Dear Friends in Christ,
It seems the extra duties of Lent have "thrown me for a loop," with the result that my "weekly message" has not been "weekly!" I apologize for the gap and will try to keep this communication going for the next few weeks until I leave SOV.
In the Old Testament lesson appointed for this coming Sunday (Jeremiah 31:31-34), God promises Jeremiah that a "new covenant" will be made in the future: a covenant that will allow all the people to know God by heart. The church sees this promise fulfilled in Christ, who draws all people to himself when he is lifted up on the cross. Our baptismal covenant draws us to God's heart through Christ and draws God's light and truth into our hearts. We see God's heart most clearly in the way Jesus shares human suffering, in an agony described in this Sunday's lessons from the Gospel of John (12:20-33) and the letter to the Hebrews (5:5-10).
Prayer of the Day
O God, with steadfast love you draw us to yourself, and in mercy you receive our prayers. Strengthen us to bring forth the fruits of the Spirit, that through life and death we may live in your son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
· Please join us for the last two Wednesday evening soup suppers and Holden Evening Prayer: tonight at 5:45 (soup) and 6:30-7 (worship) and the same schedule applies for next Wednesday, April 1 (and that's "no foolin'!).
· Holy Week and Easter Schedule: Palm Sunday, April 5; Maundy Thursday, April 9, 7 pm, Holy Communion; Good Friday, April 10, 12-6 pm = Stations of the Cross, 7 pm = worship; Easter, April 12.
· April 19th will be my last Sunday here at Shepherd of the Valley.
· April 26th Pastor John Cross from Kairos will lead worship; May 3rd Pastor Al Solmonson will lead worship; May 10th Pastor Fred Ruhnke will preach.
· May 10th Pastor Randy Schutt will worship with the people of SOV. His first day in the office will be Tuesday, May 12th. He will lead worship and preach on May 17th.
· Mark your calendars for the installation service for Pastor Randy, which will be held Sunday, June 7th at 3 pm. This will be a wonderful celebration, as the people of SOV will be joined by Bishop Dave Brauer-Rieke, Assistant to the Bishop Susan Kintner, and many laypeople and clergy members from the wider community.
· June 14th is the date for SOV's annual meeting. It will be held following the second service.
Remember in prayer:
Prayers for strength for all who are caring for the elderly;
Prayers that all who are unemployed and underemployed may find meaningful employment;
Prayers for guidance and peace for all who are struggling with relationship issues;
Prayers for safety, wisdom and health for our military personnel.