Weekly News from St. John’s and St. Paul’s for March 29, 2020

Church Activities: As ordered by Governor Reynolds, all in-person church activities will be canceled through April 7th, including Wednesday night worship and Sunday services. We hope that we can be together again in person soon, but that will depend on the advice of federal, state, and local officials. In the meantime, Wednesday night worship will be offered electronically on the church Facebook page. A joint worship service with other Dubuque area Lutheran churches, in partnership with Wartburg Theological Seminary will be offered Sunday at 9 a.m., through a video chat service called Zoom. This service will also be live streamed on the church Facebook page. 

You can reach the interactive online version of worship Sunday live at 9:00am by clicking here. If prompted to “Download and run Zoom,” simply follow the instructions given to get started. 

You can also reach it from any phone by calling 646-558-8656 and entering code 887 508 411#. Do note that this is not a local number, so it may be preferable to use a cell phone rather than a land line for those who would be affected by long distance charges.

Announcements: While we are unable to gather in person, weekly announcements and the Parish Twine will be distributed via email. If you do not wish to receive weekly announcements, or have received this email in error, please contact Marge at margefelderman@netins.net

Church Bells: Along with other churches throughout our region, we will begin ringing the church bells at 8 PM every evening as a reminder to gather together in prayer. As you hear the bells, you are invited to pray and remember that, though distant, we are never truly separated from one another.

Pastoral Visitation: Local hospitals and care facilities have suspended in-person pastoral visitation in most cases at this time. Pastor Will does plan to check in with church members over the phone during this time, so please continue to keep him informed about pastoral needs. 

In our prayers: Judy Ambrosy, Jane Barnes, Christine Burns, Shirley Busch, Mary Ann Clasen, Erwin Felderman, Janice Felderman, Reese Felderman, Roger and Sue Hanselmann, Tom Harmon, Ruth Hingtgen, Mary Kay Hobart, Elaine Hueneke, Richard Hueneke, Lorraine Knief, Kielyn Pitts, Rev. Duane Priebe, Abraham Saraka, Lorna Swehla, Kemora Von Thun, Diane Wallace.

Thrivent:  We are thankful to our Thrivent members who have directed their Choice Dollars to our church. If you have not directed yours for the past year, you may do so until March 31 either responding to their email or call a Customer Care professional at 800-847-4836, and say “Thrivent Choice” when prompted.

Every day is Earth Day! The St. John’s Sunday School will be collecting used markers and batteries between now and Earth Day, April 22nd.  Watch for more information.

Support St. John’s Through Your Purchases! Are you an Amazon shopper?  We have signed up with the Amazon Smile Foundation to offer a program by which a percentage of your purchases with Amazon will come back to St. John’s.  It’s super easy. When you first start out, you have to use the following link:  https://smile.amazon.com/ch/421101128  You will use this link each time you want to shop and support!  This link still will work with your regular Amazon account but will direct link to St. John’s.  It asks if you will be supporting the church through this link, and you do have to use it every time you shop.  I’ve bookmarked it on my computer for easy access, and it shows the organization we are supporting right underneath my search bar on the site. It does say Bellevue, which is our mailing address, but we are linked correctly, and it’s all ready to accept contributions. If you have any questions, please let me know!  Happy shopping and supporting! – Julie Busch, Treasurer

Electronic Giving

During this time that we are unable to gather in person, you can still support your congregation through electronic giving. 

St. John’s* has signed up with Tithe.ly and now offers a way you can do electronic giving right from the convenience of your home. 

On the giving form, you can also choose to cover that additional fee. You can also set up an account, where you can instantly see your personal giving statements and other information.

To get started, visitstjohnsandstpauls.org/give/  

If you have any questions, please contact Julie Busch @ jkb2280@gmail.com or call 563/599-5968.

*St. Paul’s has not yet set up this program. St. Paul’s members, please contact Pastor Will or church treasurer Ruth Hintgen for information about ways to contribute during this unusual time. 

Readings for This Week

Gospel: John 11:1-45

1 Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. 3 So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4 But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5 Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, 6 after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. 7 Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. 10 But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.” 11 After saying this, he told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.” 12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.” 13 Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. 14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” 17 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, 19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.” 28 When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29 And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32 When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. 34 He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus began to weep. 36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” 38 Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” 45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

First Reading: Ezekiel 37:1-14

1 The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. 3 He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6 I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.” 7 So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8 I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. 9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” 10 I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude. 11 Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, “Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ 12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. 14 I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.”

Psalm: Psalm 130

1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord. 2 Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications! 3 If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? 4 But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered. 5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; 6 my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning. 7 O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem. 8 It is he who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.

Second Reading: Romans 8:6-11

6 To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.