Slideshow image

Good morning dear people!  Grace and peace to you this morning.  One of my favorite stories that Jesus told we read yesterday — the parable of the Prodigal Son as it is often called. I'm still thinking about the extravagant love and grace of God and the image of the sprinting father keeps popping up.  

My brother also emailed our family last night as he was reflecting on God's grace too!  Jesus Christ Superstar was what triggered him to think about his life of faith and the gift of grace. And, since we had mentioned that musical in the Sunday morning Bible study, I thought maybe this is the Holy Spirit encouraging us to watch that!  

Since I've enjoyed the Youtube video on a bigger table that I referenced in yesterday's homily, I want to link it for you too!  

Maybe watching these will bring you some meditative moments as well and that would be good because we are so blessed when we meditate on God's love for us -- no matter who we are or what we've done, God's love/grace/mercy is for us!  

And, boy does that make me grateful!    

Thank you to everyone who blessed Margaret and the Gumke family as we gathered to celebrate Floyd's life and to those who helped with 5 Loaves Saturday!  What a gift you are to the community as well as to each other!

Thank you also to everyone who participated in our discussion during fellowship time yesterday.  I went home joyful and so grateful for you, this congregation, and for the leading of the Holy Spirit.  God's got us!!  

Have a blessed day and week!  Love and peace be yours.  

In Christ, 

Pastor Andrea

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

Monday, March 28  

  • Joni Jones and the PEO Fellowship meets in the Fellowship Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • AA meets weekly from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the upper level of Fellowship Hall.

Friday, April 1

  • 9:30 a.m. -- we continue our Women's Bible Study on "The Sermon on the Mount” using Amy-Jill Levine's book. Join us in person downstairs of the Fellowship Hall or by Zoom…questions — contact Carol Smith.  We shall be discussing chapter 5 of the book (Finding Your Treasure). 

If you wish to watch the videos that accompany the studies, go to Amplify Media and use the church email — the password is praynow4Covid19. Join via Zoom at: or phone in by dialing 1-312-626-6799 Meeting ID: 831 3642 4723 Passcode: 865505

Have you noticed a few of the changes as we seek to be more inclusive? The bathroom signage for example and this next Sunday look four our new sanctuary space dedicated to wheelchairs/walkers/strollers! Thanks, John Rygiel for your expert carpentry! 

Sunday, April 3 The Fifth Sunday in Lent

  • 8:30 a.m. Sunday morning Bible study Session #3 Using Adam Hamilton's "24 HOURS” with Jeff & Carol Smith leading. Join us in person or via Zoom at:, or Dial 1-312-626-6799 —  Meeting ID: 907 628 370, Passcode: 332397.
  • 10 a.m. Worship with Holy Communion  Join us, either in person OR via Zoom ('hybrid' worship).  If you will be worshiping on Zoom, log on or call in using these links:  OR Dial 1-301-715-8592 — Meeting ID: 917 3921 4242, Passcode: 731771.   For those of you who will be worshiping in person, masks will be required because we want to sing during worship.  Please bring your own, thanks!
    • Worship leaders: Pastor Andrea Doeden; Assistant: Julie Wersal; Organist: Connie Pallone; Pianist: Mark Nelson; Ushering: Steve & JoAnn Karspeck;  Reading: JoAnn Karspeck; Communion prep/cleanup: Carol Smith & Mary McKenna.
  • Fellowship after worship (approximately 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 let Pamela Nelson-Serafini know (or watch for the sign-up sheet that she will be posting) as we’ll be adding the hosts to the E-formation news.  Thanks!  
  • Bread & Belonging high school/college ministry gathers each Sunday night from 6-8 p.m. in the lower level of the Fellowship Hall.  This week the focus of the discussion will be the kingdom of heaven beyond this life.  We are also going to do some Zentagles!  Erin and Pastor Andrea are leading

Other announcements/dates to put on your calendar:

  • We are still in the season of Lent. How is your engagement with the theme of "Good Enough"? Who you are is good enough! There are some resources for your use this season as we all seek to grow in our relationship with God.  The Portals of Prayer are available at church or the devotional Good Enough by Kate Bowler and Jessica Riche is the one I am using during Lent and we will be referencing it during our worship services.   Once again, Luther seminary has produced a special devotional based on the hymn “My Song is Love Unknown."  Download it at, or let me know if you need a copy printed and we can get that to you. Another option is the 2022 Lent Resource from Creation Justice Ministries at 
  • Join Zion's Afghan sponsorship team through Lutheran Family Services-Rocky Mt!  We are finally being matched with a family who has been relocated from Afghanistan to Colorado Springs.  There are steps to take, applications to submit, etc. So, PLEASE CONFIRM WITH PASTOR ANDREA if you want to participate. Options are to be a 'background' supporter or one who interacts with the family in Springs for 4-6 hours per month.  The monthly volunteer training is from 6 to 8 p.m. at the start of each month. Please register for this meeting and attend it if you had not done so in November or December.  
  • 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!  


We are nearing the conclusion of Lent. This Sunday’s gospel story is of Mary of Bethany who at the dinner table anointed Jesus’ body as if he were already dead. We gather together this Sunday, remembering the death of Christ, yet feasting on the life of his body in holy communion. Come: join Mary, Martha, Lazarus, Paul, John, and the rest of us at the feast.

The Readings in the Bible

John 12:1-8

Although John’s unclear adjective pistikos shows a reliance on Mark, John’s account of a woman anointing Jesus’ feet served his theological purpose. So did Mark’s (14:3-9) and Luke’s (7:36-50) differing accounts, and the rich theological diversity within the New Testament is diminished if the three versions are conflated. John focuses on Jesus’ coming death by referring to Lazarus, who was raised from the grave, and to Passover when Jesus was crucified; the event foreshadows Jesus’ washing his disciples’ feet in chapter 13. Jesus’ followers, including those in the late first century who read John’s account, are, like Mary, to “keep” the day of Jesus’ death. Spikenard is an aromatic herbal plant from which burial ointment was made. It is culturally odd that Mary’s hair could be unveiled, but Mary of Bethany and her siblings were friends of Jesus. A denarius is a laborer’s daily wage: thus the perfume was worth nearly a year’s wages.

Isaiah 43:16-21

Second Isaiah is composed of texts that speak comfort to the exiles after the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple and that proclaim God’s promise to restore the people to their homeland. In this excerpt, the poet uses the image of water to describe the new thing God will do: for the people to enter the Promised Land, the water was parted, yet now God will provide water in the desert. Water functions in a new, even opposite, way.

Philippians 3:4b-14

Writing to the church in Philippi in the mid-50s, Paul argues in this excerpt that the regulations of the Torah are not salvific: rather, it is faith in Christ, who died and is raised, that saves. Paul’s pedigree and autobiography mean nothing. “Rubbish” (v. 8) means “shit”: biblical translators sometimes water down the text to accommodate perceived sensibilities. Paul repeats a first-century Jewish idea (v. 11) that at the parousia, God will raise the faithful dead to new life.