Monthly Archives: October 2020

Virtual Bulletin – 11/1

November 1st, 2020 – All Saints

WORSHIP & Bible Study

Worship is at 10AM, Lord’s Supper for those present.

This week’s service Bulletin/Worship Link Here

Zoom (NEW!): https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6458485288?pwd=R2xGZkRNVi9TdzFPQzlaVnluNWo4QT09

Zoom Info Update: As of 9/27/20 Zoom made either passcodes or a waiting room mandatory. Meeting ID: 645 848 5288 Passcode: miracles

Bible Study after service or 11:15ish.  I’ll keep the zoom line on.  We are going to walk through the biblical stories on pestilence in Israel.  Numbers 11, 16 (Korah’s Rebellion) and 2 Samuel 24 (David’s Census). Everyone is encouraged to stay or to jump in online.  (I think I have even figured out a way to get online voices through the main church speakers.)

Devotion & Prayer Thought

Sunday afternoon, hopefully after a nap and some football, I usually take out the bulletin for the following week.  The hymns, liturgy and the like have usually been planned at least a few weeks prior.  Long standing tradition in the church is that the Gospel reading is the text of the sermon, so that is usually the hymn key.  But my work on that Sunday afternoon is to start thinking how would I preach each of these texts: Old Testament or First Reading, Epistle or Gospel.  I usually try and take in each lesson in one of two ways.  The first to me is a Lutheran Theology way in four parts.  What is our human trouble that the text is presenting?  This is the law teaching.  How does the scripture tell us Jesus addresses our trouble?  This is the gospel teaching.  And then, how do those law and gospel teachings become reality in our lives?  My second method is something much older, but also something that I’ve found to be maybe not quite as reductionistic.  What does the literal text say and do?  That is the field the sermon will play on, the boundary lines.  How is Christ taught in this or what is the Christology?  The scriptures teach that all the law, prophets and writings spoke about Him, so we need to find Christ in it or we have missed the meaning.  This is usually the good news for right now.  Then that boundary and Christology lead to the question: How shall we live?  There is usually a moral teaching or in preaching what becomes the exhortation.  The final question is one of eschatology.  How fulfilled is the promise of this teaching?  What is now and what is not yet?

Preachers of past centuries would have often had other services such as a Vespers or Sunday evening or a Wednesday Service or even a daily service at which their work in preparing for Sunday prime could be used.  If the Gospel was given pride of place in Sunday morning, the Epistle might be for vespers and the OT reading for Wednesday (or just a catechetical service, a reading from the catechism).  COVID’s changes to our regular rhythms have afforded a chance, if a modern twist on it, to bring some of that back.  The Catechism moment which I try to email out on Wednesdays is that the midweek catechetical service.  And this expanded weekly meditation I have been using to address one of the texts that is not the Sunday sermon text.  Since most of you get it on Friday in the email, it is something of a Vespers for the work week.  Or if you take the paper copy home after Sunday it might be the evenings Vespers.  At the same time I’m pondering next week’s texts, you could be putting this weeks to bed.

This week, All Saints Celebration, I’m leaving the beatitudes for your consideration.  Sunday morning you’ll hear Revelation from the pulpit.  Which leaves the epistle, which is one of the sweetest short readings in the scriptures.  What is the trouble in the text?  The World does not know us, because it did not know Him.  The world works according to its own laws, or it tries to.  The best mourners can hope for is acceptance.  The meek shall get an eternal boot to the face.  The merciful will get stabbed in the back.  But the Kingdom of God does not work that way. And those who attempt to live in the Kingdom of God, the world just doesn’t recognize other than as fools.  But Christ has overcome the world and all its rules – the greatest of those rules being that the dead stay dead.  Christ is risen, “and when he appears we shall be like him.”  For this reason, that we have been joined with Christ in baptism into his death, and so shall also rise with him, we are truly the Children of God.  He is the Son of God and we shall be like Him.  And so children, “see what kind of love the Father has given to us.”  The Kingdom is yours. “We are God’s children now, but what we will be has not yet appeared.”  Now, we live in the midst of the world that does not comprehend. It didn’t comprehend Him, neither does it recognize his brothers and sisters.  But, you are his brothers and sisters.  And soon we will all “see him as he is.”  Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.  And you have been purified in your hope.  “Everyone who thus hopes in him is purified.”  The Holy Spirit has taken residence in your heart and made is a quiet chamber kept for him.  You shall see Him as he is.  In our flesh we shall see God.  

