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September 14 Greetings

Do you recognize this? Does it seem vaguely familiar? Where have you seen this before?

This plaque is posted on the right-hand column as we exit the church building and walk toward the parking lot. It is a subtle yet strong reminder of our calling as Christians, and specifically as ELCA Lutheran Christians.

One of my favorite Gospel passages is the encounter between Jesus and Zacchaeus, found in Luke 19:1-10. There are many aspects to the story that jump out:

  • This rich tax collector, who seemingly has it all—is interested in what he has heard about Jesus, enough to go and watch for him
  • The surprising plot twist: Jesus actually seeks him out! 
  • Jesus is judged for being seen with a notorious sinner
  • Because of his encounter with Christ, Zacchaeus chooses to change his life
  • And the point I am emphasizing in this article: Jesus calls this life change “salvation”.

Zacchaeus’s salvation spills over into others’ lives. The definition of salvation then goes beyond going to heaven one day…..it apparently includes how we treat others in this lifetime. The influence of Christ upon Zacchaeus seems to show that salvation is meant to be shared—to have a ripple effect.

So here we are, in the midst of the mission field. Some of us live in Prescott Valley, others in Prescott, Chino Valley and Dewey. Although one can drive by many churches in the area, there are still not enough churches to house all of the Quad City’s population. And we are the only ELCA congregation in this area. We have a unique brand of the faith to offer—one that is described this way on the ELCA’s website:

Freed by the transformative life of Christ, we support ELCA members as they give themselves freely in transforming service with the neighbor. Through a wide range of daily vocations and ministries, we nurture faith, build alliances and gather resources for a healed, reconciled and just world. As church together, we faithfully strive to participate in God’s reconciling work, which prioritizes disenfranchised, vulnerable and displaced people in our communities and the world. We discover and explore our vocations in relation to God through education and moral deliberation. We bear witness to the love of God in Jesus Christ through dialogue and collaboration with ecumenical partners and with other faiths. In all these ministries, God’s generosity flows through us into the life of the world.

This is just a brief section off the website, but it’s enough to show the outward, collaborative, radically loving focus that the ELCA calls us to.

Lilyan discovered a temporary mission field as we travelled through the Navajo reservation during our recent vacation. As many are aware, there are stray dogs roaming around the towns. Lilyan provided two sets of dogs with food and water. This was her choice and Daddy had to let go of the reins a little and, with a little guidance, allow her to experience the feeling of generosity and experience the sad pain of those around us in need. The words from Patterson Yazzie’s recent sermon echoed to us as we drove through the bleak conditions. May we continue to reach out in practical ways to our brothers and sisters living in desperate conditions just a few hours from us.

The mission field is not just for the “Billy Grahams” of the world. Your mission can be simple and can change frequently. Sharing your salvation with others can be as silent as feeding a stray dog.

World hunger, children’s education, new churches, peace, equality, justice, and clean water are just a few of the needs that can be engaged as we share our salvation with others. These are not just needs that we send over to the Outreach Ministry…but a call to all disciples.

The conclusion to the Zaccheaus story are these words of Jesus: “For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost”. What or who in the world feels the most “lost” to you right now? Whatever tugs at your heart and soul might just be your mission field. Again, whether it be the Afghan refugees or the overgrown weeds on the church property…there is a mission for each of us.

Our Faith Formation Ministry at Emmanuel wants to “equip the saints for the work of the ministry” (Ephesians 4). We want to make sure the people of our church feel challenged and encouraged to go out in the world and make a difference for Christ. We have the blessing of new members joining us soon, may we look for opportunities to be examples of growing in our faith so we can invite them on the adventure with us!

As we all know, the pandemic continues, and the numbers are back up inside hospitals everywhere. The following video shares the story of the heroes from one hospital, which could be the same story from hundreds of hospitals across the USA, with the song “Calling All Angels” (by Train) behind it. Listen to the lyrics as they cry out for a sign of love and light in the midst of darkness.

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

Isaiah 52:7

Peace in Christ,


Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Prescott Valley, AZ

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

Office Hours

Monday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Tuesday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Wednesday: 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Thursday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Friday: 9:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m.

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