October 17 Greetings
Dear Ones,

We all will agree: this has been a weird year so far! The only thing we seem to be able to count on is that we can’t count on things being normal. Years ago in a small group of church friends, we were sharing answers to icebreaker questions of all sorts. One of the questions asked was, “What do you want engraved on your tombstone?” Someone said, both humorously and honestly, “One word—OOPS!” They went on to explain that word seemed appropriate because their life had seemed less planned and more happenstance. They also shared that life has often been unsettling, but also full of pleasant surprises and blessings in unexpected moments.
Sometimes to me, 2020 has felt a little like an “OOPS”life has been unsettling, plans have had to change, we’re not sure of the future in terms of the usual events and activities, and we continue to wait for an end to this pandemic.There is a well-known jazz song from the early 60’s that summarizes well this strange year of COVID-19 that we have been living through.
A year that’s tough to find the rhythm to, and a year that takes a little more effort to find the silver linings and blessings. The song by Dave Brubeck is called “Unsquare Dance”, and the challenge of the hypnotic tune is to find the beat. The top of this video displays the counting of the beat, with the time signature being in 7/4…see if you can track the beat.
For people of faith, we pray that we have eyes to see and ears to hear where God’s hand is moving us during this unique time in history. We seek the Spirit’s direction and guidance, as it often feels like we are wandering in the dark, tripping over some things along the way during this unprecedented time. In fact, for most of us, life this year has been anything but the ability to see things with 20/20 vision!
I am very thankful for Emmanuel Lutheran Church, for how lovingly careful we have been about protecting our vulnerable and not jumping too quickly back into our normal church routines. Though we grieve not being able to fellowship, worship or do much outreach together, we continually weigh the cost and make decisions out of love for our church family and our community.
Which of these three do you believe was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Luke 10: 36-37
The parable of The Good Samaritan seems to provide us with a decent set of lenses from which to view a big part of our mission today. May we continue to be those who choose to love our neighbor—the strangers who may be hurt along the side of life’s road during this pandemic. Here is a coloring page based in this theme:
We successfully relaunched our grief support group this week, using Zoom. I will send out the link for the next grief group so you can help spread the word, or join us!
This week we will relaunch our emotional wellness group! Please let me know if you’re interested. Contact me at adamwbissell@yahoo.com or 928-710-5532.
We continue to ask the youth of Emmanuel a set of questions, to check in with them and help our congregation get to know them, and to hold them in prayer. Here are Adin’s responses:
  1. Tell us about how you spend your time and your favorite hobbies.
  2. Tell us what you have learned about God and your faith in the last year.
  3. Tell us one way God can work through us during this pandemic.
  4. Tell us one reason you’re thankful about your family.
  5. Tell us what you miss the most about not being able to gather as a youth group or church because of COVID-19.
  1. I like playing with my stuffed dinosaurs, building with Legos and playing games on my iPad.
  2. That even when times are tough, God is still with me.
  3. We can help people who are in need.
  4. I am thankful for my family because they are fun and they feed me and shelter me.
  5. I miss seeing my friends.
Love therefore the stranger, for ye were strangers yourselves in the land of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 10:19
Peace in Christ ~
Adam
Emmanuel Lutheran Church

7763 E.Long Look
Prescott Valley, AZ 86314
PH (928) 772-4135 • FX (928) 759-3541
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