Ninth Sunday After Pentecost
INTRODUCTION TO THE DAY
     In today’s first reading God invites all who are hungry or thirsty to receive food and drink without cost. Jesus feeds the hungry multitude and reveals the abundance of God. At the Eucharistic table we remember all who are hungry or poor in our World today. As we share the bread of life, we are sent forth to give ourselves away as bread for the hungry.
FIRST READING: Isaiah 55: 1-5
     God invites Israel to a great feast at which both food and drink are free. God also promises to make an everlasting covenant with all the people, with promises that previously had been limited to the line of kings. As David was a witness to the nations, these nations shall now acknowledge the ways in which God has glorified Israel.

PSALM: Psalm 145: 8-21

SECOND READING: Romans 9: 1-5
     These words celebrate the depth of God’s actions for us. Through the death of Christ for us and the activity of the Spirit praying for us, we are fused to God’s love poured out in Jesus Christ. Nothing, not even death itself, is able to separate us from such incredible divine love.

GOSPEL: Matthew 14: 13-21

Announcements!
ELCA ADVOCACY UPDATE
​     Make a customized Public Comment to HUD to challenge gender and LGBTQIA+ discrimination through the ELCA Action Center! 
     The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has proposed a new rule that could decrease shelter access and increase the risk of homelessness for transgender and non-binary people in our communities. The proposed rule is now open to public comments, allowing people of faith, service providers, and concerned advocates the chance to offer their perspectives on the issue through September 22. 
     HUD’s proposed change would weaken existing protections under the 2016 issued ”Equal Access Rule,” allowing sex-segregated shelters to consider someone’s biological sex — rather than their self-identification — in making placement choices and how they accommodate people seeking shelter. Currently, the unrevised Equal Access Rule requires housing and shelter facilities to ensure equal access to benefits, services and accommodation for individuals based on their gender identity without intrusive and harmful questioning or government ID requirements.
     The proposed change comes at an already challenging time for those of us struggling with homelessness. According to the Alliance to End Homelessness (Alliance) and HUD Point-in-Time data, homelessness among gender minorities has been increasing rapidly in the last several years, and recent economic turbulence isn’t likely making the situation better. “Since 2016,” according to the Alliance report, “homelessness among transgender people increased 88% overall, with unsheltered homelessness among trans people increasing 113%.” Adding additional barriers to shelters and housing services could potentially worsen these trends, and wear on the tired hope and trust of individuals in the good faith of service providers.
     The ELCA in numerous social teaching documents and statements has affirmed that denying services based on sexuality, gender or any other form of discrimination brings us far short of God’s vision and our own goals of living together as one just society. The ELCA social statement Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust (2009) affirms that, “Hate crimes and violence against those who are regarded as sexually different sometimes have been perpetrated publicly in the name of Christ. Not only must such behaviors be denounced, but this church must work toward greater understanding of sexual orientation and gender identity.” In a press statement highlighting the rule, HUD cited religious beliefs as a driver of the proposed change, making it even more critical for Lutheran voices to speak against the discrimination of our LGBTQIA+ siblings, naming that denying safe shelter is not compatible with our faith.
     Write and customize a unique public comment to HUD through the ELCA Action Center, and share with other advocates concerned with this issue by September 22.

PRAYERS
     Please keep these people in your prayers: Al Bausch, Dortha Feddern, Michael Koch, Wesley and JoAnne Porter, and all 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.
   Zion has created an Amazon Smile account. If you use this link everytime you shop at Amazon,com, Zion will receive a 0.5 percent donation. Your cost doesn't change ... and Zion gets a rebate! Remember to Bookmark the page so you can get back to Zion's Amazon Smile page everytime you shop at Amazon.com
Zion Lutheran Church
230 Cemetery Road (West Jefferson Community Center) w P.O. Box 4 w 
West Jefferson, OH 43162 w 614-879-8107
Reaching in for the Holy Spirit, reaching up for God's grace, reaching out with Christ's love.
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Organist 
Ann Riesbeck DiClemente
Zion Lutheran Church is a member congregation of the Southern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

We worship every Sunday at 10:30 am in the West Jefferson Community Center.  Holy Communion is celebrated each Sunday. 
Pianist
Jerry Gossett
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August 2, 2020
Synod
Approved 
Minister
Jon
Meister
Zion Lutheran Church Covid-19 Response 
Changes for the congregation:
Changes within the Sunday service itself:
                    * We will still use our masks during the hymns. 
                    * All hymns will be limited to 3 verses each. 
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