Category Archives: Worship

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

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.)

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!

Virtual Bulletin – 9/27

September 27, 2020 – 17th Sunday after Pentecost

WORSHIP & Bible Study

Addition to the schedule. Worship is at 10AM, Lord’s Supper for those present Bulletin/Worship Link Here – Sept 27, 2020 Zoom (same as before): https://zoom.us/j/6458485288

Bible Study will start this weekend 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

It is simplistic to say but bad things are always a sign for repentance. The first thesis of Luther’s famous 95 was “The Lord called for the entire life of believers to be one of penitence.”  That is not usually our response.  In asking why this is happening to us, it is not to discern our faults and turn and live.  We ask that as ancient Israel was asking it, to find worthy candidates for blame.  “The Fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge.”  God promised us milk and honey, but we got sour grapes, and now our kids are unruly and misbehaved.  It is all God’s fault.

I’d challenge you to go read the missing verses from our Old Testament reading today.  It has one of the Old Testament’s clearest pronouncements of the Gospel. “None of the transgressions that he has committed shall be remembered against him, for the righteousness that he has done shall live.  Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?”

This life is a choice of two ways: our way or the Lord’s way. Our way leads nowhere but enslavement to our own appetites and ultimately death.  The Lord’s way begins in the freedom of his grace and leads to life eternal.  That grace has been extended to us in Christ which gives us the freedom to count up our sins and repent.  They will not be held against us for the LORD does not desire the death of his children.  And it gives us the freedom to walk in new ways. It is wrong to say that bad things come as punishments for specific sins, but they are tests.  They are signposts for us to ask: which way am I walking?  Is this current trouble something minor compared to the enteral damnation I am walking towards?  Or is this current trouble a minor inconvenience compared to the eternal glory that awaits (2 Cor 4:17).  The way of the LORD is just.  Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the Kingdom is theirs.  May we consider our ways and turn and life.

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  Sept 28th – Oct 4th

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

Thursday: ………………  9:00am   Beef on Weck Prep day … brownie baking

10:00am   Bible Study

Friday: ……………..……  9:00am   Beef on Weck Prep day … potato salad day

Saturday: ……………….  4:30pm   Beef on Weck Drive Thru

Sunday: ………………….  10:00am   Worship

                                            11:15am   Bible Study

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: New Study Starting this week.  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 are continuing to our walk through the catechism in your inbox

GROUNDKEEPING

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

BEEF ON WECK DRIVE-THRU … Save the date … Saturday, October 3rd

We still have volunteer openings and there is still time to sign up.  Volunteers will leave here with dinners without having to go thru the Drive Thru line!  Of course, we will again be wearing gloves and masks and doing our best to social distance while working. However, there are several jobs that can be done separate from other people if you would like to volunteer some time but are hesitant to step outside your Covid Bubble.  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Mindy if you have any questions.

This is a first-come, first serve meal.  We will NOT be selling tickets in advance.  However, posting a flyer around town and sharing our Facebook ad is appreciated.

Virtual Bulletin – 9/13

September 13, 2020 – 15th Sunday after Pentecost

WORSHIP

Everything remains on our current schedule.  10AM, Lord’s Supper for those present.

Bulletin/Worship Link Here – Sept 13, 2020

Zoom (same as before): https://zoom.us/j/6458485288

Devotion & Prayer Thought

I commented in past weeks that the second half of all of Paul’s letters often have a different tone.  The sweeping theologian is gone and the congregational pastor has arrived.  It is often assumed that Paul was responding to letters from the congregations and specific instances in the lives of those congregations.  Like Romans 13 discussing how to live in the now and not yet with Caesar, Romans 14 addresses “what if your problem is not with those outside the church, but those inside?”

The arguments with those inside are often the mirror image of those outside.  “You Christians have strange practices” might be the statement of those outside of Christ.  That is certainly what the Greeks and Romans thought.  But inside the church our arguments are usually over if our practices go far enough – “you are giving in to the world when you don’t do x.” Backing up into Romans 13, Paul starts off with a solid demarcation.  “Loving your neighbor is the fulfillment of the law.”  The law, while not having the power to make us keep it, is a picture of what love for the neighbor looks like.  “Let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Those preferring to continue openly in darkness, contrary to the moral law, are outside of Christ.

