Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Quilts for Lutheran World Relief

The Holy Comforters quilting group 
at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
 in Springfield, Virginia 
works hard from Jan - April making quilts.
 This year it was 112 quilts for LWR 
and 40 children's quilts.

 In May-
traditionally on Mother's Day weekend,
they are draped across the backs of the pews
in the sanctuary.

There is something particularly 
cozy and welcoming on this weekend.
Even the spot for the pastor 
and worship helpers get a "draping."

They partner with Lutheran World Relief 
and 25:40
as organizations that distribute the quilts.

The quilts are prayed over and blessed
 before they are boxed for shipping.
Each one has been made 
with love and sent with love.

Some are for purchase to help
 defray the cost for batting and materials.

Thanks- Mary Lion for the hard work 
and organizing this group
 to make the world a bit brighter 
in many far away places!

Does your church makes quilts for others?
Comment below- so we can add to the story!

More about
Lutheran World Relief 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Visual Faith and a Community Easter Egg Hunt

Barbara Haar- Minister of Parish Life
 at St. Paul Lutheran Church 
in Catonsville, Maryland 
contacted me about the possibility
 of using a Visual Faith component
 for their Commuity Easter Egg Hunt.

A quick email sent to the team 
and Barb received some great choices
 to offer those attending.

Some Visual Kinesthetic learning
and a Bible verse- 
right into their hearts for Easter,
and to share with their families.

Here is the link to download
 and print bookmarks
 or Bible margins for you!
These were designed by Pat Maier.

And here are 2 more:
 designed by Karen Hunter:
Easter Margins

Thanks to Barbara 
for sharing a bit of the story.

Minister of Parish Life, St. Paul Lutheran Church
Church: 410-747-1897, 

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Dina Vendetti- For When You are Mayor

Once in awhile you get to leave
 your normal day job 
and try out something else.
Dina Vendetti (L) serves as Principal at
St. John's Lutheran School
 in Dover, Delaware.
Dina is pictured here with Judy Diogo- 
 President of the Central DE 
Chamber of Commerce.
Recently she was the winner 
of the "honorary mayor" campaign.
And you might get to celebrate with friends.
Just so you have others to help tell the story.
Dina with her pastor- Rev. Dr. C.J. Ransdell
  and his wife Melinda.
And then you have to hang your 
"official gear"-
because for this whole next year-
Dina will be out and about
performing duties as needed.
And just a reminder- it's
never a bad idea 
to try something brand new.

 More about the Honorary Mayor program:

The Honorary Mayor program
 is one of two fundraisers
 held each year by the 
Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce. 
The proceeds help to underwrite several programs --
 many of which benefit our school- St John's.
  We have been members of the CDCC
 for many, many years
 and they have gone out of their way
 to provide us with business education, 
networking and marketing opportunities, 
and leadership development. 
They do an amazing job 
of keeping our school in the public eye.  

Each year the CDCC staff 
invites 4 - 5 people in the community
 to be candidates in the Honorary Mayor election.
 Which ever candidate raises the most money
 is declared the winner.  
The three month campaign
 (which began in February)
 will yield about $10,000 
worth of free advertising for our school. 
 The winner of the campaign 
will serve as "honorary mayor" 
for one full year. 
 As mayor, this person will be invited
 to attend ribbon cuttings 
and other functions of the chamber. 
These are often events 
that will be covered by the local media,
 again keeping that person's name 
and business in the public eye.  

Congratulations Dina!
and the St. John's Lutheran School
 and Church Community.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Encouragement for Pastors in Holy Week

Thoughts for Pastors for Holy Week
(But think some things apply to all of us)
Hebrews 12:1-3
Wherefore seeing we also are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
No pressure, pastor, but it is Holy Week.
A week set aside for the specific purpose of calling to mind the passion of our Lord. How have you marked it? Did you take a week off from work or study to spend it in prayer? Me neither. There are lessons for each day of this week. Will you take time to read them? I haven’t, in the past, and I don’t even have the excuse of saying that I did not know they were there. But you are seated now, and can take some time to concentrate on the passion story.
                                                        Jerusalem-Roman steps to Caiaphas' house
So, what was and is the great passion of Christ?
God’s passion, that which drives the whole story of salvation, is the restoration of the relationship between God and humanity that was broken beyond our mending in the Garden of Eden. It was God’s love for each of us individually and for the whole of humanity that paved a road between the garden and Calvary with promises both made and kept. Hebrews 12 follows immediately the great chapter of faith that starts with the words, ‘Faith is the substance of things hoped for, evidence of things not seen’ and continues to tell the stories of the patriarchs whose faith was counted as righteousness. We are placed in the middle of these powerful witnesses and told to keep on running.
Christ ran the race and endured the cross to win a trophy – a joy promised – the restoration of the relationship with us. We are now urged to follow on and consider Christ’s example lest we get tired of it all. For me, the encouragement needs to keep on coming 24-7, I get tired very easily. I’d have been tempted to walk around in Gethsemane muttering about the difference between a bruised heel (remember the first promise given in Eden) and slow strangulation by crucifixion. I’m prone to procrastination, putting off my time of prayer or devotion until there is no time. Then I blame God for not making the days longer or at least reducing my need for sleep.
                                                                                       Garden of Gethsemane- Jerusalem-
Like the disciples, I’m caught napping when Christ asks me to walk with Him. I walk on by my neighbor and comfort myself with the thought that I contribute regularly to the food pantry and take gently worn clothing and shoes to Good Will. I’m apt to be quick with an angry word, email, or text and judge the driving habits of others harshly.
By God’s grace, we are still supported by the means of grace and surrounded by witnesses. We are baptized children of God, fed and nourished by the words of God and the body and blood of Christ. Those you see daily are powerful witnesses and you are witness to them.
So, yes, it’s Holy Week – a week set aside to remember the passion of Christ. To remember the dreadful sacrifice made necessary by our sin, but also the passionate love that endured in spite of our sin, and the prize – the joyous reunion with God that is the trophy won for each of us by Christ. The crown of glory, the heavenly mansion, the peace that comes with knowing that we are forgiven. Redeemed by the blood of Christ. Made new again.
No Pressure. It’s Holy Week, and God still loves us.

Remembering the way life shifts into high gear for pastors 
(and often all church workers) during Holy week, 
I retrieved a piece of encouragement 
I wrote some years ago for my own pastors. 
 God be with you this week and every week in this year of our Lord. 

© Natalie Grace, 2011 

Thank you to Natalie Grace Hartwig
 for her thoughts this Holy Week.
 Photos by Constance Denninger-Jan. 2017