Second Sunday of Lent
INTRODUCTION TO THE DAY
Though we sometimes doubt and often resist God’s desire to protect and save us, our God persists. In holy Baptism, God’s people have been called and gathered into a God-initiated relationship that will endure. Lent provides the church with a time and a tradition in which to seek the face of the Lord again. Lent provides another occasion to behold the God of our salvation in the face of the Blessed One who “comes in the name of the Lord.”
FIRST READING: Genesis 15: 1-12, 17-18
God promises a childless and doubting Abram that he will have a son, that his descendants will be as numerous as the stars, and that the land of Canaan will be their inheritance. Abram’s trust in God is sealed with a covenant—making ceremony, a sigh of God’s promise.
PSALM: Psalm 27
SECOND READING: Philippians 3: 17--4:1
Although Paul’s devotion to Christ has caused him to be persecuted, he does not regret the course he has taken. Writing from prison, he expresses confidence in a glorious future and encourages other Christians to follow in his footsteps.
GOSPEL: Luke 13: 31-35
Neither Herod’s plotting nor Jerusalem’s resistance to maternal love will deter Jesus from his sacrificial mission.
WELCOME TO ZION
This morning we welcome Pastor Paul Burgeson to Zion. Jon had a work commitment and Pastor Burgeson has come to lead us in worship. Please give him a warm Zion welcome. Thank you so much for being with us today.
GOD'S WORK. OUR HANDS.
The 4-Cent Test that Saves Lives in Tanzania
Cervical cancer is one of the easiest cancers to prevent and treat, yet year after year it kills more women in Tanzania than any other type of cancer. Tanzania carries one of the World’s heaviest cervical cancer burdens—nine times higher than the U.S. and 50 percent higher than all East Africa.
Though cervical cancer is easily detected through a low cost screening, limited resources and competing priorities have made this disease a low priority across both national and local levels of the health system. Cervical cancer accounts for a whopping 40 percent of all cancer patients admitted at Dar es Salaam’s Ocean Road Cancer Institute, the largest cancer center in Tanzania.
What’s more, women who are already underserved carry the highest risk. Cervical cancer most frequently affects women who live in poor, rural communities or lack access to basic health care. Additionally, being HIV positive increases a woman’s risk of developing cervical cancer by at least half and hastens onset of the disease by as much as 10 years, disproportionately affecting an already vulnerable group.
While “cancer” can be a frightening word, head nurse Elizabeth Peter is here to educate the crowd of women about cervical cancer and to ease any fears about the exam. She tells them how the simple screening is very effective in detecting the early signs of the disease, and how they will receive treatment that same day if lesions are found.
Limited resources make pap smears unfeasible in Tanzania, but a low-cost alternative is available. Called the “Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid Approach” or VIA, this method requires a cotton swab and a bottle of white vinegar—the acetic acid—which, for $3.50, can run 90 tests. Unlike a pap smear, which requires a pathology lab to analyze samples, the VIA approach produces results within minutes. When swiped on the cervix, vinegar causes pre-cancerous lesions to turn white, and health workers can see them with a regular flashlight. In addition to being highly economical as well as effective, the VIA approach has another plus: since there is no waiting for the lab to return test results, patients who test positive can receive the necessary cryotherapy treatment immediately—eliminating the travel and logistical challenges associated with return visits and follow-up.
That so many women continue to die from cervical cancer in Tanzania when screening and treatment are so simple is nothing short of unjust.
Please keep these people in your prayers: Esther Mae Baker, Al Bausch, Dortha Feddern, Valerie Meister, 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.