Tag Archives: Bulletin

Virtual Bulletin – 7/12

July 12, 2020 – 6th Sunday after Pentecost

WORSHIP

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

Bulletin/Worship Link Here – July 12th, 2020

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

Devotion & Prayer Thought

Part of the package of building our house was one tree in the front yard.  Ours got planted and for a year or two seemed okay, but it never seemed to grow.  And then it started simply to die. It leafed late and shed early.  Then all the branches on one side died.  I cut them off and pitched them and fed around it, hoping that maybe it would figure out ways around.  Meanwhile most of the neighbor’s tress were flourishing.  Finally, as I stared at the pathetic blighted and mangled tree in my front yard, I decided it was time.  We dug it out, cut it up and sent it on its way.  We replaced it with a cherry tree that promises pink flowers in the spring and bright orange leaves in the fall.  No word about the cherries which I assume will be for the birds.

How much of life feels like that poor first tree?  Why did this one fail to thrive while all the others were fine?  Why did everything done to help it do nothing?  Why did it take ten years to do something?  In some ways that is a good metaphor for our life with sin.  We are planted sick.  And all the goodness of the earth can’t change our direction. And our wills are completely tapped.  Why bother if the ground is so bad?  But Isaiah urges another view.  God’s Word goes out and it accomplishes what it intends, it succeeds for what it was sent.  And the Word of God certainly goes out to proclaim the wages of sin which are death.  But the Word of God also goes out  “giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater.”  It goes out to change the ground “making it bring forth and sprout…Instead of thorn shall come up the cypress, instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle…it shall make an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”

I pray that my little cherry tree will thrive where the prior ground proved unfruitful, that it may not be cut off.  Likewise we pray for the Lord to send the rain and snow of the Word that changes hearts.  “That we might go out in joy and be led forth in peace…and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  July 13th – July 19th

Mon., Wed., Fri.: ……… 8:00am     Summer Camp (Preschool)

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

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

                                           10:00am    Worship

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: : We are reading the book of Zechariah, the OT Revelation and the most quoted from book in the passion accounts in the NT.  We are up to Chapter 9, both live in person and on zoom.  Same link as the service.  The start time is 10, but we probably talk 15 mins or so first.  Everyone is invited!
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  Keep a look out here and in your email for future plans for LAF.
  • Confirmation: Will return in the fall – September
  • Sunday Morning: We’ve taken a little break, which I’ve needed to make sure things are set up prior to service. This will return, but it might be September as well.  Pending the pandemic course, there are some things with our Sunday schedule that we might have to address.
  • Catechism Moment: We finished the Creed this past week.  We will be moving on the the Lord’s Prayer.  It is slow work, but I am also moving over prior “Catechism Moment” emails to the church website.  It takes about a year to pray through the catechism weekly.  Eventually I hope to have a current (within the last year) gloss on the entire catechism that we will be updated on that rolling basis.  If you missed an email, or just lost it in the all the rest, it will be on the church website as well. 

SAVERS DELIVERY … July 31st

Savers delivery is scheduled for Friday, July 31st at 10am in Webster.  Please contact Mindy or Ellen if you have a large vehicle and are available to drive a load of stuff to Webster.  (Of course, afterwards you are free to ‘Second-hand shop”)  We are also still accepting donations of clothes (accessories and shoes) and household fabrics.

WOMEN’S GROUP MEETING … July 20th

Several women have expressed an interest in having an in-person meeting, so, with this in mind we will be having a meeting at church on Monday, July 20th for those wishing to join us in person.  Supper will be served at 6pm with social distancing being practiced.  The meeting will commence at 6:30 on Zoom for those who prefer to not to attend in person.  Please contact Mindy if you plan to attend the dinner so we can plan accordingly.

MEN’S CLUB MEETING … July 20th

Jerry Gardner is hosting the Men’s Club at his home on Monday, July 20th at the usual time of 6pm.  The sign-up is posted on the bulletin board or you may call Jerry if you would like to attend.

MOWING CALENDAR

It is mowing season again (it beats shoveling season!) and at St. Mark we ask the men of the congregation to donate a few hours to cut the grass.  The good news is that we have a riding lawn mower for the majority of the work.  This summer’s mowing calendar is now posted on the bulletin board (across from the Conference Room windows); please take a moment to look at it and enter your assigned date on your personal calendar.  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.

Leadership Boards Summer Break

Elders are taking off July & August from formal meeting. Council will be taking off July.

Bulletin Note

This goes out to everybody’s email that I have. That email version also contains birthdays, anniversaries, contact info, financial stuff, etc – anything that might contain personal info. I cut out all that stuff for the web version. So, if you want all that stuff, and you aren’t getting it right now, contact me or Mindy and we will make sure your email is on the list.

Virtual Bulletin – 6/28

June 28, 2020 – 4th Sunday after Pentecost

WORSHIP

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

Bulletin/Worship Link Here – June 28, 2020

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

Devotion & Prayer Thought

“The rain falls on the just and the unjust alike”.  That is grace is action.  Strictly speaking no one is just, no not one.  So the Loving Father who continues to sustain our existence is giving us good things which we in no way deserve.  Grace.  But I was contemplating the opposite of that recently. While reading along in Romans.  What happens when the Lord’s wrath is expressed?  You know, when war, famine, plague and death ride the land? God’s grace is often expressed in overlooking the many for the sake of the few, for example remember Abraham’s pleading for Sodom.  More often God’s grace is expressed in a remnant.  Eight souls saved through the flood on the Ark.  7000 have not bowed the knee to Baal which Paul quotes from Elijah.  But those 8 souls and those 7000 experienced the calamity right along with everyone else.  Jeremiah went into exile when Jerusalem fell.  In this world, being a Christian is not a get out of trouble free card.

