November began with a trip to Sacramento CA where I was honored to provide music for a Retirement Dinner and Video Tribute to my dear friends, Pastor Mike and Sandy Swagerty. I was also able to include serving as a guest worship leader/speaker at two Grace Communion congregations – one in Fairfield CA, hosted by Pastor Steve Smith, and the other in Reno, NV, pastored by Ed Kofol. It was wonderful to catch up with dear friends Rae Neller, and Marcia and Dan Fricke, as well as so many from all over California gathered to “roast” the Swagertys!
For most of three months this past summer, we were busy preparing a worship resource entitled “Worship for Fellowship Groups.” It contained high-definition video renditions of 12 Christmas Worship Songs (carols), as well as 14 “Songs for Kids and Grand-Kids (and the Young at Heart)” and 14 songs for Worship and Praise. In addition, there are accompaniment tracks included for 28 songs (as the Christmas Carols are already purely instrumental.) To order your copy on either USB drive (to download directly into your laptop or PC) or via the File-Sharing Dropbox, please call or e-mail us and we will arrange to get this straight to you.
After twenty years of “State of the Heart Ministries” and sharing in hundreds of worship services in quite a variety of places, denominations, worship traditions and situations, we prayerfully considered what would best serve as a worship resource to provide for our many brothers and sisters who meet in homes, in house churches and fellowship groups. More often than not, there is no live accompaniment for the singing, and many folks have chosen to use worship and praise DVDs that are available out there.
The year began with a delightful visit to Grace Communion in Bellflower CA, a church I have served in at least twenty times in the past twenty years! The following weekend took me to East Texas serving in the Dallas North and Mount Pleasant congregations of the Church of God 7th Day, and at New Beginnings Christian Fellowship in Big Sandy, and a jam-packed Monday morning with concerts for both the Big Sandy Junior High and Elementary schools and a program at the Big Sandy Rotary Club! Many thanks go to pastors Raul, Jose and Jerome, and my wonderful hosts in Longview, dear friends and college classmates, Sue and Lee Berger.
We just received a text from Nairobi, Kenya where Heidi, accompanied by now nine-month old Gabriel Joseph, is doing some important work with her organization, Innovations for Poverty Action. This well-traveled young man spent two weeks in December with Heidi and Ryan and sister Grace doing some team work in Guatemala for IPA in conjunction with Ryan’s work at Yale.
In mid-September, Tammy and I were delighted to participate in the dedication of Gabriel Joseph McAnnally-Linz, along with Heidi and Ryan and proud sister 3 year old Grace at the Elm City Vineyard Church in New Haven CT. I was also honored to make a return visit to Grace’s Neighborhood Music School and give a concert for her lively pre-school class of three and four year olds.
On June 11, our daughter Lisa and her husband Jonathan welcomed fraternal twins, Evelyne Kathryn and Isaiah Frederick, to their family. Both weighed in at almost 7 pounds and we have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them these past 9 weeks! It is a very exciting and special time in the Jutsum household! For three weeks, our growing family also welcomed daughter Heidi and her husband Ryan, and their 3 year old Grace Victoria and 3 month old Gabriel Joseph.
On Thursday, April 28, our older daughter Heidi, husband Ryan and grand-daughter Grace welcomed Gabriel Joseph into the world and to their precious family. Gabriel weighed in at 8 pounds, and was 21 inches long and he has long fingers!!! Of course, Tammy and I are thrilled to welcome our second grand-child and look forward to meeting him very soon.
2 and ½ year-old first grandbaby Grace will be welcoming a baby brother in April. Heidi, Ryan and Grace joined us for two weeks over the holidays and we enjoyed many wonderful times together, including lots of singing and dancing! In other exciting news, we learned that younger daughter Lisa and her husband Jonathan, currently serving in Central Asia, are also expecting and they will welcome TWINS in May!!!
On November 8th, I was picked up from my Milwaukee Airport motel at 5 a.m. by Pastor Raymond Olson, a dear friend and pastor of Harbor Missionary Church (a Grace Communion congregation in Juneau WI.) Ray also serves full-time as a Prison Chaplain at Dodge Correctional Institution in nearby Waupun WI. After driving some 55 miles, we arrived at the facility, went through multiple levels of security and set up in the chapel for the 7:30 and 9:00 a.m. worship services.