Easter is early this year, and in many places across this church, trees will still be bare and fields barren. It might even snow. But on Easter morning we will gather to greet the risen Son and give thanks to God for the new life we have in Jesus Christ.
Two things come to mind this Easter when there is still only the hint of spring: Jesus’ words to his disciples just before his crucifixion and a hymn.
Jesus said, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” Jesus was talking about his death, but he was also assuring his disciples and us that death is not the end, that, though it might seem impossible and even terrifying to step into the void, God brings life out of death.
The hymn is ELW 379.
Now the green blade rises from the buried grain,
wheat that in dark earth many days has lain;
love lives again, that with the dead has been;
love is come again like wheat arising green.
The tune is actually a French Christmas carol. How perfect that, in the bleak midwinter, the promise of spring was planted.
St. Paul wrote, “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?” We have already fallen into the earth and died. “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” We will not remain alone. We will bear fruit.
The seed has been planted in all the barren places in the world and in our lives. That gives us the power and the hope – especially in the face of our brokenness – to see life where the world only sees death ... in refugee camps and hospice units, in parched earth and in floods, in oppression and denied justice we are bold to confess. Now the green blade rises. Now love lives again. Now love comes again like wheat arising green.
Christ is risen.
Elizabeth A. Eaton
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Congratulations to the cast and crew of “Mary Poppins” at Ichabod Crane. Your performance was wonderful!
Thirteen people met at the Fairview Theater in Hudson to view the movie, “Miracles from Heaven,” and gave it a five star rating.
“Turn Back, O Man” and “Alas, for You” were our featured songs in our GODSPELL worship for Palm Sunday.
Our sisters and brothers from the Seventh Day Adventist Church served spaghetti and “meat” balls to 106 people at our Tuesday night Outreach dinner.
The St. Luke’s fantasy baseball season is off and running with several new members.
It was enjoyable to gather on Wednesday evening to view the 2001 production of GODSPELL, performed by the St. Luke’s Music Ministry in Philadelphia, PA.
IN OUR PRAYERS
For healing – Claire Wheeler, Pastor Betsy Diver, Margaret Vogel, Hannah Meredith
SCHEDULE THIS WEEK
Thursday – MAUNDY THURSDAY worship at Christ our Emmanuel in Chatham, 7:00pm.
- MAUNDY THURSDAY worship at St. Luke’s in Valatie, 7:00pm.
Friday – GOOD FRIDAY worship at Christ our Emmanuel in Chatham, 7:00pm.
- GOOD FRIDAY worship at Emanuel in Stuyvesant Falls, 7:00pm.
Saturday – Yoga with Yvonne at St. Luke’s, 9:15am.
- Meditation with Christi at St. Luke’s, 10:15am.
Sunday – THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD
- Ecumenical Sonrise service at St. Luke’s in Valatie, 6:30am.
- Festival worship at Emanuel in Stuyvesant Falls, 8:30am.
- Festival worship at Emanuel/St. John’s in Hudson, 10:00am.
- Sunday School at Christ our Emmanuel in Chatham, 9:30am.
- Festival worship at Christ our Emmanuel in Chatham, 10:00am.
- Festival worship at St. Luke’s in Valatie, 10:00am.
- Sunday School Easter egg hunt at St. Luke’s in Valatie, 11:00am.
Tuesday – Bible study in the book of Revelation at St. Luke’s, 10:00am.
- Last Outreach dinner at St. Luke’s in Valatie, 5:30-7:00pm.
- Ecumenical Youth Group at Kinderhook Reformed Church
Wednesday – Parish Care Committee at St. Luke’s, 6:30pm.
- Coming up:
March 31 – CROP Walk organizational meeting
April 2 – Healthy Congregations workshop at Scotia
April 3 – Confirmation class
April 10 – Jubilate Singers concert in Delmar
WORSHIP ASSISTANTS for March 24 (MAUNDY THURSDAY)
EMANUEL ST. LUKE’S
Acolyte Allison Grant
Ushers Michael & Emily Grant
Shane & Cali Ringwood
Reader Beegee Roppolo
Greeters Kara Udwary & Donna Wachtel
Altar Guild Marie Schomaker
WORSHIP ASSISTANTS for March 27 (EASTER SUNDAY)
EMANUEL ST. LUKE’S
Deacon Sue Hotaling Karen Lasher
Communion Sharon Smith
Acolyte Nicholas Robles
Ushers DeNola Perreten & Dana Berntson
Hannah Meredith & Harrison Puckett
Reader Leslie Dumont Barbara Slater
Greeters Dumont family Christa Slater & Amanda Booy
Altar Guild Sue Hotaling Sue Sundwall
BIBLE READINGS FOR THIS COMING SUNDAY
o Isaiah 65:17-25 - New heavens and a new earth
o Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 - This is the day that the Lord has made
o 1 Corinthians 15:19-26 - Christ raised from the dead, the first fruits
o Acts 10:34-43 (alternate) - God raised Jesus on the third day
o Luke 24:1-12 - The women proclaim the resurrection
GODSPELL songs at Emanuel & St. Luke’s for Maundy Thursday:
1) By My Side
2) We Beseech Thee
GODSPELL songs at Emanuel & St. Luke’s for Good Friday:
1) On the Willows
2) Long Live God
GODSPELL song at Emanuel & St. Luke’s for Easter Sunday:
CHRIST OUR EMMANUEL NEWS
And just like that, Holy Week is upon us with Maundy Thursday service at 7pm on March 24th with foot washing and stripping the altar. Good Fridayevening prayer at 7pm on March 25th. Easter Sunday festival worship on the 27th of March.
