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June 5 Greetings

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One of the aspects of my job as a hospice chaplain that is truly a privilege is something we call “life review”. When patients and families sign up for hospice care, our job as a staff is to get to know them as quickly as possible in order to have our best chance at meeting their needs. A shared method that many of us utilize is called “life review,” which is a clinical way of saying we converse over the ups and downs, the joys and sorrows and the general highlights of their lives.

With this life-review approach, I often use the metaphor of seeing our lives as a book/novel: with chapters, themes, characters, events and values that played out along the way. I will ask questions like:


  • Tell me about the favorite chapter in your life book.
  • What characters in your story have played key roles in who you are as a person?
  • What characters were in the story for a long time, and what other characters may have been very short-lived but meaningful?
  • What particular moments are you most thankful for?
  • What chapters might you like to erase if you could?
  • What events are significant to you as you come to the end of your story?
  • What values have carried you through the joys and sorrows of life?
  • How do you want your story to end?

One can see the spiritual journey of people’s lives as we step back and format their story into the book metaphor. Relationships, the need for grace for oneself and others, the ability to find gratitude in the midst of difficulty, the search for meaning and greater purpose—these are all subjects that can be revealed through these discussions.

You can see why it is such a privilege for me to be a part of these encounters. To be entrusted with some of the most intimate details and chapters of people’s lives is a gift and has only expanded my own faith journey.

This concept of life review and the viewing of life as story metaphor is certainly not original on my part. Jesus turned to stories as a way to relate to his disciples and the world in general. Luke states “Jesus told them a story to teach them...” (Luke 18:1). The words we choose in our story matter — for example, while the word “prodigal” does not appear in the Bible, it is a word that represents wasteful living, as well as careless and imprudent spending. This biblical truth (Luke 15) of the 35 word story is reduced to three words: The Prodigal Son. When someone says this phrase, we all know the implications and the applications.

So what’s your story? This “life review” idea could inspire some great journaling. Where do you find God within your chapters? What story in the Bible speaks the most to you? One can also see how some of these questions might inspire some small group/Bible study questions! One need not wait until your final days to review your life and find the meaning and messages along the way!

As Pastor Tricia announced in Thursday’s daily email, there are some exciting things happening at Emmanuel. The Church in a Changing World Task Force has moved into stage five of our pandemic reopening plan: all the chairs will be back in the sanctuary, there is no limit on numbers, and those fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks!

We continue to encourage masks and distancing for those who choose or are not able to be vaccinated, including children. The new “normal” includes the following:

  • we will continue to receive communion using the individual kits,
  • we ask that everyone sign in at the Welcome table so that we have everyone’s phone number in the event that we need to contact trace, and
  • we will have our offering plate at the welcome table to avoid passing from hand to hand.

All this begins tomorrow! If you are most comfortable still wearing a mask and distancing, that is okay too. Please join us at 9:00 a.m. for the live-streamed traditional service or the 11:00 a.m. contemporary service as we go bravely into a new way of being church!


With this return to open worship, we are in dire need of worship team members! Would you be willing to be a greeter, an usher, a liturgist or staff the welcome table? It takes many hands to make our worship happen. If you have done one of these tasks in the past or are totally new at it, please let Pr. Tricia or Mary in the office know, or contact Carol Northrup at carol.northrup@verizon.net.

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It is wonderful to have some things returning to normal, so beginning this Sunday, June 6, we will resume collection food items for the Prescott Valley Food Pantry at 8781 Spouse. Here are the items most needed:

  • canned fruits
  • canned vegetables
  • tuna
  • canned chicken
  • pasta
  • mac & cheese
  • peanut butter
  • boxed cereal
  • rice

Cash donations are always appreciated so they can fill in with items such as fresh food, breads and meats.

Let your story be inspired by listening to others’ stories!

Christian musician Jeremy Camp wrote the powerful song “I Still Believe” after he lost his young wife to cancer soon after they were married. This inspiring story is now a movie by the same title. Maybe his story is one you can relate to.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir from West Point singing Battle Hymn of the Republic

A Bible verse for today:

But make sure that in your hearts you honor Christ as Lord. Always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks you about the hope you have. Be ready to give the reason for it. But do it gently and with respect.

1 Peter 3:15

Peace in Christ~


Emmanuel Lutheran Church,

Prescott Valley, AZ

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Emmanuel Lutheran Church

7763 E. Long Look Dr.

Prescott Valley, AZ 86314

PH (928) 772-4135

FX (928) 759-3541

website: emmanuellutheranpv.org

email: emmanuelelca@gmail.com

submissions: ELCPVnews@gmail.com

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