Tag Archives: Bulletin

Virtual Bulletin – 11/22

November 22nd, 2020 – Last Sunday of the Church Year

WORSHIP & Bible Study

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

This week’s service Bulletin/Worship Link Here

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

Zoom Info: Meeting ID: 645 848 5288 Passcode: miracles

Bible Study after service or 11:15ish.  I’ll keep the zoom line on. 

Devotion & Prayer Thought

In our Thursday bible study we haven’t read to Ezekiel 34 yet, but our Old Testament text echoes many parts of what we have read.  The larger people of Israel don’t escape the prophet’s call for repentance, but throughout the Lord’s great problem is with the leaders of his people.  Their priests practice idolatry in the Temple.  Their prophets proclaim peace, when the destruction of Jerusalem is around the corner.  The King’s counselors are out to make a buck, along with every hustler hawking magic amulets and scarves.  And the King? Absent, a non-entity.  The result is that the people themselves are lost.  But the Lord promises a remnant.

And on that day, “Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out…I will rescue them from all the places they have been scattered.”  And the greatest promise?  “I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep.”  The King will no longer be absent, but will be the good shepherd.  And the actions of the good shepherd?  “Behold, I, I myself will judge between the fat and the lean sheep.”

There is definitely good in such a judgement.  It is something to look forward to. Honest scales and true justice, there is a reason the next to the last words of Revelation are “Amen, Come quickly, Lord Jesus.”  And I think the lack of that true King, the good judge, is what often drives our discontents. There is a reason why the word “justice” is popular.  But maybe it is the Lutheran in me that pauses at outright rejoicing.  Looking for the judge is looking for the law. And the law always finds some way to condemn us.  We probably focus too much on the division of the fat and the lean, and miss what comes after.  The story doesn’t end there.  That is just beginning of the Kingdom which does not end.  “I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them.”  The wounds are bound and healed.  Justice is proclaimed.  And the work of the Kingdom continues into eternal life.  The Prince is among them, no longer absent or a non-entity.  The final words of Revelation aren’t that clear and good desire for justice; they are “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all.”  May we all suffer here with Christ, that we might share in that Kingdom.  May we not tire of running the race as prey now, that then “we shall no longer be prey”.    

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  Nov 23rd – Nov 29th

Mon. – Fri. ……….….…    NO Preschool

Monday ………………..  11:00am   O.C.C. Shoebox Collection closes

Wednesday: …………….  7:00pm   Thanksgiving Eve Service

Thursday: ………………  Thanksgiving

                                             NO Bible Study

Sunday: ………………….  10:00am   Worship

                                            11:00am   Bible Study

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: No bible study on Thanksgiving
  • Confirmation:  Thanksgiving break.  We will pick up with baptism next week
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  is next meeting on Wednesdays, Dec 2nd 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: Finished Confession and the Keys this week.  Sacrament of the Altar next

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD as of Friday afternoon St. Mark has filled 57 shoeboxes and collected more than 700 boxes from the community to pack in cartons.  The cartons will be loaded onto a rented U-haul truck and taken to a location in Webster where they will be joined by other cartons and transferred to a semi-truck for the next leg of the journey.  Pastor Brown would appreciate assistance today (Sunday) in loading the U-haul. Thank you to all who helped with St. Mark’s leg of the journey.

CONGREGATIONAL MTG:  December 6th/Final Vote

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.

Week 4 – Nov. 22:  BOXES

(cereals, granola bars, oats, boxed potatoes, macaroni and cheese mixes, pasta, crackers,  “Hamburger Helper”, stuffing mix, rice…)

Virtual Bulletin – 11/8

November 8th, 2020 – 23rd 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: Meeting ID: 645 848 5288 Passcode: miracles

Bible Study after service or 11:15ish.  I’ll keep the zoom line on. 

Devotion & Prayer Thought

Over the last year or so, the Thursday morning study has been reading the minor prophets – like Amos – and then moving into a long complex one, Ezekiel.  The themes of these prophets are all remarkably the same: repent for the Day of the Lord comes, rend your hearts and not your garments and do the things the Lord delights in.  And these prophets get specific about the sins and who is committing them.  They name names as it were, and nobody escapes.  The only difference is roughly where in time they sit.  The books in our bibles are arranged in presumed time order, with one complication.  The earlier books are not quite as strident in tone or as dismissive.  The later books are caustic with hope turning to some distant future.  The one complication is that Amos is a prophet sent to the Northern Kingdom of Israel which falls more than a century before the Southern Kingdom.  So Amos is at the fever pitch well before the ones that follow.

The other wrinkle is that Amos was not one of the club.  He was “neither a prophet nor a prophet’s son, but a keeper of fig trees.”  So when God calls him, you can feel the passion underneath.  He has no family or conflicting motives in what he says.  He might even “want to watch it burn.”  And at least for me reading these books, the great discomfort has been how much I can associate with them.  With many biblical books, there is distance between our situation and those they address.  These prophets feel like contemporaries.

Amos’ preaching in Chapter 5 is focused on the status of the heart versus the exterior life.  The Day of the Lord is coming, and as our Church year turns toward its end, we turn to contemplation of that.  So did religious life in Israel.  Sukkot, the end times festival, precedes Rosh Hashanah, the new year.  And the Northern Kingdom of Israel was rich.  Their wealth covered all the external needs of the religion.  They had their solemn assemblies.  They went to temple and made all their burnt offerings.  Their psalms were sung with gusto.  They were sure of their status.  The Day of the Lord would deliver them.  But Amos tells them “you abhor the one who speaks truth, you trample on the poor and exact taxes from him, to build houses and vineyards – you shall not dwell in them.” Their outward piety belied inward unbelief, and unchanged heart.

“Woe to you who desire the Day of the Lord, why would you have it?  It is darkness not light.”  And in a very funny quip, “it is as if a man fled from a Lion and a bear met him.” We expect God to provide comfort.  And this he does in Jesus Christ.  But have we welcomed Him?  Have we sought the Lord where and when he may be found?  Or have we just assumed he’s there for us, and done what we like?  This is not works righteousness.  You will not be saved by what you do.  But it is a question, who do you fear, love and trust the most?  The Day is Coming.

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  Nov 9th – Nov 15th

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

Monday: ……………….   1:00pm   O.C.C. Shoebox packing

                                            6:00pm    Men’s Club meeting

Tuesday: ……………….   6:00pm   O.C.C. Shoebox packing

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

Sunday: ………………….  10:00am   Worship

                                            11:15am  Budget Presentation

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 18th 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 Office of the Keys and Confession

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. 

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.  (You may bump ‘Mindy’ on any day.)

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

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

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

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

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.