Have you had some fresh food from the garden lately? Connie and I planted a raspberry bush by the side of the house, and we are gathering some fruit now. The berries taste amazing. We also planted Cilantro, and again the taste of fresh Cilantro is levels above the bunches I buy in the store. Gardening can also be therapeutic; it can also be challenging. Our Cilantro for example has said adios. Did we water it too much? Too little? Was it too much in the sun? Does it just to that?
Jesus had a lot of parables about agriculture, likely at least 90% of the people listening to him worked the land. It was a lot of hand labor. Even in my Mother’s Day, there were lots of people farming. There were families on every  section of land. Mother remembered all the work needed for her mother’s huge garden, pulling weeds, stringing up the peas, harvesting, canning. Even in my day as a child traveling to South Dakota, I would see family farms all around the original Larson homestead. Gradually they increased in size and the population of the area has decreased. Even from the vantage point of a modern air-conditioned cub, there are a lot calculations on what to plant and when.
One of our relatives back there recently lost their farm, after a hundred plus years in the family. The family is now renting it back.
Jesus’s parable in Matthew 13 talks about the difficulty of farming but it resonates thousands of years later, even to non-rural people. When Jesus talks about weeds growing up with the good seed. We see it in our own lives. Good deeds are often overshadowed by the evil intentions of others. When will the struggle end? Like the servants in the parable, we may think we have only planted good seeds so why do weeds grow up as well? What are our options? Eradicate those weedy usurpers of nutrients and moisture with some powerful Round-up? What if we hit the wrong seedings? Driving the interstates of LA, most people are considerate of others, but here comes an anxious motorist putting everyone in danger by weaving in and out of traffic. Where did they come from? We were just cruising along before that. A loving, caring family has a member who takes a different path in life recking havoc. Where did that come from? How about the citizens of Ukraine? After years of struggle, they rejoice in their newly elected president then Russian troops invade. Where does evil come from and why is it allowed to continue to grow alongside our
carefully planted good seed?
The parable is clear about two things:
1. Evil is alive and well in our world, growing right alongside the good we do. The careless driver who threatens the lives of others, the family member who takes up all the family’s energy and still does not change, the Russian troops, who dig in are still there.
2. Do we try to find some Roundup spray that will take care of life’s weeds? Spraying the whole garden with Roundup is not helpful. We need wisdom to know where to spray. The check amount of justice brought to evil is difficult to master.
3. Patience and Faith are needed. If we act wisely, patiently, the Master assures the servants that there will be a harvest.
Living life with patience, wisdom and faith is not easy. I remember a parishioner, out of frustration, saying we ought to “bomb” Afghanistan back to the stone age. Both we and Russia did do a lot of bombing, in the end the weeds survived and are doing better than the wheat right now.
People who decide to chase after a reckless driver may endanger others. Families who clamp down on the outlier in the family may push them away further. The cluster bombs we are sending to Ukraine might cause civilian casualties now and later as well. Martin Luther King Jr. faced many obstacles in his life. There were those who opposed his vision of the equality of all races. Others worried he was moving too fast. Still, others thought his non-violent approach was too slow. He believed that “the Arc of the Moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”  The parable encourages us to continue to plant Good Seed while being cautious in ripping up the weeds. Jesus promises is that there will finally be a Judgement Day when those who try to choke out the potential in others will be judged. We may suffer and want vengeance, but wisdom and patience are what the Master urges. Prayer: Jesus, source of wisdom and grace. Weeds grow around us, depriving us of sunlight and nutrients. We want to rip out the offenders. Share your wisdom and grace with us as we suffer the presence of evil in our world. Replace our desire to go on a self-righteous tear with a commitment to spreading good seed, acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our God.
Grace and Peace,
Pastor John

News You Can Use!

