The Scribe

"The Scribe" is the monthly newsletter of the Punxsutawney Lutheran Parish.  The following articles are the monthly Pastor's Notes, which comprise the first page of each newsletter.

Notes from the Pastor

posted Apr 24, 2020, 7:42 AM by Mary Margaret Barnoff

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

 

What a month it’s been.  Shelter-in-place orders, online worship, financial and political disruption – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! March and April have been very different, as the normal rhythms of our lives have been disrupted by the threat of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.  Some of those differences have been very challenging, as schools and businesses have closed and we’ve all had to adjust to new ways of living and going about our business while maintaining social distancing.  Other changes that the coronavirus has brought about have been good ones, as the changing world has drawn people closer together in new ways.

 

At the time I’m writing this, the stay-at-home order for Pennsylvania has been extended to at least May 8. It’s still possible that the orders could be extended even further, or that after the shutdown orders have been lifted, there might still be a prohibition on large gatherings of people. Although it looks like the measures that have been taken so far have been effective, it will probably be some time after that before we can return completely to normal. While I’m looking forward to the day when we can return to worship and to seeing one another in person, I also won’t cause anyone to risk their health or safety unnecessarily. Once we’re able to safely gather in person, I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in person again.

 

While we’ve been in isolation, a couple of things have become clearer. I want to lift up a few of those lessons from this time.

·The church isn’t the building; it’s the people of God. We’ve continued to gather for worship, we’ve continued to pray together and study Scripture together, we’ve continued to serve others and love and serve our neighbors, even when we’ve not been able to gather in our church buildings. That’s not to say that our buildings aren’t important or valuable, of course, but our community and the people in that community are more so.
·Connection with each other is important. One of the harder parts of this isolation has been not being able to see each other in person. Videoconferencing and phone calls have helped to close that gap a little bit, and they’ve served to strengthen and deepen some of those relationships. Once we’re able to gather in person, it’s going to be important to not let those new relationships lapse.
·We are all in this together. Whether it’s been members of the congregations calling each other to stay in touch, people helping with parts of the online worship services, folks sewing face masks for people who need to go outside, people creating and sharing coloring pages with others to brighten their day, or just everyone staying home as much as possible to help minimize the potential spread of the virus, everyone has been working together to help to serve our neighbors. I talk a lot about sharing the love of God in word and deed, and all those things and many more are ways that we’ve all been doing just that.

 

I know that these last few weeks have been hard, and that there are going to be more challenges ahead of us, but with God’s help, we’ve been able to come together as a parish to face those challenges, and I’m confident that we’ll be able to continue to meet them until we’re able to gather in person again.

In Christ,
Pastor
Russ

Notes from the Pastor

posted Feb 14, 2020, 7:48 AM by Mary Margaret Barnoff

How do you keep Lent?

The season of Lent is a complicated one for a lot of Christians.  It’s bookended at the beginning by Ash Wednesday, whose liturgy focuses on our mortality, and ends with Holy Week, where we hear the story of Jesus’ passion, suffering, and death. In between, we often gather for additional worship services during the week, and we often also take on fasting or other spiritual disciplines. That fasting and discipline, and the focus on death and mortality, are things that we don’t typically encounter in our lives the rest of the year. It’s a weird time for a lot of people, but it’s an important time in the life of the church, and of our lives as Christians.

One part of many people’s Lenten observances is some form of fasting. Fasting doesn’t have to just be from food, nor does it have to be a total fast. The tradition of “giving up something for Lent” is a form of fasting. In the past, I’ve fasted from social media, from chocolate, and probably from some other things during previous Lents.  One part of my Lenten fast every year is to fast from caffeine. (The first year that I did that, I was working in an office where my desk was about twenty feet from the coffee maker, and I had built up quite a coffee habit. It was not a fun first week of Lent!) Part of the purpose of fasting is to draw focus away from our own wants, and to instead bring it towards God.  Because of that, instead of fasting (or in addition to it), some people will take on an additional discipline during Lent, whether that’s additional devotional reading, or more-intentional prayer, or spending time volunteering with a social-services group, or any number of other things.  Fasting during Lent – whether it’s from food or from something else, and whether it’s accompanied by another Lenten discipline or not – can be a very powerful way to draw closer to God in this season.

