Clean & Modern

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Curabitur tincidunt mollis ante non volutpat. Nam consequat diam nec leo rutrum tempus. Nulla accumsan eros nec sem tempus scelerisque. Morbi tincidunt risus magna, posuere lobortis felis. Donec at vehicula risus. Cras vel sollicitudin ipsum.

Beautiful Type

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Curabitur tincidunt mollis ante non volutpat. Nam consequat diam nec leo rutrum tempus. Nulla accumsan eros nec sem tempus scelerisque. Morbi tincidunt risus magna, posuere lobortis felis. Donec at vehicula risus. Cras vel sollicitudin ipsum.

Stunning Imagery

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Curabitur tincidunt mollis ante non volutpat. Nam consequat diam nec leo rutrum tempus. Nulla accumsan eros nec sem tempus scelerisque. Morbi tincidunt risus magna, posuere lobortis felis. Donec at vehicula risus. Cras vel sollicitudin ipsum.

Josefin is

Ready to Rock

Your Search is Over

From the beginning, Josefin was designed to be clean, simple and modern. Attention to detail was paramount throughout the design and build process. Clean typography with generous amounts of white space ensure an enjoyable reading experience, while also allowing stunning photography to shine.

Whether you use Josefin for a marketing site or to sell products, we’re confident Josefin will impress your site visitors.

Finally, a clean & modern Divi Child Theme using great typography and imagery. Class all the way.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Curabitur tincidunt mollis ante non volutpat. Nam consequat diam nec leo rutrum tempus.

Josefin is

Ready to Rock

Featured Video

Video Title

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Curabitur tincidunt mollis ante non volutpat. Nam consequat diam nec leo rutrum tempus. Nulla accumsan eros nec sem tempus scelerisque. Morbi tincidunt risus magna, posuere lobortis felis. Donec at vehicula risus. Cras vel sollicitudin ipsum. Etiam tincidunt placerat enim, a rhoncus eros sodales ut.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Curabitur tincidunt mollis ante non volutpat. Nam consequat diam nec leo rutrum tempus. Nulla accumsan eros nec sem tempus scelerisque.

#1 Hits

Million Downloads

Ready to Rock

Josefin is sure to impress

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Curabitur tincidunt mollis ante non volutpat. Nam consequat diam nec leo rutrum tempus. Nulla accumsan eros nec sem tempus scelerisque. Morbi tincidunt risus magna, posuere lobortis felis. Donec at vehicula risus. Cras vel sollicitudin ipsum. Etiam tincidunt placerat enim, a rhoncus eros sodales ut.

Photography & Images provided by Unsplash.com and DeathToTheStockPhoto.com

Nam consequat diam nec leo rutrum tempus. Nulla accumsan eros nec sem tempus scelerisque. Morbi tincidunt risus magna, posuere lobortis felis. Donec at vehicula risus. Cras vel sollicitudin ipsum. Etiam tincidunt placerat enim, a rhoncus eros sodales ut.

Reviews & Endorsements

“I’ve spent hours searching for the right theme for my projects only to be disappointed with poor design and overcrowded features. With Divi and Josefin, my search is now over!”

– Joe Boss

Updates from the Road

October 17, 2021 Newsletter

 

Because you have made the Lord your refuge,

And the Most High your habitation….

~Psalm 91:9

Bake Sale and RADA cutlery sale

Election Day is November 2, 2021 and Ruth Circle will be having a bake sale, also selling RADA cutlery along with craft items for Fellowship Fair. We need donations of baked goods. They can be brought to church on Sunday Oct 31 and dropped off in the Brenner Hall kitchen marked for the bake sale. They can also be brought on Monday Nov 1 until 4p. Thank you in advance for your help. Money from our sales go to purchase items like the Christ in Our Homes magazines and various outreach programs.

 

Grace Zoom Bible Study—Wisdom Literature: Job

Saturday, October 16, 2:00-3:00 pm

The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth. Satan answered. You have blessed the work of his hands….But stretch out your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face. The Lord said to Satan, Very well, all that he has is in your power….

Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. Job said: Let the day perish in which I was born.

The Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding, surely you know!

