Card Class…Due to the COVID-19 Virus, there will be no Card Class in May.
Easter Food Baskets…The Outreach Committee would like to thank everyone who donated to the Easter Food Baskets, especially in these very trying times. We were able to assist 15 families.
“The heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past.” Gabriel Garcia Marques
The present global pandemic drastically changes the way we live. The Coronavirus has made us domestic prisoners, or as they say in the military, solitary confinement, or “the hole”, in an attempt to halt the progression of the virus. But, as a literary book worm that I am, one of my favorite books is “Love in the Time of Cholera” (or today “Coronavirus”). I prefer “Love in the Time of Coronavirus”. As the news of first cases of the virus reached us, we tended to believe, not in my backyard-NIMBY. Despite China’s far away distance, we soon moved into a panic mode and started to hoard things in preparation for the end. Hundreds of years from now this will be remembered as the “toilet paper crisis”. Quickly the Coronavirus epidemic changed in status to a worldwide pandemic. We have witnessed many changes, no more large gatherings or sporting events, and we have become a society of reclusion as if in a cloister. Now is a time of reflection. We need to maintain our physical and mental health and re-learn how to rely on our neighbors and community. The desire to help others, keep in touch, and show appreciation is sky high. My neighbor generously offered to bring me groceries, I write letters to my girlfriends, and the internet highway is busy keeping up communication with family and friends. The fear of acquiring the virus has transformed us so that we build physical barriers or social distance between friends and family members. However, it has helped develop closeness in the sense of caring for the well-being of the community and helping others during this time of social isolation. From businesses to family members, the goal is to minimize the risk of the spreading the virus. We provide a collective effort for the good of the community. The lessons learned from this event are that we need to be prepared, remain healthy, rely on each other, keep our spirits alive, and learn to appreciate a slower pace of indoor life. Remember the bygone era of board games, radio music, and just being close to those who are dear to us. Oh yeah, we do have television today. And, more important, be humble and give thanks for surviving another crisis.
From Kerry Weber, an executive editor for the magazine America, the Jesuit Review. Weber writes:
Jesus Christ, you traveled through towns and villages “curing every disease and illness.” At your command, the sick were made well. Come to our aid now, in the midst of the global spread of the corona virus, that we may experience your healing love.
Heal those who are sick with the virus. May they regain their strength and health through quality medical care.
Heal us from our fear, which prevents nations from working together and neighbors from helping one another.
Heal us from our pride, which can make us claim invulnerability to a disease that knows no borders.
Jesus Christ, healer of all, stay by our side in this time of uncertainty and sorrow.
Be with those who have died from the virus. May they be at rest with you in your eternal peace.
Be with the families of those who are sick or have died. As they worry and grieve, defend them from illness and despair. May they know your peace.
Be with the doctors, nurses, researchers, and all medical professionals who seek to heal and help those affected and who put themselves at risk in the process. May they know your protection and peace.
Be with the leaders of all nations. Give them the foresight to act with charity and true concern for the well-being of the people they are meant to serve. Give them the wisdom to invest in long-term solutions that will help prepare for or prevent future outbreaks. May they know your peace, as they work together to achieve it on earth.
Whether we are home or abroad, surrounded by many people suffering from this illness or only a few, Jesus Christ, stay with us as we endure and mourn, persist and prepare. In place of our anxiety, give us your peace.
Jesus Christ, heal us. Amen
Pastor Bill and Lynn will be working from home in order to be in compliance with Governor DeWine’s Stay-at-Home Order. We ask all of you to heed the Governor’s order and recommendations. If you are in need of assistance in obtaining food and/or medicine, please do not hesitate to call Pastor Bill on his cell phone at 330-465-6221. If you are anxious and would like Pastor Bill to pray with you, please call his cell. Please stay in contact with each other by calling and checking on each other. We will be keeping you updated and sending out weekly notices and worship service videos. Remember, we will get through this together, with God as our guide and strength…lean on him in this time of uncertainty. (or something like that).
I have my worship assistant, Preacher Joe, and the congregation today was Charlie, Moose, and Bucky. Moose was really into the hymn singing. Yet, it might appear that Charlie is gazing up and getting bored with Preacher Joe’s sermon.
