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By Vicar Lisa

My dad attends the Methodist Church and I obviously attend the Lutheran Church.  Both groups are following the same lectionary and we are both in Year A, meaning that our messages often overlap because they are based on the same readings.  This can sometimes lead to some interesting discussions over the dinner table.  Last night, we were discussing heaven as dad was preparing a Sunday School lesson on the topic, and I had already read our John 14 passage where we are told by Jesus that “2In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.”  

Dad had expressed that even though he had looked up many verses on heaven using a Biblical Concordance, that he really couldn’t get a good image of heaven. The details are sketchy.  And it is puzzling that we Christians say how badly we want to go there but we don’t really know what it is like!  Yet somehow, just like we have a God filled whole in our hearts, we seem to have this basic, instinctual longing for a heavenly home.  This discussion reminded me of a song that was popular on Christian Radio back in the late 1990s by an artist named Carolyn Arends, entitled “Reaching”.  I am printing the words here but please take a few minutes to hear it as well at the link below. Enjoy!

There's a time I can recall
Four years old and three feet tall
Trying to touch the stars and the cookie jar
And both were out of reach
And later on in my high school
It seemed to me a little cruel
How the right words to say always seemed to stay
Just out of reach
Well I should not have thought it strange
That growing causes growing pains
'Cause the more we learn the more we know
We don't know anything
But still it seems a tragic fate
Living with this quiet ache
The constant strain for what remains
Just out of reach

We are reaching for the future
We are reaching for the past
And no matter what we have we reach for more
We are desperate to discover
What is just beyond our grasp
But maybe that's what heaven is for

There are times I can't forget
Dressed up in my Sunday best
Trying not to squirm and to maybe learn
A bit of what the preacher preached
And later lying in the dark
I felt a stirring in my heart
And though I longed to see what could not be seen
I still believed
I guess I shouldn't think it odd
Until we see the face of God
The yearning deep within us tells us
There's more to come
So when we taste of the divine
It leaves us hungry every time
For one more taste of what awaits
When heaven's gates are reached 

Reaching - Carolyn Arends - YouTube


Fifth Sunday of Easter, May 7, 2023

10 a.m. Worship with Holy Communion 

Worship Leaders: Vicar Lisa Rygiel, Peggy Gustafson, & Jo Moss Musicians: Melodie Lanosga and Sharon Sorenson Ushers: Mark & Jo Moss Communion: Mike McNeil and Jennifer Erickson 

Flowers:  Given by Joni Jones for her son Greg’s birthday


  • Sunday Bible Study: Our Sunday morning Bible Study has changed. The 8:30 a.m. study has been replaced with Adult Education at 11:30 a.m. after Sunday worship. 
  • Centering Prayer: Rita Burton will lead our Centering Prayer event beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, May 12, and continuing each Friday thereafter, in the Fellowship Hall. Contact Rita for information. 
  • 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. More. details will be available in the May newsletter. 
  • 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: Next Sunday is the first Sunday in May, plan to join us for our first Sunday potluck luncheon. 
  • 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.




Fifth Sunday of Easter, May 7, 2023

The second reading for this coming Sunday likens us all to newborn infants who need the milk that only God can provide. Come to worship, and together we will receive the Spirit of the Risen Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life. 

John 14:1-14

Placed in John’s gospel as a commentary on the crucifixion as constituting Jesus’ glorification, John 14 is appointed during the Easter season as if the discourse applies also to the ascension, which is not recorded in John. On Sunday we see the Son in his body, and so we are seeing also the Father.

Acts 7:55-60

The Acts readings in Year A now skip to the narrative of the martyrdom of Stephen. The resurrection opens the church to share in both the Holy Spirit and the sufferings of Christ. Since the fourth century, the church has commemorated the martyrdom of Stephen on the day after Christmas, for the coming of Christ may bring about the death of his servants. Expressing Luke’s Christology, Stephen addresses the same prayer to the Lord Jesus that on the cross Jesus had addressed to God; the risen Christ is God for us.

1 Peter 2:2-10

Year A now backtracks in 1 Peter to hear a richly metaphoric description of the Christian community. Now we, the community of the resurrection, are the infants fed on God’s milk, the building erected on the cornerstone of Christ, a nation of priests invited to approach the Almighty, a people enjoying divine light.

Zion's Lutheran Church