But what about those who think a strict fasting regime is necessary on certain days?  Or you can fill in your favorite piety practice.  Paul brings up eating only vegetables and Holy Days.  Special diets and holy days, like most piety practices have solid things to commend them, and they become deeply meaningful to people who practice them.  But Paul’s advice here is “don’t quarrel over opinions…why pass judgment upon your brother?…each of us will give an account of himself to God.”  These don’t have the force of the moral law.

But Paul isn’t a modern Libertarian either.  While counseling extending grace to the brother you might think is deficient in piety, he then asks us to examine our own practices in the light of our brothers and sisters.  Is something I am doing causing them to stumble?  Or maybe more for us, is something I am not doing causing my brother to stumble?  Notice that Paul is not talking about the basic moral law which is often how this passage is weaponized.  “If you were a real Christian you would let me continue to walk in darkness.”  Paul says to that “do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil.” But, “pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.”  If we find ourselves quarreling over practices, find what we can affirm, why it might be a meaningful practice, and acknowledge that, maybe even adopt part of it for the sake of the brother.

The way of the cross is hard enough.  May we learn to build each other up and live at peace without losing the saving way.

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  Sept 14th – September 20th

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

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

Wednesday: ……………  7:30pm    Church Council Meeting

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

Sunday: ………………….  10:00am   Worship

                                           11:15am    Bible Study

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: Continuing on Pestilence in the Bible – Numbers 16 (Korah’s Rebellion).
  • Confirmation: Confirmation 2 will continue, hopefully starting this week, maybe next depending upon first week school experiences.
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  Start up on Wednesdays, starting September 23rd at 7 PM.  We will be on the Zoom line.
  • Sunday Morning: I’m going to hold a study at 11:15ish, after worship, in the sanctuary, starting next week.  I’ll also have this on the zoom line.
  • Catechism Moment: We are continuing to our walk through the catechism in your inbox. Currently on the Lord’s Prayer

GROUNDKEEPING

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

A BIG THANK YOU to the Women’s Group for purchasing the Mums planted in front of our sign and to Mindy for weeding the garden bed around the sign and planting the Mums.

MEN’S CLUB will NOT be meeting this month.

WOMEN’S GROUP is meeting via ZOOM on Monday, September 14th at 6:30pm.  Note, this is the 2nd Monday, not the 3rd Monday as is our tradition.

BEEF ON WECK DRIVE-THRU … Save the date … Saturday, October 3rd

The volunteer sign-up will soon be posted.  We have made some adjustments to the plan we used for the Spring Drive-Thru in hopes of making it even more streamline.  (Recap … we sold 300 meals in ONE hour!)  Realizing that we will probably sell out in an hour means that we need to have more help BEFORE the first meal is sold.  Of course, we will again be wearing gloves and masks and doing our best to social distance while working. However, there are several jobs that can be done separate from other people if you would like to volunteer some time but are hesitant to step outside your Covid Bubble.  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Mindy if you have any questions.

This is a first-come, first serve meal.  We will NOT be selling tickets in advance.  However, posting a flyer around town and sharing our Facebook ad is appreciated.

Virtual Bulletin – 9/6/20

September 6, 2020 – 14th Sunday after Pentecost

WORSHIP

Everything remains on our current schedule.  10AM, Lord’s Supper for those present.

Bulletin/Worship Link Here – Sept 6, 2020

Zoom (same as before): https://zoom.us/j/6458485288

Devotion & Prayer Thought

It is funny how certain passages of the bible are taken to be “hard sayings” in one age and then in the next are just common wisdom while others become hard.  Romans 13 is one of those that I think is becoming a hard saying.  By the way Peter says the same thing in 1 Peter 2.  And if you want the Jesus reference, look at John 19:11.  What they all say is be subject to the governing authorities because God placed them there.  As many of us drift further apart politically, it has become harder for many to be subject.  But we should remember the names that were in place while Paul and Peter and Jesus were around: Pilate, Caligula and Nero.  Those are not Washington and Jefferson.

In general Paul – a Roman citizen – seems to have a more sanguine approach to Roman rule.  It is Jesus before Pilate and Peter’s passage that recognize that a ruler with legitimate authority can also be committing great sin.  And it is those two who acknowledge that it might be the duty of the Christian to do the right thing and have the ruler punish them for it.  “If you do good and suffer for it, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.”  Paul might address it just before Romans 13 when he reminds us “live peaceably with all, but never avenge yourselves…vengeance is mine says the Lord.” The tricky thing in these circumstances is to determine just what is the good?  John Brown thought Harpers Ferry was the good.  And abolition of slavery was definitely a good, but was it his call to seize the arms to do so?  More modern, is killing an abortion doctor the good?  Abortion is an evil and ending it would be good.  But is that our call in that way?  If you are going to be doing “the good” instead of honoring the ruler, it probably looks a lot more like Jesus and Peter and Paul.  All who argued and preached and reproached, but who were killed by the state without violence on their part.  When you pick up the stone, you better be sure you are the clean one to throw it, if you do not have governmental authority vested.

