Elim Extra for Sunday March 3, 2024

Pastor’s Reflection

At our Annual Meeting on January 28th, we (re-)elected the following Church Council Members. President – Craig Bjorklund Vice-President – Stephen Wright Secretary – Lucille Rossbach Treasurer – Joan Tonn Member-at-large – Leslie Ortiz Member-at-large – Suma Anson. Please thank them for their willingness to serve the congregation on the council! Their formal installation will occur this Sunday during worship.

On Sunday we will also post Elim’s scrapbooks and timeline in the social hall, so you can look back over God’s hand in Elim’s history and bring your own memories to the table. In Lenten worship, we are remembering truths about our relationship with God, allowing God to hold us and refresh us. Please join us on Wednesdays at 5:30 to join in singing Holden Evening Prayer, or if you don’t sing, come and let the music wash over you.

with love,

Pr. Chelsea

 

More listening suggestions for Lent: 

“New Again” by Brad Paisley and Sara Evans

“There Was Jesus” by Dolly Parton and Zach Williams

(Thank you Rob for these recommendations!)

 

Upcoming events:
March 3 – Worship Team meeting after worship; soup luncheon

March 6 – Midweek Evening Sung Prayer at 5:30 pm 

March 10 – Celtic Worship; Church Becoming Meeting after worship to finish Elim’s historical timeline

March 13 – Pr. Lisa’s Installation at Good Shepherd at 7 pm 

 

Before you go, a favor to ask:

Because facebook no longer supports live-streaming in horizontal format, we are considering switching to YouTube for streaming our Sunday services. However, we need to have at least 50 subscribers to our YouTube channel in order to allow streaming. We are accumulating sign-ups, but as of the date of publication we still need more. If you would be willing to subscribe, please go to YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/@EELCOUT) and click the “subscribe” link. Note that we have TWO channels; the second URL ends with “3066.” Don’t subscribe to that one. We will stream to the first channel. Thanks for helping, if you are able. 

https://www.youtube.com/@EELCOUT

Elim Extra for Sunday February 25, 2024

Pastor’s Reflection

 

Lent has begun and you are invited to recharge your batteries at sung evening prayer tonight (and every Wednesday night till Holy Week). Join us from 5:30-6:00 for an intimate, contemplative time in our beautiful sanctuary.

 

It’s very Lutheran to pray more during Lent, but you may have noticed we are doing “less” in our Sunday worship now. As part of Lenten minimalism during this penitential season, our liturgy has gone “lower” (and the A-word is nowhere to be found). I am hoping we might get a few more volunteers to serve as new assisting ministers, so that we can go “high” again after Easter. Please contact me if you would be willing to serve! Training will be provided by our worship team.

 

with love, Pr. Chelsea

 

–Worship team meeting Sunday March 3rd.

–Some Lenten song recommendations for your Spotify/Youtube: “Heal” by Tom Odell; “Loosen” by Aly Halpert; “Plowshare Prayer” by Spencer LaJoye; “Nothing to Fear” by The Porter’s Gate (thanks to Heather for recommendations)
–Please stay after worship this Sunday to help finish Elim’s timeline!
–More soup signups needed for March
–Mary’s Circle luncheon is next Tuesday

Elim Extra for Sunday February 18, 2024

Pastor’s Reflection

Happy Valentines Day! Our Ash Wednesday service at 5:30 is designed to be short so you can still make it to a Valentines dinner afterwards, if those are your plans. So don’t rend your clothes quite yet! In fact, we know that God loves a good outfit. Last week on Transfiguration, we heard that God gave Jesus a fashion makeover on the mountain with some stunning white robes. In Genesis tonight, we will hear that God even sewed the very first clothes for humans!
But no one ever said that God was a romantic. “From dust you are and to dust you shall return” was God’s message to the original couple, Adam and Eve. Any couple knows that love requires realism and repentance in addition to hearts and flowers. This Lent, we will be focusing on the image of cloth to guide us in our journey of reweaving. So much needs mending in our spirits and world these days. In our midweek sung evening prayer during Lent, we will practice turning all things over to the Great Weaver for mending. Please join us on Wednesdays at 5:30!
Make a holy Lent,

Pr. Chelsea

Church becoming meetings the next two Sundays: Making a timeline of Elim!

