Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost – September 4, 2022

We gather in person / livestream / recording this 13th Sunday after Pentecost, Sept. 4th at 10 am.

We are blessed to welcome retired Pastor Gary Stevenson (former Mt. Cross Director and Light of Life member), as our presider and preacher this Sunday. Pastor Jim and family are attending a wedding in San Diego.

This Sunday the gospel reading is one of those “hard sayings” of Jesus. Sorry Gary…  J.  But it is meant to really grab the attention of those around Jesus as he prepares them for the resistance to his message of God’s love and grace for all, which they already are beginning to experience. “Hate” is a very strong word in our culture and needs to be understood differently in Jesus’ context as “turning away from”, instead of the more evil connotations we associate it with. One thing is for sure: when we truly live out the gospel of Jesus Christ, there will be those who are deeply offended because it tears down things that people have built up to exclude the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind.

The bulletin and Celebrate scripture readings and prayers are attached, so that you can participate in worship even if you are not able to attend church in-person. Holy Communion will be celebrated, so please have some bread and fruit of the vine ready if you are at home.

Let’s continue to be gracious and merciful with one another as we continue to struggle with a lingering pandemic.

  1. Masks are still highly encouraged due to our singing in church.
  2. Physical distancing is still highly encouraged.
  3. Holy Communion will be offered from Pastor Jim at the front of the church. You can still choose to receive it from the pre-sealed elements.

You can still attend worship through the Livestream at 10:00 am Sunday found on our website and as a recording later in the day here.

There is usually a Children’s Church / Sunday School program planned during worship. It is held in the Family Room adjacent to the sanctuary beginning right before the scripture readings and ending after the offering. We love having children in church and all that brings as part of worship! Thanks to Leslie Lapp for leading this ministry.

Coffee Fellowship:  Please contact our Church Administrator Leslie if you are willing to host. There are new protocols which include: Serving the coffee (bring your own mug), Having any goodies on small individual plates spread out on a larger table.


  • For Mt. Cross outgoing Director Adam Erickson and Rev. Sara Erickson as they end their service. For the Mt. Cross Board as they seek an Interim.
  • For Tara McMilin as she grieves the loss of her father.
  • For George Trippel, Sandra and his family as he moves to assisted living.
  • For Kyle Lapp as he continues an inpatient treatment program.
  • Thanksgiving for the life of Tom Dunham, a faithful supporter of Santa Cruz al Salvador, and for his wife Judith as she mourns.
  • For Iglesia Luterana Santa Maria Peregrina in Stockton as they received formal apologies and a visit from ELCA leaders from the Latino Ministries Association on July 17th, in order to begin to rebuild trust, reconciliation and healing as part of our Sierra Pacific Synod.
  • For our Sierra Pacific Synod as we engage with Interim Bishop Claire Burkat (retired -from Pennsylvania). Help her leadership begin to address our own racism and heal from distrust resulting of the conflicts and events of the last year. For the Holy Spirit’s guidance as an investigation takes place into the removal of Pastor Nelson Rabell-Gonzalez and as Pastor Meghan Rohrer is brought up on disciplinary charges.
  • For thanksgiving and continued healing for Janet Slay’s grandson Tyler, as he makes his adjustments to living independently.
  • For Miller, Shelby, April, Marty and other young adults we know, as they struggle mightily with the world and all its ways that harm them. Bring them to healing and wholeness and grace and new life.

Church office hours are now Mon-Fri. 12noon – 5pm.

Thank you for your continued faithfulness in your financial giving back to God through our church. Please remember to either give your offering through the mail, through our website donation option, signing up for monthly electronic giving, or bringing it by the church office during the week.

Flowers for Worship: Please sign up to provide flowers in honor of someone or a special occasion as another way to offer yourself in worship to God. The Flower Chart will be available at worship, or you can call the church office – 476-4700.

Other notes:

  • Donations are being collected at church for Socks and Toiletries.  These will go towards our work with serving those who take part in our Association of Faith Communities programs for the unhoused, and for the Walnut Avenue Women’s Center respectively.
  • Habitat for Humanity Lunches.  We will be providing Lunches (sandwiches, chips, fruit & cookies) for 10 volunteers.  Reply to this email or call the office if you would like to help out.
  • A few copies of “White Fragility” are available to borrow.  Call the office to inquire. This is a congregation-wide perspective that we are trying to adopt as we seek better understanding about the roots of racism, its consequences, and how our lives can better reflect an anti-racism perspective.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Jim