Pastor's Message

Janeen Smith, Pastor ~ 26418 Mountain Highway E, Spanaway, WA ~ 253-847-8801

Bethany Lutheran Church

Nov. 13, 2020

Greetings on this windy fall day,
I am thankful for a bit of a break in the rain, and I’m sure those working on my fence are thankful too. After months of delays for several reasons, one yard project will soon be completed. Thank God for glimmers of normalcy.

For our prayers:

  • Randy Nibvar (neighbor to Connie Hopkins) suffered a stroke and is hospitalized. Please pray for our healing God to strengthen Randy and restore him to good health. Send your healing Spirit, O God!

Our gospel reading for Sunday, Nov. 15, is:

Matthew 25:14-30
[Jesus said to the disciples:] 14“For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; 15to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. 17In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. 18But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ 21His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 22And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ 23His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 24Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; 25so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? 27Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. 28So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. 29For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 30As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ ”

Reflection: Do we actually believe that everything we control truly belongs to God, or do we find ourselves doubting this? What changes could we each make in the way we use our resources, that might help us become more faithful to God?

Here are the prayers included in this Sunday’s video worship so that you can more easily follow along. Names added after the recording are in bold so that you may add them as you pray.

November 15 Prayers of the People

Longing for Christ’s reign to come among us, we pray for the outpouring of God’s power on the church, the world, and all in need. Each petition will end with Hear us, O God. Please respond, Your mercy is great.

Lord of the church, ignite your people with the passion of your love. By the fire of your Holy Spirit, unify us across ministries, congregations, and denominations, and refine us to participate in your activity throughout the world. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.

Lord of creation, we stand in awe at the works of your hands and praise you for the beauty of nature. Bless the earth for your glory and restore its integrity where exploitation has caused ruin. Hear us, O God.   Your mercy is great.

Lord of the nations, sound forth your justice in the ears of all leaders. Increase concern for those who are most vulnerable, especially as international leaders forge trade agreements and cooperate to end human rights abuses. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.

Lord of all in need, search out all who cry to you in distress. Scatter the heavy clouds of depression, chronic illness, unemployment, and loneliness with your radiant light. Send us as encouragement and signs of your healing. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.

Lord of the stranger, stir up holy restlessness in us to extend love to those at the margins. Release our desire for control and open us to learn from the perspectives of others. Hear us, O God.  Your mercy is great.

Holy Healer, hear now our petitions for our families and friends: for Vern Hanson, Judy Swan, Ken Smith, Clare Elizabeth Kerr, Karen Crockett, Obe Estby, Sally Pollock, Noelle Kane, Austin Ekman, Marc Olson, Katie Ortega, Ted Fredricks, Terry Harvey, Gary Burbridge, Arlene McBride, Doris Thompson, Beryl Linnell, Doug Holt, Harry Thomas, Liz Hanson, Ken Thompson, Owen Schuetz, Leanne Wells, Wendy Sandor, Cathy Churchill, Joanie Harrelson, Jill & Frank Kerton, and those we name now silently or aloud (Deb Noble-Perry, Randy Nibvar).. Hear us, O God.    Your mercy is great.

Lord of the living and the dead, we give you thanks for all the saints at rest from their labors. Rouse us to live by their example, that saints yet to come may also know your love. Hear us, O God.    Your mercy is great.

Receive our prayers in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior, until that day when you gather all creation around your throne where you will reign forever and ever. Amen.

Our survey revealed that most people who are interested in a virtual fellowship time prefer it to be on Sunday mornings. And so we are bringing back Zoom Coffee Hour at 9:30 AM Sundays. Kelli Bacher will be hosting.  Here is the link to join:  Even if you did not indicate an interest on the survey you are welcome to join!

Here is a hymn for today:  Moments of Prayer (Here From the World We Turn)

Turning to our Lord,
Pastor Janeen