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CommUnity News
March 7, 2021
Click here to join our zoom worship service at 10 AM
The third covenant in this year’s Lenten readings is the central one of Israel’s history: the gift of the law to those God freed from slavery. The commandments begin with the statement that because God alone has freed us from the powers that oppressed us, we are to let nothing else claim first place in our lives. When Jesus throws the merchants out of the temple, he is defending the worship of God alone and rejecting the ways commerce and profit-making can become our gods. The Ten Commandments are essential to our baptismal call: centered first in God’s liberating love, we strive to live out justice and mercy in our communities and the world.
Today's readings and intercessions can be found here.
A big thank you to Leah for leading worship today, and for Rev. Nancy Cocks for preaching.

Our next book study is Barbara Brown Taylor's Learning to Walk in the Dark.

We will begin later in March.

If you are interested, you can find the book info and purchase it here

Offered by the Kiwanis in Medicine Hat -- Tuesday, March 9 @ 12:15 pm (approx)

Jennifer Kerslake, Director, Community Engagement at the Medicine Hat College is speaking. The College, three school districts, the police services, and others have organized sessions where assistance is offered to parents, teachers, police services, and others that may help to lessen the negative effects of depression and mental health. They have held several ZOOM information sessions where hundreds joined in to listen and ask questions.

For the Zoom login information, please contact Pastor Jeff.

Offered by the Synod -- a Zoom Workshop for Lay Leaders: Personal Wellness and Faithful Service
March 11, 2021, 7 - 9 PM

Our church communities have had to adjust substantially, and many parishioners report increased levels of strain (e.g., stress/anxiety, fatigue, grief, and isolation/loneliness) and also at times limitations in their personal and spiritual resources that contribute to personal wellness which is essential for ongoing service to our churches. This 2-hour workshop and dialogue session will explore psychologically and spiritually relevant themes for lay leaders. Our intention is to provide helpful information and to offer suggestions for ongoing self-care in the midst of the pandemic. 

To register, click here.

March 2021 Message from Bishop Larry Kochendorfer

Dear Beloved of God –

Recently the Annual Study Conference concluded. During the Conference, as is our Synod’s long practice, I shared a Bishop’s Time with those gathered...this year via ZOOM.
It’s nearly been one year....COVID-19. It is incredible to note that a year has come and gone. Together we continue to seek to listen, discern and explore how we might support, encourage, and innovate for mission and ministry in a constantly changing context.

There are new opportunities and possibilities before us, including recommitting to a missional model of listening, discerning, experimenting, reflecting, and learning. And, all the while, asking the questions: where is God in our neighborhood? Our community? Our world? And equally importantly: how might we join God in God’s mission?

In this liminal time, we are seeking to wonder, reflect, pray, discern, imagining what wants to emerge, to be birthed:

What have we learned about what is most important in our life together as the body of Christ? And how can we use that knowledge to shape how we will live, work, and serve together? What might we bring into the future from this experience?

What new skills have we picked up? What other skills and gifts will we need to embrace a new future?

What relationships/collaborations/partnerships will we need to initiate or strengthen in the months ahead?

What were the things that seemed so important before the coronavirus crisis that we might give less attention to, or let go of altogether?

What is/are our greatest asset(s) now?

I believe...and what I am hearing across our that we are discovering that we have the capacity to be more creative and flexible than we had imagined.

I believe...and what I am hearing across our that we are discovering that we have the desire and willingness to work cooperatively, with innovation, and are learning together from our experiments, including our missteps.

I continue to be moved, impressed, and filled with gratitude during this coronavirus wilderness for rostered and lay leaders, congregations, specialized ministries, and our strengthening relationship across the synod and church. For pastoral support, connection, compassion and care offered. For creativity, ingenuity, openness, support, encouragement and trust-building.

Opportunities for imagining, experimenting, risk-taking, innovating, and learning abound in this time even in the midst of yes, anxiety and disorientation.

May our Lenten journey be one of deeper reflection, attentive listening and wise discernment as we seek to be the Beloved of God.

In Christ Jesus –
+Bishop Larry Kochendorfer
“The God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

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