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A Graduated Worrier

By Vicar Lisa

I just read an article about being “A Graduated Worrier”. Being a graduated worrier means remembering to remain in the present and let God hold on to your future.

I hate to admit it, but I am a worrier. As a safety manager, I worried professionally. What can go wrong and what can we do to prevent it. As a mom, I worried about my children. Now I worry my grandchildren!

I worry about the health of my husband and parents. I worry about the beautiful souls at Zion’s; I worry about school and if I am strong enough to survive 300 hours of Clinical Pastoral Care at the hospice. And of course, I worry about sermons for Sundays and e-formations for Wednesday!

There is no end to the possibilities for worry. But I am trying to become “A Graduated Worrier.” Because I know that worry does not empty tomorrow of its problems; it simply empties today of its strength. And it betrays a lack of trust in God’s care. God tells us not to worry and there are so many beautiful bible passages telling us not to!

  • Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
  • Cast all your anxieties on him because he cares for you.1 Peter 5:7
  • But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:33-34
  • Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

And there are so many more! So beautiful people of God, pray for me and my worry problem! And, if you tend to be a worrier yourself, please know you are not alone. The Lord knows our past, present, and future. And no amount of worry is going to change any of that!


Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 3, 2023
10 a.m. Worship with Holy Communion


Today's Flowers: Given by Mary McKenna honoring September birthdays and anniversaries with love and gratitude.

Council Meeting Minutes

Zion's monthly church council meeting was held on Aug. 17. The meeting was moved from Sunday to Thursday night to accommodate everyone's schedule.

Vicar Lisa reported on the status of our upcoming events. Outdoor Worship will end at the end of August. Giving a "day off" to Pastor Clay and his wife Mary was proposed and approved as our "God's Work Our Hands" project for Sept. 10. Paula reviewed the plans for the 135th Anniversary on Sept. 24. Both events have sign-up sheets for food in the fellowship hall.

The garage sale, held on Aug. 5, brought in more than $3,500. Julie has the names and addresses of a few people that have asked for tax receipts and she will give that information to Mike and Carol to prepare. Since we had decided that the proceeds from the sale be used for Zion's various missions, it was decided that $850 would be sent to Lutheran Services, earmarked for the Maui fire, and $850 to ACTS. We will decide where to donate the rest of the proceeds as the year progresses.

The Council Behavioral Covenant was discussed at the last meeting. Vicar Lisa made the additions/corrections and the council voted to approve the final draft.

We will have a fall clean-up day on Saturday, September 16 to spruce up the area prior to our anniversary celebration beginning at 8:30am. Plans are to trim the bushes, clean up the lawn, sanctuary, and fellowship hall. Vicar Lisa will arrange for the carpets in the fellowship hall to be professionally cleaned.

Church Council discussed changes to the Constitution and By-Laws proposed by committee. These changes were approved:

  1. A provision if the treasurer is not a member of the congregation council (if we must hire this job out for bill pay, and financial reporting), that this person would have voice but no vote at our council meetings.
  2. Change the Nominating Committee from only the church council members to a committee consisting of six members: two from church council and four from the congregation. The Nominating Committee would oversee recommending people for vacant council seats, the Audit Committee, and other committees as the need arises. Members of the Nominating Committee are chosen by the congregation at the annual meeting and serve for one year.
  3. The responsibilities of Council Members were defined and expanded, along with those duties of the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, and Trust Fund Officer.

Church council will take a final vote at the next meeting and will then ask for approval by the congregation, and finally the Synod. The final constitution and by-laws documents will be given to the congregation 30 days prior to the meeting. We expect that the meeting to approve these changes would be set up for the end of October. Stay tuned!

Vicar Lisa and Julie will be meeting with Rev Diana Linden-Johnson from the synod on Sept. 14 for their regular check-in. God's Work Our Hands Sunday is Sept. 10, and we will be making lunch for the homeless group at the park with Vicar Lisa doing an informal service. The next council meeting is scheduled for Sept. 17. The 135th Anniversary celebration will be Sept. 24.

As always, if a member would like to see any of the financial reports, the Council Behavioral Covenant and/or any part of the Constitution and By-Laws, please see a council member or Vicar Lisa.

Respectfully submitted, Julie Wersal, Council President 


  • Following Worship Sunday: Join us in the Fellowship Hall for our first Sunday potluck. All are welcome and there is plenty of food.
  • Schedule Updates: Sunday morning Bible Study will resume in October and Friday Women's Bible Study begins at 9:30 a.m. this Friday, Sept. 8, in the Fellowship Hall with a study of the parables of Jesus lead by Carol Smith. All are welcome.
  • God’s Work Our Hands 2023: For Zion’s God’s Work Our Hands project, next Sunday we will give Pastor Clay and Mary a well-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.
  • Fall Clean Up: Mark your calendars for our fall clean-up day on Saturday, Sept. 16 beginning at 8:30am. Plans are to trim the bushes, clean up the lawn, sanctuary, and fellowship hall.
  • 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.

E-formation – 14th Sunday after Pentecost, Sept. 3, 2023

In last week’s gospel reading, Jesus praised his disciple, Peter. This coming week, Jesus rebukes him, calling him Satan. Come to hear this continuation of Matthew’s story and receive the life that only Jesus can give.

Matthew 16:21-28

This Sunday provides the second half of Matthew’s comments about the responsibility and attitude of church leadership. The life that Christ offers is the cross, dying to ourselves thus the opposite of how many human leaders function. All the baptized are carrying the cross on their forehead, wet in baptism, ashed at the outset of each Lent. Yet it is the cross of Christ, not our own, that saves; and our salvation entails the death of our selves. It is a complex reading.

Jeremiah 15:15-21

On this Sunday, it is as if the prophet Jeremiah anticipates Peter, and each of us, who both experience the cross and receive the comforting words of the saving God. Jeremiah condemns the perennial teaching that those who trust in God will have an easy life.

Romans 12:9-21

Reading through Romans, today we encounter a passage with close connections to the appointed gospel. Paul speaks in brutal honesty about the difficulties of life as a Christian and with stunning rhetoric about the body of Christ seeking to overcome evil with good.

Zion's Lutheran Church