Archive for 'Church Information'

Devotions

Sunday, May 17 – Matthew 6:19-33 and Psalm 54

Monday, May 18 – Deuteronomy 30:1-10 and Psalm 24

Tuesday, May 19 – Psalm 116:12-19 and Psalm 114

Wednesday, May 20 – John 14:15-21 and Psalm 136:1-3

Thursday, May 21 – Acts 1:6-11 and Psalm 130

Friday, May 22 – Isaiah 6:1-7 and Psalm 48

Saturday, May 23 – John 17:1-11 and Psalm 106:1-5

Readings

Acts 17:22-31
Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him–though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.’ Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

1 Peter 3:13-22
Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you;
 yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil. For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you–not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.

John 14:15-21
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. “I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

Coronavirus Update

Due to the pandemic, the State and County Health Departments have officially and unequivocally closed all congregations for worship until further notice. See below for worship services.

Dear Brothers and Sisters of Immanuel & St John’s,

I’m writing with sad news…the State and County Health Departments have officially and unequivocally closed all congregations for worship until April 22 (though it will probably be a bit longer in my estimation). They are threatening a $10,000 fine on any group religious meeting in-person, no matter how small.

We have been two of the few congregations who have continued to hold in-person worship services, and up to this point we have been carefully following their previous rules of social distancing and minimal occupancy guidelines. But those have now been rescinded. Any further assembling will be a clear breach of the law.

In consultation with leadership from both Immanuel and St John’s we have decided that we will comply with this order. We will not hold worship services until the Public Health officials deem it safe to do so.

We are doing this to minimize the spread of the very dangerous COVID-19 virus. This isn’t an attack on us as religious people; it is a public health issue. As Christian people we obviously care deeply about the health needs of both our own members, and of the general population around us. The NY State Dept. of Health, and our local Health Dept. deem this break in public assembly critical to local Public Health.  

At this time we are planning to postpone Maundy Thursday and Good Friday Services until the next Thursday/Friday we can safely meet again. For Sundays between now and then I will (with the help of technology angels) post a brief service of word and reflection on both congregations’ websites. Please check in with those sites for further information.

Immanuel: http://www.lutheranolean.org/  & St John’s: http://www.stjohnsallegany.com/

The Peace of Christ be with you!

Pastor Derek