Another part of Lent is often additional times to gather together in worship and prayer.  We’ll be offering Wednesday evening services as a parish during Lent.  Those services will be based on the Evening Prayer service in our hymnals, but we’re going to try a different setting of Evening Prayer set to familiar hymn tunes.  The readings, hymns, and preaching this Lent are going to focus on the “Christ hymn” that St. Paul quotes in Philippians 2:5-12. Each week we’ll look at a different part of the hymn in depth, using readings from other parts of the Bible to highlight those themes. I’m looking forward to it.

However you keep Lent, in whatever ways you mark this season, my prayer is that each of us can draw closer to God, and can grow in love for God and for our neighbors.

In Christ,

Pastor Russ

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posted Nov 27, 2019, 9:02 AM by Mary Margaret Barnoff   [ updated Nov 27, 2019, 9:07 AM ]


Notes from the Pastor

posted Nov 27, 2019, 8:52 AM by Mary Margaret Barnoff

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Advent is upon us! Advent is my favorite season of the church year, for a lot of reasons.  It’s the start of a new year, with fresh promise and new hopes; it’s full of anticipation of things to come; and to my mind, some of the most beautiful hymns in the Church year are Advent hymns. 

Part of why I love Advent is how many different layers to its celebration there are.  Advent is about preparing for Christmas, and for getting ready to celebrate Christ’s coming to us as one of us, but it’s also about preparing for Christ’s coming and recognizing His coming to us in a couple of other ways as well, as He comes to us in the Sacrament of Holy Communion, and as we confess in the Apostles’ Creed, as “He will come again to judge the living and the dead.” Much of the time, even when we focus on one or another aspect of Advent, all three are still there and still evident.  It’s an example of how the Church joins together past, present, and future; in Advent, we celebrate Christ having come, we receive Christ as He comes in and with and under the bread and wine, and we look forward to when He will come again. 

One of the other reasons that I love Advent is that it offers a bit of respite from the Christmas-shopping-and-decorating madness which has already started by mid-November when I’m writing this article.  Before I went back to college and then to seminary, I spent quite a few years working in various retail establishments.  The Christmas-shopping season wore on me greatly during my time as a cashier.  I’ve mellowed quite a bit since, but one of the things that I appreciate about gathering for worship during Advent is the opportunity to take time, slow down, breathe, and let it be Advent and not Christmas yet. 

Our midweek worship during Advent is going to lift up both of those themes this year.  The services aren’t going to be the typical Vespers service from the hymnal.  They’re going to be a bit slower-paced, and more contemplative.  They’ll use music drawn from the Taizé community; Taizé music takes the form of short, simple choruses which are repeated over and over again until they become meditative.  And each week’s service will focus on a different aspect of Christ’s coming – in history, in Mystery, and in majesty. Because those services are by design meditative and contemplative, there won’t be any preaching at them; instead, there will be time in the midst of the craziness of pre-Christmas to gather, to worship, to pray and sing, and to be in the presence of God.

I’m very much looking forward to Advent, and I hope that you’ll join us for worship on December 4, December 11, and December 18 as we gather to worship God and to pray together around the ways that Christ has come into our midst.

With gratitude,

Pastor Russ

Pastor's Notes from The Scribe (September 2019)

posted Sep 3, 2019, 8:41 AM by Mary Margaret Barnoff

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It’s been an exciting time in the ELCA while I’ve been away on parental leave!  The ELCA met for its Churchwide Assembly in Milwaukee, WI from August 5 to August 10.  Churchwide Assembly is a bit like each synod’s Synod Assembly but on a larger scale, and only once every three years.  927 voting members representing each of the ELCA’s 65 synods gathered together to conduct the business of the church, to hear reports from the churchwide bodies, and to gather together for worship.

