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CommUnity News
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18th Sunday after Pentecost
October 4, 2020
Click on the link below to join our worship service:
https://zoom.us/j/93572683852?pwd=V3ljei9HQkc5dVdRZi95RGVUcGxyZz09
Meeting ID: 935 7268 3852
Passcode: unity

Or to join by telephone:
  +1-587-328-1099
 Meeting ID: 935 7268 3852
Passcode: 548159
"There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watchtower.'" (Matthew 21:33)
Today's worship texts

One definition of a parable is “an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.” The gospel for this Sunday is a parable about a vineyard, but we understand that the story is really about the call to accept and honour Christ as our master. We worship Christ, the Son of God, the cornerstone who secures our lives.
 

Prayer of the Day

Beloved God, from you come all things that are good. Lead us by the inspiration of your Spirit to know those things that are right, and by your merciful guidance, help us to do them, through Jesus Christ, our SavioUr and Lord.
Amen.

 

First Reading: Isaiah 5:1-7

The prophet sings a sad, parable-like love song about the relationship between God and Israel. In this song Israel is compared to a promising vineyard. Despite God’s loving care, the vineyard that is Israel has brought forth “wild grapes” of injustice and distress, when fine grapes of justice and righteousness were expected.

 1Let me sing for my beloved
  my love-song concerning his vineyard:
 My beloved had a vineyard
  on a very fertile hill.
 2He dug it and cleared it of stones,
  and planted it with choice vines;
 he built a watchtower in the midst of it,
  and hewed out a wine vat in it;
 he expected it to yield grapes,
  but it yielded wild grapes.

 3And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem
  and people of Judah,
 judge between me
  and my vineyard.
 4What more was there to do for my vineyard
  that I have not done in it?
 When I expected it to yield grapes,
  why did it yield wild grapes?

 5And now I will tell you
  what I will do to my vineyard.
 I will remove its hedge,
  and it shall be devoured;
 I will break down its wall,
  and it shall be trampled down.
 6I will make it a waste;
  it shall not be pruned or hoed,
  and it shall be overgrown with briers and thorns;
 I will also command the clouds
  that they rain no rain upon it.

 7For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts
  is the house of Israel,
 and the people of Judah
  are his pleasant planting;
 he expected justice,
  but saw bloodshed;
 righteousness,
  but heard a cry!
 

Gospel Reading: Matthew 21:33-46

Jesus tells a parable to the religious leaders who are plotting his death, revealing that their plans will, ironically, bring about the fulfillment of scripture.
[Jesus said to the people:] 33“Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. 34When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. 35But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. 37Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.’ 39So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.”
  42Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures: 
 ‘The stone that the builders rejected
  has become the cornerstone;
 this was the Lord’s doing,
  and it is amazing in our eyes’?
43Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. 44The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.”
  45When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. 46They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.
Monday Youth Classes

4:30-5:00 pm Junior Confirmation (Grade 5 and below)

5:00 - 5:30 pm Confirmation (Grade 6 and up)


There will be no classes on Thanksgiving Monday.
Tuesday Book Study,
7 - 8 pm

Use the Sunday worship zoom link to access.

The meeting will open at 6:45 pm for check in and conversation before we begin.

We will be starting our next book Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans soon. You are welcome to join in.
Wednesday Fellowship, 1 - 2 pm

Bring your own lawn chair and drink. (Pam has got the right idea!)

In case of bad weather, our fellowship time will move to Zoom (use the Sunday worship link).
All Saints Sunday is November 1st.

Since our worship is online this year, we can be creative in how we mark this important feast day. Send me a picture of a loved one who has died (spouse, child, friend, grandparent, parent).

I need to receive them by Sunday, October 18th to have time to edit them together (so send them in now!)
For children (and the young at heart)

Here is this week's children's bulletin and a colouring page for old and young alike. Use the pages with your children and grandchildren (or for yourself!)

Children's Bulletin

Colouring Page
Normally this is the time of year we would be collecting loose change for Campus Ministry. You can still give to support this important ministry throughout our Synod (including at Medicine Hat College). Include your gift with your offering this month, just mark it as a special offering on your offering envelope or in the comments on your e-transfer.
October Message from Bishop Larry Kochendorfer
 

Dear Beloved of God –

Please permit me a bit of grandparent boasting time. This is new – for me, for my spouse, Cathy, for our family, and for our granddaughter.

