Ways to Learn in September
Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
Adult Bible Study on Tuesday Mornings - join us Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.
Generations: Together - Being the church is about being connected, listening to one another and accepting each other like sisters and brothers. Let us be the church…together
Starting in September you are invited and encouraged to participate in a 4-part conversation over the course of four months, once a month on Sunday mornings. It is no secret that younger generations are leaving the church and have been for years. The secret to attracting or retaining younger church members? There ISN’T one! But a sense of belonging and meaningful relationships with other church members are certainly important to many people who stay.
Generations: Together is a video series produced by the Nebraska Synod of our ELCA consisting of 10 interviewees representing five generations from three congregations, each sharing their perspectives on the church, faith and community.
The current plan is to present a series of short video clips followed by conversations. Here is the lineup:
September: Introduce video interviewees as they discuss perceptions and misconceptions of each other’s Generation.
October: Explore interviewees’ understandings of Church.
November: Interviewees answer questions about Faith.
December: Look at interviewees’ understanding of Community.
Please plan to participate in these monthly conversations. A more detailed schedule will follow.
Read the Bible in a Year Plan - Martin Luther once said, “For some years now…I have read through the Bible twice every year. If you picture the Bible to be a mighty tree and every word a little branch, I have shaken every one of these branches because I wanted to know what it was and what it meant.” (LW 54:165)
Few of us will ever approach the time and energy Luther devoted to reading the Bible. Yet, as Luther’s heirs, we carry his love for Scriptures and affirm with him that God’s Word alone hold the key to life and salvation. With Luther, we want to “shake each branch” to discover its meaning for our lives.
When Martin Luther lived in exile at the Wartburg Castel, with his own life as well as his reforming cause in jeopardy, he used his time for intensive Bible study. In addition, he began a monumental undertaking to translate the Bible into the common language of his country’s people. If every believer was a priest before God, as Luther proclaimed, then he or she should be invited to read and study God’s truth found in Scripture.
In honor of both the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation—and—Zion’s 125th Anniversary beginning in 2018, this is a good time to pick up our Bibles with a renewed zeal and shake some branches! You are invited to join this endeavor in October and we will begin in Genesis and move our way to Revelation. Each month the Newsletter will provide a daily reading schedule and a summary of the month’s readings. Together let us enter into God’s Word in the hopes of growing in faith and love in all we do.
Read the Bible in a Year Plan:
The schedule for September (will be posted as son as I find out where it went!)
Sept. 1 1 Cor. 12-14
Sept. 2 1 Cor. 15-16
Sept. 3 2 Cor. 1-4
Sept. 4 2 Cor. 5-9
Sept. 5 2 Cor. 10-13
Sept. 6 Galatians 1-3
Sept. 7 Galatians 4-6
Sept. 8 Ephesians 1-3
Sept. 9 Ephesians 4-6
Sept. 10 Philippians 1-4
Sept. 11 Colossians 1-4
Sept. 12 1 Thess. 1-5
Sept. 13 2 Thess. 1-3
Sept. 14 1 Timothy 1-6
Sept. 15 2 Timothy 1-4
Sept. 16 Titus-Philemon
Sept. 17 Hebrews 1-6
Sept. 18 Hebrews 7-10
Sept. 19 Hebrews 11-13
Sept. 20 James 1-5
Sept. 21 1 Peter 1-5
Sept. 22 2 Peter 1-3
Sept. 23 1 John 1-5
Sept. 24 2 John-Jude
Sept. 25 Revelation 1-3
Sept. 26 Revelation 4-8
Sept. 27 Revelation 9-12
Sept. 28 Revelation 13-16
Sept. 29 Revelation 17-19
Sept. 30 Revelation 20-22
The Word of God - Pass It On Initiative - What better place to find the Word of God than in the House of God! If you look in the pew rack in front of you, you may notice a Bible. The Bibles currently in the pew rack are a gift given by Pastor Stephen Blenkush in memory of his father Rev. Dallas Blenkush. It is also part of a new initiative to both encourage worshipers to make use of the Bible during worship but also to provide Bibles to those who are in need of God's Word. So, if you are in need of a Bible, take it home. If you know someone in need of a Bible, pass it along. If you would like to participate in this ongoing initiative, contact either Pastor Blenkush or the church office.