Some of the bigger things that happened at the Churchwide assembly included: The Assembly conducted an election for Presiding Bishop, where Bishop Elizabeth Eaton was re-elected to a second term as Presiding Bishop; they recognized the fiftieth anniversary of the ELCA recognizing the ordination of women to the ministry of Word and Sacrament; they voted to change the entrance rite for ministers of Word and Service (known as deacons) from “consecration” to “ordination,” which helps to reinforce that ministers of Word and Service serve the church in an office that’s equal to, though distinct from, ministers of Word and Sacrament; and they approved a resolution declaring the ELCA a “sanctuary church body.”

That last one – the sanctuary church body thing – made the national news when a panel on Fox and Friends discussed the resolution, and several other media outlets picked up the story.  I read the resolution from the Churchwide assembly, and I watched the Fox News panel, and it seems to me like the panelists may have been a little bit misinformed about the resolution. Each of them mentioned the rule of law, or law and order, in what they said, and they implied that the ELCA Churchwide Assembly was calling on congregations and individuals to break the law through this resolution.  Nothing could be further from the truth. The ELCA’s Memorials Committee, in their report on the resolution, explicitly says that “none of the recommended actions by the Memorials Committee breaks U.S. law in any form.”

So what does it mean that the ELCA has declared ourselves a “sanctuary church body?” In a lot of ways, it’s a way of recognizing and putting a name on something that we’ve been doing for a long time.  The resolution points to some of the work that the ELCA has already done to work with refugees and legal immigrants, especially in their “Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities” (AMMPARO) program, as well as the work of individual congregations and synods in the ELCA who have done, and who are continuing to do, the work of advocating for, supporting, and comforting others through the long and complicated process of coming to America.

Of course, care for our immigrant neighbors is nothing new for Lutherans.  As long as there have been Lutherans in America, we’ve been coming here from other places.  My own ancestors came to America from Germany a lot of generations ago, but they still came from elsewhere – and even though they came legally, they still probably faced some discrimination and persecution. I just finished reading a biography of Alexander Hamilton, and I was struck by some of the excerpts of Hamilton’s letters describing German-Americans in eastern Pennsylvania – in some of the places I grew up – as ignorant, and backwards, and  dangerous. Lutherans have even been looked askance at into the twentieth century in some places – First English and Mount Zion in Trade City were both founded as English-speaking congregations, but in a lot of places, German-descended Lutherans didn’t switch to English until the 1940s, in the face of public pressure and discrimination around World War II. Immigration, and public pressure and struggles around immigration, have been a part of the Lutheran experience in America for as long as there have been Lutherans in America.

To sum up, the “sanctuary church body” resolution doesn’t call on the ELCA or any of its congregations or members to do anything illegal, or to break the law in any way.  What it does do is remind us of God’s love and mercy and compassion for strangers; for outsiders; for people who face struggles and difficulties of all sorts; and it both highlights ways that we as individuals, congregations, synods, and the denomination have shared that love with others, and calls us – ever mindful of the rule of law in this nation - to explore and imagine other ways we might also be able to share that love and mercy, just as God has shared it with us.

I know that immigration, legal or otherwise, is a very thorny issue right now, and that there are people here who hold very widely differing opinions.  No matter what anyone’s opinions on the issues around immigration in this country are, I’m privileged to be your pastor, and I hope and pray that everyone in this parish and in the ELCA can come together to share God’s love in the world, even when we hold deep and significant disagreements.  If you’d like to share concerns or questions about the “sanctuary church body” resolution with me, I would be glad to sit down and have a deeper conversation about it with you. 

In Christ,
Pastor Russ

Pastor's Notes from The Scribe (June & July 2018)

posted Jun 2, 2018, 8:43 AM by Russell D. Hampton

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Summertime is almost here – the weather is getting warmer, the days are getting longer, and school is almost out.  I’m looking forward to the warmer weather, and to getting to spend evenings around a fire or exploring the local walking trails with Pastor Sarah and Robbie.  There are several events that will be happening in our congregations this summer that I’m also very excited for, and that I’d like to take a moment to share with you.

