First Sunday of Advent, November 29, 2020
The holy gospel according to Mark. Glory to you, O Lord.
Jesus said: 24“In those days, after that suffering,
the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light,
25and the stars will be falling from heaven,
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
26Then they will see ‘the Son-of-Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. 27Then the Son-of-Man will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
28“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
32“But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. 34It is like someone going on a journey, who leaving home and putting the slaves in charge of their own work, commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. 35Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the lord of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, 36or else coming suddenly, the lord may find you asleep. 37And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”
The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
“Almighty God grant us a quiet night and peace at the last.” That’s how Compline, or Night Prayer, begins. Compline is the last prayer office of the day in the monastery before monks return to their cells for sleep. Night Prayer begins the period of Great Silence, when no talk is undertaken until silence is broken the next morning.
This opening statement of Night Prayer asks for a good night’s rest. But it also points to the end of life, our death. Each day in the monastery spiritually is a mini life cycle when retiring for bed is a symbol of our own death.
Another version of the opening sentence of Night Prayer is more abrupt: “The Lord Almighty grant us a peaceful night and a perfect end.”
The remembrance of our mortality is a healthy feature of the Christian spiritual life, especially when such acknowledgment deepens our faith and trust in almighty God. Night Prayer is not just for monks – we can pray it, too, and there is an order for Night Prayer in Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Likewise, we all, not just monks, need reminders of our mortality to be spiritually healthy.
Join us outdoors (with facial covering and maintaining appropriate distance) on Sunday, November 29 at 12:15 on the Potomac Street side of the church for a brief service of worship in conjunction of the food collection for AFAC. This brief service includes an order for confession and forgiveness, a reading and reflection, prayers of intercession, the Lord’s Prayer and a blessing. This has become an important way that we can safely gather as church during the pandemic.
Advent Evening Prayer via Zoom
Advent Devotional Reflections
Watch your Home Worship Constant Contact messages on coming Saturdays for links to Advent devotions written by members of Resurrection. There will be a written reflection and invitation to prayer for each of the four Sundays in Advent based on selected verses from each Sunday’s first reading from the lectionary. Many thanks to our members who have generously offered their time, energy and creativity to serve our communal devotions during Advent.
Advent Wreaths for your Home
To aid your home worship during Advent, supplies for making Advent wreaths for your home will be provided for pick up this coming Sunday, November 29 in conjunction with the AFAC food drive. Many thanks to Angie for arranging for this opportunity.
Gifts of Hope for Advent 1
1st Sunday in Advent: Hope
“There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.” -Proverbs 23:18. Gifts of Hope, a program within our local ELCA Synod, helps give hope. Our congregation’s support of this program is translated into direct service by local and global organizations that help those in need. Many choose to give in honor of someone they know and end up changing the life of another they don’t know. This Advent season, will you consider giving a gift of hope? Visit www.giftsofhopedc.org for more information.
Home Christmas Decoration Photos for our Christmas Home Worship Video
Burmeister Family Farewell and Godspeed via Zoom
Mark your calendars now so that you can participate in a Farewell and Godspeed occasion for the Burmeister family who are now settled in their new home in Colorado. This virtual event will begin at 7:00 pm Eastern on Saturday, December 12. Plan to join us as we thank the Burmeister’s for their time with us in our congregation and for their leadership during important times of transition here. A Zoom link will be sent in a special Constant Contact message on a day preceding this occasion on December 12.
Your Giving Intent is Important
Despite the challenges we currently face, we have so much to be thankful for this holiday season. As we begin a new church year, we’re all more aware than ever of the importance of God’s love and how much our church community means to us, even when it’s hard for us to be together in person. If you haven’t done so already, please take a few minutes to share your intention to support Resurrection’s worship, ministries and programs in the coming year. Just mail the intent card you received to the church office or use the online giving intent form. Our congregation leaders need to know your giving plans as they try to prepare for the coming year.
For Your Prayers at Home:
In addition to our usual prayers of intercession in our home worship, we encourage your prayers throughout the week for the following: the family of Don Oaks (Dave Oaks’ father) who died in Christ earlier this month; Barb Jensen; Charlotte Boeck; Don Hansen; Gretchen Zeltner; Lynn Kiewel; John Beston; Frank Fuelling; Carl Lacey; Heidi Dech; Father Phillip Swingler; Sandy Browne; Angie; Kyler; Debbie; Kat; Jeanne; Russ; Jamie..
Coming in January: Elections for New Members of the RELC Congregation Council!
Elections for new members of RELC's Congregation Council will take place as usual at our Annual Congregational Meeting in January. The Congregation Council serves as a core team of leaders for our congregation as we undertake together as a local church God’s mission in the world. These are both exciting and challenging times for our church, for our nation, and for our world. If you have passion about the future directions of Resurrection Church’s mission, and if you sense the possible nudges of God’s call to you to serve on Council, please engage in prayerful discernment about becoming a nominee for election to the Council.
