Joseph in Prison — This week at ELC

10608280_10152235587046008_6154477220313756348_oGod was at work in all the ups and downs of Joseph’s life, working through all the different circumstances to bring blessing through Joseph’s presence, even when he was unjustly imprisoned. God still walks with us through all of our ups and downs and provides opportunity to share blessing.

Worship with Holy Communion this week:

Saturday – 5:00 p.m. in the chapel

Sunday – 8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship

9:30 a.m. — Sunday School

10:30 a.m. – Contemporary worship

God’s Story — Your Story                     Joseph in Prison

Devotion:Use this resource at home to guide your household’s daily devotions. You can do this alone, as a couple, as a family; in the morning, during the day, or at night. Find a routine that works best for you.

Pray:Light a candle and open your devotion time with a prayer.

God of presence, you remained faithful to Joseph, even in his darkest hours. Remind us daily that you are with us in every circumstance of our lives. Help us live with gratitude for your presence, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Reflect:Reflect on the key verse from Sunday’s reading.

From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had, the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had, in house and field. Genesis 39:5

Study:Study the reading and consider the background.

Joseph’s life had many ups and downs. He was born into a life of enough means to get by fairly well. But then his jealous brothers sold him into slavery. In slavery he rose to the head of household, where he enjoyed many privileges, but then his owner’s jealous wife made up a terrible lie that landed him in jail. In prison he rose to the head of the ranks of prisoners, where he enjoyed many privileges, but people in power forgot about him and he remained in prison many years. When finally he was released, he rose to the top of Pharaoh’s governing board, where again he enjoyed many privileges.

Throughout all his highs and lows in life, God remained faithful to him. God’s blessings became apparent, not explicitly because Joseph himself seemed blessed, but that others were blessed through Joseph. This blessing of others echoes the promise of his ancestor, Abraham, whom God promised would be “blessed to be a blessing” to the world. Indeed, Joseph was a blessing to the world despite his own life’s circumstance.

Read:Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding of Sunday’s text. after the reading, ask the follow-up questions.

Follow the story of how Joseph brought his brothers (who became the 12 Tribes of Israel) to Egypt to save them from famine. See how the Egyptians soon forgot Joseph’s good deeds and enslaved the Israelites.

Sunday, Genesis 39:1-23, Joseph in Prison

Monday, Genesis 50:15-21, Joseph Forgives His Brothers

Tuesday, Genesis 50:22-26, Joseph’s Death

Wednesday, Exodus 1:1-22, Oppression of the Israelites

Thursday, Exodus 3:1-12, Moses at the Burning Bush

Friday, Exodus 12:29-32, The Tenth Plague: Death of the Firstborn

Saturday, Exodus 13:17-22, The Pillars of Cloud and Fire

Where did God show up in these stories? How did God show up? What is the nature of God in these stories of deliverance?

Connect: Connect in conversation with others in your household. Discuss the following questions, or simply check in with “Highs” and “Lows.”

  • What was a high point of your day? What was a low point?
  • How does God bless others through you? What gifts do you bring to those around you?

Do: By acting on what we learn, we make God’s word come alive. Do the following activity this week.

Use your gifts to serve others this week. If you play an instrument, play it at a nursing home. If you are good with finances, offer to help someone manage their debt. Be creative! God gave you your gifts for a purpose!

Bless: Close your devotion with a blessing.

God who always works for good, teach us by your word to trust you above circumstance, to follow you when temptation beckons. Amen.

CROP Hunger Walk 2014

crop walk banner

CROP Hunger Walk

This year’s CROP Hunger Walk will be held on
Sunday, October 5th.
Registration can be done now at church and
at 12:30 on the 5th.
The WALK begins at 1:00pm

There is no cost to join the Walk, however, you may collect donations to support Hunger efforts.  Donation envelopes are available in the church office and after Saturday services and between services on Sundays.

