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As we drove home from Oklahoma, I was reflecting about my worship experience yesterday.  After 10 years away, it was wonderful to be back in the pews of my previous congregation, to see many faces I recognized but honestly, it also felt a little strange.  I was an active member of this congregation for 15 years and even did some parish work there as part of my seminary requirements but yesterday l felt like guest (something that I don't get to do too often).   Anyways, it got me thinking about visiting churches.... or specifically about when people visit Zion's or are new to our congregation, I wonder what they think about when they get in their car and reflect.   I don't know if you have ever heard me talk about the different aspects of worship that are important for us when we gather.  Think of this as each person's 'worship personality.'  Not everyone needs the same 5 elements of worship but most people feel they have worshipped well when their top two worship elements are met.  So think of it this way:  if you are on vacation and visit a church on a Sunday morning, you will usually walk away saying "I worshipped well today" if "x" and "y" and maybe "z" were part of worship because they are really important for you.  The 5 elements are:  music, prayer, the Sacraments (communion), the Word (scripture & preaching), and fellowship.  For me I need music and the Word.  Your top two will probably be different.  Not all 5 will be equally emphasized in worship either but I wonder if all five are present in our worship service such that everyone feels that they worshiped well after gathering together at Zion's.  I think we at Zion's are very hospitable and welcoming-- our love for each other and our community is evident!  Prayer matters and I think that comes across as we name those who in our families and communities need prayers.  We work hard to lead the music and include words and music so people can sing along.  I think our focus on the Word and Sacraments are good too!  But I wonder what you think.  What do our guests and newest members think?  If someone joins us for the first time, what do we need to do so that they walk away having worshiped well?   We welcome ALL because Jesus welcomes all and I know that we strive to do that not only with one another but with guests and new friends alike.  And it matters.  Scripture directs us to welcome the stranger, the sojourner, the alien and friends!  So let us all wonder, at each and every gathering, what the guest, newcomer, and long time member needs and experiences.  As we seek to welcome everyone as Christ would, are there things we could do differently?  Please share our reflections with me and each other!
Blessings dear people of God.  In peace and love, Pastor Andrea
This week:
  • Wednesday, Sept. 22 
    • 9:30 am Worship & Music committee meeting via ZOOM
    • Our prison ministry partnership with New Beginnings includes donating cards for the inmates to use.  Please bring your cards to church and put in the green "Andrea's Joy Box" by today.   I will be meeting Pastor Terry on Thursday and blessing her with our gifts.  
  • Friday, September 24th 11:30 am Council meeting with Pastor Clay and those involved in homeless ministry. In the lower level of the fellowship hall or by ZOOM.\
  • Saturday, Sept 25th 
    • Five Loaves monthly feeding ministry will deliver a packaged meal to the shut-ins, elderly, disabled, homeless, and others in need.  We need volunteers to deliver the approx 250 meals at approximately 9:30 am.  Please email Jo Moss at or call (512) 801-6807or let Peggy or Norine know. Thanks!
    • The Holy Lunch Bunch small group was cancelled for September
  • Sunday, Sept 26th
    • Sunday morning Bible study at 8:30 am  Lisa Rygiel's leads our new 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 or call +1 312 626 6799 Meeting ID: 907 628 370 Passcode: 332397
    • 10 am Worship Outdoors on the TSJC Lawn south of the 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:  OR Dial   +1 301 715 8592     Meeting ID: 917 3921 4242.   Password: 731771.   For those of you who will be worshipping in person, please bring a folding camp chair to sit on and wear comfortable clothing 
      • Worship leaders:  Assisting:  Julie Wersal;  Song Leader:  David Lamb; Pianist:  Mark Nelson;  Ushering: Kathy Broman & Michael Blackmore;  Reading: Kathy Broman ;  Communion prep/cleanup:  John & Lisa Rygiel
      • Flowers are from Joni Jones in celebration of her great granddaughter Skylar's 1st birthday!
    • Fellowship after worship (approx. 11am).  
    • BREAD & BELONGING  College/High School Student Fellowship from 6-8 pm.  We begin by serving some food, followed by fellowship and discussion using the book "YOU CAN'T ASK THAT! 50 Taboo questions about the bible, Jesus, and Christianity".   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 or 412-477-7531.
The Lord tells us in Matthew 11:28 "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."   In doing this, 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.  Prayers continue for those affected by COVID-19, especially Norine's step daughter Sherry; Becky's niece, Paige; Karen's father (on a vent); Kim, Dan, and Debbie Ruscetti; and Joshua.  We pray for those affected by the Afghanistan takeover and ask for protection for the Christians left behind and all who are needing God's presence and hope.  We also ask for the answered prayers and protection for those affected by the hurricane and rains in the east, and the devastating fires in the west. We pray for and surround with God's healing touch: 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; Bob (hospice); Floyd Gumke; Linda Bounds; Erin's friend Jenny (leukemia); Patrick Nye; Carol Schulzkump; Jo Moss' cousin Virginia (cancer); Michael Blackmore; 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.
