The True Vine
This week we focus on another of the “I am” sayings in John — Jesus as the True Vine. This reading comes as we are planting trees, lilies, flowers and drought tolerant plants in the front yard of the church. What a joy to have it taking shape. It is our welcome mat to visitors, inviting people to connect to a loving community and a loving God.
The image of the Vine is all about connection. First, our connection with Jesus, which is like a plant’s connection to the earth. It is a foundation, our link to nourishment. Connected to the Jesus, we are connected to other branches, other people of faith. If we will just abide in Jesus, stay rooted in him. We WILL grow. There WILL be a harvest from our lives. In We WILL become connected to others.
Two ways we stay connected to our foundation in Jesus are Worship and Prayer. Prayers in the mornings, evenings and mealtimes link us to Christ. We can pray and worship God anywhere, anytime. The great thing about Faith is that we do not have to worship or pray alone. Worshipping together adds such a wonderful depth to our experience.
Christians have been gathering since the beginning. As we read through Acts, Luke informs us that early Christians, prayed and sang and broke bread together. They confessed their sins to God and one another. Together, they reflected upon the Scriptures. In this way, they encouraged one another. It was evident from the start that it is good for the soul to sing and pray and listen and connect with others in worship. Jesus said: “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I’m there with them.” (Matt 18:20).
Out of this connection with Jesus and each other comes a predictable harvest. One of the beautiful aspects of Faith is that after years of worship together, people just naturally care for one another. Our members checkup, call, provide transportation and keep updated on each other. Your compassion for each other, brings joy to the recipient, joy to a Pastor’s heart, Jesus’ heart and to heart of the giver as well. A host of studies suggest that people actively engaged in churches have better physical and mental health and live longer. A harvest WILL come from a connection to Jesus and each other.
Speaking of a harvest – for Mother’s Day, I will be purchasing a crape myrtle tree in honor of my mother, Myrene, and wife, Connie. It is a great way to appreciate them and the lives they brought into the world. They like the True Vine brought new life into the world.
You can participate as well by sponsoring plantings out front. Just send us a note with the person you are honoring and a contribution. The 6 rock roses that will be planted, for example, are just $30/plant, but give any amount. We can use any amount for plants, ground cover and landscaping. Let us know who you would like to honor. We will include the list on an insert for Mother’s Day.
Individually, I can purchase a tree, which is nice for the corner. Collectively, we purchase plants, and we can create a beautiful, welcoming area out front. There WILL be a harvest and we walk in FAITH.
Risen Lord, thank you for the gift of communal worship and prayer. I do not travel this world alone. Help me see the splendor of this world. Help me notice new life blossoming around me. Allow me to participate with others in bring godly beauty into this world.
Grace and Peace,
Join us as we worship in the sanctuary, each Sunday @ 10 am. Indoors with masks and proper social distancing and a special time for the children. Also, on the Website. We are working on ordering a camcorder with a partial Synod grant to live stream the service. If you would like to help us with this purchase. Let the office know. For now our zoom meeting is each Sunday at 10 am. ID: 891 1879 2862 and Passcode: Faith the link is:
Church Office Hours return to normal, Mondays and Tuesdays.
MEMBER UPDATES AND CONTINUAL PRAYERS
- Diane Watson who fell and is recovering at home now with Bud.
- Jeanne Koenig is getting some of her sight back. Alleluia!
Continued prayers for:
- Carol Fultz’s granddaughter-in-law Vanessa who has high-risk diabetes.
- Roxanne Foss’s niece Ginny.
- erwin for strength and Lynda for healing
- Jerry Mills who is doing well, but faces chemo therapy.
- Continued Godly journey for Brendan, son of Bonnie Strack and Rebecca daughter of Michael Shea.
- Bill and Judy Martin’s daughter Laura, living in Texas.
THANKS and Work day opportunity
- Mother’s Day is coming May 9. Would you like to donate a flowering plant for the front of the church in her honor or memory? We are planting six rock roses in the two sides to the entry. Dedications will be noted at our service on May 9th. Just mark your envelope or let the church office know your dedication. The Women of the Church are also providing special refreshments on that day.
- Workday Join us May 8th in the morning 9 – noon for planting the Mother’s Day plants in the front area.
- We could use grocery bags and egg cartons for the pantry.
- Thanks to Tom Ziech for working on the watering system for the front area of the church and to Joe Koenig and Debi Hitter for watering the plants. We appreciate the rain.
- Thanks to Sharon Cady, Pat Motschall, Carol Jensen, Michael Shea, and Jennifer Beal for volunteering to read. We are putting together a schedule Email or call the church if you are interested.
- We are up to 29 quilts. Eleanor is here every Tuesday from 9:30 to about 2 pm. Join her here or if you would like to help by cutting out squares, etc. Let the church office know.
- Lastly, we met after church on Sunday and reviewed the material for Children’s Church. Are you interested in assisting? Let us know at the church office. It looks like we will be waiting till the fall for Confirmation and Adult class to start up again.
HAVE A MARVELOUS WEEK!