Called to Serve
This week Connie and I worked on a new storage shed for our house. We had decorations and other items stored in our attic garage. I was not so interested in climbing a ladder anymore to retrieve them. The shed came in parts on a pallet. The area outside we were going to put it had to be leveled and pavers put down. We kept working until sunset. Everything but the top was on at the day’s end. We topped it the next day, but that evening we noticed that our bodies were complaining.
Our Gospel text (Mark 1:29-39) for Sunday is the story of Jesus healing Peter’s mother-in-law, which is also told in Matthew and Luke. The first question I had was: If Peter had a mother-in-law, did he have a wife? We do not hear anything about her. We will learn more about Peter during our Lenten Souper Studies which begin February 21 @ 5 pm. Ash Wednesday service is at 7 p on Feb. 14, what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than to hear of God’s Love for you.
What always surprised me about this story is that once Jesus takes her hand and heals her, Peter’s mother-in-law begins serving Jesus and the disciples. Her first response to healing was service.
What is your first response to good things happening in your life? Service to others?
Jesus said (John 4:9): We must do the works of God as long as there is day. For the night is coming when no one can work.
That was true for Connie and me as the sun set, and we could no longer see the pilot holes in the shed we were building.
When the townspeople hear about Jesus healing the possessed man in the Synagogue and now Peter’s mother-in-law, the sick and oppressed ready themselves to see Jesus. They wait on the Sabbath for the sun to go down, so they could lawfully seek Jesus out. They stumble forward in the dark for the chance to be healed. Jesus does heal many through the night. Do they respond by being of service to others? We do not know. We do know that a good response for us to the healing touch of Jesus is to get up and be of service. At Faith, we do this in a myriad of ways.
I am thinking at this moment of Carol and Barbara who filled their SUVs up with Feeding America food. Thanks to you both! It was difficult to pile it inside. A pickup is what is needed. Happily, Joe was well enough the next Thursday morning. He was at the pick-up spot at 5 am to be one of the first in line for food. Much easier to pile it up in his pickup. Thanks to you! He, like Peter’s mother-in-law, got to feeling better and was ready to be of service.
I am also thinking about Emily Smith, Dona Whit, Dana Hadley, and others who meet regularly to create about one quilt a week for unhoused men at Central City Mission and for Luther World Relief. Their quilts were on display in the sanctuary last week.
And, how about the crew that supplies refreshments after church weekly?
People touched by the healing presence of Jesus in their lives, respond by raising up to be of service.
The next morning Jesus departs to a desolate place. He needs time to recover. As do we all. During that time of meditation, he sees a wider ministry. Jesus needed meditation, we do as well. It may even open our eyes to a wider ministry.
We are studying Meditation with Nelson on Wednesdays at 1 pm in the chapel. It has been a wonderful time of refreshment for me. I am a person who normally likes to be on the go. Even on our cruise, I wanted to be up and going as Connie will attest. Nelson’s class and the writing of these messages and sermons provides a time for me to reflect, breathe, and sense the presence of God.
May you find both rest and a path to purposeful living in your life this week.
Prayer Compassionate God, we find rest in you and a path to purpose. Open our eyes to places of healing in our own lives, where your touch is needed. Open our eyes as well to the those in need of healing around us: brothers, sisters, friends, in-laws, and neighbors. We know we cannot heal everyone, as you did not in Capernaum. But every act of love, large and small, heals us and others.
Grace and Peace,
Pastor John Bunge
Thanks for your continued support of our ministry here at Faith. During 2024 we will celebrate Faith’s 75th year, and we want to lift up our ministries along the way. One ministry a month on the 2nd Sundays through the year. The quilting ministry got us started by sharing their progress last week. 15 quilts for Central City Lutheran Mission and 3 for Lutheran World Relief.
LAUREN SCHAFER our Office Assistant’s hours are: 12:30-3:00 M – Th. Pastor will be in the office Tuesdays and Wednesdays through March.
WELCA – The Next Women’s Bible Study will be THIS Saturday, February 3 at 9:30 a.m. in the Fireside Room.
Pantry – February 10 and 24. Thanks for your response with grocery bags. We purchased a new refrigerator for the fireside room kitchen with a Synod grant. It is much more efficient and supplies ice for us. We have a Super Bowl Challenge on
February 11. Two containers will be out, one for the Chiefs, one for the 49ers. Put your food offering in the container of the team you are rooting for. It may be an indicator of who will win. I plan to bring a pile for KC, who I admit, surprised me by making it.
Pick up – Joe was back with his pickup, but we could use a backup pickup to pick up food from Feeding America on Thursday mornings at 6 am. Let Carol know if you can help us.
Central City Mission update: They were awarded a state Home Key Grant in the amount of $34.9 million to expand their services in San Bernardino.
Confirmation Classes started last week, good to be back together again welcome Courtney Koger.
Choir – We practice at 9:00 am before services.
Adult Class – Nelson Hall is leading a class on Meditation and Prayer on Wednesdays @ 1 pm. Next up is the Souper Study of Peter, Wednesdays at 5 p.
QUILTING – Emily Smith’s Group (909.255.2452) has completed fifteen quilts for Central City Lutheran Mission and three for Lutheran World Relief. They do have some lap quilts available for sale.
Good News – Kim Guevarra’s brother Jim was able to move forward with stem cell therapy and it has jump-started his immune system. We pray that the stem cells continue to be healthy and multiply. Kim is in Canada with her mother who is currently in the hospital. Her 88th birthday is Sunday.
- Eloise was hospitalized over Christmas but is home recovering.
- The Koenig Family – Joe picked up the Feeding America delivery and was back in church. Jeanne’s stint is draining the accumulating spinal fluid which is affecting her eyesight, speech, and motor skills, but needs our continued prayers. We are also praying for their daughter, Jessica, her leukemia leaves her tired. Lucas & Joey are in our prayers.
- Erwin appreciates our continued prayer for Lynda.
- Kyle and Dana would appreciate prayers for their son, Kevin’s, Mother-in-Law, Lisa, suffering from cancer.
- Cesar and Kim would also appreciate prayers for their sons, Tim, and Kyle.
- The Sheas would appreciate prayers for Rebecca and Chris Herandez in need of housing for themselves and the twins.
- Continued Godly journey for Brendan Simms, son of Bonnie Strack.
BULLETIN BOARD FOR FIRESIDE ROOM
We will be expanding the bulletin board in January in the Fireside Room so we can display lots of pictures of Faith in action. If you have any that you have taken, please forward via email to Debi Hitter, email@example.com. She will print them for the bulletin board and pass them on to Lauren for the website.
FEBRUARY FELLOWSHIP PLANS for 2024
FEBRUARY 4 WELCA
FEBRUARY 11 HAPPY VALENTINES’ CELEBRATION – with Jennifer & Richard making waffles complete with sausages/fruit/waffle bar
FEBRUARY 18 to be determined.
FEBRUARY 25 11:00 – light lunch
11:20- 12:00 – GAME TIME – BINGO!!!!!!
Many have asked for it and said it was fun – so here it is
PRIZES – If you have any items– male, female, younger teens, kids — that could be used for prizes, please mark Bingo and leave on the pew in the office.
We will be playing several times in the year, so please help us with small – medium prizes. –before you give away items, please consider us your Good Will Mission – We have a place to store them. Thanks!