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  Nov 2nd – Nov 9th

Mon. – Fri. ……….….…   8:00am   Preschool

Tuesday: ……………….   7:00pm   Board of Elders Meeting

Wednesday: ……………   7:00pm   LAF

Thursday: ………………  10:00am  Bible Study

Sunday: ………………….  10:00am   Worship

                                            11:15am   Bible Study

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: We are reading the book of Ezekiel, at least parts of it.  The strangest book in the bible, but also one keyed to the anxieties of the moment. Everyone welcome, including on zoom.
  • Confirmation:  Practical Unit on “how to have an intentional prayer life.”
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  is next meeting on Wednesdays, Nov 4th at 7 PM.  We will be on the Zoom line.
  • Sunday Morning: Study will be at 11:15ish, after worship, in the sanctuary on the zoom line.
  • Catechism Moment: We’ve started on the sacrament of Baptism and the sacraments in general.

WOMENS GROUP:  During our meeting this week we agreed to spend some of our Spring Beef on Weck profits in the following ways … 

                                                            $400 … donation to the Organ Fund

                                                            $200 … Community Lutheran to assist with their holiday endeavors

                                                            $200 … direct Congregational support

                                                            $100 … Calvary Food Cupboard

                                                              ? … looking into adopting a RHAFT family for Christmas

Pandemic Challenge for RHAFT :  Food collections for RHAFT are ongoing and in urgent need as we all struggle to weather this Pandemic.  We would like to implement a weekly collection of items like we have done during Lent in previous years.  A list has been posted on the bulletin board as well as attached to this bulletin.  If you would like to contribute to the Rush-Henrietta Food Pantry, a box is located under the round table in the narthex for non-perishable items.  Please remember that the items donated cannot be past their expiration date.

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD shoeboxes are now available for you take home and fill. 

If you would like someone to shop for your box, the sign-up is on the bulletin board.  We are still only charging $30 to fill and pay postage for a box; cash or check accepted (please make checks out to St. Mark Women’s Group).  The deadline to have someone else shop for your box is Sunday, November 2nd.  Your name must be on the sign-up and payment turned in to either Ellen or Mindy.

MEN’S CLUB MEETING:  The Men’s Club is meeting at St. Mark in person on Monday, November 9th at 6pm.  Please sign up on the bulletin board if you plan to attend.

Operation Christmas Child Collection Week:  Collection week is Nov. 16-23.  Please sign-up and volunteer to “man the booth” which will be open for 3 hours a day.  I’m putting up volunteer sheets for 1-hour slots.  Please consider helping in this.

CONGREGATIONAL MTGS:  November 15th/Budget Presentation  &  December 6th/Final Vote

Does the Image Still Bear Truth?

Biblical Text: Matthew 11:11-19

This was our reformation celebration. I love preaching on what is the alternate Gospel Text for the day. It offers for me an image of both the law and the gospel in John the Baptist and Jesus.

We all have compressed images of truth. The sermon looks at some of our I think. Some compressed images linger after we’ve forgotten what they mean. Others are “eternal gospels”. They speak to all times and places. The reformation has an image. Luther with a hammer nailing his theses to the door. The question that the day brings to us is if this is an eternal image, or a temporal one.

I happen to think Luther is a dramatic icon of the gospel, akin to the icon Jesus paints in the text for himself. I think Luther is an eternal truth. But the question is really to you. Do you still get the truth of the image. Are you willing to dance? Or has it become a dead image.

Virtual Bulletin – 10/25

October 25th, 2020 – Reformation

WORSHIP & Bible Study

Worship is at 10AM, Lord’s Supper for those present.

This week’s service Bulletin/Worship Link Here

Zoom (NEW!): https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6458485288?pwd=R2xGZkRNVi9TdzFPQzlaVnluNWo4QT09

Zoom Info Update: As of 9/27/20 Zoom made either passcodes or a waiting room mandatory. Meeting ID: 645 848 5288 Passcode: miracles

Bible Study after service or 11:15ish.  I’ll keep the zoom line on.  We are going to walk through the biblical stories on pestilence in Israel.  Numbers 11, 16 (Korah’s Rebellion) and 2 Samuel 24 (David’s Census). Everyone is encouraged to stay or to jump in online.  (I think I have even figured out a way to get online voices through the main church speakers.)

