xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' The Mid-Week Message: October 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

True Remembrance

October 30, 2007
Dear St. Paul’s Family,
You probably learned as a kid the name “Roy G. Biv” as a helpful way of remembering the colors of the rainbow.  How about “Every Good Boy Does Fine” as a helpful memory aid for the musical notes of the treble clef? And then there are the poems: “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”  Or, “I before E, except after C.”  These tools were helpful in collecting and retrieving facts that would be helpful throughout our lives.
But something has happened.  With the emergence of cell phones, palm pilots, blackberries, computers, and other equipment designed to store more and more personal information, our ability to remember has actually decreased.  In a study released over the summer by Trinity College in Dublin, our dependence on such devices to “remember” birthdays, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and other important data has diminished the memory capacity of our brains!
Trinity professor Ian Robertson said,
“People have more to remember these days, and they are relying on technology for their memory. But the less you use of your memory, the poorer it becomes. This may be reflected in the survey findings which show that the over 50s who grew up committing more to memory report better performance in many areas than those under 30 who are heavily reliant on technology to act as their day to day aide memoir.”

Here’s the lesson: True remembrance takes intentionality and effort.  And it’s as true of spiritual matters as it is of dates and numbers. It’s one thing merely to recall central elements of our faith.  It’s quite another to allow those memories to shape our conscience and inform our behavior.
On over ninety occasions in the Bible, God called the people to remember God’s saving activity throughout history, through rituals, prayers, and symbols. From the Psalms to the seder, from the Ten Commandments to the Beautitudes, the Bible is filled with reminders of our identity and calling as kingdom people.

This Sunday, there will be a convergence of reminders – each one with a unique invitation for the Spirit to call us to a life of gratitude and commitment.  We will begin the service with the commemoration of those in our church who have died since last November’s All Saints’ Day.  We will celebrate their ongoing influence on our lives with thanksgiving.  We continue in our Stewardship Series with a sermon titled “Remember! What Has God Done for You Lately?” based on Psalm 77 and its sweeping reminder of God’s love revealed throughout history.  And, we will conclude the service by gathering at the Lord’s table, remembering our past and our future in Christ through the breaking of bread and the sharing of the cup.
May it never be said that the people of this church suffer from poor memory!
Grace, Peace, and Remembrance,

Psalm 77
77:1  I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, that he may hear me.
2  In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted.
3  I think of God, and I moan; I meditate, and my spirit faints. Selah
4  You keep my eyelids from closing; I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
5  I consider the days of old, and remember the years of long ago.
6  I commune with my heart in the night; I meditate and search my spirit:
7  "Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favorable?
8  Has his steadfast love ceased forever? Are his promises at an end for all time?
9  Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his compassion?" Selah
10  And I say, "It is my grief that the right hand of the Most High has changed."
11  I will call to mind the deeds of the LORD; I will remember your wonders of old.
12  I will meditate on all your work, and muse on your mighty deeds.
13  Your way, O God, is holy. What god is so great as our God?
14  You are the God who works wonders; you have displayed your might among the peoples.
15  With your strong arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Selah
16  When the waters saw you, O God, when the waters saw you, they were afraid; the very deep trembled.
17  The clouds poured out water; the skies thundered; your arrows flashed on every side.
18  The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind; your lightnings lit up the world; the earth trembled and shook.
19  Your way was through the sea, your path, through the mighty waters; yet your footprints were unseen.
20  You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.


Thanks to the strong attendance at last Sunday’s worship service, a number of you picked up your stewardship devotional booklets.  The rest were mailed today.  If you misplace your booklet or would like another for a friend, extra packets are available in the church office.  These booklets contain Scripture readings and writings by Christian authors relevant to our stewardship themes.  A team of people last week said a prayer of blessing on your packet and the name of you and your family.  As you read each day’s selections, we pray this will be a spiritually transformative experience for you.

