May 17, 2020 – Sixth Sunday of Easter
The finger lakes region of the Governor’s report has been cleared to start opening. May 15th (Friday) is the last day of the stay at home orders. Which means what I’ve been speculating on the last couple of weeks is reality.
This Sunday worship is at 10 AM. Our stated capacity is 132 people, so 25% is 33 exactly. So, based on recent attendance patterns, we should have no problem with that. Unless everyone surprises me and comes back in person immediately. We will continue to stream the service on the Zoom link.
We will be holding the Lord’s Supper for those present. Receiving, like attending in person, will be at your freedom and prudence. Three notes. The first is that we will be having the sacrament weekly for the foreseeable future. So there is no pressure that “I missed it.” The second is that, as the hymnal shows, there will be a separation between the services of the Word and the Sacrament. After the prayers of the church, any online or local who do not wish to commune will be dismissed with blessing. One does not need to leave, but one may. This is still the practice of the Eastern Orthodox, and it was LCMS practice in many places well into the 1970’s. (I experienced it growing up in my home church.) After, the service of the sacrament will continue for all remaining. The last is that we will be using a continuous line and individual cups only. This should allow us to maintain distancing and minimize the number of people involved in distribution.
Zoom (same as before): https://zoom.us/j/6458485288
Devotion & Prayer Thought
I have been thinking about two things, really one but in two directions. The one great thing is simply Luther’s great Catechism question: What does this mean? And the simple part is backward looking. What does what we have experienced mean? Maybe it is all just sound and fury meaning nothing. But I am not a nihilist. And proclaiming a meaning is the roll of a prophet if he has the Word of the Lord. And I think the Word of the Lord in these cases is as it always is during a Day of the Lord when things are revealed. It is a time to reflect and repent. That is what Jesus says in Luke 13 when asked about a couple of tragedies. “Do you think this suffering means that they were worse than you? No, I tell you, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. (Luke 13:1-5)” The Christian answer to suffering is a call to personal examination and repentance. Collective suffering isn’t some unjust punishment from a capricious God, but a merciful reminder of his coming justice on all mankind. Today is a day of grace. Revelation depicts this as four angels at the four corners holding back the winds (Rev 7:1) until all the people of God are sealed. Today we can baptize. Today we can remember our baptism. Today we can remember who are lives rest in. Today we can rejoice is Christ our savior.
But then I turn forward looking, because this is going to be with us for a while. What does it mean? Immediately after those passages in Luke 13 Jesus tells the parable of the barren fig tree. You know it. A man has planted and for three years it has done nothing. He wants to take it out, but is convinced to give it another year. His vinedresser pleads with him, “I’ll dig around, put on manure, give it extra care, and if it is still fruitless, then cut it down.” The Christian Life is always about repentance. That was Luther’s first of the 95 theses. It is also the first beatitude, “blessed are the poor in Spirit.” That Christian Life is also about fruitfulness. When the Day of the Lord has come and revealed itself to us, what must happen? We live it. It has been a long lent. This year Pentecost is just around the corner. We will be asking confirmands on that day some hard questions. The correct answers of course are known and given, but they are still asked not just to them but to us who have been planted for many a year. Do you intend to live according to the Word of God, in faith, word and deed, to remain true to God, Father Son and Holy Spirit, even to death? Is your salvation out there, outside of the vineyard, or is it in the Lord? We’ve been given another year. Live it fruitfully.
UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF: May 18th – 24th
Mon., Wed., Fri.: ……… 8:00am Preschool
Monday: ………………. 6:00pm Women’s Group meeting on Zoom
Tuesday: ……………..… 3:00pm Conf. Cls – 1st yr
Thursday: ……………… Brownie baking & Beef cooking day
10:00am Bible Study
Friday: ………………… Potato Salad & Beef on Weck Prep day
Saturday: ……………… Beef on Weck Fundraising Dinner
Sunday: …………………. 9:00am Bible Study and Sunday School
- Thurs 10am: We will be reading the book of Haggai this week. If you want to zoom in please contact me and I’ll be sure to make it live.
- Life Application Fellowship (LAF): Thanks to Nick for all he did this past year! Keep a look out here and in your email for future plans for LAF.
Year 1: We are meeting on zoom for the time being. 3PM Tuesdays. Lord’s Prayer. We will be working through the worksheet as I share my screen. Please bring your catechism and a bible.
Year 2: Confirmation proper is Pentecost, which is May 31st since we are open.Congrats to our confirmands.
WOMEN’S GROUP … Monday, May 18th at 6pm on Zoom https://zoom.us/j/6458485288
BEEF ON WECK … May 23rd … save the date!
In order to accommodate our new normal, we are setting up the Spring Beef on Weck as a DRIVE THRU. This means that people will arrive in their cars, place their order and pay all while remaining in their cars. Their order will be packed up and brought out to them. Our workers will wear masks and social distancing will be applied in all possible situations. If you would like to help please contact Mindy (489-4972) or Ellen (201-0756).
RUMMAGE SALE … June 27th
We are now accepting donations for the Rummage Sale; they can be dropped off in the Multipurpose Room. If you would like to help with this event please contact Miss Kelly at 334-4130