Zion's Lutheran Church Council met after worship on Sunday, September 19.  
  • Council reviewed the reports by the Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Trust Fund Officer and Pastor Andrea.  
  • Income for the month of August was $11,036 which included $2012 in proceeds from the Garage Sale.  Expenses were $12,823 which included donations to ACTS, cleaning and repairs to the pipe organ, insurance premiums and 5Loaves.  So far this year we have not had to transfer any funds from the Trust Fund into our general account.  
  • Pastor Andrea updated the council on the confirmation classes, new members we plan to receive soon, the new website, the newsletter, and our youth group Bread & Belongings.  
  • Council has been working to update our By-Laws.  The changes discussed at the last meeting were drafted and approved and will now be sent to the Synod for their approval.  Most of the changes involved the formation and duties of various committees.  If approved by the Synod, the congregation will vote to approve these changes at the next annual meeting. 
  • Plans are progressing for our booth at the Santa Fe Trail Bicentennial Celebration at the end of September.  
  • Council will be meeting with Pastor Clay and others on Friday, September 24 to discuss helping the homeless community in the event we have another cold snap emergency like we did last winter.  
  • Norine will be sending out information in the next few weeks to local businesses on how to donate to our annual Thanksgiving Dinner.  Discussion was held on procedures and policies this year in light of COVID and the Delta variant.  
  • Your church council members support and suggest that all adults be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  
  • The next meeting is scheduled for October 10.  
Respectfully submitted,  Julie Wersal, Council President
Other announcements/dates to put on your calendar:
Yesterday's worship service can be viewed by following this link: Passcode: Z7FY=5p&.  A HUGE thank you to Lisa Rygiel, Becky McNeil, Mary McKenna, Julie Wersal and the whole team for leading the service.  
1.  Santa Fe Trail Bicentennial celebration is Saturday, Oct. 2 through 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3. and we are busy planning a wonderful weekend of sharing WHY ZION'S?  The next committee meeting will be MONDAY, Sept 27th at 10 am, in person or via ZOOM.
2.  New Members will be received at Zion's soon.  Do you want to formally join this faith family?  Speak to Pastor Andrea
3. The 4th quasi annual Zion's Lutheran Church bike/camp outing will be held on Saturday October 16th on the River Trail outside Pueblo.  The bikers will meet at the Pueblo Fish Hatchery (500 Pueblo Reservoir Rd) at 10 am and bike the paved Arkansas River trail to have lunch at the Coyote Grill (5220 Nature Center Rd) near the raptor center (approx 4 miles).  If the Coyote Grill is closed, we'll head to the Pueblo River Walk and dine at one of the many restaurants there.  Those interested in camping, we will be at. the Arkansas Point area of Pueblo Lake State Park where there are currently a variety of electric sites available.  Carol & Jeff Smith have reserved site #88 for arrival Friday Oct 15th, departing on Sunday Oct 17th.  Invite friends!  Thank to Jeff Smith for organizing this and please direct all questions to Jeff.
4.  Confirmation Camp at Rainbow Trails Lutheran Camp, Oct 15-17th.
5.  Our website redesign team has accomplished the transition!  We have a new website!  Go to and see what visitors, seekers and we are now to see.  It'll be updated regularly and is not all the way completed but it's awesome and we appreciate the feedback you've given so far.
6.  Worship flowers can be sponsored each week for $25. A flower chart is in the fellowship hall to sign up or contact Lynn Chase.
7. Angels in Aprons is our team of amazing cooks who bless you by helping with meals when you are in need for any reason, such as surgeries, illnesses, etc.  If you would like to be blessed by these angels or would like to volunteer, please contact Lynn Chase. 
8.  FREE Covid testing for all Colorado residents can be accessed at the Sebastiani Gym Parking Lot.  Schedule an appointment at ahead of time or register on site (longer wait time).  The times I believe have changed so log on to see when/times.  
9.  We are reinstating the monthly Zion's newsletter. Anticipate the inaugural October issue!
10.  And finally, I encourage you to watch yesterdays CBS SUNDAY MORNING segment by Steve Hartman titled "Field of Dreams" about Branson, Colorado.  It was so encouraging and a great story!


Come to worship to hear the word of God and to receive comfort in the bread and wine.



The extreme admonitions in this passage capture the metaphoric nature of Jesus’ preaching. Although later Christians saw this passage as about eternal punishment in hell, it is unlikely that Mark’s community had any such medieval understanding of “Gehenna.” In our baptism, we do “bear the name of Christ” and have been salted with God’s Spirit. The passage includes an admonition for Christians to cease competition with each other. The stark passage concludes with a blessing of Christ’s peace.



The narrative from Numbers has been joined with Mark 9 because both share the conviction that God’s Spirit is shared by the many rather than by the few. Thus the Numbers reading places the focus of the gospel reading on verse 40. The Israelite nomads have certainly been salted with fire. Christians believe that in baptism all the members of the body of Christ receive the Spirit of God.



The passage from James impels us to examine our practice of prayer, which here is focused on communal healing, not on personal situations. The Elijah reference reflects early monotheistic beliefs, according to which any cosmic event, even weather, is produced directly by God.