Then Job answered the Lord: I know that you can do all things, and that no  purpose of yours can be thwarted.

**** For information, contact haaf.vgs@gmail.com ****

 

Youth Group Soup Sale

October 31, 2021

10:30 – 1:00

We are having a soup sale to support our trip to Minneapolis for the National Lutheran Youth Gathering in July of 2022. We will offer chicken noodle and vegetable soup and chicken chili. The cost is $10 for two servings of soup, crackers and dessert. Please respond if you would like to pre order and pick up on Halloween!

Contact Debbie Fallon, Wendy McCall or call the church office with your order.

 

Please join us for Fellowship Hour during the month of October.

Thank you to the following people for signing up to hostess!

October 3rd- Brenda Holderman and Janet/Callie Moore

October 10th- Jan Dustman and Karlene Jaquillard

October 17th-Gretchen Hiatt and Nancy Lockard

October 24th- The Contemporary Team

October 31st- Mary Schneider and Gretchen Hiatt

 

Behind the scenes at Grace….by Gretchen
  1. It is definitely fall with the leaves flying down and still loads of acorns on the ground. Supposedly if a tree or plant is stressed it over produces and with this dry hot summer it may be why we have a load of acorns. It is also really dark at 7:00 am now …
  2. This is old new, but we held a very successful get together for the Fall Synod meeting on Friday, September 25. Four members including Pastor Chris from Glenwood joined us for pizza and to watch the Synod Meeting. Thanks to all who came from our congregation! It was really great to watch using the large TV (alias Loving Monster) vs a small computer screen.
  3. Don’t forget our Ketchup Group – next meeting is Monday October 25 and the program has to do with buildings, green trees and Toledo! We meet at 11:00 am for a devotion, program and of course treats.
  4. Thanks to all who have provided more blankets and coats for Tent City!
  5. The bins for Feed Your Neighbor, Christmas Child and Personnel Needs will be moving back to their home in the Giving Grace Room across from Classroom 3.
  6. Remember: Grace is not the building but the people of Grace moving forward in a positive way!

 

October 22-24 is a weekend where Grace reaches out into the Community!

That is Tent City in downtown Toledo. This is a weekend where people sleep in their tents to have the opportunity to experience what it is like to live on the street. Tent City was cancelled last year due to Covid. We had collected over 50 blankets last year and even though there was no Tent City held we delivered the blankets to one of the organizations that help the people living on the street. This year we will be able to deliver what we have collected to Tent City. Ottawa Hills Cemetery donated 4 boxes full of jackets /coats which will be taken down. We have collected approximately 15 blankets and a number of jackets. If you have blankets or coats you would like to donate, please bring them to church and or let Gretchen know (call the church office). We will be collecting for this year until   Friday October 22 at 12:00 noon. We will continue to collect blankets and jackets after this date for next year.

Thank you to Grace for reaching out to help others as God’s mission!

 

Another kind of workout? 

We have all heard about working out to strengthen our bodies and keep our minds sharp!

How about an eye workout! This can help with tired eyes which many people have using the computer or looking at their phone for long periods of time.

Ready set start!

  1. Blink – this helps to clean eyes by moving debris out of the eye. Blinking helps produce tears which moisten the eye. The rule is to look 20 feet away from your computer or even your phone every 20 minutes for 20 seconds.
  2. Yawn – believe it or not this can increase the number of tears and moistens the eye.
  3. Distance – make sure not to sit too close to computer – about 18-25 inches and have computer placed so you look slightly down and not up.
  4. Eye drops – over the counter drops that are artificial tears can help moisten the eye. Even humidifying the air will help. Warm compresses applied to your eyes can help.
  5. Look around – close your eyes and look in all direction – up, down, left and right.
  6. Change your focus – look at something up close like a finger and then change and look beyond the finger and then back to the finger. Not only focusing on something close and distant try going for a point in between. Repeat this x 3.
  7. Do figure eights – picture a large number 8 lying on its side about 10 feet ahead of you. Slowly trace the number with your eyes.

 

Don’t forget to get your Flu Shot!!!!
Safety and self – defense!