March 13 at 7 PM – Installation of Pr. Lisa Mensinger at Good Shepherd Episcopal in Ogden!

April 25-27 – Synod Assembly and bishop election in Loveland, CO. Lucille and Craig will be representing Elim, but all are welcome to attend!

Registration link: https://tithe.ly/event-registration/#/8333189

Elim Extra for Sunday February 11, 2024

Pastor’s Reflection

Lent is coming! Mark your calendars for a Shrove Tuesday pancake supper on February 13 at 5:30 (bring a favorite topping to share), Ash Wednesday on February 14 at 5:30, and a midweek evening prayer service every following Wednesday at 5:30. There are signup sheets in the hallway to bring soup for our Sunday lunches during Lent. If you can’t make it to church at 5:30 on February 14 but would like to receive ashes, Ascension Lutheran is offering “ashes to go” in their parking lot during the lunch hour; or please contact me to arrange a visit at home. I love Lent!

This Sunday wraps up our Epiphany season, when we have been basking in the light of Jesus’s various manifestations of holiness: divine vulnerability, divine grief, divine belovedness, divine vigor, divine destiny (as I shared with the Boy Scouts last week), and now this week on Transfiguration Sunday, divine transformation! It is fitting that Epiphany ends with a blinding flash of light on the mountaintop, so that the glory of Christ may light our way through the dark valley of Lent.
This Lent we will continue to explore grief and loss through the Psalms of Lament, and also hear many readings from the prophet Jeremiah, the champion of lament. I invite you to stay after church on the last two Sundays of this month, to help build a timeline of Elim’s past and do some nostalgic remembering and grieving together. Christ will light our way!
with love, Pr. Chelsea
Events:

February 11 – Council Meeting
February 13 – Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner 5:30 pm
February 14 – Ash Wednesday at 5:30 PM & Valentine’s Day
February 18 & 25 – Church Becoming workshops (building a church timeline)
February 18 – Lenten soup luncheons begin – Please sign up to bring food!
February 19 – Presidents Day
February 21 – First Lenten evening worship @ 5:30

Elim Extra for February 4, 2024

Pastor’s Reflection

All of a sudden there are many, many names our prayer list. Life can be like that sometimes. Yet in recent days I have seen your prayers work. We thank God that Amy, Frank, Brittney, Karen, and Lucille are getting better. Bill, Christy, Jane, Kay, and Rosemary still need our prayers. Please hold Joan and Peggy in prayer this week as they undergo successful hand surgeries and get a head start on a great recovery. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

What a fabulous treat this Sunday that we will get to enjoy worship led by the Scouts of Troop 54. It is truly a joy when young people offer us their spiritual leadership and service. Please plan to stay after worship on Sunday to enjoy a reception with this wonderful group.

Lent is coming! Mark your calendars for a Shrove Tuesday pancake supper on February 13 at 5:30, Ash Wednesday on February 14 at 5:30, and a midweek evening prayer service every Wednesday following, also at 5:30. There are signup sheets in the hallway for to bring soup for our Sunday lunches during Lent. So many wonderful opportunities this time of year to deepen our spiritual fellowship!

with love, Pr. Chelsea

Elim Extra for Sunday January 28, 2024

Pastor’s Reflection

In our reading from Acts last Sunday, we heard about the Ethiopian eunuch reading the famous passage in Isaiah about the Suffering Servant. Isaiah was talking about the nation of Israel going through suffering, but in his description, Christians have seen an amazing portrayal of the Suffering Servant Jesus who was to come. This Sunday’s gospel reading will highlight the way that Jesus shared in our afflictions through his healing ministry, as we continue the theme of Epiphany/manifestation: Jesus showing his divine strength in the face of grief.

In Bible study this month, we have been studying ways to work through our own suffering after losing someone, through the “tasks of grief” model. Last Sunday we made grief bracelets, and this coming Sunday at 9 AM we will be drawing necklaces to symbolize our journeys of change and corporate loss in the various churches we have been part of. All are welcome to join us! A sweeter sister of Grief is Nostalgia, who opens us to happy memories of those we have lost, so that we can draw strength from their strength. During Lent we will be exploring the history of Elim looking for what sweet Nostalgia can teach us for our future.

