As we move into November, we are making our final shift of the Pentecost season. We are moving into the part of Pentecost season known as Kingdomtide. The focus of Kingdomtide is to bring both the end of the church year before we begin a new church year on the First Sunday of Advent and the end of time where God finally brings the reign of God as King into full and final being.
The two lesser festivals of Kingdomtide are All Saints Sunday and Christ the King Sunday, or the newer name Reign of Christ Sunday, which ends the church liturgical year. On All Saints Sunday, we remember those from within the congregation of members and friends who have died since last All Saints Sunday. We are asking for families to bring a picture that will be placed on a table and kept there until Christ the King Sunday. On All Saints Sunday, their names will be read, and a family member will place a flower they have received on the table by their picture; you may retrieve the flower after the service and take it with you. Their names will also be read as part of the Prayers of Intercession. Also on All Saints Sunday, we will all participate in the Affirmation of Baptism as our creedal response to listening to God’s Word.
As Christians who are Lutheran, we always want to temper our focus on the end of the process of our life of discipleship, while we want to fully celebrate those who have been faithful in making the journey through life growing into their full identity of being a child of God, we also want to encourage those who are still actively on the Christian path. We Lutherans have a special paradoxical way of looking at Christians still walking their path as Christian disciples. We affirm that at the same time we are both Saints and Sinners. Ultimately, the sinner in us will die and what will be left is the saint we have been in the making.
The Final Sunday of the Church Liturgical Year is always Christ the King Sunday. The coming of Christ at the end of time to reign as King to the glory of God the Father is the end point of all history. All time began with God as the creator and owner of creation and now with the reign of Christ as King of all creation is returned to God the Father through the death, resurrection, ascension, and the return of Christ. As Paul says in the letter to the Philippians: “Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
This is the goal of all history as we who are Christians understand the world. Some days this looks like we are growing closer to the full reign of Christ and on other days it looks like we are just falling apart, and evil seems to have the upper hand. Our liturgy as we celebrate keeps the vision of the true God as King in Christ before our eyes so we can trust in the real outcome of our world that Christ will reign as King at the end of time no matter how bumpy the road will be to getting there.
Public Laying on of Hands and Anointing of Oil for Healing…On Sunday, November 14, we will offer as part of our public worship our first of two public offerings of Laying on of Hands and Anointing of Oil for Healing. Some of you have already received this as a private act before surgery or when I have visited you in the hospital. Now I want to expand this to my normal practice of offering twice a year, first in the fall and then in the spring, an opportunity for members and friends of the congregation to receive Laying on of Hands and Anointing of Oil as a Public Rite during our worship. The Ministry of Healing in our Lutheran tradition includes: Confession and Absolution, Readings from Scripture, Prayers, Receiving Holy Communion, and the Laying on of Hands and Anointing of Oil. So, you can see with the inclusion of Laying on of Hands and Anointing of Oil, we will be offering the full ministry of healing from our tradition. After the sermon hymn, those who wish to receive the Laying on of Hands and Anointing of Oil will be asked to come forward to receive this Rite. At the conclusion of the Rite, we will continue with the Prayers of Intercession by the Assisting Minister.
Community Thanksgiving Service…We have been invited by St. Paul Lutheran Church to join them with their ecumenical partners and other area Lutheran churches for a Community Thanksgiving Service to be held on Tuesday, November 23, at St. Paul Lutheran Church. We are still working on the details, so look for more information in your Sunday bulletin and by Constant Contact email.
Christmas Toys for Someplace Safe…We need to announce that we will not be having an Angel Tree from Salvation Army this year. We would like to thank Tootie Rogers and Missy LaRock for their many years leading the Angel Tree project. To keep our focus on those who have a genuine need at Christmas time, we are planning to collect toys to be donated to Someplace Safe. We still need to contact Someplace Safe to determine what toys they will find useful and then we will post a list for those who are willing to donate. For next year, if you would be willing to lead the Salvation Army Angel Tree project, please contact the church office.
The Story of the Week…One of the things that we, as Christians, who are people of the Book (Bible) really could use is a disciplined way for us to learn the many core Bible stories from the Scriptures. The book “Bible Stories for the Church Year” by Kristen Johnson Ingram does just that by tying Bible stories to the Sunday lectionary we use every week as part of worship. We will continue to offer a Bible story each week that is read as part of our liturgy to be learned called The Story of the Week. At some point, with more children present, we can even use these stories as the basis of children’s sermons and a Sunday School program. We plan to put out about ten copies each week and as the demand grows, we will make more copies available.
The Story of the Week for November:
November 7: The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12)
November 14: Daniel in the Lion’s Den (Daniel 6)
November 21: The Trial of Jesus (John 18:33-37)
November 28: Being Ready (Luke 21:25-26; the First Sunday of Year C)
December 5: Birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:5-25, 57-76)
Mid-Week Bible Study…We are reading together the Gospel of Luke, which will be the Gospel starting in Advent of this year on Wednesday mornings at 11:00 am in the Fellowship Hall. If you are interested, just bring a version of the Bible you are comfortable working with. We are still in early chapters of the Gospel of Luke, so you haven’t missed much if you still would like to join us.
Thrivent Members…If you are a Thrivent member and would be interested in using your Thrivent Choice Dollars to support the ministries of Living Lord Lutheran Church, please call Pr. Klinker at 330-550-0077 or the church office. If you would be interested in using Thrivent Action Grants to help support the ministries of Living Lord, please also call Pr. Klinker or the church office. Pastor will meet with you to discuss how to go about setting up these support systems.
Pastor Larry’s Bible Blog…Pastor Larry offers you an opportunity to read your way thru Scriptures with him each day at his Bible Blog. The readings alternate between readings from an Older Testament book and then a Newer Testament book. We have been reading the Older Testament book of Jeremiah in October and will continue reading it in November on Pastor Larry’s Bible blog online at: http://klinkerld-pastorlarrysbible.blogspot.com/. Join us online.
Interim Pastor Larry Klinker’s Office Hours…Pastor Larry will be in the office on Wednesdays from 9:30 am to noon. You may reach him at 330-550-0077 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.