August 15, 2019
for Sunday, August 18
1 Corinthians 1:21-31
The Sea of Galilee is a small lake and in Israel it is called Lake Kinnerat. When the lake is calm, it is hard to imagine that it could ever be stormy enough to frighten seasoned fisherman like Peter, James and John. But that does happen because of the hills surrounding the lake. Just as Luke described, windstorms do sweep down the lake. There are even signs around the lake warning to beware of western winds.
The disciples were not imagining that they were in trouble—they were in trouble. Luke continues his narrative, “and the boat was filling with water and they were in danger” (v. 23). They were being swamped with water. It was a reality. Notice that when they alerted Jesus, he did not rebuke them, but did rebuke the wind and “raging waves” (v. 24).
Jesus demonstrated his power over storms to his disciples. No wonder they were amazed that the storm obeyed Jesus. Experiencing what they had; and seeing Jesus at work in such a wondrous manner, no wonder the disciples experienced amazement mixed with fear. Think about it. Who does these things that Jesus does?
We, too, are in our own boats, the boats of our lives. Even if we may feel like it, we are not alone in them. Besides family and friends, Jesus is with us. Sometimes it may seem that he is asleep; unaware and unresponsive to what’s happening to us. Remember though, that Jesus can create calm out of the storms of our lives today just as he did so long ago.
Let us pray.
Almighty God, your love never fails, and you can turn the shadow of death into daybreak. Help us to receive your word with believing heart, so that, confident in your promises, we may have hope and be lifted out of sorrow into the joy and peace of your presence; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen (ELW p. 84).
Pastor Ivy Gauvin
22One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they put out, 23and while they were sailing he fell asleep. A windstorm swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in danger. 24They went to him and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased, and there was a calm. 25He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?”
Names will remain of the Prayer List for a month - at which
time it will be taken off unless, or course, there is still a continued need
for our prayers and we’re asked to keep the name on.
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Grace to you and peace, from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's triennial Assembly came to a close this past Saturday, August 10. The Assembly was filled with Worship, Fellowship, Interfaith Partners, Bible Studies and Resolutions and Memorials, among other realities.
One of the Memorials passed has generated a fair amount of heat and consternation across this church and I want to take a moment to respond and clarify since rumors and conjectures are flying in every direction. The following is what was ultimately voted on by the Assembly.
CA19.03.11 To receive with gratitude the memorial from the Metropolitan New York Synod concerning sanctuary;
To reaffirm the long-term and growing commitment of this church to migrants
and refugees and to the policy questions involved, as exemplified most recently in
the comprehensive strategy Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection,
Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities (AMMPARO);
To recognize that the ELCA in congregations, synods and the churchwide
organization are already taking the actions requested by this memorial; and
To request that appropriate staff on the AMMPARO team, LIRS and the
Domestic Mission, Global Mission, and Mission Advancement units review the
existing strategies and practices by the five current sanctuary synods and develop a
plan for additional tools that provide for education and discernment around
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America declares itself a sanctuary church
To request the ELCA Church Council, in consultation with the appropriate
churchwide units and offices, provide guidance for the three expressions of this
church about what it means to be a sanctuary church body and provide a report to
the 2022 Churchwide Assembly.
So we are all on the same page in our understanding of this please note the following:
* In our interdependent polity, nothing in the Churchwide Assembly action binds a congregation, synod, agency or institution. It only binds the Churchwide expression of the church.
* The Churchwide Assembly action does not call for civil disobedience or any illegal actions. Any congregation that engages in illegal activity must be ready to accept the legal consequences. I urge congregations to seek legal counsel regarding these issues.
* The question of what it means to be a sanctuary church body will now have to be studied by the ELCA's Church Council. We do not currently have a clear or commonly accepted definition. A report will come to the next Churchwide Assembly in 2022. (Bp. Jeff Clements)
All of which is to say that this changes nothing but keeps everything. We have been, as a church body, standing side by side with migrants and refugees for the entirety of our existence. Scripture calls us to that ministry and place and we have responded and will continue to respond out of love and at the direction of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who stood with the last, the least and the lost. This is grounded in our Baptismal commitments made. This is not a political statement, it is a scriptural and faith based reality.
You may find the following Talking Points helpful in future conversations.
What does becoming a sanctuary denomination mean for the ELCA?
* In its simplest form, becoming a sanctuary denomination means that the ELCA is publicly declaring that walking alongside immigrants and refugees is a matter of faith. The ELCA Churchwide Assembly, the highest legislative authority of the ELCA, declared that when we preach on Sunday that Jesus told us to welcome, we will use our hands and voices on Monday to make sure it happens.
* We have a broken system regarding immigration, refugees and asylum-seekers. To declare ourselves a sanctuary church body is to say that we seek to provide concrete resources to assist the most vulnerable who are feeling the sharp edges of this broken system.
* Being a sanctuary denomination is about loving our neighbors. While we may have different ideas about how to fix this broken system and may have different ways of loving our neighbors, our call to love our neighbor is central to our faith.
* Being a sanctuary denomination will look different in different contexts. It may mean providing space for people to live; providing financial and legal support to those who are working through the immigration system; or supporting other congregations and service providers. We cannot mandate or direct our congregations and ministries to respond in specific ways. Each must work out what this means for them in their context.
