Dear Fellow Children of God,
We saw the opposite of God’s Easter victory at work in our world this past week. ISIS terrorists bombed the airport and metro station in Belgium killing 31 and wounding 270. The very word “terrorist” points to fear, or terror. Fear is what we experience when the evil of life is stronger than we are. Fear and terror are what we experience when there is no answer to the trouble and destruction and death we face in this world.
But, this week Christians celebrate the end of fear and the destruction and terror. Jesus died for the sins of all people and He rose from the dead. In His rising Jesus has defeated sin and Satan and death. For those who believe in Jesus’ resurrection victory we have the presence of God’s conquering love in this life. For those who believe in Jesus’ resurrection victory God gives eternal life, not in this troubled world, but in heaven where there is no more death, no more mourning, no more crying, no more pain. (Revelation 21:4) Listen to what God says to us about Jesus’ victory over sin and death and what God’s victory means to our lives.
· Isaiah 25:7-8 7 On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; 8 he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken.
· Luke 24:5b-6 5 . . . "Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen!
· John 14: 19 b Because I live, you also will live.
· Hebrews 13:6 So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"
· Revelation 1: 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
· Revelation 21: 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
Do you hear the difference that Jesus’ rising from the dead makes? When Jesus rose from death to life this was the most important event in the history of the universe. In Jesus’ resurrection God defeated Satan, good conquered evil, love conquered sin, and life conquers death. And, because Jesus has risen and gives eternal life in heaven to all who believe in Him, we have nothing to fear. There is nothing in this world that overcomes His victory. We can face the terror, the disappointments, the failures, the betrayals, and the illnesses of this world knowing that Jesus has risen and is victorious. So we live in faith and love.
ISIS can threaten injury and even death. That threat can bring momentary fear. Life can cause fear because in our weakness there are problems and enemies we cannot defeat. But Christ has risen. He has overcome sin and death, and all who know Jesus’ resurrection live in this victory.
I pray the victory of Jesus’ resurrection for YOUR life.
A Child of God, Living in the Power of Jesus’ Rising from the Dead,
P.S. Please note the opportunities below to continue to observe and celebrate Jesus’ death for our sin and Jesus’ rising to give us life.
P.P.S. Here are some pictures from last Sunday’s Shane Woods Ice Fishing Outing. https://picasaweb.google.com/114993745799525883148/ShaneWoodsIceFishingMarch202016
P. P.P.S. Thank you to Hunter Richards for filling in for me on Thursday as I work to recover from the flu! Here are some pictures from this year’s Passover Meal. https://picasaweb.google.com/114993745799525883148/PassoverMealStJohnMarch242016#
It is WONDERFUL to have a faithful helper who is so effective at sharing God’s love. Thanks again, Hunter!
ABOUT ‘THOUGHTS FROM THE PASTOR’ - I am sending these e-mail messages, hopefully weekly, to all St. John members and friends whose e-mails I have. (I am regularly adding new names of friends and members – in case you are just receiving this e-mail for the first time.) However, if you don’t want to receive this e-mail, please let me know, and I’ll gladly leave your name off my list for this message.
HOLY WEEK CELEBRATIONS!
· GOOD FRIDAY WORSHIP will again be presented by the youth of St. John, THIS Friday, March 25, at 7:30 p.m. Plan to attend worship on Good Friday and remember the sacrifice of love from our Lord Jesus!
· EASTER FESTIVAL AND EGG HUNT – There is an Easter Festival and Easter Egg hunt planned THIS Saturday, March 26, beginning at 10 a.m. at church. The Easter Egg Hunt begins at noon. This is always a favorite with the families. Plan to attend.
· EASTER WORSHIP Our Easter Sunday Schedule is different than a regular Sunday Schedule. On Easter Sunday, March 27 (this year), our schedule is as follows:
· Easter Sunrise Service is held at 7:00 a.m.
· An Easter Breakfast is offered from 8:00 – 10:30 a.m.
· There is no Sunday School on this day.
· There are Easter Celebration worship services at 9:00 and 11:00 a.m.
Come and celebrate Jesus’ victorious rising from the dead!
· EASTER BREAKFAST – Easter Breakfast is held on Easter Sunday, March 27, from 8:00 – 10:30 a.m. Men, please feel free to join us in cooking and serving. Others are requested and welcome to donate hot cross buns or cinnamon rolls.
