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Good afternoon dear friends!  

What an amazing, blessed, emotional, and packed day yesterday was!  It's Monday a little after noon and I'm still reflecting on the gift Zion's has been and is to me.  You have always been a loving, encouraging, affirming community to me.  You welcomed me into the congregation back in 2011 and loved me into the pastor I am now.  This has been a decade of beautiful mutual ministry!  

We've joined with God and done so much together!  When the Bishop asked me to affirm and encourage you, I didn't get my notes out of my bag and as I read them again last night and today I realized I have more I want to tell you about how I see the Lord working in you!  

As you know this year’s word for me is "FIERCE LOVE" but I have tried to live that way my whole life.  How we LOVE in this world is seen, it is noticed.  

That is so much of what I received from you yesterday — you were so generous in your affirmations of how my love for you has affected you.  I see that in you too.  Zion's will do anything for those you love and that list includes more and more people every day as we embrace Jesus' call to LOVE ALL PEOPLE as neighbors from the Lord, without qualifiers, just love PERIOD.  

I often say that I get my marching orders from Matthew 25. Jesus tells us what attributes he wants to see in his followers!  We are to feed the hungry AND WE DO!  In body with our many 5 Loaves and Thanksgiving meals, support of our local soup kitchen, support of our local homeless congregation "The Way,"  ELCA World Hunger, through ACTS, and more.  

We gather around Jesus' Table each week, our fellowship tables, meet at tables in restaurants/homes, and we are fed too.  I mean just think of the abundance of food that we shared yesterday!  We love to gather around the table!  Spiritually we are fed through the WORD that is preached, studied in our many bible studies, our prayers including Centering Prayer, and through worshipping together.  

Jesus tells us to clothe the naked and we do that too by contributing to The Way, ACTS, and donating so much to local groups who help to distribute it or resell it at bargain prices.  We support those in prison through our partnership with New Beginnings Prison congregation and Pastor Terry Schjang.  

We care for those who are experiencing hardships when called upon, like our Ukraine and Afghan support, and over the years we've given through Lutheran Disaster Relief, Lutheran World Relief, directly to Augusta Lutheran Hospital in Jerusalem, Diane Hagen's work in Nicaragua and for the last 4 years we've supported a missionary in South Sudan!  And guess what?  Pastor Was Reat is coming to Zion's this fall to share about all that he is doing in Jesus' name with our financial support.  We truly do participate in GLOCAL ministry!  

We also emulate Jesus by giving compassionate care to those in our community.  Whether it's in caring for one who is ill or dying, we've been there.  Remember how everyone rallied around Norman when we heard his house had holes in it so snow literally would accumulate inside his trailer?  Or how we loved Walter at his bedside?  Or Lanae during her chemo or final days in the hospital?  And don't' forget how you embraced me with so much compassion!  You loved me with flowers, food gifts that we so abundant, cards, and even garden help!  

We also share Jesus' love for creation and the beauty of God's world by the energy and love that is put into keeping our house of faith bursting with life, the flowers that bring the glory of creation into that space and then are shared with one another AND those at the nursing home/assisted living.  

Jesus also said let the children come to me and, although we do not have a large group of young people, they know they are loved!  From Skylar to Megan, I was overwhelmed by their sharing how receiving love from me and you have made a difference in their lives!  Someone said yesterday after Caitryn and Megan shared that, ”there is the future of the church" and I couldn't agree more!  Supporting camp, bread and belonging, confirmation, and when we've had children's church does make a difference!  So we cannot quit focusing on what the younger generations need to grow in their love for the Lord!  

We all need unconditional love, grace, acceptance, and authentic embracing of WHO we are, fully and completely known and beloved not just by God but by THIS congregation, by us.  

We also are called to follow Jesus and the disciples in telling the story of our faiths, not just THE faith.  When we share WHY we do what we do, it makes all the difference.  When we share HOW we have been personally changed by God, it makes all the difference.  When we share our struggles, we honestly walk with one another along this difficult but beautiful journey that is our lives and since we are all a "group project" we make such an impact in each others lives.  

There is so much more I reflected on, stories I remembered, conversations I cherish, and gifts that I have received that bless me in a myriad of ways but these are some of the gifts I see in us at Zion's so I wanted to affirm you even more today.  

