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October Worship Servers

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Fall Fix September 22nd

Celebrate the first day of autumn and the new church year by helping clean up and “fix up” amazing St. Philip facility and property that enables us to live God’s mission in great ways on Saturday, September 22 from 9am to noon.

In an effort to care for this wonderful blessing, you are invited to help clean up a bit. Spend the morning cleaning, weeding, helping with much needed minor repairs, or landscaping. Many hands make light work for the tasks planned. Even our youngest members can help with small tasks. What a great way to teach them how to be good stewards of the many blessings God gives all of us!

If you would like to participate contact Pastor David or Donna Wright. No experience is necessary.

 

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Intergenerational Faith Formation

On the Second Sunday of each month, starting September 9 (10-10:45am), ALL ages will gather between worship services for a short bible story followed by a service project. Just for 45 minutes. Just once per month. One of the best ways for all of us to grow in faith is to do it together. Growing relationship with God takes the whole village!

In September, as harvest time comes, the bible story will focus on Jesus describing God as a grand sower generously tossing seeds everywhere. The service project will be crafting Mason Jars (hope you are getting the harvest theme) to be shared with hospice patients through Carilion Hospice.

I encourage everyone to be part of these gatherings! If you’d like to help with these in any way, please speak with Juli Albertin or Pastor David.

 

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Faith In Real Life (FIRL) Adult Faith Formation

Growing in faith is a lifelong endeavor! For adults the dance of integrating faith with life on a daily basis is one of the most wonderful and challenging experiences. At St. Philip we want to help make those connections with a variety of opportunities each month.

The first Sunday of each month will be a time for reflection and discussion called “God Moments.” Come prepared to have great conversation answering some pretty standard while also thought-provoking questions. For example: “We pray each week in the Lord’s Prayer ‘Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done.’  How is that happening?”

The second Sunday of each month is dedicated to coming together with all generations of the congregation in an intergenerational faith formation (see the article above).

On the third and fourth Sundays, guests from both within the congregation and members of the greater community will join the class to discuss how faith shapes their call in life. September guests are Debbie Kanode, St. Philip Blood Drive Coordinator and Virginia Vann, Board chair for Elijah’s Backpack.

And finally, on months when a 5th Sunday happens, Pastor David will host an open “ask the pastor” forum.

Please plan to connect with FIRL starting on September 9. All discussions will be in the library, except Intergenerational Faith Formation, which meets in the fellowship hall.

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Global Missions Yard Sale & Take Out Chicken Dinner

On Saturday, October 13, Global Missions will sponsor a take-out chicken dinner. Meal includes half a BBQ chicken, corn on the cob, potato salad or cole slaw, and cookies for $10.00 each. You may pick up your dinner between 5:00 and 7:00pm at the church.

Global Missions will also sponsor a yard sale October 13 from 8:00am to noon. Table spaces may be rented for a small fee. Global Ministry will also host a table. and will be looking for donations for it later in the fall. (Please do NOT bring your items to the church for storage).

Gather your no longer needed valuables and watch for more details in the bulletin, newsletter, the St. Philip Lutheran Facebook page, and on signs around the church.

If you are on Facebook, please check out the event pages for these two opportunities to support the Global Mission team. Share these with your friends and families to make these events even more successful.

Proceeds support St. Philip Global Missions Team and the congregation’s sister parish in Monela, Malawi.

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Italian Night and Silent Auction

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ForwardingFaith Campaign 71:17

Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times. – Martin Luther

St Philip is excited to be participating in the Virginia Synod’s ForwardingFaith initiative. The goal of ForwardingFaith is to endow the youth and faith formation activities, events and programs of the Virginia Synod, ELCA.

We believe in both living and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ joyfully and abundantly throughout our lives. Based on our faith in the Triune God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—we are empowered to live lives of discipleship, service and mercy. We believe in faith formation to Love Feed and Serve others so that we can all Live Like That.

To learn more about the youth programs of the Virginia Synod, click here.

