Informal with guitar by the River June 1 to October 15, in the Sanctuary October 16 to May 30
Traditional with organ, choir & bells September 1 to May 30
Sanctuary worship June 1 to August 31
Summer Spiritual Concerts (June/July)
Sunday School for children and youth September 1 to May 30
Highland Village Bible Study beginning September 9
*3:30 to 4:45 p.m.
Confirmation Class for all students in grades 7 and 8, September 24 to May.
*7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday Evenings with John's Gospel, September 10 to November 19.
(920) 261-0736 ♦ firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
What's Happening Now...
* Turkey Dinner Organizational Meeting will be on Sunday, September 14. Following each service, there will be a time to go over tasks which need to be done for the November Turkey Dinner. People will have an opportunity to decide which tasks, if any, they would be willing to take on. Please plan on attending! Call Pastor Ron or Annette with questions.
*Kids' Faith? Who Knew?" Join Pastor Ron for 3 sessions during Sunday School time on September 14, 21, and 28 for presentations and discussion on children's faith and spirituality. This will be very informative for parents, as well as anyone interested in faith development in children. The third session on September 28 will focus on Communion and children. We will meet in the "coffee area" in the narthex.
* Loaves & Fishes - We are responsible for participating and donating food for Loaves and Fishes at the Watertown Moravian Church on Monday, September 15. Check the sign-up sheets in the narthex to see where you can help out.
* Confirmation Class will begin Wednesday, September 24 from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. All students in grades 7 and 8 are encouraged to attend.
* Coupons For Care - In an effort to meet the needs of the hungry, a pilot program called "Coupons For Care" is underway. The immediate and on-going need is coupons. A box is provided in the narthex to place your unwanted or unused coupons. Manufacturer's and Pick 'N Save coupons/sale circulars are needed to make this successful. For more information, please contact Tisha Morgan at 920-699-9113 or 920-245-1640.
*Mission Sunday is September 14. Loaves and fishes will be our mission collection. Plastic containers are in the offering plates for you to donate. Loaves and Fishes is sponsored by the Watertown and Ebenezer Moravian Churches, who offer free meals to the community on Monday evenings, with a weekly attendance of about 120 people. You can support this mission by serving, donating food or contributing money. Please consider helping or donating for the September 15th meal from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. Sign-up sheets are in the narthex.
*Morning Circle - All women are invited to attend Morning Circle on Wednesday, September 17 at 9:00 a.m. in room 205. A discussion will be held on chapter 6 in "God's Promises That Keep Us" by Ellsworth Kalas. Bev Lund and Bonnie Ladish are co-hostesses with Bonnie leading devotions.
*Wednesday Evenings with John's Gospel - Beginning Wednesday, September 10 through November 29, join Pastor Ron from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. for an in-depth study of John's Gospel. For 11 sessions, we will engage this Gospel using the "Invitation to John" Disciple Bible Study. The study requires preparation, so participants will need to purchase the study book ($14). Copies are available from the office. Please let the office know if you will be attending. Contact Pastor Ron with any questions.
Sunday September 14, 2014
Matthew 13:1-4a, 5, 18, 20-21
We are continuing with Jesus' parable of the sower and the seed. Reviewing what was covered last week we know that this is a teaching story and not an actual event. As such, this is not about "real seeds" but rather the reference to seeds is about the Word of God as well as "germinated disciples". So, in fact, it may be more accurate to call this the "Parable of the Four Soils". Each of the soils provide a very different "home" for the seed - some harmful and one resulting in abundance.
This week the Sower's seeds fall upon "rocky ground, where there was little soil". I am reminded of those trays you can buy with "starter tomatoes" or other vegetables. There are plants growing but they will not thrive over time and would never produce any fruit. Instead, the roots begin to take up all of the space and any available nutrients are used up so the plant dies.
Jesus tells his disciples that this is what occurs when the word is received with initial enthusiasm but the foundation necessary to endure when challenged is lacking. We all know how this works. There is an entire industry based on this pattern - exercise machines.
So often people decide that they need to get into shape. Maybe they've put on some weight or maybe the doctor says their numbers are too high, and exercise will be the answer. So they go and buy a treadmill, weight machine or whatever the latest fad is. For about a week, day after day, the machine is whirring along and their exercise program is going full bore. But then, muscles get tired or something else needs to get done or sleeping in for another 30 minutes seems more important and the machine is neglected. After time, it gathers dust and eventually ends up in the neighborhood rummage sale.
Our faith can move by such fits and starts. We begin by following some spiritual exercises, like prayer or daily Bible reading, with good intentions but then life gets in the way. We cut down the time or decided every other day is fine until, overtime, our prayer book gets dusty and page marker in our Bible never seems to move forward.
Embracing an active faith is not easy nor is it all joy and blessing. There are dry spells praying feels tedious. There are so many other things to do instead of making the time to read and ponder God's Word. We face real life crises when God seems so far away and we think God just isn't interested in us (tho' that certainly isn't the case). So, in the hard light of the day we shrivel and our faith dies on the vine. What we need is a soil which provides what we need - the living water, light of the world and loving grace - to carry us through the parched times of our lives. We need what Jesus has to offer to keep us from giving up and dying spiritually.
Grace & peace,