When we talk about fairness the ultimate fairness in this world is that everyone dies.  We have all sinned and fallen short and so labor under the same burden.  The Christian Hope is not in this world.  It does not come from princes, or laws or regulations or money or fairness.  The Christian Hope is the coming Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.  That does not mean we cannot seek address of grievances.  We can by orderly lawful means.  That does not mean we give up working here.  We don’t because the Lord has given us a task to live as residents of the Kingdom now.  But it does mean that we can never lose sight of the true Hope.  It is not fairness or justice here, it is eternal grace.   This world is both the good creation of our Loving Father and yet a veil of tears.  The wheat and the weeds grow together.  But the Reign of God is near.  When you aim for the kingdom, God often throws in the world although not always.  When you aim for the world, you get nothing. Lord increase and multiply upon us thy mercy, that you being our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal that we lose not the things eternal.

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  June 29th – July 5th

Mon., Wed., Fri.: ……… 8:00am     NO Preschool

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

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

                                           10:00am    Worship

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: : We are reading the book of Zechariah, the OT Revelation and the most quoted from book in the passion accounts in the NT.  We are up to Chapter 6, both live in person and on zoom.  Same link as the service.  The start time is 10, but we probably talk 15 mins or so first.  Everyone is invited!
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  Keep a look out here and in your email for future plans for LAF.
  • Confirmation: Will return in the fall – September
  • Sunday Morning: We’ve taken a little break, which I’ve needed to make sure things are set up prior to service. This will return, but it might be September as well.  Pending the pandemic course, there are some things with our Sunday schedule that we might have to address.
  • Catechism Moment: I hope you are all receiving these and find them meaningful or at least a good prod to the memory. 

MOWING CALENDAR

It is mowing season again (it beats shoveling season!) and at St. Mark we ask the men of the congregation to donate a few hours to cut the grass.  The good news is that we have a riding lawn mower for the majority of the work.  This summer’s mowing calendar is now posted on the bulletin board (across from the Conference Room windows); please take a moment to look at it and enter your assigned date on your personal calendar.  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.

Leadership Boards Summer Break

Elders are taking off July & August from formal meeting. Council will be taking off July.

Virtual Bulletin – 6/21

June 21, 2020 – 3rd Sunday after Pentecost

WORSHIP

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

Bulletin/Worship Link Here – June 21, 2020

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

Devotion & Prayer Thought

I’m sorry for the somewhat personal reflection here. Something came across my reading material this week, that reminded me of another instance, which fed into the Jeremiah reading.  The Catholic chaplain at MIT was fired this week for his sermon. I read through his sermon.  My reflection was it was incredibly solid. It called out sin. It pointed to Christ.  It encouraged us to do better in our walk with Christ.  It reminded me of an instance in the news about two years ago of another minister getting removed over a funeral sermon.  I had read that too and was shocked.  He had preached the gospel exceedingly well.  It was an example of what I’d want at my funeral.  But it had fallen on deaf ears who took it up with his bishop.  The sermon was offensive they held because it didn’t celebrate the life of the deceased.  Instead it held out Christ as his and all of our only hope.  And bishops being what they so often are banished the gospel.

Jeremiah reflects a bit on what I’m sure both of those preachers thought after getting caught in the spotlight.  “O Lord, you have deceived me, and I was deceived…I say, ‘I will not mention him or speak any more in his name.”  But if it is the gospel in your bones Jeremiah continues, “there is in my heart a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot.”  I have been graced with a pulpit where the gospel is welcomed.  I remind myself that this is probably not the standard.  And we should be reminded that the gospel is a scandal – a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the gentiles.  Yet it remains mankind’s hope.  And while Jeremiah gives voice to what is surely felt “ O Lord…let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you I have I committed my cause”, Christ would remind us that the day of judgment comes soon enough.  Today, the day of grace, love your enemies, pray for them.

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  June 22nd – June 28th

Mon., Wed., Fri.: ……… 8:00am     Preschool

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

Saturday: ………………  9:00am    Rummage Sale

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

                                           10:00am    Worship

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: : We are reading the book of Zechariah, the OT Revelation and the most quoted from book in the passion accounts in the NT.  We are up to Chapter 5, both live in person and on zoom.  Same link as the service.  The start time is 10, but we probably talk 15 mins or so first.  Everyone is invited!
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  Keep a look out here and in your email for future plans for LAF.
  • Confirmation: Will return in the fall – September
  • Sunday Morning: We’ve taken a little break, which I’ve needed to make sure things are set up prior to service. This will return, but it might be September as well.  Pending the pandemic course, there are some things with our Sunday schedule that we might have to address.
  • Catechism Moment: I hope you are all receiving these and find them meaningful or at least a good prod to the memory. 

RUMMAGE SALE … June 27th

We are now accepting donations for the Rummage Sale; they can be dropped off in the Multipurpose Room.  This event will be held outside.  If you would like to help with this please contact Miss Kelly.

