July 14, 2020
Dear Friends in Christ,
In these difficult days, the words of the Apostle Paul in this coming Sunday’s reading from Romans feel especially meaningful, “For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ – if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:15-18).
As I mentioned in my sermon on Sunday, Romans 8 is filled with verses that I turn to often to find strength and hope and inspiration, and I invite you to read Romans 8 in the next few days and hear the good news these words hold for you.
A reminder that, if you are in need of prayer or pastoral care, please let me know by sending me an email at email@example.com.
~ To live stream our 9 am (Traditional) and 11 am (Contemporary) Worship Services, click on this link to access our channel on YouTube.com, “St. John’s Lutheran Church Palm Desert Media.” We are also broadcasting live on Facebook page.
~ Scripture Readings for this Sunday, July 19 ~ Isaiah 44:6-8; Psalm 86:11-17; Romans 8:12-25; Matt 13:24-30, 36-43 – the Apostle Paul offers the assurance that we are beloved children of God and our hope is in the Lord
~ Due to the summer heat, and following new state guidance (available here), we will not be meeting for outdoor or indoor in-person worship at this time. The Council, Staff, and I continue to be in prayerful discernment and discussion regarding present and future opportunities for worship at St. John’s, and we will keep you updated. Please email me if you have any questions. You can also reach me by calling the church office at 760-345-2122.
Vacation Bible School Online!
This year St. John’s VBS Day Camp is going virtual. Join us online July 27th through 31st for “Fields of Faith, Growing with God!” Kids can enjoy all of their favorite camp songs, games, crafts, Bible stories, and more right from home! Hosted by St. John’s Youth and our friends at Luther Glen Farm. Contact Molly at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
FIND – Egg Cartons Needed!
With the increased volume of our FIND food distribution, we are now in need of egg cartons. Please save your Dozen Sized egg cartons, and once you have a few you can drive by the church office (Monday through Friday between 9 am and 2 pm) and leave them in the collection box just outside the door. We will sanitize them before use. Please note we are not taking any food donations at this time. Thank you!
Our next distribution will take place on Tuesday, July 28. If you would like to volunteer, or for more information, please email Molly at email@example.com.
CVRM – Backpack Drive
To provide educational supplies to kids in need, we are once again partnering with the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission to collect school supplies. You can drop off supplies in the collection box just outside the office door, available Monday through Friday between 9 am and 2 pm. Please visit our website, under “Community Outreach,” for a list of needed supplies.
Please call the church office at 760-345-2122 if you have any questions. Thank you!
Wednesday Zoom – Bible Study and Communion
Join us at 12 pm as we discuss the coming week’s Lectionary Scripture readings.
Please note that we will also be celebrating virtual Communion at 1 pm after the Bible Study. All are welcome to join us, please have bread and wine or grape juice prepared at home if you would like to do so.
Please email Pastor Jen at firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom Bible Study invitation.
The church office continues to be available by phone, 760-345-2122, and via email, email@example.com. We are checking emails and voicemails regularly.
As we continue to provide for the spiritual and physical needs of our community, we are deeply grateful for your financial support. Please give as you feel called and able to do so, and know that any amount you give is deeply appreciated.
You can give online through the “Give” button on the top right corner of our website. The direct link is available here.
“Christ in our Home” Email Edition
Augsburg Fortress is extending their offer of a free daily email of the “Christ in our Home” devotional for the July, August, September season. You can sign-up on their website: https://www.augsburgfortress.org/store/product/CIOH-EMAIL/Christ-in-Our-Home-Email-Edition.
The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster.
You can click here for a “Coronavirus Help Sheet” from the Riverside University Health System on coping with stress during these times.
Please continue to check our website and Facebook page for additional updates and resources.
Now, as always, our hope is in our living, loving, risen Lord.
Grace and peace that passes understanding,