Gloria Dei Newsletter

 

 

 

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Gloria Dei Lutheran Church

  Weekly E-Newsletter

         March 20, 2020

 

Dear members and friends of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church,

     This is an unsettling time, as our world, our nation, our communities, our schools, our workplaces, and our congregations strive to respond in safe and faithful ways to the coronavirus pandemic.

     In times past, churches have been places of gathering when there are national emergencies. Church have housed and fed people in the face of natural disasters: blizzards, floods, tornadoes. Churches have been the places of communal rejoicing, sorrowing, and comfort in days that included the ends of wars, and on September 11, 2001. I was an intern at United in Eugene, and it was comforting for me and for our neighbors to offer a community service that first night.

   And so, it is very uncomfortable, in these days when we are anxious, truly worried, and maybe afraid, to accept that the right and best thing we can do at this moment is to not go to church.

   Recommendations change from day to day for how long this will be the right and best thing. Your church council met last night, and has agreed that we must suspend all church activities: Sunday services, Lenten services, choir practices, Bible and book studies, luncheons, knitting groups, as well as close the church building to all outside groups that meet here.

   On April 23, your council will meet again to consider the circumstances, and decide how to go forward at that time.

     Canceling everything through the end of April includes Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and Easter. There has been a saying going around on Facebook, proclaiming “I didn’t mean to give up this much for Lent.” But here we are---a moment of true self-sacrificing love for the sake of our neighbor. As my friend and colleague, Pastor Suellen writes, “This is probably the Lentiest Lent of our lives.” But there is always hope and life in Christ.


IT DOES MATTER.

     Also, know that when it is safe for us to come together again as a congregation, we will repurpose that first week as a Holy Week, including Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the next Sunday will be our Easter! God’s time has never really been calendar time, and every Sunday is a celebration of resurrection and new life---so as we walk through an extended Lent, let your anticipation grow!

IT DOES MATTER!

     There will also be prayers, meditations, hymns, and other ways to stay close to God on Facebook and through email or text.

     There are also some practical considerations that must be raised. In order for Gloria Dei to be ready for our return, we have to continue to support it in the interim, with our financial offerings. The council committed to paying all staff for the next eight weeks, and to evaluate our financial situation in making future decisions. Please give as faithfully and as generously as you always do.

 

IT DOES MATTER.

     Members of council, as well as myself, will be calling you on a regular basis to check in, ask if you need anything, and to stay connected. If you have immediate prayer concerns or pastoral needs, please call Pastor Peggy. (802) 579-1948.

     Be safe. Be strong. Be well.

     The Lord bless you and keep you.

     The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you.

     The Lord look upon you with favor, and grant you peace.

     Also, know that when it is safe for us to come together again as a congregation, we will repurpose that first week as Holy Week, including Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the next Sunday will be our Easter! Easter is a moveable holiday, and God’s time has never really been contained by our calendar. Besides, every Sunday is a cele- bration of Resurrection and new life…so as we walk through an extended Lent let your anticipation grow! IT DOES MATTER!

     There will also be prayers, meditations, hymns, and other ways to stay close to God on Facebook and through email or text.

   There are also some practical considerations that must be raised. In order for Gloria Dei to be ready for our return, we have to continue to support it in the interim, with our financial offerings.

The Church Council committed to paying all staff for the next 5 weeks, and to evaluate our financial situation at its next meeting in April. Please give as faithfully and as generously as you always do. IT DOES MATTER.

     The members of council, as well as myself will be calling you on a regular basis to check in to ask if you need anything, and to stay connected.      Thanks to Marilyn Halvor for quickly putting together a phone tree so we can easily stay in touch.

     If you have immediate prayer concerns or pastoral needs, please call Pastor Peggy. (802) 579-1948.

     Be safe. Be strong. Be well.

 

     The Lord bless you and keep you.

     The Lord make his face to shine upon

           you and be gracious to you.

     The Lord look upon you with favor,

           And grant you peace.

 

Stuck at home during this time of physical distancing?

Here are some things you can do to be the church

even when we are physically apart from one another.

 

From friend and colleague, Pr. Becca Middeke-Conlin a pastor in Pennsylvania.

·Call your friends, neighbors and fellow congregation members,

 

Lenten Spiritual Practice:

Find Lamentations 3.57,

Isaiah 12.2,

Joshua 1.9,

and Psalm 56.3.

Take the hint.

especially the elderly and those who live alone. Check up on them, pray with them, even run an errand for them if you are venturing out.
 

·Facetime/skype/video chat with kids and teens who are home from school. Read a favorite book to a younger child (you can get digital age appropriate books on-line through your library or kindle).

·Teach an older child about a hobby you are doing to keep yourself entertained while home - baking, knitting, gardening, woodworking, etc. - later you can meet in person to help them with the skills. Just touch base with a teen and ask about their life.

·Write cards and letters to nursing home residents. Most are closed to visitors, including their families. So send a note to brighten their day. Need some suggestions, let me know and I'll send you the names and addresses of our homebound members.

·Write letters and emails to your government leaders to advocate on behalf of others on any topic you find worthy. If you think the government is too busy with COVID-19 at the moment, schedule the emails to be sent in a few weeks once this pandemic passes or get the letters all ready but wait to put in the mailbox until later.

·Many food pantries are still open and need volunteers. Bonus: you get out of the house for a few hours.

·Go for a walk and pick up the trash you see. Wear gloves, don't touch your face and wash your hands afterwards. Bonus: you get out of the house for a few hours.

·Pray for one another. And let them know you are praying. Ask for prayer request via social media.