Our Monday October 10th Ketchup group had a great program presented by Jack Doubt a self defense guru and Black Belt. He showed us how to defend ourselves with a cane or a stick (think your outside and a broom or rake). Cane – fu is quite interesting.

Did you know that if you use a cane and are defending yourself that you use the stick end as the weapon not the hook? Reason – the attacker can pull on the hook and take it right out of your hand!

Did you know that when defending yourself you stand sideways! Reason – if you face forward there is a lot more area for the attacker to hit you and injure you.

Did you know that if you are not able to hit the attacker on the top of the forehead (which is a good place) aim for the thumb!  Reason – hitting the thumb causes  serious pain (think of slamming your finger in the car door or hitting it with a hammer) and distracts the attacker.

Did you know that if you do not have a stick or cane that keys can be a weapon? Hold the keys in between your fingers with the sharp end out. Walking to your car always have your keys ready.

True – False – If someone is trying to rob you fight them off? False – give them the money – your life is more valuable than the money.

If you suspect someone do not be afraid to hit your panic alarm on the car or if you carry a whistle, go ahead and blow it. Once attention is drawn to you the attacker will more than likely take off.

When walking look like you know exactly where and what you are doing. Head up, chest out – look like you mean business.  A person who looks timid can be more of a target.

Carrying keys, important cards and money in your pocket can be safer than a purse.

Sunday October 17, 2021 Meditation

Introduction & Welcome

Welcome to worship today, God’s gift to us because God is good! all the time!

and all the time! God is good!

Today’s gospel starts with disciples obsessing over who will be closest to Jesus, leading to Jesus teaching his followers about God’s take on importance and power. Here Jesus makes it explicit that the reversal of values in God’s community is a direct challenge to the values of the dominant culture, where wielding power over others is what makes you great. When we pray “your kingdom come” we are praying for an end to tyranny and oppression. We pray this gathered around the cross, a sign of great shame transformed to be the sign of great honor and service.

Confession and Forgiveness

Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God,

whose teaching is life,

whose presence is sure,

and whose love is endless.

Amen.

Let us confess our sins to the one who welcomes us with an open heart.

Silence is kept for reflection.

God our comforter:

like lost sheep, we have gone astray.

We gaze upon abundance and see scarcity.

We turn our faces away from injustice and oppression.

We exploit the earth with our apathy and greed.

Free us from our sin, gracious God.

Listen when we call out to you for help.

Lead us by your love to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Amen.

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

By the gift of grace in ☩ Christ Jesus, God makes you righteous.

Receive with glad hearts the forgiveness of all your sins.

Amen.

Prayer of the Day

Sovereign God, you turn your greatness into goodness for all the peoples on earth. Shape us into willing servants of your kingdom, and make us desire always and only your will, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Amen.

First Reading: Isaiah 53:4-12

This reading is from the last of four passages in Isaiah that are often called “servant songs.” Christians are probably most familiar with this servant song. In light of Christian faith, the servant’s healing ministry and redemptive suffering are understood to be fulfilled in the life and death of Christ.

4Surely he has borne our infirmities
and carried our diseases;
yet we accounted him stricken,
struck down by God, and afflicted.
5But he was wounded for our transgressions,
crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the punishment that made us whole,
and by his bruises we are healed.
6All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have all turned to our own way,
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
8By a perversion of justice he was taken away.
Who could have imagined his future?
For he was cut off from the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people.
9They made his grave with the wicked
and his tomb with the rich,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain.
When you make his life an offering for sin,
he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days;
through him the will of the Lord shall prosper.
11Out of his anguish he shall see light;
he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge.
The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
12Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because he poured out himself to death,
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

Psalm: Psalm 91:9-16

You have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your habitation. (Ps. 91:9)

9Because you have made the Lord your refuge,
and the Most High your habitation,
10no evil will befall you,
nor shall affliction come near your dwelling.
11For God will give the angels charge over you,
to guard you in all your ways.
12Upon their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone. 
13You will tread upon the lion cub and viper;
you will trample down the lion and the serpent.
14I will deliver those who cling to me;
I will uphold them, because they know my name.
15They will call me, and I will answer them;
I will be with them in trouble; I will rescue and honor them.
16With long life will I satisfy them,
and show them my salvation. 

