The Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
June 24, 2012
Here thy praise is gladly chanted; Here thy seed is duly sown. Let my soul, where it is planted, Bring forth precious sheaves alone, So that all I hear may be Fruitful unto life in me.(Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal 255:4)
Worship Focus: The Word produces fruit
Order of Worship: Service of the Word, p. 38
Hymns: 255, 188, 492, 324
First Lesson: Ezekiel 17:22-24
Through Ezekiel the Lord pictures how he nurtures his people like a tree so that they produce fruit.
Psalm 1, p. 64
As we meditate on God's Word we become fruitful trees.
Second Lesson: Colossians 1:3-8
The Apostle Paul thanks God for the spiritual fruit that the Gospel has produced among the Christians in Colosse.
Gospel: Mark 4:26-34
Jesus' parables teach us that God's kingdom comes as his word, like a seed, grows in our hearts. Though his word appears so weak and foolish, it produces great things in us.
Copies of sermon are in the narthex and online.
Youth Room Project: Bridget Joos has been working on plans for the youth group room and would like your help and feedback in making it all come together before VBS on July 23. Check out the display board in the narthex to see the layout and the accessories that are planned. Take a peak downstairs to see the work in progress. Let Bridget know what you think or if you have suggestions. How could you help out? Here are some ideas:
Donation of furnishings: chairs, storage cabinet, table. (Contact Bridget for more information on what they're looking for.)
Volunteer to help build the benches. (Contact Bridget for more details.)
Donations of money toward supplies and furnishings.
If you have any questions, please talk with Bridget (320) 392-7426.
June ushers: Justin Flaten (capt.), Jeff Flaten, Chuck Nelson, Evan Nelson, Kevin Zeltwanger
June cleaners: Harvey & Mary Flaten, Jeff & Christa Flaten
Greeters: Dean and Moni Rohloff
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saint—the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth. You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our[a] behalf, and who also told us of your love in the Spirit. (NIV84)
From WELS President, Rev. Mark Shroeder:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Greetings in the name of our Risen Savior,
Recently an open letter to the American people was prepared by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod in response to the incursion of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) into the realm of religious freedom with its controversial contraceptive mandate issued earlier this year. I was offered the opportunity to add my signature to that letter, as was President John Moldstad of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod. Along with 24 leaders of other religious organizations, we have signed the letter, entitled, “Free Exercise of Religion: Putting Beliefs into Practice,” an open letter to all Americans.
While representing a wide range of religious beliefs, the signers of the letter have one thing in common: the recognition that the blessing of religious liberty is threatened when the government mandates that religious organizations comply with government regulations that violate their teachings and religious beliefs.
This letter has been released even as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to rule on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The HHS contraceptive mandate represents one of the reforms included in the law. The ramifications of the anticipated ruling are, of course, as yet unknown.
It should be noted that this letter is not a response to the entire health care legislation. Rather, it is specifically a response to one effect of the contraceptive mandate—one that would require religious organizations, with only narrowly defined exceptions, to include coverage for contraceptives, including those that could cause the death of unborn babies, in their employee health plans. This is in direct opposition to a core teaching of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod that only God gives and takes life. More broadly, we believe that any action of the government that would infringe on our right to practice our religion according to the clear teachings of Scripture and our conscience must be opposed.
I encourage you to read the letter and to share it widely.
Serving in Christ,
[Note: A copy of the Open Letter has been included in the bulletin.]