Third Sunday after Epiphany
INTRODUCTION TO THE DAY
God’s glory is revealed in the reading of scripture. People stand at attention. People weep. People prostrate themselves in prayer. The unity of the Church is another reflection of the glory of God. Most gloriously, the promises of God are fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. Gather round. Listen up. Glimpse the glory of God.
FIRST READING: Nehemiah 8:1-10
The exiles have returned and rebuilt Jerusalem. Now Ezra, the priest, reads the Law of Moses to them in the public square. When they hear it, they weep for their sins and for the long years in exile, but Ezra reminds them that the joy of the Lord is their strength.
PSALM: Psalm 19
SECOND READING: 1st Corinthians 12: 12-31
The Apostle and pastor Paul uses the metaphor of the human body to describe how intimately connected we are in the church. For this struggling congregation in Corinth, Paul delivers a vital message of unity that is a mark of the Church today.
GOSPEL: Luke 4: 14-21
Near the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus, he visits his hometown of Nazareth. In the words of Isaiah, he states and claims his identity, purpose, and mission.
JANUARY 30: is a fifth Sunday. We will not be having church here at Zion because we will be sharing breakfast with First English. Please come with us as we serve breakfast and worship with our friends in Christ.
FEBRUARY 6: is Souper Bowl Sunday. We will be taking up a special offering for the Lutheran Social Services Food Pantry as well as the Good Samaritan Food Pantry.
Please dress casually and wear your teams colors if you wish, even if it is brown and gold. It is also the Sunday that we collect funds for the LSS Food Pantry. It is one of their biggest fundraisers of the year. We as a church support this ministry every year. With all of the pandemic stuff and all that is happened the last 2 years, LSS has been hit hard. There will be a pot for special gifts to this ministry. We always try to make this a fun Sunday as well. So I was thinking that a Soup potluck after this service would be appropriate. We are all cold and a cup of hot soup would taste good. Everyone who wishes could bring a pot of their favorite soup to help warm us up before going out after the service. (Emilie said that I had to bring bean soup). We have lots of outlets for crock pots. I will make sure that there are crackers and bowls and spoons. We have great cooks in our congregation and I hope that you will all consider bringing something to share. We would want everyone to stay whether you bring something or not. Yum, yum, I cannot wait.
FEBRUARY 13: we will also recognize Love. GOD IS LOVE.
FEBRUARY 27: will be Transfiguration Sunday. Be thinking of ways to transfigure yourself.
GOD'S WORK. OUR HANDS.
ELCA Advocacy Action Alert
Urge Senators to protect everyone’s right to vote through passing the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act.
UPDATE: The Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, a newly combined bill comprised of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the Freedom to Vote Act, passed the U.S. House of Representatives and is now moving to the U.S. Senate. Your voices are needed now.
Thank you to the many of us who acted during critical consideration in the House of this legislation! Now our voices are needed with the Senate. Passage of the The Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act would be a key step in ensuring the voices of all citizens will be safeguarded and heard. Its provisions would help reinstate guidelines that ensure protection through oversight and combat voter suppression.
According to The Brennan Center for Justice, a nonpartisan law and policy institute, “Between January 1 and July 14, 2021, at least 18 states enacted 30 laws that restrict access to the vote. These laws make mail voting and early voting more difficult, impose harsher voter ID requirements, and make faulty voter purges more likely. More than 400 bills with provisions that restrict voting access have been introduced in 49 states in the 2021 legislative sessions.”
The ELCA’s social message on “Government and Civic Engagement in the United States: Discipleship in a Democracy,” points us to the need to examine this trend: “ELCA social teaching holds that all residents of the United States have a responsibility to make government function well—not to abandon our democracy but to engage it in a spirit of robust civic duty. For Lutherans, this responsibility is lived out as a calling from God, expressed in the discipleship described in our baptismal promises. It is based on our understanding of how God governs human society.”
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America understands that justice is done when we live out our mutual responsibility for one another by guaranteeing our neighbor’s right to vote and participate freely and fully in society.
In 2013, the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, our denomination’s highest legislative authority, adopted a social policy resolution titled “Voting Rights to All Citizens.” This resolution calls us to express concern for our nation’s history of voter suppression from the Jim Crow era to the current climate of restrictive voter laws that create barriers to many people of color in their right to vote. This resolution calls on all parts of this church to “promote public life worthy of the name” by speaking out as advocates and engaging in local efforts such as voter registration and supporting legislation to guarantee the right to vote to all citizens.
Please keep these people in your prayers: Ginny Fogt, Michael Koch, Wesley and JoAnne Porter, Nicole Biler Robinette, Dick Stelz; Pastor Larry Baker and his family, the Barton family, the Rees family, and all of those who are still suffering from COVID 19 and their families.
Please remember all of our shut ins and sick: Arlene Castor. (Also, pray for the families and caretakers of those on the prayer list.)
FUNDS FOR ZION
Please check the bulletin board behind the office door for all of the sign-up sheets for this year. Communion, birthday Sundays, and Worship Assistants/helpers. Thank you so much!
You can also remember special occasions or special people by contributing money that would normally be used for altar flowers. Instead the donation goes to our local food pantry.