On the horizon

Welcome to St. John, a small Lutheran Church that welcomes everybody. St. John has some exciting events planned for the next couple of weeks. Read on to get the low-down, or check out our calendar.

April 15          Service at the G. Armstrong Home, 10:30am; Pastor Joel presiding; Bible Study group meets, place tbd.

April 17           Maundy Thursday Service, 7:30pm.

April 18          Good Friday Service, 11:00am; choir practice following this morning’s service

April 20           Morning Devotions 8:30am in Ebinger Hall, followed by breakfast and special activities for younger children; choir practice before worship about 9:15am; the Resurrection of Our Lord celebration service, 10:00am. ‘Food Cart Sunday’ for Partage Vanier.

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Fifth Sunday in Lent-John11:1-45-April 6, 2014

The mystery of Malaysia Flight 370 has been making headlines for weeks. On CNN, the coverage is virtually non-stop, every angle of the story over-analyzed: When will the black box stop working? What’s the ocean like where the plane might have gone down? Profiles of the pilots. Promising lead becoming dead end. More debris seen on satellite only to find an empty ocean. Continue reading

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Fourth Sunday in Lent—March 30, 2014- John (9:1-41)

I quote: “Fred Phelps was a colossal jerk, the kind of person no one wanted to be around.” This is how Time Magazine begins an obituary of the Kentucky preacher who died last week, after becoming famous for his homophobic bigotry and rants.  He once referred to Canada, which had then recently awarded equal benefits to same-sex spouses, as Satanic, which we should have taken as meaning just the opposite, given the source. Continue reading

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Second Sunday in Lent-John 3:1-17-March 16, 2014

More than a few of us may get a little uncomfortable with the phrase “born again.” It’s much like the term “evangelical,” which means “gospel-bearing.” Unfortunately, these phrases have been co-opted to represent a certain kind of believer. In culture and media, it now stands for a right-wing fundamentalist.  This simplistic belief in the Bible has been used to argue all manner of condemnations, a label mainline denominations have taken pains to clarify. Continue reading

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First Sunday in Lent-Matthew 4:1-11-March 9, 2014

In all the glitz and glamour of the Oscars, last week, one small movie made by a pair of Canadian filmmakers took home a golden statue.  Between, the Matthew McCaughaneys and the Jennifer Lawrence’s, it was easily overlooked. Who pays much attention to the award for Best Documentary short, especially when it’s about a little old lady, lacking in glamour? But even though it was a small movie  – just 36 minutes long and with no special effects – it captured a very big heart, and a remarkable tale. It tells, in her own words, the story of Alice Herz-Sommer, the oldest known Holocaust survivor. She is the woman in apartment No 6, as the title declares, and music saved her life. Continue reading

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Transfiguration Sunday-Matthew 17:1-9-March 2, 2014

How often do we meet people from our past – an old school friend, perhaps, or a work colleague, and we say to them, “You haven’t changed!” We mean it as a compliment, that the years have been easy on them, that they look the same. But of course, sometimes you only have to meet that un-changed person for coffee and hear how the years have gone, and you realize that underneath it all, they have been very much changed. Continue reading

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Matthew 5:21-37—6th Sunday after Epiphany February 16, 2014

At Northwestern University, a class called Marriage 101 has students lining up at the door. It is not the traditional marriage prep course – or very similar to the ones universities used to offer decades ago in a much different time - and it’s not particularly lovey-dovey. University students are presented with a pragmatic view of marriage, and the course texts are predominantly scientific journal articles on marriage. The idea is that the course lectures – the term papers that include interviews with marriage couples – will make students wiser and more realistic when they enter into long-term relationships down the road.  Continue reading

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Matthew 5:13-20—Fifth Sunday after Epiphany—February 9, 2014

Someone told me this week about a study that explored how the tastes buds of Canadians and Americans differed, and how health experts were taking that into consideration when they explored food labels and other regulations. Americans, apparently, love their sugar. But for Canadians, we can’t get enough salt. Certainly, salt is as central to us in winter as it would have been in Jesus’ day: obviously for different reasons. Anyone who has lived by the ocean, knows the power of salt water to heal a cut, or take the sting out of a bad day. When I was floating in the Dead Sea, lifted by those salt heavy waters, it was one of the most buoyant afternoons of my life. Continue reading

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