This Week’s Important Links

Adult Education
Sunday Morning Adult Seminar
10:30 am on Sunday’s via Zoom
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84364439242
Meeting ID: 843 6443 9242

A Place to Talk
Thursday’s at 10 am via Zoom
https://zoom.us/j/209040388

Youth Ministry
Preschool at 11 am Sunday afternoons:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81116729866?pwd=aDNxNGlvemJpc3pnaDVJaUo5UUF3UT09
Meeting ID: 811 1672 9866
Passcode: 648418

Kindergarten & 1st Grade at 7 pm Monday nights:
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/74952256652?pwd=ODZpMkp0SGF6M2w1cjdWVUxKekpvUT09
Meeting ID: 749 5225 6652
Passcode: 1zzSMZ

2nd & 3rd Grade at 7 pm Saturday nights:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/779314033?pwd=OWJzVmlYalJiWEdFV3JBeHVweHdxQT09
Meeting ID: 779 314 033
Passcode: 352022

4th Grade & 5th Grade at 7 pm Tuesday nights:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/488852972?pwd=aVRFOHlGZ3VPREhiNXdxSUt6TGl6Zz09
Meeting ID: 488 852 972
Passcode: 831307

Minecraft Game Nights (3rd-5th grade):
2nd and 4th Thursdays, 6-7 pm
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83853580963
Meeting ID: 838 5358 0963

Minecraft Game Nights (6th-8th grade):
2nd and 4th Thursdays, 7-8 pm
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83853580963
Meeting ID: 838 5358 0963

Featured post

The Saint John’s Bible: Gospels and Acts

We have finally gotten to the Gospels in our journey through The Saint John’s Bible. We will get to see beautiful illuminations of Christ’s Birth, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection as well as images that seek to depict Jesus’ parables, miracles, and eschatological musings. We will also explore Pentecost and Paul from the Book of Acts. If you have missed the rest of the series, now is the time to join us and experience the beauty and brilliance of this incredible work! Tune in this week the intertwining of theology and art in The Saint John’s Bible.

All are welcome to join this Zoom gathering so invite your friends! No prior knowledge of the biblical stories or The Saint John’s Bible is necessary. If you enjoy art, please join us!

Join our Zoom Meeting, 10:30 a.m. Sunday Morning
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84364439242
Meeting ID: 843 6443 9242

Peel House Progress – November 21, 2020

More forms were placed for the elevator footings.
They finished this mid week and poured more concrete at the end of this week! More photos of that to come.
This week was all about the stuff we can’t see in a completed building. Electric and plumbing. Not fun, but very needed!
Electricians hard at work!
Knocking down more walls upstairs.
Same in the kitchen. More demo work!
Meanwhile, in the basement, the contractors are working hard to save this beautiful wood wall. They need to fix the damage behind and will put it back together.

Children’s Christmas Program – ZOOM Style

Another opportunity for being creative! We are planning to put on our traditional Christmas program via Zoom – if kids are interested. Please ask your kids if they want to participate and explain that they will need to commit to doing it. They also have to be pretty good readers and good with doing it via Zoom.

If so, ask them to provide their first and second choice for a part (the part of Mary always goes to a 5th grade girl). We will edit the script to shorten and accommodate whoever is interested and mail a printed version. It is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 6 at 3:30 p.m. and will be available for our members and your families to watch live. The point of doing it is for the kids to maintain this tradition of learning the story and being a part of the Sunday school community. As for costumes – the kids are charged with making one from whatever they can find at home! Let Shelly know by November 23 via email – shelly@flccs.net.