The church recently received a generous designated gift for the purpose of enhancing the sanctuary with video screens, projectors, cameras, and other video equipment.  At a meeting on Monday, October 29, the Administrative Board and Trustees voted to approve the project and move forward. Here are some answers to some questions folks may have:
Q.  What will this new equipment enable us to do?
A.   The video equipment will enable us to complement the worship experience with images and video in an unprecedented way. We will be able to have words for hymns, prayers, and liturgies for everyone to see.  It will be possible to have clips of videos and videotaped interviews to complement the themes of the service, as well as have live camera projections of things happening on the chancel.
Q.  Will we stop using our hymnals or pew Bibles?
A.   No.  We will still have hymn numbers and Bible references printed in the worship bulletin.  And we will introduce the new video elements with sensitivity to people’s overall worship experience.  
Q.  Where will the equipment go?
A.  The main screen will be retractable and mounted in a housing unit that will blend into the molding above the chancel choir. There will be a large screen on the back wall of the sanctuary visible to those in the chancel.  That screen will be painted on the wall.  Projectors and cameras will be placed unobtrusively throughout the sanctuary.  Installation will begin soon.  We will let you know when you can expect to see work done in the sanctuary.
Q.  How will the screens look?
A.  Great care is being taken to assure that the screens will blend as well as possible with the beautifully remodeled sanctuary. Both the Ad Board and Trustees feel this direction is the right balance between aesthetics and functionality.
Q.  Where will the new video booth go?
A.  With all of the new necessary video equipment, we will need a new audio/visual booth put in the back of the sanctuary. We will be removing the back half-pew to the left of the center aisle and having a new one built there.  
Q.  How much will this project cost the church?
A.   Aside from the cost of running conduit for the hardwiring and building the video booth, the donor gift covers the entire expense.
Q.  Will this help the mission of the church?
A.   The core of the church’s mission is to communicate the gospel in effective ways for current and future generations.  This will enable us to do just that.
Q.   If I have more questions, who can I ask?
A.   Members of the sound committee are Donna Lucas, Keith Willis, Jeff Blum, Bob Simonsen, and Chuck Tolzin.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Feeling God's Pleasure

October 22, 2007
Dear St. Paul’s Family,
While on vacation over the weekend, Jessica and I enjoyed reading a hysterical new book by
Esquire columnist A.J. Jacobs called The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible (Simon & Shuster, 2007). Jacobs, a self-avowed agnostic, sought to spend a whole year following every command in the Bible – more than seven hundred total, by his count!  
Doing so impacted every aspect his life, often with comical results.  Like when he “stoned” an adulterer in a public park with a handful of pebbles (Leviticus 20:27).  Or when he carried a folding chair everywhere to avoid sitting on chairs used by women who had just had their period (Leviticus 15:20).  Or when he stopped wearing t-shirts and jeans because they were made of “mixed fibers” (Leviticus 19:19).
Despite the hilarity, Jacobs was both earnest and respectful in his endeavor, sharing several poignant experiences throughout the book.  One such occasion was his decision to start tithing.  After researching numerous charitable organizations, he went online to make the first of several contributions that would, over the course of the year, add up to ten percent of his salary.  After sending money to his first agency through the internet, he wrote:
When the confirmation e-mails ping in, I feel good.  There’s a haunting line from the film Chariots of Fire.  It’s spoken by Eric Liddell, the most religious runner, the one who carries a Bible with him during his sprint.  He says:  “When I run, I feel His pleasure.”  And as I gave away money, I think I might have felt God’s pleasure.  I know:  I’m agnostic.  But still – I feel His pleasure.  It’s a warm ember that starts at the back of my neck and spreads through my skull.  I feel like I am doing something I should have been doing all my life.
To share any more of Jacobs’ story would spoil the book for those interested in reading it.  Suffice it to say, his memoir was as endearing as it was entertaining.  And of course, it led me to think about what it would mean for us to take the Bible just as seriously, particularly in the area of financial stewardship.


This Sunday, we begin our annual Stewardship Series, guided by the theme “Remember! Rejoice! Respond!”  Unlike many stewardship campaigns you may have experienced in this or other churches, these weeks will not primarily be about fund-raising, meeting budgets, or giving money to the church.  It will be a time of faith-raising, soul-shaping, and commitment-strengthening in our relationship with God.  Along the way, we will hear stories of people in our congregation who have experienced the transforming impact of God’s love in their lives.  You will not want to miss a Sunday in this powerful series.
After church this Sunday, you will be given a packet of material that contains the feature piece of this year’s campaign:  a devotional booklet specially produced to guide us together in our daily quiet times with God. The booklet contains scripture readings and writings from Christian authors relevant to our themes.  I hope you will come this Sunday to begin our journey together.
And, you’ll want to mark on your calendars the culmination of the campaign:  Commitment Sunday on November 18, followed by our Thanksgiving Celebration Dinner in the fellowship hall.
Come along for this exciting journey!
Grace and Peace,

Luke 12:16-34
16  Then he told them a parable: "The land of a rich man produced abundantly.
17  And he thought to himself, 'What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?'
18  Then he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.
19  And I will say to my soul, 'Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.'
20  But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?'
21  So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God."
22  He said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear.
23  For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.
24  Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!
25  And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?
26  If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest?
27  Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.
28  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you--you of little faith!
29  And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying.
30  For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them.
31  Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
32  "Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
33  Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.
34  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Quiet, Please

