Holy Week, The Whole Experience

On April 9, we begin worship on the high of Palm/Passion Sunday, of Jesus entering Jerusalem with the shouts of "Hosanna!" and the waving of the palm branches. This jubilance was short lived though. We cannot simply go from the joy of Palm Sunday to the joy of Easter Sunday. There is much that happens during the in between time this week that we also get to remember. As many Lutheran churches do, we take the time on Palm Sunday to begin to move us towards the Passion story because there are some that cannot or will not take the time to come to worship on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday and therefore miss this in between.

For those of you who can make it, on Maundy Thursday at both 11:30 a.m. and
7:00 p.m., we gather in worship and recall the confession we made on Ash Wednesday through an individual absolution of sins. We are touched by the words of forgiveness and with this clear knowledge of being forgiven we can engage the rest of the story. It is the day where we are reminded of Jesus’ humbleness demonstrated through his serving his disciples and our personal calling to serve others. We watch and eat the last supper with Jesus. With the taste of wine and bread still upon our lips, the altar is stripped bare and we leave in silence.

The following evening, Good Friday at 7:00 p.m., we return to the sanctuary once again. We hear about Jesus’ betrayal, capture and trial. We hear of his humiliation, his interrogation. We hear of a long, lonely night with the cross directly in our line of sight. This Tenabrae Service of Darkness eventually has us leaving in silence and darkness remembering the weight and heaviness of such a death as Jesus being hung upon the cross, dying and being laid in the tomb.

This takes us to the following Sunday, The Resurrection of Our Lord Sunday – Easter Sunday (8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.) where the women come to care for the body of Jesus and find the tomb empty. He who was dead now lives. The promise has been fulfilled. The holy meal is a celebration this day for in it we confess that life is stronger than death under God’s reign. Christ is risen!

I hope you prayerfully consider coming to all of Holy Week’s worship opportunities to see what all the in between pieces are all about.

Holy Week and Easter Blessings to you all!

Pastor Janel

The Sap is running!

"The righteous flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God. In old age they still produce fruit; they are always green and full of sap, showing that the LORD is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him." Psalm 92:13-15 NRSV

We turn the pages of our lives to a new season this month which up in the boundary waters of Northern Minnesota, we would call late winter more than spring like we do here in Stillwater most years. It will be a while yet for the sap to run in my home region, as it is still a brisk 20-30 degrees most mornings with an occasional dip into the teens. I’ve seen reports that the sap has begun to run already in some places of Minnesota with the mild winter we have had. A sure sign of spring, and a reminder that my pancake fast of lent is almost at an end, aaah, maple syrup I miss you so much! ?

The words of the psalmist here speak to us about another kind of life flowing outward and one that we turn our attention to this month to celebrate. It is those leaves on the tree which adorn the branches and trunk of St. Paul Lutheran. Those members of our body whose lavish gifts and talents grace us and bear much fruit as they give and share extravagantly what God has given them for his glory and to the building up of the church. We are truly blessed on so many levels! THANK YOU!

We find our church bodies life in the sap running through this great tree, not unlike a real tree that even in dormant times or great age, is still vibrant, strong, and life giving in its essence. This sap is God’s holy breath, the living Christ, and Holy Spirit dwelling in this place that flows within and sometimes even seeps outside these walls as we become sticky, flavorful, and attract others with our resin and resilience. Scientists tell us the greatest and strongest trees of all last because they learn to bend within all manner of weather, I would say that is truth as they rely on what is in the core and roots to steady and keep them from falling over to continue to nurture them and feed them internally so they may grow new leaves and buds each year. However, it is the leaves of the tree which become green from the light and essence (sap) of the tree and also feed the fruit the tree bears. We at St Paul are a mighty tree, who has bent and weathered the test of time—because we have relied on our source of strength and hope, the sap, to lead, guide, and discern our paths forward. There is much fruit that has been born through our community and many relationships formed throughout this tree on its branches. We are all connected, and give life and nourishment to each other in our connected state.

I feel the struggle of new life in this place, the uncertainty and excitement the first signs of spring always bring, and it is inspiring to see. The mighty branches of our tree are supporting the new ones, and the new buds beginning to show themselves. Let us glory and celebrate in those who have been our inspirations faithfully sharing themselves and their gifts within our church community and continually bearing much sweet fruit. I tell you without a doubt, the sap has begun to run! Let’s show who we are, put ourselves vividly on the map, and share this source of life and hope we receive in the resurrection of Easter Sunday and each new day, with the entire Stillwater region this season! "For now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come!" Song of Solomon 2:11-12

May the fruits of the Spirit and light of Christ shine and come forth in you vividly, a source for all people of nourishment and hope, Bless you all!

Pastor Suzy

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APRIL Health Minute

Our Health & the Internet

This month we celebrate Easter - and new life brought to us by Jesus’ resurrection. We also recognize World Health Day in April. When it comes to our heath, the internet gives us overwhelming resources and information, but some of it can be incomplete, misleading or inaccurate. Many of us seek information about specific complaints, conditions or diseases, drugs, nutrition, and fitness. We must be discerning in using the internet.

Publication on the internet is not proof that the information is reliable, valid or up-to-date. Use the following questions as a guideline for judging the quality of the health information.

? What is the main purpose of the web site? Is it to provide accurate information and resources or to sell a product?

? What are the credentials of the authors? Are they recognized experts?

? Are there references for their claims? If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

? When was the information written? Has it been updated?

? Can you contact the website owners for more information?

? Are any online support groups moderated by professionals?

? Do they increase your ability to use healthcare resources rather than replace your healthcare professional? Do they keep your information confidential?

Two verified reliable health information sites include:

www.webmd.com WebMD offers general information on health and wellness topics as well as a variety of message boards.

www.mayoclinic.org Minnesota’s own Mayo Clinic has a comprehensive site with symptom checking, first aid help, disease and surgery information.

If you have any health related questions, please feel free to contact me through the church, phone, email or personal visit.

"Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." Matthew 10:16

Linda Peterson, Parish Nurse

Church Office hours; Tuesdays 9am -2pm
First Sunday of the Month: Blood Pressure clinic – visits with health questions welcome.
Church phone 651.439.5970; leave voice mail or staff can relay a message immediately

Email: linda.k.peterson@lakeview.org

 

SPLC Fitness Challenge!
Here We Walk: A Journey with Martin Luther

In honor of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, transport yourself on a virtual journey to Germany and learn about the significant places in the life of Martin Luther.

Make a donation and pick up a map to begin your journey. Donation box and maps located in the office.

Starting whenever you want to start, fill in one square on the map for every 15 minutes of physical activity. For example: walking, yoga, swimming, aerobics, biking - anything that gets you moving COUNTS! If you exercise 30 minutes every day, you will complete the journey in 6 weeks. You may begin a new map for another donation and prize entry if you wish.

Donation of $10/ person. Or $25/ family. Turn in completed maps by Sept. 24 to be entered in GRAND PRIZE drawing of the *pot* on October 1. You may keep the prize or donate it in your name to a church project, mission or fund of your choice.

Fitness challenge created and sponsored by the SPLC Health & Wellness Committee

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