MOWING CALENDAR

It is mowing season again (it beats shoveling season!) and at St. Mark we ask the men of the congregation to donate a few hours to cut the grass.  The good news is that we have a riding lawn mower for the majority of the work.  This summer’s mowing calendar is now posted on the bulletin board (across from the Conference Room windows); please take a moment to look at it and enter your assigned date on your personal calendar.  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.

Virtual Bulletin – 6/14

June 14, 2020 – 2nd Sunday after Pentecost

WORSHIP

Everything else remains the same.  10AM, Lord’s Supper for those present.

Bulletin/Worship Link Here – June 14, 2020

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

Devotion & Prayer Thought

Our opening hymn is one of my personal favorites. It is extremely easy to spend all our time focusing on what is not right.  Everything in this world seems to be tilted to encourage what in the OT would have been called grumbling.  And as Moses makes clear, you might think you are grumbling against whoever the figurehead is, but all grumbling is really against God. God wants our prayers, not our grumbling.  Grumbling assumes two things.  It assumes that God doesn’t really care and that he can’t do anything. So we grumble. Prayer can have the same agenda as the grumble – “I don’t like this”. But prayer makes the assumption that God is good and that he is Almighty i.e. he can do stuff.  He might not.  His answers might not be what we are after. But prayer removes us from envy and places us in hope.  Praise to the Lord, the Almighty for He is your health and salvation. Even in personal poor health, we have been promised eternal life. Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things is wondrously reigning. Even in the midst of strife, the Lord works good for his people. Praise to the Lord, ponder anew, what the almighty can do.  Do so; ponder. Has the Almighty befriended you with his love? Has he provided our daily bread? Has he ever abandoned his people?  No. Because he is good, and his mercy endures forever.  Let the Amen, sound from his people again.

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  June 15th – June 21st

Mon., Wed., Fri.: ……… 8:00am     Preschool

Wednesday: …………… 7:30pm     St. Mark Council Mtg

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

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

                                           10:00am    Worship

CONTRIBUTION UPDATE

6/7:  $ 5,910       YTD: $ 69,548        Organ – $5,000/goal …$ 1,445/collected            Missionary Support:  $2,000/goal … $ 300/collected

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: We are reading the book of Zechariah, the OT Revelation and the most quoted from book in the passion accounts in the NT.  We are both live in person and on zoom.  Same link as the service.  The start time is 10, but we probably talk 15 mins or so first.  Everyone is invited!
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  Thanks to Nick for all he did this past year! Keep a look out here and in your email for future plans for LAF.
  • Confirmation: 

Year 1: Ok, it’s June, you guys are really out of school, even though you aren’t.  I’m going to call it.  We will pick back up in year 2 in the fall.

Year 2: Congrats to our confirmands!

RUMMAGE SALE … June 27th

We are now accepting donations for the Rummage Sale; they can be dropped off in the Multipurpose Room.  This event will be held outside.  If you would like to help with this please contact Miss Kelly at 334-4130

Virtual Bulletin – 6/7/20

June 7, 2020 – Trinity

WORSHIP

Everything remains the same.  10AM, Lord’s Supper for those present.

Bulletin/Worship Link Here – June 7, 2020

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

Devotion & Prayer Thought

MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN.  That is the original “Writing on the Wall”.  Belshazzar, Neo-Babylonian King has had a dream.  A giant hand had written those words out.  And nobody can interpret them.  Nobody except Daniel.  Daniel tells the King who is engaged in one of his “great feasts” what they mean.  This is no longer the young Daniel who pushed Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar’s father, to grant him his special diet and interpreted his dreams. This is an older Daniel. And he tells this King the writing on the wall means, “The days of your kingdom have been numbered. You have been weighed and measured and found wanting.  Your kingdom is being taken from you.”  And that very night it was, and it was handed over to Darius the Persian who installed Daniel as one of his three high officials.

As in all times when things seem to be going to hell in a handbasket, when all the leadership is busy feasting and drinking, when they claim all knowledge but can’t read the handwriting, things might be scary.  But I’ve always been strangely comforted by those words and this scene.  The days of a corrupt establishment are numbered by God Almighty.  And when they are done, they are brought to a swift end.  Like the day the Berlin Wall came down and the Soviet Union collapsed.  Those who are responsible are weighed and measured and found wanting by a higher authority.  And the order of Heaven is eventually reestablished.  Yes, sometimes it is “meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”  We are a fallen people.  But throughout it, even in exile as Daniel was, the LORD has his eyes on his people.

We look for a better Kingdom, one whose throne is not here.  Today we live in the midst of various authorities, some of whom the handwriting is on the wall.  But even this world that can seem out of control, is under the Lord’s authority.  It all comes from His hand, and he intends good for us.

