Greetings From Pastor Lyn
Letter for March 4, 2021
It is the third week in Lent and already we almost half-way through this season. This week we are called to open our hearts even wider to the needs of our neighbors. When God uses the term “neighbor” God has in mind the entirety of humanity not just those who live in close proximity to us. Being “neighborly” has been challenging this past year but most people have found ways to stay connected. If you have felt disconnected from your neighbors – and especially your neighbors at church – maybe now is the time to reconnect. Or perhaps set a “reconnecting goal” for a date in the near future – perhaps Easter? For some I realize it will take additional time, even after being fully vaccinated, to reconnect in person. In the meantime, until you are ready, know you are loved and accepted and respected by your church family and by me.
SCRIPTURE LESSONS for Sunday, March 7, 2021 The Third Sunday in Lent
Exodus 20:1-17 – Moses receives the 10 Commandments on Mt. Sinai
Psalm 19 – God’s commandment brings light to the eyes
I Corinthians 1:18-25 – The center of Paul’s preaching is Christ crucified
John 2:13-22 – In the cleansing of the Temple, Jesus asserts the center of the Temple has changed (from commercialization to resurrection life)
NEW PRAYER REQUESTS: Prayers for peace & comfort for Stephanie Dishneau, niece to Yvonne Troedson. Stephanie is hospitalized in very serious condition (unrelated to COVID-19).
Included this week; on-going prayers from the bulletin. If you have updates on these prayer requests, please make the office aware. The list will start over on Easter Sunday.
On-going Prayers: Helen Opitz—healing and comfort in hospice care (Smith); Kent Harris—comfort and strength (Dieterich); Jean Salazar & Chris Schmidt—comfort, strength & peace (Schmidt); Virginia Ferreira—peace and comfort (Strand); William Teaney—healing; Doris Emery—comfort, Delores Locke—healing & hope, Troy Slaybaugh—mental health concerns, Rita McLehand—cancer diagnosis (Teaney); Edmond Pino—health, healing & well-being (Ixcot); Bill Beasley—as he navigate new surroundings and Yvonne Troedson as she adjusts to life changes; Bill Reinheimer—comfort, strength, and peace; Norma Christiansen—peace and comfort as she has recently entered hospice care; Leslie Lapp—strength and healing for Leslie, her husband and family (Gierhan); Sue Allen—healing & well-being; Laurie Spinuzzi—healing, Pam Black—health, healing and well-being (Silva); Brenna & family—healing and well-being (Marquez); Tamira Garza—healing/breast cancer treatment and prayers for Jeri as she is a source of strength for her daughter; Jeri’s friend Linda Nelson—peace and comfort/pancreatic cancer; Dawn Brown—healing & well-being (Ixcot); Norma Martin, now in end-stage cancer—comfort & peace (Crawford); Pat & Jack Smith and family—comfort & peace; Lois Silva—healing after eye surgery
ANNOUNCEMENTS: From Outreach: Food for Faith Sunday is THIS SUNDAY! Please bring non-perishable food items to the open trunk – Susan McCready’s - in the parking lot on Sunday or to the narthex before Sunday. Thank you in advance for helping to support families through the Food Initiative of Greater Stanislaus a.k.a FIGS (formerly IFM).
Piece Makers: Quilting Bees are back! March 22nd, 10:00 am in Luther Hall. Masks are required.
“Thank you, Emanuel, for the amazing response in supplying fast food cards for Family Promise!” Family Promise states that have enough for now and have suggested that in the future if ELC continues with projects for FP, that we consider including gift cards to discount grocery stores. Family Promise, like other agencies, keeps having to adjust the way they provide services for families. Families are currently being sheltered in apartments rather than motel rooms. The Easter Basket project is the current FP project; please consider taking a tag off the Easter tree & returning it to the church by March 21st. Watch for the April edition of Echoes for pictures of Family Promise children enjoying the Valentine boxes ELC gave to them! You are making a difference in the lives of children and families in our community!
