June 8, 2017
for Sunday, June 11
2 Corinthians 13:11-13
This Week's Reflection Comes From
Rev. Norma Malfatti
Director for Evangelical Mission/Assistant to the Bishop
This Sunday's first lesson changed my life. In my last semester of seminary, I took a class on Biblical Economics and Stewardship and we were tasked with reading the first three chapter of Genesis with economic lenses. I hadn't really planned on reading it slowly but rather skimming through it because I know what happens - we all know what happens...
In the beginning, when God got things started, the earth was a formless void and it was filled with darkness, and God's breath hovered over it. Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light and the light was good. Then God separated the waters and created the sky and that was good and so on and so forth, with each part of creation being good. Then God rested on the seventh day.
There was no need to read it yet again because I knew the story. At least, that's what I had planned doing, make sure I remembered the order of creation and then move on to more interesting stories. But something, I'm placing bets on the Holy Spirit, slowed me down and inspired me to read it more slowly and deliberately. And that's when it happened.
For the first time I heard in a different way. The answer to the question that the Psalmist asks - who are humans that God should be mindful of them? Yes we are God's creation, created right along with the sun and moon, plants and trees, birds and fish... loved and cherished because we are God's creation, loved and cherished because we are created in God's image. But what I heard anew is that we are also loved and cherished because God has given us important work to do.
Being created in God's image and given dominion, or probably better put - responsibility - put us in a unique place among creation. Being made in God's image, we were made partners with God, co-caretakers of those plants and trees, birds and fish and animals that are also God's cherished creation. Being made in God's image necessarily means that we look to God to discern how it is we are to care for creation and in Genesis 1 we see how God cares for creation - setting up dynamic partnerships to work in partnership with each other:
• The light and the dark, night and day
• The sky and the waters being created, the birds and fish being given a good place to live
• The land bringing forth good vegetation so that animals and humans have good food to eat
Everything created in just the right order so that everything God created could be cared for, provided for. So who are humans that God should be mindful of us? God's children and students, God's partners, or better put stewards, in caring for creation so that all can continue to be provided for. We were created in just the right way to fulfill that vocation.
Last week, we celebrated the gift of the Holy Spirit whogifts us, encourages us, and inspires us in all our vocations of discipleship. We are gifted and do have what we need to care for creation, an overwhelming task these days when we are far from the idyllic setting described in the first chapters of Genesis. Yet our vocation remains the same.
In this time of quickly depleting non-renewable energy resources, polluted air and water, and climate change we can hear and see creation "groaning in labor pains" (Romans 8:22). Yet, we know that God has promised to make all things new (Revelation 21). We have the sure and certain hope of redemption of this whole world in Jesus. To paraphrase the ELCA Social Statement, Caring for Creation*, it is this hope of God's fulfillment that we hear the call to justice and we take action.
Sisters and brothers, I invite you to join me in being a witness to God's love and hope in your own communities, and live into your vocation as God's steward, co-caretaker, of all of creation.
You can find Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice, along with a study guide, at: Caring for Creation.
2:1Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. 2And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. 3So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation. 4aThese are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.
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.
***Ushers are needed for this Sunday, June 11th.
***The Upstate NY Synod Assembly begins today, Thursday, June 8 and runs through Saturday, June 10. Please pray for safe travel and the Spirit’s guidance for those attending, including Pam Warner & Beth Starks from St. Mark.
***The Social Ministry is hosting its annual Kitchen Shower this Sunday, June 11th. Items needed are new potholders, dish towels and paper cups (no styrofoam cups or plastic silverware). Monetary donations also welcome.
***An updated St. Timothy church directory will be printed later this month. If you have new information that you have NOT previously given to the church office, please do so by Sunday, June 18th. Also let the office know if you have not had an email or cell phone number in the directory and would like it included.
***Stay connected with Pastor Ivy by calling the parsonage 386-1022, cell phone 904-0855 (calling or texting), email email@example.com, or sending a card to her mailing address: P. O. Box 43, Bemus Point, NY 14712. Call in advance and arrange a visit!
***Healthy Bones Exercise Class at St. Timothy continues until June 14 and will then be on hiatus for the summer.
The Niagara Frontier Conference 2017 Summer Institute of Theology
for anyone and everyone interested in learning and growing in faith!
August 6-11, 2017 at Christ the King Seminary, East Aurora, NY
· The purpose of this Institute is to offer training and education for new and prospective deacons
· to offer continuing education for interested laypersons and clergy
More information, including a Registration Form, is available on the narthex bulletin board.
Fall 2017 Diakonia:
Date: October 14, 2017
Courses: Show Me Your Agenda (Council Meetings), Picking Hymns & Planning Worship, Planning Events...How to Make it Work. Each course offered am & pm.
Cost $20/person includes lunch; 8:30 am – 3:00 pm.
To register, call 984-2938 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
▪ 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 Zachary Stewart due to head injury (great nephew of Cheryl Shagla-grandson of her sister Bonnie Rappole), Family and friends of Sandra Kelderhouse who passed away June 3rd, Pastor Ivy Gauvin, Deacon Gregg Davis, Rita Evans, Roy Pihl, Faye Stebbins, Marilyn See, Gloria Gardner, Bob & Audrey Markwart, Al Lamb, Eleanor Burgeson Orman, Arden Johnson, Ralph Prieur, Todd Reel, Helen Cogliano, Joanne Aron, JoLynn Stearns, Scott Stearns, Zachary Frazier, Matt Isaacson, and Thom Shagla.
▪ People serving in the military especially Ben Wickerham, and their families, those caught up in violence
and 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.