The Good News for September

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September 2016

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2016 Scholarships

PAUL PAVLUS SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS DUE SEPTEMBER 4
The Pavlus Scholarship is a one-time award given to a deserving graduating senior or anyone participating in a continuing education program such as college, trade school, vocational school, or graduate school, and who has been a member attending Lyonsville Church on a regular basis for a minimum of two years.  Click HERE for an application.

KARAS SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS DUE SEPTEMBER 4
The Karas Scholarship was set up by Shirley in memory of Ed, and is available to members of Lyonsville Church or people confirmed here. $1,000 is available per school year, and there is no limit on the number of years one applies. Click HERE for an application.

 

August 14 Sermon

Laughter Given
A reflection by Rev. Dr. Thom Bower
on Gen 21:1-7
For August 14, 2016             Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Spirit of the living God,
fall afresh on me;
Spirit of the living God,
fall afresh on me.
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.
Spirit of the living God,
fall afresh on me.

Here, in this foundational story of scripture, laughter is celebrated. Isaac’s very name means laughter – and he certainly made his parents laugh before he was born.

One of my mentors in ministry liked to say when we arrive at the pearly gates we won’t be asked “Why did you do this thing?” or “Why didn’t you do that thing?” but rather “You were given a gospel of joy; why were you so boring?” Church buildings should resound with alleluias.

Yes, there is difficult work to be done; if we do it without joy we burnout, experience compassion fatigue, and ultimately lose our reason for doing the work. Joyousness focuses our purpose, gives our meaning to our struggles meaning – for it is through joy, not work, that we are united with one another in our spirits.

Listen to me carefully: I’m not advocating for parties only. I said there is difficult work to do. Look at that sign calling us to Be The Church. There’s some tough things on there:

Protect the Environment.

Care for the Poor.

Reject Racism.

Fight for the Powerless.

Embrace Diversity.

These are big demands, these are complex problems, these are tough work. Continue reading

August 7 Sermon

“Laughing with God”
A reflection by Rev. Dr. Thom Bower
For August 7, 2016               19th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Based on Genesis 18:2-3; 9-15; 17:15a, 16-17; 19a

These are two very similar stories about Abraham and Sarah being told they will have a son. We read them out of order because they make more sense this way.

There’s quite a bit of humor in our scripture lesson. I considered wearing a red nose from clown camp, but I have decided to take a more dangerous route and try to point out the humorous parts. You probably know the comment from E. B. White: “Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.” I hope that by explaining it this morning I don’t ruin the joke.

Three strangers show up at Sarah & Abraham’s campsite. Abraham invites them to stay for a meal – there’s nothing strange here:  the code of the desert is to make sure no one goes hungry, even strangers or your enemies. So while Sarah organizes the servants in preparing the meal, Abraham entertains them.

Sarah eavesdrops through the tent door. Again, that is not unusual for a Middle-Eastern culture: having a spouse or other trusted family member listen in helps makes sure the strangers do not do anything rude or violent. The guests tell Abraham, “When we join you again in a year, Sarah will have a child.” Here’s where things get interesting. Continue reading

Volunteer Opportunities

Here are some upcoming mission opportunities you can help with:

GREATER CHICAGO FOOD DEPOSITORY VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY
Please come join us to help volunteer at the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD) on Saturday, September 24, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00. We will meet at church to carpool at 7:15. We also go every Wednesday from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. (meet to carpool at 5:15).  For more information go to http://www.chicagosfoodbank.org or see/call Cindi Fiandaca or Judy Birmingham to sign up.

Lyonsville Church Food Pantry: Come and help out at our own food pantry.  The pantry is open on Sundays from 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.  We would like to have 2 people there to help our guests/visitors during this time.  Volunteers help restock any donated food, and bag up food for guests.  If you would like to donate food, we have a current need for canned meat products (tuna and chicken), and paper products.  Contact the church office if you would like to help.  Donated food can be dropped off while the pantry is open, or contact the church office.

We are looking for people who can serve as Sunday Greeters and/or Coffee Hour Hosts. If you can help, please sign up on the sheets in the Fellowship Hall or contact Sherry Suomi.