The Bishop also asked me to encourage you as you move forward and I hope my words conveyed a blessing to you yesterday.  As I recalled my blessing, however, I decided I didn't like one phrase I used.  I said "keep on doing what you are doing" and while what we are doing is amazing (just look above), if we stay static and do not respond to how God is leading us to new and different ways of being his hands and feet in this world, Christ's ministry will falter!  

We must always look to God's faithfulness in the past but follow the Holy Spirit into the future.  Where is God calling us to go and share fierce love?  We are called to love God and love every neighbor and we still have some work to do, but we are doing it together and with the Holy Spirit, I pray our work at Zion's will continue to grow and shine the light of Christ everywhere and on everyone!  

Zion's, you are an amazing group of followers of Jesus who, like me, are on THE WAY, learning from the Lord and one another, loving even more expansively and welcoming even more BECAUSE GOD DOES!  I'll miss being your called pastor and transitioning back to being a girl with her 'butt in the pew' might take a little adjustment for all of us, but I am grateful for that gift to me too.  

I can be a member, participating when able, journeying with you in the mission we all share and for that, I am overflowing with joy.  There is so much to say but I'll close by saying you have been one of the greatest joys of my life and I thank you!  Soli deo Gloria!  


Pastor Andrea


This week (other meetings/gatherings will be taking place as well but here are some things to note):  

Friday, April 29 Five Loaves preparations for deliveries on Saturday

Saturday, April 30 Five Loaves delivery teams leave at 9:30 a.m. to deliver the almost 250 meals to those in need locally.  Contact Norine Hazen, Peggy Gustafson, or Jo Moss if you can help with meal delivery.

Team PancreATTITUDE meets at Fisher's Park State Park at 9:30 a.m. to walk with Pastor Andrea in raising awareness and funds for pancreatic cancer.  See below.

Sunday, May 1 The Third Sunday of Easter and happy May Day! 

  • 8:30 a.m. Sunday morning Bible study  We gather again for Bible Study.
  • 10 a.m. Worship with Holy Communion  We'll end with a blessing of the Bread & Belonging ministry that was started in honor of the Rev. Janet Rawlins.  Her family will be joining us!  We will also bless the new butterfly garden created by Lynn, Mary, and Cherie AND the painting donated by Rita & Hal Burton to Zion's in my honor "Arise!  Shine!" based on Isaiah 60:1. Please join us, either in person OR via ZOOM ('hybrid' worship).  If you will be worshiping via zoom, log on or call in using these links:  OR Dial   +1 301 715 8592     Meeting ID: 917 3921 4242.   Password: 731771.   For those of you who will be worshiping in person, masks will now be at the discretion of each individual.   We continue to be mindful of all the different ways people are compromised that may not be known and so please continue to practice healthy community habits such as staying home when you are sick etc.  
        • Worship leaders:  Supply Pastor Andrea Doeden;  Assistant:  Julie Wersal;  Organist:  Connie Pallone; Ushering: David Serafini & Pamela Nelson-Serafini;  Reading:  Mary McKenna;  Communion prep/cleanup: Carol Smith/Mary McKenna
        • Flowers:  from Joni Jones in honor of her son’s birthday.
  • Fellowship time is approximately 11:15 a.m. to share a cup of coffee/soda and conversation!
  • Special Church Council Meeting with Bishop Gonia at 5 p.m.
  • Bread and Belonging will resume!  Our high school/college ministry gathers each Sunday night from 6-8 p.m. in the lower level of the fellowship hall.

Other announcements/dates to put on your calendar:

Yesterday's Celebration worship service can be viewed by following this link: Passcode: G*QPv9+3. The sermon begins at minute 28:15.  The Bishop's blessing begins at 1:22:00.

