FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

FIRST READING

PHILIP AND THE EHIOPIAN

Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road –the desert road–that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian,eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. The spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.

Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.

“How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

The eunuch was reading this passage of scripture:   “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.”  The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about himself or someone else?” Then Philip began with that very passage of scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.

As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized? And he gave the orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

ACTS 8:26-40

WATCHWORD FOR THE WEEK

Abide in me as I Abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.

John 15:4

Fourth Week After Easter Gospel Lesson

John 10:11-18

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away —  and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.

Fourth Week After Easter Second Reading

1 John 3:16-24

We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us– and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And  by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everthing. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commmandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.

Fourth Week After Easter Psalm

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul.

He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.

Fourth Week After Easter First Reading

Acts 4:5-12

The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, Jahn, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquied, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. This Jesus is ‘the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.’ There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.”

 

RELAY FOR LIFE

Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society

In view of the number of people we care about who have been affected by cancer we plan to once again have a team for this event on August 11th. I will begin signing up for our team as captain and will assist members and supporters to sign up. I will attend the event monthly meetings beginning April 26th.

We plan a second chance auction on May 6th.

Please save and bring items to the church prior to the auction.

We will also have iced mochas for sale.

Sherry Willmschen

5TH SUNDAY OFFERING

5th Sunday Offering Theme: Water

April has five Sundays and we will have a special offering. As Earth Day is April 22nd, we will celebrate water, one of God’s gifts to us, with a potluck. Join us after the service on April 22nd! Two agencies will benefit from our offering; Johnson Creek Watershed Council and ELCA Good Gifts with a share of a water well. Here are excerpts from the JCWC newsletter marveling over their recent success with the Watershed Wide Event: “20th Annual Watershed Wide Results! We are so excited about the results of our 20th Annual Watershed Wide Event on Saturday, March 3, 2018! It was a beautiful sunny day, with many community partners and groups joining together. Everyone got their hands dirty to leave a lasting legacy improving the health of the watershed from Boring down through Milwaukie. We did this through planting native plants, removing invasive species, and even salvaging native plants. Residents of our watershed love their urban creek-and the 20th Watershed Wide Event was an incredible testament to the spirit of grassroots community activism and ecological restoration.

Here’s what we accomplished together: -450 volunteers came to help! -6,400 native plants were planted -1.5 trailers of ivy removed (and acres of other invasives!) -100 plants salvaged (to be replanted after a construction project at next Year’s Watershed Wide) -Tons of great costumes-you rock! -40 pizzas eaten -Sunny weather and an all around great day!” (end of excerpt)

The ELCA Good Gifts has several options for helping villagers gain safe water. Traditionally it is the women and girls who get the water for the household. Walking for miles and expending energy and time on this important task limits the time spent on housework, study, and tending the crops. We can help build a water well for $250. Our council will have more information in April.

-Jean Whitford and Karen Ropar

FROM YOUR PASTOR

By Pastor Jennifer Beil

Easter falls on April 1st this year. For the past several months I have been wondering what the secular world will make of Easter falling on April Fools Day. Will there be memes (pictures with captions shared on the internet) that say: “Christ is risen. April Fools!”? Will there be editorials espousing the foolishness of religion? We will know in a few days. I wonder what the secular world will make of Easter on April Fools day because for many who do not believe, faith in Jesus is foolishness. People say that religion is a fairytale that only weak people believe. People say that there cannot be a god because there is too much suffering and evil in the world. People say that it is a waste of energy to go to church, read the Bible, or pray because it does not make a difference. People say it is a waste of time to believe because “God” does not make a difference in their lives. The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth: “For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” There have always been those who believed it was foolishness to believe in Jesus and salvation through his death and resurrection. There are those who want miracles and others who want irrefutable proof. Without miracles and proof, it is foolish to believe in a God that would love the world enough to give his own son. It is foolish to believe in God-in-the-flesh sacrificing his own life to save the world. It is foolish to believe that love can conquer evil. If it is foolish to put my faith in Christ and his love for the world, then I will choose foolish love. I will choose the foolish love of God over the wisdom of this world. Foolish love for people who turned from his love and chose sin over obedience and faith. Foolish love that came into this world as a baby to be with us, to know our pain, longings, and joys. Foolish love that chose to suffer and die for the very people who rejected him. Foolish love that never stops loving people despite our rebellion, violence, and sin. Foolish love that conquers sin and death with love and sacrifice. I may be a fool but I will choose love every time. There is nothing in this world greater than God’s love. When the world says, “Look out for number one, bigger is better, you need more, the end justifies the means,” God says, “Lift up the poor, feed the hungry, be a servant.” When the world says, “Only losers ask for help, never sacrifice,” God says, “Walk together, share the load, lay down one’s life.” It is not always easy to choose foolish love. The world barrages us constantly with messages that Jesus was not real, that only weak people believe in fairy tales, that there is no proof of Jesus, that there is too much evil in the world to support claims of a loving God. Despite all this, one truth remains: God loved the world so much that he never gave up on us and came down as a lowly baby to be with us and to die for us. That is true love. That is the love that conquers hatred, fear, and selfishness. That is the love that saves. This Easter, remember that where the world sees foolishness and weakness, there is God’s wisdom and strength and love.

HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE!!!!

Sunday, March 25
Palm/Passion Sunday Cantata
A deeply moving service led by our
choir. Through music and narration
we will remember the last week of
Christ’s life from the joy of Palm Sunday
to the betrayal of Maundy Thursday
and the crucifixion on Good Friday.

Maundy Thursday (March 29)
Join us for a service of foot washing
and Holy Communion as we remember
the last supper Jesus shared with
his disciples and his commandment to
them and us all to go and share God’s
love with others.

Good Friday (March 30)
We return on Good Friday for our traditional
service around the cross. We
will again hear the last words of
Christ and end the service in prayer
around the cross. This is a deeply
moving service and a favorite for
many.

Saturday, March 31
Easter Jubilee! 1-3pm Come and join the fun!

Easter Sunday, April 1
Breakfast, children’s activity, and joyful
worship. The celebration begins at
8:15 am.