Saint Paul Lutheran Church
A congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Pentecost 19 ~ Wednesday , October 18, 2017
6:00 p.m. worship with communion
7:00 p.m. Chancel Choir Practice
20th Sunday after Pentecost ~ October 22, 2017
Staff Appreciation Sunday
8:30 a.m. Adult Forum in Morton Hall
9:30 a.m. worship with communion
10:30 a.m. Reception with Staff
Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
As we woke this morning we were greeted with the news of the horrific events in Las Vegas. In the face of such tragedy let us consider a few things. We are not helping by engaging in post tragedy behaviors that make us unwell both emotionally and mentally. These behaviors include our endless watching of the repeating video loops of horror which appear on all of our screens or lashing out at one another with hate filled rhetoric and anger.
So what can we DO in the face of such tragedy? We can turn the news off and engage in other life giving activities. We can do acts of charity in memory of the victims. We can take a long walk and appreciate creation and the beauty of life. We can engage in a variety of arts such as music, sculpting, painting, drawing or dance and allow the art to express our empathy and emotion. We can read from scripture. One half of the Psalms are lamentations to God. We can allow those psalms to give voice to our sadness, anger and frustration. We can light a candle and say a prayer. In our prayers we can remember those who died and those who are injured. We can pray for family members and friends who are grieving the death of loved ones and for those who are keeping anxious vigils in hospitals and by phones waiting for news from doctors. We can pray for those who were present during the shooting that their grief and fears may be soothed. We can pray for the first responders who have witnessed unimaginable scenes of horror and tragedy. We can pray for all who have suffered through similar events that they may not be triggered to relive their own past traumas. We can pray for the family of the perpretrator as they deal with their own unique sense of trauma.
Most of all we can remember that Christ weeps and Christ also calls us to life and to love and to forgive. Let us not allow our grief to turn into hatred, revenge or hate filled debate. We can allow Christ and the promise and hope of the resurrection to transform our trauma, our grief, our fear, our frustration, and our bewilderment, into love. We can reach out and love one another in the face of this tragedy. Love will win. The events in Las Vegas, no matter how horrific, will not have the final say on life or on all of creation. Those final words belong to God and they were expressed in the promise and hope of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.
Remember, you are loved.
Who is WELCOME at Saint Paul Lutheran Church:
Welcome to St. Paul’s Holy Communion worship. We extend a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, widowed, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, straight, questioning, filthy rich, comfortable, or dirt poor. We also extend a special welcome to wailing babies and excited toddlers. We welcome you whether you can sing like Pavarotti or just growl quietly to yourself. You are welcome here if you’re “just browsing,” just woken up or just got out of prison. We don’t care if you're more Christian than the Pope, or haven’t been to church since Easter ten years ago.
We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60 but not grown up yet, and to teenagers who are growing up too fast. We welcome athletic moms, football dads, starving artists, tree-huggers, latte-sippers, vegetarians, and junk food eaters. We welcome you regardless of your skin color, your profession or the language you prefer to speak.
We welcome those in recovery or still addicted. We welcome you if you’re having problems, are down in the dumps or don’t like “organized religion.” (At times we’re not that keen on it either.) We offer a welcome to those who think the earth is flat, work too hard, don’t work, can’t spell, or are here because granny is visiting and wanted to come to St. Paul’s.
We welcome those who are inked, pierced, both or neither. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down their throat as kids or got lost in the midst of wine tasting and wound up here by mistake. We welcome pilgrims, tourists, seekers, doubters . . . and you!