The first event is my installation service, where I’ll be installed as the pastor of the Punxsutawney Area Lutheran Parish by Bishop Jones of the Northwestern Pennsylvania Synod.  The installation service will be on Sunday, June 3, at 3:30 in the afternoon at First English, with a potluck meal to follow.  I know there will be a few other Lutheran pastors from the Indiana and Jefferson clusters who’ll be there, and I’m hoping that other pastors from other Punxsutawney churches will be able to attend as well.  It should be a really unique worship service, and I’m excited to be able to be a part of it.  Since it’s an afternoon service, there will be worship at all the normal times that Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

I’m also looking forward to the Northwestern Pennsylvania Synod’s annual Synod Assembly.  Synod assembly is an annual event where members of congregations from across the synod gather to do some of the necessary business, but also to learn and study, and to worship as members of the NWPA Synod.  It’s a chance to gather and share in fellowship and worship with our fellow Lutherans from across the synod.  This year’s synod assembly is from June 14-16, and we’ll be sharing the assembly with the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod.  I’m excited to be able to be a part of it, and to be able to share in that time with members of the church from all across western Pennsylvania.

I’m also excited for some opportunities for us to worship together as a parish throughout the year.  There are typically four months in the year with five Sundays.  This year, those months are April, July, September, and December.  I’m hoping that on those fifth Sundays, we might be able to have one combined worship service as a parish, which would rotate among the three congregations’ buildings.  I’m still trying to work out all of the details, especially for the July service, because it would conflict with the Punxsutawney Ministerium’s Church in the Park event, but I’m excited for the chance for us to come together for worship and fellowship as a whole parish.

I’m looking forward to all of those things, and I’m also excited to be a part of the parish and of each of the three congregations.  I hope that whatever your plans may be for this summer, that it can be a time of rest and refreshment.


Peace,
Pastor Russ

Pastor's Notes from The Scribe (May 2018)

posted May 7, 2018, 7:25 AM by Russell D. Hampton   [ updated May 7, 2018, 7:26 AM ]

Quill Pen Notes from the Pastor

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,


Hello! I’m excited to be here as the called pastor of the Punxsutawney Area Lutheran Parish.  It’s been an exciting few weeks already as my family and I have gotten through the unpacking process and have started to settle into our life here, and I can’t wait to see what the future brings.


As we begin this time together, I’d like to take a few moments to introduce myself and share a little bit more about myself and how I came to be here.


I grew up on the other side of Pennsylvania, in a suburb of Philadelphia called Souderton. After high school, I bounced around from college to college and job to job for a few years, not certain what I was supposed to be doing with my life, but steadily crossing off things that I was finding out that I wasn’t supposed to be doing.  One night in college, while I was taking a break from writing a paper, God made it abundantly clear to me that I was called to the ministry of Word and Sacrament. After that, it wasn’t necessarily easy, but I knew what I was supposed to be doing.  I graduated college and went to seminary at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, which is where I met my wife, Pastor Sarah Aasheim, who was also a student at Trinity. When we graduated from Trinity, we were assigned to the Western Iowa Synod, where we each were called to churches and served as pastors.  When we started to feel that God was calling us to ministry in other parts of the church, we listed ourselves as open to call in a variety of synods.  Pastor Ben Austin, the pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Reynoldsville and Grace Lutheran Church in Brookville, is a friend of ours, and heard that we were thinking about moving. He suggested that I look at the Punxsutawney Area Lutheran Parish, and after several interviews, a trial preaching session, and a lot of prayer and discernment, I’m pleased to have accepted the call to serve as the parish’s new pastor.


Our family also includes a cat named Skeena and our thirteen-month-old son, Robbie.


I’m excited to be here, and to be your pastor.  Working with the three congregations in the parish is a new experience for me; each of the congregations does things just a little bit differently from the others.  But all three congregations have a lot in common, starting with their long history of working to proclaim the Gospel and to serve God’s people in this part of the world.  I’m looking forward to discovering and celebrating both the differences and things that unite us, and I’m excited to continue to meet and to get to know everyone in the parish, and to learn more about your stories.


I’m excited to see where God is calling us, and I’m excited to be called together with all of you!

