Epistle #97 Friday Update: Saturday Church Cleaning, Sunday In-House Worship, & More!

  1. Join us for in-house worship this Sunday, September 27 at either 8 a.m. or 10:00 a.m. Pastor Ioan’s sermon will be based on Philippians 2:1-13. Below you will find a devotion based on our Scripture:

     Greek playwright Euripides said, “Authority is never without hate.” It is fair to say the chief priests and elders were not very fond of Jesus. He made them nervous, impelling them to ask him where his power came from—like kids on the playground taunting, “You ain’t the boss of me.”

     It is our nature to look for outward signs of authority—job title, education, connections to powerful people, etc. Jesus’ authority came from who he was, not from what he accomplished. Authority is not the same as power—authority is given; power is taken. Authority comes from the “author.” The plot twist here is that Jesus’ authority was not handed down, but handed up, as we learn in Philippians 2.

     Just as people in Ezekiel’s day were unteachable, so were the religious leaders. The idea of transformation offends those who have an invested interest in maintaining the status quo. Especially if they are the ones in power.

– Lauri Neill, Worship Arts Pastor, First Lutheran Church, Fargo, ND

  1. Worship indoors will be held starting Sunday, September 27.  This is in keeping with the return to in-person worship guidelines from the re-entry task force that was accepted by the Congregation Council at their meeting September 17.

The health and safety protocols previously established will be followed:

  • We will have two indoor Sunday services, at 8:00am and 10:00am. 
  • Please wear a mask on the church property; you will be provided one if needed.
  • When entering and exiting the church, please maintain six feet social distancing.
  • Communion will be observed at both services.
  • When you enter, you may place your offering in the plate on the front table, and you will be given your communion cup.
  • Seating in the sanctuary will be from the front to the back. The pews are either marked off or spread out. 
  • The ushers will help you keep six feet social distancing between family groups. 
  • Tables in the fellowship hall may be used by families with young children.
  • Greet others with a wave, a nod, a bow, a fist or elbow bump.
  • The screen, as well as directions from the worship leaders, will be used to guide the congregation. Hymnals and bulletins will not be available.
  • Music will be provided by worship leaders.
  • Speaking in unison will be brief and with bowed heads. 
  • Exiting the sanctuary will be back to front. Please move beyond the front doors and onto the lawn for socially-distanced fellowship. 
  • We encourage worshipers to use the rest room before attending the worship service. If the bathroom must be used, signs have been posted about proper use, including sanitizing protocols.
  • For those who cannot attend worship on Sunday, Pastor Ioan’s message will be posted online on Monday.
  1. If you are able, please join us tomorrow, Saturday, September 26, starting at 9 a.m. for church cleaning in preparation of our in-house worship this coming Sunday.
  2. We are looking for “With One Voice” accompaniment edition book. Please let the office know if you see it!
  3. Christ in Our Home Devotionals for the 4th quarter are now available from the church office. Let the office know (office@stpaullutheranchurch.net)  if you’d like one placed in your church mailbox or would like one mailed to you.
  4. OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD is fast approaching! Please be thinking of items you would like to pack in your shoebox this year. The plastic OCC tubs have been ordered and will be arriving soon. The marketing materials are on their way. This will be our 14th year of packing shoeboxes. Let’s make this a family service project and have fun changing the stars for children in need of a Savior. This might be the most important year ever to reach children around the world and share the gospel of Jesus Christ with them. The pandemic has caused fear and panic amongst families and they have lost hope for their futures. We want children to know that God loves them. God has not forgotten them. God cares for them and their families. This box filled with gifts for the children is a powerful way to share the message of God’s unending love. If you are unable to shop for items to be put into a box, Samaritans Purse offers “Build a Shoebox Online.” Visit their website samaritanspurse.org/occ. You may track your shoebox by paying for postage online. Visit the website to complete that option. Be sure to print off the mailing label and attach to the outside of your box so you will know where it is headed. Postage for each box will be $9. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Lonna Nielsen at 515-210-4086. Our collection date will be Nov 7th. We will notify everyone when the plastic tubs and brochures are available. Until then GET SHOPPING!

Church office phone: 515-462-4270

Church office email: Office@stpaullutheranchurch.net

Pastor Ioan Ittu: 626-419-6331

Pastor Ioan email: Pastorioan@stpaullutheranchurch.net