Second Reading: Hebrews 5:1-10

Using imagery from scripture and from Jewish worship practices, Jesus is presented as the great high priest who was obedient to God’s saving plan. Through his suffering and death he has become the source of eternal salvation.

1Every high priest chosen from among mortals is put in charge of things pertaining to God on their behalf, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2He is able to deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is subject to weakness; 3and because of this he must offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. 4And one does not presume to take this honor, but takes it only when called by God, just as Aaron was.
5So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest, but was appointed by the one who said to him,
“You are my Son,
today I have begotten you”;
6as he says also in another place,
“You are a priest forever,
according to the order of Melchizedek.”
7In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; 9and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, 10having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia. The Son of Man came not to be served | but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Alleluia. (Mark 10:45)

Gospel: Mark 10:32-45

On the way to Jerusalem the disciples ask Jesus to grant them seats of honor. Jesus responds by announcing that he and his followers will “rule” through self-giving service.

32They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them what was to happen to him, 33saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death; then they will hand him over to the Gentiles; 34they will mock him, and spit upon him, and flog him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise again.”

35James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36And he said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?” 37And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” 38But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” 39They replied, “We are able.” Then Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; 40but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”
41When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. 42So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 43But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, 44and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. 45For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Meditation by David O’Brien

James and John start the Gospel by trying to paint Jesus into a corner. They want Him to do anything they ask. It’s like they want Him to make a blind promise to subvert His will to theirs. Seems more than a bit arrogant to me. Then when they reveal what they want from Him, to sit on His right and left side when He comes into His Glory, not only are they being presumptuous, they’re showing that they really don’t understand what they are asking. If things play out the way they are thinking, Christ will be receiving some kind of earthly throne and they will be His top lieutenants. In their minds, it seems, that they’ve already done whatever is necessary to justify such a position. And when Christ tells them that they have no idea what they are asking, He asks if they are able to drink from the cup that He will, or to be baptized with the same baptism as Him. They say that they are, but Christ still thinks they don’t know what they are talking about. It seems to me that James and John are attempting the ultimate overreach, for a human.

Jesus has told them and the rest of His disciples more than once that He is going to Jerusalem to suffer and die a terrible death. This is the cup that He will drink and the baptism He will receive. I think it is rather ironic that, as Jesus is coming into His Glory, as He is dying on the Cross, the positions that James and John covet are granted to two criminals. One on Christ’s left and one on His right.

In the second part of the Gospel, when the other disciples learn of James’ and John’s request, they aren’t very happy with them to be sure. After all, hadn’t they done the same things as James and John? If James and John are entitled to such a position, aren’t they as well? But rather than reassuring them that they are, Jesus calls them to a life of service to others. “Whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all.” Christ, of course, set the perfect example for them in the giving of His life for all of humanity. “For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Humility is a difficult state to achieve, but I think that’s what today’s reading is all about. Some people spend their entire life bragging about their achievements and how great they are. Others spend a great deal of time trying to feign an attitude of humility but are still going about pointing out all of the kind and charitable things they are doing saying “but it’s no big deal”. I’ve heard this referred to as humble bragging. True humility, however, comes when we give of ourselves without calling any attention to it at all. It reminds me of the passage where Christ is telling us to give alms in secret and reassuring us that our Father in Heaven, who sees all our secrets, will remember and repay us.

Pride has long been recognized as one of the seven deadly sins. It seems these days that pride has been turned into a virtue. Pride and arrogance are conspicuous among the rich, the powerful, the successful, the famous, and celebrities of all sorts, and even some religious leaders. And it is also alive and well in ordinary people, including each of us. Yet few of us realize how dangerous it is to our souls and how greatly it hinders our intimacy with God and love for others. I think pride was also part of the problem for the rich man in the reading the other week. He was proud of how fastidiously he had kept the law and of all the wealth he had accumulated. This got in the way of him being closer to Jesus.

