Preparing for Sunday, June 25
We’ve begun the long time after Pentecost Day, the last day of the Easter season celebrating Christ’s resurrection and the sending of the Spirit. Sometimes it is called “Time after Pentecost” or “Ordinary Time” because of the numbering (ordinals) of the Sundays. The primary color of the season is green, highlighting themes of growth in faith and discipleship, so the name “Green Season” is appropriate. It includes the distinct seasons of summer and fall, which have different themes emphasized. During the summer following Trinity Sunday, the liturgy can have a more relaxed feeling reflecting the change in schedules and the casual dress many wear during hot weather. The image of a green, growing plant in the warmth of the sun helps us to envision how God is working among us. We gather in the holy mystery and presence of God in Christ through the Spirit, receiving word and sacrament as God’s gifts.
Bible readings for this Sunday
[Jesus said to the twelve:] “A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!
Comments from the Cloud of Witnesses
Most high, all-powerful, good Lord, yours are the praises, the glory, the honor, and all blessing. To you alone, Most High, do they belong, and no one is worthy to mention your name. Praised be you, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth,
who sustains and governs us, and who produces varied fruits with colorful flowers and herbs. Praised be you, my Lord, through those who give pardon for your love
and bear infirmity and tribulation. Blessed are those who endure in peace, for by you, Most High, they shall be crowned. Praised be you, my Lord, through our sister bodily Death, from whom no one living can escape. Blessed are those whom death will find in your most holy will, for the second death shall do them no harm.
Praise and bless my Lord, and give him thanks and serve him with great humility.
—Francis of Assisi
[Francis of Assisi, Francis and Clare: The Complete Works, ed. Regis J. Armstrong OFM CAP and Ignatius C. Brady OFM (NY: Paulist, 1982), 38-39.]
2017 Summer Children’s Gathering: Growing in worship and community
People of all ages are vital in the life of Christian community, and that includes children. Children are the present and the future disciples of Jesus, growing together, and sharing God’s love. Liturgy means “the work of the people” and the presence of children in leadership and service is an important part of Christian faith formation. On Sunday mornings this summer, children will gather with their families and the worshiping community at 9:45 am in the sanctuary. Then following the bible readings in the liturgy, children 4 years through 5th grade are invited to gather with Anne Wiebe and other adult leaders in the fellowship hall. During this time, children will engage in some hands-on learning about one aspect of liturgy. They will return to families and the worshiping community at the sharing of the peace for communion and blessing. (a note to families: a snack will not be provided during this time.)
June 25 and July 2 – Children’s Gathering will not meet on these mornings
July 9 – Word: Apostles’ Creed
we will decorate an Apostles’ Creed wall hanging for home while discussing the meaning of each article of the creed
July 16 – Word: Prayers
we will learn about and experience different ways to pray, and discuss prayer
July 23 – Word: The Lord’s Prayer
we will do activities to understand each part of the Lord’s Prayer
July 30 – Meal: Sharing the Peace and Baking Bread
we will bake the bread for the next week’s Eucharist, and learn about the significance of sharing the peace
August 6 – Meal: Last Supper/Holy Communion
we will study the Last Supper and re-enact it
August 13 – Sending: Review and Blessing
we will review the summer’s learning and have a celebration liturgy and blessing
August 20 – Back to School Blessing
we gather at the 9:45 am liturgy. Students of all ages and education professionals of all types are invited to participate in the Back to School blessing. Students can bring backpacks and educators some sign of their work
Faith, Sexism, and Justice: Summer Conversations on Wednesday Nights
The ELCA is preparing a Social Statement on Sexism and Gender Based Violence starting Fall, 2017. Since our community has been studying the sin of sexism and searching for God’s grace in response, FELC is exploring a study guide this summer to continue to reflect, learn, and grow.
These study sessions will happen on 7 different Wednesday evenings throughout the summer, 6:00-8:00 PM at FELC, pot-luck style dinner.
These dates are: 6/14, 6/21, 7/12, 7/19, 7/26, 8/2, 8/9
The study sessions will be led by an excellent crew of church leaders, including Leigh Northcutt-Benson, Mary Lou Larson, Nancy Baden, Renee Carlson, Anne Wiebe, Taylor Dieringer, and Travis Fitzgold. Studying a particular issue in-depth allows the community to sink deeply into the stuff of faith and invite God’s transforming love. FELC is delighted to be nurturing community through in-depth study of social issues.
Mark your calendar, bring yourself, and bring a friend! Come participate in the transforming work of the Spirit through community. Contact: Travis Fitzgold at email@example.com.
Pastor Coffey Away on Holden Village Trip
Pastor Coffey will be with the FELC group at Holden Village from June 23 through July 2. During most of this time, he will not have cell phone service or access to email. For pastoral needs, please contact Travis Fitzgold or Bryan Rust in the church office.
SAVE THE DATE
First English Evangelical Lutheran Church Anniversary: Sunday, July 16
First English Lutheran Church celebrates 81 years as a congregation on July 19. Join together on Sunday, July 16 for a festive liturgy at 9:45, a catered meal after, a cake and ice cream potluck, and fun outdoor activities for kids. Our meal will be prepared by the Syrian American Refugee Aid organization of Austin (www.saraorg.org). Their women earn income by cooking traditional Syrian food for large groups. The meal will cost $10 per person ($5 for children) and include hummus with pita bread, falafel, Mediterranean salad, rice, lahem bi ajeen (meat stuffed pastry), and fatyer (small cheese pie). This will be a great way to enjoy a meal and support our local Syrian refugee families. Please make a reservation for the meal by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday, July 9. Dessert will be a cake and ice cream pot luck. Bring your favorite cake, or ice cream, or ice cream toppings to share, and we’ll have the best church potluck ever! We’ll have outdoor games and activities for kids. Bring swimsuits and towels for water activities. All are welcome.
New Stephen Ministry training class to start in September
Stephen Ministry is a one-on-one caring ministry which brings Christ’s healing love to people by accompanying them through issues such as losing a loved one, losing a job, losing independence, or facing a health crisis. Caregivers are trained in a 50-hour course (2 hour meetings on Tuesday nights, 3 times a month, and one Saturday retreat). Commissioning will be in April, 2018. Some of the major topics studied in the course are the art of listening, sensing others’ feelings, compassionate assertiveness, crisis theory and intervention, maintaining confidentiality, setting boundaries, grieving, and praying with people.
If you would like to know more about the ministry, or are interested in participating as a caregiver, please contact FELC Stephen Ministry Leader Charlotte Gilman at church, by phone (512-332-6102), or at email@example.com.