October 16, 2007
Dear St. Paul’s Family,
How noisy is your life?
Bernie Krause is a noted “soundscape artist”.  That is, he produces albums of sounds found in nature.  He has said that in 1968, in order to get 1 hour of natural sound - no cars, planes, or machines of any kind - it took about 15 hours of recording time.  Today, to get that same hour of natural sound, it requires over 2,000 hours of recording time!*  
We are bombarded by the sounds of a noisy world, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to escape it.  But this is nothing compared to the noise within us.  If it were possible, at this moment, to make a soundscape recording of your mind and your soul,  how long would it take to record an hour of mental and emotional quiet?  Probably even longer than 2,000 hours!  We hear the constant drone of deadlines. We sense the thunderous booms of anxieties and fears, and the heavy pulsing of pressures, agendas, and to-do lists.
Over and against this backdrop of noise, the scriptures call us to observe a command rooted in the earliest days of creation:

“So then, a Sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labors as God did from his.”
 (Hebrews 4:9-10)

Wayne Muller, in his classic book:  
Sabbath: Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest and Delight, offers this poignant reminder to live a life shaped by intentional spiritual rest:
"Like a path through the forest, Sabbath creates a marker for ourselves so, if we are lost, we can find our way back to our center. 'Remember the Sabbath' means 'Remember that everything you have received is a blessing. Remember to delight in your life, in the fruits of your labor. Remember to stop and offer thanks for the wonder of it.' Remember, as if we would forget. Indeed, the assumption is that we will forget. And history has proven that, given enough time, we will.

What might it mean for you to recapture this ancient practice of renewal and re-creation?
  • It could mean going away on a silent prayer retreat, for a day or for a weekend.  No cell phones, no laptops, and no talking.   
  • It could mean deciding to go without television every day for a whole week, using time normally spent watching television in the quiet of one’s house or the outdoors.   
  • It could mean simply carving out a fixed amount of time each day – 30 minutes, or an hour or more – to intentionally retreat, listen for God, and be quiet.

One of the foremost authorities on Spiritual Disciplines, Richard Foster, suggests that homeowners actually build into their home plans a specific room for solitude.  Just like there are designated rooms for eating, sleeping, and entertaining, he suggests creating a space that offers a place of uninterrupted silence.  In lieu of a whole room, the family may have a designated chair or sofa where the person is not to be interrupted.
Living Sabbath requires intentionality, and it need not be exclusively defined by an hour at church on Sunday morning.  Rest, renewal, and re-connection with God ought to happen regularly, without fail.
Our family will be out of town for a brief vacation this weekend.  It will be a chance for us to see other sites in Iowa and give me a breather before this fall’s stewardship series and advent season.  We will be leaving Thursday night and will be back in town late Sunday.  
We are pleased to have the Rev. Ray Krugar as our guest preacher this Sunday morning.  He is a long-time resident of Cherokee and a retired Presbyterian minister who has served for 49 years.  His sermon will be based on Psalm 119:97-104 and 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5 and will focus on foundations of the Christian faith. We are grateful for his word this Sunday.
You deserve a break today!  For God’s sake!
Grace and Peace,

*Rob Bell,
Nooma “Noise”, Zondervan, 2005.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Power of Humility

October 9, 2007
Dear St. Paul’s Family,
What qualities do you think of when you think of powerful people?   Maybe you think of someone with physical strength, like a dominating, finely-tuned athlete.  Maybe you think of political or economic power, like a government leader or a business CEO.  Whatever qualities come to mind are likely shaped by the same cultural and societal influences that inform all of us.  

But the biblical paradigm for power subverts all of these definitions.  When Jesus said,
“All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted,” he was describing a power within each Christian that is largely unnoticed by the secular world.  It is the power of humility.
Business consultants are starting to take notice.  Jim Collins, author of the bestselling book
Good to Great, conducted a survey of companies in America which, over a span of a few years, surpassed all economic benchmarks to become great companies.  He and his colleagues began by asking the question, “What kind of leader leads companies to greatness?”
The common assumption is that great leaders are “larger than life,” with magnetic charisma and an overpowering persona.  But Collins’ findings proved otherwise.  In every great company, leaders exhibited remarkable personal humility, mixed with tireless professional will.  A desire to give one’s absolute effort to see the company fulfill its mission, without any desire to receive any credit.  Collins’ conclusion is pretty clear.  If you want to be an effective leader, you have to be humble.  You need to be more ready to assume the blame when things go wrong, and share the credit when things go right.
A good follow-up book to
Good to Great is Egonomics: What Makes Ego Our Greatest Asset (or Our Greatest Liability) which builds on Jim Collins’ definition of effective leadership.  The authors interviewed Guy Kawasaki, a legend in the business marketing world, and he offered this perspective on the power of humility:
Humility is the only real way to become great, everything else being equal.  As a trait, humility is the point of equilibrium between too much ego and not enough. Humility has a reputation of being the polar opposite of excessive ego.  In fact, the exact opposite of excessive ego is no confidence at all. Humility provides the crucial balance between the two extremes. When Jim Collins did his work in Good to Great, humility was one of only two characteristics he discovered that separated leaders capable of leading good (even very good) performing companies, and leaders who made their companies great performers. And all of those leaders who lifted their companies to great (and sustained it for over fifteen years) did it in the same “dog eat dog” world everyone else was in. Humility was custom made for the dog eat dog business world.

