It's Tuesday evening but I waited to send the Eformation until now so I could greet you, share the news of our congregation but also update you on my medical situation. No matter what we proclaim that God is good!, always present, knows our suffering and accompanies us on our life's journeys. During different times in our lives, we get bad news and sometimes we get good news.... tonight I am so grateful to share my good news. My medical evaluation today did not find any pancreatic cancer so I am now living with the diagnosis of pancreatitis but I am sure glad it is not recurrent pancreatic cancer! I'm overjoyed and wanted to share this with you! Thank you for all your love, prayers and support---> it makes such a difference!
Because I received a good report, I am also blessed to be able to join my female clergy colleagues in the "Women Touched by Grace" clergy renewal/education program that I have been a part of. The last three sessions were cancelled due to Covid (like everything else was!) but was rescheduled to this week (it actually started yesterday). So, I am currently writing this from the Denver airport waiting to board a plane to Indianapolis! I am so grateful to our Lord for this good news and for you and your love and support! I won't be back by Sunday so Pastor Becky McNeil is graciously preaching and presiding and for that I give thanks as well.
You will be blessed by her message! For this week, I ask you to continue to join me as we pray for the many people on our heart and on the prayer list while reciting this verse of hope and promise: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9. Let us pray that for our selves, family, friends and strangers alike---that no matter what it is that we are praying for them and in their specific situation as well as ourselves, that we lay aside fear because we are not alone!
Have a blessed week my fellow disciples of Jesus. Look for the presence of the Holy Spirit throughout the day---having the eyes of faith sees/reveals much activity indeed. Love is at work!
In Christ, Pastor Andrea
This week (other meetings/gatherings/work will be taking place as well but here are some things to note):
- Wednesday, November 10th Coping With Holiday Grief ONLINE seminar, from 6:30-8:00 pm, Rocky Mountain Synod Deacon Gail Britt, Minister of Hope & Healing, will lead each seminar and discussion with strategies to help you cope with your grief throughout the pivotal months of November through December. The seminar is based on the grief and death studies of Dr Alan Wolfelt, psychologist, respected author, educator and Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transitions in Fort Collins, CO You Are Not Alone, Love Does Not End with Death, Talk About Your Grief, Plan Ahead for Family Gatherings and Embrace Your Treasure of Memories. Registration for online (ZOOM) by Emailing Deacon Gail at Brittgail2545@gmail.com
- Sunday, November 14th
- 8:30 am Sunday morning Bible study Second session of the new study using "The God Who Sees" by Karen Gonzalez. Stories from scripture about Hagar, Joseph, Ruth and Jesus will guide us to consider those who have fled their homelands. This week we consider Father Abraham. The book is not mandatory but would be helpful but all are welcome! Come and participate in the study & discussion. 4 Sundays in November. Discussions facilitated by David and Lisa. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/907628370?pwd=eFVCTEVhb0xqMXcxY2xaUG5JMUZEdz09. OR Dial +1 312 626 6799 Meeting ID: 907 628 370. Passcode: 332397
- 10 am Worship INDOORS in our Sanctuary
- Join us, either in person OR via ZOOM ('hybrid' worship). If you will be worshipping 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 worshipping in person, masks will be required indoors. Please bring your own, thanks!
- Worship leaders: Pastor Becky McNeil; Assisting: Julie Wersal; Organist: Connie Pallone; Ushering: Steve & JoAnn Karspeck; Reading: JoAnn Karspeck; Communion prep/cleanup: JoAnn Karspeck
- Flowers are from the flower ladies in thankfulness for our abundant blessings.
- Fellowship after worship (approx. 11:10am) in the fellowship hall
- BREAD & BELONGING College/High School Student Fellowship meets from 6-8pm in the lower level of the fellowship hall.