Pride was on full display when I worked in the prison. Some of the inmates, who you would think would have very little to brag about, given their circumstances, often held themselves up as being the best, or the toughest person in the cell block. I remember one guy who had a picture of himself sitting on a shelf in a frame which proclaimed that he was Cleveland’s favorite son. One day he got out of prison. He returned within a few months and I asked him what had happened. He told me that he stole from another man so he could take care of his family, despite the fact that his mother ran a lucrative business and could have helped him, because “a real man doesn’t ask for help”. His pride had certainly done a nasty trick to him. Instead of humbly admitting that he needed help, or going out and finding honest work, he took the property of another person which they may have needed for their family. I’ve heard it said that pride is our greatest enemy and humility is our greatest friend (John R. W. Stott). That certainly seems to be the case with this individual.

I’d make the argument that pride is the worst of the sins. Pride led to Lucifer’s fall. It was also pride that lead Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge. They wanted to be like God. Pride has done things as big as starting wars and as personal as causing one man to kill another, such as in the story of Cain and Abel. It can even cause families to break apart when one of the partners refuses to admit that they were wrong and humbly ask for forgiveness. Christ calls us all to choose a different way. He calls us to be a servant to those around us.

Prayers of Intercession

Set free from sin and death and nourished by the word of truth, we join in prayer for all of God’s creation.

A brief silence.

Holy One, for the gift of the church handed down through the ages and for all who carry on the servant ministry of Jesus, we praise you. Send your Holy Spirit upon all who are discerning calls to ministry in its many forms and equip them with your gifts. Bless Daniel & Elizabeth, our bishops, and Howard, our pastor, that they may continue in their service to us & You. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Creating One, for the lush and abundant habitat you provide for all your creatures, we praise you. Provide healing for the earth so that waterfowl, reptiles, wild horses, dolphins, and all living things flourish as you intend. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Suffering One, for all who work toward peace and who lead nations with a servant’s heart, we praise you. Bring justice for all who suffer violence, persecution, discrimination, hunger, poverty, and homelessness, and create places of refuge for all people. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Merciful One, for all who do the work of healing in mind, body, and spirit, we praise you. Surround and comfort all who struggle with depression, anxiety, cancer, diabetes, dementia, or any illness especially those on our prayer list, that all may be healed. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Sustaining One, for all who volunteer for the vitality of this congregation, we praise you. Strengthen and encourage greeters, ushers, office volunteers, bakers, counters, committee and group leaders, teachers, students, evangelists, singers, builders, nurturers, and all who serve with generous hearts. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Risen One, we thank you for those who have shaped your church and shared your gospel. Through the witness of your saints, continue to inspire us with hope until we all are gathered at your eternal feast. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Confident that you hear us, O God, we boldly place our prayers into your hands; through Jesus Christ, our truth and life.

Amen.

Together, let us profess our faith using the words of the Apostles Creed:

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried;

he descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again;

he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father,

and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting.

Amen.

And now, as our Savior, Christ is teaching us, we boldly pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.

Amen.

Blessing

People of God,

you are Christ’s body,

bringing new life to a suffering world.

The holy Trinity, ☩ one God,

bless you now and forever.

Amen.

Dismissal

Go in peace. The living Word dwells in you.

Thanks be to God.

Sunday October 10, 2021 Meditation

Introduction & Welcome

Welcome to worship today, God’s gift to us because God is good! all the time!

and all the time! God is good!

The rich man who comes to ask Jesus what he should do to inherit eternal life is a good man, sincere in his asking. Mark’s gospel is alone in saying that Jesus looked on him and loved him. Out of love, not as judgment, Jesus offers him an open door to life: sell all you own and give it to the poor. Our culture bombards us with the message that we will find life by consuming. Our assemblies counter this message with the invitation to find life by divesting for the sake of the other.

Confession and Forgiveness

Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God,

whose teaching is life,

whose presence is sure,

and whose love is endless.

Amen.

Let us confess our sins to the one who welcomes us with an open heart.

Silence is kept for reflection.

God our comforter:

like lost sheep, we have gone astray.

We gaze upon abundance and see scarcity.

We turn our faces away from injustice and oppression.

We exploit the earth with our apathy and greed.

