April 8, 2021
for Sunday, April 11
1 John 1:1--2:2
The Rev. Jo Page, Dean, Hudson Conference
For ten years I served a congregation where most people either worked or had worked at the GE Research and Development Center. In other words’ I served a congregation full of
scientists. They wanted
proof about everything. Replace the roof? Let's get fifteen, twenty and thirty-year performance charts on roofing materials.
Become the first Reconciling ’n Christ congregation in the Upstate New York Synod? Let's research scientific, sociological and medical data on the etiology of sexual orientations.
Imagine them as Thomas: Trust the word of your friends that Jesus is ri’en and “as been ”anging out with you? Oh, they'd have wante’ to put their hands in those sorry woun’s. They would have needed proof.
And you know what’ I love that kind of thorough-going insistence on reality. I respect the honesty-and the ’ravery-of doubt. We shouldn't make "doubting" a pejorative adjective. Because if we don't ’ave our doubts about things, then we're just not pay’ng attention.
Because why shouldn't Thomas hav“ had his doubts? He was one of the most passion”te of the disciples. In John's gospel, when Jesus decides he w“nts to go through dangerous territory to comfort Lazarus' fami”y, Thomas shows the greatest devotion “o Jesus' ministry. Disregardin” his own safety, he says, "Let us go also, that we may die there with him."
At the last supper, he presses Jesus for concrete details: "We do not know the way you are going. How can we know the way?" You hear the urgency in those words. "Tell us what it all means, God" is so often the ardent prayer of our own he’rts.
The disciples flee when Jesus is crucified. Thomas, who said he would die with Jesus, does no such thing. But Thomas is’not really any worse than anybody else for talking a bigger game than he could play. Judas had betrayed Jesus. P“ter had den”ed him. Only Jesus' mother, a few women “nd his one ”eloved disciple stayed ti’l the end.
When he hears news of the resurrection, Thomas doesn't believe it. But neither did the other disciples when the women told them about it, thinking they were telling "idle tales." And instead of being a fool, believing "idle tales," Thomas wants to be Jesus' trusted disciple, doing ministry face-to-face. His concern for seei’g, for touching is consistent with his views of ministry-direct and hands-on, making the ministry and message of Jesus real.
Maybe we can go so far as to say that Thomas was ’ doubter, or at least stubborn. And yes, there does appear to be a tone of reproach in Jesus' wo’ds to him. But Jesus always has expected hard things from his followers: Turn the other cheek, love your enemies, do not judge, do not be a hypocrite, do not worry. And that's just from“one of his sermons!”
Nevertheless, when Thomas finally does put his hands in Christ's wounds, he’says what none ’f the other disciples have yet said. Thomas takes the peace that Jesus gives to him and turns it into a remarkable confession of his own resurrected faith: "My Lord and my God!"
Thank God for the story of Thomas. Thank God for Thomas who is not anybody's fool, but God's new creation: the disciple transformed by faith to see the still unseen yet still revealed Godhead in the risen Jesus Christ! Alleluia, Christ is risen. Christ is risen, indeed!
19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the h‘use where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the ’ews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with yo‘.' 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to ’hem again, 'Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.' 22When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to ‘hem, 'Receive the Holy’Spirit. 23If you forgi‘e the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.'
24But Thomas (who was called the Twin), o’e of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, 'We have seen the Lord.' But he said to them, 'Unless I see the mark‘of the nails in hi’ hands, and put my finger i‘ the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.'
26 A week later his disciples were ag’in in the house, and Tho‘as was with them. A’though the doors were ‘hut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you.' 27Then he said to Thomas, 'Put your finge’ here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.' 28Thomas answered him, 'My Lord and my God!' 29Jesus said to him, 'Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to b’lieve.'
• For our community of faith as we seek to do God’s work in the world.
• For those in our congregation and community who suffer silently with illness, financial burdens, and family obligation.
• For people affected by coronavirus, their families, essential workers, doctors, nurses, aides, those working in nursing homes, etc.
• For ictims of wildfires, flooding and earthquakes.
• For family and friends of Maj-Britt Traynor, Gene Heil, Pastor Ivy Gauvin, Karen Johnson, Roy Pihl, George and Janet Balcom, Beverly Klang, Trudy Fetzner, Mabel Tranum, Thom Shagla, Matt Isaacson, Alice Swartz, Karen Brown, Dave Bentley, Dan Burns, Beth Gardner, Barb Mattern, Joseph Gauvin, Emerson Allaby, Sarah Van Staalduinen, and Dick Starks.
• For those serving in the military and law enforcement and their families, including Ben Wickerham and Jeffrey Clauson, those caught up in violence and war who have no safe home in which to live.
• For all children, that the love of Christ may reach them through all of us who have resources to love, protect, pray and provide for them.
• For the ELCZ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe and ELCZa Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia.
Names will remain of the Prayer List for a month - at which
time it will be taken off unless, or course, there is still a continued need
for our prayers and we’re asked to keep the name on.
Communion Sundays will be on the
1st and 3rd Sundays this month due to Easter
Adult Bible Study
We will start a new Bible Study on Sunday, April 25th in the council library room. This 4 week Bible Study of Hannah in the book of Samuel, will focus on how God uses us in chaos and challenge. It is titled “The Year that Changed the World” by “The Potter House” Please call Sarah if you have any questions - 450-2986.
MajBritt Traynor Funeral
Friday, June 25 at 1:00 pm
St. Timothy Lutheran Church
Pr. Dan Rumfelt presiding
Both In Person and Drive In formats
MajBritt’s obituary will be in the Post Journal on Saturday.
From Pastor Ivy:
Greetings friends. Jeremiah 29:11 reads, “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” This is one of the scripture texts that has been encouraging me throughout the process of recovery following my back surgery. I hope it speaks to you as well.
I miss you all so much. For much of my recovery so far, it’s been a story of 3 steps forward and 1 back. However, I’ve also had a couple of setbacks that make it more like 2 steps forward and 3 back.
One of the best results of my back surgery is that I can once again sleep in bed. I was unable to do so for about a year…and I’m sleeping so much better! The doctor did not allow me to begin physical therapy until February. I did really well…until I didn’t. The long and short of it is that now I’m doing aqua therapy in North East, PA. After that, I’ll return to regular “land” therapy.
When will I be returning to work? I won’t know anything until my next visit with the surgeon in May. We’ll see what happens then.
By the way, I want to thank all of you for your cards and notes and prayers. When I was unable to pray for myself, your prayers carried me.
I think of and pray for you often. I am with you in spirit on Sundays as Ray and I worship with you as we listen to the service on the radio.
May God bless and keep you all always. Remember God’s plans for you “to give you a future with hope.”
In Christ’s peace,
***While Pastor Ivy is out recuperating, you can contact Pastor Heather Allport-Cohoon if there is a need for pastoral care. She can be reached at 716-708-6466.
***We continuously collect food items for the 5 & 2 Ministry. Bring your donations and place in the black bin in church narthex. Lists detailing items needed are also available in the narthex. Monetary donations welcome!
***5 & 2 Ministry Food Bins Donated to Date: 92
5 Loaves and 2 Fish Backpack Ministry has just accepted a request from Chautauqua Lake BOCES to be included in the program. We’re so pleased at St. Timothy to be able add them to our list to pack for.
***ONLINE GIVING now available at St. Timothy for Debit/Credit cards. 3 ways to give:
- Go directly to our website at
- Use our QR code with the QR reader on your smartphone
- Download the app ‘GivePlus Church’. Create an account.
For further information, see Kathy Carlson on Sundays or call her at 485-1316.