Prayer List: It is a privilege to pray for one another and to bring those who need healing to Jesus. The prayer list has been updated, as we periodically do. Send prayer requests to Carol Smith at email@example.com or 412-477-7531.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Romans 15:13) Hope is trusting in God's promises- that He will never leave us and He loves us and knows our needs. In prayer, we ask in His name: Comfort for those in mourning, including the Gensinger family, and families and friends of Jim Bolden; Manei Serafini; Amy Estes; Steph Romero; Robin Sanchez; and Kenny Chase We pray for and surround with Gods' healing touch: Brent Kapling; Mike Blackmore; Carol Schulzkump, and Carol's son Kris and DIL Ana(whose father is in ICU); JoAnn's sister, Beth; Deena Karpseck; Floyd Gumke; Wilmae and Sherry Gartside; Lisa's mother; Kimberly Ehrman; Loren Eigenberg; the Sandstead family. We surround with prayers others battling cancer, including Linda Bounds; Norine's stepdaughter Sherry; Joni's nephew Mike; Jo Moss' cousin Virginia; Kimber Begano (surgery 10/8); Dr. Mark Jacobson; Linda Theige's BIL Pastor Bob; and Max Phillips. We also pray for those affected by COVID-19. Our prayers continue for Wal Reat (missionary in Sudan whom we support financially through Global Missions); Pastor Clay and The Way ministry; ACTS ministry; and the prison congregation New Beginnings and Pastor Schjang.
Other announcements/dates to put on your calendar:
1. Holy Moly! Or actually, wow Holy Spirit! On October 31st we had a 5th Sunday blessing offering for our missionary in South Sudan, Pastor Was Reat, AND for Lutheran Family Services, Rocky Mountain for support of the arriving Afghan families that are being relocated in Colorado Springs. You are amazingly generous and support so many in tangible ways----> THANK YOU for giving $4063 that will be split between these two missions. You exceeded my challenge by $3,000!!!
2. And as a result of our focus on LFSRM's work in relocating Afghan families in Colorado Springs, Zion's is considering co-sponsoring/supporting an Afghan family. I (Pastor Andrea) am in contact with the Colorado Spring office and will be sharing more details as we discern the need and our abilities and desires. Stay tuned but please pray for all those who have been evacuated and are being relocated. It never is easy! FYI: There will be another zoom training in December if you decide you want to be involved with this new opportunity.
3. NOVEMBER COAT DRIVE is taking place! Let's go through our closets, gather our donations, and bring those coats (clean and washed) to church and they will be shared with those in need. Thank you!
4. Thanksgiving is fast approaching and again this year we are providing the Trinidad Community Thanksgiving Dinner. We need volunteers to prepare food, package meals and deliver meals. Please sign up on the sheets that are at church in the sanctuary and the fellowship hall. Please save Saturday NOV 20th for Bill Winter's/Zion's turkey fry event. 2 years ago over 40 turkeys were deep fried, carved and frozen for use on Thanksgiving day. Help will be needed on the 20th too! Thanks
5. A BOOK DISCUSSION will take place via ZOOM on Saturday, November 20th at 10 am on "The God Who Sees" by Karen Gonzalez. The Rocky Mt Synod AMMPARPO group will be leading this and we can join in! Zoom Link - https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88514349858. Maybe we can meet at church and participate together-- a book club!
6. Bread and Belonging Youth Council will be meeting on Nov 20th as well.
7. November 19th, Women's Bible study will meet at 9:30 am, session two of the Advent study on "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel", by Lifeway Women. It takes four of the hymn's verses and explores their meaning in a deeper understanding as we prepare for the Lord's first and second coming. There are 5 days of personal study to be done before each session, so order your book now and join us! All are welcome.The sessions will be both in person and on Zoom. The Zoom link is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82692013940?pwd=dHB4S2N2VW9XZmNORmhRa3l0VGxSUT09 or join by phone 301-715-8592; Meeting ID: 826 9201 394; Passcode: 624229
8. Paula Little led a very successful painting class for Veterans on Saturday Nov 6th. She will be offering it again in January. This week we pause to give thanks for the sacrifice of veterans who have died in the line of duty as well as pray for all those veterans who are living with or without wounds due to their service. Did you know our synod has a Veterans Service Corps? Here's a link to learn more: https://www.rmselca.org/veteran_servant_corps
9. Centering Prayer will be returning to Zion's! All who are interested in resuming or starting this practice please mark Saturday, February 12th for half day workshop led by the Southern Colorado Contemplative Outreach leadership team. Prior to March 2020, Zion's had a Centering Prayer group that met weekly and members have requested that it be restarted.
