This Week – November 9, 2017


We open ourselves to God’s Spirit in worship, prayer and study, holding each other
in community and encouraging one another to grow in the Spirit.
We reach out in generosity and compassion to the people around us.

Sunday, November 12, 2017
9:15 a.m. Choir
10:15 a.m. Worship
11:15 a.m. Harvest Festival Potluck

Scripture: Romans 7: 15-20, Luke 18: 9-14
Sermon: “Both/And”
Serving Our Church This Sunday:
Liturgist: Evan Ramstad
Greeters: Heidi Schellhas & Bob Lucas


bookBook Club – Sunday, November 19th
Our November book selection is: Canoeing with the Cree, by Eric Sevareid. We will meet following worship/coffee time. All are welcome to join the conversation.

In 1930 two novice paddlers—Eric Sevareid and Walter C. Port—launched a secondhand 18-foot canvas canoe into the Minnesota River at Fort Snelling for an ambitious summer-long journey from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay. Without benefit of radio, motor, or good maps, the teenagers made their way over 2,250 miles of rivers, lakes, and difficult portages. Nearly four months later, after shooting hundreds of sets of rapids and surviving exceedingly bad conditions and even worse advice, the ragged, hungry adventurers arrived in York Factory on Hudson Bay—with winter freeze-up on their heels. First published in 1935, Canoeing with the Cree is Sevareid’s classic account of this youthful odyssey.

Join Us on Sunday, December 3rd…

  • During Worship: A representative from the House of Charity will talk about the programs that we help support.
  • Following Worship: We will make 300+ sandwiches to benefit those in need through the House of Charity.



“Tending God’s Light”
Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

There are so many ways that we are all still, under our skin, adolescents. Delaying gratification, or planning for a possible future, or thinking beyond our own needs seem to be traits difficult to cultivate.  Are we hardwired for not being able to see beyond the tip of our nose so that even planning can be a struggle?  Which bridesmaid in this familiar and iconic tale from Matthew’s Gospel are you? Would you remember to bring extra oil? Would you be ready for the night to fall?  Or would you be left in the dark and unable to greet the bridegroom?

When psychologists test for how some people have developed the ability to delay gratification, they notice that those who are able to imagine a pleasant outcome to their choice—rather than thinking of it simply in terms of what they are giving up—are more likely to postpone one thing for something greater. Saving is about remembering what it is you are saving for rather than how little you have for now.  Another way of saying that is this: we should think about today so that there will be a better future for ourselves and others.

If the Gospel is about nothing else it is about hope. Hope in a better world and in the genuine compassionate nature of human beings that a fully human Christ makes possible. Hope is a gift from us to the future. But only if we make that hope tangible and not just a dream we embroider on a cushion. What is it we need to do, and to what do we need to give so that the future will receive its gift from us? Who will benefit from the gift or pledge we make today? Who will receive it?

These are the things we might ask ourselves as we prepare our offering to the church of Jesus Christ. What will your church mean to the future?  What do you imagine that future to be?

How will what you give today manifest itself for those who will be members of this church or residents of your town years from now?  It’s not what you give up, it’s what you give to.

Those bridesmaids were split between those who imagined the future and those who did not.

They saw the connection between what they did today and what might happen tomorrow. Isn’t that one of the things that is a sign of maturity?  Be a mature bridesmaid and give to your church. The future is asking.

Looking Ahead
November 12 Harvest Festival Potluck – Following Worship
November 14 Tai Chi – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
November 15 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
November 19 Book Club – Following Worship
November 21 Tai Chi – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
November 22 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
November 28 Tai Chi – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
November 29 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
December 2 House of Charity – Serving Lunch
December 3 House of Charity Speaker – During Worship
Sandwich Making – Following Worship
December 4 Board of Deacons – 5:30 p.m. Meeting
December 5 Tai Chi – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
December 6 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
December 9 Cooks of Chapel Hills – Holiday Traditions
December 10 Holiday Carol Sing – 4:00 p.m.
December 12 Tai Chi – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Church Council – 7:00 p.m. Meeting
December 13 Tai Chi – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.

Worship this Sunday:
Scripture: Romans 7: 15-20Luke 18: 9-14
Sermon: “Both/And”

Have you ever wondered why good people do bad things? Or why bad people do good things? The Reformation has an answer. Martin Luther called it “Simul justus et peccator.” That translates as “simultaneously justified or righteous and sinner.” Or a little more colloquially, “We are both saint and sinner.” …

The idea of the Reformers was that we are all, despite our faith, a mixed bag. None of us are wholly virtuous or without fault or foible – even though some like to present themselves as completely saintly and above others.

(500: A Study Guide for the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, p. 21)

When I first heard that phrase, or read it – I cannot remember which – I felt freed. That described me exactly. That characterization of the human condition is a gift to us from Martin Luther. We celebrate that gift on Sunday and apply it to him as well. Luther transformed the church and the world for the better. He also transformed it for the worse – or at least contributed to some of the worst things that have happened.

He [Martin Luther] was a man of vision, courage, and immense passion for the freedom of the gospel. But as ahead of his times as he was in some things, in others he embodied the worst prejudices and violent impulses of his day. (Ibid p. 23)

So how do we live with the sins of those who went before us? How do we get enough perspective to understand our own sins.

But who can detect their errors? Clear me from hidden faults. Psalm 19:12

God, we ask you to give to us: Faith, so that we admit our doubt and still walk on in the way of Christ; Hope, so that setbacks and disappointments do not drive us to despair; Love, so that we may act toward our sisters and brothers as you do; Prudence, so that we are wise and careful when we choose; Justice, so that we care for the vulnerable; Courage so that we may endure and persist; Self-control so that we are the people you have called us to be and so that others see you in us. Amen. (Adapted from a Prayer of William Barclay)