This is Grace: Isaiah 43: 1-7

Pastor Carrie Baylis
November 18, 2020
Wednesday Morning Service

Brothers and sisters in Christ grace, peace, and mercy to you from Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Today our reading comes from Isaiah, that might seem like an odd choice given that we are in the midst of sharing stories of grace, but grace can be found in Old Testament God and I like to think I came across it in Isaiah.
The books of the prophets are sometimes difficult to read, they warned of disastrous circumstances when people didn’t follow God and sometimes presented cold, hard pictures of God, but those harsh images are also balanced with sections of God’s mercy. They worked hard to get the attention of people and remind them of God’s truth. Isaiah is a long book that spans a time of over 200 years, speaking to different people in different times and places. The first 39 chapters are addressed to people who disobey God, chapters 40-55 are meant for people who have been taken or removed from their homes and the final 11 chapters are for people returning to their homes. Today’s reading comes from the 43rd chapter, just preceding this reading you have to understand that God “gave up Jacob” (42:24). God poured out on God’s chosen people the heat of divine judgment, burning them with the fire of war (42:25). Forsaken, brutalized, and conquered, God’s people became prisoners in foreign lands, where no one, not even God, would claim them. No one would speak for them and say, “They are mine, give them back to me, free my people” (42:22). The new divine word — “But now” — breaks the devastating silence that haunted God’s people through generations in exile. The new word announces an end to judgment and proclaims the promise of life from captivity and death. And so the 43rd chapter begins:

Isaiah 43: 1-7
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you, I give people in return for you, nations in exchange for your life. Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you; I will say to the north, “Give them up,” and to the south, “Do not withhold; bring my sons from far away and my daughters from the end of the earth— everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

This is the transcendent God whose word created all that is good (Genesis 1). This is also God the potter, intimately present with God’s creatures — who formed humankind from the clay of the earth and breathed God’s own spirit of life into the being (Genesis 2:7). This God will declare to Israel, “I shaped you for myself” (Isaiah 43:21). Like the book of Genesis, Isaiah moves from a panoramic view of God’s universal providence to focus on the radical particularity of God’s love for Israel.

And so in these verses God speaks to God’s people not like a king on a throne pronouncing an edict, but like a lover whose heart is bursting, who has waited an eternity just to say their name. The people of ancient Israel and Judah needed to hear divine judgment against injustice just as the church does today, but also need to hear reassurance of divine love, protection, and presence. This passage from the second series in Isaiah speaks tender, encouraging and empowering words to those who faced uncertainty. It provokes images of divine love and care, it brings grace into a time and place where hurt and separation had been, it brings the people home, not just to a physical space, but into God’s safe care, as God’s people.

In the 5th and 6th verses the extent of God’s call is described in the use of all four directions, showing the wide range that God casts upon his community, that the nature of his call is to come and join the community, sons and daughters from all ends of the earth and echoes back to creation, when all things were formed. And throughout this call to God’s people, we can’t suggest or promise that God will protect us from all danger, but that both the people of the time and place of the prophet and the contemporary church today are assured of God’s presence along our journey. God’s protection is his grace scattered upon us, within us, and shared. We should be so brave as to look at how God led the community back home in Isaiah, where he walked with them on their journey, assured them that “you are mine” and still today we can declare the same for ourselves and for each other. When God led the people Israel home it wasn’t without its’ dangers or fears, and they went on to perform God’s mission, thousands of years later we have the same assurance through the prophets and through the new covenant of Jesus Christ that God remains steadfast and present with us, and works through the church despite the dangers, despairs and disagreements we might face. The church can do its work because God is present and calls us by name.

Listen brothers and sisters, listen to hear him call you by name and awakening you to the grace of God? Awakening to the grace of God, I love that phrase. In the first verse of our reading the words “do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” That might be all the grace that we need to know from God so that we too can live out our calling as the church. It brings us to the baptismal promise that God forgives us, that salvation is ours and that no matter where I am in my own journey of faith, God is present and has called me by name. This passage reads like a love song that God is singing to each one of us, that God’s commitment to us is greater than anything else that the world might have or bring.

In a time in history when so many people are discouraged with work, home, life, and church, let this word from God be healing, enriching, and startlingly attractive. God is present, he is with you and for you, and he calls you by name.

