July 28, 2016
for Sunday, July 31
Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14, 2: 18-23
Does God have a problem with people making money and being comfortable? It might seem like it in this passage from Luke. However, a bumper crop for the rich man was from God's hand.
Did the rich man thank God for it? Did he try to seek out those in need so he could share with them? No. He wanted to hoard it all for himself.
Look at verses 18 and 19. Check out the pronouns. There are a lot of Is and mys.
At the end of the parable, Jesus makes the issue clear. We need to build up riches in God's kingdom--being rich toward God--by sharing with others, by spending time with the Lord and being conduits of God's mercy and grace in a hurting world.
Someone in the crowd said to [Jesus,] “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.
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.
***If you can help, coffee hour hosts are needed for this Sunday, July 31st.
*** Pastor Ivy and Ray Gauvin have a new year-round mailing address: P. O. Box 43, Bemus Point, NY 14712
***You are invited to attend the service of ordination for Tara Lamont Eastman, marking her journey in becoming a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The service takes place in her home church, First Lutheran Church, 120 Chandler St., Jamestown on Saturday, July 30, 2016. Worship begins at 2:00 pm. A light reception will follow the service in the parlors of First Lutheran Church and is hosted by Tree of Life Parish.
***The Hope Fest will be held in downtown Jamestown on Third St. between N. Main and Pine on Saturday, July 30th from 12 pm-9 pm. This is a free day with family activities, kids games, music, food (suggested donations) and a lot of hope! Their theme verse is Psalm 31:24, “Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all who wait for the Lord.” All donations raised will go to benefit the domestic abuse shelter.
***As part of her continuing education this summer, Pastor Ivy Gauvin will be at Chautauqua Institution for Week 7, beginning Saturday, August 6th and ending the 13th. She will be staying at the Lutheran House. We will have a guest preacher on Sunday, August 7th.
***News items reprinted from the July 27 email edition of the Upstate NY Synod’s “Upstate Update”
Width12180Width3 Width20Width3 Width11620Width3 Thinking about Evangelism with our Director for Evangelical Mission
Width12180Width3 Width11200Width3 We are the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America yet often when I say evangelism people get a little nervous and wonder if I'm really going to make them say Jesus out loud. It is often because people equate evangelism with proselytizing. To proselytize means to go out to actively convert; to recruit or coerce one to another way of thinking. In essence it's going out to convince people to believe in God, even strong arming people into belief. While this has been a part of the history of Christianity, this is not what evangelism is. Christian evangelism is enveloping people in the reality of God's love. It is not to convert, it is not to recite a theological treatise, it is not to tell others that what they believe is wrong. Evangelism is, quite simply, wrapping people up in God's love with our words and actions. This automatically means that evangelism is grounded in relationship, relationship, relationship.
First and foremost is our relationship with God. We cannot tell other people about God's love if we ourselves are not grounded in God's love for us and the world through the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. Lifelong faith formation is critical so that we as disciples continually grow in our relationship with God. Second, relationship with each other. Congregations that share God's love with one another and "share the comfort and love of God that we ourselves first received" (paraphrasing 2 Corinthians 1:4) are practiced in healthy Christian community... and in evangelism. Last, but not least, we go out to be in better relationship with the world around us.
Feel confident in your relationship with God and with one another but not sure where to start growing your congregation's relationship with the community? Think about these questions together: Do you know who the principals/ administrators/teachers/nurses are of the local schools? What about local government officials? Business owners? Have you had conversation with them about the issues they face in their roles or what their students/constituents face? Do they know who you are and how your congregation is already making an impact in the community and the people they serve?
Being in relationship with community leaders not only provides the opportunity to better live out the greatest commandments of "love God, love neighbor" but also let's people know that you actually care about the community, not just getting more people to come to your church or believe what you believe. Just as Jesus never made faith a requirement for feeding, healing or serving the people who came to him, so we too are called to show God's love and forgiveness without restraint or conditions.
· 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 Eleanor Bergeson Orman, Helen Cogliano, Chris Ziemba, John Bylund, Joanne Aron, Adam Hull, Pastor John Klatt, JoLynn Stearns, Scott Stearns, Zachary Frazier, Todd Reel, Maj-Britt Traynor, Gerald Ayers, Matt Isaacson, Sandra Kelderhouse, Thom Shagla, Ralph Prieur, Mary Anne, Ryan Samuelson,
· For people serving in the military and their families, those caught up in war who have no safe home in which to live.
· 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.