September 23, 2021
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
for Sunday, Sept. 26
2 Corinthians 8:7-15
Rev. gail Wolling
Hearts are a favorite topic for the psalmist. Clean hearts, secret hearts, broken hearts. Hearts of stone, hearts shrouded in darkness. We stash all manner of bits and bones in our secret hearts. We tuck away hurts and hopes, fears and frustrations. Our outsides might be civilized but our hearts are the naked truth.
When I was young I tucked away in my secret heart my own private dream. I knew I wanted to be a ballerina …. or a princess, either one would do. I was sure that if I could just become one of these things all would be well with my world. All it would take was the white mohair sweater in the window of a local store. I subtly hinted about upcoming birthday gifts. When I opened my present, my eternally practical mother had lovingly purchased a utilitarian white cardigan of the most basic design. My dream was crushed! I knew that I would never be a ballerina…..or a princess.
I am so ill-fitted to be a ballerina or a princess that this childhood dream is laughable now but what if I had never let go of the expectation? What if I tucked my disappointment away where it could turn into entitlement and envy?
Then there are sins. We have a dark chamber in our heart where we tuck away the sins that are too terrible to be named. We hide them from outsiders for sure, but what is worse, we hide them from ourselves. We have another chamber to store our hurts and wounds – those words flung at us in anger or spoken without regard for our feelings. We store them away so we can bring them out, polish them off and be outraged (and hurt) once again.
It is no surprise that Jesus points to our hearts as the secret repository of evil, envy, slander, pride, and folly. These are the dangerous toxins that threaten everyone, not what you eat. Whether you eat Italian or Thai makes no difference at all when it comes to righteousness. So we pray, ‘create in me a clean heart, O Lord, and renew a right spirit within me.’ Lord, save me from myself.
1Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around [Jesus], 2they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. 3(For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; 4and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) 5So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” 6He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,
‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
7in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.’
8You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.”
14Then he called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: 15there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.”
21For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, 22adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. 23All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
• 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 victims of wildfires, flooding and earthquakes.
• For Pastor Ivy Gauvin, Gene Heil, Roy Pihl, George and Janet Balcom, Beverly Klang, Trudy Fetzner, Thom Shagla, Matt Isaacson, Dave Bentley, Joe Gauvin, Emerson Allaby, Skip Anderson, Karen Brown and Sarah Van Staalduinen, those serving in the military and law enforcement and their families, including Ben Wickerham, 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.
August 22 – Ned Lindstrom (Communion)
29 – Ned Lindstrom
September 5 – Katie Castro
12 – Frann Wilson (Communion)
19 – Frann Wilson (Communion)
26 – Katie Castro
October 3 – Katie Castro
10 – Frann Wilson (Communion)
17 – Frann Wilson (Communion)
24 – Katie Castro
31 - TBD if needed
COVID update –
Vaccinated – no mask required, 6’ social distancing not required, hymnals available
Unvaccinated – masks remain mandatory, social distancing recommended
We continue to have our offering plate at the back of our church and not pass the plate. We will also continue to remain at our seats during communion with individual cups.
Chautauqua County has recently been categorized as HIGH for COVID transmissions. Bemus Point new cases – 2. Stay safe out there!
***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.
DRIVE IN SERVICE
on FM 98.3
Starting with the Sept. 12 service, we will be transitioning to a ‘normal’ service.
What this looks like for those needing to remain outside:
- Beginning with a 5 minute Prelude, we will turn on the radio for anyone outside
- We will no longer advertise the DI service or have a beginning or ending
announcement (unless people BEG for me to continue J)
- Bulletins and communion cups will be handed out by the ushers after you arrive
as we discontinue the ‘ladder’ set up
- If you have an offering, please give it to the usher when she comes out with your
bulletin or communion cup
- The service will creep up slowly to 40 minutes
Please let us know if there is anything else we can do to make your worship more meaningful
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Place: 3748 Rt. 430
Length: 30 minutes
5 Loaves & 2 Fish Backpack Ministry
Gearing up for 21/22 School Year
It’s time to start thinking about donating your time and/or items of food to the 5 & 2 Ministry at St. Timothy serving Bemus
Point and Chautauqua students. We will resume packing bags on the 3rd Tuesday of the month and would love to have you respond to Gale Svenson-Campbell if you’re able to help.
We are also in need of Slim Jims and 1.5 oz bags of pretzels. (anything too much larger won’t fit in the bag.) Sam’s Club no longer has a ready supply available to order.
As always, we’re excited to start up for another school year. Fighting childhood hunger in our community one child at a time!
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! Contact Gale-Svenson-Campbell for details .
***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! Contact Gale-Svenson-Campbell for details .
5 & 2 Ministry Food Bins Donated to Date: 93
***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.
The Women of the ELCA Joint Conference Retreat, scheduled for Saturday, September 18th, has been cancelled due to the increase in COVID-19 cases. The Planning Committee is very disappointed to have to make this announcement, but feels it is in the best health safety of everyone to make this decision now.
Please announce this to your congregations as soon as possible. We are very excited about the retreat and still plan to hold it at another time. So, watch for more information in the future as it becomes available.
Thank you so much for your understanding. Please stay well and safe in these uncertain times.
In Christ’s service,
Lois Rumfelt, Secretary
Upstate New York Synod, Women of the ELCA
TIME IS RUNNING OUT!
Time is running out to sign up for the final 2021 in-person Lutheran Marriage Encounter Weekend presented by the Northeast Area. The Weekend is planned for October 15-17, 2021, at the lovely Hyatt Place Pittsburgh/Cranberry, a half hour north of Pittsburgh. The Weekend has helped over 3 million couples improve their communication and closeness in marriage by giving couples tools to keep nurturing their love.
The hotel needs our count ASAP, so go to NOW, and reserve your spot before rooms have to be released. The registration fee has been waived for this year, so you pay only the amount for 2 nights in your group-rate hotel room and 5 meals for each of you which for this Weekend is: $298, so only $149 per person. Also, scholarship funds are available for anyone in need. Simply e-mail or call us at the information below before you register.
Weekends begin at 8 PM on Friday night and end at approximately 3 PM on Sunday. Simply go to: , click on the October 15-17 Weekend at Hyatt Place, fill out the form, and pay with a credit card, or mark the option to pay by a check, and you will be given an address to mail it. Don't miss this opportunity to create a more intimate and joyful marital relationship! For questions, please contact Northeast US Directors of Lutheran Marriage Encounter, Fred & Julie Schamber, or call: 724-325-3166.
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.