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?’ Matthew 25:37

Surprise! That’s my first thought reading the parable of the sheep and the goats. Everyone is surprised by how the King decides who will enter into eternal life and who will depart into eternal punishment. We might expect the wicked to be surprised, evil always deceives itself into thinking it’s good. But the righteous are surprised too. I love that about them. They weren’t doing good in order to gain some kind of leverage on God. They fed the hungry and gave drink to the thirsty because it was who they were inside and out. Now my question is, why did Jesus tell us this story? He ruined the surprise now that we know how He will judge us on the last day. Maybe the better question is, what will we do now that we know how this ends.

-Pastor Travis

Christmas Poinsettias

It is that time of year! If you would like to designate a poinsettia in memory of or in honor of a loved one, you may do so by clicking here: https://flccs.net/ministries/christmas-poinsettia.
Complete the form and follow the instructions to pay online. You may also mail your requests to the church along with your check. A dedication list will be published in the Ekklesia on December 23and also posted on our website. The cost is $9.00 per plant. Designations must be received no later than Thursday, December 17. Your poinsettia will be available for pick-up Monday, December 21 through Wednesday, December 23, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m..

Peel House Progress – November 14, 2020

Concrete was poured this week!
More rebar was put in after the initial pour was dry.
The electricians have been hard at work!
Tons of electrical work done in the attic.
Wall in this room was removed. Soon this will be the handicap accessible bathrooms.
Lots of duct work being done in the basement.
Doors on the safe are finally gone!
Now this artwork on the safe will be on display for all to see!

The Saint John’s Bible: Prophets

This week we travel through the Prophetic Books of the Bible, looking at the hopeful visions of Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel and the call to action from Amos. These books are particularly profound when we consider the way that prophecies speak throughout the centuries, foretelling of the one who was to come and suffer for us all, Jesus Christ our Suffering Servant, as well as the ways we are to seek social justice in our world today. The artists took particular attention to draw a simultaneous link between the historical and the contemporary, to show us the way that these prophecies still hold value for us today. Join me this week for another exploration of the intertwining of theology and art in The Saint John’s Bible.

All are welcome to join this Zoom gathering so invite your friends! No prior knowledge of the biblical stories or The Saint John’s Bible is necessary. If you enjoy art, please join us!

Join our Zoom Meeting, 10:30 a.m. Sunday Morning
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84364439242
Meeting ID: 843 6443 9242

From Inspiration to Illumination, an Introduction to The Saint John’s Bible

Join our lunch and learn on Thursday, November 12th at 12 p.m. MST via Zoom!

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87280875301?pwd=SWJIQjFYeENDL3V3bmxCaFJ6ZTZBZz09
Meeting ID: 872 8087 5301
Passcode: 367483

Michael Freeman, Michael Freeman Photography, London, UK

Tim Ternes is the Director of The Saint John’s Bible at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library in Collegeville, Minnesota.  Tim worked closely with the artistic team in the creation of the original works and facilitated planning and communication between artists and commissioner.  This gives him extensive behind-the-scenes knowledge and great stories about all aspects of the project.  Tim will introduce guests to the story behind the making of The Saint John’s Bible, and explore the tools, methods, and materials used in the creating the Bible’s original folios.  You will be encouraged to stretch your own spiritual imagination as you and Tim explore several illuminations from the project.  

“The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’ –Matthew 25:24-25

I like the translation from “The Message” bible for this particular parable. The words are more plain spoken, easy to understand, as if they were speaking right to me. The final servant, the one who hid his money so it would be secure tells the master that he didn’t want to disappoint him, so he just kept what he had hidden and safe. That makes sense doesn’t it? He isn’t a risk-taker, he’s going to give back to the master what is his with no worries of disappointing him. I would bet that many of us make decisions that way sometimes, I’m not going to take the risk because I don’t want the result to be disappointing or I don’t want someone to be disappointed in me. How do you decide when you’re going to play it safe or when you’re going to take a risk? What is the measure we use to calculate risk and if it’s going to be worth it or not? For me, it’s always about who is the risk going to effect besides just me, is there any chance that I’m going to let someone down? It’s also a good time to remember that I can take a risk and that even if it doesn’t work out the people I surround myself with are not usually the ones who are going to be disappointed but the ones that are going to lift me up to try again. Take the risk, you never know what you’re going to learn!

-Pastor Carrie

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