This is one of the reasons we pray weekly for those in offices that they might use their office for the good of the people.  So that we might be able to lead quiet lives with integrity.  Being “the man” is not quite as easy as we think.  And “the man” will be held accountable by God for how he or she used their authority.  We pray that we aren’t put into that position of determining “the good”, because we see poorly.  We pray for the wisdom to see the good for those who are granted authority.  But we also pray for the courage to walk the way of the cross should that quiet life not be ours.

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  Sept 7th – September 13th

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

Wednesday: ……………  7:00pm     LAF

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

Sunday: ………………… 10:00am    Worship

                                        11:15am     Bible Study

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: We will be looking at “pestilence” in the bible (Numbers 11:31-35, 16:1-50, 2 Samuel 24:1-25)
  • Confirmation:  2nd year class will be starting up mid-September after we figure out school. I’ll be in touch.
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  Start up on Wednesdays, starting September 9th at 7 PM.  We will be on the Zoom line.
  • Sunday Morning: This may or may not fly, but I’m moving this Study to 11:15 (after service) and we will hold it in the Sanctuary for now.  It will also be on the zoom line.  I honestly don’t know how this will work, but we are going to try.
  • Catechism Moment: I hope these email delivered short catechism refreshers are encouraging and timely.

MOWING CALENDAR

It is still mowing season and with all of the rain we have been getting of late the grass is growing fast!  Please remember to do your part.  Friday or Saturday mowing is the preferred timeframe.  We ask that you make arrangements with someone else on the schedule if you have a previous commitment on the date you are assigned.  There is a white tin in the News Nest that contains a key for the church and the padlock combination as well as Jerry’s cell number for an emergency.  If you have any questions please contact Jerry Gardner.

BEEF ON WECK DRIVE-THRU … Save the date … Saturday, October 3rd

The volunteer sign-up will soon be posted.  We have made some adjustments to the plan we used for the Spring Drive-Thru in hopes of making it even more streamline.  (Recap … we sold 300 meals in ONE hour!)  Realizing that we will probably sell out in an hour means that we need to have more help BEFORE the first meal is sold.  Of course, we will again be wearing gloves and masks and doing our best to social distance while working. However, there are several jobs that can be done separate from other people if you would like to volunteer some time but are hesitant to step outside your Covid Bubble.  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Mindy if you have any questions.

This is a first-come, first serve meal.  We will NOT be selling tickets in advance.  However, posting a flyer around town and sharing our Facebook ad is appreciated.

Virtual Bulletin – 8/30

August 30, 2020 – 13th Sunday after Pentecost

WORSHIP

Everything remains on our current schedule.  10AM, Lord’s Supper for those present.

Bulletin/Worship Link Here – August 30, 2020

Zoom (same as before): https://zoom.us/j/6458485288

Devotion & Prayer Thought

I’d dare you to give Paul’s letters a close read.  There is a rough structure to all of them.  There are more complicated outlines that a classical schooled kid could point you at.  But the simplest division tends to be first “theological argument” and second “how we live based on that argument”. Which is why every commentator and most pastors love the first half of Paul’s letters, but by the time you get to the second half have lost interest.  That goes double for modern Lutherans because they tend to hear that as gospel and then law, and modern Lutherans tend to doubt the role of the law in the life of the believer.

We’ve been reading through the letter to the Roman on Sundays and chapter 12 – began last week and continued this week is the start of that second section.  Paul’s theological argument is that the Sovereign God has claimed you in Jesus Christ.  Everybody, including Israel, has died to sin, and through the proclamation of Christ everyone through faith is offered life and salvation.  That life and salvation make specific claims on us now, because they begin now.  The fullness of that life and salvation has not yet been revealed to everyone, but they are present in the life of faith.  Which is why Paul starts chapter 12 appealing to believers to offer their bodies as a living sacrifice.  This temporary life has a purpose, to witness to the one who gave us eternal life and salvation freely.

