed by midnight Sunday, March 1. UPPER PENINSULA on Michigan-Wisconsin boundary waters, ice shanties must be removed by midnight Sunday, March 15. All other bodies of water in the Upper Peninsula must have ice shanties removed by midnight Tuesday, March 31. After the removal deadlines, daily use of ice shanties is permitted anywhere in Michigan as long as ice conditions permit and if the shanties are removed from the ice at the end of each day. Hunting Don’t wait to get your 2020 hunting or fishing license – most licenses and permits go on sale this Sunday, March 1 when the new license year begins. That start date includes hunting and fishing license sales, except for certain deer licenses and furbearer tags that are sold later in the year. Applications for the 2021 Pure Michigan Hunt also go on sale on March 1. Remember that the 2019 fishing licenses, base/small-game licenses and ORV permits are valid through March 31, 2020. However, the 2020 versions of these licenses and permits can be purchased as of March 1. With the DNR’s just-introduced new license sales system, anglers have the added convenience of auto-renewing their fishing licenses through the e-license system. Order online at Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses or visit any Michigan retailer that sells DNR licenses. Kill tags and trail permits ordered online are mailed to customers and usually arrive in seven to ten days. Check the DNR website for the latest season guides and digests, which are posted as they become available. Questions can be directed by email to MDNR-E-License@Michigan.gov or call 517-284-6057. Everyone seeking valuable experience working in wildlife conservation – or just an interest job that gets them outdoors – should consider applying for one of 70 summer positions with the DNR Wildlife Division. The division regularly hires additional people to work with staff at DNR field offices, customer service centers and state game areas. These seasonal employees help in a variety of ways. To learn more about seasonal wildlife positions – and other openings throughout the department – at Michigan.gov/DNRJobs; scroll to the Seasonal and Temporary Positions section. For questions, contact Jennifer Schafer at 517-284-6163. For those that are planning to take an out-of-state hunting trip or planning to rent a personal watercraft (such as a Jet Ski) on spring break, they should not forget to take along a copy of their safety certificate, demonstrating their participation in an appropriate safety program, because many states require such proof. Misplaced certificates where the holder has previously completed a Michigan hunter, bow, marine, ORV, snowmobile or trapper education course, the owner can simply request a duplicate safety certificate through the Michigan.gov/RecreationalSafety webpage. Requests for duplicate safety certificates can take seven to 10 business days to process. These certificates cannot be emailed or faxed, and the DNR cannot share certificate numbers over the phone. Contact the DNR Recreational Safety Section at 517-284-6000 with any questions.

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