Worship at Home for 4/15/18

April 15, 2018
3rd Sunday in Easter, Year B

ELW #377 Alleluia! Jesus is Risen    

Alleluia! Christ is risen.
Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!


Prayer of the Day     

Holy and righteous God, you are the author of life, and you adopt us to be your children. Fill us with your words of life, that we may live as witnesses to the resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

First Reading: Acts 3:12-19

12Peter addressed the people, “You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made this man walk? 13The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified Jesus, the servant of God whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though Pilate had decided to release him. 14But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, 15and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16And by faith in the name of Jesus, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.
  17“And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18In this way God fulfilled what had been foretold through all the prophets, that the Messiah would suffer. 19Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out.”

Psalm 4

 1Answer me when I call, O God, defender | of my cause;
  you set me free when I was in distress; have mercy on me and | hear my prayer.
 2“You mortals, how long will you dishon- | or my glory;
  how long will you love illusions and seek | after lies?”
 3Know that the Lord does wonders | for the faithful;
  the Lord will hear me | when I call.
 4Tremble, then, and | do not sin;
  speak to your heart in silence up- | on your bed. R
 5Offer the appointed | sacrifices,
  and put your trust | in the Lord.
 6Many are saying, “Who will show us | any good?”
  Let the light of your face shine upon | us, O Lord.
 7You have put gladness | in my heart,
  more than when grain and | wine abound.
 8In peace, I will lie | down and sleep;
  for you alone, O Lord, make me | rest secure. 

Second Reading: 1 John 3:1-7

1See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know God. 2Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when it is revealed, we will be like God, for we will see God as God is. 3And all who have this hope in God purify themselves, just as the Son is pure.
  4Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5You know that Christ was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6No one who abides in the Son sins; no one who sins has either seen or known the Son. 7Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as Christ is righteous.

Gospel: Luke 24:36b-48

36bJesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate in their presence.
  44Then Jesus said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things.”

ELW #367 Now All the Vault of Heaven Resounds

Prayers of Intercession

Rejoicing in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we pray for the witness of the church, the wholeness of creation, and all who are in need.

A brief silence.

Holy God, we pray for the church and its many expressions. Strengthen the National Youth Gathering planning teams across the country. Prepare the hearts and minds of our youth and adults who will experience your love this summer. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Creating God, you gave us dominion over the soil. In this icy weather, protect the first responders, electrical line workers and emergency personnel as they keep our roads safe and our homes warm.  Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Merciful God, walk with all refugees who leave their homes to move to safety. Protect them on their journey. Greet them with hospitality. Guide world leaders to make decisions that lead to ways of peace, especially as we hold our breath for the situation in Syria. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Compassionate God, you heal us. For all who have not been granted the healing they desire and for all who cannot access the care they need, send social workers, doctors, parish nurses, and other caregivers. Today we pray especially for Kim Stevens.  Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God our provider, you call us to give generously. Bless the finance and stewardship teams of this congregation. Make us joyful givers of the time, talents, and treasures you have first given us. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of our ancestors, in you we have our beginning and our end. We remember all the faithful departed. Enfold in a shield of peace all those who mourn, especially the family of Diane Maturen, on the death of her brother Jon Fink. Hold them in your love. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We entrust all our prayers to you, gracious God. Receive them by the power of the Holy Spirit and the love of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The peace of Christ be with you always.
And also with you.

 Today I encourage you to pick up the phone and call someone who could use an extra measure of peace today.

May God who has brought us from death to life
fill you with great joy.
Almighty God, Father, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit,
bless you now and forever.  Amen.


ELW #366 The Strife is O’er, The Battle Done

Alleluia! Christ is risen.
Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!

You are the body of Christ raised up for the world.
Go in peace. Share the good news.
Thanks be to God.

Cross+Words - April 2018


Spring greetings... maybe??? It seems that spring doesn't really want to arrive this year, doesn't it?  As I'm writing this, we're preparing for a major ice storm.  Maybe?  Yesterday was 70 degrees.  If the weather prophecy holds true, we will experience a drastic change.  Well, this weekend's scripture reminds me of that drastic change.  We go from the death to the resurrection, and the disciples seem to think they've seen a ghost.  In Luke 24, Jesus goes out of his way to calm the fears of the disciples by asking for food, eating in front of them, proving that he is no ghost, but their beloved friend, in the flesh, celebrating with them the fulfillment of scripture, just as God said.

I want you to know that the best part of ministry is to bring Christ's word of peace and proclamation of good news to you.  I'm here to stir us to a point of joy and to calm your fears as we celebrate in the resurrected life together.  And yet I know there's a lot going on in our church - we've introduced new Holy Week services, we've made a special area for the children, the Alternative service is remaining on Saturdays.  I'm super-duper excited about these things and the hope that they bring - how they will enable others to become more engaged in their faith - and yet these are changes that may also bring about some anxiety.  Peace be with you; I echo Jesus' words.   

My call as pastor to this community is first and foremost to help deepen our spirituality and our connectedness to our neighbors.  We all desire that we grow as Christians, but sometimes the discomfort of change doesn't feel so good.  Peace be with you, I say again.  So I wish to invite you to speak with me about any concerns you may have - directly.  Know that as your pastor, I will hold our conversations with utmost loving care and confidentiality.  I want to know and share your joys and worries.

In the meanwhile, I excitedly await the real arrival of spring, any day, because I know that something great is just around the corner.  And that is the same hope and joy that I have also witnessed that with our worshipping community.  Peace be with you.

With Christ's love


Faith quilters have presented a quilt for Habitat for Humanity's annual quilt show.  It is on display from Friday through Sunday this week at Our Savior on Hemmeter.  This is the 17th year for the Quilt Show & Silent Auction, and this year's home is the former residence of Emily Hahn. For more info, click here.