What does that look like?  Last week Paul introduced the corporate aspect of it.  “We are all one body in Christ, individually members of one another.”  And are various gifts that we have been given are for the corporate good of that body of Christ.  If you deny your gifts to the body you not only harm the body but you harm yourself bring into question you life and salvation.  Do you cut off your left hand because it itches or isn’t as useful as the right?  No!  Then why do you absent yourself from the body of Christ?  Why do you deny your brothers and sisters their hand?  We should be aware of how we treat fellow believers.

But the body of Christ also resides in the midst of the world.  What does being a living sacrifice in the midst of the world look like?  Paul starts out with a list of exhorations: “let love be genuine..abhor evil, hold onto good…show honor…do not be slothful in zeal”. But he then transitions to the big one: “Bless those who persecute you.” I take this as the Pauline echo of “blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.”  Blessing your enemies is not of this world.  The act itself gives witness to something outside this world.  And it is an act of faith that the God who made everything is sovereign and will repay.  Paul quotes Deuteronomy “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, say the Lord.”  But the goal is not that we would that revenge – as Jonah wished upon Nineveh.  The goal is to overcome evil.  “Overcome evil with good.”  “Rejoice, you have gained your brother.”

How do we the church, the body of Christ, bless those who persecute us?  I can think of several ways, but that is the homework for you, what ways do you recognize?  May we “as far as it depends upon us live peaceable lives with all.”

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  Aug 31st – September 6th

Tuesday: ………………  7:30pm     Board of Elders Meeting

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

                                            1:00pm    Stollery internment at Maplewood Cemetery

Sunday: ………………….  9:00am     Bible Study and Sunday School

                                           10:00am    Worship

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: Not meeting 9/3, will meet 9/10 – the OT on intentional plague, all invited
  • Confirmation:  Will return in the fall – September, I’ll be in touch personally to sort out.
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  Start up on Wednesdays, starting September 9th at 7 PM.  We will be on the Zoom line.
  • Sunday Morning: I’m looking at something a little different.  I ask for your patience here.
  • Catechism Moment: I hope these email delivered short catechism refreshers are encouraging and timely.

MOWING CALENDAR

It is still mowing season and with all of the rain we have been getting of late the grass is growing fast!  Please remember to do your part.  Friday or Saturday mowing is the preferred timeframe.  We ask that you make arrangements with someone else on the schedule if you have a previous commitment on the date you are assigned.  There is a white tin in the News Nest that contains a key for the church and the padlock combination as well as Jerry’s cell number for an emergency.  If you have any questions please contact Jerry Gardner.

PRESCHOOL UPDATE …  Preschool begins on Thursday, September 3rd

BEEF ON WECK DRIVE-THRU … Save the date … Saturday, October 3rd

The volunteer sign-up will soon be posted.  We have made some adjustments to the plan we used for the Spring Drive-Thru in hopes of making it even more streamline.  (Recap … we sold 300 meals in ONE hour!)  Realizing that we will probably sell out in an hour means that we need to have more help BEFORE the first meal is sold.  Of course, we will again be wearing gloves and masks and doing our best to social distance while working. However, there are several jobs that can be done separate from other people if you would like to volunteer some time but are hesitant to step outside your Covid Bubble.  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Mindy if you have any questions.

This is a first-come, first serve meal.  We will NOT be selling tickets in advance.  However, posting a flyer around town and sharing our Facebook ad is appreciated

Confessing the Christ

Biblical Text: Matthew 16:13-20

The Reign of God or the Kingdom is the overriding theme of the gospel and we’ve been thinking out way through it this summer. It starts out being proclaimed. (“Repent! The Reign of God is near!”) Then it is taught. (“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom.” “The Kingdom of Heaven is like…”.) Then it is exhibited or demonstrated as Jesus interacts with the crowds, the disciples and the Pharisees and Sadducees. All of which leads up to the final. “Do you understand? Who do you say I am?”

That is a question that we all must answer when the Reign draws near. And there are a variety of answers, but only one correct one. “You are the Christ.” And that correct answer – that confession does a couple of things. It binds us to Christ in the church. And it frees us from our sin. The Keys of the Kingdom, the reality of the Reign. If you confess Christ, you can only truly do so within his body. And within that body, Satan cannot touch the pardon of God.

That – our proper response to the Reign – is what this sermon encourages.

Virtual Bulletin – 8/23

August 23, 2020 – 12th Sunday after Pentecost

WORSHIP

Everything remains on our current schedule.  10AM, Lord’s Supper for those present.

