Faith, Hope, & Love — This week at ELC

I Cor 13God’s love is the glue that binds humanity together. Today’s reading describes clearly how this gift of love operates and thrives in this world.   Does our life reflect that amazing love that Christ first showed us?

Worship 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

Devotions for this week:

Faith, Hope, and Love, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13         May 1, 2016

SHARE:   What was a high point of your day? What was a low point?

READ: Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding

Sunday, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, Faith, Hope, and Love

Monday, 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, Proclaiming Christ Crucified

Tuesday, 1 Corinthians 2:6-16, The True Wisdom of God

Wednesday, 1 Corinthians 3:1-23, On Divisions in the Church

Thursday, 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, Spiritual Gifts

Friday, 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, One Body with Many Members

Saturday, 1 Corinthians 14:1-25, Gifts of Prophecy and Tongues

TALK:  Consider some of these ideas:

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

  • How do these verses describe Christian living?
  • How does love shape you?
  • Who do you love? Who loves you?
  • Who is hard to love? What could you do to make it easier to love those who are harder to love?
  • What are your spiritual gifts? Who has spiritual gifts that complement yours? How can you do more together than you could do by yourself?

Pray: Loving Lord, you have showered your world with faith, hope, and love. Help us to be faithful to you, to offer hope to those in need, and to love all your children. Amen

 Bless: Close your devotion with this blessing: May God fill you abundantly with all spiritual gifts, especially the gift of love. Amen.

Misplaced loyalties? — This week at ELC

dividedWhen divisions threatened to distract from the work of the church, Paul reminded the church of what was truly important: Christ’s mission.  What divisions in our community are getting in the way of our mission in Christ?

Worship 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

Devotions for the week:

“The Church at Corinth”                                           April 23-24, 2016

SHARE:   What was a high point of your day? What was a low point?

READ: Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding

Sunday, Acts 18:1-4, Church at Corinth

Monday, 1 Corinthians 1:10-18, Factions in the Corinthian Church

Tuesday, Acts 8:4-25, Philip Preaches in Samaria

Wednesday, Acts 8:26-40, Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch

Thursday, Acts 9:1-19a, The Conversion of Saul

Friday, Acts 9:19b-22, Saul Preaches in Damascus

Saturday, Acts 9:23-31, Saul in Jerusalem

TALK:  Consider some of these ideas:

For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.              1 Corinthians 1:18

Paul planted churches and helped set those new Christian communities on a path toward justice and peace. But he didn’t work alone. In all the places where churches thrived, there were community leaders who helped shape and sustain the new churches and their missionaries. Aquila and Priscilla, tentmakers by trade, were some of the leaders who aided Paul in his work and helped build the church in Corinth.

How have the people in these stories been transformed by the message of Jesus Christ?  Who do you consider your people? Who are not your people? What makes them the same or different? What could you do this week to expand your circle of people?

How is God’s word a message of hope for you? How is it a message of condemnation? 

PRAY:  Holy Lord, within your church, your followers have often allowed their disagreements to get in the way of being faithful to your word. Remove any barriers our communities face that prevent us from sharing your word and building up your church. Amen

BLESS: May God bring you into unity with all people. Amen.

A change in perspective — this week at ELC

upsideAs Paul and others begin to spread the news about Jesus, their witness is met with resistance, even violence.   They are accused of ‘turning the world upside down’ by proclaiming a new way of looking at what is most important.   As we look at our world, perhaps we need to again proclaim a fresh perspective on what is truly important and valuable.

Worship with Holy Communion this week:

Saturday – 5:00 p.m. in the chapel

Sunday – 8:30 a.m.  Traditional Worship   (note this is the only Sunday worship this week!)

9:30 a.m. – Gather in sanctuary for send off for service day, concluding with potluck at noon.

Devotions for this week: 

“The Church at Thessalonica”                                          April 16-17, 2016

SHARE:   What was a high point of your day? What was a low point?

READ: Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding

Sunday, Acts 17:1-9, Church at Thessalonica

Monday, 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10, Thanks to Thessalonica

Tuesday, Acts 6:1-7, Seven Chosen to Serve

Wednesday, Acts 6:8-15, The Arrest of Stephen

Thursday, Acts 7:1-53, Stephen’s Speech to the Council

Friday, Acts 7:54-8:1a, The Stoning of Stephen

Saturday, Acts 8:1b-3, Saul Persecutes the Church

TALK:  Consider some of these ideas:

And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three sabbath days argued with them from the scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This is the Messiah, Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you.” Acts 17:2-3

Paul and Silas took on the religious authorities directly, arguing on the Sabbath and proclaiming Christ the Messiah. Religious authorities tried to quell the rebellion by imprisoning those who aided the Christians. But Jesus’ message of love endured, despite the culture of fear.

Why do you think Stephen’s message so threatening?

What words are spoken or heard in your community that are threatening to you? To others? How might you hear or speak those words differently so that they can be received with acceptance and hope?

What does it mean to you that Jesus is the Messiah? 

PRAY:  Messiah, Jesus, your followers established churches in communities near and far. Take us outside of ourselves and teach us to give away what you have given to us. Show us how to witness to your presence in places near and far. Amen

BLESS: May God fill you with words of love, acceptance, and hope. Amen.

Sharing the gift we have — this week at ELC

acts_3_6--white-800x800How do we respond when confronted with the hurts and needs of those around us.  Do we turn away, walk quickly by, or share whatever we can, even if it does not seem like what the situation asks for?  In this week’s story we hear of Peter’s response, and how in sharing Jesus’ love, a life is transformed.

Worship this week:

Saturday – 5:00 p.m. in the chapel

Sunday – 8:30 a.m. Traditional worship

9:30 a.m. – Sunday School/New Member Orientation

10:30 a.m. – Contemporary Worship

Devotions for this week:

“Peter heals in Jerusalem”                                                   April 9-10, 2016

SHARE:   What was a high point of your day? What was a low point?

READ: Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding

 Sunday, Acts 3:1-10, Peter Heals in Jerusalem

Monday, Acts 4:1-22, Peter and John before the Council

Tuesday, Acts 4:23-31, The Believers Prayer for Boldness

Wednesday, Acts 4:32-37, The Believers Share Their Possessions

Thursday, Acts 5:1-11, Ananias and Sapphira

Friday, Acts 5:12-16, The Apostles Heal Many

Saturday, Acts 5:17-42, The Apostles Are Persecuted

TALK:  Consider some of these ideas:

But Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.” Acts 3:6

Peter and John offered healing in Jesus’ name as their witness to Jesus’ love for humanity. The people who were used to seeing the man asking for alms were filled with wonder and amazement at the sight of the lame man walking. There are many things about Jesus and about God’s world that can fill us with wonder and amazement. Are we open to seeing?

How did early believers back up their words with their actions?

Who in your community has a need that you could fill? Ask your pastor to connect you with people who could use the gifts you have to offer.

What fills you with wonder and amazement? 

PRAY:  Holy Lord, your followers gave to your children something more powerful and more valuable than riches. They gave healing and hope. Bring healing and hope into our world and show us evidence of your presence in our lives. Amen

 BLESS: May God bless others through the gifts you share. Amen.