Peace,

Pastor Russ

Pastor Russ

Pastor's Notes from The Scribe (September 2016)

posted Aug 29, 2016, 7:57 AM by Russell D. Hampton

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:4-7

It is with sorrow that this article will be my final one for the parish Scribe.  The past eight years have been a wonderful experience of learning and growth.  All of you have been my family (and I will consider you always my family) – providing nurture, love, and care.  As I said one evening, “I couldn’t have asked for a better first call!”  God has blessed me well during this time. 

May God’s blessings be upon you in the weeks and months ahead.  Trust that God in Christ will be with you.  Do not lose hope.  Love one another, as Christ loves you.  Let the Holy Spirit guide you.  Share God’s grace in all that you say and do! 

My final words of encouragement follow a pattern of three “P’s:”

1.      Patience – Have patience with the work of the Holy Spirit and with one another.  We are human; we want things to happen in our time.  Yet we live in God’s time.  God will be at work directing, guiding, and providing wisdom for your ministry.  God will open the door to reveal His divine plan.  When we pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done…,” we trust that God’s kingdom is coming and his will is being done, but we also pray it will come to us.  I encourage you to place your trust and faith in God’s work.  Then extend patience towards one another.  There may be times such as these that you may become frustrated or be filled with despair.  Maybe you will see these feelings in others.  Be patient with one another as you come to terms with your grief and find your place as you transition through leadership roles.  Always remember to forgive, to receive forgiveness, and to reconcile to one another.    

2.      Presence – Be present with one another.  If there is someone who is sick among you, reach out to them by sending a card, making a phone call, or asking if you can visit.  If there is a person or family who has been absent for some time, reach out to them.  And share your hospitality with one another.  Continue to find times to gather around meals and fellowship.  Extend invitations to persons who are a part of the parish and to those who are not.  Shine your presence into the community through your ministry and mission.  Bring the presence of Christ to all! 

3.      Prayer – Paul said it best, “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”  Don’t forget to pray.  Pray on your own; pray when you are gathered together.  In your prayers, remember how God has blessed you already and continues to bless you each day.  Don’t be hesitant to take your requests to God and to share those petitions with one another. For prayer brings peace… peace leaves us open to the Holy Spirit… and the Holy Spirit keeps our hearts and minds grounded in Christ. 

Blessings and Love in Christ – Pastor Maureen

Pastor's Notes from The Scribe (August 2016)

posted Aug 16, 2016, 3:59 AM by Russell D. Hampton

Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. ~ 1 John 3:18

Following the heinous act of violence in Orlando, Florida this past June, I came across a colleague’s post on Facebook.  The post had a picture of the night skyline of the city of Orlando.  On the picture it had “Pray for Orlando” (yes, the word “pray” had a strikethrough).  Did my colleague mean we should cease praying for the victims and their families or not pray at all?  By all means, NO!  Under the picture he had an explanation which included, “We are past a time of prayer and preaching… it is a time for action.”  He did not mean we should cease praying.  What he meant was that he was tired of the political rhetoric being a simple “let’s pray” with no action flowing forth from that prayer.  We hear over and over again in the face of gun violence, “We are very sorry for the victims and their families; we will keep them in our prayers,” but we see little to no action from our political leaders accompanying those prayers. And we need action… some plan to work towards making our country safer instead of the constant in-fighting of our elected leaders where next to nothing gets done in regards to this issue and we witness yet another mass shooting on our TV screens.  But… we still need prayer so that God’s Spirit can direct us to how we can faithfully address our elected leaders; how we can meet people in their needs with love and peace; and how we can live in the kingdom of the world while living in the kingdom of God. 

Now, I am not going to get into political discussions on gun control, 2nd Amendment rights, mental health issues, religious and racial differences, immigration, etc.  I’m going to share with you the need for prayer and what I think it should be doing in our lives.