Free us from our sin, gracious God.

Listen when we call out to you for help.

Lead us by your love to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Amen.

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

By the gift of grace in ☩ Christ Jesus, God makes you righteous.

Receive with glad hearts the forgiveness of all your sins.

Amen.

Prayer of the Day

Almighty and ever-living God, increase in us your gift of faith, that, forsaking what lies behind and reaching out to what lies ahead, we may follow the way of your commandments and receive the crown of everlasting joy, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Amen.

First Reading: Amos 5:6-7, 10-15

Amos was a herdsman by profession and a prophet by God’s call. During a time of great prosperity in the northern kingdom of Israel, the prophet speaks to the wealthy upper class. He warns his listeners that fulfilling God’s demand for justice brings blessing, while corruption and oppression incur God’s wrath.

6Seek the Lord and live,
or he will break out against the house of Joseph like fire,
and it will devour Bethel, with no one to quench it.
7Ah, you that turn justice to wormwood,
and bring righteousness to the ground!
10They hate the one who reproves in the gate,
and they abhor the one who speaks the truth.
11Therefore because you trample on the poor
and take from them levies of grain,
you have built houses of hewn stone,
but you shall not live in them;
you have planted pleasant vineyards,
but you shall not drink their wine.
12For I know how many are your transgressions,
and how great are your sins—
you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe,
and push aside the needy in the gate.
13Therefore the prudent will keep silent in such a time;
for it is an evil time.

14Seek good and not evil,
that you may live;
and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you,
just as you have said.
15Hate evil and love good,
and establish justice in the gate;
it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts,
will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

Psalm: Psalm 90:12-17

So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom. (Ps. 90:12)

12So teach us to number our days
that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.
13Return, O Lord; how long will you tarry?
Be gracious to your servants. 
14Satisfy us by your steadfast love in the morning;
so shall we rejoice and be glad all our days.
15Make us glad as many days as you afflicted us
and as many years as we suffered adversity.
16Show your servants your works,
and your splendor to their children.
17May the graciousness of the Lord our God be upon us;
prosper the work of our hands; prosper our handiwork. 

Second Reading: Hebrews 4:12-16

We cannot hide our thoughts, desires, and actions from God, to whom we are completely accountable. Nevertheless, Jesus understands our human weakness and temptations, because he also experienced them. Therefore we can approach the throne of grace to receive divine mercy from Christ.

12Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.
14Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia. Blessed are the poor in spirit,* for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Alleluia. (Matt. 5:3)

Gospel: Mark 10:17-31

Jesus has been teaching his disciples about what is most valued in God’s eyes. Now, a conversation with a rich man brings his message home to the disciples in a way that is surprising but unforgettable.

17As [Jesus] was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 19You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.’ ” 20He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.” 21Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” 22When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
23Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 26They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” 27Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.”
28Peter began to say to him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.” 29Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, 30who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

Meditation by David O’Brien

“Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” This is the question posed by a man who came to see Jesus. It’s a question we’ve all probably asked at one time or another. The answer that Jesus gives is a bit perplexing to me. First, He recites the Commandments and the man states that he has kept them since his youth. Then Jesus tells him to go and sell all of his possessions and give the proceeds to the poor. This, Christ says, will give the man treasure in heaven and He invites the man to come and follow Him after he’s done this.  The reason this perplexes me is that it seems that Christ is emphasizing works over grace.  The man goes away saddened because he had amassed many possessions in his life and I’m guessing he didn’t want to give all of that up.

How does this part of the Gospel apply to us? As a community, we are doing pretty well. I don’t consider myself to be wealthy, but when compared to other folks, I have quite a bit. I have a roof over my head, a vehicle to drive when I need to go somewhere and plenty of food to eat when I am hungry. There are lots of folks who don’t have these things. In some countries, I’d be considered a wealthy man. Even here in the U. S., I’m better off than a sizable part of our population. On the other hand, there are also at least as many folks here that have much more than I do. Is Christ telling us that we should divest ourselves of all of our worldly possessions and give them to the poor? That’s not what I’m getting out of this reading though there are some who would say that’s exactly what Christ is telling us to do. I think it’s similar to the passage where Christ says that if our hand offends us, we should cut it off. He’s talking about the requirements of the law, rather than the good news of the Gospel.