Below is the link for the YouTube video of the March 22 worship service and sermon. Just click on the link:
The month of March is the season of Lent this year. Then the first Sunday in April is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week. Here is what this journey will look like:
First, Jesus meets Satan in the wilderness, and Satan learns who the “Boss” is. Second, we meet Nicodemus, a Pharisee, a teacher in the temple. Nicodemus wants to learn from Jesus, but this is a huge transition from how he got his teaching to become a Pharisee. He wants to keep a low profile to gain confidence first. Sound a bit like us sometimes?
Third, we meet the Samaritan woman at the well. Totally opposite of Nicodemus! She must avoid her own people in order to survive. He eyes are opened, and she understands who this Jesus is. Her fear of her own people goes away immediately, and she delivers the “Good News” without hesitation. Nicodemus will eventually deliver the “Good News”, but he is burdened by his status and it slows him down. The Samaritan woman has nothing to lose. One thing she does have is a loving heart full of grace and mercy. Without a doubt, she never loses that!
Fourth, Jesus gives sight to a blind man who immediately spreads the “Good News”. What? “Who gave him authority to preach?” asks the Temple leaders. In the simple words of this man, “He touched me! He told me to see! It worked! I am thankful! And I’m not keeping this to myself! Get over it!” or words and body language to that effect. Sometimes we must be firm in our conviction. I always worry that I need to be more graceful.
The message during the Wednesday Lenten Services will be about sharing our faith throughout our community, the world, and in every circumstance we might find ourselves. We are not just going to talk about it! I am encouraging every one of us to practice it. Like our brothers and sisters in Scripture, we have “Good News” to share. We are all called to share it. Not just a select few!
Lenten Evening Worship Service & Soup Supper…Beginning on Wednesday, March 4, we will have Soup Suppers at 5:30 pm followed by Lenten Evening Worship Service at 6:30 pm at Living Lord Lutheran Church. We will need two crocks of soup each Wednesday. Please see the sign-up sheet on the bulletin board if you can volunteer to bring soup.
Town Hall Meetings…The entire congregation is invited and encouraged to attend one or both of the Town Hall Meetings scheduled on Sundays, March 15, at 11:45 am and March 22, at 9:00 am.
Purpose: To develop the Strategic Ministry Plan for Living Lord Lutheran Church.
Why: Each congregation must have a vision and a plan for their ministry within their community. Plans must be current and relevant, therefore, they must be updated regularly. At the transition of leadership and before a search is made for a new pastor, the “Ministry Profile” must be updated in order to call the leader with the gifts to support that vision and plan. This is the vision and desires of our congregation, YOU!
Our Congregation Council has been working at updating our “Ministry Profile” since May 2019. The demographics have been completed with the most current census and our 2019 Parochial Report. This tells us who Living Lord is and who our community is.
Next, we must decide how we will minister to this community.
The Council has been looking at how we will navigate this journey, i.e. Where are we? Where do we want to go?
We cannot get from here to there without the entire team participating and owning the vision and plan that we develop. The Council needs to hear your voice in order to formulate a realistic plan.
There will be a brief presentation of how the Town Hall Meeting will proceed, but we desire that most of the meeting will be brainstorming with you. We will wrap up the session by prioritizing the ideas by your votes.
After both meetings are complete, the Council will create a draft “Strategic Plan” based on your input. This will be published for the congregation to review and make comments. Based on these comments, the Council can clarify the plan.
Finally, the Council will schedule a Special Congregation Meeting to approve the “Ministry Profile” and the members of the Call Committee. So far, the following members have requested to be on the Call Committee and have been accepted by the Council: Randall Beckley, Raymond Boothe, Neal L’Amoureaux, Brycen Prasky, Warner Taiclet, Nancy Walters, and Barb Wright.
Again, please plan to join us as we need to hear everyone’s voice.
Church Information…Please remember that you can obtain church information from the monthly Lamplighter Newsletter, the Constant Contact emails you receive, on the church website (www.lllc.org), on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Living-Lord-Lutheran-Church-493806727349110/), and postings on the church bulletin board. Church Council Meeting minutes are posted on the bulletin board and sent out via Constant Contact. We would like to see a better “open rate” when we send information to you via Constant Contact so that we know you are being informed of the activities that are occurring at the church. If you have any other suggestions on how best to reach out to our parishioners, please see a Council member.
Card Class…Join us for a card-making class on Thursday, March 5, in the Activity Room. We will be making 4 cards. The theme is “Fun Folds” cards. Classes will be at 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm. The cost is $12.00. Please bring adhesives like double-stick tape and liquid glue. There is a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board. The deadline for signing up is Sunday, March 1. If you have any questions, please contact Lynne Walters.