Devotion & Prayer Thought

I’m something of a natural contrarian and have a rather low tolerance for propaganda. So, the reading from Revelation for Reformation Sunday always put me off.  It is not that I don’t appreciate the Gospel according to Luther or the Reformation, which I do believe are part of that eternal gospel that the angel proclaims. But maybe the problem isn’t the claiming of it, it is the stopping where it does in the reading of Revelation 14.  There are three angels with messages that proclaim one right after the other.  The first one is the clear trumpet of the Eternal Gospel which in this reading is the “fear God and give him glory…worship him who made heaven and earth.”  The Eternal God is “worthy of blessing and honor and glory and might and wisdom and strength forever and ever.”  The second and the third angels remind us of those who obscure us from that fact.  The World warns the second angel – “fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all the nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.”  And the third points out the power of Satan, “if anyone worships the beast and its image and receives the mark on his forehead or hand, he also will drink the wine of the God’s wrath.”  The eternal Gospel is true – Christ Reigns – but his rule in this life is always contested and often contested violently.  It is contested in each of our souls when the call to worship God comes to us.  It is contested by the rulers of the World who offer ease in exchange for no brooking of their authority.  And it is contested by the powers and principalities – the beasts – that stand behind this dark realm.

John comments after hearing the messages of the angels, “here is a call for the endurance of the Saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.”  We Christians have often truncated the message of the eternal Gospel, and of the Reformation.  We want to hear of the free grace, but we disdain or ignore the call to endurance in faith.  Luther’s Reformation, or any Reformation in the church, is always a return to the eternal gospel, the steadfast love of the God for sinners.  At the same time is it turning away from all the vain things that have caught our eyes.  We can’t have both.  As Lot’s wife longing for Sodom, or the Israelites longing for Egypt didn’t understand.  Christ would turn his back on the temple not to return but be lead outside the city, for the joy of the cross.  He would tell his followers that when they see the abomination to flee Jerusalem, and history (Josephus) tells us they did. Just as Abraham left Ur to go to where God promised.  Or Noah built the Ark to leave the world as he knew it.  Or Saul left his course of Jewish honor to be the apostle to the gentiles, to the ends of the earth as Acts would say.  “If they had been thinking of the land from which they had gone out, they would have had the opportunity to return.  But they desired a better country, a heavenly one. (Hebrews 11.)”

Reformation Day is a rehearing of that eternal gospel which starts us out on our journey.  It is also a renewal of our endurance in that faith.  May the Lord provide for us food for that journey, that we might see that heavenly city.

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  Oct 26th – Nov 1st

Mon. – Fri. ……….….…   8:00am   Preschool

Thursday: ………………  10:00am  Bible Study

Sunday: ………………….  10:00am   Worship

                                            11:15am   Bible Study

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: We are reading the book of Ezekiel, at least parts of it.  The strangest book in the bible, but also one keyed to the anxieties of the moment. Everyone welcome, including on zoom.
  • Confirmation:  Practical Unit on “how to have an intentional prayer life.”
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  is next meeting on Wednesdays, Nov 4th at 7 PM.  We will be on the Zoom line.
  • Sunday Morning: Study will be at 11:15ish, after worship, in the sanctuary on the zoom line.
  • Catechism Moment: We’ve started on the sacrament of Baptism and the sacraments in general.

Pandemic Challenge for RHAFT :  Food collections for RHAFT are ongoing and in urgent need as we all struggle to weather this Pandemic.  We would like to implement a weekly collection of items like we have done during Lent in previous years.  A list has been posted on the bulletin board as well as attached to this bulletin.  If you would like to contribute to the Rush-Henrietta Food Pantry, a box is located under the round table in the narthex for non-perishable items.  Please remember that the items donated cannot be past their expiration date.

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD shoeboxes are now available for you take home and fill. 

