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Holding On Loosely

by Vicar Lisa

Recently I read an article entitled Hold Loosely to Your Opinions. The article stated that we all have opinions. And, in today’s world, it is very easy to express them. We live in a time where we can freely voice our own beliefs. Using our mobile devices, we can be a critic and post our opinions on just about everything and anything. We can debate and name call and argue with others in the privacy of our own homes. But all this effort put into wanting to be right and wanting to be heard and trying to argue with those who don’t agree with us, doesn’t always end well.

When our opinions become our identity, we feel attacked if someone disagrees with us. But opinions are just that. Opinions. Your personal thoughts and feelings about an issue. Not truth. Opinions can change. How often have you had an opinion that you have later changed? If you go on the attack or into defense mode about an opinion, you can easily destroy a relationship.  And have you ever really convinced anyone through an argument?  Or vice versa? Probably not. But you may be able to convince people with calm conversations where you listen more than talk.  At least, you can try to understand the other individual’s opinions, even if you don’t share them.

Second Timothy 2:14 says “Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.” Proverbs 10:3 states that “It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.”

The article included six ways we can deal with differing opinions.

  1. Hold opinions loosely. Especially those clamoring to be defended.
  2. Remember that personal beliefs change. When someone has an opinion that really seems off the track, give them grace. Like you would want them give to you.
  3. Listen and ask questions before defending or attacking.
  4. Find common ground or just agree to disagree.
  5. Put the relationship first.
  6. Don’t take things so personally.

Let’s give these steps a try before we end up damaging a relationship.

13th Sunday after Pentecost, Aug. 27, 2023

10 a.m. Outdoor Worship (weather permitting) with Holy Communion

Today's Flowers: Given by friends from Zion’s in celebration of Pamela and David Serafini

  • Following Worship Today: Join us in the Fellowship Hall to visit with David & Pamela Nelson-Serafini before they move to Washington.
  • Schedule Updates: Sunday morning Bible Study will resume in October and Friday Women's Bible Study begins at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 8, in the Fellowship Hall with a study of the parables of Jesus lead by Carol Smith. All are welcome.
  • Help Wanted:  We will be preparing and delivering 5-Loaves meals next weekend and we need volunteers both to help with food preparation on Friday morning and to deliver meals on Saturday. If you can help, let Jo Moss, Norine Hazen or Peggy Gustafson know.
  • Outdoor Services: We conclude outdoor summer worship today. Next Sunday, we again will be worshiping in the Sanctuary. Services are at 10 a.m.
  • God’s Work Our Hands 2023: For Zion’s God’s Work Our Hands project, we will give Pastor Clay and Mary a long-deserved Sunday off, on Sept. 10, by providing and serving food at Cimino Park to those who gather there for worship and lunch. Pastor Clay and Mary regularly conduct worship and lunch service at the park. Vicar Lisa will lead a short devotional and administer communion, but much more help is needed. Sign-up sheets are on the table in the Fellowship Hall to give people several options as to how to help.
  • Zion's 135th Anniversary: The anniversary celebration is Sept. 24. If you would like to help with these activities, please see Vicar Lisa or sign up on the sign-up sheet in the fellowship hall.
  • Flower Sign Up: There still are Sundays in 2023 available for flower dedications. The recommended minimum donation is $35, and the work of our flower guild is lovely. You can keep the flowers or donate them. The flower guild then divides the bouquet for nursing homes and for the homebound.

Serving Next Sunday, Sept. 3:

Worship – Peggy Gustafson & David Lamb

Ushers – Steve & JoAnne Karspeck

Communion Preparation – Kathy Broman & Doris Blalock

E-formation – 13th Sunday after Pentecost, Aug. 27, 2023

In this gospel reading this coming Sunday, we hear that Peter received the “keys of the kingdom.” In our baptism it is as if we too have received keys that open God to us and open ourselves to others. Come to worship; be opened to the word and at the table.

Matthew 16:13-20

Every Sunday is Easter, and Peter speaks for us all the resurrection faith: that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Roman Catholics and Protestants have quarreled over the referent of “the rock”: yet for all Easter communities who hear this reading, the Rock is Christ, as well as the faith in that Christ and the believers who share that faith. Enlivened by that rock, we will conquer Hades, an archaic way to speak of the realm of death.

Isaiah 51:1-6

The Isaiah poem is chosen because of the use of the image of the rock as the believing community. This poem suggests that the rock of Matthew 16 is also best seen as the community of the faithful, past, and present, from which God will create a garden. Though the earth be destroyed, God’s salvation is forever.

Romans 12:1-8

This Sunday the second reading is well coordinated with the gospel. Paul’s description of the body of Christ presents a different picture from Matthew’s prescription for the church, yet both refer to the faith in Christ that is the grounding of the church’s existence.

Zion's Lutheran Church