Greetings, everyone –

At our semi-annual congregational meeting yesterday, we voted on whether or not to move our worship service to 11am in order to give Communitas Church a 9am worship spot. After much discussion, the vote was 41-12 in favor.

So on Sunday, December 3rd, the 1st Sunday of Advent, our morning will look like this:

9:45am – Education Hour in the large meeting room upstairs

11:00am – Worship in the sanctuary

12:00pm – Fellowship time in the Fireside Room

You will notice more people around during the morning, of course. Communitas will be having a fellowship brunch downstairs in the fellowship hall. Some people you may not know will be leaving as you are arriving…please greet them with a friendly face.

So mark/update your calendars/reminders that worship is at 11am starting December 3rd!

Peace,

Pastor Dave

P.S. – You can expect the usual Weekly Update in the next day or two.

 

Greetings, everyone -

 

A PRAYER FOR THANKSGIVING

Almighty God our Father, your generous goodness comes to us new every day. By the work of your Spirit lead us to acknowledge your goodness, give thanks for your benefits, and serve you in willing obedience, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

THIS SUNDAY AT CENTRAL

Van Driver: There is no van service this Sunday.

Education Hour: Come join us in a study of the day’s texts. 9:15 in the Fireside Room.

Coffee Hour: Hosted by CLC Choir

In Worship: This Sunday is Christ the King, the last Sunday of the church year. On this final Sunday of the church year our gospel is Jesus’ great story of judgment. In the end, the faithful are those who served Christ by ministering to those who are poor, hungry, naked, sick, or estranged. In the first reading God is the shepherd who seeks the lost, weak, and injured and feeds them with justice. We gather this day to celebrate the reign of Christ and his victory over death, yet awaiting the consummation of all things yet to come. Acknowledging Christ as our merciful ruler, we go forth that his reign may be known in our loving words and deeds.

Readings and Psalm

Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24

God will shepherd Israel

Psalm 95:1-7a

We are the people of God’s pasture and the sheep of God’s hand. (Ps. 95:7)

Ephesians 1:15-23

The reign of Christ

Matthew 25:31-46

The coming of the Son of Man; the separation of sheep and goats

We Embody the Presence of Christ

It is possible that the biggest barrier to accepting this as our lifelong vocation is not a lack of faith but a lack of imagination.

On this final Sunday of the liturgical year, we receive a parable from Jesus challenging and inspiring our imaginations to grasp our whole vocation that is celebrated in baptism: to embody Christ in every moment and to engage every part of our world as Christ’s redeemed creation.

The parable of the sheep and the goats has sometimes been used to instill fear of God’s judgment. However, it is possible that Jesus’ point here is to urge his disciples to share God’s generous saving grace with all. Jesus’ parables consistently offer a simple setting and story, but behind them lie a world of rich meaning that takes a lifetime to unpack. For this reason, Jesus’ parables are important texts for the postmodern church, which is hungry for story, for connection, and for meaning for our faithful lifelong questions.

With shepherding texts from Ezekiel and the Psalms as well as Ephesians, an epistle written to build faith, we have a constellation of texts that make the shape of God’s intimate—even incarnational—love of creation. The parable even suggests that being merely intentional about ministry in the name of Jesus is not the point. After all, both “sheep” and “goats” groups are equally shocked at the news that Jesus was present in those relationships involving thirst, imprisonment, and so forth. Instead, Jesus seems to invite us to wonder what’s at the deepest foundation of our presence and purpose—and perhaps even walk away faithfully bewildered at the possibilities of God’s kingdom being practiced on earth as it is in heaven.

What if we really do embody the presence of Christ?

WOULD YOU LIKE TO USHER?

Have you ever thought about volunteering?  Our small band of ushers could use a “few more good men (and women)”.  With the choir volunteering to help with communion distribution now, it’s easier than ever.  We only need two ushers each week to greet, pass out bulletins, collect offering, guide congregants up for communion, and straighten up the church after the service.  Please contact Karen Gehret (995-4257, dkgehret@Hotmail.com">dkgehret@Hotmail.com) if you have any questions or are interested.  Hope to hear from you soon!   

 

CHANGE IN WORSHIP SCHEDULE

At our semi-annual meeting last Sunday, the congregation voted 41-12 (77% in favor) to move our worship time to 11am. So beginning Sunday, December 3rd, education hour will be at 9:45am, worship will be at 11am, and coffee hour will follow worship at about noon. Please make this change on your calendars whether they are hanging on your wall or hanging out on your mobile device.  Additionally, with the start of Advent, we will be returning to the ELW for our liturgy, using Setting 4 during the season of Advent. At Christmas, we will use the Carol Mass that has been so popular in recent years.

PRAYER REQUESTS

-          Please keep Edna Karjalahti in your prayers as she prepares for heart surgery on Dec. 13th.

-          Please keep the Hendrons in your prayers as they are both having health issues.

-          Please keep Rachel Whitman in your prayers as she prepares for heart surgery, also.

COMING SOON

Thursday & Friday this week – OFFICE CLOSED FOR THANKSGIVING

Friday, December 1st: EWU Choir Concert – 7:30PM

Saturday, December 2nd: EWU Holiday Jazz Concert – 2:00PM

Sunday, December 3rd: Our worship service switches to 11:00 a.m.  Make note of it!

GIVING THANKS

As Thanksgiving draws near, and then shortly thereafter we celebrate Advent, we are reminded of the many blessings that God has given to us. Being truly thankful should be forefront in our minds: “How do we begin to thank God for all that he has done and continues to do for us?”

First, we should thank God for our lives in Christ. God demonstrates awesome love for us by having sent his only Son to the cross on our behalf! We should also thank him for our families, as well as our health and material blessings. How blessed we are that God provides for all that we need to sustain our lives, and, through faith that he provides, God will give us life forever with him.

I want to suggest another wonderful blessing for us that we should always give thanks for … that is God’s faithfulness to us! As the prophet Jeremiah wrote, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).

God’s faithfulness to us never wavers, even though we may vacillate in our faithfulness to him. As you thank God this thanksgiving season, we would like to encourage you to put God’s love within you into action by making this a season of generous giving. Through our giving, we demonstrate our gratitude and faithfulness to God who is always faithful to us. How wonderful it is that God promises to bless those who are generous.

May God shower many blessings on your Thanksgiving Day as you spend time with your family. Please enjoy this festive time with your family and friends … and possibly watch some football. (Go, Vikings!)

See you in worship!

Peace,

Pastor Dave

 

 
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