·Make something for someone else. A handmade card, a batch of brownies, a decoration for their home. Deliver it to their front door or wait until we are out of this physical distancing stage.

·Donate money. Many churches run thin margins and will be hurting as we are cancelling worship or with decrease attendances. Many food pantries will be stressed, along with homeless shelters, and other non-profits who care for the most vulnerable. If you have the resources, please be generous.

·Spend your money wisely - small business restaurants and stores also run on tight margins. If you are going to spend money, spend it there to keep them in business, or buy gift cards to they can float of that income for now. Amazon and Walmart will survive this pandemic just fine, your favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant might not.

·What other ideas do you have to be the church while we are not physically together?

 

Need help picking up things locally?

These generous people have offered to help!

Barbara Stephenson works at Fred Meyer, Coos Bay (541) 294-1499

Jenny Forbes is in Coquille (541) 297-5481 ● Violet Ahlstrom also is in Coquille (808) 281-2247

 

 

 

Texts for the Fourth Sunday in Lent

 

FIRST READING:                                                                              1 Samuel 16:1-13

1The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” 2Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ 3Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.” 4Samuel did what the Lord commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” 5He said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
  6When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord.” 7But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 8Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 9Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 10Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” 11Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.” 12He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.” 13Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.

 

PSALM:  23                                                                  

1The Lord| is my shepherd;
I shall not | be in want.
2The Lord makes me lie down | in green pastures
and leads me be- | side still waters.
3You restore my | soul, O Lord,
and guide me along right pathways | for your name’s sake.
4Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall | fear no evil;
for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they | comfort me. 
5You prepare a table before me in the presence | of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil, and my cup is | running over.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days | of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the | Lord forever. 

 

Second Reading:                                                                         Ephesians 5:8-14

8Once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light—9for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. 10Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. 11Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; 13but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

 

 

GOSPEL:                                                                                           John 4:5-42

1As [Jesus] walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. 4We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. 5As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, 7saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. 8The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” 9Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.” 12They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

  13They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.” 16Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And they were divided. 17So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” He said, “He is a prophet.”

  18The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” 22His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

  24So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.” 25He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 28Then they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” 30The man answered, “Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. 32Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. 33If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?” And they drove him out.

  35Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36He answered, “And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.” 37Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” 38He said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him. 39Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” 40Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” 41Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.”     

 

Remember in Prayer

 

Tom and Laura McElligott’s son, Brian, as he recovers from a broken back sustained in an auto accident.

Don Bunyard  - is back in hospital

Bob Dehart – recovering at home from surgery last week

Mike Huffman – hospitalized Thursday, March 19

Maxine Wood – recent loss of husband. End of life issues.

Sharon Larcom’s friend Barry Blake. He had a stroke and is at BAH.

      

 

 

Pictorial Directory

 

 

Your consistent donations

are important

now more than ever.

Simply Giving ®

A simple choice, a generous response

 

Through Simply Giving®, your gifts are made through a pre-authorized withdrawal from your bank account. You determine the frequency of your automatic gift—weekly, semimonthly or monthly—the option is yours.

 

You don’t need to worry about making your contribution while we’re away or when you’re on vacation. To sign up, contact Violet in the church office. 541-267-2347

 

 

,,,,

Connie Monahan and Pastor Peggy are in the process of putting together the new edition of Gloria Dei’s Pictorial Directory. PLEASE, if you haven’t been a part of this directory before, send pastor a recent digital photo, saved electronically. If you don’t have the means to do so, one of us can also take photos after church.

Send photos to Pastor at pastorpeggy@hotmail.com.

 

Transition Team meets via Zoom

Tuesday, March 24 at 2pm

The church council has selected team members from the group who volunteered.  This group will help the congregation conduct a study of itself and its situation, to develop a vision of the future mission to which God is calling this congregation, and to discern the type of pastor and the pastoral characteristics needed to lead the congregation to fulfill that vision..

 

Pastor Peggy and Connie Monahan accept the grant from the tribal leadership on Friday, March 6.

 

Ray Nelson and Pastor Peggy

Coquille Tribal Community

For the past 13 years, the Tribal Council of the

Coquille Indian Tribe has given money to
a variety of community projects. Thanks to

Connie Monahan’s efforts, Gloria Dei’s Senior

Café program was awarded $5,000 this year.

72 programs received over $360,000.
Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From colleague, Rev. Brian Brandt, Spirit of Grace in Beaverton.

“We’re doing all committee work by Zoom.  We’re hosting a Zoom coffee hour on Sunday, and will be running the self-study by Zoom until this health crisis is over.  Zoom, telephone, FaceTime, Skype, etc. — get familiar with those things fast.  This is not a drill.  It’s a matter of life and death.  Please choose life.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

United Way of Southwestern Oregon, proud community partner of Southern Oregon Coast Pride, would like to thank Gloria Dei Lutheran Church for being the first sponsor of SOC Pride’s 2020 Pride celebration! Their fifth annual Pride event will be held on Saturday, June 20 at Boynton Park in North Bend – please join us for food, fun, and family-friendly festivities! We’d also like to thank Gloria Dei for supporting SOC Pride’s recent showing of Rent at the Egyptian, and Ken Denton for his service on the SOC Pride committee… United Way also wants to thank Ken for his pottery contributions toward our recent Empty Bowls Curry County fundraiser in Brookings – his bowls were a big hit, and helped us raise much-needed funding for Curry County food insecurity programs. Thank you, Gloria Dei, for all that you do for our southern Oregon coastal community!

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1290 Thompson Road

Coos Bay, OR 97420

(541) 267-2347

office.gloriadeifamily@g mail.com

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