Fourth Sunday After Pentecost
Fathers' Day 2018
INTRODUCTION TO THE DAY
The mustard seed becomes a great shrub that shelters the birds, recalling ancient images of the Tree of Life. We would expect a cedar or a sequoia, but Jesus finds the power of God better imaged in a tiny, no-account seed. It’s not the way we expect divine activity to look. Yet the Tree of Life is here, in the cross around which we gather, the tree into which we are grafted through baptism, the true vine that nourishes us with its fruit in the cup we share. It may not appear all that impressive, but while nobody’s looking it grows with a power beyond our understanding.
HISTORY OF FATHERS’ DAY
Father's Day was first celebrated in 1909, over one hundred years ago. Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd, a woman whose father, William Smart, had brought her and her five brothers and sister up single handedly, wanted to make an occasion to celebrate all that her father meant to her. The story goes that she decided to institute a "Fathers’ Day" after hearing a Mothers’ Day sermon. The very first Father's Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910. In 1924, it won the support of US President Calvin Coolidge and Fathers’ Day is now celebrated as a national holiday in the USA and is observed around the World.
FIRST READING: Ezekiel 17: 22-24
Tree imagery is used in a messianic prophecy to tell how the Lord will choose someone from Judah’s royal family (the cedar tree) to reign over all creation. This tree will be planted on Mount Zion, the location of the Holy Temple.
PSALM: Psalm 92
SECOND READING: 2nd Corinthians 5: 6-17
Paul encourages believers to live by faith and not by sight. We do not consider Jesus from a human perspective but through the eyes of faith, believing he died for all and was raised. All who are in Christ are now in God’s new creation
GOSPEL: Mark 4: 26-34
Jesus frequently uses parables to teach ordinary people as they are able to hear and understand. Images of sowing and growing show the vitality of God’s kingdom.
Happy Fathers’ Day to all of the men who are with us this morning and to those who are not. We hope that you all have a wonderful day. God bless you all.
FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION
This year the 4th of July comes smack dab between two Sundays. Our celebration here will be on July 1st. We will have a special service to celebrate the beginning of our country and some patriotic snacks available before and after the service. Please plan to be here for the gathering to celebrate the birthday of our Nation. (If anyone would like to bring some snacks to share, please feel free to do so.)
GOD'S WORK. OUR HANDS
June 21st: PRAY, FAST, ACT
On Thursday, June 21, we join with The Episcopal Church in our monthly commitment to #PrayFastAct. This month our focus is on disaster preparedness. The United States and its territories are facing extreme weather patterns more frequently. In the past year, fires, floods and hurricanes have displaced millions of people, destroyed homes and other structures and led to deaths.
Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands continue to face many challenges in the wake of Hurricane Maria, including infrastructure damage, a plummeting economy, loss of jobs, closure of schools, cuts in peoples’ pensions and other factors that have contributed to a mental health crisis.
ELCA congregations and organizations are among many groups that work tirelessly to help Americans when disaster strikes, but their efforts are often hampered by bureaucracy, which delays getting valuable assistance to those who most need it. The federal government must work to streamline the process for getting aid to those who need it and invest in disaster preparedness to minimize the effects of emergencies and major disasters.
Please keep these people in your prayers: Esther Mae Baker, Al Bausch, Don Brooks, Dortha Feddern, Susan Maggard 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 event will be July 7.
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.