If you would like someone to shop for your box, the sign-up is on the bulletin board.  We are still only charging $30 to fill and pay postage for a box; cash or check accepted (please make checks out to St. Mark Women’s Group).  The deadline to have someone else shop for your box is Sunday, November 2nd.  Your name must be on the sign-up and payment turned in to either Ellen or Mindy

CONGREGATIONAL MTGS:  November 15th/Budget Presentation  &  December 6th/Final Vote

Handing Over the Things of God

Biblical Text: Matthew 22: 15-22

I always laugh when I hear someone say the church is so political, although I think I understand what they mean. I laugh because it really isn’t. The lessons from this Sunday’s lectionary are the only ones that I think call for explicit political preaching. And to be honest, in my entire time pew sitting, I probably heard less than one handful of explicit politics from the pulpit. Most ministers would avoid it completely. But what I think they are expressing is not so much “vote for x” from the pulpit as the complete subordination of “things temporal” to “things eternal”. (Don’t miss the collective prayer I left in the recording.)

Jesus’ “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s” saying is not an invitation to some type of church state separation. One can have a purely secular politics. Just stop at the first part. And that makes sense. That is the way of the principalities and the powers. But if you want to follow Jesus the call is to give to God what is God’s, which includes the things of Caesar.

Neither Jesus nor I get explicit about the answers to this. Honestly in Jesus’ day it might have been easier, or at least the average person would bear no responsibility for the actions of the gov’t because they were subjects, not citizens. But when you vote, when you are a citizen, you bear responsibility. This sermon attempts to lay out what discharging that duty in a Christian way looks like.

Virtual Bulletin – 10/18

October 18th, 2020 – 20th Sunday after Pentecost

WORSHIP & Bible Study

Worship is at 10AM, Lord’s Supper for those present.

This week’s service Bulletin/Worship Link Here

Zoom (NEW!): https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6458485288?pwd=R2xGZkRNVi9TdzFPQzlaVnluNWo4QT09

Zoom Info Update: As of 9/27/20 Zoom made either passcodes or a waiting room mandatory.  It defaulted to a waiting room.  I have changed that to a passcode, so that when you join you will jump right in instead of waiting to be admitted.  If you use the link above it has the passcode embedded in it.  If you are logging in using the meeting ID or the old link, you will need the passcode. Meeting ID: 645 848 5288 Passcode: miracles

Bible Study after service or 11:15ish.  I’ll keep the zoom line on.  We are going to walk through the biblical stories on pestilence in Israel.  Numbers 11, 16 (Korah’s Rebellion) and 2 Samuel 24 (David’s Census). Everyone is encouraged to stay or to jump in online.  (I think I have even figured out a way to get online voices through the main church speakers.)

Welcome to the family and friends of Alice Marie Bayer for today’s Baptism

Devotion & Prayer Thought

Isaiah 45:1 in a political season often gets attention.  God – Israel’s God, Yahweh, the true one – calls Cyrus the tyrant of Persia his anointed.  And translating that anointed is a cop out.  They should just transliterate it for the full impact, “Cyrus my messiah”. Now David was a messiah, and the royal line is often call this.  In Leviticus the priests are so labeled.  The Prophets often foresee the coming of the messiah, the anointed.  But this is God claiming the Gentile Ruler.  The simple answer is that messiah is simply one who does the will of God.  And all the OT messiahs are fallible types of the perfect Jesus who does the will of the Father perfectly.

But that simple answer doesn’t settle the use of the term in our political season.  What almost every partisan wants is to claim the unique mandate of God for their candidate.  My guy is Cyrus.  But that misses the audacity of God’s claim.  It is not that the guy we like is God’s anointed, but the all the world’s tyrants are tasked with doing the will of God.  Caesar had authority because God gave it to him.  And that authority is given: a) to render proper temporal justice and b) to enable the people of God to live lives of proper service.  “For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen, I call you by your name…that people may know there is none besides me.  I am the LORD. (Isa 45:4,6).”  When we claim a unique mandate, we place Christ under our preferred ruler.

The pronouncement is that Christ is over our preferred ruler.  And Christ has specific things that the ruler should do and accomplish.  Cyrus?  Release his people from exile and send the temple goods back with them.  Without a prophet revealing the specific will of God, we can’t know that about ours.  But we do know the types of things that God expects of all rulers: render fair judgments, pay attention to the widow and the fatherless, ensure fair scales and measures, uphold the law and don’t undermine it.

