Hello, Lisa Rygiel here with this week’s e-formation.
I have been involved in the business world for many years and I have seen the evolution of my company through the changes in its vision and values statements. As you may be aware, a vision statement provides insight into what the organization hopes to achieve. The values statement reflects the organization’s core principles and ethics.
As we put our transition team to work here at Zion’s, I wanted to share the vision and values were for the ELCA. This was easy to find on the ELCA website and below I share an edited version of what I found there with you.
The vision of the ELCA is “A world experiencing the difference God’s grace and love in Christ make for all people and creation.” This is what the ELCA desires to achieve.
The site went on to state that “Our values are grounded in faith, in our biblical and Lutheran confessional sources, and our love of God and neighbor. They speak to the way this church lives and practices our faith, and they will guide how we journey forward in Christ as church together.” (emphasis is mine)
The website went on to present some key highlights of the practices that will guide us.
1. Forgiveness and reconciliation – We are reconciled to God by God's forgiving mercy.
2. Dignity, compassion, and justice – Each person is created in God's image. We respect this God-given right to dignity and, inspired by the life of Jesus, show love and compassion for all people. Through the proclamation of the gospel…. we uphold and seek to protect the dignity and human rights of all people.
3. Inclusion and diversity – As Christ's church, we value the richness of God's creation and offer a radical welcome to all people, appreciating our common humanity and our differences. We are a church that does not view diversity as a barrier to unity.
4. Courage and openness to change – Because we trust in God's promise and understand faith to be a living, daring confidence in God's grace, we are emboldened to embrace learning and change in our spiritual and institutional journey as a church. This means we are open to new ways and willing to take risks to discover God's plan for this church.
5. Faithful stewardship of God's creation and gifts – As a church together, faithful stewardship is about holding to God's purpose and ensuring the responsibilities and resources that God has entrusted to us are used with great care and with accountability to God, to each other and those served by this church.
We are reconciled to Christ by his incredible mercy. We believe that each person is created in God’s image. We uphold the values of inclusion and diversity. We are courageous and open to change. And we faithfully steward the resources that our Awesome God has given us. I am proud to be a part of a denomination with these values. Thank you, Lord, for bringing me and you here! Amen!
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this, all people will know that you are my disciples if you have a love for one another.” John 13:34-35
This week (other meetings/gatherings will be taking place as well but here are some things to note):
Sunday, August 21, The 11th Sunday after Pentecost
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: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/91739214242?pwd=b1QrZzk0QzBtM1RXZnZuaVFVMDNmZz09 -- 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 leader: Pastor Kate Schlechter;
Assistant: Julie Wersal;
Organist: Connie Pallone;
Ushering: Lisa & John Rygiel
Reading: Lisa Rygiel
Communion prep/cleanup: Peggy Gustafson/Jo Ann Karspeck
Flowers: Presented by Jo & Julie in celebration of Lisa Rygiel's faith journey, which this week took her to the candidacy committee.
Other important stuff of note:
Most humans are bent over with something, and if not now, then they will be sometime in the future. Come to worship this Sunday, and receive Christ, who straightened up the bent woman.
The Readings in the Bible
Perhaps, like countless old women throughout time, this woman had osteoporosis. But we all know about the condition of being bowed down by age, infirmity, or distress. In Christ we can stand upright. The sabbath controversy presents us with not only the question of how God is truly honored but also the picture of Christ who replaces the Sabbath, the one who sets us free.
The passage from second Isaiah relates to both of Luke’s points: we are not to point the finger at those whom we imagine are suffering punishment from God; and our religious practices are meant to honor God, not to serve our interests. When Christians hear about water in the city, they think of baptism in the church, and when we hear about being fed, we think of holy communion.
This selection from Hebrews presents a complex picture of Christian worship. Here on earth, the church is caught up to the heavenly city of God. Thanks to Christ the mediator, worshipers are not to fear the “blazing fire” of the Exodus; yet God is still “a consuming fire.”
Zion's Lutheran Church