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 ic