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Readings and Psalm for July 28, 2019, Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

Persistence in prayer evoked the admiration of Jesus and wins the attention of the Lord when Abraham intercedes for Sodom. The life of the baptized—to be rooted and built up in Christ Jesus the Lord—is to be rooted in prayer. God hears and answers prayer and so strengthens God’s own. “When I called, you answered me; you increased my strength within me.”

Readings and Psalm
Genesis 18:20-32
Psalm 138
Colossians 2:6-19
Luke 11:1-13

Prayer of the Day

Almighty and ever-living God, you are always more ready to hear than we are to pray, and you gladly give more than we either desire or deserve. Pour upon us your abundant mercy. Forgive us those things that weigh on our conscience, and give us those good things that come only through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

First Reading: Genesis 18:20-32

20Then the Lord said, “How great is the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah and how very grave their sin! 21I must go down and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me; and if not, I will know.”
22So the men turned from there, and went toward Sodom, while Abraham remained standing before the Lord. 23Then Abraham came near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will you then sweep away the place and not forgive it for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25Far be it from you to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” 26And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will forgive the whole place for their sake.” 27Abraham answered, “Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. 28Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29Again he spoke to him, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” 30Then he said, “Oh do not let the Lord be angry if I speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” 31He said, “Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” 32Then he said, “Oh do not let the Lord be angry if I speak just once more. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.”

Psalm: Psalm 138

1I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with my whole heart;
before the gods I will sing your praise.
2I will bow down toward your holy temple and praise your name, because of your steadfast love and faithfulness;
for you have glorified your name and your word above all things.
3When I called, you answered me;
you increased my strength within me.
4All the rulers of the earth will praise you, O Lord,
when they have heard the words of your mouth.
5They will sing of the ways of the Lord,
that great is the glory of the Lord.
6The Lord is high, yet cares for the lowly,
perceiving the haughty from afar.
7Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you keep me safe;
you stretch forth your hand against the fury of my enemies; your right hand shall save me.
8You will make good your purpose for me;
O Lord, your steadfast love endures forever; do not abandon the works of your hands.

Second Reading: Colossians 2:6-19

6As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

8See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. 9For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. 11In him also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision, by putting off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ; 12when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. 13And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, 14erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross. 15He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.
16Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths. 17These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, dwelling on visions, puffed up without cause by a human way of thinking, 19and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.

Gospel: Luke 11:1-13

1[Jesus] was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”2He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
3Give us each day our daily bread.
4And forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.
And do not bring us to the time of trial.”
5And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.’ 7And he answers from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 8I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.
9“So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 10For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 11Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? 12Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? 13If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

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What’s Your Story?

Editor’s Note:  The Rev. Leila Ortiz served as guest preacher and was elected to  serve as Bishop of the Metro DC Synod of the ELCA at the Metro DC Synod Assembly held June 14-15.  We’ll add links to the storytelling presentation by keynote speaker Margot Leitman as well as the sermon by the Rev. Leila Ortiz when they become available.

“WHAT’S YOUR STORY”
New England Synod Assembly Report
June 7-8, 2019

On June 7th, Pastor Kyle, Lars Johanson and I (along with close to 500 other participants) attended the New England Synod Assembly in Worcester, MA and discovered what this unusual and enticing title for a Synod Assembly was all about. As we learned from Margot Leitman, our Keynote Speaker, “Everyone has a story and connecting with strangers creates great stories which unite us and shows how similar we really are. Why we do what we do in the ELCA and in our own individual lives gets the stories out of our heads and into the world for all to hear. It is important for us to tell why we do what we do in our worship and work as members of the ELCA and in the activities of our daily lives. Continue reading What’s Your Story?

Readings and Psalm for Sunday, July 21, Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

Perhaps the church, at its best, is “all ears.” Almighty God urges the faithful, again and again, to “listen up!”—to heed the word from above. So it was with Abraham and Sarah, with Mary and Martha, and the early church at Colossae. So it is today as we join the assembly to hear the word of God, the words of life.

Readings and Psalm
Genesis 18:1-10a
Psalm 15
Colossians 1:15-28
Luke 10:38-42

First Reading: Genesis 18:1-10a

1The Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. 2He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. 3He said, “My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant. 4Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. 5Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” 6And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Make ready quickly three measures of choice flour, knead it, and make cakes.” 7Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it. 8Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.
9They said to him, “Where is your wife Sarah?” And he said, “There, in the tent.” 10aThen one said, “I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.”

Psalm: Psalm 15

1Lord, who may dwell in your tabernacle?
Who may abide upon your holy hill?
2Those who lead a blameless life and do what is right,
who speak the truth from their heart;
3they do not slander with the tongue, they do no evil to their friends;
they do not cast discredit upon a neighbor.
4In their sight the wicked are rejected, but they honor those who fear the Lord.
They have sworn upon their health and do not take back their word.
5They do not give their money in hope of gain, nor do they take bribes against the innocent.
Those who do these things shall never be overthrown.

Second Reading: Colossians 1:15-28

15[Christ Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation;16for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. 17He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.
21And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him—23provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel.
24I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. 25I became its servant according to God’s commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26the mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints. 27To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28It is he whom we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.

Gospel: Luke 10:38-42

38Now as [Jesus and his disciples] went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. 40But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” 41But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; 42there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Ongoing Vigils in Manchester are Making a Difference. Help Ensure A Powerful Presence.

Participation in ICE Vigils is Making A Difference! 

See a special thank you for your support here.

Help Ensure the Powerful Presence Continues at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) which continues to ask immigrants without documents to return for check-in meetings in Manchester, sometimes with airline tickets in hand. Our presence has made a difference in slowing down deportations especially for 60+ Christian Indonesians who came to the US many years ago. The next vigils will he held Tuesdays  July 2 and July 16. Vigils are from 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. at the Norris Cotton Federal Building, 275 Chestnut Street, Manchester. Carpool departs from the CCBA at 7:15 a.m..  We will return to the CCBA by 11/11:30 a.m. Please signup here.21367040_1617111501654177_4618948390388660212_o

 

Calling All Cooks!

Calling all cooks to provide a meal the 1st Wednesday of every month for the residents of Dismas House. Up to 3 people are needed each month to make an entree, salad and dessert. The meal can be cooked at home or at Dismas House. Dinner starts at 6 p.m. For more information please talk to Irma and Woody Graf, Jo Petty, or Gisela Jones Jones after worship or call the church office.  The residents at Dismas House are former prisoners who are trying to make a new start in their lives. All are non-violent offenders.

“Living in community accomplishes the Dismas House mission of reconciliation. Community is fundamentally about relationship and it is precisely the relationship between the offender and their community that is broken, first by the crime committed and subsequently by the resulting incarceration. In reconciliation, wholeness is restored to the former prisoner and to society.” (read more at www.dismasofvermont.org )

Sitting down for a common meal with the residents at Dismas House is of mutual benefit to the ones who provide a meal and the ones who partake of the meal. Give it a try!