Mary Magdalene, the first Christian? – This week at ELC

MagdaleneIt was Mary Magdalene who wept at the grave, and Mary who would tell the others “I have seen the Lord”.  She reminds of the reality of death and grief, but also the possibility  of encountering life again.

Worship this week:

Saturday – 5:00 p.m. in the chapel

Sunday – 8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship

10:00 a.m. Contemporary Worship

Devotions for this week:  Mary Magdalene

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, Luke 8:1-3  Mary and the others accompany Jesus

Monday, Matthew 27:51-61  Mary at cross and burial

Tuesday, Matthew 28:1-6  Easter morning

Wednesday, Mark 14: 40-46 Mark’s Good Friday account

Thursday,  Mark 15:1-6  Mark’s Easter account

Friday, Luke 24:5-12  Mary among first witnesses

Saturday,  John 20:11-18  Mary meets the risen Christ

 TALK:  Consider some of these ideas

14When she had said this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ 16Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew,‘Rabbouni!’   John 20:14-16

All four gospels mention Mary Magdalene’s presence at the cross and the empty tomb, and she is also reported to be the first to share the news of the resurrection.

  • Mary is among those who provide for the disciples – do we still provide the necessary support for ministry?
  • How important is it for someone to call you by name? Do you take the time to learn the names of those you encounter?
  • Mary shares the good news, even when the disciples are skeptical. Can we persevere in telling what we have seen God doing?

 PRAY:  Resurrecting God,  You call us by name and send us forth to tell the Gospel story. Give us open ears and willing hearts to both hear and speak the truth about the resurrecting love of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen

 BLESS:  May God open your eyes to see the risen Christ!

For a time like this? This week at ELC

Emily Picture

This Sunday we welcome Pastor Emily Tveite of Lutheran Campus Ministry in Madison to share a message this week about Esther — who used her position and courage to save her people.

We’ll worship this week in the air-conditioned fellowship hall 

Saturday at 5:00 p.m.  (Pastor Nicole Espe preaching)

Sunday at 8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship

10:00 a.m. Contemporary worship

Devotions for this week:  July 15 – Esther

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, Esther 2:15-18  Esther becomes queen

Monday, Esther 3:1-6  Haman plots to destroy the Jews

Tuesday, Esther 4:1-8  Esther is told of Haman’s plans

Wednesday, Esther 4: 9-17  Esther agrees to help

Thursday, Esther 7:1-10  Haman’s evil exposed

Friday, Esther 8:1-8  Esther intervenes with the King

Saturday, Esther 9:18-32  The festival of Purim established

TALK:  Consider some of these ideas

12 When Mordecai was told what Esther had said, 13 he sent back this reply, “Don’t think that you will escape being killed with the rest of the Jews, just because you live in the king’s palace. 14 If you don’t speak up now, we will somehow get help, but you and your family will be killed. It could be that you were made queen for a time like this!”                             Esther 4:12-14

Esther sees that her place of authority is not just a privilege, but provides the opportunity to use that position to intervene on behalf of justice for her people.  

  • Do we seek to use our influence to help others?
  • Where has God placed you in this life, and what purpose might you serve for God’s kingdom in the place you are?
  • What the particular challenges in our world, our society, that we might be here to face?

PRAY:  Mighty God, You call us to courage as we witness to our faith in you. Set us apart, as you did Esther, to be people brave enough to engage in your life-saving work for this world your son gave himself up for. In his name we pray. Amen

 BLESS:  May God give you a sense of purpose for this day.

Who will you stand with? — this week at ELC


Ruth and Naomi show us what it is to live as a family in faith, placing that relationship above the traditional distinctions of race and clan.  Who do we stand with as our family in faith?

Worship this week:  Saturday at 5:00 p.m. in the chapel

Sunday – 8:30 a.m.  Traditional Worship

10:00 a.m. Contemporary Worship

Devotions for this week:  July 8 – Ruth & Naomi

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, Ruth 1:1-5  Naomi and her family in Moab

Monday, Ruth 1:6-14  Naomi sets out for Judah

Tuesday, Ruth 1:15-18 Ruth’s Promise

Wednesday, Ruth 2:1-7  Ruth meets Boaz

Thursday, Ruth 2:8-20  Boaz provides for Ruth

Friday, Ruth 3:1-18  Ruth and Boaz on the threshing floor

Saturday, Ruth 4:1-22  Marriage of Ruth and Boaz

TALK:  Consider some of these ideas

 16But Ruth said, “Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; Where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. 17Where you die, I will die— there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!” 18When Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her.   Ruth 1:16-18

In a time of tragedy and uncertainty, Ruth and her mother-in-law Naomi forge a loving relationship, and through faith, perseverance, and kindness they settle together and find a new beginning.

  • Who would you stand with during hard times? Who would stay with you?
  • Have you ever had to begin again after your plans fell apart?
  • Can you see God’s presence in the kindness of others?

PRAY Loving God, As your followers, you give us to one another. Help us to follow the example of Ruth and Naomi as we are knit into the new family your son created in his name. Amen

 BLESS:  May God give you companions on your life’s journey!

Hannah wept, prayed, and praised – this week at ELC

florida-woman-prayingWe hear both Hannah’s heartfelt pleas for mercy, and her glad song of thanksgiving, and we are reminded to share all things in our life with God.

Worship with Holy Communion this week:  (all services in fellowship hall):

Saturday – 5:00 p.m. in the chapel

Sunday – 8:30 a.m. Traditional worship

10:00 a.m. Contemporary worship

Devotions for this week:

July 1 – Hannah 

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 Samuel 1:1-8  Elkanah and his two wives

Monday, 1 Samuel 1:9-11  Hannah’s vow

Tuesday, 1 Samuel 1:12-18  Eli & Hannah

Wednesday, 1 Samuel 1:19-28  Birth and dedication of Samuel

Thursday, 1 Samuel 2:1-10  Hannah’s prayer

Friday, 1 Samuel 2:18-21 The young Samuel at Shiloh

Saturday, 1 Samuel 3:1-18  Samuel’s vision

 TALK:  Consider some of these ideas:

15But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman deeply troubled; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. 16Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation all this time.”                           1:Samuel 1:15-16

 Hannah pours out her pain and discouragement before the Lord, and then rises to begin again.  God listens, and she will return to offer thanks and praise. 

 Do you share your pain and trouble with God in prayer? 

  • Have you followed through on the vows you make in troubled times?
  • Do you respond with thanks and praise when things go well?

PRAY:  Holy God, help us to continually come to you both in times of trouble, and in times of rejoicing.  Let us know that you are with us in every season of our lives.    Amen.

 BLESS:  May you know that God hears your prayer today. Amen.