Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
The hard but undeniable fact of deeply embedded racism in American society has come to the fore in painful ways this past year through high-profile occurrences of racial discrimination, hatred and violence – including racially motivated killings. As Lutheran Christians, what should be our response and witness? As members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, how are we called to confront the sin of racism?
We need to talk and we need to listen, but we also need to act. As one important step in this process, I invite you to join me and William B. Horne II, an ELCA lay leader and member of the ELCA Church Council, for a live webcast conversation on the complexity and implications of racism on Thursday, Aug. 6, at 8 p.m. (CDT).
Through our church’s social statement – “Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture” – the ELCA collectively has expressed its calling to confront racism and advocate for justice and fairness for all people. You can read this social statement here. In addition, I have made several public statements on behalf of the church recently on this subject. Those statements are available here.
God’s intention for all humanity is that we see the intrinsic worth, dignity and value of all people. Racism undermines the promise of community and fractures authentic relationships with one another. As Christians, though, we live in the conviction that the church has been gathered together in the joyful freedom of the reign of God announced by and embodied in Jesus. That reign has not come in its fullness, but the message of God’s “yes” to the world breaks down all dividing walls as we live into that promise.
I urge you to deepen your involvement in and commitment to this important work to which we all are called. I believe our live webcast on this topic on Aug. 6 is one useful way for us to pursue this together, and I hope you will view and take part in it.
You may read more about this webcast at www.ELCA.org/webcast, where a link to the live webcast will be embedded. A live stream also will be available at www.Facebook.com/Lutherans. Twitter hashtag is #ELCAConfrontRacism. If you would like to submit a question to be considered during the live webcast, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and provide your name and your congregation’s name, city and state.
Join me for this important conversation.
Your Sister in Christ,
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
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Recently a church member said to me, “Pastor, I need to know the Bible more. I just want to know more about what is there.” It was at that moment that I began watching for an opportunity to help anyone who felt like that to have a fun, engaging, meaningful, thoughtful – liberating experience of discovering the big story that is the Bible. I have found it.
Wouldn’t you know, they call it, “The Story.” And what is the Story? It’s the Bible itself, in its own words, gathered up in such a way that it is easy to see the broad work and activity of God, in the everyday lives of people.
The next most wondrous part is this, knowing more about the big story in the Bible really helps us find God’s story working itself out in our lives, in our stories. Imagine being able to talk and think about your own story in a way that helps you discover God, working in your life. It is the greatest story there is to uncover.
Please join us in reading, learning and reflecting on The Story this year at Good Sam. We will introduce it on Sept 6th in worship and begin with Chapter One on Sept 13th in Worship. We have even added a new 11:00 am praise service (You’ll be hearing more about that soon) to make room for you to invite your, kids, grandkids, neighbors, friends, coworkers and anyone else that God in nudging you to share this great story with. Join us, won’t you? It will be a great way to find your neighbors on the journey of faith.
Each year Good Sam helps people in challenging circumstances with financial help toward a crisis they face. We help people facing eviction notices, people who are facing electric shut-off notices (even in hot weather) and people who need oil for winter heat. We help people in all kinds of circumstances. We help people who are accessing the local network of help and who are working with a Social Worker at DHS. All of the help we are able to give comes through your gifts made through our church designated fund call the Good Sam Fund. We have a few members who support this ministry regularly. But we want you all to know about this work and this opportunity to help others. Most years we support 20 to 30 people ($50 to $75 at a time) with more than $2,000 of resources that you (the members of Good Sam) have given for this purpose. Thank you for your support of the Good Sam Fund and this ministry to our neighbors. Don’t forget this opportunity when you wish to make an extra mile gift this year.
at the 2015 ELCA National Youth Gathering
Early Servant Project Work Crew
On Saturday July 11, our first wave of High School youth and adult leaders headed off to rendezvous with other LutheranHANDS volunteers to make a difference in the Detroit area before the Gathering. A prayer circle gathering, a few high fives and off they go to make a difference in the world. On Monday there was trash clean-up in teams and on Tuesday they worked food service lines and sorting in a recycling collection warehouse. Let’s surround this team with prayer: Lord, may the communities in which they work be touched by the activity and blessed by the presence of this expression of solidarity and support. May our young people discover you, O God, working through their activity. May we be blessed as they return to tell their stories.
DAYLE (Definitely-Abled Youth Leadership Event) Judy Kowalik writes:
Having a great time in Detroit. We got here late afternoon yesterday after a good trip–hit some heavy rain in Ohio, but made it safely. Had a beautiful worship service last night, then broke into groups. The youth played some icebreaker games and the adults shared what they wanted to get out of our time together. Matt got sick this morning, so we missed out on a trip to a place called Faith in Action. Met up with the group again this afternoon for some very inspirational speeches from four definitely abled people. They spoke about how God has worked through them in spite of and because of their disabilities. I was so humbled by their words. After dinner overlooking the Detroit River, we gathered together for a talent show. Matt danced to Gangnum Style and had everyone clapping and cheering. This has been a wonderful experience so far. Looking forward to meeting up with the rest of the group tomorrow.
