Happy Thanksgiving

A Blessed Thanksgiving to All! No Sunday School this Sunday, November 26th. Sunday School resumes on December 3rd. Please help with a request yourself, or help to spread the word about the need! The Christian Education Committee is looking for “Theme-Based” Baskets that can be raffled at the Eden Christmas Party on December 17th. Examples of what a “Theme-Based” Basket might be include: a basket of cheeses, a “Movie Night” basket with different kinds of popcorn, a “Barbecue Basket” for those who grill in the summer. Interim Period Update. We want to give you an update on the progress Eden has been making in its time of having an Interim Pastor. Pastor Sharon has been working with the Council and with Pastor Jacki to make a written plan that Eden can use as its guide in 2018. Creating this plan was a goal that Council set in August, and has been the focus of the Council’s work with Pastor Sharon. We are happy to tell you that we have made good progress developing this plan, and will be sharing it with the congregation at Eden’s Annual Meeting in January. Look forward to more conversations about Eden’s work in the months following the Annual Meeting also! Pastor...

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Salt

In Worship on All Saints Day, we made a definition: we said a saint is someone who knows that death cannot end love. This past week, as we reflected on the Sutherland Springs tragedy in Texas, we made another definition in Worship, a definition of what faith can be. Our definition for faith was this: Faith is about taking one more step. Faith is about taking one more step towards what is good. Jesus said to his followers, “You are the salt of the earth.” In these modern times, we can miss what a complement Jesus gave to his followers when he said this. Salt was a necessity of life in ancient life and great value was attached to it. Salt was so important in fact that it was sometimes used for money. The Roman soldiers of Jesus’ day were at times paid with it. Jesus also does not say, “You are the salt of the earth” to the powerful and the wealthy. He says this to his followers, who were common people. From this we learn that:     To be salt, we do not have to be spectacular; To be salt, we do not have to be sensational; To be salt, we do not have to be successful; To be salt, we just have to be willing to take one more step.  Faith is about taking one more step. Faith is about taking one more step towards what is good, knowing that we are sustained by the inexhaustible love of God that created us, and that works always to bring our world to redemption. Pastor...

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Happy 72nd Anniversary

We would like to congratulate John and Phyllis Schneider on celebrating their 72nd wedding anniversary today. May God bless them with many more years of joy and happiness together. Prayers for John John was also taken to Alexian Brothers Hospital this week and Pastor Sharon was able to visit with him.  Please keep John and Phyllis in your prayers.

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What Does God’s Help for Us Look Like Now?

A few weeks ago in Worship we asked, “How does God help us in these changing and challenging times in the news and in our world?” “What does God’s help for us look like now?” After Worship one of Eden’s members offered that God helps us by being unchanging, by having an eternal nature. As people of faith, we affirm that this is true. We rely on God’s love for us. We also look for God’s wisdom to help us “sort through” changes in our culture: what is healthy and life-giving in a change, and what is not. This coming Sunday, we will look at little more at how God helps us as we talk about the topic of what it means to be “Salt”, as Jesus calls us. Because we receive so much information in the news, we may feel overwhelmed by important, complicated, and emotionally-charged events. Come join us as we look at how God sees our lives in light of these events. Pastor...

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Totenfest

This coming Sunday, November 5th, we will be celebrating Remembrance Sunday, or Totenfest during our Sunday worship. Totenfest is a celebration that comes from Eden’s ancestor congregation that was German-speaking. Throughout Christian history, the church has remembered the lives of loved ones who have died. And although the name Totenfest is unknown to some of us now, its importance as a special time of remembrance continues. In Germany, Totenfest was also the time of clearing gardens and fields of the summer’s growth in preparation for winter. To this day, Totenfest in parts of Germany is the day families visit the graves of loved ones to clean off the summer flowers and cover the graves with evergreen boughs for the winter. This memorial has roots in All Saints and in All Souls days from the medieval church. Please join us this Sunday for Worship if you have a friend or family member who you would like to remember during this special service. Pastor...

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A Reunion with Samuel and Eli… Just in time for “Reformation”

Last week, I shared in my sermon that I’d enjoyed a “reunion” with the Biblical characters of Samuel and Eli. Why? Because in our September Sunday School class, I reminded our kids that 1 Samuel 3 retells the precious story of a young Samuel discerning the spirit nudges of God’s call on his life. Upon more reflection for the sermon, I’ve appreciated the clear intergenerational nature of the story.  It takes a few tries for Samuel to figure it out, and for that he needs his elder Eli (98 years of age).  What’s more, Eli – burdened by many worries and regrets – doesn’t understand at first what God is up to. It takes the persistence of the young one’s questions for this to become clearer.  Together, you could say, they get to the point of saying “Speak, Lord; your servant is listening.”  The word that comes is a difficult one, challenging the status quo and criticizing those who are abusing their religious power for selfish gain.  God provides this power and insight again and again through history, just as He did for Martin Luther 500 years ago. I’m savoring  this story as a fresh reminder of the sacred space of community we’re called to create, and how this in such contrast to the broken spaces and relationships of this world.  I hope we’ll take this as an invitation to deep listening to God and one another in our sacred space at Eden. Together, we can model a kind of depth of collaborative listening that makes all the difference in a world so broken and in need of Truth.  Together, we can tend the sacred space of God’s work that so many still so desperately hunger for… For the Good News,...

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