  • It was an amazing day and I want to THANK EVERYONE who put so much time, effort, and love into the day.  The flowers were stunning, the new butterfly garden a gift, the food gourmet and so abundant, the sanctuary and hall so clean, the setup plentiful.  I can’t name everyone that worked so hard but know that I am eternally grateful.  THANK YOU!!  
  • And as Bishop Gonia said, yesterday was the end of my call as your pastor so after today's E-formation, I will be passing the baton to others and I will be one of the supply pastors that serve Zion's until the Interim is decided and begins.  Like I said yesterday, we'll be cared for by the Holy Spirit the entire time so this will be a blessed time of transition.
  • Saturday, April 30 at 9:30 a.m. I (Pastor Andrea) have created a team PancreATTITUDE that will be meeting at Fisher's Peak State Park and walking the road to the top of the trail (or as far as you want to go!).  Pancreatic Cancer is the #3 cancer killer in our country and PanCan is an amazing organization that helps patients AND sponsors research into new treatments.  I have benefited so I decided to support them by organizing a team.  If you want to join us in walking or donating, please follow this link, and thank you to everyone who already has!
  • MAY 4-6 Zion's Camping Extravaganza!  Everyone is invited to join the upcoming Zion’s camp out for one or two nights on Wednesday, May 4, and Thursday, May 5 at the group camping area at Trinidad Lake State Park. Those who do not want to stay overnight are welcome to come out and enjoy the day and/or evening on either or both days. We will plan for meal sharing as we get closer to the outing. There is a covered pavilion and some electricity. There are only three camping sites with electricity available. There are several tent sites in the group camping area. The reservation cost is being covered by Zion's but you'll need a park pass.  We can bike, kayak, SUP, and just hang out together!  Please contact Sharon Sorenson ( if you are interested. Please let her know if you will need a campsite, how many nights you will camp, or if you just want to participate on either or both days without camping.
  • May 6: the Women's Bible Study resumes with a new study of the Psalms using Kerygma's Psalms (Discovering): Passion, Promise & Praise.  There are 7 Sessions and books have been ordered but please let Carol Smith or Becky McNeil know if you want a book reserved for you and if you will be joining us.  
  • You still can join Zion's Afghan sponsorship team through Lutheran Family Services-Rocky Mt!  Pamela and David Serafini have stepped up to be our primary contact people so join the team and let them know your level of planned engagement.  
  • The flower ministry blesses our worship space and people!  Wasn’t Easter AND yesterday amazing??!!  We are returning to our weekly blessing of the altar so please sign up on the flower chart or coordinate with Lynn Chase to sponsor the flowers.
  • Prayer Shawl Ministry:  Are you interested in knitting one/some to share?  Join the knitters who bless so many.  


Easter lasts for fifty days: this coming Sunday is the third Sunday of Easter, and we hear another story of Jesus’ appearance after his resurrection. To encounter Jesus here and now, come to worship, hear the word, eat with him, and connect with his body of believers.

The Readings in the Bible

John 21:1-19

Since John 20:30-31 reads like the conclusion to the fourth Gospel, many scholars suggest that chapter 21 was an epilogue added soon after the book was finished. The narrative assumes that the disciples have returned to their previous life and occupation. Placed here rather than at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, this version of the catch of fish accounts for both Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances in Galilee (the Sea of Tiberias is another name for the Sea of Galilee) and for Peter’s status as a primary communal leader. As in Luke 24, the disciples recognize Jesus when he serves them bread. There is no clear meaning to the number 153. The three-fold questions to Peter parallel Peter’s three-fold denial. Peter is to follow the Good Shepherd through life and into death. Verse 19 is the oldest written indication of Peter’s martyrdom.

Acts 9:1-6 [7-20]

Luke, ever the masterful story-teller, writing in the 80s after the death of Paul, sets the stage for Paul’s role in spreading the word to the Gentile world by providing an affecting narrative of the appearance of the risen Lord to Saul, which is absent from Paul’s autobiographical statements (see Gal. 1:15-16). Scholars question the claim (vv. 2 and 14) that the high priest had the authority of extradition over the Jews in the diaspora. According to this narrative, there were Christians in Damascus already in the 40s. Christians have access to God by invoking the name of Jesus. The shorter excerpt is about the appearance of Christ to Saul, and the longer excerpt adds the details of Saul’s blindness, the gift of the Holy Spirit, Saul’s baptism, and his faith in Jesus as the Son of God. Thus Luke uses the narrative to typify conversion to faith in Christ.

Revelation 5:11-14

Following the introduction (chap. 1) and the seven letters to the churches (chap. 2–3), Revelation gives a lengthy description (chap. 4–5) of the heavenly court with multitudes of varieties of worshipers around God’s throne. The vision is marked by symbols rooted in inter-testamental apocalyptic literature. Angels, divine messengers, are imagined as courtiers who perpetually praise God. The four living creatures recall Ezekiel 1:10, where the four probably symbolized the powers of the earth’s four directions. The reference to elders indicates early Christian polity. The dominant title for Christ is the Lamb, which was killed to grant life to believers.