March 30, 2017
for Sunday, April 2
This Week's Reflection Comes From
Undergraduate Student/Cornell University
Lutheran Campus Ministry of Ithaca
My name is Tommi Schieder. I was born and raised in southern New Jersey near the shore and I am currently a sophomore undergraduate student at Cornell University studying Plant Sciences. My role at St. Luke is the undergraduate chair of campus ministry and I was asked by Pastor Bair to write a devotional on one of the readings for the month of April. I chose the first text I read which was "The Valley of Dry Bones" in Ezekiel 37:1-14 because I felt that there were immediately two applications of this text unique to the college perspective.
In the Valley of the Dry Bones, God shows the narrator a vast swath of land covered in a disarray of human bones. The reader gathers the image of these vast heaps and immediately understands the signs of neglect and chaos. There is a sense of complete dysfunction in these remains scattered across the landscape. All hope of restoration to these lost lives seems completely vanquished. Nevertheless, the narrator, through God's word, is able to bring these bones to life as each bone is pieced together and revitalized. Again with God's word, breath is restored in the bodies and they are whole and alive. The strength and power as well as the mercy of God is undeniable.
The lessons of this story create a meaningful bridge over which I can understand how to live. Amid the chaos of my life, problems are left unresolved, relationships are left to fail, and promises are left unkept. What would be vital aspects of my life dry up and are left scattered everywhere.
As I live through the struggles of my responsibilities as a student day by day the
neglect toward these more abstract duties builds. At times, it seems I could fill a valley with the things I know I should do but can't find the time for. In these moments, I have forgotten God's Word. I have placed the earthly, material aspects of my life first, and I failed to acknowledge my duties toward serving the Lord.
In the beginning of the text, God asks the narrator if there is a chance of life for the skeletons surrounding them. The narrator replies, "'Sovereign Lord, you alone know.'" Only God knows all of our hardships and so only through Him can any one person
have hope of resurrecting the broken bones of his/her life. If I remember to follow God's will and live my life as a servant to him first, He will be able to restore order to my life. My life will have meaning again and not be reduced to a day by day fight. My bones, no matter how dry they are will come back to life. I can have hope once more. In that way, remembering God through a Bible story like this puts my life into perspective and reminds me of what is important. But it would be a mistake to think this story is a guiding path on which I alone may walk, this story also guides the community.
The college environment can quickly become one of self preservation. We as students are categorized into colleges, then schools, then majors, then concentrations and of course our GPA's, research experience, and graduation year further segregate us from each other. In a metaphor fitting the Bible story, the student body is divided into piles of individual bones. This environment prevents us from functioning as one cohesive whole. Our goals are scattered and our individual hopes and dreams can become lost in the chaos of everyone else's lives.
But again, God's word through this story tell us we need to remember that we are in fact one body and in order to function as such we must help others fit into their place in this body. More importantly, there is a place for everyone and everyone is necessary for the whole to equal more than its parts. We need to be mindful of others struggling and help them. We must love our neighbors as ourselves. Since every bone in the body is needed, it is important that our love and care be blind and equal for all. We must care for everyone, including ourselves, the way God loves us.
© Copyright 2017 Upstate New York Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. All Rights Reserved.
The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. 3He said to me, "Mortal, can these bones live?" I answered, "O Lord God, you know." 4Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord." 7So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. 9Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live." 10I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude. 11Then he said to me, "Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.' 12Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. 14I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act," says the Lord.
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.
***We are in need of coffee hour hosts for this Sunday, April 2nd.
***Pastor Ivy Gauvin contact information at Lutheran:
Floor B1 - Room 162
Direct line into her room: 720-9428
(Please call before visiting to ensure she is available)
Pastor Ivy Gauvin
Lutheran Room 162
715 Falconer Street
Jamestown, NY 14701
Also available by text on her cell phone, 716-904-0855, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
***This is the last week for the Wednesday night Dinner & Lenten worship series entitled, "With Awe and Love: A Midweek Lenten Series Based on Luther's Small Catechism” led by Pastor Heather Allport-Cohoon and Pastor Lee Magneson.
April 5 – Sacraments of Baptism & Holy Communion
Dinner is at 6:30 pm with the Lenten Series following at 7:00 pm. Everyone is invited and encouraged to come!
***Honduras Mission Trip
This Sunday, April 2nd, during worship we will commission two of the team members going to Honduras. The team leaves on Thursday night, April 6th to stay over in Buffalo for a 6 am departure. Return is on Monday, April 17th. Please pray for this team in travel and as they minister in Honduras.
LAST DAY TO PARTICIPATE – SUNDAY APRIL 2:
If you are a Honduras Promise Child Sponsor:
Sponsors are asked to send a card/letter only to their child as we have stopped giving individual gifts. You are also encouraged to send a picture of your family. Please get your letter and picture to St. Timothy’s church office by Sunday, April 2nd so they may be included in the packing that will take place at the church that afternoon.
How everyone can help:
St. Timothy’s Sunday School is collecting school supplies for the children. Below is the list of items needed. Donations must be at the church by Sunday, April 2nd as the group will be packing items that afternoon.
pencils and erasers
scissors, both small and large
staplers and staples
(No paper, please)
***The Caring & Sharing Ministry is still gathering items for Lutheran World Relief Personal Care Kits. All of the items for kits are needed at this time. Monetary donations are also requested for buying in bulk and shipping. When we package, each kit needs to contain the following:
• One light-weight bath towel, dark colors (20”x40” to 27”x52”).
