October 14, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri

October 14, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri(pdf)

October 14, 2020

 

 

 

         

           Kim Pile 10/15                        Dawn & Mike Freeman 10/14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Washington County Interfaith Coalition ~ Interfaith Prayers for our times
October 13, 2020

Africa(tribal)

The bread is pure and fresh

The water is cool and clear

Lord of all life, be with us

Lord of all life, be near

Unitarian Universalist

The food which we are about to eat

Is Earth, Water, Sun, compounded

Through the alchemy of many plants.

Therefore Earth, Water and Sun will become part of us.

The food is also the fruit of the labor of many beings and creatures.

We are grateful for it

May it give us strength, health and joy.

And may it increase our love.

 

The food we take in is not merely the food we take through our mouths.

We are fed by the feelings that surround us, the words that enter our hearts, the physical and emotional touches of those with whom we live.

 

Help us share together this food: the nurture of listening, the strength of hoping, the satisfaction of touching each other’s hearts.

May we feed all whom we meet with patience and warmth.  May that food be received as an offering of holiness.

 

We pray You walk beside us as we feed each other with that holy of love.  Amen.

 

Valerie Wills, Coordinator
Washington County Interfaith Coalition

BECAUSE WE NEED TO LAUGH (or moan with a smile)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FYI – Platypus babies are called “puggles”!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A PAUSE IN GOD’S WORD

Read    1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

1Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace to you and peace.

2We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly 3remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4For we know, brothers and sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you, 5because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of persons we proved to be among you for your sake. 6And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, 7so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith in God has become known, so that we have no need to speak about it. 9For the people of those regions report about us what kind of welcome we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, 10and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath that is coming.

Reflection
To this day, I marvel at the way the story of Jesus can change lives.  How can hearing about Jesus, who they never met, who may have lived far away or long ago capture a heart and life. I know the answer is the Holy Spirit, still it seems so amazing. Thessalonica is a busy, cosmopolitan city in Macedonia. A center of Roman governing and trade, where there were likely dozens of temples dedicated to various Roman gods. While Paul would begin his mission efforts by speaking in the local synagogue, it seems the people who listened to Paul and chose Jesus were not Hebrews but Gentiles. What was it about Jesus that was so captivating that they would turn from all those other gods, turn away from the typical Roman way of worshiping many gods and risk the ridicule, rejection and persecution it would bring? Again, I know the Holy Spirit is the answer, still it seems extraordinary. The Holy Spirit opens doors, minds, wall, hearts through Paul’s words and actions and a new way of see, thinking and living attracts and becomes good news to someone new. Somehow, God revealed in Jesus, who lives, dies on a cross and rises from the dead doesn’t sound like nonsense or gibberish — “you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God.” Belief became action; faith was lived; others could see the difference in new follower of Jesus. It began with Paul being willing to share the story of Jesus and his own story of how Jesus came to be in his own life.

As we discuss, wring our hands and worry about how to “Be a 21st Century Church,” we need to be reading these stories of how the gospel was first spread. There was no program or manual. It was just men and women who talked with other about the God they knew through Jesus and what a difference it had made in their lives. We are the way the Holy Spirit will open pathways for others to hear the gospel and hear it as “good news.” It is not about using a sledgehammer or hell to frighten or guilt people into submission. It’s relational — being so in love with our Lord that our words and actions make others curious. When we tell a bit of our story of God’s life-giving work in our lives, gospel seeds are thrown out. The Holy Spirit will tend, water, and grow the seeds in God’s time and ways (which may include us and our faith community.)

It’s both a bit intimidating and yet exciting to be God’s way to bring the grace, mercy, love and peace of God into the world. Stay true to the gospel, joyfully share as the opportunities arrive and let the Holy Spirit invite others to God’s open table through us.

Prayer
Give us courage to believe that you can work through us to reach others. Help us to know that words of genuine faith are enough in your hands. Remind us that it is not about having the perfect words or complex theological explanations or being able to quote scriptures that turns hearts to you. It’s seeing your love and hearing the joy, comfort or peace we find in you. Let us trust the Holy Spirit and joyfully take up the “work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” Amen.

Music
“Lord Jesus, You Shall Be My Song”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYr3qfJUXYE

“Listen, God Is Calling”  ELW #513  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Y7I7BzID7Y

Telling our stories

“Nobody” (Casting Crowns)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yBzIt_z8oY

“Rescue Story” (Zach Williams)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Yr48Berkqc

“Tell Your Heart to Beat Again”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrZ_5iHJqx4

“Not Afraid” (Jesus Culture)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2rIJxmHmac