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  June 8st – June 15th

Mon., Wed., Fri.: ……… 8:00am     Preschool

Monday: ……………….  6:00pm    Women’s Group Mtg on Zoom

Tuesday: ……………..… 9:00am    Rochester West Circuit Mtg on Zoom

3:00pm     Conf. Cls – 1st yr – Cancelled see below

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

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

                                                      10:00am    Worship

BIRTHDAYS & ANNIVERSARIES

Happy Birthday to:  Frank Miller (Sr) 6/6, Rachel Follaco (DeWitt) 6/11, Alexz Ademovic 6/11, Anna Brown 6/12, Ethan Burtsell 6/12, Ryan Connorton 6/13, Nancy Bauchle 6/14, Sylvia Bayer 6/14,Roger DeWitt 6/14

Anniversary Congrats: none reported this week

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: We are reading the book of Zechariah, the OT Revelation and the most quoted from book in the passion accounts in the NT.  We are both live in person and on zoom.  Same link as the service.  The start time is 10, but we probably talk 15 mins or so first.  Everyone is invited!
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  Thanks to Nick for all he did this past year! Keep a look out here and in your email for future plans for LAF.
  • Confirmation: 

Year 1: Ok, it’s June, you guys are really out of school, even though you aren’t.  I’m going to call it.  We will pick back up in year 2 in the fall.

Year 2: Congrats to our confirmands!

RUMMAGE SALE … June 27th

We are now accepting donations for the Rummage Sale; they can be dropped off in the Multipurpose Room.  This event will be held outside.  If you would like to help with this please contact Miss Kelly at 334-4130

Virtual Bulletin – 5/24/20

May 24, 2020 – Seventh Sunday of Easter

WORSHIP

Sorry about the Zoom link last week.  It was zoom’s problem as many many churches experienced the same thing. Prayerfully they do not have the same problem this week.  Everything else remains the same.  10AM, Lord’s Supper for those present.

Bulletin/Worship Link Here – May 24, 2020

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

Devotion & Prayer Thought

In our Thursday bible study a very true thought was expressed.  Paraphrasing: “I’ve gone to church all my life, we’ve been “off” long enough that going back will be tough.”  We are creatures of habit.  Some habits, like going to church, are good ones.  We call good habits virtues.  Some habits, like cursing, are bad ones.  We call them vices.  St. Peter tells us “make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Pet. 1:5-8 NLT)” And it is not that we ever fully possess a virtue in this life.  Satan is always prowling like a lion looking for whom he might devour.  But what I would say is that a well-honed virtue is a steady walk with the Holy Spirit.  The act of the will to do the right is the spiritual athletic equivalent of the athlete’s muscle memory.  A practiced pitcher doesn’t think where to throw, they just do and it goes to the right place.  But when we fall out of practice, that muscle memory isn’t as sure.  Strikes become balls.  We need to cognitively think about it.  And that is the work.  That is why it is hard.  Because thinking is hard.  We must align our mind and our wills again.  And Satan will work against that.  Even our own flesh will.  We have to think, get up and go to church, when our trained muscles are heading to the coffee pot and enjoying an extra bit of sleep.

I obviously think regular worship is a good virtue to develop.  We will ask the confirmands next week if they intend to make diligent use of the means of grace.  And the hoped for answer is yes.  But at this moment of tipping.  When new habits might have been formed that we might need to break.  When old virtues are going to need to be resurrected.  It might also be a good time, as we are already engaging the mind to change the will, to ask what other efforts should we be making to supplement faith with a generous provision of moral excellence?  How shall we collectively (or individually) add virtues and break vices?

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  May 25th – June 1st

Wed., Fri.: ……………… 8:00am    Preschool

Tuesday: ……………..… 3:00pm     Conf. Cls – 1st yr

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

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

                                          10:00am    Worship

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: We will be reading the book of Zechariah for the next couple of weeks at least – the short OT Revelation.  If you want to zoom in please contact me and I’ll be sure to make it live.
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  Thanks to Nick for all he did this past year! Keep a look out here and in your email for future plans for LAF.
  • Confirmation: 

Year 1: We are meeting on zoom for the time being.  3PM Tuesdays.  Lord’s Prayer.  We will be working through the worksheet as I share my screen.  Please bring your catechism and a bible.

Year 2: Confirmation proper is Pentecost, which is May 31st since we are open.Congrats to our confirmands.

RUMMAGE SALE … June 27th

We are now accepting donations for the Rummage Sale; they can be dropped off in the Multipurpose Room.  If you would like to help with this event please contact Miss Kelly at 334-4130

Virtual Bulletin – May 17th

May 17, 2020 – Sixth Sunday of Easter

WORSHIP

The finger lakes region of the Governor’s report has been cleared to start opening.  May 15th (Friday) is the last day of the stay at home orders.  Which means what I’ve been speculating on the last couple of weeks is reality.

This Sunday worship is at 10 AM.  Our stated capacity is 132 people, so 25% is 33 exactly. So, based on recent attendance patterns, we should have no problem with that. Unless everyone surprises me and comes back in person immediately.  We will continue to stream the service on the Zoom link.

We will be holding the Lord’s Supper for those present. Receiving, like attending in person, will be at your freedom and prudence. Three notes. The first is that we will be having the sacrament weekly for the foreseeable future. So there is no pressure that “I missed it.” The second is that, as the hymnal shows, there will be a separation between the services of the Word and the Sacrament. After the prayers of the church, any online or local who do not wish to commune will be dismissed with blessing. One does not need to leave, but one may. This is still the practice of the Eastern Orthodox, and it was LCMS practice in many places well into the 1970’s. (I experienced it growing up in my home church.) After, the service of the sacrament will continue for all remaining. The last is that we will be using a continuous line and individual cups only.  This should allow us to maintain distancing and minimize the number of people involved in distribution.

