Over the next months, I will be traveling to North Carolina on a regular basis to be with my mother. Sometimes I'll be away from the parish on a Sunday. This provides an opportunity for our members and friends to "do something" during the sermon time. What I'm thinking of is an informal, conversational sharing of faith: your faith journey, a time in your life when your faith in God was vitally important, your journey from another denomination to the Lutheran church and what that change means to you. You don't have to deliver a tightly-crafted sermon, just be willing to share your experience as a Christian. I believe the stories you have to tell are often more meaningful than the sermon the "professional" preacher is paid to preach each Sunday. If you are interested in speaking during the sermon time one Sunday, I'm available to sit down with you and talk about what you would like to say, if that would be helpful. "You are witnesses to these things." That's what Jesus told his disciples when he appeared to them after the resurrection. Jesus knew that when he ascended to heaven, he needed to have people on earth who would tell others about him. Give it some thought and let me know if you might be interested in this faith-sharing opportunity.
Tomorrow evening is the "Pack the Park" event at the Salem Red Sox game. In addition to watching a minor league baseball game, those who participate will be helping raise money for the Minnick School, a school for students with disabilities who need an alternative to public school. The game is at 7:00 pm; let me or Billy Motley know if you would like to go: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you to all those who are supporting this event, including those who have bought tickets and those who have given donations!
Virginia Synod Malaria Support will now focus on Papua New Guinea (PNG). More accurately, the assistance for purchasing and distributing Mosquito Nets will directly help our Companions in the New Guinea Islands District. The goal is to raise funds to buy 5,000 treated nets by the end of 2015. Zion's challenge is to raise $500 to purchase 1% of the nets or a total of 50 nets. Each net costs $10. You are encouraged to make your contribution at www.Team2017.org. Or, if you prefer you can give your checks made out to The VA Synod, with "PNG Malaria" on the memo line to Diane Giessler and she will mail them to the VA Synod each month until the end of the year. If you choose to go on-line, please let Diane know so we know when we have met our goal. St. Mark folks are welcome to participate in this effort, too!
Zion members and friends: bring your gardening clothes and tools this Sunday and stay following worship to get our garden beds ready for summer. Weeding and raking are greatly needed!
But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. - Jeremiah 29:7
Yours in Christ,