Slideshow image

The Wesley Brothers

By Vicar Lisa

Most of you know I am in seminary school. This session, I am working my way through Stewardship, Pastoral Care, and History of Christianity. The reading for History of Christianity is quite demanding to say the least. But, I am happy to report, I have finally made it up to the 18th Century!!  And that is where, I found the study of John and Charles Wesley very interesting.

John Wesley (1703–91) came back to Europe after a failed missionary venture in America. He was troubled and he lacked the assurance that God had forgiven his sins in Christ. It's kind of similar to our founder Martin Luther early in his ministry. And then a very interesting “coincidence” happened, on May 17, 1738, John's younger brother, Charles Wesley (1707–88) and a friend began reading together Luther’s commentary on the book of Galatians. They found the volume “nobly full of faith.” Charles Wesley could finally say, “I now found myself at peace with God, and rejoiced in hope of loving Christ.”

Then on May 24, 1738, just a week after his brother had begun reading Luther on Galatians, John Wesley was also given a new sense of God’s grace. To quote from his journal, “In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society [meeting] in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s Preface to the Epistle of the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for my salvation; and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.”

From the time of that experience, the message of God’s grace formed the heart of the Wesley’s ministry. In an era when Britain enjoyed virtually no reliable roads, John Wesley traveled constantly to spread the good news of grace in Christ. His preaching tours took him about a quarter of a million miles (mostly on horseback), and he delivered forty thousand sermons (that is, an average of more than two a day). And he did this until he was in his 80s! And, his brother Charles wrote nearly ten thousand hymns to spread the good news of God’s grace. Through the ups and downs of their very active lives, and while engaged in a considerable number of traumatic controversies, John and Charles Wesley never relinquished this grand theme: God’s free grace saves sinners. And they founded what is now known as the Methodist Church.

I was curious as to how many of Charles’ songs made their way into our hymnal. Ten were listed, most of which we sing on a regular basis and one is one of my particular favorites, Love Divine, All Loves Excelling. And just another “coincidence”, that is our Gathering Hymn next Sunday. I just love the way the Holy Spirit works out those coincidences, don’t you! AMEN!

Sixth Sunday of Easter, May 12, 2023

10 a.m. Worship with Holy Communion


  • Sunday Bible Study: Our next Sunday morning Bible Study will be at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 21, upstairs in the Fellowship Hall.
  • Church Council: Our church council meets at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 12, downstairs in the fellowship hall. All are welcome!
  • Women's Bible Study: May 26, at 9:30-11:00 am downstairs in the Fellowship Hall. We will be discussing Jehovah Shalom "the Lord is our Peace". To join by zoom, the link is: ZzVMeUdsVElGQT09 -- Meeting ID 875 7301 4829 -- Passcode 304100 or call in 301-715-8592. All are welcome. Please direct questions to Carol Smith.
  • Zion's 2nd Annual Campout at Trinidad Lake: if you want to join Zion's annual picnic/campout, May 18 to 20 (Thursday to Saturday), let Jeff Smith or Jo Moss know. Note that you don’t have to camp! You are welcome to join us at the campground on Friday for fun, games, bike riding, hiking, maybe canoeing, lunch and fellowship - lunch will be at 12 noon, with Jeff and Carol providing hamburgers and hotdogs, buns and condiments. We will have plates, plastic utensils, napkins and iced tea, and water. If you are able, please bring something to share. There are picnic tables, but you may want to bring camp chairs for more comfortable seating. All who are camping, we shall bring your own items for other meals and eat together at the picnic shelter. Hope to see many of you at the Trinidad State Park Group Campsite at least part of the time! More details will be available in the May newsletter.
  • Outdoor Services: We will begin Summer Outdoor Worship on June 11, 2023. Many people in our congregation have requested this and really value these outdoor services. However, it takes some effort to set up and break down. We need people to volunteer who are willing to get there a little early on Sundays and set up. We have lists of what is needed to guide you. Please let Vicar Lisa or Sharon Sorensen if you are willing to help, thanks!
  • Santa Fe Trail Days: Again the year, Zion's will have a booth at the festival, June 9-10. Paula Little and Mike McNeil are organizing Please let one of them know if you would like to help.
  • Vacation Bible School: The community Vacation Bible School will be held at Fisher Peak Community Church. VBS is for grades K-6 and will take place the mornings of June 12-16. For more information, contact Carol Smith or the FPCC church office.
  • Save the Date: Zion's 135th Anniversary celebration is Sept. 23-24. If you would like to be part of this committee, please see Vicar Lisa.
  • Flower Update: We share heartfelt thanks for our flower guild and the beautiful additions they make to our worship. You can support their work by dedicating the flowers on a Sunday. The recommended minimum donation is $35, so sign the flower book today.


Sixth Sunday of Easter, May 12, 2023

In the gospel reading for this coming Sunday, Jesus says that he will not leave us as orphans. One of the places where we are washed, fed, embraced and sustained by God is at worship. Come on Sunday, to join with all the baptized to receive the Spirit of the Risen Christ.

John 14:15-21

Continuing last Sunday’s proclamation of John 14, we hear Jesus promising that he will remain with the community in the person of God the Advocate. The Spirit is on our side, defending us before the divine judge. Jesus is calling us to a life of love.

Acts 17:22-31

This learned proclamation of the resurrection, beginning with God’s creation of the world, assumes a sophisticated, polytheistic society, and it sounds newly applicable to us in the twenty-first century. Christians are called to share in this worldview that culminates in the resurrection.

1 Peter 3:13-22

This first-century use of Noah’s flood as a metaphor for baptism became commonplace over the centuries in the church. For example, calling the worship space a “nave,” or ship, imagined the church as the ark of salvation, and one option for a reading at the Easter Vigil is the Noah legend. Verses 21-22 remind us that the resurrection is proclaimed in many places outside the gospels’ narratives of Easter Day.

Zion's Lutheran Church