Visit the Virginia Synod website to learn more about the faith formation activities

Ambassadors Community for Theological Study (ACTS)

Power in the Spirit annual conference

Roots and Wings resources for family-based faith formation

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Devotional, October 16

Christ the King Sunday – Colossians 1:11-20

Focus:  Christ the Ruler of All

word of life  

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and indivisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him.”   (Colossians 1:15-16 NRSV)

Read Colossians 1:11-20

The church calendar comes to a close with Christ the King Sunday.  Christ is proclaimed as the one who has dominion over all.  This proclamation is supported by this beautiful text from Colossians.  With its hymn-like qualities, the message of this passage concerning the immediate reign of Christ is intended to be sung higher than the stars and wider than the oceans.

This passage begins with a prayer of strength and patience, but shifts to a resounding confession of faith.  “[Jesus] has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14 NRSV) It is Jesus alone who has the capacity to rescue and save us from the power of darkness in our lives.

  1. Give examples of the power of darkness.
  2. How do we get transferred into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son?

The use of “kingdom” is quite rare in the New Testament outside the gospel accounts of the life of Jesus. This passage implies the transfer to the kingdom of Christ has already occurred.  We have already been rescued and forgiven our sins.  The reign of Christ has already begun.

Sometimes we do not associate Christ as being present at the time of creation, but can limit his presence to his time on this earth.  With soaring language, the author of Colossians proclaims Jesus present at creation, and it is through him all things came into being. Jesus is the first, in that he is the most important of all.

Jesus is the first-born of creation, but also the first born of the dead.  Take a moment to contrast verse 15 and verse 18 in chapter 1.  Christ is not just king and ruler over a few people, but over all of creation. It is Christ which gives us hope of a future beyond our limited time on this earth.

The clearest snapshot we have of God is through Jesus Christ. If asked what God looks like, we can point to Christ as long as we acknowledge that even Christ does not precisely define the vastness and mystery of God.

  1. Describe what God looks like.
  2. What images (if any) best portray the image of God?

Jesus is declared the firstborn of creation.  Most certainly Jesus is the firstborn of the new creation made by God through Jesus on the cross.  He is the head of the church, the body of Christ.  Though he died on the cross and faced humiliation, that reality does not diminish the authority of Christ as the head of the church. It has always been the church of Christ and Christ alone.

  1. Describe what it is like if (and when) a church forgets that Christ is the head of the church.
  2. Describe a church which fully places Christ as its head. 

Word among us
“Holy Spirit defeats Immaculate Conception”
“St. Michael and All Angels dominates”
So reads the headlines on the sports page after a weekend of high school football.

  1. Describe a time when you supported a #1 team or participated in a first place team.
  2. What does it feel like to be #1?

Victory has more to do than the final score of a sporting event. Using #1 language to describe Christ is not typical.  We do not want to get caught up in theology of glory language, but rather proclaim the crucified Jesus Christ.

But on Christ the King Sunday, we could post #1 signs throughout our churches. For on this day of the church year, we resoundingly declare Jesus Christ as number one and head of the church, of the whole of creation, and of the dead.  “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation…” (Colossians 1:15 NRSV)

There is more.  “He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything…” (Colossians 1:18 NRSV)  God has turned the world upside down by bringing Jesus from death to life.  Christ is the first resurrected from the dead.  As we join Christ in our baptism, we join the winning team which through Christ defeats the power of death and sin.  The victory is because of God’s action through Christ.

  1. How does it feel to be part of the first place team established by Christ?
  2. Is this something to brag about and tell others? Explain your answer.

faith practice in daily life

Live among God’s faithful people

This passage from Colossians boldly connects the glory of God with the blood of his cross.  It is through the cross that God has reconciled all things.  God has not been defeated by the powers of darkness which grab hold of us while living in this world.  Instead let us claim our baptismal inheritance and hold tight to Christ as our ruler of our life, church, and world.

  1. What questions do you have about the reign of Christ?
  2. What evidence do you see that Christ reigns triumphant?
  3. What difference does it make that Christ is #1?

Prayer

May we be made strong with all the strength that comes from God’s glorious power, and may we be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to God, who has enabled us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. Amen. (modified verse from Colossians 1:11)

last word

Ponder what it means to be part of the winning team of Christ.