Friday, November 25, 2005

Little is Great When God is at Work!

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days of auld lang syne?
And days of auld lang syne, my dear,
And days of auld lang syne.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days of auld lang syne?

I have been singing this song for years but I never knew what it meant. I did some searching on Google and found out that it is a song of rembrance of things long ago. What a perfect song to begin the new Church year. This Sunday marks the first Sunday in Advent. Advent is a time of hope and expectation. We look back to the stories of Jesus and what he did and we look forward to his return to earth. Jesus came to earth as a helpless baby but soon grew to be a man who took on the weight of our sin. For little is great when God is at Work.

Our message this week is based on Matthew 13:31-34. It is the parable of the mustard seed and the yeast. In both of these parables Jesus reminds us that little is great when God is at work.

Take some time reading this passage to help prepare for worship this week.

Other readings for this weekend:
Old Testament: Isaiah 64:1-8
New Testament: 1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Gospel: Mark 11:1-10

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I hope to see you at Church.

Peace in Christ,
Vicar Seth

Monday, November 21, 2005

Thanksgiving Worship

There will be two opportunities for woship this week in addition to the regular schedule:
Wednesday Night 7:00 PM
Thursday Morning 10:00 AM

Pastor Kritzer will bring a Thanksgiving message to us for both services.

Next Sunday Vicar Seth brings us a message entitled "Little is Great When God is at Work". Stay tuned for a more elaborate post on this topic.

This Sunday marks the beginning of Advent and our mid-week services will begin on Wednesday November 30th at 7:00 PM.

If you have any questions please feel free to make comments on this blog or call the church office.

Have a great week and may God richly bless you all!!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Getting Ready for Worship

Its Parish Theme time again in worship. Pastor Kritzer will be bringing us a message based on Luke 10:38:
"As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him."

The Theme is on the idea of a Road House. You can read more about it in the Parish Theme post on this blog.

Scripture Readings for this Sunday:
Old Testament- Jeremiah 25: 30-32, 26: 1-6
New Testament- 1 Thessalonians 1:3-10, 3:7-13
Gospel Reading- Matthew 25: 31-46, 24: 1-14
Psalm 105: 1-7

Please spend some time in prayer and meditation to prepare your heart for worship. For those who plan on attending the 9:30 AM service we will be celebrating communion.

New Sunday morning Bible studies started last week. Bible class starts at 9:30 AM. It's not too late to join one of the following studies:

How to Study the Bible with Vicar Seth meets in the Parish Lounge
The Book of John with Jeff Fink meets in the Choir Room
The Purpose Driven Life #4 with John Gannon meets in the Conference room
Lessons of the Day with John Schinnerer meets in the Library

Please join them if you are able.

Parish Theme-November

On the Road Again...the Journey in Jesus

"As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him." -Luke 10:38

Go ahead and sing it if you want; no one will know: If you ever plan to motor west: Travel my way, the highway that's the best. Get your kicks on Route 66! It winds from Chicago to LA, more than 2000 miles all the way, Get your kicks on Route 66! Now you go through St. Looey...Joplin, Missouri! And Oklahoma City looks mighty pretty. You'll see Amarillo...Gallup, New Mexico. Flagstaff, Arizona: don't forget Winona, Kingman, Barstow, San Bernardino. Won't you get hip to this timely tip: when you...make that California trip. Get your kicks on Route 66!

Do you ever wonder how Jesus got His "kicks"? Don't you wonder how he relaxed? Or, how He got refreshed while on the road?

It was one of His "trips" that He stopped at the home of Martha and her sister, Mary, in the village of Bethany. Now Bethany was just about two miles east from Jerusalem, in an area where Jesus spent much of His time. He and the disciples walked the roads; they stopped and talked, prayed, and Jesus obviously spent much time teaching all those who would listen. In fact, at this particular time, he had just shared with mane the parable of the Good Samaritan, as he showed them who their neighbor truly was. Now it is time for some rest. Now it is time to be refreshed as His friend's home. Now it is time for Him to get some peace and quiet...and maybe share another life lesson.

Martha, to be sure, had the gift of hospitality. She opened up her home to the Lord. She cleaned, she cooked, she made it very comfortable for Jesus. Is there really anything wrong with that? I don't think so. Jesus definitely needed this place to rest and to be refreshed, for sure. He truly needed this very hospitable place to recline...and then to teach. Mary listened. I guess one of Martha's big mistakes at this particular point was to attempt to get Jesus to chastise her sister; and for what? Martha wanted Jesus to tell Mary to get up, help, and stop listening to Jesus. OOPS! Wrong plan of action, Martha. It might have been better for her to take a break and to be REFRESHED herself by her Lord!

It is a very good thing to be hospitable. It is a very good thing to serve. These are just two of the things that Bethany is about today and what we have been about for over 60 years now. Our theme for the month of November is suggesting that it is OK for the servers to get refreshment from the Master. Pull up a chair to His feet. Sit and listen to His voice, teaching...always teaching. Let the cares and worries of the world take a back-seat on this particular point of the journey. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, provides all of the refreshment we need on every "Route 66" or our life.

-Karl Fink, Minister of Discipleship

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

This Sunday- 6:00 PM

This Sunday, Bethany will host our first monthly service of healing and prayer. In this service filled with song, reading, and quiet meditation, we will have an opportunity to spend time in prayer or reflection at the communion rail, having received the healing gift that comes from the table of the Lord. We will also have opportunity to come forward for an individual blessing of health, or with specific prayer requests and be prayed for by members of our prayer team. Pastor Kritzer will bring a message on healing from lost titled "Kleenex or Vortex" based on 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18:

13Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage each other with these words.

We invite you to read these words and meditate on them in preparation for this service. We hope to see you this Sunday at 6:00 PM.

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