It's late on Monday night and I am sending our eformation with gratitude for everyone who made yesterday's service possible. I missed being with you and thank you for sharing your hospitality with Pastor Karen as well---she was so appreciative. The confirmands had a great time at camp (as did I!) so I am sharing a few photos of our time there. I had planned to write about our Afghan families resettlement program in Colorado Springs (before the Oct 31st 5th Sunday blessing) but will send another email later this week. Keep praying for one another--- it matters and makes a difference. Kathy Broman shared an update that Mike Blackmore's surgery was more extensive than planned and he is in the Parkview ICU recovering now. The Serafini family is grateful for your prayers as they mourn the death of thier son Manei. We lift up family and friends alike as they deal with surgeries, illnesses, life difficulties, and Covid -- we fall on our knees for one another! And because we are never alone, God is always with us, we can join the Apostle Paul in saying "I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13. Not my strength but the Lords! Hang in there people of God! You are loved and cared for.
This week (other meetings/gatherings/work will be taking place as well but here are some things to note):
- Sunday, October 24th
- Sunday morning Bible study at 8:30 am Lisa Rygiel leads our study of Habbakuk using The Book of Habbakuk: Faith Amid the Ruins by Heath A. Thomas. The book is not required but if you are interested in studying it, please get one. Come in person or by ZOOM https://us02web.zoom.us/j/907628370?pwd=eFVCTEVhb0xqMXcxY2xaUG5JMUZEdz09 or call +1 312 626 6799 Meeting ID: 907 628 370 Passcode: 332397
- 10 am Worship INDOORS in our Sanctuary with new members being received
- 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 Andrea; Assisting: Lisa Rygiel; Song Leader: Melodie Lanosga; Organist: Connie Pallone; Ushering: Carol Schulzkump; Reading: David Lamb; Communion prep/cleanup: Kathy Nicolai
- Flowers are from Becky & Mike McNeil in celebration for becoming new Zion's members
- Fellowship after worship (approx. 11:10am) will be outdoors (if the forecast of good weather holds out) down by the newly painted mural and outdoor picnic table area in the east side of the Samuel's building yard. Lets gather to welcome our newest members and celebrate with egg casseroles, cake and beverages!
- BREAD & BELONGING College/High School Student Fellowship from 6-8 pm. We gather for fellowship and discussion using the book "YOU CAN'T ASK THAT! 50 Taboo questions about the bible, Jesus, and Christianity". This next week our topic will be "divination and crystals - are they okay?" Invite college and students 9-12th grade.
Prayer List: It is a privilege to pray for one another and to bring those who need healing to Jesus. Send prayer requests to Carol Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-477-7531. Please let Carol know any names that can be removed or need updated.
The Lord says "Do not fear for I am with you...I am your God; I will strengthen you and help you."(Isaiah 41:10) In trusting God's word, we lift up our concerns to Him in prayer.
We continue to pray for guidance and wisdom for the leaders of our country and the world. We lift up those that are mourning the loss of a loved one, especially David and Pam Nelson-Serafini and family on the loss of David's son Manie; family of Steph Romero (Vicki Rienk's friend); family of Amy Estes (Karspeck's friend); family and friends of Rich Samora. Prayers continue for those affected by COVID-19, especially Vicki Rienks, Mary's niece Libby; Carol S's son's MIL Carmen Ortez (pulmonary embolism from COVID); Mark Moss' family members -Amy and Willy Ashley, Andrea and Lane Houston; Norine's step daughter Sherry(COVID and cancer); Karen's father (on a vent); Kim, Dan, and Debbie Ruscetti; and Joshua. We pray for and surround with God's healing touch : Anthony Campbell (surgery); Liz McKethen (surgery); Andrea; Michael Blackmore; Elaine's nephew Carlos Trujillo (stage 4 cancer); Smith's friend Kimberly Ehrman (high risk pregnancy); Lisa's Mother; Cheri's Mom Phyllis (broken hip recovery); Barbara Snow; Jacqueline and Larry Sinniett; Christine Eliss; Elaine's brother Pete (car accident); Huffor family; Steve Devorack; Joni's nephew Mike (lung cancer); Mike Johnson; Floyd Gumke; Linda Bounds; Erin's friend Jenny (leukemia); Patrick Nye; Carol Schulzkump; Jo Moss' cousin Virginia (cancer); Kimber Begano (cancer); Glenn Davis (cancer); Dr. Mark Jacobson (cancer); Doris' family; Linda Theige's brother Pastor Bob (cancer); Max Phillips (cancer); Carol Schulzkump's daughter Katy and nephew Brent Kapling; Caleb, Eliza and Ryan Schulte; Willmae Gartside (hospice) and Sherry; Larry French; Janice and Dennis Hornamen; Sue Nesbitt; Loren Eigenberg; Moises; Doug and Darlynne Sandstead, daughters Heather & Rebecca, family Ed and Bev; Christine and Mark; Richard W.; Richard S.; KC (Alzheimer's). 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. David and Pamela Serafini will be staying at their home in Hoehne for while as the family supports one another and grieves. Send a card to them here locally.