What a Great Day we had celebrating the PANTRY
Erwin, Lynda, Norma, Jacque, Pat, Jan Mary Schup got it started. Becky Malinowski, Larry Ludwig, Fred Mazurier and David Strack joined later. Currently, David Lund, Brenda Batt, Fred and Eloise, Joe and Lucas, Barbara, Pat Teeters, Antoinette, Pete and Debbie Geriach, Lisa Alvarado and Bruce Toloski assist. Monica and Del Valdez purchase paper bags. They include members of Faith, St. Alban’s, Wildwood Calvary, Grace and Our Savior’s.
Thanks to those who assisted in the Celebration that followed:
Jennifer, Brenda, Heather, Daniel, Izzy, Jerry, Dana & Connie for hosting the refreshments.
Thanks! Generous Faithful Faith

Vacuums and Camp

I mentioned on Sunday that we were given three vacuums by Yucaipa Vacuum and Sewing Center. They were much appreciated as one of our vacuums gave out. One was lost but then was found. We were able to give two of them away to Oak Glen Camp. We were also about to give the camp $750 which was matched to make it $2,250 in memory of George Motschall. A complete list of charities we support is available in the narthex.
Central City Lutheran Mission emphasis for the summer. We are hoping to help CCLM increase their outreach to the homeless. They hope to have 138 beds available rather than the 30 or so beds now. Thus far this summer nearly $1,250 has been given as part of which is in memory of Norma Burwell. This will be matched. Just mark your special gift to this ministry.


LAUREN SCHAFER our Office Assistant’s hours this week. 12:30-3:00 M and W-Th. She is back in the office after a visit to Urgent Care for Deep Vein Thrombosis in her right leg.
Pastor will be in the office Monday and Tuesday July 24, 25, 31 and August 1.

QUILTING – Tuesdays beginning at 9 am. Their ministry and our work with Central City Lutheran Mission will be celebrated August 27.
Confirmation Note upcoming Back to School and Luau. Let’s begins classes August 27. It will be wonderful to be back together. We will skip the next week – Labor Day.
Special Music in the Summer – Thanks to the Koenig trio for singing of God’s Amazing Grace on Sunday. Want to join them in providing special music during the Summer?Let Pastor
Bunge know what dates you are available and what song you have in mind.

• Cesar Guevara was with us on Sunday. There will be medical follow up here for his mild heart attack.
• Connie’s shoulder surgery went well. She is recovering with the blessing of her dear nurse and husband. Her follow up today went too well–They told her she was ready for PT.
• Congratulations on the birth of Kim & Cesar’s grandson, Jacob Jesse Guevara—6lbs, 13.7 oz, 20” long!
• Eloise’s Grandson is Maximus Storm Kamahalu Turner, born 7/10/23, 8lbs 7oz, 20.75 inches

• The Koenig Family – Jeanne who undergoing diagnosis on her eye sight, Joe who is awaiting kidney surgery. They are on vacation this week. Daughter, Jessica’s leukemia is being managed but leaves her weary. Lucas is in special care.
• Cesar and Kim would also appreciate prayers for their sons Tim and Kyle.
• Kim’s brother Jim is having a spinal tap which will determine if he is ready for stem cell treatment for cancer.
• Remember Ned Morgan whose son Lee passed away in an auto accident on June 19.
• The Cady’s would appreciate prayers for their daughter’s friend, Brooke, who suffered a stroke and is still unresponsive.
• Becky Malinowski is still going through chemo treatments.
• erwin and Lynda Buschauer continue to appreciate our prayers.
• Continued Godly journey for Brendan Simms, son of Bonnie Strack.


July 30 It’s Fiesta Day Celebration– It’s Taco Sunday- tour the update on the preschool
August 6 TWELCA
August 13 “It’s BACK TO SCHOOL DAY for the All-Stars” – (all sizes & ages) Complete with pizza and an obstacle course of games with prizes.
AUGUST 20 noon LUAU AT THE HOME OF KIM & CESAR GUEVARA IN REDLANDS. Complete with BBQ, swimming, games, FUN! We will be having a sign-up list for attending and if you want to bring a side dish.
August 27 “Presenting the Star Attraction – CCLM” Quilts & Dollars raised.