Sixth Sunday After Pentecost
INTRODUCTION TO THE DAY
God’s word is like the rain that waters the earth and brings forth vegetation. It is also like the sower who scatters seed indiscriminately. Our lives are like seeds sown in the earth. Even from what appears to be little, dormant, or dead, God promises a harvest. At the Lord’s Table we are fed with the Bread of Life, that we may bear fruit in the World.
FIRST READING: Isaiah 55: 10-13
God’s word to Israel’s exiles is as never-failing precipitation. Their return to the Holy Land in a new exodus is cheered on by singing mountains and by trees that clap their hands.
PSALM: Psalm 65
SECOND READING: Romans 8: 1-11
There is no condemnation for those who live in Christ. God sent Christ to accomplish what the law was unable to do: condemn sin and free us from its slavery. The Spirit now empowers proper actions and values in our lives and gives us the promise of resurrected life.
GOSPEL: Matthew 13: 1-9, 18-23
In Matthew’s Gospel, both Jesus and his disciples “sow the seed” of God’s word by proclaiming the good news that the kingdom of heaven is near.” Now, in a memorable parable, Jesus explains why this good news produces different results in those who hear.
SUMMER SCHEDULE FOR ASSISTANTS
We are in need of people to take part in the services on Sundays. Please sign up on the schedule on the bulletin board if you can help out with lessons or prayers for the services. We also have the food chart in the back for the rest of the year. If there is some special day that you would like to remember, feel free to donate in honor of that individual or event. Thank you for your help with this.
ELCA ADVOCACY – HOPE FOR FREEDOM
Dear Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service Supporter,
I know you recognize and celebrate the many positive contributions made by refugees and immigrants, from starting businesses to revitalizing schools to strengthening their communities.
But there is another story that's not always told, and that's the vital leadership role so many refugees, Dreamers and other immigrants are assuming. They're tackling a whole range of crucial justice, economic, and social issues — creating more hope for freedom.
And you'll be glad to know that your support for LIRS helps refugees build community connections and provides grassroots leadership training. This experience empowers them to advocate on issues of concern to their communities and to us all — including health, housing, education, and racial equity.
In Minneapolis, for example, young Somalis have been leading peaceful protests. The more they continue to lift up their voices and express their values, the more we can work together to create a more welcoming and equitable community.
When we undermine our immigration system, we erode the values of our country. But when we welcome people, help them find opportunity, and encourage their leadership skills to grow, we live our values and make our communities and our nation so much stronger.
You can help create more hope for freedom by giving to LIRS. You'll support young leaders who are finding their voices — and from what I have heard and seen, those voices will not be silenced!
With much gratitude,
Krish Vignarajah, President & CEO of LIRS
LUTHERAN SOCIAL SERVICE
A Veteran’s New Hope By Ronald
I didn’t have the easiest childhood. I grew up poor and isolated, a long way from any kind of real community. Then my stepdad kicked me out of the house when I was 16. Two years later, I joined the Navy—just in time for 9/11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
I saw my share of combat. I didn’t think much of it at the time. But when I left the military, I struggled. I haven’t really been self-sufficient since then. I worked here and there, drifted around the country, never getting too close to anyone. I jumped from house to house, living with acquaintances. A lot of times, I lived in shelters, cars, and even on the streets.
Then the nightmares began. I started waking up in the middle of the night, screaming and swinging. I guess it was a delayed reaction from my combat days. The worse it got, the more self-destructive I got. I’ve been hospitalized five times after trying to kill myself.
I’m suffering from PTSD, I’m chronically depressed, and every day I try to figure out some reason to get up. It’s been a long time since I had any hope for the future.
I just couldn’t seem to get my life together. So this year, I went to another organization for help, and they brought me here to LSS Faith Mission. Over the past six weeks, they’ve already helped me so much. It’s not just a bed and meals. They know I get overwhelmed easily, so they help me figure out everything I need to do, one step at a time.
Tomorrow, I’m looking at a new apartment. They’re helping me apply for disability, because of my PTSD and depression. But they’re also helping me look for employment. And I’m working with the VA to get the counseling and emotional help I need.
I can’t tell you what it means to this veteran to know I’m not forgotten, that I don’t have to do this alone. You’re giving me hope that maybe I do have a future after all. Thank you.
Thanks to LSS.
Please keep these people in your prayers: Pastor Larry Baker, Al Bausch, Dortha Feddern, Michael Koch, Wesley and JoAnne Porter, the family of Sally Sindledecker, the family of Esther Mae Baker, and all of those who are suffering from COVID-19. Please remember all of our shut ins and sick. (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.
Changes for the congregation:
- Please attend Sunday worship services only if you are feeling well. If you are not, please do not risk your health or that of others during this time.
