Sixth Sunday of Easter – May 10, 2015
Mass at 11:00 a.m. Readings: Acts10:44-48; Psalm 98; 1 John 5:1-6; John 15:9-17. Pastor George Detweiler preaches and presides.
For the fourth Sunday in a row our readings are from Acts, 1 John, and the gospel of John.
Each of the Acts readings for this season present us with preaching of the apostles and the results of that preaching of the good news of the Risen Christ. Here Peter preaches to a group of Gentiles upon whom the gift of the Holy Spirit is poured out even as Peter is speaking. Normally the outpouring of the Holy Spirit followed baptism – the order that became standard in the church’s worship, where we pray for the gifts of the Spirit and anoint with oil after the washing. Here, though, the gift of the Spirit was a sign to Peter that it was okay to baptize these non-Jews. (more…)
The Rev. George Detweiler
It’s the time of year for pruning. Most plants have budded already, so we can see where the new growth is taking place and there are dead branches that are not producing any new growth.
The hard winter and it took its toll on the plants. My daughter’s rhododendron are in bad shape–more dead branches than live ones. All that will have to be pruned away. The hydrangeas and the clematis have all needed a lot of pruning.
Pruning is essential for most plants to stay healthy. Without it, disease can enter the plant through its dead branches. Regularly pruned plants are stronger, grow more robustly, and have larger flowers or fruit.
Pruning is an expression of caring on the part of the plant owner, but I doubt the plants see it that way. If the owner didn’t care about the plants, he or she wouldn’t bother with pruning because pruning is painful for the plant. (more…)
On April 25, 2015, a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, in the shadow of Mount Everest. As of May 1, 2015, Lutheran World Relief is reporting more than 5,000 dead, 10,000 injured, and 2.8 million displaced. In response to this natural disaster, Lutheran World Relief has taken the following initial steps
- LWR is currently already working in the area of the quake epicenter, Lamjung District.
- LWR is committing an initial response of $500,000, which will support immediate needs on the ground and will likely include the distribution of locally-procured Non-Food Items and a cash transfer program so families can purchase other necessary supplies.
- Shipping 9,240 Quilts, 1,000 Personal Care Kits and 100 water filtration units.
- Staff from LWR’s Emergency Operations unit are arriving now to assist our Nepal staff on the ground. Additional regional team members are on standby for deployment if needed.
- LWR has spent the initial days after the earthquake confirming the safety and security of our staff and local partners.
- Needs assessments are underway, and coordination meetings with the Government of Nepal and other international and local organizations are happening daily.
Support for these efforts is greatly needed. Lutheran World Relief is asking for donations to be made to the Nepal Earthquake Fund. 100% of donations will go towards Earthquake relief.
Finally, please pray for all those affected by this disaster, the people of Nepal, and emergency response workers.
Fifth Sunday of Easter – May 3, 2015
Mass at 11:00 a.m. Readings: Acts 8:26-40; Psalm 22:25-31; 1 John 4:7-21; John 15:1-8. Pastor George Detweiler preaches and presides.
The theme for this week is Jesus Christ as the Vine of which we are the branches. The image is extended to include pruning and bearing fruit. The Risen Christ is the vine. We are grafted to the vine of Christ in baptism. As vines only produce fruit when they are pruned at the beginning of the growing season, so we are pruned to be fruitful as disciples.
Jesus then turns the image to “abiding.” As we stay connected to the Vine of the Risen Christ, we abide in him and he in us. It is only by abiding in him that we bear fruit as his disciples. If we do not abide in him, we are thrown away like the branches that have been pruned from the vine. (more…)