In most times, most of us wouldn’t really have a say.  We would have been subjects instead of citizens.  The one great advantage of that is when our Cyrus proves to be the sinner and tyrant that he or she is, the responsibility isn’t on us.  But we are citizens.  We vote.  We share in the responsibility for the acts of our leadership. And responsibility in these things means understanding where our preferred candidate would lead in regards to those eternal things that are always in the will of the Father.  If we understood the full enormity of that we might not want it.  As our biding prayer states, “help them serve this people according to your will.”  And that would include us. Help us exercise our vote according to your will.  We know that the will of God certainly happens, but we pray that it may be done among us as well.    

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  Oct 19th – Oct 25th

Mon. – Fri. ……….….…   8:00am   Preschool

Monday: …….…………..  6:30pm  Women’s Group Meeting on Zoom

Wednesday: …………….  7:00pm   LAF

                                             7:30pm   Church Council Meeting

Thursday: ………………  10:00am  Bible Study

Sunday: ………………….  10:00am   Worship

                                            11:15am   Bible Study

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: We are reading the book of Ezekiel, at least parts of it.  The strangest book in the bible, but also one keyed to the anxieties of the moment. Everyone welcome, including on zoom.
  • Confirmation:  Reviewing the Lord’s Prayer. Soon jumping into “how to have an intentional prayer life.”
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  is next meeting on Wednesdays, October 21st at 7 PM.  We will be on the Zoom line.
  • Sunday Morning: Study will be at 11:15ish, after worship, in the sanctuary on the zoom line.
  • Catechism Moment: We’ve started on the sacrament of Baptism and the sacraments in general.

RHAFT:  Food collections for RHAFT are ongoing.  If you would like to contribute to the Rush-Henrietta Food Pantry, a box is located under the round table in the narthex for non-perishable items. 

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD shoeboxes are now available for you take home and fill. 

If you would like someone to shop for your box, the sign-up is on the bulletin board.  We are still only charging $30 to fill and pay postage for a box; cash or check accepted (please make checks out to St. Mark Women’s Group).  The deadline to have someone else shop for your box is Sunday, November 2nd.  Your name must be on the sign-up and payment turned in to either Ellen or Mindy

CONGREGATIONAL MTG:  November 15th – Budget Presentation; Dec 6th – Final Vote

Lacking Wedding Garments?

Biblical Text: Matthew 22:1-14

Jesus tells three parables in a row in this section of the gospel. We’ve read each of them on successive weeks. They spring from a confrontation with the Priests in the temple, but this one – the Wedding Feast – I believe has much less to do with them directly. The two sons has already told them where they have gone wrong. The wicked tenants has rendered the judgement against them and essentially removed them from office. The Wedding Feast is forward looking. “The reign of heaven has become like….” such a wedding feast. This tells us what it is like now. The call is universal. Come to the wedding feast. But it is possible to fall into the same error as ancient Israel, to disrespect and dishonor the Son.

The real question to ask isn’t what is the wedding garment. There are lots of answers that all have some amount of truth. The deeper question is what does it mean to lack it? And to that there is one answer, to dishonor the Son. Is there anywhere in your life you are in open rebellion against the reign of the Christ? Today is the day of grace. Prepare. Put on the garment before you go.

Allen Bauchle Funeral

Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6458485288?pwd=R2xGZkRNVi9TdzFPQzlaVnluNWo4QT09

(If you get asked, the link should get you past without, the passcode is: miracles)

Worship Folder for the service

Virtual Bulletin – 10/11

October 11th, 2020 – 19th Sunday after Pentecost

WORSHIP & Bible Study

Worship is at 10AM, Lord’s Supper for those present.

This week’s service Bulletin/Worship Link Here

Zoom (NEW!): https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6458485288?pwd=R2xGZkRNVi9TdzFPQzlaVnluNWo4QT09

Zoom Info Update: As of 9/27/20 Zoom made either passcodes or a waiting room mandatory.  It defaulted to a waiting room.  I have changed that to a passcode, so that when you join you will jump right in instead of waiting to be admitted.  If you use the link above it has the passcode embedded in it.  If you are logging in using the meeting ID or the old link, you will need the passcode. Meeting ID: 645 848 5288 Passcode: miracles

Bible Study after service or 11:15ish.  I’ll keep the zoom line on.  We are going to walk through the biblical stories on pestilence in Israel.  Numbers 11, 16 (Korah’s Rebellion) and 2 Samuel 24 (David’s Census). Everyone is encouraged to stay or to jump in online.  (I think I have even figured out a way to get online voices through the main church speakers.)

