Our sanctuary is closed until further notice in concern for our brothers and sisters who may be particularly susceptible to the current viral outbreak. However, opportunities for worship and edification are available through this website and the blog above. Additionally, beginning on June 21st, we will gather for a outdoor Sunday worship service at 9am. Guidelines for attending this service are enumerated below.
Our Facebook page and email will also be utilized but all the resources will be posted here. Those in need of urgent pastoral care are encouraged to call 548-6893 or email pastor at <>
Join us this Sunday as we worship and reflect
on the Gosple of Matthew
beginning with commissioning of the disciples in the 9th and 10th chapters.
Both a service of Worship and separate sermon will be available Sunday morning
by clicking on Pictures below.
You will also find A PDF of the Liturgy that we will utilize for the worship service on Sunday and
a PDF of the text and closing Hymn for that service if you would like to read and sing along.
Copies of all the resources on The Lord's Prayer
are available on the blog page.
Some announcements and a reflection from the Pastor..
1. Our outdoor services continue to proceed positively. I think most in attendance feel the location, setup, and our establish guidelines provide a safe and fruitful experience for worship. This Sunday will offer one change to our worship gathering as the congregation will reorient itself so all (except the Pastor) will have the sun to their back. The location of the circles and all other precautions will remains the same, just the direction attendees face will change.
2. The service is being posted as soon as downloads are completed. If all proceeds as well, this week’s worship service will be available on the various electronic mediums by 11am.
3. If you are planning to attend the outdoor worship, PLEASE remember to review the guidelines below and remember to bring your own chair or blanket to sit on.
4. Join us this week at 7pm on Thursday for a “Zoom” Bible Study. If you are interested, an email with an invitation to join us will be sent out to you on Wednesday. If you were not a part of previous Zoom emails and would like to join just let me know via email at <>. We are studying Paul’s letter to Philippians. Join us as we catch up and encourage one another in God’s Word.
5. REMEMBER. All the previous resources that have been made available each Sunday will continue to be shared via email, the webpage and Facebook. The service from outside will hopefully be available around 10am.
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace.”
This Sunday’s text from Isaiah reminds us that God’s Word has power to bless those who hear and enact the change God desires. This lesson is reinforced through this Sunday’s Gospel text about the parable of the sower, which teaches us that despite the fact that God’s Word does not heartily grow in everyone, within many it will take firm root and produce abundant life. While the growth of His Word in our hearts and minds is the Spirit’s work, we are not only capable of spreading that seed to others but accountable in planting it within our own garden. One of the ways that word is planted in us is through our intentional study of Scripture. We can’t expect the garden of our soul to be in full flower and abundant in faithful fruit if we neither help to plant the seeds nor open ourselves to hear.
When this season of Covid began, I had great hopes that God’s people would find this time as an opportunity to more intentionally plant the seeds of God’s Word in their lives. This time has not only opened up an opportunity for opening ourselves up to better hear and grow in God’s word but has demonstrated the necessity for us to do so if we are to navigate these times in a way that helps us persevere in “joy” and return to a new normal in “peace”. As Jesus explains in today’s parable, the fruitfulness of our faith can be threatened by worldly misunderstandings, troubles, hardships, temptations and fears. However, when the seed of the Word is planted and embeds itself into the good soil of our hearts, we can be sustained and more than that successful to see God’s will done and His blessings received.
As shared previously, below is a model for Bible Study that I have used in both family devotions and church Bible studies. It was first taught to me by someone who had returned from a missionary trip to Africa. It does not need a leader or preparation to use. It simply trusts that Christ will be present in the gathering of His people and that the word will not return empty but rather something to say if we listen to it. No one needs to be insightful or learned, just honest and willing.
While developed for community, this study can also be used alone as a bible study and journaling meditation. Step two and five could be altered to write down three words and then three insight,, questions or challenges. My daughters have used this method of study occasionally in their journaling: writing down the three words (step 2), insight/question/challenges (step 5), call (step 8), and prayer (step 11) that they find out of the text. When they do this in their prayer journal, instead of sharing each step with the group, they creatively draw pictures or color the page in a way that is meaningful to them and the insights of their study. While this last artistic flourish might not fit less artistic individuals like myself, creative souls may find it a helpful step.