It’s as if the business community is just now discovering a wisdom the Bible has claimed for generations!  And if the power of humility works in the business world, wouldn’t it work throughout all of creation as well?   What would humility do in your relationships with your family?  Your friends?  How might humility improve your work and career?  How might the world’s international relations be different if leaders of nations exercised a little more humility?  What power might be unleashed in the world if we all followed the example of Christ and became humble, acknowledging our utter dependence on God and each other?


This Sunday, we will explore the power of humility in the Old Testament story of Naaman, a commanding officer in the Syrian army.  This man exemplified power in every culturally ascribed sense – political, military, and societal.  But he was stricken with leprosy, and he turned to the Israelite prophet Elisha for help.  Naaman’s story contains many surprising twists and turns, and his pride nearly stood in the way of his physical healing.   In the end he learned a valuable lesson, which we will discover this Sunday in a sermon titled “A Healing Dose of Humility.”
How might your life, and this world, be transformed with a dose of humility?  Let’s discover that together.

It’s great to be the church!

2 Kings 5:1-15
1  Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man and in high favor with his master, because by him the LORD had given victory to Aram. The man, though a mighty warrior, suffered from leprosy.
2  Now the Arameans on one of their raids had taken a young girl captive from the land of Israel, and she served Naaman's wife.
3  She said to her mistress, "If only my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy."
4  So Naaman went in and told his lord just what the girl from the land of Israel had said.
5  And the king of Aram said, "Go then, and I will send along a letter to the king of Israel." He went, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten sets of garments.
6  He brought the letter to the king of Israel, which read, "When this letter reaches you, know that I have sent to you my servant Naaman, that you may cure him of his leprosy."
7  When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, "Am I God, to give death or life, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Just look and see how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me."
8  But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent a message to the king, "Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come to me, that he may learn that there is a prophet in Israel."
9  So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and halted at the entrance of Elisha's house.
10  Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, "Go, wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean."
11  But Naaman became angry and went away, saying, "I thought that for me he would surely come out, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and would wave his hand over the spot, and cure the leprosy!
12  Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them, and be clean?" He turned and went away in a rage.
13  But his servants approached and said to him, "Father, if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said to you was, 'Wash, and be clean'?"
14  So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; his flesh was restored like the flesh of a young boy, and he was clean.
15  Then he returned to the man of God, he and all his company; he came and stood before him and said, "Now I know that there is no God in all the earth except in Israel; please accept a present from your servant."


A few of you have asked whether there is a new daily scripture reading bookmark, now that the recent “Child-Like Faith” series concluded last Sunday.  Our next series, “Remember! Rejoice! Respond” is our stewardship campaign theme and will begin on October 28.  On that Sunday, everyone will receive an exclusive daily devotional guide, with scripture passages and excerpts from Christian authors related to the Sundays of our series.  Until then, I would commend to you the excellent Upper Room devotional material, which can be accessed online at www.upperroom.org/daily.  


This year’s UMW Bazaar is themed “The Pumpkin Patch” and will take place on Tuesday, November 6. We would encourage the whole church to play even a small part in its success.  
1.  Consider baking some of your favorite pastries for the morning coffee, bake sale, or dessert table.
2.  Donate items for the “nearly new” sale and by dropping them off on the fellowship hall stage.
3.  Volunteer some time making items for the craft sale (contact Jeanine Schroder, 225-6001).
4.  Make a salad for the salad bar (contact Kathy Simonsen for instructions, 225-5544).
And, of course, your best participation will be from attending the bazaar and bringing a friend! All of your donations, your help, and your attendance will be greatly appreciated. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Gut-Wrenching Compassion

