One of my favorite Lutheran theological ideas is called the "theology of the cross." I could tell you a lot about that, but it's Friday, so let's keep it simple. (Although if you ever want to invite me for a beer and geek out with me about this topic, that would be one of my favorite days ever.) In my eyes, the best part of the theology of the cross is the idea that we encounter God in unexpected places...places like the person you really don't like, the group that's been pushed to the margins of society, or...dying on a cross. 

As I was writing this week's sermon, I found myself encountering God in a very unexpected place. I kept seeing God in something called the "informal economy," among - believe it or not - waste pickers. (Sermon writing really can take you down some rabbit holes.)

This Sunday, we'll explore what and who gets thrown away in our world, and just what God does with all of that trash. In the meantime, check out this information about the folks who make a living off of all that we cast aside. 


Sunday's Readings
Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalm 51
Hebrews 5:5-10
John 12:20-33

Way of the Shepherd All-Church Conversation   All adult Sunday Morning Education (SME) classes will continue to meet together in Fellowship Hall at 9:30 am to reflect more deeply on our spiritual growth and walk alongside our Way of the Shepherd participants in their journey.  This Sunday's topic is "Grace."

Food Drive
 Pick up a bag outside the Sanctuary, fill it up to support North Raleigh Ministries, and return it to church next Sunday. Sponsored by Senior Adult Ministries.

Candy Donations for Easter Egg Hunt  
Wrapped candy with no nuts can be dropped off in the Narthex through this Sunday. All donations are greatly appreciated.

Call to Prayer, Fasting, and Action   This Lent, we are joining the ELCA campaign to reduce, and address the root causes of, hunger. Fast Skip social networking for a day. Go to facebook.com/breadfortheworld/, facebook.com/ELCAworldhunger/ and facebook.com/elcaadvocacy/ instead to learn how you can make a difference to help lift our neighbors out of poverty .  Pray for those who work with and advocate for hungry people around the world, including foreign aid workers, missionaries, health workers, social workers and lay volunteers.  Act: C ome to our Bread for the World Offering of Letters at Soup Supper on Wednesday, March 21, 5:30 - 6:45 pm. We will be writing advocacy letters on behalf of full government funding for international relief programs. If you can't make it, information and sample letters will be available after worship services this Sunday in the Narthex.  

In case you missed the Stewardship Seminar Survey last Sunday, please take a moment to answer  this quick one-question survey.
 
Can you spare some time to help families in transition March 18-25?   There are still a few opportunities to serve families in our community through Family Promise that are experiencing homelessness. Learn more and sign up to serve

Summerfest Auditions - Monday, March 19, 5:30-7:00 pm - More information and registration is online

Lenten Soup Suppers & Holden Evening Prayer Worship - Wednesdays through March 21  -  Let's share a simple meal together at 5:30 pm before worship at 7:00 pm.

The March Food Barrel in the Narthex is collecting supplies for Family Promise. See a list of needed items .

More information about upcoming events is available in this week's bulletin announcements.

Health and healing for Jim Greengrove, father of Kate Greengrove; Lisa Huff, cousin of Taryn Peachey; and Dave and Roberta Danielson .

For the Orphans of Mnene Parish including Simbarashe Dube and Nodias Sigono.

Simba is 21 and taking Form 5 classes at Mnene Secondary School.  During school breaks (1 month long) he lives with his Grannie where he and his two cousins, also in our support program, help tend the maize and vegetable garden on their homestead. He visited with our 2017 mission team at Victoria Falls. His Mail For Mnene partner is the Kovac family.  

Nodius is 18 and had been attending Form 3 classes at Msume Secondary School. He was having behavior issues, and the Mnene staff are looking for a more suitable placement. He has an outgoing personality and looks up to his four older siblings (all in our support program), several of whom are now in post-secondary education. He visited with our 2017 mission team.  His Mail For Mnene partners are the Plavocos & Strawbridge families.

Visit the Wittenberg Information Center in the Narthex for photos of this week's orphans and  more information on the Mnene Ministry.

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