N E W S O F P E A C E Peace Lutheran Church, Steeleville, IL · PDF file...
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N E W S O F P E A C E
Peace Lutheran Church, Steeleville, IL
Reflections from the Julie:
Pastor asked us a question in the newsletter last month, “What Biblical story (stories) provide you with comfort
or courage when you are struggling with a problem at home or work?”
This was a fairly easy question for me to answer, it came to my mind immediately! I have my favorite
stories, and they are all found right there in the same book, same chapter. Luke 15, holds three parables, and
it’s these stories, especially the Prodigal Son, that I have been able to relate to almost all of my life.
When I was in my teens and early twenties I was quite similar to the younger son. I left home quite
young, off to live my life without those restrictive rules my parents expected me to keep. As a child of the 60s
and 70s, growing up in Southern Calif. I knew I could live a cooler, more hip lifestyle. Although I didn’t have a
cash inheritance, I did squander all the other gifts my parents gave me: the ability to speak well, an education,
even the means to go to college. I’d been raised in the church, in a good middle class, loving parent home. I
hated it. To make matters worse, I had an older brother who was PERFECT!
I always stayed in touch with my Parents, at least most of the time. I was sure they didn’t really want
me around anyway. I was also very sure God had already discarded any hope of my redemption. There comes a
time in everyones life when they are faced with something so difficult, or a series of things so heavy, that there
is no one else to go to and you are completely lost and alone. I always remembered the stories of the Lost Coin
and Lost Sheep, but most of all the Prodigal Son. I saw myself in the second son so clearly, lost, dirty and broke
and so in need of Gods love. As many times as I had failed my family and parents, why would they or God want
me back. My parents were very strong and faithful Christians, they knew this story too. They welcomed me
home, welcomed me back to the life I remembered. The church in its teaching of Jesus taught my parents how
to forgive and how to welcome the lost.
As life went on, I learned maybe that Elder brother wasn’t as perfect as it seemed on the outside. What
was it I saw in the Elder brother? I see it in so many people who fit that role. There is a sureness, almost
smugness, “I’ve done it right! What is the big deal that you’ve come home?
Why can’t you be more like me?”.
“Because God made me like me, Not like you”. If doing the right thing means being judgmental and haughty, I
don’t want to be like you!
The father knew if he chastised his son, put him down, he wouldn’t be back. Not just the first week, he
wouldn’t be back at all. Who wants to go back to a place of judgement or criticism? Not me and not most
This parable gives us all the gifts spelled out. The younger son having seen the world with all its glory
and tragedy will never be the same. He comes back now with a changed attitude, a compassion and
understanding of others and himself, and a willingness to be a part of the family. The Elder son sees and learns
there is more to being right, and doing the right things. He has the chance now to show others solidarity and
companionship. The father always knew. He knew that the greatest things we need to give, teach and show
others, is love. Welcoming love.
Below are the contributions for the month of June.
(thru June 15th ) $5,261.86 is needed weekly to meet our budget
Date Weekly Offering Received Year Needed Year Difference Year
To Date To Date To Date 5/31 & 6/1 $4,867.50 $116,710.83 $115,760.92 $ 949.91 7 & 8 $6,680.50 $123,391.33 $121,022.78 $ 2,368.55 14 & 15 $4,740.50 $128,131.83 $126,284.64 $ 1,847.19
During the summer we are focusing on the series of Old Testament lessons from Genesis. These lessons taken from Genesis 12 through 50 tell the great stories of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs of Israel. We will hear stories about Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and his brother Esau, and his wives Leah and Rachel and their father Laban, and finally, the wonderful
story of Joseph, his colorful coat and his jealous brothers. Of course, it should be obvious that within a period of 8 to 10 weekends we are not going to cover everything and there will be a lot left out. So my first suggestion is that as we move through the summer you read through not only the lesson that are appointed but everything between the previous week’s lesson as well. So, for example, last weekend the lesson was Genesis 18. This next weekend will be from Genesis 21. I would suggest that you take a little time to read chapters 18 through to the end of the lesson (verse 15) in chapter 21.
It is also very important to become familiar with this verse:
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. Genesis 12:1-2
This verse lay at the foundation of all of the stories we will hear and, quite honestly, all of the stories of God’s involvement in human history all the way to the present. God’s promise to Abraham has three parts: 1. I will make of you a great nation – God is promising to create community; 2. I will bless you – I will shower my unconditional grace (“steadfast love”) and love and mercy; 3. So that you will be a blessing – You are called, you have a responsibility. It is easy to forget about number #3, but when we do we cheapen the gifts of God’s blessing. How does this play out over the course of these incredible stories. Please join us for worship in order to find out!
Throughout the summer we will continue the schedule of the weekly celebration of Holy Communion at Sunday 9:00 AM worship; and on Saturday, Holy Communion on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays using the Service of the Word on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays. We are also looking forward to singing some of our favorite hymns this summer at worship. July 5/6 – The Genesis story is from chapter 24 – Isaac meets and married Rebekah. The gospel is taken from Matthew 11:16-19,25-30. July 12/13 – Genesis 25:19-34 – Jacob cheats his brother Esau out of his birthright. This is also Parish Rotation weekend and we will welcome Pastor Carla Rush as our preacher and presider for the weekend. The Gospel is Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23. July 19/20 – Genesis 28:10-19a – Jacob is running and has a dream in which he sees the messengers of God-Yahweh ascending and descending upon a ladder that reaches into the heavens. Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43. The Peace Praise Band will lead worship this weekend. July 26/27 – Genesis 29:15-28 – Jacob wants to marry Rachel. His cousin Laban tricks him into
marrying Rachel’s older sister Leah instead forcing Jacob to work for another seven years in order to be able to also marry Rachel. Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52. August 2/3 – Genesis 32:22-31 – The day of reckoning has finally arrived for Jacob. His cheated brother Esau corners him and confronts him. Jacob is terrified and has a dream during which he wrestles with the messenger of God. This is one of the most dramatic stories in the bible. What will happen? Matthew14:13-21. August 9/10 – Genesis 37 – Joseph is Jacob’s favorite son, and he receives a beautiful colored coat as a gift from his father. The 11 brothers are very jealous, which only gets worse when Joseph starts dreaming. Matthew 14:22-33. August 16/17 – Genesis 41 – Joseph is taken in by an official Egyptian named Potiphar, but ends up in prison where he passes the time interpreting dreams. When Pharoah has some disturbing dreams Joseph is sent for and is able to interpret, warning Pharoah of a coming famine. Joseph is then promoted to a very high position of authority. Matthew 15:10-28.
August 23/24 – Genesis 42 – Back in Canaan, Joseph’s brothers and family did not get the warning so the famine hit them hard. Hearing that there is food in Egypt the brothers set off to travel to Egypt to plead for help. They come before their brother Joseph, who they do not recognize (but Joseph recognizes them!). Joseph decides to test his brothers. Matthew 16:13-20. This is rotation weekend. Pastor Laura Kamprath will preach and preside and the Peace Praise Band will lead worship this weekend.
August 30/31 – Genesis 44 – Joseph messes with his brothers and frames Benjamin. Will the brothers abandon Benjamin to his fate in order to save their own necks? Matthew 16:21-28. This weekend we will use the liturgy for Healing and Communion.
September 6/7 – Genesis 45:1-15 – Finally the story comes to a close. Matthew 18:15-20.
From Melinda, Peace’s Parish Nurse:
Note: At the semi-annual congregational meeting, held on June 22, the congregation voted to establish the volunteer position of Parish Nurse, and to appoint Melinda Raby to this position. We are