St Paul – A Small Congregation with a Mighty Mission – Inviting all who seek Christ to come and be fed!

 sermons

 

 

 

St. Paul Lutheran Church

Dear Friends in Christ,

In this time when Coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused the world to make both subtle and dramatic changes, we too are adapting to change.  As more information becomes available to us through the ELCA, (CDC) Centers for Disease Control and (DPH) Department of Public Health we will our plans as necessary.  The action plans of each of these agencies are well thought out and flexible enough to meet challenges before us..

The members of the Church Council and I are hopeful that we may be able to meet for worship once again beginning on Sunday, March 29th.  Please await further verification from us before coming to church that day.

Attached to this message is a portion of today’s worship service including Scripture, prayers and the pastoral message.  I will be working with Melissa Adames to provide that sermon as a voice recording as well.

Today and in the coming days I will be contacting every member of the congregation by telephone, beginning with those who do not use the internet.  You may also call or contact me as follows:

Cell Phone   (203) 910-8386

Emailrevkwadhams@aol.com

If you experience any difficulty reaching me by phone it is probably because I am  making the calls I mentioned above. In that event, please text me and I’ll contact you shortly

Blessings,

Pastor Kim

St. Paul Lutheran Church

 

WORD

God speaks to us in Scripture readings, preaching and song

*First Reading: Ezekiel 37:1-14

The first reading is from the book of Ezekiel the 37th Chapter

Ezeiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones is a promise that Israel as a nation, though dead in exile, will live again in their land through God’s life-giving spirit. Three times Israel is assured that through this vision they will know that “I am the Lord.”

 1The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. 3He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” 4Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
7So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. 9Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” 10I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.
11Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ 12Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. 14I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.”

A         Word of God, word of life.                C   Thanks be to God.

Psalm: Psalm 130

1Out | of the depths
I cry to | you, O Lord;
2O Lord, | hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my | supplication.
3If you were to keep watch | over sins,
O Lord, | who could stand?
4Yet with you | is forgiveness,
in order that you | may be feared. R
5I wait for you, O Lord; | my soul waits;
in your word | is my hope.
6My soul waits for the Lord more than those who keep watch | for the morning,
more than those who keep watch | for the morning.
7O Israel, wait for the Lord, for with the Lord there is | steadfast love;
with the Lord there is plen- | teous redemption.
8For the Lord shall | redeem Israel
from | all their sins. R

*Second Reading: Romans 8:6-11

The second reading is from the book of Romans the 8th Chapter

For Paul, Christian spirituality entails living in the reality of the Holy Spirit. The driving force behind our actions and values is not our sinful desire for self-satisfaction but the very Spirit by which God raised Jesus from the dead and will also raise us from the dead.

 6To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, 8and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

A         Word of God, word of life.                C   Thanks be to God.

* Gospel: John 11:1-4

The holy Gospel according to John the 11th Chapter

C          Glory be to you, O Christ

 

Jesus is moved to sorrow when his friend Lazarus falls ill and dies. Then, in a dramatic scene, he calls his friend out of the tomb and restores him to life.

 

1Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. 3So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, 6after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
7Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?” 9Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. 10But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.” 11After saying this, he told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.” 12The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.” 13Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. 14Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
17When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, 19and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. 20When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. 21Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” 23Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, 26and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”
28When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. 30Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. 34He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35Jesus began to weep. 36So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

38Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” 40Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” 43When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

45Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

P          The gospel of the Lord.                                  C          Praise to you, O Christ.

 

*PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

A         Turning our hearts to God who is gracious and merciful, we pray for the church, the world, and all who are in need.

A brief silence.

A         God of life, bind your faithful people into one body. Enliven the church with your Spirit and bless the work of those who work for its renewal. Accomplish your work of salvation in us and through us, for the sake of the world. Hear us, O God.

C         Your mercy is great.

A       God of life, you love the world you have made and you grieve when creation suffers. Restore polluted lands and waterways. Heal areas of the world ravaged by storms, floods, wildfires, droughts, or other natural disasters. Grant mercy to those who are ill around the world due to the Corona Virus. Bring all things to new life. Hear us, O God.

C         Your mercy is great.

A         God of life, show redemption to all who watch and wait with eager expectation: those longing for wars to cease, those waiting for immigration paperwork to finalize, those seeking election, and those in dire need of humanitarian relief. Come quickly with your hope. Hear us, O God.

C         Your mercy is great.

A         God of insight, you care for our needs even before we ask. Come quickly to all who seek prayer this day including…… Also, victims of disaster and those affected by and serving in wars, and all those we name aloud or in our hearts before you now…(pause for names to be said aloud.). Accomplish healing through the work of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, nutritionists, and all who tend to human bodies. Hear us, O God.

C          Your mercy is great.

A         God of life, you weep with those who grieve. Unbind all who are held captive by anxiety, despair, or pain (especially). Fill us with compassion and empathy for those who struggle, and keep us faithful in prayer. Hear us, O God.

C          Your mercy is great.

A            God of life, we give thanks for opportunities for this congregation to collaborate with our community in caring for the needs of our neighbors. Strengthen our ties with other local congregations, agencies, and services. Hear us, O God.

C          Your mercy is great.