In the words of our Bible study author, Bishop Michael Girlinghouse: “Our own nostalgic reflection can help us see how the Holy Spirit was at work among us, the gospel of Jesus Christ was motivating us, and the God who created us and called us was with us in those days. That reflection can give us assurance that God is still with us, even as we acknowledge and grieve what we have lost.”

with love, Pr. Chelsea

–Annual Congregational Meeting and Potluck this Sunday! Chair exercises will resume before coffee hour the following Sunday.

–February 4th will be Scouts Sunday.

Elim Extra for Sunday January 21, 2024

Pastor’s Reflection

My apologies if you didn’t get the notice that worship was cancelled due to snow last Sunday, and showed up to an empty church! We tried to notify everyone on Saturday night when the forecast was predicting heavy snow, so please do let me know if you fell through the cracks so I can make sure to put your number in my phone.

We are going to delay the Baptism of the Lord by one more week, and do our affirmation of baptism this coming Sunday. (So this week’s bulletin will be the one we sent out last week.) This message of divine belovedness is too important to miss, especially after exploring Jesus’s manifestation of divine vulnerability and divine grief on Epiphany.

In my online reflection on First Thessalonians 4 last Sunday on Facebook, I lifted up some questions from our Bible Study about resurrection hope. Paul called on believers not to avoid grief, but to grieve differently, to grieve with hope. Many bereaved persons, even those who are believers, have a hard time feeling that eternal life is real, when they are so drastically separated from their beloved. That’s okay; just cling to whatever hope you can find, even if it is the simple hope that by working through the tasks of grief, it is possible to someday feel better. That is new life and resurrection in and of itself, on the other side of this hard and difficult work.

Bishop Michael Girlinghouse applies personal grief work to congregations: “We need to recognize the reality of loss and its impact on our congregation, acknowledge the grief, and, with the courage of our faith, work through it – as hard as that can be. After all, as people of faith, we do not grieve as those with no hope.” (From Embracing God’s Future without Forgetting the Past: A Conversation about Grief and Nostalgia in Congregational Life.) In Bible Study this Sunday, we will examine our personal losses and draw strength from our cloud of witnesses. Please read Chapter 3 if you can.

with love, Pr. Chelsea

Elim Extra for Sunday, January 14 2024

Elim Extra for Sunday January 7, 2024

Pastor’s Reflection

Happy New Year! When I penned an article for the January Scribe newsletter, I gloated that January is a grand month for worship, featuring momentous moments from Jesus’ life such as Epiphany and Baptism, the Presentation and the Transfiguration. But I forgot to mention the Massacre of the Innocents, which should make the sweet Christmas story of the Magi come with a warning label. As we begin our wonderful new year with last year’s wars still raging, it seems only fair that we should wrap up our Christmas season by situating the glory of the incarnation within the harsh reality of our world. The gospel writer Matthew was trying to tell us something about the costs of standing up for peace in a world that runs on war. Like the Magi, we have only Jesus’s brilliant manifestation of Peace to guide us through this darkness. In a world of slain children, God’s people’s vision was that a little child would lead them. May the whole world turn its face toward this bright shining star.

love, Pr. Chelsea

Reminders:

–Help pack away our Christmas decorations after worship this Sunday

–Book study resumes this Sunday at 9 AM (Our Bible portion will be Luke chapter 15). Reading assignment for 1/7 and 1/10 – Preface and Chapter 1 of Embracing God’s Future without Forgetting the Past.

–Chair exercises with Leslie starting January 14th before coffee hour

–Council meets January 14th

–Worship team meets January 21st

–Save the date! Congregational Meeting January 28th

 

You are invited to Christmas Eve worship

Sunday December 24, 2023

“Cookies and Carols”

At 10 a.m. we will sing carols and have cookies. Bring requests to sing your favorite carols.

“O Night Divine”

At 5 p.m. we will have a traditional candlelight service. All are welcome in this sacred space.

Merry Christmas!