However utilized, I pray that you might find this study a helpful tool in your personal/family worship. Beginning this week and continuing through the end of the month, I will loosely utilize this study in the extended “reflections on the text” that have been shared on the website <zlcboalsburg.org>, facebook page and by email. I hope your harvest is rich and abundant
An African Model for Bible Study
1. Read the text aloud
2. As the text is read, everyone writes down one word found in the text that they find interesting, important, or even confusing.
3. In clockwise order, each shares their word and briefly why they chose it.
4. Read the text aloud (second time)
5. As the text is read, everyone writes down one general insight, question, or challenge that they have discovered from the text.
6. In clockwise order, each shares their insight, question, or challenge.
7. Read the text aloud (third time)
8. As the text is read, everyone writes down one way this text is calling him/her to faithfully change/follow during the week. (As these are shared, it is helpful to write down what each person says so that you can pray for them throughout the week.)
9. In clockwise order, each shares what this text is calling them to be/do.
10. Read the text aloud (final time)
11. In clockwise order, each person briefly prays for the individual to their left that they might find the Spirit’s aid to faithfully change or follow in the ways the text has called them.
12. (optional) The next time you gather, individuals can begin by sharing difference God has made in their life through the past week, especially as it pertains to the ways they were called through the previous week’s text to change/follow.
Your Brother in Christ,
OUTDOOR WORSHIP GUIDELINES
Two fundamental expectations surrounding our Outdoor Worship.
1 We honor your personal choice regarding attendance to these services. If you choose to stay at home, be assured that we will be continuing to provide worship materials via the website, Facebook, and email. Everyone should consider their own health issues, the health of those around them and their own comfortability with potential exposure. Our hope is to replace the worship service currently being offered by posting a recording of the outdoor service as soon as possible and even live streaming the service as we are holding it.
2 If you decide to attend it is imperative that you willingly follow the guidelines Council has developed, not because these guidelines are perfect, but because those who choose to attend need to feel sure that what we are promising is what they will receive. Regardless of your personal discernment concerning the dangers of Covid transmission, our Council has discerned this as our best current path and those who choose to attend these outdoor services must abide by them so everyone in attendance knows what to expect.
Guidelines for our outdoor worship services.
1. New signage and “Automobile Ushers” will be present to direct you in a slightly different pattern into the parking lot. This will improve logistical flow and enable a row or two of cars to be properly aligned for in-car attendance
2. Attendees will be able to either remain in their cars (in a row in our parking lot as directed by the Auto Ushers) or in places marked in the grass lot above the parking area.
3. The service will be held in the grass lot above the parking lot. The grass will be marked with 6 foot diameter circles which will designate a household’s location. (Think of it as your family pew.) Twelve feet will be maintained between each circle.
4. Individuals/households will need to wear masks at any time they are not in their circle. Only while in their circle can they take of their mask. In other words, masks need to be worn to and from cars and any other time someone leaves their circle.
5. Attendees are encouraged to bring whatever will provide a comfortable experience for them including their own chairs, blanket, shade, water, ect.
6. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own masks along with any other preventative utilities. We will have some masks for those who may forget or are without. You may ask for a mask from one of the “Auto Ushers.”
7. Currently, we will not be using hymnals, singing, sharing Communion, or passing the peace.
8. Several collection boxes will be made available for offerings.
9. A couple copies of a simple worship folder will be placed in each circle so that the service can be followed.
10. Social distancing should be maintained before and after the service. (During the service we will be in our circles!)
11. If weather demands that we cancel the service, we will attempt to gather at 7pm on that same Sunday evening.
Grateful for your willingness to serve,
This Sunday's special Music from Melanie perfectly lifts up our willingness to follow in the footsteps of the disciples and venture forth and missionaries for the Good News.
Partners in Ministry
Sermon's from Pastor Brent Book
Click on the link below to hear recent sermons from the pulpit of Zion Lutheran Church
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