Bulletin/Worship Link Here – May 17, 2020

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

Devotion & Prayer Thought

I have been thinking about two things, really one but in two directions.  The one great thing is simply Luther’s great Catechism question: What does this mean?  And the simple part is backward looking.  What does what we have experienced mean?  Maybe it is all just sound and fury meaning nothing.  But I am not a nihilist.  And proclaiming a meaning is the roll of a prophet if he has the Word of the Lord.  And I think the Word of the Lord in these cases is as it always is during a Day of the Lord when things are revealed.  It is a time to reflect and repent.  That is what Jesus says in Luke 13 when asked about a couple of tragedies.  “Do you think this suffering means that they were worse than you? No, I tell you, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. (Luke 13:1-5)”  The Christian answer to suffering is a call to personal examination and repentance.  Collective suffering isn’t some unjust punishment from a capricious God, but a merciful reminder of his coming justice on all mankind.  Today is a day of grace.  Revelation depicts this as four angels at the four corners holding back the winds (Rev 7:1) until all the people of God are sealed.  Today we can baptize.  Today we can remember our baptism.  Today we can remember who are lives rest in. Today we can rejoice is Christ our savior.

But then I turn forward looking, because this is going to be with us for a while.  What does it mean?  Immediately after those passages in Luke 13 Jesus tells the parable of the barren fig tree.  You know it.  A man has planted and for three years it has done nothing.  He wants to take it out, but is convinced to give it another year.  His vinedresser pleads with him, “I’ll dig around, put on manure, give it extra care, and if it is still fruitless, then cut it down.”  The Christian Life is always about repentance.  That was Luther’s first of the 95 theses.  It is also the first beatitude, “blessed are the poor in Spirit.”  That Christian Life is also about fruitfulness.  When the Day of the Lord has come and revealed itself to us, what must happen?  We live it.  It has been a long lent.  This year Pentecost is just around the corner.  We will be asking confirmands on that day some hard questions.  The correct answers of course are known and given, but they are still asked not just to them but to us who have been planted for many a year.  Do you intend to live according to the Word of God, in faith, word and deed, to remain true to God, Father Son and Holy Spirit, even to death?  Is your salvation out there, outside of the vineyard, or is it in the Lord?  We’ve been given another year.  Live it fruitfully.

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  May 18th – 24th

Mon., Wed., Fri.: ……… 8:00am     Preschool

Monday: ……………….  6:00pm    Women’s Group meeting on Zoom

Tuesday: ……………..… 3:00pm     Conf. Cls – 1st yr

Thursday: ……………… Brownie baking & Beef cooking day

                                          10:00am     Bible Study

Friday: …………………  Potato Salad & Beef on Weck Prep day

Saturday: ………………  Beef on Weck Fundraising Dinner

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

                                           10:00am    Worship

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: We will be reading the book of Haggai this week.  If you want to zoom in please contact me and I’ll be sure to make it live.
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  Thanks to Nick for all he did this past year! Keep a look out here and in your email for future plans for LAF.
  • Confirmation: 

Year 1: We are meeting on zoom for the time being.  3PM Tuesdays.  Lord’s Prayer.  We will be working through the worksheet as I share my screen.  Please bring your catechism and a bible.

Year 2: Confirmation proper is Pentecost, which is May 31st since we are open.Congrats to our confirmands.

WOMEN’S GROUP … Monday, May 18th at 6pm on Zoom https://zoom.us/j/6458485288

BEEF ON WECK … May 23rd … save the date! 

In order to accommodate our new normal, we are setting up the Spring Beef on Weck as a DRIVE THRU.  This means that people will arrive in their cars, place their order and pay all while remaining in their cars.  Their order will be packed up and brought out to them.  Our workers will wear masks and social distancing will be applied in all possible situations.  If you would like to help please contact Mindy (489-4972) or Ellen (201-0756).

RUMMAGE SALE … June 27th

We are now accepting donations for the Rummage Sale; they can be dropped off in the Multipurpose Room.  If you would like to help with this event please contact Miss Kelly at 334-4130

Virtual Bulletin – May 10 – 5th Sunday of Easter

WORSHIP

TL/DR:

  • Unless the governor extends the “pause”, this week (5/10) is the last 9AM and 11AM
  • Next week (5/17) we return to 10 AM and the 50 person limit (although I honestly expect less present)
  • We will continue to stream on Zoom
  • The Lord’s Supper schedule and distribution will be altered: every Sunday, dismissal for those not taking, continuous line to observe distancing
  • Bulletin/Worship Link Here – May 10, 2020
  • Zoom (same as before): https://zoom.us/j/6458485288

As I type Friday, May 15th continues to be the last day of the governor’s current guidance. For this week (May 10th) we will continue to meet under the 10 person guidance at 9 AM and 11 AM with the Zoom streaming being live at each.

Looking forward past May 15th, the first Sunday would be May 17th. Rochester is already clear of most hurdles for “Phase 1”. NYS has not published any hard-recommended limits (at least that I can find). The limit prior to the current 10 order, was 50 people. Other states are implementing a fortnight (2 weeks) by fortnight increase from 25% to 50% to 75% to full stated capacity. Our stated capacity is 132 people, so 25% is 33 exactly. So, based on recent attendance patterns, starting May 17th, we will be returning to regular service time 10 AM. We will continue to stream that service on the Zoom link. There are different levels of comfort and risk involved, and people are at different places. I’m assuming that we will be under that 33 number.  I honestly expect that first week (May 17th) to most likely be the sum of the week before which would be a little under 20 present locally with about 30 “blocks” online.  And it is in Christian freedom and prudential wisdom whether you attend online or in person.