  1. Prayer helps us stay connected to God: We hear in Luke 11:10-11, “So I tell you: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”  I think this Scripture means that God will give us what God thinks we need.  Nevertheless, I believe it also has a deeper meaning – we should stay connected to God because we do not know what God will reveal to us and when it will be revealed.  So, don’t miss an opportunity to see what God has in store for you.  Stay connected through prayer!
  2. Prayer should spur us to action: There are many occasions in the Gospels where Jesus goes off to pray and then returns to his hands on ministry.  In Luke 9, Jesus goes up a mountain to pray with Peter, James and John.  On the mountain he is transfigured before them.  When they come down from the mountain, what happens?  He heals a boy suffering from an unclean spirit.  Our prayers should not be for our own sakes only.  Our prayers should stir us to action in this world.  Our prayers should compel us forward to work towards justice and goodness for all.
  3. Prayer gives us peace: In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul writes, “Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Our prayers will keep us in the peace of Christ.  When we dwell in Christ’s peace, we can be agents of God’s peace in this world. 

The “gist” of what I am attempting to write – our prayer should inspire godly action and our action should come from our prayer connection with God.  Do not cease in praying… for you do not know how the Triune God will guide you to act in this world. 

In Christ ~ Pastor Maureen

Pastor's Notes from The Scribe (June/July 2016)

posted Jun 4, 2016, 5:46 AM by Russell D. Hampton

Summer is upon us.  Children and youth (and teachers!) get their much needed breaks from school.  Individuals and families take week-long or weekend vacations, camping trips, or adventures.  Some people enjoy a laid back, maybe even slow-paced time period.  And the Church normally experiences a decline in worship attendance and activity. 

So, I feel it is important to re-visit a question I have asked over the past few years (especially as we head into the season of lower worship attendance and church activity): Why is gathering for worship (or “going to church”) important – to you and for others?  In the past I have heard people tell me they can commune with God in nature.  Or, they need only to find a secluded place for prayer and meditation with God.  Yes, there are times we need individual time with God; nature and secluded places offer great opportunities of time with God.  Even Jesus went alone to pray (Mark 1:35; Matthew 14:22-23; Luke 5:15-16).  But the New Testament also witnesses to times when Jesus’ followers came together “devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (Acts 2:42)  The word “worship” may not be in this passage, but I think we can conclude it was implied as a typical activity for those who followed Christ. 

Why is gathering together for worship important? 

1.      The community of faith is a gathered community.  We have been baptized into the community of Christ.  That involves getting together to be in community with God and with one another.  Sure, we can gather as a community other times – for Bible Study, prayer groups, meals, social events, etc.  But the opportunity we have to gather together frequently is worship.  Plus, when we worship, we gather around the Word and Sacrament. The Lutheran Confessions tell us that the Church is “the gathering of the saints where the Gospel is rightly taught and the Sacraments are rightly administered.”  Which leads me to my next two points…    

2.      The community of faith is the gathered community where we hear the Word of God proclaimed to us!  We hear this Word (the saving acts of God in Christ Jesus) proclaimed when the Scriptures are read, when the sermon is preached, when we lift up our voices in song, when we offer our prayers to God, when we share the Peace of Christ, and more.  When we attend worship we experience the many means God’s Word is proclaimed to us.  Hearing this proclamation is important because it revitalizes us each week to leave the place of our worship and make disciples of all people.  In the gathering of worship we are promised that God’s Spirit will be among us in our work and reminded that Christ’s presence in our lives. 

3.      The community of faith is a gathering where we receive the visible forms of God’s grace: Holy Baptism and Communion.  When we attend worship, we see the baptismal font.  The font reminds us of our baptism and the promises that come with our baptism: we are forgiven of our sins, we are united to Christ, and we are made part of the Church.  When we attend worship, we receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion.  When we hear the words “this is my body given for you… this is my blood, shed for you, for the forgiveness of sins” we are reminded that Christ went to the cross to free us from the powers of sin, death, and the devil.  It is within worship we receive these visible assurances that God in Christ loves us, lifts us to new life, and promises to save us. 

God in Christ calls us to be in community with one another.  Joining in worship of the great works God has done through Jesus Christ brings us together to experience that community and the promises found within the gathering.  Gathering for worship nourishes us with the Word and Sacrament so we can scatter and sow the seed of the kingdom. 

In Christ,

Pastor Maureen

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