* While we don't yet know the full scope of the work that this declaration will open for the church, we do know that our faith communities are already doing sanctuary work. Sanctuary for a congregation may mean hosting English as a second Language (ESL) classes, marching as people of faith against the detention of children and families, providing housing for a community member facing deportation, or, in some of our congregations, having thoughtful conversations about what our faith says about immigration. All of these are a step closer to sanctuary in our faith communities and sanctuary in our world for people who must leave their homes.
* Except for our members whose ancestors were here before European settlement or others who were forced to come to the U.S. against their will, the ELCA is an immigrant church. Our decadeslong work with immigrants and refugee is how we practice our faith in the world. Lutherans started Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, one of the nine refugee resettlement agencies in the U.S.
* At our last assembly, we also committed to walking alongside Central American children and families fleeing their communities by passing the AMMPARO strategy (Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities).
* Through the AMMPARO strategy, we are also working through our global partners in Central America to alleviate the conditions that cause people to migrate. We support organizations and faith communities that work with deported migrants in Central America and advocate for the humane treatment of immigrants in Mexico. In the U.S., we have a network of 151 welcoming and sanctuary congregations that are committed to working on migration issues and a welcome for immigrant communities. The church also has five sanctuary synods (our regional structures), all of which do work with immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers.
* In baptism, we are brought into a covenantal relationship with Jesus Christ that commits us to strive for justice and peace in all the earth. Following the example of Martin Luther, we believe that advocacy is a crucial expression of baptismal identity. As a church, we have advocated for stopping the detention of children and families for decades. We have spoken out against family separation, sought a pathway to citizenship for community members that have lived in the U.S. for many years, and have taken steps to address the root causes of migration in a way that honors the humanity in people who must flee.
* Being a sanctuary denomination means that we, as church together, want to be public and vocal about this work. At the same time, we will have conversations about what sanctuary means with many of our members and discern future action and direction. Welcoming people is not a political issue for us, it is a matter of faith.
(Talking points from AMMPARO and Bishop Paul Erickson, Greater Milwaukee Synod)
As we move forward in this arena it is my prayer that we will do so with intentionality and care for one another. I view this as an opportunity to be in conversation with you around this issue and the work of the church.
One final note. There were a lot of other resolutions and memorials that came to the floor for discussion and voting. I encourage you to go to our synod website and read about these actions. If you Google Upstate New York Synod, simply go to the Latest News section and scroll down to Churchwide Assembly. You will find all the information needed.
In Christ's Peace,
John S. Macholz, Bishop
***This month in worship we are celebrating the Season of Creation. Rather than follow the Revised Common Lectionary scripture readings, each week we are using Season of Creation Scripture readings to help us reflect on the dimension of God’s character as creator.
*** Church Council Meeting Thursday, August 22nd at 6:00 pm.
Holy Communion Survey
“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’”
‘“This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ 25 In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
1 Corinthians 11:24-26
There is debate as to how often we should receive Holy Communion. Some fear if they receive weekly, it won’t be special any more. If we look at Communion as it was originally celebrated, it was part of a meal. Do we eat infrequently because otherwise our meals won’t be special anymore? Of course not. It sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it? Jesus and the Apostle Paul make it plain that we should celebrate Communion as often as possible. In the Book of Acts, we’re told concerning early believers that “Day by day, … they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts” (Acts 2:46).
And what was the practice in Luther’s time? During the time of the Reformation, Lutherans continued the universal practice of the church since biblical times of celebrating the Eucharist at least every Sunday and holy day (
The current practice of St. Timothy Lutheran Church is to have Communion on the first and third Sundays of the month as well as holy or festival days. In my contact with other Lutheran pastors in the area, I have found that around ¾ of the churches celebrate weekly communion. This has been a trend in the Lutheran church for about the last 30 years. I would like your opinion on weekly communion. You can return this to me at , give it to me in person or to anyone on the Worship and Music Committee. Thanks so much for your participation.
Worship and Music Committee
Pastor Ivy Gauvin
I would like to have Holy Communion every week Yes ______
***5 & 2 Ministry Food Bins Donated to Date: 56
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- Go directly to our website at
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For further information, see Kathy Carlson on Sundays or call her at 485-1316.
· For our community of faith as we seek to do God’s work in the world.
· For those in our congregation and community who suffer silently with illness, financial burdens, and family obligation.
· For victims of violence and their families in all places.
· For victims of wildfires, flooding and earthquakes.
· For: Marty Hunt, Delores Thompson, Bob Ivey, Rev. Don Ray, Pat & Maureen Kibbe, Beverly Klang, Trudy Fetzner, Arden Johnson, Thom Shagla, Matt Isaacson, Sarah Van Staalduinen, Mabel Tranum, Bryan Brown, Craig Jackson, Jim Doherty, Karen Brown, Bonnie Christoferson, Zachary Stewart, Scott Stearns, Zachary Frazier. For people serving in the military, including Ben Wickerham, and their families, those caught up in persecution, violence and war.
· For all children, that the love of Christ may reach them through all of us who have resources to love, protect, pray and provide for them.
· For: The ELCZ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe and ELCZa Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia.