NEWS  CORNER

Social Ministry

Easter Food Bags
23 Easter dinner bags and $70 and 254 pounds of food were donated.  Thank you for sharing your Easter joy with those who would not have a dinner without our help.

Heifer

$285 was raised to purchase seedlings, chicks, ducks, geese, and honeybees to support a family.  Make Way for Ducklings raised $75 so our combined total was $360.

Souperbowl of Caring
$20 and 113 pounds of food was collected by church members, Make Way For Ducklings collected 113 cans of food to celebrate 100 days of school, and those who use our building filled the container in the lobby.  The grad total of what was given to the Open Pantry was 270 pounds of food..



Mitten Tree
47 hats, 29 pairs of gloves, 10 scarves, 6 pairs of mittens, 5 pairs of socks, one pair of slippers, and a muff.


Thanksgiving Bags
39 Thanksgiving dinners collected!  In addition, $70 in cash was also donated.  Thanks to everyone who helped provide a Thanksgiving meal to folks who are struggling to put food on the table.

Crop Walk
We raised $864 to feed the hungry through the work of Church World Service.   It is through our collective giving that we helped feed the hungry globally and money is also donated to the fuel assistance program and food pantries/soup kitchens locally.

Community Garden
Our garden produced wonderful vegetables for the Open Pantry.

Quilting
The quilting group completed 34 quilts! 


Action Centered Tutoring Services (
ACTS)

Is a free one-to-one program that combines mentoring with tutoring for the children of Springfield, grades kindergarten through fifth grade.  Tutor/mentors are required to commit for two hours a week for the school year. Orientation and training is provided. Please contact Pastor Lauren if interested in this program.

Meals at Friends of the Homeless
We serve a lunch and a dinner each month at Friends of the Homeless.


The Beacon Messenger
Download a copy of our May Newsletter here

From the Pastor

Peace Be With You

“When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”  After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side.  Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.  As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:19-22)

This passage is often referred to as the first Pentecost.  Jesus breathes on the disciples and says, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”  They are now equipped to go out into the world with the good news of God’s great love toward us, the news that our sins are forgiven, and the news of eternal life, all because of Jesus death and resurrection for the world God loves so dearly.

This is Jesus’ first appearance to the disciples.  They have been in hiding since Jesus was arrested, imprisoned, tortured and crucified.  Note he does not say to them where were you during my suffering.  He does not even mention it.  Instead he enters the room and offers peace to his beloved disciples.  He is saying our relationship is still good.  Jesus is not angry or disappointed with them.  He picks up where they left off in the garden of Gethsemane.

“Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1)  We hear these words of peace and understand that we too are made right with God.  Sin separates us from God.  Jesus took away our sin and left us in right-standing with God.  We are at peace with God.  This gift is possible through Jesus’ suffering and death for our sake and through his resurrection.

After Jesus greets them with peace Jesus shows them his hands and his side.  Then they rejoiced.  We remember that Thomas was not present and when he heard the news of Jesus’ resurrection he did not believe it.  He asked for the same proof the disciples received during Jesus’ first visit, seeing and touching Jesus’ wounds.  The next week Jesus appears again and this time Thomas was with them.  Jesus offers the same proof, but Thomas does not need to see or touch Jesus’ hands and side, he believes.

In Acts we read that the Spirit was given to everyone on Pentecost.  Now even more people can share the good news.  “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.” (John 14:27)  God offering us God’s peace is amazing, but how many of us are truly amazed.  We love to exchange the peace with one another in church, it is a social thing.  But God’s peace cost Jesus everything, the next time you greet someone with, “Peace be with you” think about what this required from God and what a gift it is for us.

The English word “peace” is too limiting for us to truly appreciate.  In western society we equate peace with the absence of war or conflict.  In Hebrew it means, “Wholeness, completeness, soundness, health, safety and prosperity, harmony, welfare, tranquility and of course peace, carrying with it the implication of permanence.”  In scripture Shalom is wished upon people as well as groups of people.  It brings us closer to understanding what Jesus has in mind when he speaks of the Kingdom of God.

In God’s kingdom all people live together in harmony, all are loved and all love each other.  All have enough, not as we experience now some having too much and many having too little.  People are in good health and are safe from all threats.  When we share Shalom we live as God intended us to live, we live into the kingdom. 

We are given the Holy Spirit in our baptism, God’s Spirit dwells in us guiding us, teaching us how to live, comforting us when we need it, and giving us strength to live as God’s beloved children in community.  As we share the joy of Easter let us dedicate ourselves to Shalom.

In Christ’s Shalom, Pastor Lauren

Thank You!!!!!

  • Sue Mariotti for our Lenten art work.
  • Mike Dufault for hanging banners.
  • Norma and Art Semle for coordinating the Easter dinner bags.
  • Marybeth Lewison for organizing the Easter Breakfast.
  • Mike Lewison for ordering the Easter flowers, Sue Mariotti for arranging them.
  • Evelyn Morris, Jay Cleaveland and Mike Lewison for counting all the extra offerings.
  • Our musicians: Joe Green, Jeff Dostal, and Clark Seibold for wonderful Holy Week music.
  • Our Lenten soup makers: Jay Cleaveland, Shirley Flanders, Carol Haglund, and Duncan Hunter.
  • David Valenze for installing a new door closer.

Sunday Dinner May 19th 12pm.
Our favorite caterer is back and we are pleased to host another delicious dinner, this time Chicken Francaise.  Invite your friends, fill a table, enjoy a delicious meal and great fellowship.  Tickets will be $13.00per person.  They will be available on April 28th.

Adult Education – The Acts of the Apostles
On April 28th we will begin a new study, the Acts of the Apostles.   The Holy Spirit is clearly at work in Acts, pouring out on people from many nations on the day of Pentecost, giving Jesus’ disciples the power to speak boldly, gathering early believers together for worship, and sending out Peter and Paul as missionaries. In this course, participants will examine the beginnings of the church and will find meaningful connections between the early church and the church today.
This 8-session course explores selected passages from Acts.
1. The Spirit Creates Community (Acts 2:1-47)
2. The Empowering Spirit (Acts 4:1-37)
3. The Spirit on the Margins (Acts 8:1-40)
4. The Conversion of Peter (Acts 10:1-48)
5. World Upside Down (Acts 17:1-34)
6. A Riot in Ephesus (Acts 19:1-41)
7. On Trial for the Resurrection (Acts 24:1-27)
8. And So We Came to Rome (Acts 28:1-31).
Join us Sunday’s at 9am behind the organ.  Bring your coffee and perhaps a friend. 

    Social Ministry

    What we just completed

    Heifer Fund congregation raised $285.  MWFD raised $75.  Total $360!!!

    Easter Dinner bags 23, weighing 254 pounds, and $70

    What we are doing now
    Quilts will be shipped in May

    What is coming next

    Planting the garden

    Heifer
    Pastor Lauren read animal stories to the Make Way for Ducklings children and told them about the Heifer program.  The children did chores around the house and brought in the pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters they raised.  The children collected $75.  The church raised $285 bringing our combined total to $360!  Wonderful support for this ministry.

    Remembering in Prayer
    We all share in the ministry of intercessory prayer.  We are called individually to pray each day and as a gathered community of faith in worship.  If you have someone we need to include in our prayers please notify our church office.


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    Bethesda Lutheran Church      East Church, Congregational      Address: 455 Island Pond Rd.  Springfield, MA 01118      Ph: 413-733-4494      Email: Admin@BethesdaSpringfield.org