Welcome To Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church
PASTORAL MESSAGE, June 2, 2020
My heart is breaking today. My heart aches for the mothers, brothers, sisters and friends of every African-American man and woman killed for the crime of being black in America. My heart aches for every black or brown man condemned to jail unjustly for the hue of their skin. My heart literally breaks for every voice that has been silenced, every peaceful act of protest that has been belittled, and for the rage that has finally exploded in violence because that is the only way to be heard.
My head is hurting, because I cannot process the years of hurt that have built up in this country, the myriad ways that we have ceased to listen to our neighbors. My head is hurting for the ways that I have stood by silently and allowed the systems of this world to feed my privilege while denying fundamental rights for others.
Last night I was completely disheartened when I watched as protestors were shot at with tear gas and rubber bullets in order that a man could stand with a Bible in front of a church for personal and political gain. That book that he held tells the story of God in love with an oppressed people, leading them from slavery into freedom. It follows the heart of God chastising, encouraging, compelling and cajoling God’s people into obedience and loving them through deliberate disobedience until such a time as God saw fit to send a Savior. That Savior is our Lord Jesus Christ who ate with outcasts who were not in positions of authority, who were denied a place in society.
The narrative in this country not a narrative of healing and love, of freedom for the oppressed. Secular society seems to have forgotten that narrative in the world. We in the church do not.
I have invited this congregation into 50 days of prayer and discernment, but 50 days are not enough. I invite you to continue this journey throughout the summer months. Where is God calling us? What is the Spirit teaching us that we do not want to hear in these days?
I implore you in these times, to listen, to the Holy Spirit, to voices that disagree with you. I invite you to replace the statement “I disagree with…” with the words, “I don’t understand…” And let’s try to learn together. In James 1.19 we are reminded, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger…”
As you pray, please pray for those who mourn, those who are angry, those who are in danger. Pray for the ones who have lost businesses and homes and those who are afraid. Pray for our police and first responders working to keep people safe, and for those who wrestle with their own bias. Pray for the church to be a voice for justice and peace. As you listen, please be in touch. This is a dialog we need to have together. I asked a few weeks ago if anyone was interested in a “Check in and chat with the Pastor” and only one person responded. I would like to hear from others. Let’s start a dialog, prayerfully, as people of faith. I recognize there will be disagreement and I welcome ALL voices. I’d like to begin this conversation tomorrow, June 3, at 10:00 am. We will spend some time in conversation and then we will spend some time in prayer. If that time is not convenient for you, please let me know and I will set up others. If you’d prefer to talk privately, please feel free to call my cell 315-719-4306.
The link for tomorrow’s meeting is:
Meeting ID: 811 8978 9754
Thursday Morning Bible Study is continuing!!! Join us at 10 am for a study of Paul’s encouraging letter to the Galatians.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 816 4524 9128
Study Opportunity After surviving three years in concentration camps, psychiatrist Viktor Frankl wrote “Man’s Search for Meaning” based on his observations that those who were able to hold on to faith and hope in spite of the death and dying all around them, had better chances for survival. In the hopes that we might learn from Dr. Frankl’s observations, Pr. Hans is offering an opportunity for us to read his book together with guided conversation. We meet Sundays from 7 pm- – 8 pm through July 12 (with the exception of June 21 and July 5). Because of the Pandemic, it would be best to order our own books and have them delivered to our homes. They can be purchased from Amazon starting at $8.39 and at Barnes and Noble, starting at $11.99. If you need assistance ordering a book, please contact Cathy Coe.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 886 6365 8291
The Spiritual Growth Group has decided to continue through the summer meeting the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month from 7 pm – 8:15 pm, with the link remaining the same each week. The next meeting will be June 9. If you wish to receive the lesson in advance, contact Julie Gerstenberger.
o Zoom video:
§ Meeting ID: 971-654-509
o Audio only participation:
§ (929) 205-6099
§ Meeting ID: 971-654-509#
Work out together with the Ripples Chair Yoga Group, every Thursday at 9 am
Zoom meeting ID: 450-243-871
Don’t forget, Sunday worship continues to be available to everyone at 10 am through the Internet or the phone. The links are the same for each week.
If you have an internet connection, join via Zoom on your device using this link: us04web.zoom.us/j/573579627
If you do not have internet access, you can listen to the service by dialing this local Rochester number: 270-2524. After the greeting, enter the conference ID of 291-1296 followed by the # key. At the prompt, state your name, and then press the # key again. If you are not able to join worship at 10 am, the service will be recorded and can be accessed through Messiah’s Facebook page.
Coffee hour will also be held after worship via zoom, using the following linkhttps://us04web.zoom.us/j/367670353
Free food is distributed from the church parking lot by appointment Tuesday mornings from 10 am – 12 pm. and Thursday afternoons from 1 pm – 3 pm. If you or someone you know is in need of food, please call the church office at 865-1866 x 2 to set up a time.
Food Distribution Close to 3,000 meals were provided in the month of May!!!! We rejoice that Foodlink, Thrivent and the generosity of Messiah disciples make this possible, and we thank you. If you would like to donate items, our current needs are cereal, peanut butter, side dishes, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and dish soap. You may also donate monetarily (please mail these) making the check out to Messiah and writing “Food distribution” on the memo line. If you have freezer space to store Foodlink frozen products, please contact the church office (865-1866). We are also requesting gas cards to be given to those in need. They may be placed in an envelope in the donation bin, or mailed to the church. Thanks again!
Ways we can be together
M – F Noon devotional reflections by Pr. Aileen and Willie on Face Book Live. They are recorded to be watched anytime after they appear.
Devotional Reflections on the Church Face Book page written by Sybil Reisch.
Don’t forget to keep calling your friends to stay in touch!