Return to Your Scars

I have, just right of center on my forehead, a scar.

It's small now, but when I was a kid it was much larger.

I was one of those unfortunate few who actually had two bouts with chicken pox as a kid. These days kids don't get it, I don't think...until some super strain comes alive again.

But I had it twice. The first was a mild case, faint and brief. I barely remember it. The second bout, though, was worse: in my mouth, my ears, all over my body, pox marked me.

I remember my mother stayed home with me and I had one of my friends, also suffering from the pox, come over as well while I was out of school for those days. I was told to hug my brothers. If I was going to have it, we all had to get it.

And that scar? That scar was from one of the pox on my forehead. It itched so badly, and I scratched so hard...

That scar, though, was a reminder for me for the rest of my childhood to let wounds heal, and heal as well as possible. Don't pick at them, because they'll scar.

It was a bit of a blemish on my forehead (but let's be honest, it's not like I have a super stylish forehead anyway...and my hairline went ahead and added to the real estate up there, so you barely notice the scar anymore).

But that blemish was an ugly reminder for me.

This weeks gospel lesson (John 3:14-21) is all about ugly reminders. You may not think of it that way, but it is.

Go ahead and read it before I go on. I'll wait. It's too familiar for you to not actually read in full, so go ahead and click here.

What do you know most from this section of John's gospel? Read more.
Sunday's Readings
Numbers 21:4-9
Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22
Ephesians 2:1-10
John 3:14-21

Daylight Savings Time Starts This Sunday! Be sure to set your clocks ahead one hour before you go to sleep on Saturday night.

Way of the Shepherd All-Church Conversation   All adult Sunday Morning Education (SME) classes will continue to meet together in Fellowship Hall 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 "Cross."

Last Day to Drop of Mail for Mnene Is This Sunday  We are collecting letters for our orphans in Mnene at the table in the Narthex. Everyone is invited to send letters of love and support.  

The Endowment Committee is accepting grant applications through this Sunday. Information regarding the Fund, including authorized uses and application form for grant funds, is available online

Call to Prayer, Fasting, and Action  This Lent, we are joining the ELCA campaign to reduce, and address the root causes of, hunger. Fast: This week, s kip your show on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon and watch "John's Story" or "Rosie's Story" (or any other informational video) to find out how Bread for the World is working to end hunger at home and abroad by 2030.  Pray for our neighbors who depend on SNAP, WIC, and other food benefit programs, especially those who are elderly, children, or veterans. Pray for our many neighbors who must choose between heating their home, paying medical bills, or buying food.  Act Participate in our Bread for the World Offering of Letters during Soup Supper on Wednesday March 14, 5:30 - 6:45 pm. All ages can participate. Take a moment to find out who your representative is before you come. 

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.

Moms Against Gun Violence - Saturday, March 10, 2:00-4:00 pm at Panera on Glenwood Avenue - More information is available here.

Candy Donations for Easter Egg Hunt Needed - Wrapped candy with no nuts are greatly appreciated. Place in the bin in the Narthex through March 18.

Can you spare some time to help families in transition March 18-25?  This Lent, prayerfully consider inviting family or friends to join us in serving families in our community through Family Promise that are experiencing homelessness. Learn more and sign up to serve

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

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

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

Thanksgiving for the birth of Zane William Gonyier, son of  Christina and Dwaine.

Sympathy  to  Tom Cooper and family on the death of his mother, Rachel Cooper, and to Barbara Kjellberg and family at the death of her sister-in-law, Ella Hube .

For the Orphans of Mnene Parish , including Rosemary Mpofu and Freeman Moyo .

Rosemary is 22 and recently completed her "attachment" (internship) in hairdressing. She has returned to Zvishavane Vocational School to complete her studies.  After an 8-year pen pal relationship with her GSLC "adoptive" family, Rosemary and Katy Peachey finally met when Katy went on our 2017 mission team visit.  Rosemary's Mail For Mnene partners are the Peachy & Fusaro families.
 
Freeman is a quiet, friendly 17 year old young man.  He is taking Form 4 classes at Mnene Secondary School.  During school breaks (1 month long), he lives with his grandmother who is very poor.  He is the middle child of five siblings who have received support through our GSLC support program.  His Mail For Mnene partner is the O'Neill family.

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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