Reflections and Announcements for the week of October 4th | First Evangelical Lutheran Church
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Rooted in Christ...Rising to Serve.

Reflections and Announcements for the week of October 4th

We pray for President Trump, the First Lady and others in the administration and staff who have been infected with Covid 19 in the recent days….that the Great Physician will lay his hand of healing and strength upon them. Please include the leaders of our nation in your prayers this week, no matter your political convictions.

COMING HOME TEAM NEWS!!!
At its meeting on Tuesday, September 29 the Coming Home Team has okayed a return to gathered worship in the Nave for the people of First Lutheran church beginning on All Saints Sunday, November 1, 2020. This is provided that it remains a prudent decision for the health and safety of our members and staff considering the situation with Covid 19 infections in Nashville and Davidson County. We will continue to broadcast a recorded service via Youtube and Facebook for those who feel more comfortable worshiping from home. The service will include Holy Communion but not congregational singing. The team will meet again next week to firm up details. Please look for this additional information through all our information outlets including U.S. mail. We are looking forward to this return to a bit of normalcy in our life together.

Reflection for the week of October 4
Read the following scripture lessons: Isaiah 5:1-7; Psalm 80:7-15; Philippians 3:4b-14; Matthew 21:33-46

Having read these, think of this:

Here is an old biblical allegory: Israel is a vineyard from which God, as the vineyard owner, expects to see the good wine of justice and righteousness produced. That image is present in two of our readings as well as the Psalm today. We would misuse this allegory, however, if we make it anti-Semitic, as too many Christians have. We ourselves are now the tenants of that vineyard. We are the ones who have contributed to injustice, to the weeping of the misused, even to bloodshed. The son has died because of us. Still, these texts really are a love-song. We are accused because God loves us, wishing to turn us to hear the gospel. For us, Christ is the rejected stone that has become the corner-stone. In mercy, Christ Jesus has made us his own. In the Spirit, he gives us the good wine of himself. Then, in the power of the resurrection and even by sharing his sufferings, we may begin again to do justice for our neighbors in this needy world.

Prayer: Gracious and merciful God, slow to anger, rich in love, we bless your name and give you thanks. In our need, you make haste to help us. You plant us beside streams of your wisdom, teach us in pastures greening with truth, and guide us on the path of your promise. By your Spirit awaken our faith, that, feasting on your Word, we may love you more fully and serve our neighbor more faithfully; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

Commemorations:
There are several commemorations in the church year calendar this coming week. Consider these people of faith and their contributions to the Church of today:

Francis of Assisi, renewer of the church, died 1226
Sunday, October 4, 2020
Born into the family of a wealthy merchant, Francis gave up his inheritance to serve poor people. He formed the Order of Friars Minor (called Franciscans), who took on poverty and the task of preaching “using words if necessary.” Francis had a spirit of gratitude for all of God’s creation.

Theodor Fliedner, renewer of society, died 1864
Sunday, October 4, 2020
Fliedner helped to bring about a revival of the ministry of deaconesses among Lutherans. He was influenced in this by Moravian deaconesses he had met. The motherhouse he founded in Kaiserswerth, Germany, inspired many around the world to take up this ministry.

William Tyndale, translator, martyr, died 1536
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Tyndale was ordained a priest in England, and wished to translate the Bible into English. He was opposed in this by King Henry VIII, causing him to flee to Germany. He completed the New Testament in 1525, but before he could finish the Old Testament, he was tried for heresy and burned at the stake.

Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, pastor in North America, died 1787
Wednesday, October 7, 2020Co
Divided Lutherans in America asked leaders in Europe to send someone who could take charge and unite their work. Muhlenberg was sent, and was effective in organizing the American Lutherans. Among other accomplishments, his liturgical principles became the basis for the Common Service of 1888.

Massie L. Kennard, renewer of the church, died 1996 (TFF)
Saturday, October 10, 2020
A native of Chicago, Kennard was a major figure in supporting and working toward ethnic and racial inclusiveness in the former Lutheran Church in America. Ordained in 1958, he served in positions including Director for Minority Concerns of the Division for Mission in North America.

As usual, if Pastor Brian or I can do anything to be of help to you or your family please do not hesitate to contact us directly by phone or email.

God bless you all,
Pastor George

Back to School Prayer
Please pray for students, teachers, families, administrators and support staff.

Stewardship Thoughts
Doing Good Works
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). With the same strength and power that God used to create the world and all people, he transforms us into people who are eager to serve and obey him by doing good works. In Christ, we are new people who are “eager to do what is good” (Titus 2:14). As new creations, we are compelled, by God’s love and changed hearts, to do the works that he has prepared in advance for us to do. Our good works give glory to God rather than ourselves. As Christians, we are privileged to be “instrument(s) for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared for any good work” (2 Timothy 2:21).

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, I give you praise and thanks for your unconditional love. Thank you for choosing me to be your steward. Grant me faith to do the good works that you have prepared for me to do. In your precious name we pray. Amen.

Blessings on your stewardship journey!

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ROOM IN THE INN UPDATE
Like everything in 2020, Room in the Inn will look different this year. First will not be opening the church for guests, but we are looking for volunteers to help with RITI Central Shelter. We think this will be a way for those that feel comfortable to volunteer on RITI campus. If you have any questions or are willing to provide food, or If you are willing to stay on campus for a night with a RITI employee, please contact the church office.

YOU are needed!
Yes, you! The voices of First Lutheran! We want members to read some of the lessons and/or lead the Lord’s Prayer in our podcast services, so that we are reminded of our oneness in Christ by hearing voices. Here’s how it works: we will send you the reading. You can record it at home on a phone, on your computer, in a Zoom session we can schedule together. Or you can come in on a Thursday morning to the church and we’ll do a recording that way. It can be a video, or just audio.  ALL ARE WELCOME! For details and questions, contact the church office.

Please contact the office or come by if you would like a copy of “CHRIST IN OUR HOME’ devotional for October, November, December 2020. Small and large booklets available.