I think the second part of this reading would have given some hope to the rich man. I know it gives me hope. Jesus states that “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God”. When we hear those words with our 21st century frame of mind, we think of a sewing needle and a string or thread. Even for a talented seamstress it can be a challenge to get a tiny thread through the eye of the sewing needle and a camel would be impossible. However, that may not be what Jesus was referring to in His first century world. The eye of the needle might refer to one of several gates that provided passage through the city of Jerusalem’s massive walls. The Needle Gate was used when the city’s main gates were closed at night and used for people entering the city “after hours. “It was designed for security reasons so that enemies could not simply ride into the city on their camels and attack. The gate was so small that a man would have to unload his camel of all that it was carrying and then carefully lead his camel through this small gate. It was a slow and quite difficult task. You can see that it would be difficult for a camel to get through that door, but not impossible.  But even this misses the point in my mind and it’s not entirely certain that these “needle gates” existed in Christ’s time on Earth.

Christ also says that it is impossible for a mortal, rich man to get into heaven, “but not for God; for God all things are possible”. The only way that any of us, rich, poor or otherwise, will get into the kingdom of God is by the saving grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ. I think what Christ was saying to us in the first part of this gospel is that we need to be selfless, giving to those in need around us. The rich man was wealthy in the face of the poverty in his community. Compliance with Christ’s command to us that we love one another as He has loved us requires that when we see suffering around us, we attempt to do something about it, rather than just sit behind our walls and accumulate wealth. We should be as servants to those in need, for “many who are first will be last, and the last will be first” in God’s kingdom.

Prayers of Intercession

Made children and heirs of God’s promise, we pray for the church, the world, and all in need.

A brief silence.

Uniting God, you call forth different gifts in those who follow you. Encourage us to welcome the diverse benefits and blessings of the whole church in teaching, preaching, prophecy, healing, and more. Bless Elizabeth & Daniel, our bishops, and Howard, our pastor. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Nurturing God, you bring forth crops from the soil and bounty from the trees. Increase the produce of the land and bless all who toil in fields and orchards. Provide for good working conditions and keep them safe. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Empowering God, you offer compassion for those who are overlooked or forgotten. Open the hearts of local, national, and world leaders to show such compassion and love for their neighbors. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Sheltering God, in Jesus you traveled among us without a place to lay your head. Provide safe places to sleep and rest for those who have no place to live. Sustain ministries that offer food, clothing, and peace of mind, such as Cherry Street Mission and Sparrow’s Nest. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Renewing God, you bring life out of death. Help us part with those things that are no longer beneficial to us and open our hearts to see where new life is budding in this congregation. Guide our Church Counsel and our Call Committee, that they make decisions for our congregation that conform with Your will. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Eternal God, we thank you for the lives of those who have died. Make us confident in your promise of salvation and support us in our own journey of faith. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Receive these prayers, O God, and those in our hearts known only to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Together, let us profess our faith using the words of the Apostles Creed:

I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died, and was buried;

he descended to the dead.*

On the third day he rose again;

he ascended into heaven,

he is seated at the right hand of the Father,

and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting.

Amen.

And now, as our Savior, Christ is teaching us, we boldly pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.

Amen.

Blessing

People of God,

you are Christ’s body,

bringing new life to a suffering world.

The holy Trinity, ☩ one God,

bless you now and forever.

Amen.

Dismissal

Go in peace. The living Word dwells in you.

Thanks be to God.

Josefin is

Ready to Rock

Contact Us

We believe beauty is more than skin deep… or in our case “pixel deep”, if you will. At Elegant Child Themes, we aim to build themes that aren’t just beautiful, but functional and built specifically with the user experience in mind.

Did you know you that our themes come with unlimited usage? Pay once and use it on as many sites as you like. How’s that for a time & money saver? Perhaps best of all, our themes include prompt and courteous support. Need help? We’ve got your back.

Contact Form

1 + 11 =

Join the Email List

Stay up to date on our latest News & Events