Bulletin/Worship Link Here – August 23, 2020

Zoom (same as before): https://zoom.us/j/6458485288

Flowers next to the Altar were placed by Karen & Nathan Groff and family in honor of Dee Dee and Wayne Warriner’s 50th Wedding Anniversary

Devotion & Prayer Thought

Whether it is in sports or in life we are so used to everything having a measurement.  Scoreboard is the taunt.  Look at the bottom line.  And these things are typically put up in bright bold letters.  Every week our contributions (and usually attendance, when we were all together, sigh).  Permanently on the screen, the score stood four to two that day with but an inning left to play.  And even more than in Casey’s day as we have the strikes, balls and MPHs shown.  Coaching little league gives you a different view.  Yes, we keep score, but the score isn’t usually known.  The scorekeeper is the only person who knows.  And yes, the umpire can often forget the count himself.  I’ve had players strike out on two strikes and walk on 6 balls.  I’m sure I’ve had the 3 ball walk, I just don’t remember those.  The kids will occasionally ask “what’s the score”, but less than you might think.  And I don’t always tell them exactly.  Sometimes I just say “close, let’s get a 1-2-3 inning”, or “we need some runs.”  The score is important, but the score, even in a little league game is already determined by how you and your teammates are going to play.  Concentrating on the score won’t change it.  Hitting this next pitch might.  Go try.

The Christian life is more like that little league experience than the adult world of constant measurement.  The final outcome is known.  Christ has won.  Satan is defeated.  The Saints shout triumphantly.  “My salvation will be forever, and my righteousness will never be dismayed.”  But how we play the game is still important. “Look to the Rock from which you were hewn.”  “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”  We are engaged in a struggle, a contest.  And we are engaged against an enemy that is desperate and seeking to score as much as he can.  And if all you look at as the game is this world, he might even win.  Our Lord himself was crucified.  But this world is only the first and second inning.  He is risen, and we too shall rise to victory.

So go try. “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them.  If prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving…”.  The joy, the worship, is in the use, is in the playing.  May we find that joy.

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  Aug 24th – August 30th

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

Sunday: ………………….  9:00am     Bible Study and Sunday School

                                           10:00am    Worship

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: Recap and finish Malachi this week – we mean it this time.  The start time is 10, but we probably talk 15 mins or so first.  Everyone is invited!
  • Confirmation:  Will return in the fall – September, I’ll be in touch personally to sort out.
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  Start up on Wednesdays, starting September 9th at 7 PM.  We will be on the Zoom line.
  • Sunday Morning: I’m looking at something a little different.  I ask for your patience here.
  • Catechism Moment: Our reading of the Lord’s Prayer continues.  If you aren’t getting these in your email box, it is because I don’t have your email.  Or you have me going to spam.  Easy to take care of

MOWING CALENDAR

It is still mowing season and with all of the rain we have been getting of late the grass is growing fast!  Please remember to do your part.  Friday or Saturday mowing is the preferred timeframe.  We ask that you make arrangements with someone else on the schedule if you have a previous commitment on the date you are assigned.  There is a white tin in the News Nest that contains a key for the church and the padlock combination as well as Jerry’s cell number for an emergency.  If you have any questions please contact Jerry Gardner.

PRESCHOOL UPDATE …  Preschool begins on Thursday, September 3rd

BEEF ON WECK DRIVE-THRU … Save the date … Saturday, October 3rd

The volunteer sign-up will soon be posted.  We have made some adjustments to the plan we used for the Spring Drive-Thru in hopes of making it even more streamline.  (Recap … we sold 300 meals in ONE hour!)  Realizing that we will probably sell out in an hour means that we need to have more help BEFORE the first meal is sold.  Of course, we again be working wearing gloves and masks and doing our best to social distance. However, there are several jobs that can be done separate from other people if you would like to volunteer some time but are hesitant to step outside your Covid Bubble.  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Mindy if you have any questions.

This is a first-come, first serve meal.  We will NOT be selling tickets in advance.  However, posting a flyer around town and sharing our Facebook ad is appreciated.

LEADERSHIP BOARDS SUMMER BREAK

Elders are taking off July & August from formal meeting.

BOOKS

Do you know of a Free Little Library?  If so, we have books available for you to take and donate to one or more of your favorites.  The books are in the coat closet on the table next to the full-length mirror.  Please help us get the books out to the community