Want to donate instead of walk, you can sponsor a walker or donate online:  ELC CROP Hunger Walk

Rally Day! Sunday School begins this Sunday — 9:30 a.m.

SS kidsLiving the Word

Teaching Kids God’s Story

We’re excited to start a new year of Sunday School with a fresh curriculum based on the Bible story that we share in worship each Sunday.  Classes are available for children age 3 through high school.

Grow together as a family!

Living the Word: Kids teaches your child about God’s love for the whole world using the same readings your pastor will be preaching on in worship! Take advantage of this and talk together as a family about the weekly readings.

Please join us Sunday!  Invite your friends!!

Abraham, the call, and blessing — This Week at ELC

AbrahamGod promised to bless Abraham so that Abraham would be a blessing to the world.  But this blessing was not always what Abraham wanted or expected, yet God has  blessed us all through Abraham.  We also continue to receive blessings to share, and like Abraham we might find those blessings very unexpectedly.

Worship this weekend: 

Saturday — 5:00 p.m. in the chapel

Sunday — 8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship

 9:30 a.m. — Sunday School

10:30 a.m — Contemporary Worship

September 13-14, 2014

Devotion: Use this resource at home to guide your household’s daily devotions. You can do this alone, as a couple, as a family; in the morning, during the day, or at night. Find a routine that works best for you.

Pray: Light a candle and open your devotion time with a prayer.

God of blessing, you promised Abraham many things that seemed unlikely. Yet you remained faithful to every single promise. Give us hope that you will remain faithful to us, even when we are tempted to lose hope, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Reflect:Reflect on the key verse from Sunday’s reading.

I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. Genesis 12:2

Study: Study the reading and consider the background.

God promised Abraham land. Abraham was a nomad, a wanderer in the desert with few possessions. Land would have been an unlikely blessing. But throughout his life he continued to encounter kings and others who feared Abraham’s God and gave him possessions and land to keep Abraham’s God from punishing them.

God promised Abraham descendants. Although he and his wife, Sarah, were old, and Sarah was barren, God gave them a baby, Isaac. Through Isaac, a great nation was born. Nothing is too great for God to accomplish.

God promised to bless Abraham so that Abraham would be a blessing to the world. Indeed, through Abraham’s descendants King David, and then Jesus Christ came to this world. The whole world has been blessed through Abraham, as we continue to receive those blessings even today.

Read:Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding of Sunday’s text. After the reading, ask the follow-up questions.

Follow the genealogy from Abraham to Joseph. See how God’s covenant with Abraham continued throughout the generations.

Sunday, Genesis 12:1-9, Call of Abraham

Monday, Genesis 15:1-6, God’s Covenant with Abram

Tuesday, Genesis 21:1-7, The Birth of Isaac

Wednesday, Genesis 25:19-28, The Birth of Esau and Jacob

Thursday, Genesis 35:16-26, The Birth of Benjamin and Death of Rachel

Friday, Genesis 37:1-11, Joseph Dreams of Greatness

Saturday, Genesis 37:12-36, Joseph is Sold by His Brothers

How did God use each of the men and women in these stories to carry out God’s covenant with Abraham and with humankind?

Connect: Connect in conversation with others in your household. Discuss the following questions, or simply check in with “Highs” and “Lows.”

  • What was a high point of your day? What was a low point?
  • How is God’s covenant with Abraham fulfilled today? If all humankind is now in covenant with God through the death and resurrection of Jesus, then how shall we treat one another? Where are you accepting of others? Where are you intolerant?
  • How has God blessed you? What are you grateful for? Practicing gratitude is a holy practice. Do it often this week.

Do: By acting on what we learn, we make God’s word come alive. Do the following activity this week.

God’s blessings and promises are as numerous as the stars. Go outside at night and count the stars. Take notice of God’s blessings in your life throughout the week.

Bless: Close your devotion with a blessing.

God who blesses others through us, through your word inspire us to live lives trusting in your promise. Amen.