2. We are back worshipping indoors and Jeff Smith is heading up our security team. We need a few more members to assist so if you would consider this and call Jeff at 412-916-1826.
3. This month we will have a 5th Sunday blessing on October 31st- Reformation Sunday. Or as I like to say Re-formation Sunday-- a day when we celebrate our transformation, our new life that is continually evolving, in Christ! For October's 5th Sunday blessing we are challenging Zion's for a 'big ask.' Let's collect $1000 to split between the Afghan families' resettlement in Colorado Springs (through Lutheran Family Services of the Rocky Mountains) and our own ELCA Missionary in South Sudan, Wal Reat! Sharon has posted a link on Zion's facebook page to see some photos posted by Pastor Reat and the work he's doing. We are focusing on our global siblings this time and thought it would be wonderful to support both of these missions. If you missed the October zoom seminar from LFSRM with information about resettling Afghan families in Colorado Springs, there is another opportunity on November 2 or 4! Go to this link to learn more: https://www.lfsrm.org/event/refugee-volunteer-orientation-colorado-springs-online-3/?instance_id=3582 "This is the first step to volunteering with our refugee programs. During this session you will learn about the current refugee situation, what it takes to get involved, the application process, and about advocacy. We strive to stand in solidarity with refugees using patience, resilience, and compassion."
This coming Sunday the gospel reading tells the story of a blind man who cries out to Jesus for mercy and for healing. Come to worship to join Bartimaeus in such prayers.
The Readings in the Bible
Placed in parallel positions flanking the centerpiece of Mark’s gospel are two stories of healing of the blind. Mark’s use of the name Bartimaeus (“son of Timaeus”) may be a play on Timaeus, a character in a dialogue of Plato in which philosophers use their eyes to see the truth in the heavens. For Mark’s community, Jesus gives sight so that truth can be seen. Calling Jesus son of David recognizes him as messiah, although hidden—the true heir of King David. The blind man trusts that Jesus has the creative power to heal him. “Immediately”—the word is used twenty-seven times in the NRSV translation of Mark—the healed man follows Jesus.
The book of Jeremiah, taking shape after Jeremiah’s death in 586 bce, chronicles his message that God was readying to punish the people for their disobedience. However, especially from chapter 30 on, Jeremiah speaks of the restoration of God’s people and the renewal of the covenant. In this excerpt, the maimed and the pregnant will be part of the procession. The desert imagery is replaced with “brooks of water,” and in a democratization of traditional religious imagery, the king being a son of God is changed so that everyone has God as father. Thus the restoration promises a new and better situation for the people. Ephraim, originally the dominant son of Joseph, was later a label for a geographical grouping of Hebrew tribes.
Much of the book of Hebrews is an extended metaphor in which Jesus is likened to the Jewish high priest, who annually appeared before God to plead for the people’s forgiveness. Because of the resurrection, Jesus Christ is the permanent high priest who now pleads for the people. Jesus offered up himself: thus the metaphor is turned upside down, with Jesus as both the one offering and the one offered. Clearly the author of Hebrews assumed that the book’s audience had considerable knowledge of the ritual in the Jewish temple.