A         God of life, you are our resurrection. We remember all those who have died and trust that, in you, they will live again. Breathe new life into our dry bones that we, too, might live with you forever. Hear us, O God.

C        Your mercy is great.

P          According to your steadfast love, O God, hear these and all our prayers as we commend them to you; through Christ our Lord.

C        Amen.

 

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PRAYER LIST

Louise Brauer

Charlie Gray

Gene Bald

Terry Luther

Sharon Gray

Arlene Malena

Mia Devine

Jerry Fedorovich

Shirley Ekstrom

Skip Henke

Anita DiVita

Alice Colburn

Ed Bartis

Mark DellaVecchia

Bob Johnson

Valerie Francis

Karen DiTomasso

Laurie Colburn

Bruce Thorrtenson

Matt Bendzinski

Eileen Turner

Haley Mitnick

Phyllis Cote

Namoi Zeimak

Kerry Ekstrom

Cesar Deleon Mena

Chuck Ford

Bud Chaples

Alexis Sharp

Judy Ford

Mary Lynn Gagnon

Also, victims of disaster and those affected by and serving in wars, and all those we name aloud or in our hearts before you now.

*Bold Face indicates St. Paul Members*

March 29th , 2020

PLYMOUTH FOOD PANTRY: Needs List: Healthy, low-sugar cereals, oatmeal, low-sodium soups and broth, pasta, sauce, diapers size 4 or larger & baby wipes.

ALTAR GUILD: Altar Guild has an opening for the month of September.  If you can help out, please see Carolyn Pollack.

SERVICE ASSISTANTS NEEDED: We need Assistant Minister Communion Assistants and Lay readers for the special services for Easter. Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. Please see AJ or sign up in the Social Hall.

Canceled—VESPER SERVICES IN LENT:

Canceled—LENTEN LUNCHEN:

EASTER PLANT SALE: We will be having an Easter plant and bake sale on Saturday April 4th from 9am – 2pm.  A signup sheet will be in social hall for baked goods.

LIGHT THE WAY FOR KINDNESS EVENT: Show your support for “Kindness Lives Here” by displaying purple lights or décor at your home, church, business.

TAG SALE: Tag Sale will be April 24th & 25th. Now is the time to do some spring cleaning.  You may drop off Items in the room at the bottom of the ramp.

 

 

GOSPEL MESSAGE

March 29, 2020

FIFTH SUNDAY IN LENT

Can These Bones Live?

Before it is anything else, today’s gospel is an up-close, deeply personal story of grief. Even the movements seem familiar: Jesus is on the way, then present to each sister. At last, he stands outside the tomb of his friend who has died, and whom the community mourns.

In today’s first reading, we are swept up with Ezekiel and deposited into a wilderness valley full of dry, dead bones. In the valley, God asks Ezekiel, “Mortal, can these bones live?” (Ezek. 37:3). Of Lazarus in our gospel reading for today, we, like Ezekiel, might also respond: “O Lord God, you know.” How can dry bones come to life? And how could a dead man ever possibly live again? Indeed, we might wonder if it will be enough, ever could be enough, that Jesus is “the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). At the same time, we easily understand and echo Martha and Mary, who were both accusing angrily and confessing hopefully when they said, “Lord, if you had been here . . .” (John 11:21, 32).

As John tells it, Lazarus has been in the tomb four days by the time Jesus arrives. By then the whole village is awash in grief. When Jesus weeps too, they are amazed at his loving devotion: here is a strong sign of connection, a visible reminder that Jesus is truly present among human community, not above it. In the end, Jesus does what we could never imagine was even a remote possibility. He calls to the one entombed; he summons life, like the Spirit blowing over the valley in Ezekiel. God is up to something! Here, a sign of signs: God is making all things new.

New life is emerging from the tombs of our world and from the shadowed corners of our hearts. May Jesus’ resurrecting power be felt deep in our own bones!

 

Sundays and Seasons v.20200312.1042
Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

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Please note: We stand with many in the faith community – including His Holiness  Pope Francis, The Dali Lama, Presiding ELCA Bishop Elizabeth Eaton – who are calling us to remember that we who call ourselves Christian are not to condemn another because of their faith or ethnicity. As a nation of immigrants, we proudly endorse the heritage of this land, proclaiming with Emma Lazurus the words emblazoned on the Statue of Liberty:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

#HateHasNoBusinessHere

Notice: Pledges (time, financial gifts and your personal talents) allow the church some idea of what we may plan for the future. Pledges may be mailed in to 134 Main Street Terryville CT 06786 Attn: Finance, dropped in the offering plate or communicated to the staff. Remember God only asks for 10% off the top – won’t you consider tithing this year?


ChurchWhatWeAre

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Contact us, click on our Email Link

 

St Paul Luther Church Christmas Season December  2019

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Saint Lucinda Sunday 2nd week in Advent

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Christmas Eve 2019

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Aug. 16, 2015 – St Paul served 110 people at Cathedral of the night, click on this link for pictures…

Cathedral Of the Night

St Paul children’s dowel team in action, click here

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Confirmation Food Drive

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Annual Meeting

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“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
Corrie ten Boom

Our Advent altar

Members color in our Advent banner

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