Starting on the 17th we will be holding the Lord’s Supper for those present. Receiving, like attending in person, will be at your freedom and prudence. There will be two modifications to schedule for this. The first is that we will be having the sacrament weekly for the foreseeable future. The second is that, as the hymnal shows, there will be a separation between the services of the Word and the Sacrament. After the prayers of the church, all online and those local who do not wish to commune, will be dismissed with blessing. One does not need to leave, but one may. This is still the practice of the Eastern Orthodox, and it was LCMS practice in many places well into the 1970’s. (I experienced it growing up in my home church.) After, the service of the sacrament will continue for all remaining.  One last modification that truly pains me but I think appropriate. We will not be using the altar rail but be receiving in continuous line.  For those that have received ashes on Ash Wednesday, like that.  This will allow families or individuals to maintain 6 ft of separation while receiving.

Bulletin/Worship Link Here – May 10, 2020

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

Devotion & Prayer Thought

I don’t know about you, but I’m done. And what I mean by done is I just don’t trust my feelings, responses, intuitions or anything right now. I lost my temper over something really and truly insignificant. And 10 minutes after the fact I was asking myself what was that about? And I had no answer beyond I’m done. At family dinner I asked Ethan how he liked Casey at the Bat, an assigned reading that the baseball mad kid should love. Without anything else in between, he immediate broke into tears. What was an honest question, he took as Dad once again getting on his case about doing the work assigned. Which with three kids acting like sloths all day around the house has been a thing. They are done. Likewise I have seen others express some similar things in various places.  We are done.

The “New Commandment” of Maundy Thursday is “Love one another (John 13:34).” That continues to define love as the way Jesus has loved us which is putting us above even his own life. But even in a pandemic, most of us are not called to die for another. So I turn to 1 Corinthians 13 where Paul tells us what love means. Right now, I think many of us are defaulting to being noisy gongs or clanging symbols. We may be right, we may have every right. But acting on it lacks love. And if I don’t have love, I’m am nothing.

Yes, I am done. And when I am done I ask, Lord let me have a little of your love. I need it. Because I need to be a little more patient and kind, even with myself. I need to be a little less concerned about being right and a little more about being rude. We are all done and all just trying to chart a course through. Let me bear a little bit more. And in that see a small reflection of your cross, which is my hope.

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  May 11th – 17th

Mon., Wed., & Fri.:   8:00am    Preschool

Tuesday: …………..  3:00pm    Conf. Cls – 1st yr

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

3:30pm    Conf. Cls – 2nd yr

                                     7:00pm    LAF

Sunday: ……………   10:00am  Worship

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: Roughly the same as worship, if you wish to be here, up to our normal 3-4, fine.  If our bible study gets crowded all of a sudden, I will throw you out! If you want to join on the Zoom line (same as the worship one) I’ll be logging that in. We will be finishing Zephaniah. If you would like to join and want the “prep sheet” just email me.
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Please join us! Meeting Thurs. May 14th, on Zoom
  • Confirmation: 

Year 1: We are meeting on zoom for the time being.  3PM Tuesdays.  Lord’s Prayer.  We will be working through the worksheet as I share my screen.  Please bring your catechism and a bible.

Year 2: Right now, confirmation proper is still scheduled for Pentecost, which is May 31st. I’m thinking that we will be open by then.

LORD’S SUPPER

Until we are back to regular worship schedule (more above), we are foregoing the Lord’s Supper.  If you desire the sacrament in the meantime, private confession and the sacrament are available by talking with pastor.

BEEF ON WECK … May 23rd … save the date! 

In order to accommodate our new normal, we are setting up the Spring Beef on Weck as a DRIVE THRU.  This means that people will arrive in their cars, place their order and pay all while remaining in their cars.  Their order will be packed up and brought out to them.  Our workers will wear masks and social distancing will be applied in all possible situations. If you would like to help please contact Mindy (489-4972) or Ellen (201-0756).

RUMMAGE SALE … June 27th

We are now accepting donations for the Rummage Sale; they can be dropped off in the Multipurpose Room.  If you would like to help with this event please contact Miss Kelly at 334-4130

Virtual Bulletin – May 3, 2020 – Fourth Sunday of Easter

WORSHIP

As I type Friday, May 15th is the last day of the governor’s current guidance. For this week and next (May 10th) we will continue to meet under the 10 person guidance at 9 AM and 11 AM with the Zoom streaming being live at each.

 Looking forward past May 15th, the first Sunday would be May 17th. Rochester is already clear of most hurdles for “Phase 1”. NYS has not published any hard-recommended limits (at least that I can find). The limit prior to the current 10 order, was 50 people. Other states are implementing a fortnight (2 weeks) by fortnight increase from 25% to 50% to 75% to full stated capacity. Ours stated capacity is 132 people, so 25% is 33 exactly. So, based on recent attendance patterns, starting May 17th, we will be returning to regular service time 10 AM. We will continue to stream that service on the Zoom link. There are different levels of comfort and risk involved, and people are at different places. I’m assuming that we will be under that 33 number.  I honestly expect that first week (May 17th) to most likely be the sum of the week before which would be a little under 20 present locally with about 30 “blocks” online.  And it is in Christian freedom and prudential wisdom whether you attend online or in person.