Church Council Notes from our President, Julie Wersal:
Zion's Church Council met on November 7. All were in attendance including Peggy Gustafson and Norine Hazen who attended via Zoom from Hawaii.
The secretary's report and financial reports were reviewed and approved. Income for the month of October was $11,920 which included $7056 in envelope donations, $293 for flowers and $4063 collected for the 5th Sunday Blessing earmarked to support Wal Reat (missionary in Sudan) and the Afghan refugees through Lutheran Family Services. Expenses were $10,500 which included $678 in benevolence items, $371 in utilities, $880 for insurance, $612 for the website and advertising, and $502 for supplies for 5Loaves. The average in-person attendance for the month of October was 41.
Pastor Andrea and the council continue to fine-tune plans with Pastor Clay and The Way Ministry for the use of our fellowship hall in the event of an emergency cold spell this winter. Noah's Ark has agreed to house their animals if the situation arises.
The annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner is planned for November 25 with mostly deliveries and carry-out. Weather permitting, we may be able to have some gather outside on the lawn. Letters have gone out to area businesses asking for monetary donations. This year we are able to accept food donations as well. Bill Winter has offered to deep fry turkeys again this year on November 20. (In 2019 we were able to prepare 43 turkeys in this way for our celebration.) We will be asking for volunteers on that day to cut and package the cooked meat.
The annual congregational meeting is scheduled for February 6, 2022. The Budget Committee will meet in late December or early January. All committees are asked to let us know their plans and financial needs for 2022. Budget committee members are Pastor Andrea, Julie Wersal, Lisa Rygiel, and Carol Schulzkump.
Near the close of the church year, the readings remind us of both the end of the world and the end of our lives. Come to worship to receive God’s comfort for whenever we face destruction and death.
The Readings in the Bible
Mark 13 is the Christian version of classic Jewish apocalypticism. Everything that appears to be stable—the temple, religious truth, the nation, the earth itself—will be shaken to pieces. Apocalypticism became a comforting religious genre especially during the three centuries before Christ, as political realities suggested to the Jews that there was no way out of their oppression beyond a radical divine intervention that would destroy the regnant powers. By the time Mark’s gospel was written, the temple had been destroyed, which the early Christian community could see as the beginning of the end. However, for the evangelist, the ultimate cataclysmic event is the crucifixion, which is where chapter 13 is headed.
An example in the canonical scriptures of Jewish apocalypticism, the book of Daniel was written in the third century bce. Its visions and their interpretations mean to comfort the Jews in their time of political oppression with a sense of the ultimate power of their God. In Jewish apocalyptic writings, Michael was one of the four archangels who held up the throne of God. The passage includes an early expression of belief in the resurrection of the body: only thus could the righteous dead experience the vindication promised by God. At this time, Jews began to develop the idea of a resurrection also of those who would suffer for their sins.
Christ, the high priest who offered himself, is now at the right hand of God (see Ps.110:1) and thus has power over all earthly monarchs. The optional verses, in a paraphrase of Jeremiah 31:31-34, include an early reference to the Holy Spirit’s role in Christian devotion. In the temple, a curtain had enclosed the Holy Place, which was off-limits to all but the high priest, but by faith now all believers can come into God’s presence. Verse 25 indicates that the community the author of Hebrews is addressing is meeting regularly for worship and mutual support.