May 4, 2017
for Sunday, May 7
Acts 2: 42-47
1 PEter 2: 19-25
This Week's Reflection Comes From
Rev. Gail Riina
Lutheran Campus Ministry - Syracuse
Do you know the 23rd Psalm by heart? The 23rd Psalm speaks in the first person of the intimate relationship between the Good Shepherd and the individual. Will you take a minute and read Psalm 23 again - slowly all the way through and consider which one of the verses of the psalm speaks to you most directly today.
What does it mean to you that the Lord is your Shepherd - my Shepherd? It means that all of your life is under the care of the Incarnate - Crucified and Risen One - even when we do not remember that is the case. It means that any and all others: political leaders or corporate executives or parents or pastors or teachers or landlords, are custodial authorities only - with limited power. It means that the words of the psalm you chose today are addressed to you personally!
The end of the academic year is just two weeks away. Finals and graduations bring increased stress to members of our community, not to mention it is the time when our annual campus ministry reports are due, bringing into sharp relief all the challenges of my call. Thanks to the gift of two hours at Green Lake State Park before the sun set this past Thursday, "leads me beside still waters" is the verse that most speaks to me. I supposedly fished - but really just watched the surface of the water change with the ebb and flow of the breeze, one minute mirroring the trees, the next covered with tiny waves. I know God was there for me in the beauty because the scene has stayed in my mind's eye, bringing me a sense of renewal that I really needed.
If I am not connected to the Good Shepherd - then my role as counselor and teacher and mentor and pastor will be empty - or worse I can even scatter or lead God's beloved young people astray.
How about you - has it been too long since you took time to rest and remember that the Lord is your Shepherd? Do you need a break? Do you take time to "smell the roses" to give thanks for all your blessings, to consider what is missing or what new opportunity may be waiting for you, to ask for what you need, to pray for the world? Do you make room in your life for the Good Shepherd to be your Shepherd?
It is not easy. We are so...oooooo busy - as the end of the academic year approaches my life speeds up, and at the same time I must endure the grief of saying many goodbyes. Both these circumstances push me to avoid the deeper movements of my spirit and so lose the power of being connected to my crucified and risen Lord. But Jesus does not leave us alone. The Good Shepherd pursues us, and as our Gospel for this Sunday proclaims, calls us each by name. So I remember a central purpose of my specialized call is to help students bring God into the equation as they make vocational decisions.
Our Good Shepherd calls us each of us by name and sends; you, me, and all the graduates I have been privileged to know, out into the world with the power of the Holy Spirit to meet the needs of God's beloved. Some are gifted with the courage to topple injustice and hold all authorities to accountability, some with stamina to spend days, and months and years in laboratories, some with the ears to listen and heal, some with the knowledge and skill to teach, some with the talent and discipline to create beauty, some with the heart to go after the lost sheep of our Lord's flock.
I leave you with one last question: will you read Psalm 23 again and listen for the Good Shepherd calling your name?
1The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not be in want.
2The Lord makes me lie down in green pastures
and leads me beside still waters.
3You restore my soul, O Lord,
and guide me along right pathways for your name’s sake.
4Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil;
for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil, and my cup is running over.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
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.
***Outdoor Spring Work Day: After considering the low temperatures and likelihood of rain this Saturday May 6, the Property Committee has decided to reschedule Spring Work Day for next week: Saturday, May 13 at 9:00 am. Come for an hour....come for the morning. See you there!
***We are currently looking for 2 congregation members to represent St. Timothy at the annual Upstate NY Synod Assembly June 8-10 in Rochester. St. Timothy pays for your hotel stay and meal package. Representatives are responsible for their own travel. Call the church office at 386-7280 or contact Kristie Bloomquist, 487-2336 or kkbarn2@gmailcom. Registration closes on Friday, May 19. After May 19, we cannot guarantee meals for late registrations. Everyone is welcome to sign up for the Upstate Update and visit www.upstatenysynod.org/ to get all the advance information.
***The Winged Ox Players present Least Resistance, an original play written & compiled by Richard Olson-Walter about Jamestown’s addiction epidemic and OUR recovery. At Willow Bay Theater, May 5/6, 7:30 pm. Free admission (donations welcome). Information: www.leastresistance.org or 716-483-6405.
The Winged Ox Players is the theatre ministry of St. Luke's Episcopal Church. Its core aim is to act as an outreach program in the community; to address difficult issues through the medium of performance. Recent performances include Lucas Hnath's The Christians, and Thornton Wilder's American classic, Our Town.
Guided by Artistic Directors Steven M. Cobb and Deacon Pierce and performing twice a year, the Winged Ox Players continue to entertain and engage with the people of Jamestown, NY.
***Please save Sunday May 21st, 3-5:30 pm for the Bishop Macoltz presentation at Immanuel Lutheran Church.
***Stay connected with Pastor Ivy by calling the parsonage 386-1022, cell phone 904-0855 (calling or texting), email firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 meets in the fellowship hall at St. Timothy’s on Mondays and Wednesdays at 9:00 am. This session runs through June 14.
▪ 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.
▪ for Pastor Ivy Gauvin, 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, Maj-Britt Traynor, Matt Isaacson, Sandra Kelderhouse and Thom Shagla
▪ People serving in the military, including Ben Wickerham, 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.