Devotion & Prayer Thought

One of the repeated words of the Genesis 1 creation story is “good.” God’s creation was created good.  The fact of the fall complicates things.  We now know both good and evil as the snake promised.  I like the Apostle Paul’s description, “the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from bondage (Roman 8:20-21).”  Instead of good and evil, which are moral words for beings that live morally weighted lives, the creation might be better understood as used for good or used for vanity or futility.  (The word Paul uses there is the same word used in Ecclesiastes “vanity, vanity…”.) The goodness of creation still shines through.  The providence of God maintains the seasons in order.  We can turn it to meaninglessness.  We can abuse the good creation.  We can frustrate it by using it in poor ways.  But we can also with the spirit use creation in ways that give glory to God.

I think that is what Paul is reminding the Philippians in this final chapter when he says, “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is true…if there is any excellence…think about these things…what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things.”  The law of God, the things of creation, are universal.  They apply to all.  And we can find excellence in many places.  Sometimes the pagans do things better than the saints.  As Augustine would tell his congregations referencing the Exodus “plunder the Egyptians.”  The creation was good and made for good.  It is still possible to not use if futilely. “Even us who are evil can give good gifts to our children.”  But Paul adds his next line – “learn, receive, heard and seen”.  Our use of these things should be knowingly.  We recognize where they come from – God.  And we give thanks for His goodness.  And because we know, we have learned, received, heard and seen the gospel of Jesus, we practice it.  Not that we have attained it fully, but we try and use the good given to us not for our vanity, but for the glory of God.

May we learn to perceive the good and receive it with thanksgiving.  And may practice lives of meaning, not those turned to futility.     

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  Oct 12th – Oct 19th

Tues. – Fri. ……….….…   8:00am   Preschool

Monday: …….…………..  0:00pm  NO Men’s Club Meeting

Thursday: ………………  10:00am  Bible Study

Sunday: ………………….  10:00am   Worship

                                                       11:15am   Bible Study

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: We are reading the book of Ezekiel, at least parts of it.  The strangest book in the bible, but also one that . Everyone welcome, including on zoom.
  • Confirmation: Reviewing the Lord’s Prayer. Soon jumping into “how to have an intentional prayer life.”
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  is next meeting on Wednesdays, October 21st at 7 PM.  We will be on the Zoom line.
  • Sunday Morning: Study will be at 11:15ish, after worship, in the sanctuary.  I’ll also have this on the zoom line.  And I will have coffee.
  • Catechism Moment: We have finished the Lord’s Prayer section.  We will continue on into the Sacraments.

WOMEN’S GROUP will be meeting on Monday, October 19 … in person or virtual yet to be determined

RHAFT:  Food collections for RHAFT are ongoing.  If you would like to contribute to the Rush-Henrietta Food Pantry, a box is located under the round table in the narthex for non-perishable items. 

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD shoeboxes are now available for you take home and fill.  If you would like someone to shop for your box, we will have a sign up on the bulletin board next week.

CONGREGATIONAL MTG:  November 15th – Budget Presentation; Dec 6th – Final Vote

NOTE:  We are sad to announce the passing of Allen Bauchle on Wednesday, October 7th

Calling hours are on Saturday, October 10th from 2pm to 5pm at Miller’s Funeral Home on Jefferson Rd. 

His Funeral will be held at St. Mark on Sunday, October 11th at 2pm.  (Note: there are still attendance limits of 50% or roughly 50 people.  The zoom link will be active.)

Being Fruitful Under Wretched Leaseholders

Biblical Text: Matthew 21:33-46

The Gospel text that is the basis of the sermon is a continuation of the scene from last week. The result of last week’s questions and parable is that the Priests have been clearly understood as illegitimate authority. The question that gets answered with this weeks parable is what happens under such illegitimate authority, along with what does legitimate authority look like in the current vineyard – the current people of God.

