Seventh Sunday After Epiphany
INTRODUCTION TO THE DAY
Mercy. Mercy. Mercy. Joseph lives it in Egypt. Jesus preaches it in the Gospel. The Spirit guides us into merciful lives with the power of forgiveness to reconcile what is fractured and divided. Such merciful living is the Baptismal blessing of having put on Christ. It is the gift of the life-giving Spirit. It is a reflection of the glory of God revealed in the Christ.
FIRST READING: Genesis 45: 3-15
Many years after being sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, Joseph reveals himself to them. Now the second-in-command in Egypt, Joseph reassures his brothers that God has used their evil intentions for good, to preserve life during a devastating famine, and Joseph forgives them.
PSALM: Psalm 37
SECOND READING: 1st Corinthians 15: 35-50
In the Apostles’ Creed, we speak of the “resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.” Using the metaphor of a planted seed and the story of Adam, Paul preaches passionately about the mystery of following Christ’s perfect life into eternity.
GOSPEL: Luke 6: 27-38
Jesus continues to address a crowd of his disciples. He invites his followers to shower radical love, blessing, forgiveness, generosity, and trust even to enemies and outsiders. Living in harmony with God’s intent brings the reward of overflowing blessing.
Transfiguration Sunday is about seeing Jesus in a new, bright, and beautiful light. Sunday, March 3, 2019, is the last Sunday of Epiphany this year, Transfiguration Sunday. Ash Wednesday is March 6th. It is the last Sunday that we will sing the Alleluia, Gospel Acclamation until Easter. When Lent begins, we see a more solemn time in the Church. This will be the time of Mardi Gras in New Orleans (which ends on Fat Tuesday). We are planning a Sunday to “let loose” a little. Plan on wearing bright colors (purple, green, red, gold, etc). Instead of letting things go, let’s give ourselves a “new bright coat of paint.” Come and see what we have planned. It will be our mini Mardi Gras.
Tuesday, March 5, 2019, Resurrection Lutheran Church, on Rome-Hilliard Road, Hilliard, will have its annual pancake supper to mark the beginning of the season of Lent. All you can eat pancakes, eggs, sausage, potatoes and beverage will be available from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Room 7. Donations are accepted at the door. All are welcome.
INVITATION TO LENT
As disciples of Jesus, we are called to a discipline that contends against evil and resists whatever leads us away from love of God and neighbor. I invite you, therefore, to the discipline of Lent – self-examination and repentance, prayer and fasting, sacrificial giving and works of love – strengthened by the gifts of Word and Sacrament. Let us continue our journey through these forty days to the great Three Days of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Donations are accepted at the door. All are welcome.
ASH WEDNESDAY IS NEXT WEEK
This year Ash Wednesday will be here on March 6, 2019. We have a service at Zion on Ash Wednesday at 7 p.m. It is a communion service and includes the disposition of ashes. We hope that you will mark your calendars and come to celebrate the first day of the season of Lent that marks the six weeks before Easter. (There will be a list of mid-week Lenten Services in the area as we get closer to the Season.)
40 DAYS OF GIVING
This Lent, we are invited to participate in the “40 Days of Giving” program with other Lutherans to study, reflect, and give during ELCA World Hunger Program. We have all been caught up for years with “giving up” something for Lent. I thought about it, how does me giving up Twizzlers for 40 days help anybody. Then I realized that it is really about giving to others when a friend told me that once a week she and her husband gave up meat for dinner and donated the cost of that meat to the church. Then it made sense.
It isn’t the “giving up,” it is the “giving.” So my challenge for you is to think of ways that you can give more. In the next couple of weeks, you will get a calendar of Scripture readings and activities for the 40 days of Lent.
MAPLE SYRUP FESTIVAL
March 10, 2019 11:00am - 4:00pm Lutheran Memorial Camp
Treat yourself to a day filled with maple syrup, all you can eat pancakes, maple infused sausage, and live music performed by a local band. You can purchase sassafras tea and donuts that are cooked over an open fire. Buy real maple syrup or take a nature hike. Visit the sugar shack. You can also choose to relax and enjoy a conversation around the fire and connect with new and old friends. This annual tradition is a fun and welcoming family and community festival themed in maple syrup. Funds are raised at the festival for summer camperships. No need to register in advance. Fees: Admission is Free; Meal Charge: Age 10 - Adults $8.00, Children 3-9 $5.00, Age 2 and under are Free
GOD'S WORK. OUR HANDS.
HUNGER DOESN’T WATCH A CLOCK
A message from the ELCA
“Human beings are created ‘in God’s image’ (Genesis 1:27) as social beings whose dignity, worth, and value are conferred by God. Although our identity does not depend on what we do, through our work we should be able to express this God-given dignity as persons of integrity, worth, and meaning. Yet work does not constitute the whole of our life. When we are viewed and treated only as workers, we tend to be exploited.”
– ELCA social statement: “Sufficient, Sustainable Living for All”
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) has proposed a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) rule that would put time limits on food benefits for unemployed and underemployed people who can’t document a designated number of weekly work hours or job training. People who cannot meet the documentation requirement would lose SNAP eligibility after three months regardless of how hard they are trying to find work or advance job skills.
Experiences in the wide network of World Hunger ministries of the ELCA teach us that lifting oneself out of poverty is both a dignified longing and hard work. Time limits complicate rather than facilitate that goal. The proposed rule would adversely impact neighbors with circumstances like these:
* Stringing together minimum-wage, part-time jobs may not put healthy food on the table. A job training course holds more promise for a living wage but taking time to pursue it could jeopardize vital SNAP support and the health and welfare of the individuals who qualify for food assistance.
* Available work can come with significant stability challenges, such as schedules being posted weekly with varied hours and shifts, putting continuing education options and better job searches out of reach. The requirement of SNAP time limits pushes those struggling deeper into a cycle of insecurity.
* Rural realities can hamper efforts to move out of impoverishment. Available work may not match up with transportation options and commute distances. Time limits may deprive a hungry person of modest SNAP benefits that would help them focus on their future and not their next meal.
Register your opposition to the Proposed Rule by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) by making a public comment before April 2, 2019 on "Requirements for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents."
Reasons to Oppose the Rule:
* Sidesteps Congress, which rejected these changes when it enacted the 2018 Farm Bill.
* Causes serious harm to individuals who cannot afford to lose benefits on which they rely for daily bread.
* Does not improve the health outcomes or employment outlook of those impacted by the proposed rule.
* Harms grocery retailers and agricultural producers by reducing the amount of SNAP dollars available to spur local economic activity.
How you can help!
* Submit a comment that shows your opposition to this rule.
* Speak out against the SNAP draft rule at a town hall meeting hosted by your senator or representative.
* Read the ELCA’s Social Statement on economic life: Sufficient, Sustainable Livelihood for All.
* Read a Research Brief from our partners at the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) and a SNAP Fact Sheet from Bread for the World.
* Sign up for ELCA Advocacy Action Alerts from elca.org/advocacy/signup to receive the most up-to-date information on the SNAP rules.
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! Our next gathering will be Jan. 5, 2019.
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.