St Matthias Announcements – May 23, 2021

Dear Siblings in Christ,

Greetings on this warm and sunny day! I hope you’ve had a good week. Mine has been full of blessings as I officially graduated today from United Lutheran Seminary! It definitely wasn’t the way I envisioned my seminary journey to end, but then none of us imagined we would be in the midst of a pandemic and that two classes of seminary grads would receive our degrees by watching commencement ceremonies on the computer. I’m truly grateful for all of the support I’ve received during my journey through seminary and am especially thankful to all of you for accompanying me on this journey over the past year.

The weather for this coming Sunday looks like it may be very hot with possible rain showers. If the heat is oppressive or we have rain Sunday morning, we will move inside the church building for worship beginning at 9:30 am. If we worship indoors, we will continue to wear masks and practice social distancing to help protect those in our congregation who are not yet vaccinated. We thank you for your cooperation and understanding!

We will also celebrate the Day of Pentecost this Sunday (please remember to wear red!) In our gospel message, we will hear that, as part of his final address to his followers, Jesus promises a “Paraclete.” This marks the Holy Spirit as an “advocate,” a defense attorney, but one who is also a trustworthy witness, and a companion (the word literally means, “one called to stand beside”). It is remarkable that John says that Jesus “gave up his spirit” (John 19:30) and that in his first resurrection appearance to the disciples, he breathed the Spirit on them (John 20:22).

Forum next Sunday, May 30 – We know that the Bible refers to spiritual gifts, but have you ever wondered what this means, or how you can find out what your spiritual gifts are? Join Vicar MJ after church next Sunday as we explore the idea of spiritual gifts, what they are, and how you can use them for work both within the church and in your everyday life!

Online Book Study – As a Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Congregation, we recognize that the journey of welcoming is ongoing, and an invitation to continually ask, “How is the Spirit moving us today in the work of welcome, inclusion, celebration, and advocacy?” We invite you to participate in an online book study and discussion that the Lower Susquehanna Synod is hosting on Drew Hart’s ‘Who Will Be A Witness; Igniting Activism for God’s Justice, Love, and Deliverance.’ Who Will Be a Witness offers a vision for communities of faith to organize for deliverance and justice in their neighborhoods, states, and nation as an essential part of living out the call of Jesus.  Attendees will meet via Zoom on Thursday evenings from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. from now through June 10, 2021. To register or for more info, visit Vicar MJ is participating in this and invites anyone who is interested in additional conversation or discussion on the book to contact her; if there is interest, we will host a book discussion forum in June. Please note: you are welcome to join Zoom presentation at any time, even if you are unable to attend all of the weekly sessions.

Celebrating our RIC Anniversary – We are excited to announce that we will have a special guest joining us on Sunday, June 28, as we celebrate our second anniversary as a Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Congragation. The Rev. Dr. Guy Erwin, President of United Lutheran Seminary and former Bishop of the ELCA’s Southwest California Synod, will join us to preach and celebrate our anniversary. Dr. Erwin is the ELCA’s first gay, partnered bishop and the first openly gay male to serve in that office in the churches of the Lutheran World Federation. As an enrolled member of the Osage Nation, on whose reservation he was born in Oklahoma, he is the first Native bishop in the ELCA. Dr. Erwin was elected as synod bishop in 2013 and served in that role until his appointment as ULS president in 2020. Please mark your calendar and plan to attend, as this will also be Vicar MJ’s last Sunday with us.

Giving to St. Matthias – We are grateful for your continued offerings of time, talent, and treasure to St. Matthias.

We have set up a secure online giving tool (endorsed by the ELCA and used by more than 4,000 churches) through Tithely. You may give online by clicking on the link below — and you may also use the site to set up recurring giving, where your gift will be automatically deducted on a day of your choosing. There’s also a green DONATE button at the bottom of this bulletin (and at the bottom of our website) that you nay click on to make a gift. If you have any questions on how to use this service, please let Vicar MJ know. THANK YOU for your continued support of St. Matthias and its ministry.

Prayer List – All those affected by Covid-19, all affected by gun violence in our nation, conflict and violence in the Middle East, Christian M. (Marines) and all military service personnel, Jacques, Pam, Betty Lou, Mark, Pat, Seth, DJ, Margaret, Sally, George, Arleen, Greg, Charles, Carol, Darryl, Billie, Gayle, Wayne and family, Troy Snyder, Lisa Myers, and all who ask for the Lord’s healing and mercy.

In Christ’s Love,

Vicar MJ

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