· EASTER LILIES – If you would like to donate Easter Lilies for Easter Worship please bring them to St. John by Good Friday
APRIL EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES
APRIL 3 - CONFIRMATION DAY – Confirmation Day 2016 is held on Sunday, April 3. This year 10 young people will share their faith with the congregation in late worship as they are confirmed. Those being confirmed include Lauren Bang, Jade Ellis, Hannah Grosz, Anna Maxwell, Emily McNiven, William Nichols, Gracie Payne, James Stanley, and Luke Theisen . Please keep these young people in prayer as they seek to live as God’s children in a world that fights against faith in Jesus.
FAMILY PROMISE - Family Promise will possibly have families at St. John for help in a time of homelessness beginning Sunday night, April 3 through Sunday noon, April 10. Opportunities to serve and volunteer are available. Kirsten Nelson will be calling those who previously volunteered. However, she says, “If there is anyone that wants to help, but hasn't previously given me their contact information, they could call me at 414-1688.”
A Basic Teachings of the Bible / New Member Class started on March 6 in the Pastor’s Office during the Sunday School Hour beginning at 9:45 a.m. If you want to refresh your knowledge of Scripture, or consider for the first time what God teaches, please feel welcome to attend. In addition, if someone wants to join St. John you could do so by attending this class.
OTHER OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH AND SERVICE
“DUO AMICI” CONCERT
Dr. Tamara McCoy, pianist and mezzo soprano, and classical guitarist Valerie Hartzell, will perform in a concert of instrumental and vocal music to delight the senses, on Tuesday, April 12 at 6:00 p.m. at St. John.
Ms. Hartzell will present Libra Sonatine by Roland Dyens for guitar.
After a short lecture on the first programmatic piano concerto, 'Totentanz' by Franz Liszt, Dr. McCoy will create a multi-sensory experience by performing the solo transcription of Totentanz while displaying the artwork upon which this piece is based. Duo Amici will collaborate on works by de Falla, Carulli, and Boccherini.
(Dr. McCoy is the granddaughter of long time valley residents, Sig and Carol Restad.)
ACOLYTE TRAINING COURSE – An acolyte training class will offered on Saturday, April 16, at 11:00 a.m. If a young person, grade 2 and older, would like to help light candles and serve in worship, plan to attend this class. After class we will visit our local McDonalds.
ALASKA MISSION FOR CHRIST LICENSED DEACON CONTINUING EDUCATION COURSE
Pastor Todd Roeske and Pastor Jonathan Rockey will teach a 2 day continuing education course at St. John for Alaska Licensed deacons, entitled, “Pictures of the Gospel.” This will be offered on Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30. Watch for more information.
CHURCH NURSERY OFFERED AGAIN! – The St. John nursery is again being offered, staffed by Cathy Grosz from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. each Sunday. This provides nursery service during Sunday School and late worship.
The nursery will be available for children ages 1-4 (up to age 5).
While Cathy is the permanent person, we are also looking for volunteers to help staff the nursery. We will keep nursery numbers safe, so the more volunteers the more children can be cared for. Cathy will have a sign-up sheet available.
If you want to donate to support the nursery, please do so. But the nursery is funded for the foreseeable future.
UAA DENTAL HYGIENE CLINIC – Chiemi Karino has been a member of St. John for quite a number of years. She is currently finishing school at UAA to be a Dental Hygienist.
Chiemi says their clinic at UAA needs patients. The clinic does cleanings, exams, Fluoride, X-rays, and Sealants. While there is a cost, the price is greatly reduced over a regular dentist, because this clinic gives students an opportunity to practice their trade.
If you are interested in dental hygiene at a reduced cost, and in helping students, Chiemi asks that you call the UAA Dental Hygiene Clinic at 786-6960.
Chiemi says, Please call!
DID YOU KNOW THAT ST. JOHN HAS A FACEBOOK PAGE? Go to https://www.facebook.com/stjohnpalmer/ and click to be a “friend.”
DID YOU KNOW THAT MUCH INFORMATION ABOUT ST. JOHN is available on our church website? On our web page you can find sermons, newsletters, and these weekly devotions. The link is: http://www.stjohnpalmer.org