She arrived several weeks early. I predicted the date, early as it was. I just had a feeling. Teighan Rhylee Kochendorfer arrived Thursday, July 9th, the anniversary of my ordination 31 years ago.

Teighan was in the NICU for several days, then transferred to another hospital for monitoring – all in the midst of COVID-19 hospital restrictions. We finally saw her nearly two weeks after her birth.

Though I guessed her birthday, I was a bit off on the time, convinced she would be born in the wee hours of the night, and I was off by a few ounces. She was 4 pounds, 9 ounces at birth, lost weight after, and was a staggering 4 pounds 7 ounces when she was discharged and I was able to first cradle her in my arms.

I have been pondering these past weeks. Wondering what it might be for me to be a Papa, and Cathy a Nana. Reflecting on this remarkable, mysterious gestation, germination, quickening, and birth. It feels very much like the remarkable, mysterious gestation, germination, quickening, and birth of this coronavirus adventure. A journey, an opportunity that invites us to where we do not determine the route, the result, or the final outcome. Where we walk in the midst of disorientation and anxiety, frustration and uncertainty, and through resiliency, imagination, generosity, experimentation, and learning.

Gestation: a silent, mystifying coming together. Conception. Watching and waiting. Listening. Deep observation. Listening. A place of impulse and intuition. And, listening.

Germination: a hushed, still gathering. Sprouting and incubating. A place of dreams and possibility, aches and wonders. Where imagination and ideas are whispered, tried, and set aside. Where words are too inadequate for what one is trying to describe.

Ah, the Quickening: a magical moment. The first fluttering movement, like a butterfly, proving that life has drawn together. A poke from a limb. For months, the cells have been growing until it’s clear: something new is here. Still unknown, nameless, and unfamiliar. A journey for months – perhaps years – moving toward a new season. Some clarity. An awareness of the opportunity. A coming into being. Something coming, but not yet arrived.

Birth: an effort of deep pain and instant love. A labor of shedding pain and turning to that which is alive, new. The wondrous becoming familiar. And new energy and gifts and passion, for what might be.

I am reflecting on this remarkable, mysterious gestation, germination, quickening, and birth of Teighan Rhylee Kochendorfer. And, this Papa’s love that knows no bounds.

I am also continuing to ponder this parallel coronavirus adventure. And the grace and mercy of God’s promised presence on the journey, and the love of God, which knows no bounds.

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

In Christ Jesus – Shalom, +Larry

September Unity Council Notes
 
  • Worship.   For health reasons and the safety of our congregation, it is still prudent to have zoom church services.  Our congregation’s demographics are very vulnerable to COVID-19 and chances should not be taken.  These services will continue “as is” with a little extra time at the end of the service for visiting and fellowship.
  • Snow Removal.  As Dale has been informed by his insurance company that he cannot insure the snow removal vehicle on his personal insurance anymore, the church must assume the insurance if the vehicle is kept.  Snow removal options were discussed as follows:    

            1. Should we hire a snow removal company?

            2. Should we construct a shed, keep the vehicle and pay the insurance?
            3. Other options (none)   

After discussion, council voted to construct the shed, keep the vehicle and pay the insurance at an estimated cost of $6,500.  For information, it would have cost as much to hire a snow removal company for one year as to build a shed for the vehicle and pay the annual insurance costs.  Dale will begin to build the shed as soon as possible.  

  • Accessibility Lift.   The lift did not pass the inspection this year and must be fixed to meet standards.  A part for the lift has been ordered but until it is fixed, it cannot be used.  This will have an estimated repair cost of $1000.  
  • Senior’s Government Benefit of $300.  Thank you to all the seniors who donated part or all of their benefit to the church.  This has given our offering over the summer a big boost.  
Thank you for your offering!
Your continuing generosity at this time is greatly appreciated!


Our offering for August was $8,770 (our budget is $8,750).

You can give by joining PAR (your offering is debited automatically);

by  e-transfer, using the church's email unitymh@yahoo.com
(it's an automatic deposit without a security question)

by mail or by dropping it off at the church
599 - 12 Street NW, T1A 6R3
Copyright © 2020 Unity Lutheran Church, All rights reserved.


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