Pastor Jen, Allen Perhus, and Dave Vecsi will be on a pilgrimage in the Holy Land November 6th -19th. Please hold them in your prayers for safe travel and for God to bless their time visiting holy sites and in conversation with Lutherans in Israel. Pastor Jen will hold an adult forum in January to share her experiences and what she learned. Filling in for Pastor Jen will be Rachel Kramer. Rachel is a member of Trinity Lutheran in Gresham and a candidate for pastoral ministry. She serves as a mission developer for The Living Table, a mission start at Trinity.
In my first year of seminary I had to take a class called “Reading the Audience.” The class helped us more deeply engage questions around the purpose of our congregation, the impact of our congregations’ ministries, and the demographics and needs of the community in which our congregations resided and served. I remember asking several strangers on the street, in grocery stores, and at the park if they had heard of the congregation I was studying and if they would notice if the congregation closed its doors.
That question has stayed with me over the years. I ask myself regularly if anyone in the community would notice or care if we closed our doors. The answer continues to be YES because we make a difference. This afternoon a young woman stopped by the church inquiring about food. As she shopped in the pantry, she told me her story of ending up homeless after escaping an abusive boyfriend. Repeatedly she commented on how surprised she was to feel so welcomed, accepted, and not judged. As she left she apologized for dumping her life story on me but also thanked me for listening. While her story might be unique, her experience and comments are not. Our food pantry is more than just food, it is a place of acceptance, God’s grace, and healing.
We began the Narrative Lectionary this summer. This Fall we have been immersed in the Old Testament and the promises of God. I have enjoyed this new lectionary, but even more, I have been amazed at how God was at work each Sunday through the texts. Each week this Fall someone has come to church that was not a regular in worship. That individual has come carrying brokenness, loss, fear, and so much more. For each individual it was as if God was speaking directly to them, giving them the very words of hope, healing, comfort, and strength that they needed.
Would anyone notice or care if St. Timothy’s was
to close its doors?
The answer is YES!
St. Timothy’s is more than a building.
Here, God’s spirit is present.
Here, those on the margins are treated with dignity and love. Here, bodies and souls are nourished. Here, children grow up knowing they
are loved and that they can count upon God and the people of God.
St. Timothy’s matters and God is doing great
things in our lives and through us.
This month your challenge is to invite someone to check out one of our many ministries. Inviting a friend to the craft group, fourth Friday Luncheon, Daily Planet, or Food Bank are great ways to ease into inviting someone to worship God at St. Tim’s. Give it a try and
challenge yourself to invite four people to check out what St. Tim’s is up to.
“Check out my church’s volunteer day at the food bank.” Invite one person to check out something in which your congregation is involved. This should be done in appropriate conversations when an opening naturally presents itself—it should not feel forced or manipulated. By now, hopefully this feels more comfortable and you are more attuned to ways to bring church into your everyday conversations.
Pastor Jen Beil
Then James and John, the sons of Zebedeee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”
“What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”
“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”
“We can,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, but to sit at my right or my left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”
When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. This is why he has to offer sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people. No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was. So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him,
“You are my Son; today I have become your Father.”
And he says in another place,
“You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”
During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.
If you make the Most High your dwelling — even the Lord, who is my refuge —-
then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.“
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
For the Son of Man came not to be served but to be serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.
As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good — except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother'”
“Teacher,” he declared,”all of these I have kept since I was a boy.” Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
Peter said to him, “We have left everything to follow you!”
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied,”no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields — and with them persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last , and the last first.
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing the soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him whom we must give account.
Therefore, sincewe have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Relent, O Lord! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants.
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble.
May your deeds be shown to your servants your splendor to their children.
May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us — yes, establish the work of our hands.