Starting on the 17th we will be holding the Lord’s Supper for those present. Receiving, like attending in person, will be at your freedom and prudence. There will be two modifications to schedule for this. The first is that we will be having the sacrament weekly for the foreseeable future. The second is that, as the hymnal shows, there will be a separation between the services of the Word and the Sacrament. After the prayers of the church, any online or local who do not wish to commune will be dismissed with blessing. One does not need to leave, but one may. This is still the practice of the Eastern Orthodox, and it was LCMS practice in many places well into the 1970’s. (I experienced it growing up in my home church.) After, the service of the sacrament will continue for all remaining.

Bulletin/Worship Link Here – May 3, 2020

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

Devotion & Prayer Thought

Joshua chapter 4 is one that I find myself thinking of. Moses is dead and so is the generation that came out of Egypt. When they approached the Jordan, they failed to cross out of fear. The Canaanites were too big and too numerous they thought. And so Israel spent 40 years in the wilderness.  Approaching the Jordan again, Joshua sends spies into the land again. This time they return saying “truly the Lord has given all the land into our hand.”  And so they prepare to cross the Jordan.  And the Lord gives Joshua the commands for how to do this. The first is that the priests carried the ark of the covenant before the people. And when their feet touched the water, the Jordan stopped.  The waters coming down piled up, and the waters flowing on went on, and the people crossed on dry land. The priests stood in the middle of the dry riverbed while Israel passed around them.  The second thing is that while they passed, each tribe took one large stone out of the riverbed from where the priests stood and brought it across and gave it to Joshua.

Joshua set those 12 stones up and told the gathered Israel, “When your children ask what these stones mean, you shall tell them, Israel passed over the Jordan on dry ground. For the Lord your God dried up the water of the Jordan for you to pass over.”  That is the source of the old word Ebenezer. Eben is stone in Hebrew. Like the old hymn Come, Thou Font of Every Blessing (LSB 686), “Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by thy help I’ve come. And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home…”. We are surrounded by set up stones. Churches large and small. Cathedrals and New England clapboards with red doors. From coast to coast. And each one says the same thing. We put aside fear and walked into the chaos of the waters, and the Lord dried them up. We passed over on dry ground. That dry ground is not a life without challenges. Joshua and Israel still had to take the land from a people who were not just going to leave. That dry ground is the presence of the Lord in the middle of the waters. It is the Ark standing in the midst of Israel.

We gather at these places to remind ourselves. Don’t fear, the Lord is with you. To hear again that we are on our way home. The Lord has gone before us and made safe the way. And it is his good pleasure to give you the promised land. Put aside the fear and Cross the Jordan, wherever that river might be.

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  May 4th – 10th

Mon., Wed., & Fri.: ……  9:00am    Preschool

Tuesday: ……………..… 3:00pm    Conf. Cls – 1st yr

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

                                         3:30pm    Conf. Cls – 2nd yr

Sunday: …………………   9:00am    Worship

                            11:00am    Worship

                            11:15am    Choir practice

  • Thurs 10am: Roughly the same as worship, if you wish to be here, up to our normal 3-4, fine.  If our bible study gets crowded all of a sudden, I will throw you out! If you want to join on the Zoom line (same as the worship one) I’ll be logging that in. We will be reading and discussing Zephaniah. It is strangely apt.
  • Confirmation: 

Year 1: We are meeting on zoom for the time being.3PM Tuesdays.Lord’s Prayer.We will be working through the worksheet as I share my screen.Please bring your catechism and a bible.

Year 2: We were supposed to be on final review, but since not even the school is testing…Right now, confirmation proper is still scheduled for Pentecost, which is May 31st. I’m thinking that we will be open by then.I’m still thinking about something in place of the “Elder Review” probably in late May.Watch here next week and I’ll be in contact.

  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Please join us!

Meeting Thurs. May 14th, on Zoom

LORD’S SUPPER

Until we are back to regular worship schedule (more above), we are foregoing the Lord’s Supper.  If you desire the sacrament in the meantime, private confession and the sacrament are available by talking with pastor.

BEEF ON WECK … May 23rd … save the date! 

In order to accommodate our new normal, we are setting up the Spring Beef on Weck as a DRIVE THRU.  This means that people will arrive in their cars, place their order and pay all while remaining in their cars.  Their order will be packed up and brought out to them.  Our workers will wear masks and social distancing will be applied in all possible situations. If you would like to help please contact Mindy (489-4972) or Ellen (201-0756).

PRESCHOOL NEWS

Dear Congregation and Families,

I can’t believe the school year is almost over it sure went by fast. This year will be a year that no one should ever forget! The preschool is still open with four children attending.  Please contact me when you are ready to bring your kids back to school.  We can only pray and hope that things will turn around soon.  We will be having Muffins with Moms but it will be short and sweet.

The Rummage Sale WILL be happening this summer.  We will share the date in the near future.  In the meantime, please bring your donations in and leave them in the Multipurpose Room. We are planning to hold the event outside.

I hope and pray that everyone is staying safe and healthy. The best thing that everyone can do is pray for one another during these hard times. 

