16th Sunday After Pentecost
INTRODUCTION TO THE DAY
James tells us to stop showing favoritism in the assembly, treating the rich visitor with more honor than the poor one. Jesus himself seems to show partiality in his first response to the Syrophoenician woman in today’s Gospel. Was he testing her faith in saying Gentiles don’t deserve the goods meant for God’s children? Or was he speaking out of his human Worldview, but transcended those limits when she took him by surprise with her reply? Either way, the story tells us that God shows no partiality. Everyone who brings her or his need to Jesus is received with equal honor as a child and heir.
FIRST READING: Isaiah 35: 4-7a
These verses are a word of hope to the exiles in Babylon. Chapter 34 portrays God’s Vengeance on Edom, Israel’s age-old enemy, which makes the path from Babylon to Zion safe for the exiles return. The desert itself will flow with water to give drink to the returning exiles.
PSALM: Psalm 146
SECOND READING: James 2: 1-17
Faithful Christians do not show partiality to the rich and powerful of the World, especially at the expense of the poor and weak. Likewise, faith does not pay mere lip-service to God’s will. Instead, a living Christian faith expresses itself in acts of compassion and mercy for those in need.
GOSPEL: Mark 7: 24-37
In Mark’s Gospel, encounters with women usually signify turning points in the ministry of Jesus. Here, a conversation with a Syrophoenician woman marks the beginning of his mission to the Gentiles.
THE ANIMALS ARE COMIN’
The first Sunday in October, the 6th, we will have a special blessing for animals. Since we are not doing a special service to bless our pets, you are invited to bring in pictures of your pets and other animals and we will display them during the service. Please bring in any pictures that you would like displayed by Sept. 30, so that we can get the display ready.
YOUR CONGRESSMAN AT WORK
Since we are recognizing our youth this Sunday, I (Louise) thought it was a good time to point out the work of our Congressman Stivers. Our 15th District Congressman is working diligently for our children. He has recently introduced three bills to aid children in our country. The RAISE Act makes Flexible Spending Accounts more flexible by doing two simple things: raising the cap and letting you keep more of your money. He cosponsored the STOP School Violence Act, which passed the House in March. Now, grants are available to help train school officials and local law enforcement how to identify and intervene early when signs of violence arise. The Homeless Children and Youth Act, amends the definition of “homelessness” used by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) so that we can bring those children who have been living in the shadow of darkness into the light.
All of these bills have passed the House and are waiting for further action from the Senate.
If you would like further information about any one or all of these bills you can go to Steve Stivers’ Web site or use the following contact numbers:
If you have any questions about the RAISE Act, the STOP School Violence Act, or the Homeless Children and Youth Act, please call Stivers' Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-2015, his Hilliard office at (614) 771-4968, his Lancaster office at (740) 654-2654, or his Wilmington office at (937) 283-7049.
BLUEBIRD IN LONDON FRIDAY PICNIC AND CONCERT
We would love to have your congregation join us for some Friday night fun. A picnic style dinner is served between 4:30-5:30 and the music starts close to 5:30. All music is family friendly in a variety of genres.
The residents love to be able to interact with visitors and watch families/kids play! Thank you for anything you can do to share the fun and spread the word. If you have any questions, please call the Bluebird Retirement Community at 740-845-1880. The facility is located at 2260 State Route 56 SW, London, OH 43140
ELCA WELCOMES 12 NEW MISSIONARIES
In July, the ELCA welcomed 12 new missionaries into service. Erica Bryer, Jordan Collins-Brown and Erin Ryan will serve as teachers in Japan. Megan Freudenberg, Patrick Lynch, David Meza, Carol Schwantes, Kevin Tresselt and Deborah Zudell-Dickey will serve as teachers in Slovakia. Three seminarians will complete their pastoral internships with our companion churches – Tom Gehring will serve in Malaysia, Caitlyn Melillo will serve in Uruguay, and Joshua Menke will serve in Switzerland. Please join us in celebration and prayer for these new missionaries! To learn more about how you can support their ministry, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please keep these people in your prayers: Esther Mae Baker, Al Bausch, Don Brooks, Dortha Feddern, George Wendel and Carol Schiff. Please remember all of our shut-ins and sick. (Also, pray for the families and caretakers of those on the prayer list.)
THE BREAKFAST BUNCH
“The Breakfast Bunch” meets the first Saturday of every month at Der Dutchman in Plain City, at 8:30 a.m. “Come one, Come all” for a great breakfast, fellowship and more!
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.