We routinely live-stream our Sunday services, as well as some other special events, on our facebook page. (https://www.facebook.com/elimlutheran.church.3/)
Please join us there, if you cannot join us in person!
To receive the weekly Elim Extra email in your inbox, please contact our office administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up. You can also sign up to receive our monthy newsletter the Scribe at your home address.
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
In the season after Epiphany, when the northern hemisphere is experiencing a gradual lightening of the darkest time of the year (despite all these snow storms!), the Church praises Christ as the Light. Last Sunday we celebrate the manifestation of Jesus’s divinity to the magi by the light of a star. But did you know that January 6th was the original Christmas, until it was moved earlier to be closer to the winter solstice?
Originally, Epiphany meant the baptism of the adult Jesus, which is what we are going to celebrate this coming Sunday (and in many Eastern and Middle Eastern churches, Epiphany still means that today). So we get to celebrate two Epiphanies: two manifestations of Jesus’s divinity. In fact, our whole time after Epiphany will continue the theme of manifestation, with each Sunday’s gospel sharing another aspect of Jesus’s identity, power, and purpose.
So the question becomes, what does the sacrament of baptism manifest about our divinity – our identity, power, and purpose as followers of Jesus? Perhaps we get to have an Epiphany too.
with love, Pr. Chelsea
New Bible study every Sunday @ 9:00 – with Pr. Chelsea. On Zoom Wed. 3:00pm.
January 14th – Church Council after Worship
January 15th – Martin Luther King Jr. Day
January 21st – Worship Team meeting
January 23rd – Mary’s Circle Ladies Group @ Noon. Meet at Sonora Grill 2310 Kiesel Ave, Ogden.
January 29th – Annual Congregation Meeting after Worship and Potluck – sign-up sheet in the Hallway.
Church needs: Help with the marquee sign. Come up with a phrase or idea to write on the board. Also help to change the messages. Get with Peggy in the office.
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
–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