The Main Event at the Youth Gathering begins on Wednesday and continue into Sunday afternoon. We are excited to hear about their adventures and discoveries at the Youth Lead Service August 30, at 9 am.
So many of you have written and sent cards of care and sympathy at the death of my Dad. Thank you so much for this outpouring of compassion and support. Thank you also for the family time to be with my sisters and extended family to celebrate William’s life and accomplishments. It was with such a curious swing of emotions that during the memorial service we received a message about a baby who might be placed with us, who was born on the day that William died. That baby was indeed placed with us and we have named her in memory of Dad “Willa”. Now the cards coming in the mail have begun to reflect this huge change in our lives. For a time we didn’t know what kind of “greeting” a card would hold as we were receiving congratulation cards in the same mail delivery as we were receiving sympathy cards.
It means so much to us to be part of a community where care and support are so freely given. Please continue to pray for us as we adjust to a new baby, help a 3 year old learn how to be a big sister and continue our planning for fall and what looks like it will be an exciting year at Good Sam. Please know our hearts are filled with nothing but thankfulness, for you, for William, for Willa and for the community of Good Sam.
—A fun-filled, science/chemistry-based theme to “Discover God’s Plan 4U = Jesus”
(Mon. – Fri. July 27 – 31, 9 am – 12 noon)
VBS and this year’s theme – “SonSpark Lab” is A GREAT way to engage kids and reach our community for Jesus. We encourage everyone to invite new families, and see big smiles, welcome warm hugs, bond over silly songs and games, tap into and disciple new volunteers and watch their spiritual gifts grow. There’ll be music, “Truth-Lab” Bible stories, Lab-journaling, “Sparky’s Lab” fun, “MasterMind” crafts, “Momentum” games, “Edible Experiments” snacks and so much more.
In addition, we are partnering with our local, St. Mary’s Co. Schools’ STEM Academy and St. Mary’s College for daily activities and experiments to get kids excited about science. The Bay District Volunteer Fire Department is scheduled to join us and we will be raising money and supplies for the Tri-County Animal Shelter.
All children between the ages of 3 (potty-trained) and 11 are welcome. Tell your friends and their families about this fun-filled week. Additionally, we need TEENAGERS to VOLUNTEER to assist our kids in all activities. Everyone is welcome to join us and help with all VBS activities. Please see Emily Skelly or contact the church office (301-863-4740, email@example.com) Sign up in the Fellowship Hall to help as a volunteer.
Registration forms are available in the office or you can sign up on-line by clicking here, or filling out the form below. (Be sure to hit the “submit” button.) You can also download a PDF form here, and send or bring it in. SIGN UP TODAY! Share this article and invite your friends to sign up as well.
—A mission-focused event at St. Luke Lutheran Church, Silver Spring, MD
Sponsored by Lutheran Lay Fellowship of Metropolitan Washington, DC
Tuesday, August 6, 2015 at 12N
Come explore “when and how our daily living intersects our Christian faith and how the experiences and feelings of daily life (pressures, tensions, conflicts, competition, success, compromise and so on) intersect with the language of faith (discipleship, prayer and the presence of God) with Nelvin Vos, author and guest speaker at the Lutheran Lay Fellowship Luncheon on August 6th at 12N. This special event ties in perfectly with our “Mission Focus” topics this summer and will be a great opportunity to meet and develop friendships with other Lutheran congregations as well.
For registration (deadline Aug. 4th) and more information on this event and the Lutheran Lay Fellowship organization, visit www.LutheranLayFellowship.org. A flyer for this event is also posted on the kiosk just outside the Sanctuary.
July 5th in Worship “I hope Jesus Sends Me Out Together with You!”
July 11 3 pm Wildewood Square, join us to send off our advance group of youth and leaders as they leaves for a servant project before the National Youth Gathering in Detroit.
July 12th in Worship “A Word That Speaks in a World That Would Silence it”
July 14 Remaining group of youth and leaders head toward the National Youth Gathering
July 19th in Worship “Do I Want a Shepherd?”
July 20, Our youth arrive home from the National Youth Gathering.
July 26th in Worship “You Satisfy the Hungry Heart”
…from Worship at Good Sam on July 5, 2015
PRAYER OF THE DAY God of the covenant, in our baptism you call us to proclaim the coming of your kingdom. Give us the courage you gave the apostles, that we may faithfully witness to your love and peace in every circumstance of life, in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Worship Notes: Jesus was amazed a few times in his life. Once was at the faith of the gentile Centurion who understood the nature of command and who asked Jesus not to come to his home, but to simply say the word and to make it so (Matthew 8:5 ff). The other moment of amazement for Jesus was at the unbelief of those who were from his own town and among those who knew his own family. Jesus perceives that some of his work cannot be done by him, and so he sends out his disciples, two by two, giving them authority to speak and act in his name (Matthew 6:1 ff). I hope Jesus sends me out together with you. What a wonder it will be for us to share this work together!
“I hope Jesus Sends Me Out Together with You!”