October 10, 2023

Isaiah 25:1-9  Matthew 22:1-14  Psalm 23  Philippians 4:1-9

Good to be back with you. Connie and I had a great time traveling with my brother and his
wife on a cruise of Edinburgh, Inverness and Kirkwall Scotland, Belfast Ireland, Amsterdam,
Bruges, Belgium, and Le Havre, France before returning to London. We did miss Dublin due to
windy weather, but for the most part the weather was great. As we toured by cruise ship, taxi,
bus, and foot, I was struck by the number and diversity of people who share our planet.
In London we took in a musical Old Friends and the British Museum
which had so much to offer. A couple of exhibits caught our attention.
One was of centuries old time pieces in all kinds of sizes and shapes,
including a metal model ship that would roll across the dinner table
shooting off a small canon when it was time for dinner. The museum
is free, so the crowds were large on that Saturday. There was little
room to pass by the large collection of mummies and coffins.
In Scotland we went from larger towns to smaller ones. I appreciated tiny
Kirkwall most of all. The people there on the windy coast were so polite
and proud of their St. Magnus Cathedral which was started in 1137 and
added to over the next 300 years. The first bishop was William the Old. It
made me feel better about my own aging. Add to that the diocese was
under the authority of an Archbishop in Norway. My own Norwegian
roots kicked it with pride.
Belfast was busy with rather long lines and a
short time frame, so we focused on the Titanic
Museum near the site of the building of the
ship. It wonderfully remembered the effort
that went into building those huge steam ships
but also remembered those who perished. The
city itself still bore the scars of a people
divided, the “troubles” are over but even now
walls separate some communities. As violence
erupts in Israel, we are reminded of the cost of having people are separated from one another.
We pray for the day to come soon for those troubles to be calmed.
Amsterdam was delightful with its canals and ancient buildings
and art. Bikes were everywhere and we needed to be aware as
we crossed streets. Brugge was like Amsterdam in the
century’s old buildings and canals but had a much calmer feel. I
thought we could duplicate the pulpit from the Church of Our
Lady here. Anyone into woodworking?
Last was Le Havre, which was quite a find. The town was
leveled by the allies in preparation for the D-Day invasion and
was rebuilt in a 50’s “modern” style which looked boxy and
bland. The “modern” also applied to the Museum of Modern
Art which was a rather austere building abounding in white
Inside however was “modern” art (meaning
paintings from the 1800’s) which included a
collection of Monet, Manet, and Renoir. Monet
lived in Le Havre for some time and painted this
depiction of life in that port.
Eugene Boudin living at the same time seemed to
love painting bovines. This painting is just one from
an entire wall of them.
In our parable for Sunday (Matt 22) Jesus tells of a wedding
party which was prepared, but short of guests who were willing
to come. So out into the streets the servants go to invite as
many as they could find “both bad and good” so the wedding
hall was filled.
As I travel this moment of time
and space, I see how God invites all of us in. All 8 billion plus.
The last painting here is by Brian Peterson who has made it his
mission to paint the homeless, offering them a vision of their
dignity and beauty. In selling the paintings, he offers them a
chance to realize a vision of an inspired life. We met him at the
LSSSC Gala. The lyrics of Bradon Heath song were used quoted
which I wish to use as our prayer.
Prayer: Lord, praise you for reaching out to all people inviting them into your banquet hall.
Give us your eyes so we can see everything that we might miss. Give us your love for
humanity. Give us your arms for the broken-hearted, the ones that are far beyond our reach.
Give us Your heart for the ones forgotten. Give us Your eyes so we can see.
Grace and Peace,
Pastor John
LAUREN SCHAFER our Office Assistant’s hours this week. 12:30-3:00 M – Th. Pastor will be in
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday Oct. 9-11 and Monday the 16th
New Members – Interested in joining Faith? We will have a new member orientation Dec 10
and new member received on Dec. 17. Let Pastor Bunge know if you are interested.
Central City Lutheran Mission – Including the Gala and matching, Faith has given $8,000 to
this ministry. Thanks to Steve & Sharon Cady, Barbara Kuerzinger, Jacque Kottmeier, Elaine
Rizzo, Kim & Cesar Guevara and Connie & myself who attended the Gala.
Next Pantry – October 14 and 28. With the help of a Thrivent Action Team Joe and Carol
purchased a new refrigerator for the Pantry. Now we are looking for boxes of cereal, bags of
rice, macaroni & cheese and canned fruit. There has been a huge reduction in donations to
Feeding America-Riverside, supplies for our Food Pantry are very low.
Choir – We had a nice start to our choir. Join us for practice at 9:00 am ahead of worship.
Bells – We meet on Thursday nights. Let Irm know about your interest.
Adult Class – We are starting our six-week class on Forgiveness Heals the Empty Soul. This
Wednesday October 11 at 1 – 2:30 pm. This workshop focuses on the soul’s need for
reconciliation from one-sidedness, hurt and memories. The process of Forgiveness is
presented from both a Jungian and Christian context. Steve Cady will be leading the first class.
WELCA – Next Women’s Bible Study will be Saturday, November 4 at 9:30 a.m. in the Fireside
QUILTING – Each Tuesday beginning at 9 am. 15 quilts were presented to CCLM’s homeless
men they are working on more.
Confirmation Classes Resume October 15, 22, and 29 and November 6. Confirmation service
for Elisha and Russell will November 12. Bishop Nagler will join us.
Free COVID-19 Rapid Tests Reminder
As of September 25, every U.S. household can again place an order to receive four free COVID-19 rapid tests, which are delivered directly to your home. COVID rapid tests can help you know
if you have COVID-19 when you have symptoms, have been exposed, or are going to meet up
with others. Connie and I took ours after the cruise.
UPCOMING FELLOWSHIP: Our Fall Focus on Faith Family
Oct. 22 – CHILI COOK-OFF plan to enter your favorite chili –
You can vote for the top 3 chilis. Prizes!
1. Sign up in Fireside Room on Sunday
2. Or, Text 951.514.1214 to let Connie know
Oct. 29 – Reformation the Birthday of the Lutheran Church wear red. We will
also be celebrating a Very Merry Unbirthday for
July – December birthdays.
Nov. 5 – WELCA
Nov. 12 – Confirmation Celebration. Bishop Nagler will join us.
Jan Wheeler is recovering well. She did not even need to stay overnight after surgery at
Redlands Community. Her daughter and Nick were marvelous help.
• Kyle Hadley had a quadruple bypass on Tuesday, October 3. He is recovering well at Loma
Linda. His prior kidney transplant slows things down a bit. Dana, his angelic wife, is with him.
• 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.
• The Koenig Family – Joe’s kidney surgery is Monday, October 16. Meanwhile, Jeanne is
undergoing treatments for complications from accumulating spinal fluid which is affecting her
eyesight, speech, and motor skills. She is also in considerable pain from the swelling in her
head. Daughter, Jessica’s leukemia is being managed, but leaves her tired. We are also praying
for Lucas.
• Cesar and Kim would also appreciate prayers for their sons, Tim and Kyle. Cesar’s Sister Maria
also had a lump removed from her neck and the biopsy came back non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
• The Sheas would appreciate prayers for Rebecca and Chris Herandez in need of housing for
themselves and the twins.
• The Cady’s would appreciate prayers for their daughter’s friend, Brooke, who suffered a stroke
and is still unresponsive.
• Continued Godly journey for Brendan Simms, son of Bonnie Strack.