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By Vicar Lisa

Our first reading for Sunday starts out in Isaiah 56:1 which states, “Thus says the Lord: maintain justice, and do what is right, for soon my salvation will come, and my deliverance be revealed.” Psalms 106:3 states “Blessed are those who act justly, who always do what is right.” Micah 6:8 states “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

One of the things I really appreciate about the ELCA organization is its attention to justice issues. As stated on the ELCA Justice Portal, “Because God redeems us through Christ, we are made new to love and serve all neighbors. Loving neighbors includes working for justice in our personal and public lives. Together as church and as individual Christians, we are called to love neighbors as we love ourselves.”

As presented in the ELCA 1991 social statement, The Church in Society: A Lutheran Perspective, “The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is called to be a part of the ecumenical Church of Jesus Christ in the context in which God has placed it—a diverse, divided, and threatened global society on a beautiful, fragile planet. In faithfulness to its calling, this church is committed to defend human dignity, to stand with poor and powerless people, to advocate justice, to work for peace, and to care for the earth in the processes and structures of contemporary society.”

The Justice Portal has multiple resources available: economic justice, environmental justice, immigration justice LGBTQIA+ justice, racial justice, justice against violence, and so on. Justice can mean different things to different people, but at its core, justice requires fairness. I am proud to be engaged by a denomination that supports justice for all, Amen!

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, August 20, 2023 -- 10 a.m. Outdoor Worship (weather permitting) with Holy Communion


  • Celebration of Marriage: Doris and Terry Blalock will be reaffirming their wedding vows on August 20 after the service. All are welcome to attend. A reception will follow in the fellowship hall. All food has been arranged for, please come, and enjoy. 
  • Summer Hiatus: Sunday morning Bible Study and Friday Women's Bible Study are on summer hiatus. Watch for schedule updates in e-formation, the newsletter, and worship bulletins. Bible study will resume at 11:30 the Sunday after Labor Day, September 10.
  • Goodbye and Farewell: We will be saying goodbye and farewell to Pamela and David Serafini on August 27. We will have cake, ice cream, and coffee.
  • Outdoor Services: We continue Summer Outdoor Worship through August. Thank all of you who show up a little early to help set up and clean up!
  • Flower Sign Up: We share heartfelt thanks for our flower guild and the beautiful additions they make to our worship. There still are Sundays in 2023 available for flower dedications. The recommended minimum donation is $35, so sign the flower book today.
  • Save the Date: We are looking for suggestions for God’s Work Our Hands service projects for God’s Work Our Hands Sunday, Sept. 10. This day is an opportunity to celebrate who we are as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America -– one church, freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor. If you have suggestions, please see Vicar Lisa. 
  • Save the Date: Zion's 135th Anniversary celebration is Sept. 24. If you would like to be part of this committee, please see Vicar Lisa.

E-formation -- Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, August 20, 2023

Throughout history, countless stories have portrayed the foreign woman as the primary source of trouble. In the gospel reading for this coming Sunday, a foreign woman argues her case before Jesus, but in the end, she is blessed. Come to hear this interesting story, and join us for mercy at the Master’s table.

Matthew 15: [10-20] 21-28

The optional first half of the reading repeats the Matthean theme of the interiority of righteousness. Such biblical passages were central to the development of the Christian doctrine of sin. The narrative of the Canaanite woman, so odd in its depiction of Jesus, indicates Matthew’s understanding that, despite the emphasis on righteousness in the kingdom of heaven, faith in Christ is what saves. Much Christian interpretation has explained away Jesus’ talk by claiming he was merely testing her faith, although Matthew does not say this.

Isaiah 56:1, 6-8

The poem from Third Isaiah is appointed here to ground Jesus’ openness to the Gentile in a similar message of Israelite tradition. This text invites Christians to welcome the stranger into the covenant in Christ.

Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32

This next appointed passage in Romans coordinates well with the first reading and the gospel. Isaiah and Matthew open the tradition to the Gentile, while Paul defends the place of the Jew in the mercy of God.

Zion's Lutheran Church