Bible study via Zoom on Wednesday nights. 7:00 pm (Call for code) You do not have to have read the book to enjoy the DVD and the conversation. Come along! “Mountaintop Moments: Meeting God in the High Places.” A DVD accompanies this study & I have found additional material to add to the conversation. This study concludes March 31st. We will take a one week break & begin a new 6-week study April 14th through May 19th. We will then break for summer.
Holy week begins with Palm Sunday on March 28th with services at 9:30 am and 10:30 am. On Maundy Thursday there will be one service at noon in the sanctuary & the same on Good Friday, one service at noon. Easter Sunday services at 9:30 am and 10:30 am. We hope to see many of you at one or more of those service opportunities as we remember through worship, our Lord’s greatest sacrifice and greatest gift for us – to us.
Every Sunday two services times are offered: 9:30 am and 10:30 am.
LENTEN DEVOTIONS Week Three: In Community with our Neighbor: A community comes together to bring a neighbor to Jesus.
The first week of Lent our focus was on being in community with creation. The second week it was on community with all the saints. This week our readings focus on community with our neighbors. The assigned readings for Sunday begin with the Ten Commandments, which serve, among other things, as a way of living in community with our neighbor. The first table of the law (first three commandments) are directed toward God; the other seven are directed toward us & relate to how we interact with our neighbor (mothers & fathers are neighbors too). Jesus actions in the Temple (Gospel reading) are in part, a reaction to dishonest dealings with neighbors far & near who have come to worship. Being in community with our neighbor is at the same time - complicated and beautiful.
- How would you have reacted to Jesus if you had witnessed him overturning tables in the Temple?
- Jesus called the Temple “a marketplace.” Why was he so angry?
- What can we learn from Jesus’ anger?
- What did the disciples remember about this event after Jesus’ resurrection & why does that matter to you?
Hymn: Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love: ELW#
Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love, show us how to serve the neighbor we have from you.
- Kneels are the feet of his friends, silently washes their feet, master who acts as a slave to them. Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love, show us how to serve the neighbor we have from you.
- Neighbors are wealthy and poor, varied in color and race, neighbors are nearby and far away. Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love, show us how to serve the neighbor we have from you.
- These are the ones we will serve; these are the ones we will love; all these are neighbors to us and you. Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love, show us how to serve the neighbor we have from you.
- Kneel at the feet of our friends, silently washing their feet, this is the way we will love with you. Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love, show us how to serve the neighbor we have from you.
Prayer: Gracious God, you teach us to love our neighbors as ourselves. Help us to live your love command to its fullest today and every day. Today we pray for neighbors near our church, neighbors near our places of business & work, neighbors near our homes and neighbors near & far, known & unknown. Amen
From the Treasurer: With the arrival of the season of Lent I am reminded that it was just at this time a year ago that we began our long pandemic journey together. We have weathered the lockdowns, stay-at-homes, and disruptions in normal church-sponsored activities. And I for one am growing weary of all the restrictions, necessary as they have been for the health and safety of our community. However, I am bolstered by the good news that together and with the able, wise leadership of Pastor Lyn, we continue to share God’s word of love and salvation for all. We can only continue in this mission by the generous ongoing support of our many members and friends. Pastor Lyn and our dedicated staff have kept busy with the work of teaching and reaching out to all whom God has given into our care, including our Daycare children. Our council has reviewed and approved a budget for the ongoing life of Emanuel in 2021. With our continued financial support, that life will be maintained. Our prayer is that God will continue to guide us with energy and wisdom, and we will soon reach the day when we can all sing together, loud, and joyously, and celebrate our Risen Lord. Until then, please be assured that your financial support is most definitely needed and most gratefully received. Thank you to everyone who has generously contributed to the support of Emanuel Lutheran Church. Robert Reuter, Treasurer, Emanuel Lutheran Church
Until next week dear people – continue to stay well!