- All members are asked to take their temperatures prior to leaving their homes. If over 100, we are asking that person to remain safely at home for the safety and health of themselves and others. Currently, Zion LC does not have the ability to measure the temperatures of church attendees.
- All members and guests will be required to wear a mask. We will have masks at the church available for use, but ask that everyone come prepared beforehand.
- Masks must be worn throughout the services. Again, this is for the safety of each person in attendance and is not intended to be a restriction of any sort.
- Please also bring hand sanitizer for yourself to use as you may come in contact with chairs, bulletins, etc. This will also be useful if usage of the restroom is necessary. Again, the church will have bottles for everyone’s use, but it will still be a best practice to carry your own.
- Cleaning each week before and after each service will be increased greatly. That includes the restrooms. We ask that the actual “men’s” and “women’s” restrooms are not used. Rather, use the facility on the left across from the men’s room only should the need occur (cleaning is addressed later).
Changes within the Sunday service itself:
- Both the front and back doors will be propped open to avoid repeated contact with door handles for those in attendance. The sanctuary door will also remain open.
- Seating within the sanctuary will be different. In accordance with the present social distancing guidelines, we will maintain 6 feet of separation between seats. What has been discussed has been a small “arc” seating arrangement that would allow us to use both sides of the worship space, as opposed to the seating most recently on one side of the sanctuary only. (Note: Household members who reside in the same home will not be required to be 6 feet apart. But, the household group will be required to be 6 feet from others.)
- Bulletins used to follow the service and hymns will be placed on each seat prior to the service by the setup team (discussed later). We will be using large print bulletins only.
- Our hymns will bring about two changes.
* We will still use our masks during the hymns. The
health studies completed to determine the 6 foot social
distancing standard applies to normal breathing and
speaking situations only. Singing without a mask
increases that required distance greatly. Therefore, for
the safety of everyone attending, we will use the masks
at all times of our worship together.
* All hymns will be limited to 3 verses each. Again, this is
solely a safety standard which was determined in
consideration of the guidelines mentioned above.
- Due to the social distancing guidelines, there will not be a worship assistant at the front (with Jon). We may have volunteers each week to help with readings of the scripture and prayers of intercession. That person/those persons will read standing from their seat to avoid any common spacing issues we may encounter. Those volunteers for reading will be seated as close to the center of the “arc” as possible to maintain proper hearing of the message for all.
- Preaching by Jon (or alternate when necessary) will be done only in the altar and pulpit area. There will not be times at which it will be done from the “main floor” area. This will allow a distance greater than 6 feet to be maintained at all times. As such, a mask will not be required for the person presiding given the distance involved. As the service progresses, though, hymns being sung, walking in and out of the sanctuary, etc. the mask must be worn.
- Alter accoutrements will be minimized to two candles, one small parament on the alter and the processional cross in the back. These will be placed by the worship area team.
- Sharing of the peace will not be with handshakes and hugs (unless direct family within the same household). As we share the peace, it will be in body language only, bows, nods, smiles (even under a mask we can still smile), along with “God’s peace” or “Peace be with you” only.
- Communion will be less frequent and a bit different. We will not come to the altar area for communion as it will not be given directly by Jon or assistants. Instead, we will be trying to use pre-packaged wafer and cups (grape juice) to avoid close contact with one another. These cups will either be placed at each chair prior to the service or on the table as you enter the sanctuary by the setup team. They are to be thrown away when leaving. As it stands now, communion will be the first Sunday of the month with the exception that both May 31st and the first Sunday in June will have communion.
- The offering plate will not be passed around or walked around by Tim. The setup team will instead have the plate on the table as you enter the sanctuary. Place your tithe in the plate as you enter or leave.
- After the service, we will not have coffee or any snacks being offered. We do understand that fellowship is still a very important part of worshiping, so there will be tables in the lobby configured in a square that will allow for social conversation while maintaining social distancing (masks still required).
Cleaning before and after services:
- In order to promote the safest worship space we can, cleaning will be done prior to people arriving and after each service.
- Two-person setup teams have been created to cover the various areas of both the building and the service itself. We have determined these small teams to share the duties, but still keep to a small number of people involved in each task. These teams will be observing recommended safety protocol. Cleaning team areas have been determined in the following areas:
* Building: Doors, restrooms, light switches, coat
hangers, chairs and tables in the lobby area.
* Sanctuary: Chairs and piano (placing of bulletins and
* Worship area: Altar, pulpit, candles.
- Because of the small space, the church office room will only be occupied by one person at a time and limited to those teams needing access.
- Anyone who would like to help with these teams in the event that current team members may be absent please let council or other team members know.