3rd Sunday after Pentecost
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.
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.
WE’RE HAVING A BAPTISM, LET’S CELEBRATE
Today we are celebrating the Baptism of Alora Lynn Doran, daughter of Brandon and Lauren Doran (remember Brandon). She was born on 17th of June last year. Please plan to be here to welcome Alora Lynn and to remember our own Baptisms and congratulate Jody and Richard Taylor and Brandon and Lauren. It is always a great day when we greet a new member of God's family.
Next Sunday is Fathers’ Day. We will be honoring fathers who are here and who cannot be with us. Please remember your fathers and come to help us honor them.
GOD'S WORK. OUR HANDS
Many of us do not know of the celebration of Juneteenth, an American holiday, that is celebrated annually on June 19th. It is also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Independence Day for many people of African descent who are children of enslaved African peoples.
Juneteenth commemorates the day when many enslaved African peoples in Texas learned of their freedom as a result of President Abraham Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. Two years later, Congress adopted the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery.
The proclamation ended approximately 244 years of brutal unpaid labor by African descendants, which exacerbated hunger and poverty among this population in the United States.
Next Sunday we will have a special prayer for Juneteenth.
Please keep these people in your prayers: Michael Koch, Wesley and JoAnne Porter, Mark Phillips and Margaret Bussard, Evan Taylor (Evan is in very serious condition, please remember him), Ruth (the soon-to-be-born daughter of Brandon and Lauren Doran, Jody and Richard Taylor’s great granddaughter), the family of Don Brooks, and all of those who are still suffering from COVID 19 and their families. If you want to stay up-to-date on Michael's progress you can visit https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/michaelkoch2. If you want to keep up-to-date on Evan's progress you can visit https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/evantaylor
Please remember all of our shut ins and sick: Arlene Castor, Nancy Haney, Norma Hicks, and Richard Fogt. (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.