“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought.” Romans 8:26

I think I’ve been reading this verse wrong. I used to think it meant that the Spirit helps us when we aren’t sure what to pray for. I thought about times when I wanted to pray, but I just couldn’t’ come up with the words. But this passage makes a stronger point. We don’t know how to pray as we ought. Even when we pray we are usually doing it wrong. Not incorrectly, but because of our sinful nature and brokenness we never pray in a way that is perfectly aligned with God’s will and desire. That’s ok though, because the Spirit helps us. The Spirit prays for us, so that our prayer is more like Jesus’ “Not my will, but yours be done.” I know that when I pray it’s usually my will that I want to be done. May the Spirit change our prayers so that the only thing we seek is God’s will.

-Pastor Travis

Kids Kamp on the First Lutheran Lawn

Monday, July 20th and Monday, July 27th from 9-11am
Sign-In at the Columbarium

 
We are happy to welcome you to Kids Kamp this summer! It won’t look like years past. All children will need to wear masks and will stay in small socially-distanced groups but we will have crafts, games, and snacks! July 20th will be all about creation. We will have seven stations each with their own creative twist on the biblical story. Then on July 27th its WATER DAY! We will have the small pools, bounce houses, and bubbles out. We hope you will join us for some safe summer fun!
 
It is open to all kids Preschool through 5th grade (completed). Please sign up to let us know you are coming, by signing up here.

Come with sunscreen on and on water day wear your swimsuit and bring your own towel in a plastic shopping bag.

First Lutheran Mom’s Group

Did Pastor Maerten’s piece in last week’s Ekklesia on “Mom Rage” really hit a chord with you too? As a mom of two little ones, I feel the social isolation and stress that this pandemic has put on an already hard situation. That hard situation is parenthood. It was never the easiest job, though at times very rewarding, but now it had gotten even harder. I would love to lead fellow mom’s in a weekly or bi-weekly zoom conversation to just vent to one another, share stories, and lift each other up in this time of trial. If you are interested, please email me at michaela@flccs.net. If we get enough response, I will post times and details in the Ekklesia next week!

“When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart” Jeremiah 29:13

This line from Jeremiah was written to a people in Exile who just got news that they weren’t coming home anytime soon. In fact Jeremiah warns them that they will be in exile for 70 years. But he offers them home that after that time, God will bring them home and restore their fortunes. Talk about a Messy Middle! Jeremiahs’ message is a kind of ‘bloom where you’re planted.’ and I think it’s a message we need to hear today. We still don’t know how long this pandemic will go one, we don’t know how our world and our church will be fundamentally changed. But I think we can heed the call to seek the Lord with all our heart. God is not far from us, and He wants to be found. What does it mean for you to look for God today?

-Pastor Travis

New Sunday Adult Seminar

July 12th to August 2nd – Online via Zoom Sundays at 10:30 am

It seems that every where we look right now there are conversations about race, policing, and protests. For the next four weeks, let’s explore together common topics about race, the current events of today, where our faith and the ELCA affect our views of race, and finally steps to move forward. You are encouraged to pick up a copy of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum, but it is not required. It is a great introduction to this topic and is a well-balanced book based on research rather than opinion. Let’s tackle this difficult topic together as people of faith and followers of Jesus Christ.

July 12 – “How did we get here?” A look at current events, important terms, and the ELCA’s “Freed in Christ, Race and Ethnicity” Social Statement

July 19 – “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” Understanding Identity Development in Kids, Teens, and Adults

July 26 – “What about Latinx and Other People of Color?” A Discussion on Race Relations in General in America

August 2 – “How does one even become ‘anti-racist’?” Signs of Hope and Steps to Move Forward

Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84364439242
Meeting ID: 843 6443 9242

“I called to the Lord out of my distress, and he answered me;” Jonah 2: 2

Love your enemies said Jesus. And God said it before him, maybe not in as many words, but in his directions. He told Jonah to go to Ninevah. The city was filled with people who posed a threat to Israel and Jonah didn’t seem to want anything to do with them. He understood them to be a bloodthirsty lot who left monuments to the torture and slaughter of those who opposed them. It would seem that Israelites had good reason to fear the Ninevites so Jonah had made up his mind not to go to Nineveh, he would not warn them of any destruction that might be upon them. Jonah experiences some trials in the middle of his detour from Ninevah and as he prays to the Lord the response comes that he is called to go to Ninevah and proclaim the message of the Lord. When he does this, the king of Ninevah calls for his people to turn from their evil ways and the hearts of the Ninevites are changed, they come to understand what it means that God is merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

I wonder where you find yourself in this Jonah story? Is it similar to Jonah, not wanting to go and make nice with your “enemy”? Is it as one of the Ninevites who will stand opposed to anyone who has views that differ from our own? What proclamation of God’s word will turn our hearts to love our enemies and to repent of our own evil?

-Pastor Carrie

“I will not raise my hand against my lord; for he is the Lord’s anointed” 1 Samuel 24

This week we’re walking with David in the Messy middle after he was anointed by Samuel but before he was crowned king. David was chased in the wilderness by Saul and given a chance to kill him in a cave. But David didn’t do it. Why? David didn’t believe he had the right to determine Saul’s fate, that right belonged to God alone. David respected the office of King, even when the King was trying to kill him. David was humble, he was patient and he trusted the Lord to deliver on God’s promises in God’s time. I want to learn how to be like David when life is difficult. To be humble and patient and to trust in the Lord.

-Pastor Travis

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