Fish Hooks is an initiative of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Export, PA. The motivation came from discussion among members of Emmanuel who saw the need for a way to acquaint our members and visitors with our Lutheran heritage, in a way that was both informative and engaging. Fish Hooks made their appearance at Emmanuel in September of 2015 as bulletin inserts printed on the two sides of a half sheet of paper and at first people didn’t quite know what to make of them. We’re happy to say that with the passage of time, the Fish Hooks have developed a loyal readership and a number of people have been encouraging their publication outside of our congregation — thus this site as a first step.
Besides being interesting reading for our members, we have found these brief topics to be an excellent basis for small group discussion, and separate discussion handouts and guide materials have been created for many of them. We will be exploring how these can best be put into the hands of others interested in using these bulletin inserts and/or the associated discussion materials. If this sounds interesting to you, please contact us as that will provide additional motivation.
About the Fish Hooks content:
All Fish Hooks content is copyrighted by Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Export, PA and cannot be used for commercial purposes. Permission is granted for individuals and congregations to reproduce Fish Hooks posts for educational and evangelism purposes so long as such material identifies Emmanuel Lutheran Church as the copyright owner. (If you do find these materials useful, we would appreciate having you Contact us so that we can have your feedback.)
About the Fish Hooks team:
Though Fred Schamber has been writing the content, he relies on a number of other members of Emmanuel who read his efforts and provide valuable feedback. Principal among these are Julie Schamber, Fred’s better half, who sees the first draft of everything and imposes her common-sense judgement on his efforts. Danette Hunter, Bob Jordan, and the Rev. Bob Schlotter (a retired pastor of our congregation) are faithful readers of the first drafts whose prompt “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” assessments have been invaluable in shaping the content that is published and who also contribute improvements and ideas. Emmanuel’s new pastor, Rev. Darian Hybl now also reviews the content prior to publication (click here for his personal blog link). In addition, Lou Hiener, John Sieg, and Irv Pritts periodically lead our adult Sunday discussion group using these materials and provide their feedback. Too numerous to individually mention are the many other members of Emmanuel who have encouraged this effort with their kind remarks, searching questions, and constructive criticisms. It’s truly a team effort.
About the Author:
When reading stuff on the internet, it’s helpful to have an idea about who’s writing it (and who to blame when it doesn’t live up to expectations): Fred Schamber is a lifelong Lutheran who attended Lutheran schools from kindergarten through college, and intended to be a Lutheran church worker like his father, brother, and numerous other relatives. Instead, God had other plans and through an unplanned sequence of events and opportunities he ended up acquiring a PhD in nuclear physics and a very enjoyable career in scientific instrument design/management in the field of electron microscopy and x-ray microanalysis. Retired in 2015 at the age of 75, he is now enjoying his other passions for reading, writing, and general goofing around. He was very flattered when in the spring of 2016 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters by his alma mater, Concordia University Nebraska.
Fred and Julie Schamber live in Murrysville, PA where they are active members of Emmanuel Lutheran Church, a congregation of the NALC (North American Lutheran Church). They have three children: Pamela, who is a pediatrician and sprint-dog-sled musher in Anchorage, AK; Kimberly who lives in Manhattan and is a graphics artist and fashion designer; and Douglas who is a mechanical engineer/manager working in the Pittsburgh area for a navy contractor. Collectively their children have provided them with four grandchildren, fourteen grand-pups, two grand-horses, and a collection of smaller grand-critters. Julie and Fred are directors of Lutheran Marriage Encounter for the northeastern US and eastern Canada, and present at LME weekends. They have participated in a medical mission trip of the Good Shepherd Foundation to the Grande Saline area of Haiti. In their free time they enjoy bicycling on the wonderful trails of Western Pennsylvania.
If you want to reach Fred directly, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.