Legitimate authority is only authority that is built on the cornerstone which is Christ. Of course the church constantly experiences “wretched leaseholders” – those that want to build their own towers of babel instead of building on Christ. What happens in these cases? The answer that Jesus puts forward I believe is two fold. First, the vineyard – the people of God – remain fruitful. A bad leader might “withhold the fruits”, but the people of God remain fruitful. Second, the LORD will come and put an end to all such schemes in the proper time. And that proper time is not excessively long because the fruits will be turned in “in their seasons.”

The larger spiritual reality is that we all labor under such a bad leaseholder – Satan, the powers and principalities. They have been given their notice to vacate. And the the LORD will make it so. But today, the vineyard remains fruitful building on Christ. And the fruits will not be lost.

Virtual Bulletin – 10/4

October 4th, 2020 – 18th Sunday after Pentecost

WORSHIP & Bible Study

Worship is at 10AM, Lord’s Supper for those present.

This week’s service Bulletin/Worship Link Here

Zoom (NEW!): https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6458485288?pwd=R2xGZkRNVi9TdzFPQzlaVnluNWo4QT09

Zoom Info Update: As of 9/27/20 (last Sunday) Zoom made either passcodes or a waiting room mandatory.  It defaulted to a waiting room.  I have changed that to a passcode, so that when you join you will jump right in instead of waiting to be admitted.  If you use the link above it has the passcode embedded in it.  If you are logging in using the meeting ID or the old link, you will need the passcode. Meeting ID: 645 848 5288 Passcode: miracles

Bible Study after service or 11:15ish.  I’ll keep the zoom line on.  We are going to walk through the biblical stories on pestilence in Israel.  Numbers 11, 16 (Korah’s Rebellion) and 2 Samuel 24 (David’s Census). Everyone is encouraged to stay or to jump in online.  (I think I have even figured out a way to get online voices through the main church speakers.)

Devotion & Prayer Thought

My confirmation verse was assigned from Joshua: “Be Strong and of good courage, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Jos 1:9).” Still good advice, even if I’m not always as confident in my rightness as my 8th grade self directly claiming that verse for whatever was my goal at the time (God wills that we win this game!) But if I was picking my own verse today, Philippians 3 just might be it, specifically 10-14. 

Mark Brown’s shorter catechism from those verses.

What is my end/purpose?  That I may know Christ and the power of his resurrection.

Why? That by any means possible I might attain to the resurrection from the dead.

What can I expect today from this pursuit? A sharing in the sufferings and death of Christ.

What can I expect eventually from the resurrection? Perfection.  Christ has already made me his own.  In the resurrection I will have been made what Christ considers the perfect me, the actual me.  That perfection will no longer be a daily often failing struggle but be mine.

What do I do until then? I forget what lies behind, and strain forward to what lies ahead.  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ.

What does this mean? Today, I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sin, I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.

How do you know that you won’t miss it? Christ has already made me his own.  It comes not through a righteousness of works of my own, but by faith in these words: Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed. Halleluiah!

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  Oct 5th – Oct 11th

Mon. – Fri. ……….….…   8:00am   Preschool

Tuesday: ………………..  7:00pm   Board of Elders Meeting

Wednesday: …………….  7:00pm   LAF

Thursday: ………………  10:00am  Bible Study

Sunday: ………………….  10:00am   Worship

                                            11:15am   Bible Study

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: We are going to be looking at the book of Ezekiel, at least parts of it.  The strangest book in the bible.  And the bible is a pretty strange book.  Everyone welcome, including on zoom.
  • Confirmation: Confirmation 2 got restarted. Reviewing the Lord’s Prayer.
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  is next meeting on Wednesdays, October 7th at 7 PM.  We will be on the Zoom line.
  • Sunday Morning: Study will be at 11:15ish, after worship, in the sanctuary.  I’ll also have this on the zoom line.  And I will have coffee.
  • Catechism Moment: We have finished the Lord’s Prayer section.  We will continue on into the Sacraments.

GROUNDKEEPING

It is still mowing season.  Thank you and please remember to do your part. 

BEEF ON WECK DRIVE-THRU … Thank you to everyone who lent a hand with the event!