Slideshow image

Dear People of God,

Next Sunday we enter Holy Week with our Palm Sunday worship service.  Come and wave your palm and shout Hosanna to the Lord!  The service moves towards the congregation, focusing on Jesus' upcoming passion and we are sent out contemplating the week ahead, especially on Good Friday.  So although today is the Monday prior, I am looking ahead to the beginning of Holy Week and to Sunday’s worship.  

So with that in mind, let me share some of the writing from the Christian Century because I, like the author, collect stones and this got me thinking about our stones...

What the stones have witnessed Luke 19:28-40 - by Stephanie Perdew

"I am a collector of stones. I choose them for their beauty, their shape, their hue, or some connection to the place and space in which I am hiking, paddling, or traveling.  Some I don’t choose at all. They choose me as I stumble over them or sit upon them. Even years later, I know where I found them. I know their stories and provenance, even if not their geological classifications. When I look at them collected on my shelf, pick one up as I pass by and stand a moment, feel its heft or lightness, smoothness or sharp edges, it speaks to me.

The stones speak to me of my memories and dispositions at the time of their finding. Sometimes they speak to me of my suffering, or the tears I shed the year I stumbled upon them. Sometimes they speak of my joy at the memory of my traveling companions and our discoveries and adventures. Sometimes they speak of my solitude as I noticed them while sitting on a bluff or the edge of a shore.

I have stones from the beach at Lake Michigan, from the sandbars of the Wisconsin River, from the prairie of my home state Nebraska, and from my nation, the Cherokee of Oklahoma. I have a stone from the Negev Desert, a stone from the forests of Germany, a stone from the island of Rhodes. One of my friends brings me stones, too. A stone from the Lake Chapala region of Mexico. A stone from the Scottish island of Iona." ( I brought stones from Iona home too!) 

"She knows they have my name on them, perhaps like the stones written with the new name that no one knows except the one who receives it (Rev. 2:17), as Belden Lane suggests about a stone he once found on Mount Tabor.

In Luke’s telling of Palm Sunday, Jesus knows that even if his disciples were silent, the very stones would cry out.... "  

You can go online and read the rest, but also go to the Luke text and start considering the stones you've collected and what they say to you...It might sound like an odd suggestion but give it a try and see what the Holy Spirit brings up.  

Have a blessed week dear friends.  Know that in the chaos of life, God is with us!  God is loving us extravagantly, even to the cross,  and so we are to be embraced by our amazing God and then turn around and embrace others, inviting them to experience God's grace and mercy.  

In peace and love, 

Pastor Andrea

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

Tuesday, April 5  Dementia Support Group meets from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the upper level of the Fellowship Hall

Saturday, April 9  “The Book of Hope” book discussion is sponsored by the Creation Care Team from our RMS.  Want to know more about the book?  Go to 9781250784094/thebookofhope.  Join the discussion online at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 9 via Zoom at: 83008940316.

Sunday, April 10 Palm/Passion Sunday

  • 8:30 a.m. Sunday morning Bible study Final session using Adam Hamilton's study "24 HOURS" Join us in person or via ZOOM Or Dial 1 312 626 6799  Meeting ID: 907 628 370  Passcode: 332397. Jeff & Carol Smith leading
  • 10 a.m. Worship with Holy Communion  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 be required indoors because we want to sing during worship.  Please bring your own, thanks!
    • Worship leaders:  Pastor Becky McNeil;  Assistant:  Julie Wersal;  Organist:  Connie Pallone;  Ushering: Jeff and Carol Smith;  Reading: Carol Smith;  Communion prep/cleanup: the Pierce Family
  • Fellowship after worship (approx. 11:10 a.m.) in the Fellowship Hall.  Gather after worship for the wonderful conversation! We are going back to our pre-pandemic pattern of having two people "host" this time -- the most important part of this is to clean up afterward, to be honest.  The need is not to feed everyone but to facilitate this time and space.  If you are willing, please sign up.  This week we thank Mary McKenna, Pat Fletcher, and Pam Serafini who are the hosts.    
  • Bread & Belonging high school/college ministry gathers each Sunday night from 6-8 p.m. in the lower level of the fellowship hall.   Pastor Becky leading

Other announcements/dates to put on your calendar:

  • HOLY WEEK begins next week and we have a Good Friday worship service at 7 p.m. on Friday night.  Join us by Zoom or in person.  Easter Sunday worship will be at 10 a.m. and these are wonderful opportunities to invite your family and friends to worship the Lord with Zion's.  
  • Friday, April 14, at 9:30 a.m. we conclude our Women's Bible Study on "The Sermon on the Mount" using Amy-Jill Levine's book; discussing chapter 6 in the book "Living into the Kingdom"  (Matthew chapter 7).  Join us in person downstairs of the Fellowship Hall or by Zoom.  Questions- contact Carol Smith.   If you wish to watch the videos that accompany the studies, go to Amplify Media, use the church email and the password is praynow4Covid19. Join by  Zoom: or phone in by dialing 1-312-626-6799 Meeting ID: 831 3642 4723 Passcode: 865505
  • We gather for worship and welcome guests (Bishop Gonia, Pastor Pam Roberts, Pastor Andrea's family, and community members) on Sunday, April 24 as we celebrate 10 years of ministry together.  We will follow the special worship service by 'gathering at the table' with a potluck feast so watch for details but mark this party on your calendar!  
  • 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!  During Lent, we are using greens and green plants.  If you would like to sponsor during this season, please coordinate with Lynn and your gifts will be part of the Easter celebration on April 17!
  • Prayer Shawl Ministry:  Are you interested in knitting one/some to share?  Join the knitters who bless so many.  I saw Doris and Joni working together yesterday!  


Oftentimes, to grasp the fullness of something significant, we have to look at both sides. So it is that to approach the meaning of Christ, we have to say two things: Jesus and Christ; human and divine; death and resurrection; bread and body. This Sunday celebrates these two sides: we begin by praising Christ with the song of the angels, and we go on to shout “Crucify him!” Come to join us as we fit both truths into one service.

The Readings in the Bible

Luke 19:28-40

In Luke’s account of the entry into Jerusalem, the crowd echoes the song of the angels at Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:14). As befits Luke’s attention to Gentile readership, he omits Matthew’s quote from Zechariah and the reference in Mark and Matthew to King David.

Luke 22:14—23:56

Raymond Brown’s comparative study of the passion narratives suggests that much of the passion material arose in popular tradition and reflects the growing interest in both positive and negative details to fill out the story of Jesus’ execution. Luke’s account stresses Jesus as the forgiving Savior: his sweat in Gethsemane was like great drops of blood; he does not reprimand the sleeping disciples; he forgives the thief on the cross. Only Luke includes the details of Peter’s denial and the episode with Herod. Luke omits the Hebrew cry for mercy “Hosanna,” the charge concerning the destruction of the temple, the crowd accepting blame for Jesus’ execution, the reference to Elijah, and mention of an earthquake and the raising of the dead.

Philippians 2:5-11

Philippians is a letter sent by Paul and his associates to the church in Philippi, an important Roman city, late in Paul’s career. The letter stresses the joy of the gospel, despite trying circumstances. Paul quotes an early Christian hymn, perhaps his own composition, that affirms faith in Christ Jesus as the incarnation of God. Christ, having emptied himself, was ultimately exalted by God as Lord. To Paul’s Christian readers, “Lord” suggested both.