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The Bellringer
April 2018


April 1
Easter Festival Service
10:00 a.m.
Easter Breakfast
8:30-9:30 a.m.
Kids’ Activities & Egg Hunt
9:15 a.m.

April 3, 10, 17, 24
Lesson Study
11:00 a.m.

April 8
Serving Faith Mission Dinner
5:00 p.m.

April 10
Mary Martha Circle
7:00 p.m.

April 11
Lydia Ruth Circle
10:00 a.m.

April 7
Men’s Bible Study at Panera
9:00 a.m.

April 15, 29
Catechism Class
11:15 a.m.

April 22
Youth Bake Sale for
Houston Trip

Worship Service 10:00 a.m.
Join us for coffee and conversation in the parlor before and after Sunday School and Worship.
Sunday School:
Adults – 8:45 a.m
Children – 9:00 a.m.



From The Pastor

About 19 years ago, a colleague gifted me a signed copy of Mark Allan Powell’s book, Jesus as a Figure in History: How Modern Historians View the Man from Galilee. I will confess that even though I admire Dr. Powell as one of my favorite professors from my seminary days, I have not actually read that book. I have skimmed through it once or twice and always wanted to get around to it, but I have never actually delved into it. Dr. Powell quotes E.P. Sanders, author of The Historical Figure of Jesus in the introduction: “On a spring morning in about the year 30 AD, three men were executed by the Roman authorities in Judea. Two were “brigands” … the third was executed as another type of political criminal. He had not robbed, pillaged, murdered or even stored arms. He was convicted, however, of having claimed to be “king of the Jews” – a political title. Those who looked on … doubtless thought that … the world would little note what happened that spring morning … It turned out, of course, that the third man, Jesus of Nazareth, would become one of the most important figures in human history.”

Many folks in our congregation have grown to appreciate the teachings of Dr. Powell. He has written a few of the recent Bible studies for the Women of the ELCA, and I have heard overwhelming appreciation for his work. He is now in a time of transition, moving from Ohio to Arizona, where he hopes to teach classes remotely for the seminary and cut back on his teaching and writing responsibilities. Hard to believe that a scholar who came to Trinity Seminary the same year I entered as a new student is now retiring!

Recently I discovered a video series that Dr. Powell put together to accompany that book which my colleague gave me called “What are They Doing to Jesus?” Newspapers, magazines, television are presenting "new" information about Jesus all the time. What can be said about Jesus that people of all faiths, or no faith, would affirm? This DVD course will examine the opinions of modern historians concerning the life and work of Jesus. It will try to determine whether historical studies of Jesus undermine the Christian faith or in fact confirm and support our religious confessions.

Here is the schedule for Adult Sunday school during the Sundays following Easter:
April 8 - Historians Discover Jesus: Five modern historians: Crossan, Borg, Sanders,
Meier, Wright.
April 15 - Jesus Outside the Bible: Ancient writers such as Apocryphal Gospels, Josephus.
April 22 - The Jesus Seminar: The most controversial modern look at Jesus.
April 29 - Jesus and Politics: Was Jesus a revolutionary? Just a non-conformist?
May 6 – Pastor Bonny Kinnunen will talk about Oesterlen Services for Youth
May 13 - Did Jesus work miracles?: Historians treat the difficult questions regarding
"supernatural" events.
May 20 - Who killed Jesus - and why?: A summary of arguments involving the crucifixion of Jesus.

I hope you will join us in the parlor at 8:45 for the videos and discussion that follows. As we consider our faith in the risen Lord, it will be good to deal honestly and openly with different ideas about who Jesus was and is, as presented by a faithful Lutheran Biblical scholar.




You are invited to bring some fresh-cut flowers to place on our old rugged cross to make it a symbol of beauty and joy. Attach them any time before the worship service on the chicken wire surrounding the cross.


Join us at the annual Easter Breakfast, served 8:30-9:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday, as we celebrate the Resurrection of Our Lord. We will need lots of volunteers to prepare and serve the breakfast.


On Easter Sunday, all children are invited to participate in the Easter Egg Hunt at Clinton Heights. Meet in the Gathering Room at 9:15 a.m. to begin the fun.


Thank you to everyone who has contributed in various ways to our youth as they prepare for the National Youth Gathering in Houston Texas June 27-July 1. They will be riding a bus with groups from Advent Lutheran in Upper Arlington and All Shepherd’s Lutheran in Lewis Center. They have tickets to see the Houston Astros play the Toronto Blue Jays their first afternoon in Houston, and to tour NASA the day after the gathering ends before heading home. During the gathering they will experience God through their friends, speakers, music, servanthood and many other ways. As they continue to prepare, please keep them in your prayers, and where you see opportunities to help them, please be generous.

There will be a bake sale on Sunday, April 22, after church – please watch for announcements in bulletins and weekly updates.

Also, the youth will have a rummage sale on Saturday, May 19. If you have items you would like to donate (no clothes, please) either bring them to church on a Sunday morning and we can store them in the youth room, or call the church to arrange for someone to come pick them up.


When our high-school youth attend the ELCA Youth Gathering in Houston this summer, they would like to take books with them for one of the gathering’s projects – Houston Literacy Campaign. The Gathering has recognized the need to lift up literacy in Houston. Building a foundation of literacy starts before entering Kindergarten. Students who read at home become strong writers, critical thinkers, and more successful students than those who do not. Houston Independent School District estimates that 74% of their students come from families who struggle to provide books for their children. Books donated at the Gathering will be distributed at book fairs, camps and other events around the city.

You are invited to join in the book gathering; however, only new or gently used books identified by the Houston district will be accepted. The list of forty books or book series is posted on the church narthex bulletin board and at elca.org/youthgathering.


This month the men of the church will meet on the first Sunday of the month, April 7, at Panera for our regular gathering to enjoy fellowship, conversation and prayer. Our Bible text will be from 2 Samuel 11:1-27, the story of David and Bathsheba. Everything had been going King David’s way. He had acquired the admiration of all Israel, numerous wives and children, stunning military victories and expansion, as well as God’s promise that his house and kingdom would endure forever. But was that enough for him? How much of anything is enough for us? We gather at 9:00 and begin our study at 9:30, closing with prayer at 10:30. Join us!

Welcome to WELCA!

April Meetings:
Mary Martha Circle – Tuesday, April 10 , 7:00 p.m.
Study Leader: Nancy Labuhn Hostess: Elaine Botkin
Lydia Ruth Circle – Wednesday, April 11 , 10:00 a.m.
Study Leader: Eda Jane Spivey

Our April Bible study continues the series by Pastor Mark Allan Powell. This month we will consider the story of The Prodigal Son found in Luke 15:11-32. We will discuss what we think the story is really about, how it affects us individually, which characters in the story we identify with and details we may not have previously noticed about the story. These have been wonderful lessons with lots of interesting discussion. Come join us!

WELCA encourages you to support our youth by collecting books for them to take to the Houston convention this summer. Houston is requesting specific titles so be sure to take a look at the list before you buy or sort through your gently used children’s books. The youth will also be participating in various fundraising activities for their trip which we encourage you to support. We have a terrific group of young men and women whose experiences at the 2018 convention will strengthen their faith and affirm their love of God.

Spring Cleaning! There may be an opportunity this month to share all those extra and unwanted household items with clients at Faith Mission who are moving into housing from homelessness. Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks.

For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of the singing of birds is come.
Song of Solomon 2:11,12