By congregational vote, the Alternative service has decided to remain on Saturdays throughout the year.  The time will also remain 5:00pm throughout the year. 
And have no fear!  The Ice Cream socials will resume on June 2nd.


Outdoor flea market on May 5th from 8am-3pm. 
Vendor tables are available for $20.  No clothes for sale.  Please call the office at 989-799-0162 to reserve your space.  For updates, check here.

Two young women of Faith Lutheran affirmed their baptismal promises and life in Christ on Palm Sunday this year.  We give thanks for the joy and Christian witness of Marrissa Price and Jade Larkin.


What is this new "Prayground" that I hear about?  Yes!  We want to show the community that we value children here, and we are doing it in a way that makes it abundantly clear that the Gospel and our worship is for them, too!  During Easter Sunday celebration, a toddler sat in the Prayground and pointed to the cross, asking "what is that?" THAT, my friends, is exactly the point of the Prayground - a place that children can clearly see what they've been missing for many years (they're tiny humans, and miss a lot of the world just by being so small).

Experience has shown that when churches fail to get children involved in worship by ages 4-6, then the children never feel that they are truly welcome or part of that community.  Worried about it being a distraction?  So far, so good for us!  Congregations that have a dedicated children's space near the front report that because children can see what's going on, it captures their attention and keeps them engaged.  What tends to be more distracting is (believe it or not!) the parent who "shushes" a child.  Plus, the plush toys are pretty quiet.  Worried about it being in the way of communion traffic?  We thought of that, too, and it's not a problem.  The recessed space occupies no more real estate than the former pew in that same place. Plus, kids get a kick out of seeing so many people pass by them on their way back from communion.  When they see familiar faces each week, its like having a number of aunts and uncles surround them in worship, and how beautiful is that?!

At Easter Vigil we welcomed several new members into our community.  As a congregation, we welcomed and vowed to support the following persons in their faith life: Kathleen and Mike Basner, Jim and Susan Lown, Sherry Leszczynski,  Samantha Leszczynski, Shyanne Leiner, Judy Rawlusczki and Thomas Wilhelm.
On April 15th, we will baptize Liam Robert-James Leiner and welcome him into the Body of Christ.

Do you have a youth in your family (child, grandchild, niece, nephew, etc.) who is about to graduate this year?  It can be a graduation from elementary school, middle, high or college.  We would like to pray for them and bless them for their next venture during worship on Sunday, June 17th at 10am.  Let the office know, either by phone or email.

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Thursdays 10am & 6pm continue the discussion on "Women & Justice".  See what our faith has to say about gender equality.  Meet in the conference room.  Materials are available at the church or can be downloaded here.

What is Holy Week?

What is Holy Week? These are days the church remembers and celebrates the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.  The early church called these last three days, "Holy Triduum".  Thursday through Saturday are not meant to be viewed as three separate worship services, but one continuous act of remembrance that leads to the Easter moment - the jubilant exclamation that "He is Risen!"

Maundy Thursday

  • What happened in scripture?

    • This is the night Jesus dined with his disciples for the last time.  This is the night Jesus was betrayed by Judas.  Jesus also gave the mandate (hence, 'Maundy') that we should take care of one another.  He modeled this posture of servanthood by getting on the ground and washing his disciples feet.  
  • How does worship reflect this?

    • In our worship, we eat the meal and we wash feet.  We share the mandate to cleanse others.  You are invited to come forward to have your feet washed.  We continue to wash feet to this day, just as Jesus did, because feet are indeed icky and embarrassing.  We risk our vulnerability because it is a loving act of trust and kindness to wash and be washed by others.  At the very end of worship, the altar and worship space are cleared of any decoration, symbolic of the barren emptiness of this world.  Only the bare furnishings remain, which reminds us that we are stripped of all our sins and only our bare humanity remains for God to reckon.  We leave the space in silence, awaiting the next day.

Good Friday

  • What happened in scripture?

    • This is the day Jesus was crucified.  
  • How does worship reflect this?

    • Worship begins in silence of sorrow, and we leave the worship space in silence.  We remember the sorrow of Jesus and the people gathered at the cross.  We read the Passion story, which are the events that lead to the crucifixion of Jesus.  Near the end of the Passion story, a large cross is carried into the worship space.  On this night, you are invited to approach the cross and kneel before it, touch it or pray in front of it, paying homage to the moment our Lord was crucified.  

Easter Vigil

  • What happened in scripture?

    • Because he lives, we live.  We begin the celebration of resurrected life!  In our ancient Jewish heritage, we begin our festival celebrations at sundown.  Notice your calendar says "Passover begins at sundown"?  Jesus and the people of his time would have begun the festivities the night before.  This is what we call a vigil.  Easter and Easter Vigil celebrate the end of darkness, when the temple curtain was torn in two and the centurion exclaimed, "Surely this is the Son of God!"
  • How does worship reflect this?

    • In our worship, we begin Easter, the day of resurrection, as the sun sets.  Because the events of Holy Week We gather outside around a fire that symbolizes the burning light of Christ through the veil of darkness.  We each hold candles and then enter inside to the worship space, where we hear of God's creation and liberation and redemption throughout the ages.  We sing in great jubilation.  On this night, we welcome new members into the Faith Lutheran assembly.  

Photo Directory Update

It's that time again!  We are excited to say that our new Church Photo Directory is underway.  Lifetouch will once again be creating our directory.  

Picture days will be May 1-3 and 9-11.  Please sign up for a time slot that is convenient for you.  Photography hours will be 2-8pm.

We look forward to all of our brothers and sisters in Christ being included in this directory (you do not have to be an official "member" to participate).  

Follow the link to schedule your photo shoot:  https://booknow-lifetouch.appointment-plus.com/y9vg2k46/