October 2, 2007

Dear St. Paul’s Family,
There are only two miracle stories that are recorded in all four gospels.  One, of course, is the resurrection of Jesus.  The other is the feeding of the multitude.  While the four versions of the feeding miracle maintain the same essential elements, there are a few subtle differences.  Of interest to me are the versions in Matthew and Mark, which record the following:
When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. (Matthew 14:14)
As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.  (Mark 6:34)
Matthew and Mark are the only gospels to give us a glimpse into the mind and heart of Jesus at this moment:  deep down inside, Jesus felt compassion for the hungry crowd.  Now,
compassion in the original Greek has a highly nuanced meaning.  Jesus did not feel mere pity toward the people.  He didn’t just “feel sorry” for them, or empathy, or understanding.  Jesus’ feelings were deeper than sentiment or opinion.
The Greek word for
compassion is splanchnizomai (“splunk – NEEDS – oh – my”), which shares the same root as the word for “gut” or “abdomen”.  The splanchnic nerve is the nerve in our abdomen that controls our diaphragm.  (Pardon the biology reference – your pastor craves any opportunity to use his pre-med degree.)  Literally translated, Jesus’ reaction to the hungry crowd was a gut-wrenching, stomach-knotting, visceral compulsion to meet the needs of these people. His compassion was more than an exercise of mind and heart – it was a response that touched him in his innermost being.  
We’ve seen this reaction in the Bible before.  Moses fumed when he saw a fellow Israelite subjected to slavery. Esther was deeply distressed when she learned of the plot to kill her fellow Jews.  Jeremiah wept when he witnessed the disobedience of Israel. And here, Jesus felt a soul-stirring compassion for the people he had come to save.
If we are called to live out our Christian commitment by living in the example of Christ, then this must be our motivation as well.  God has placed a “holy discontent” within you that must be channeled to meet the deepest needs of the world around you.  Determining and satisfying that discontent is critical part of every Christian’s spiritual journey.  As Frederick Buechner said, our primary vocation is found where “our deep gladness and the world’s hunger meet.”  What needs of the world and of your community strike you in your gut?  What is God calling you to do?  


This relates to the other interesting variation among the gospel stories, which will be the subject of this Sunday’s service.  It is only in John’s gospel where Andrew brought to Jesus a little boy, who offered the five loaves and two fish that would eventually feed a starving crowd.  We continue our “Child-Like Faith” sermon series with a sermon called “Bread for the World:  Making a Child-Like Sacrifice”.  Like this little boy, each of us has the capacity to make a big difference with even the smallest of sacrifices.
We will join with Christians around the world at the table of Christ, in joint celebration of the Eucharist.  Thanks to Judi Klee, owner of The Spice Rack, for providing breads from around the world that will symbolize our global connection.  You can visit her website at www.homemadepizzelles.com.
We will also be receiving a World Communion Sunday special offering, joining with Methodists throughout the connection in providing scholarships for American and International students focusing on mission in church and society.  To learn more, visit www.umcgiving.org.
We look forward to joining with you in this unique global celebration!

Grace and Peace,

John 6:1-14
1  After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias.
2  A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick.
3  Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples.
4  Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near.
5  When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?"
6  He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do.
7  Philip answered him, "Six months' wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little."
8  One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him,
9  "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?"
10  Jesus said, "Make the people sit down." Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all.
11  Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.
12  When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, "Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost."
13  So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets.
14  When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, "This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world."


What a great time we had last Sunday!  268 people were in worship experiencing the Children’s Sabbath, and we give thanks to Linda Christensen, Carmen Teoli, Marilyn Brubaker, and the numerous kids and adults who worked hard to lead us in worship.
And thanks to the tremendous turnout at the Pork Feed, we met our goal of serving 250 people, including dozens of folks from the public and people from other local churches. And thanks to your generosity, the event raised a record $1,600 toward the reduction of the sanctuary debt. We are very grateful for the Parker family for supplying the delicious, slow-cooked pork tenderloins, Jeff Blum and members of the Finance Committee for all their preparations, and for all who provided such wonderful desserts and side dishes.  Great day!


This year’s UMW Bazaar is themed “The Pumpkin Patch” and will take place on Tuesday, November 6. We would encourage the whole church to play even a small part in its success.  
1.  Consider baking some of your favorite pastries for the morning coffee, bake sale, or dessert table.
2.  Donate items for the “nearly new” sale and by dropping them off on the fellowship hall stage.
3.  Volunteer some time making items for the craft sale (contact Jeanine Schroder, 225-6001).
4.  Make a salad for the salad bar (contact Kathy Simonsen for instructions, 225-5544).
And, of course, your best participation will be from attending the bazaar and bringing a friend! All of your donations, your help, and your attendance will be greatly appreciated.