                                                                                                                        God Bless,  Miss Kelly

Virtual Bulletin – April 26

April 26, 2020 – Third Sunday of Easter

Devotion & Prayer Thought

The very first thing I wrote about all this was, “we are all going to get this”. And I think this is still the great unexpressed truth. Yes, all might be an over expression as herd immunity is reached somewhere around 60% around which it becomes harder to push it higher, but close enough. Then when you realize that this is really SARS-2, SARS-1 was also a corona virus, and that there is not a vaccine for SARS-1, and that these types of viruses return yearly, and that while your immune system maintains some recognition we can get the flu each year because of small mutations…saying that we are all going to get this still feels right.  This is now a fact of life more like what polio used to be if nowhere near a deadly, although dangerous enough. And being a fact of life means that it is not really a physical problem but a spiritual one.

The 23rd Psalm always contained two lines that caused us post-Salk folks to scratch their heads. “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” and “prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”  Constant opposition requiring perseverance is not our felt experience. Without downgrading our suffering, simply because it is still ours, it has been different than folks in most times and places who experienced physical risk all the time. And we are completely unprepared spiritually for this reality. We are using muscles that haven’t been flexed in a couple generations. And part of this is adapting to the reality that this virus may simply be the restoration of the pre-Salk situation.  Even if we do develop a vaccine, is it not likely to be like the current vaccines for flu -vaguely effective, but it keeps coming back? Not Salk like?

So part of the Spiritual task before us is to restore perseverance.  The new normal really isn’t what our “experts” think about.  Dramatic changes to ways of life. The new normal is more akin to the Cold War. Yes, nuclear bombs could be here in 20 mins. But only unstable neurotics focused on that constantly. The rest of us lived with it.  We walked through the valley. That is what we are relearning in the face of a virus. It is going to take some longer than others. Many have zero spiritual resources to do this.

It requires faith. A faith in the benevolent providence of God, even when seated in front of your enemies. A faith that God intends good. “Goodness and mercy will follow all the days of our life.”  Even as death stalks the valley. And a faith that this existence is a preparation. “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

We have lived in a time theologically focused on love. And Paul does say the greatest of these is love. But love is the great eschatological virtue. Today, it abides though faith and hope. Faith and hope to keep walking. To dine in the face of your enemies knowing that “bane or blessing by his cross are sanctified. Peace there is that knows no measure. Joys that through all time abide.”

Baby Steps

So, knowing fully that many aren’t there, I’m still going to open a conversation of what things look like as we make baby steps out of our frozen fear.  The first thing is the recognition that we are not all going to become unfrozen at the same rate and pace. Like the old sodium lights, you can turn them off and they went off, but turning them on took some time to warm up. And that is fine, because we have to learn to walk this together. Also, I’m not putting hard dates on anything here, because I don’t know that yet, and some of that depends upon politics.

There are two particular baby steps I want to think about.  The first is the streaming of worship. This is something we originally did out of necessity. I think it is going to be something we keep. We are going to keep it for the immediate future because of different rates of people becoming comfortable gathering. I think we are going to keep it for the longer future because there are those who can’t be present. I have been heartened to see so many names and faces pop up on the screen over these Sundays. This is something that we can do to walk together. The second baby step I want to start thinking about is returning to regular worship schedule. For the immediate future, the two times divide us nicely to abide by the 10 people and 6 ft guidelines. I don’t know if those get extended by the Governor, but right now May 15th is the extent of his guidelines.  Sometime after that resuming a unified 10 AM service would seem correct.

There are other mileposts: the Lord’s Supper, Confirmation/Pentecost, Choir.  Those will come. But today, baby steps thinking together.

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: Roughly the same as worship, if you wish to be here, up to our normal 3-4, fine.  If our bible study gets crowded all of a sudden, I will throw you out! If you want to join on the Zoom line (same as the worship one) I’ll be logging that in.  We were prepared to read Zephaniah before all this.  It is strangely apt.
  • Confirmation: 

Year 1: We are meeting on zoom for the time being.3PM Tuesdays.Lord’s Prayer.We will be working through the worksheet as I share my screen.Please bring your catechism and a bible.

Year 2: Thursdays at 3:30PM on zoom.We are looking at the final review.Right now, confirmation proper is still scheduled for Pentecost, which is May 31st.I’m hoping that we will be open by then.And I’m working on what to do about the traditional elder board review of confirmands.Watch here.

  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Please join us!

Meeting Thurs. April 30th , on Zoom

LORD’S SUPPER

Until we are back to regular worship schedule, we are foregoing the Lord’s Supper.  If you desire the sacrament in the meantime, private confession and the sacrament are available by talking with pastor.

WORSHIP

Worship will continue to be as per the last month. 9AM and 11AM.  The bulletin will be posted online.  The service will be streamed on zoom.  The doors will be open.  We’ve had about 10 present, every family in their own pew, with plenty of distance.  Any choice is left to Christian Freedom.  Neither way is better or worse.  One big ask, if you have any prayer requests, please send them to pastor, or use the zoom chat line early to send them in.  I’ve got David monitoring Zoom, but to ensure we have good audio means that I’m usually away from the screen.

Bulletin/Worship Link Here – April 26, 2020

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

BEEF ON WECK … May 23rd … save the date! 

In order to accommodate our new normal, we are setting up the Spring Beef on Weck as a DRIVE THRU.  This means that people will arrive in their cars, place their order and pay all while remaining in their cars.  Their order will be packed up and brought out to them.  Our workers will wear masks and social distancing will be applied in all possible situations.  If you would like to help please contact Mindy (489-4972) or Ellen (201-0756).