Extra extra! Read all about it. The premiere issue of the Capital Conference newsletter is out. Get informed about our sister congregations in the the Capital Conference of the Grand Canyon Synod. View the newsletter in PDF.
On Sunday, May 26, we will move to our summer worship times. Traditional Worship Service will begin at 10:00 am in the Sanctuary. Contemporary Service will still begin at 8:30 am in Hope Hall.
On Monday, May 27, Memorial Day will be observed. The church office will be closed and regularly scheduled Monday morning events will be cancelled for the day, including Grace Room & Native Elders.
Among the most familiar words of scripture, Psalm 23 wakes us up to God’s shepherding presence and provision in our lives. Our shepherd sets us down in green pastures, leads us beside still waters, restores our soul, sets our feet on a path that leads to life, walks with us even in valley of the shadow of death. The shepherd makes space for us at a table, a place of feasting and sharing, abundance and joy, even when we are surrounded by our enemies. And when we get up from the table, what it is that follows us is God’s goodness and mercy.
All CALL participants are welcome and encouraged to attend the year-end celebration on Sunday, May 19 at 12:45 pm at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church at 12th Street and Glendale.
During the month of May, Wilbur the pig welcomes monetary donations for Diaper Bags for foster families
licensed by Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest. Thank you for supporting the foster families in our community!
Of all the books in the Bible, the historical context and literary expectations of the book of Revelation are probably the least understood of all biblical books by the average Bible-reader. Revelation embodies the literary form of Apocalypse, a genre of 1st and 2nd century literature most closely mirrored in the 21st century genre of science fiction. In the world of science fiction, authors can freely critique or question or eliminate governments or institutions or cultural norms without fear of reprimand or marginalization. That is Revelation.
All during Lent, small groups gathered for Daily Lenten Prayer. In the sanctuary each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at noon for 20 to 30 minutes, we shared prayer, scripture, poetry, conversation, and God’s peace. When conversing about the good news for that day, good news about God’s abundant grace or love, forgiveness or goodness, usually, one among us would say: “Really? Is that really true?” An understandable question when grace or love, forgiveness or goodness seem absent in the world.
Throughout the Lenten season, we gathered on Wednesdays around the theme Walking the Valley of the Shadow of Death, each week considering a different biblical perspective on death. Death as a natural process, death as blessing, death as enemy, death as a community grief, death as loss. One perspective I had failed to see in scripture was death as teacher, death as something that informs how we live our lives.
You might know already: I love foot washing. Because, through it, we love people. Because, through it, we care for people. Because we show our lack of fear of others when touching their feet. Because, in foot washing, we accept the grimiest part of people and thus accept people—as they are.
What keeps on surprising me about foot washing is that those who wash others’ feet don’t mind. We really don’t. We’re happy to kneel at the feet of our friends and community members. We are honored to do so. Not once have I heard or seen anyone laugh at or even comment upon someone else’s feet.
Jesus comes to the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. While at table, Mary anoints Jesus’ feet with nard, a costly perfume, and wipes his feet with her hair. Grumbling ensues because Judas, one of Jesus’ disciples, believes Mary has wasted money on an extravagance while the small fortune—a year’s worth of wages—could have gone to provide necessary nourishment for the multitudes living in poverty. The gospel writer John gives us an insider’s view when he reports that Judas concerns himself less about “the poor” and more about ensuring wealth enough to steal from the common purse—for which Judas is responsible.
In today’s gospel, Jesus tells a story, a parable about two sons. One wildly extravagant and grateful. The other steady, reliable, and bitter. The father loves both sons, gives generously to both, shows extravagant grace to both. The father runs to greet his younger son and rejoices and throws a party after that son has wasted wealth and endured hunger and received no care from strangers. The father shares all he has with his older son, goes to find his bitter, envious son, and invites him to the party.
In today’s gospel, someone in the crowd following Jesus tells him about how Pilate murdered Galileans and mixed their blood with blood used for non-Jewish sacrifice. Jesus asks: Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? Jesus then recalls how the tower of Siloam fell and killed eighteen people beneath it. He asks: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? No. The answer to both of these questions, no. Were these murdered people worse sinners than others? No. Were they killed because of their actions, because of their morals, because of their choices? No.
Phew! Thanks be to God! End of sermon.
Grace is looking for an Outreach Coordinator from May 15-September 15, 2019. The outreach coordinator will coordinate and oversee the summer heat respite program. Visit our jobs page for full details »