• Two bath-size bars (4-5 oz.) of soap, in original wrapping.
• One adult-size toothbrush in original packaging.
• One sturdy comb (no picks or fine-toothed combs), remove packaging.
One metal nail clippers (attached file is optional), remove packaging.
***Healthy Bones Exercise Classes resume in the fellowship hall at St. Timothy’s beginning Monday, April 3 at 9:00 am. The class meets Mondays and Wednesdays at 9:00 am. This session runs through June 14.
A Call to Prayer
from the Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;
therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
“As the Conference of Bishops, we call our worshiping communities to pray for raising up leaders for this church. We ask that the petitions of every worship service include a plea that new lay leaders, deacons and pastors be identified, invited, encouraged and supported in responding to God's call to ministry.” [adopted March 4, 2017]
At its March 2017 meeting, the ELCA Conference of Bishops claimed identifying, inviting, equipping, and supporting leaders and cultivating vital faith communities as two of the highest priorities for our work together. Active attention to these two priorities is essential for the church’s faithful participation in God’s mission of hope, healing, and reconciliation in changing, challenging times.
This call to prayer also aligns with Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton’s leadership initiative, announced in November 2016, which intends to inspire ELCA leaders to seek out and encourage gifted people in their congregations, communities and networks to consider a call to the ministry of the gospel, supported by growing levels of scholarships for seminary tuition.
The harvest is, indeed, plentiful. We need more laborers, lay and rostered, to provide the ministry and leadership that will, by grace and in the power of the Spirit, assist the church in moving forward faithfully and energetically into God’s unfolding future.
Will you join us in prayer every time your worshiping community gets together, and in your own personal and family prayers, asking the Lord of the harvest to raise up and send out laborers into the harvest? And will you consider becoming an answer to that prayer by inviting someone who seems to have the appropriate gifts to consider becoming a pastor or deacon, or by prayerfully considering that call yourself?
Here are a few prayers to consider using, provided by members of the Conference of Bishops:
Christ Jesus, head of the church, raise up from among the baptized pastors to preach your word and administer your sacraments; deacons to serve all people and bear your gospel to the world; and congregational leaders to bring vision and vitality to your people. Grant us the grace to identify those in our midst you are calling, courage to name their gifts, and opportunities to gently nurture and support their discernment. God of mercy. Receive our prayer.
O God, you make your love known in Jesus Christ. We thank you for loving your church so much that you send the Holy Spirit into the hearts of children, women, and men so that they know themselves called to be pastors and deacons and leaders for congregations and the church. Bless your church with an abundance of leaders. And as we are bold to believe that you will raise up pastors, deacons, and leaders from this congregation, ready our hearts to nurture their faith, celebrate their call, and support their preparation for ministry. God of mercy. Receive our prayer.
O God, you so love the world that you sent Jesus, and our world so needs your love. With the whole Church we implore you to call forth pastors, deacons, and congregational leaders to lead us in bearing Christ to all the world so that the world may know your love. We pray especially for those in this faith community the Holy Spirit may be nudging to public ministry in the church and Christ-like service in the world. God of mercy. Receive our prayer.
Lord Jesus, we pray for congregations in the call process and for the pastor you will send them. We pray for those outside the church who will come to know Jesus through ministry in his name and for the deacon you will send to serve them. We pray for our congregation’s future and for the leaders you will call forward to guide us. Embolden us to invite those in whom we experience gifts for these ministries to prayerfully consider your calling, and give us generous spirits to support them. God of mercy. Receive our prayer.
We give you thanks, O God, for the children in our midst – especially those in elementary and middle school. We pray that as they grow, they will hear your voice calling them into your service – in the church, in the world, for the sake of their neighbors. Help them to imagine being pastors and deacons, church council leaders, Sunday school teachers, mentors and community leaders. Give them courage to say yes to your call, O God. We pray in gratitude and boldness in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Rev. Dr. William O. Gafkjen, Bishop
Indiana-Kentucky Synod, ELCA
Chair, ELCA Conference of Bishops
Adopt-A-Project Day at Lake Chautauqua Lutheran Center
Saturday, April 22, 2017 8:00-4:00
Adopt-A-Project Day is a day for accomplishing prearranged work projects. By knowing in advance who's coming and for which projects, we're better able to successfully accomplish things. Previous skill or experience in the project adopted is preferred.
Projects available for adoption include:
Painting the exterior of camper cabins ; Re-roofing camper cabins
Wood cutting and splitting; Spring gardening and raking
Trail clearing; Pressure washing
Other... have a special trade not listed above - let us know
A complimentary breakfast and lunch will be served for all volunteers. Please contact the office to adopt a project and RSVP today.
Lake Chautauqua Lutheran Center
5013 Rt. 430, Bemus Point, NY 14712
▪ 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.
▪ Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Rochester due a fire on February 18th.
▪ for those affected by recent fires in Falconer & Jamestown, Pastor Ivy Gauvin, Marilyn See, Gloria Gardner, Grace Wakefield, Al Lamb, Eleanor Burgeson Orman, Arden Johnson, Ralph Prieur, Todd Reel, Helen Cogliano, Joanne Aron, JoLynn Stearns, Scott Stearns, Zachary Frazier, Maj-Britt Traynor, Matt Isaacson, Sandra Kelderhouse, and Thom Shagla.
* for people serving in the military, including Ben Wickerham, and their families, those caught up in violence and war who have no safe home to live in.
▪ 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.