Online Reflections - Interested in keeping up with all the great opportunities and ministries going on within our Northeastern Minnesota Synod? Go to www.nemnsynod.org and click the Online Reflections tab and click to sign up to receive weekly updates. Now you too can stay on top of what’s going on in our synod and church!
Read the Bible daily - one of the marks of discipleship is reading scripture every day. Make it easy - get a Daily Scripture reading in your email from Zion Online. Sign up and chose to receive every day in your email a Scripture passage, a Psalm, or a Psalam you can sing to a familiar hymn melody.
Adages— Part of God’s plan
When someone experiences a loss or crisis, perhaps no religious platitude is uttered more often than some variation of “This is part of God’s plan.” It usually comes from a human desire to believe that, despite the pain and feeling that life is spinning out of control, God is totally in charge — but in ways no one can really understand or explain. But saying it usually doesn’t help.
A sad consequence of this thinking is that it ultimately lifts up a picture of an omnipotent God who is arbitrary and often cruel. Somehow the experience of losing someone in a car accident, a serious illness or any one of thousands of other sad scenarios is just part of God acting as grand puppeteer and manipulating the world. Although no one can tell us what the final good will be, we are supposed to receive consolation knowing that our misfortune is really a good thing.
Contrast that with the God we meet in Jesus. Rather than manipulating our circumstances to accomplish some nebulous plan, the God we meet in Jesus enters into our circumstances (even the out of control ones). This God suffers with us and for us to bring us life, even in the face of death itself. Scripture tells us: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Some may encourage us to cling to a God who is in charge even when it feels like life is out of control. But the God we meet in Jesus offers persistent and costly love, present with us in all things and suffering with us and even on our behalf. – David D. Daubert
Pick up a current copy of - Living Lutheran magazine, the new flagship publication of the ELCA, and the daily devotional Christ in Our Home are available in the kiosk in the Narthex. Christ in Our Home is a quarterly devotional resource that encourage to live out their faith daily. Each reflective reading is accompanied by a daily scripture reference and prayer for the day. It is also available is large print.
Lutheran Marriage Encounter helps married husbands and wives celebrate their special relationship - and provides them with unique iinsights and tools to improve their communication for the long haul. The experience is a whole weekend for a couple to escape chores, jobs, and kids in order to refresh and re-energize their love, learn a delightful new method of communication, and reap joyful long-term rewards for their relationship, their family, and their faith journey. Oct, 12–14 at Centerstone Plaza Hotel in Rochester. Apply now at GodLovesMarriage.org! Questions? Contact Pete & Phyllis McMahon firstname.lastname@example.org or 763-561-1575. Pre-registration is required.
For Better...Forever - Couple's Retreat: Marriage and Pre-Marriage - "For Better...Forever" is an enjoyable couple's seminar. With wit, humor, and spirit, couples learn from the latest research what works for couples in happy and lasting marriages.
*Gender and Personality Differences: How to keep them working for you rather than against you.
*Communication: Everyone can learn to communicate better, the sooner the better
*Spirituality/The Divine Love: Secrets to feeling your love is "heaven sent."
The day goes from 9:30 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Cost: $125 per couple (includes refreshments, lunch, and the cost of all materials.
For more information or to register, go to Couples Retreat or Lakeside Center or call 218-829-3330. "For Better...Forever" is led by Ron Hunt, a licensed psychologist in Minnesota as well as a Marriage and Family Therapist in California. he is also an ordained pastor and Spiritual Director. For more information, talk to Pastor Blenkush.