FATHER MARK’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
1) OPEN AGAIN! As I said last week, the Bishop has issued new safe re-opening guidelines that take into account regional populations and a new tracking tool (healthynebraska.org). The result is that we are ready and cleared to reopen for public worship beginning this Sunday, October 4th! As before, we will start with one service at 10:00 A.M. and add an early service when needed. Masks and social distancing will be required and there will be no congregational singing, but we will have communion and the rest of the service will be pretty much normal. We can accommodate 40 people safely in the sanctuary, and another 50 or so in the parish hall with real-time video/audio feed. So come and worship if you are ready!
2) Coincidentally, this Sunday is the feast day of our “name saint,” St. Francis. In addition to using the readings for this day and hearing anthems related to his life and works, we will also host our annual Pet/Animal Blessing in Centennial Park this Sunday afternoon at 2:00 P.M., joined this year by several other sister churches. Come out and bring your pets for a short and fun event!
3) Annual Council is coming up, and this year representatives from all Episcopal churches in the Diocese will gather virtually via Zoom rather than in-person. It will be a much different experience than in years past — we will miss the social and fellowship aspects, but we won’t have to travel and we will save money! In addition to myself, Fr. Bob and Mo. Karen, your delegates are Cory Foster, Colleen Kelly, Ann Peterson, and alternate Charlie Kennedy. Thanks to these dedicated volunteers for offering up a Saturday to do the work of the Diocese.
Pati McLellan October 1 Shawn Hergenreder October 5
James Nielsen October 1 Chris Kelley October 5
Alena Kennedy October 2 Dennis Mitchell October 5
Johnny Selzer October 2 Lucretia Green October 6
Allie Cawiezel October 4
Bible Study: John and Peggy Wymore will be leading a bible study on the book of Hebrews beginning Thursday, October 1st from 6:00-7:30 P.M. in the parish hall (10 or fewer, masks required). For more information contact John and Peggy at email@example.com.
Prayer Requests: The prayer request sheet is still just outside the office in the church and is updated weekly. Anyone may still email your prayer requests to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not have email, just call the church and leave a message. Since, I am back in the office, the requests must be received on by Wednesday at the latest, for them to be included in the Sunday Bulletin for that week. If the request is received after Wednesday, they will be added to the next Sunday Bulletin. We will follow the same process and keep the names on for two weeks. Once the prayer request is received, it is added to the prayer list and then I email the names to have them added to the Prayer Chain and to the Daughters of the King.
***Daily Devotion for Thursday October 1, 2020***
Righteousness in Christ
The 5 Steps – Pause * Listen * Think * Pray * Go
We make space for God’s Spirit to fill us. A new identity – a new purpose – wells up within.
This new way of being comes not from our hearts alone; it comes from Jesus Christ and his righteousness.
Breathe in these words and know that you are loved: “Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me.” (from The Prayer of St. Patrick)
It’s not that I have already reached this goal or have already been perfected, but I pursue it, so that I may grab hold of it because Christ grabbed hold of me for just this purpose. Brothers and sisters, I myself don’t think I’ve reached it, but I do this one thing: I forget about the things behind me and reach out for the things ahead of me. The goal I pursue is the prize of God’s upward call in Christ Jesus.
I try, but I am not a very good runner. It’s not so much the exertion; it’s the boredom! I get tired of running on a treadmill or around a familiar path in the park. I get distracted too easily and lose my focus.
Here in Philippians, the Apostle Paul compares the journey of faith to running a race. Paul says that the key to being a successful runner is to keep your eyes on the finish line. For those of us who seek to follow Jesus, his example is our goal. We are to continually remind ourselves that the goal is to be more and more like Christ.
It’s easy to get distracted or to become bored. But what if we were to wake up every day and to simply pray (even if we don’t feel like it): “God, help me to reflect the light and love of Jesus Christ today”? Perhaps just that simple act may reorient us and help us to focus the eyes of our hearts on our goal.
Gracious God, today I ask that you help me to always be striving for the ultimate goal. Help me, dear Lord, to become more and more like you in all that I say and in all that I do today. Amen.
As you depart from this moment, may you know that the righteousness of Jesus Christ walks with you wherever you go.
***For those of you that would like to access these devotionals daily, you can go on this website: www.d365.org
For more information on how the devotionals work, just access the website and click on the “menu”, then click on “about”. This page explains what changes each day and what does not. Please feel free to email with your comments or questions.
Gina’s Office Hours
Tuesday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Wednesday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.