Saturday, September 8, 2012

My Favorite Video

Recap video of 2011 of the Maranatha youth group and all their shenanigans.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Christmas Letter 2011

Greetings from Pasadena!

Rebekka and I arrived back recently from Germany after spending the Christmas holidays with Rebekka's family. Our trip fulfilled a very important purpose - introducing Immanuel to our extended family and friends in Germany. Of course, the big news for us this year was the birth of our son, Immanuel Lee Stutzman. He was born on November 2, 2011 at Arcadia Methodist Hospital and sure is a cute little fella. The birth and hospital stay was truly a smooth experience and we are really thankful that Immanuel came into this world under good circumstances.

You can see pictures of Immanuel and of the Stutzlife by following us on our tumblr blog

We chose the name Immanuel for several reasons. We loved the meaning of the name - God with us – as it reminds us of the nature of God both as present in our lives and as incarnational in revelation. (Yes, Rebekka and I are both in seminary right now.) The name also has a history in the Stutzman family as David grew up in two churches, one in Munich and one in Harrisonburg, that had Immanuel in the name of the Church. We chose Lee after Dave’s brother, Jonathan Lee, and we came to learn after the fact that Lee was the middle name of Dave’s grandfather and uncle. That means with Immanuel Lee is a middle name now for the fourth generation. 

We couldn’t be happier with Immanuel and the new life we find ourselves in as parents. Already, we have experienced a small taste of the ups and downs of parenting and the way the responsibilities, challenges and rewards of parenting shape your life in unexpected and meaningful ways. 

On the whole our year was very busy. Last year we did not write a Christmas Letter so we will start with our move to California at the end of the summer in 2010. After almost a year of being gone from Southern California, through travel and helping out with the Middle East cross-cultural semester with Eastern Mennonite University, we returned to Pasadena so that Rebekka could continue her studies in the MA in Global Leadership and Dave could wrap up his studies. (Yes, Dave did start waaay back in 2006). After a year’s hiatus, the first order of business for Dave was to find a job and after two months of searching a position opened up in his old department at Fuller Seminary and he began working mainly with the Doctor of Missiology program as the Cohort Coordinator, where he works closely with students and professors in organizing their on campus seminars. Dave is enjoying the work and is very thankful to be working with his old colleagues and in a cutting edge program like the DMiss. 

Rebekka resumed her role as the Youth Pastor at Maranatha Christian Fellowship in the Fall of 2010 and remained busy with church all the way up till the last throes of her pregnancy. (Yes, she even preached a sermon the week before she gave birth!) Dave continues to support her with the youth ministry and both of us have taken on some new responsibilities this past Fall as Maranatha is now offering an English and Indonesian service simultaneously on Sundays. The church will still have monthly joint services, but it became more apparent that their needed to be space for both languages in order for the church to continue to be meeting the needs of the members and for the church to be invitational to newcomers. 

Highlights for the year revolved mainly around family visits to LA. Elias and Isaak, two of Rebekka’s brothers, came in March for three weeks. We had a wonderful time with them traveling around California, visiting Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon. They were even with us when we found out that we were pregnant and it was special to enjoy that news while family was in town. Miriam, Rebekka’s sister, came in November and was able to be with us the first week after Immanuel was born. She made that first week go by so much more smoother. Also, Dave’s family made a trip to Pasadena for Thanksgiving in order to enjoy the presence of the first stutzgrandchild. It was neat to see how Immanuel became the occasion to muster a dispersed family. Dave’s parents flew from Virginia, his brother and wife from Chicago, his aunt from Bangkok, Thailand, and his grandmother from Oregon. 

To all this New Year, may the LORD bless you and keep you; may he shine his face upon you, be gracious to you and give you peace (Numbers 6:24-26).

Grace and Peace,

Dave, Rebekka and Immanuel

Tuesday, September 6, 2011