The greatest gift I ever had Came from God; I call him Dad!
Please take note of the sign-up sheet on the kiosk stand. We are starting a new round of small groups. We will be using a new book from John Herman’s series “Going Deeper: A Journey with Jesus”. The sign-up sheet is divided between weekday, weeknight and weekend. You can list your name under your preference and then check back to see who else signed up in the same spot. You can then put your own group together and pick days and times. We hope to get this rolling by the middle of the month.
And remember, you can always bring in Lots o' Pots!
"Here I Am Lord! Your Servant is Listening!"
Dearly Beloved, Dearly Redeemed Children of God,
When only a baby, the prophet Samuel was dedicated to God by his mother Hannah and as a very young child was sent to live with the priest Eli, in order that he be raised to live and work for the Lord God all the days of his life. One night while sleeping, Samuel heard his name being called, and three times went to Eli, asking why he was calling him. After the third time, Eli realized it was God calling Samuel, and told him to respond, "Here I am Lord. Your servant is listening." The Lord spoke to Samuel and told him that he would become a prophet for the Lord. Samuel listened to the Lord and dedicated his entire life to the Lord's work. Though not perfectly, Samuel was faithful to God's purposes until his death.
Many centuries later, a young Catholic priest who discovered the inconsistencies in Biblical truth and the teachings of the Church at that time, essentially said, "Here I am Lord. Your servant is listening" and began the Lord's work of Re-forming Christ's Church. Martin Luther listened to God and dedicated the rest of his life to teaching and preaching what he understood to be the essential tenets of Christianity: The Scriptures, which are the inspired Word of God and through which we are to know and understand God and interpret all of life, clearly teach that we are saved and made right with God only through faith in Jesus Christ, and only because of God's grace.
Luther translated the Bible from Latin to German so that the common people could and would read the scriptures. He wrote the Catechism, focusing on: Holy Scriptures (God's ways and will revealed to us and their authority over our lives); The Ten Commandments (because they so clearly spoke of the law which we can never fulfill, and drove us to the Gospel and Jesus Christ who fulfilled the law on our behalf); the Lord's Prayer (which teaches us to love God, approach God as our daddy, to ask for God's will to be done on earth, to ask for daily provisions, to ask for forgiveness, and to trust in God's authority over our lives); The Apostles Creed (which speaks of the work of One God, revealed in Three Divine Persons); The Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion (and the benefits we receive from them: adoption as God's child, forgiveness of sin and eternal life; The Work of God's people in Christ's Church (that's us). Though not perfectly, Luther was faithful to God's purposes until his death.
Many of us were baptized into Christ's Church and into the Christian life as infants; others as children; still others as adults. No matter what age or stage in life that we were baptized, there comes a time when God speaks to us, and wants us to respond with, "Here I am Lord. Your servant is listening."
This coming reformation, we start a year of looking forward to Oct. 31, 2017. That day will mark the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, which is an opportunity for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to bear witness to the hope and joy we have through Jesus Christ. Many people will be asking about the significance of what happened 500 years ago when Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses. This action started a dialogue that changed the way we receive and share the gospel which continues today. This anniversary is an opportunity to communicate the Lutheran Reformation’s significance for faith and life in the 21st Century and the freedom we have in Christ that liberates us to joyfully serve our neighbors. Leading up to 2017, all ELCA members are encouraged to plan and participate in activities that prepare for this milestone anniversary. These activities will allow us to give thanks for the word’s power to free, renew and unite all creation in Christ. At the same time it will provide an opportunity to emphasize the continuing work of reconciliation in the Christian church with our ecumenical partners.
My dear Redeemer’s,
What a joy to receive such a beautiful bouquet of flowers two days after my surgery! I was able to enjoy them for 3 weeks! I also want to thank you for your prayers, cards and good wishes. It is helping so much with my recovery.
With love and thanksgiving,