** Maundy Thursday service 3/24/16 @7pm
**Good Friday service 3/25/16 @ 7pm
** Easter service 3/27/16@10am
** Clean up day (especially the sanctuary) April 2nd, time TBA
**"God's work our Hands Sunday" 9/11/16, we are looking for project ideas for this year
St. Luke’s will host the annual, ecumenical sonrise service on Easter morning, beginning at 6:30am. We will gather, most likely in the dark and weather permitting at the gazebo and light candles to symbolize the dawning of the resurrected Christ. Our worship will gather around the Memorial Garden.
Following worship, a continental breakfast will be held in the fellowship hall. Any attending breakfast area asked to share a contribution of fruit or coffee cake.
SUNDAY SCHOOL NEWS
Special upcoming event:
March 27 – Easter egg hunt immediately after EASTER SUNDAY worship at St. Luke’s. All children in attendance are welcome to participate.
Our final, Tuesday night free dinner for the season is a smorgasbord of leftovers prepared by our friends at the Kinderhook Reformed Church.
The organizational meeting for the 2016 CROP Walk will be held at St. Luke’s on Thursday, March 31, at 7:00pm. We will present the checks of our 2015 proceeds to the four local food pantries and the Ichabod Crane backpack program. Each participating organization is asked to send a recruiter to pick up the packet with walker registration forms. Then walkers are encouraged to begin requesting supporters and donations for the walk on May 1, stepping off from the Kinderhook Elks Lodge on Route 9-H at 2:00pm.
WOMEN OF THE ELCA
The annual retreat will be held April 22-24. The final payment is due on April 15th. The theme is Women of God: Joy in the Journey. We will explore 5 biblical women (Sarah, Ruth, Mary, Martha and Deborah) in small discussion groups and find similarities and differences in our own lives.
Upcoming meetings are:
April 22-24 Retreat at Camp of the Woods in Speculator
May 16 Rita Laffety’s house Devotions: Gloria
216 Sharptown Rd. Stuyvesant, NY
May 22 BOLD WOMEN’S SUNDAY
June 20 Barbara Slater’s house & picnic Devotions: Christi
23 Leggett Rd. Ghent, NY
It’s time to sign up for several upcoming events:
1) Deacon/Clergy Retreat – Friday and Saturday, April 15-16, at Christ the King retreat center
2) Women’s Retreat – April 22-24, at Camp of the Woods
3) Senior High Camp – June 26 through July 1 at VanderKamp
4) Confirmation Camp – June 26 through July 1 at VanderKamp
Ask Pastor Jim or Pastor Nelson for details.
NARTHEX EXPANSION FUND
The Stewardship and Finance Committee at St. Luke’s will keep you updated each month on the progress of our Building Fund and the payment of our mortgage. Our monthly payment is $1,418 and any contribution over that amount will be applied to the mortgage principle.
February contributions totaled $1,755, leaving $106,756 left to pay on our mortgage. THANK YOU!
GOODSEARCH & AMAZON
Every time you do a search using GoodSearch a penny is donated to us. There are also discounts and contributions to the church when you shop with its companion, GoodShop. What an easy way to raise money! Just go to www.goodsearch.com and register to support (type exactly) St Lukes Lutheran Church – Valatie and then keep using GoodSearch as your search engine. Thanks!
Rather than going to Amazon.com, simply go to Smile.Amazon, and Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase amount to the charity you chose. They have a large list of charities to choose from, and I chose Lutheran World Relief.
Here's a link to additional info: https://smile.amazon.com/about
EMANUEL & ST. LUKE’S MISSION STATEMENT
Built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ, united and empowered by the Holy Spirit, the St. Luke’s and Emanuel Lutheran Parish seeks to provide a light of hope in an uncertain world. We strive to support and challenge all to grow in faith through Scripture, prayer and the Sacraments. We are committed to reach out in humility and love to our communities, sharing the good news of God’s free grace with all.
CHRIST OUR EMMANUEL’S MISSION STATEMENT
Our Church has been called to go forward with a spirit of hope, and love and faith in God’s grace to seek and serve the ever changing needs of our community.
EMANUEL/ST. JOHN’S MISSION STATEMENT
A spiritual house responding to the foundation of God's grace and love, providing a home in which to proclaim and share God's Good News of redemption for all in Jesus Christ in order to meet the needs of the ever-changing and diverse community.
The office at St. Luke’s is normally staffed from 10AM. to 3PM. Tuesdays through Fridays by Sharon Smith, our cluster administrator. You may call at any time and leave a message. Bulletin information for the following Sunday is due on Wednesday.
Pastor Jim is now serving on a part time basis. He will observe Thursday – Saturday as his days off.
Northern Columbia County Cluster
P.O. Box 127
EMANUEL PHONE NUMBER: (518) 610-2599
ST. LUKE’S PHONE NUMBER: (518) 758-6526
Pastor Slater’s E-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org
Pastor Slater’s blog- www.countryparsonpj.blogspot.com
Sharon Smith’s E-mail - email@example.com
Pastor Nelson’s email – Pastor.ChristOurEmmanuel@gmail.com
Pastor Nelson’s phone number - 518-227-0385
Pastor Nelson’s blog - http://christouremmanuel.blogspot.com/
VALATIE/STUYVESANT FALLS PARISH WEBSITE: www.slelc.com
CHRIST our EMMANUEL in CHATHAM WEBSITE: www.chathamlutheran.org