You may contact members of this year's Nominating Committee for more information, to express interest in being nominated or to enquire about how to nominate someone else:
Bible Study on Selected Passages from Matthew via Zoom
Another Opportunity for Bible Study, Lectio Divina, and Supportive Conversation
Join us for about an hour every other Thursday morning at 11:00 am on Zoom for Bible Study, lectio divina and conversation about the upcoming Sunday’s Gospel reading. Pastor Linman leads these occasions. Spending time with our appointed Gospel readings promises to enrich the experience of Sunday Home Worship. The next such occasion is Thursday, December 3.
On the alternating Thursdays, this group gathers for fellowship, checking in and supporting each other, as well as spending time discussing the reflection questions from the previous Sunday sermon.
Faith in Action — Social Ministry Update
Words of Thanks from Non-Profits We Support
We recently received letters of thanks from the following social service organizations which Resurrection Church supports under the auspices of our Social Ministry Committee:
- National Capital Treatment and Recovery (Patient Assistance Fund)
- Fellowship Square (for the benefit of Fellowship House senior residents)
- New Hope Housing (homeless shelter)
- A-Span (serving the homeless)
- Arlington Food Assistance Center (for our hundreds of pounds of donated items)
Provided is a Home Faith Formation Calendar, updated each week with the following week’s recorded content. For those who couldn’t tune in live, see those resources available to you now. Check out too suggestive home activities, lectionary readings, and resources for racial justice for all ages.
AFAC Food Collection
When: November 29 from 11:00am – 1:00pm
Where: Washington Blvd. Entrance
November Financial Update. The below chart is a summary of RELC’s finances for the year to date as of September 30, 2020. The columns titled “(a) YTD Giving,” “(b) YTD Expenses” and “(c) Giving minus Expenses” provide key data for our three primary financial funds. This data shows that our giving is below our actual expenses for the YTD and well below our giving levels for this time last year. We continue to see the negative impact of the cancellation of Sunday services on our giving and slowed giving common during the summer months. Please continue to send in your weekly contributions which can be made through Simply Giving, by using the “Donate Now” button on RELC’s website or by sending your contribution check to the church office in the US Mail.
Please prayerfully consider what this information means to you as we work together to support RELC’s ministries.
|(a) YTD Giving||(b) YTD Expenses||(c) Giving-Expenses||(d) Giving as %|
|(e) Change from|
Our community is facing a challenging time as it continues to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and the economic damage resulting from business closures, now compounded by the suffering of racial injustice. Despite our separation, it’s important for us to maintain our financial support for the church and its ministries in the community – and, if possible, to considering increasing that support to address our neighbors’ immediate needs. As our church determines how it can best serve the community, please ensure that it has the resources needed to provide that help. You can make your offering by using the “Donate Now” button on the RELC website or by mailing your offering to our office at 6201 Washington Blvd., Arlington, VA, 22205.
The best ways to contact Pastor Linman
Week of Christ the King 2020
Dear Friends in Christ:
Thanks to all who responded to our recent survey concerning our life together as a congregation during this difficult time of the pandemic. Paul Bastuscheck, who faithfully oversees our Constant Contact communications efforts, has helpfully summarized the results of this survey to members of the congregation. His overview is as follows:
“A survey was administered to RELC Members by email on November 1 and they were given one week to respond. There were 44 total respondents. Overall participants felt that RELC was doing a good job adapting to a virtual worship-at-home format. What they said they missed the most was social interaction of in-person worship and a sense of community. People indicated that they wanted more connections with fellow members with virtual coffee hours, and introducing more Zoom groups to attend. Respondents also indicted they wanted more outdoor, socially distanced worship, communion and ways to meet in-person with Pastor Linman and other members. When asked, 55% of members said they would be willing to return to indoor worship with safety precautions. 68% of members also indicated that they would not be interested in a virtual 5K run for Thanksgiving.
Members generally gave Pastor Linman good reviews and appreciated the way he has guided the church during the past 8-months. Many also indicated that they wanted more in-person outreach to get to know the pastor better. Ideas included Virtual Zoom meetings, phone calls, in-person socially distanced meetings using the front porch of the parsonage, walks in the neighbourhood and Pastor led classes in appropriate formats.”
I am glad for this helpful overview and summary even as I am thankful for the particular comments of individual respondents. These responses both in summary and in particular will guide my own discernment about how we can undertake life together in Christ in the coming weeks and months. Some very good ideas were offered in the responses, even as the survey results will also serve as a foundation for future creative ideas and approaches.
Here is a listing of some current and future plans for initiatives which address many of the concerns and desires expressed in people’s responses. Some of what follows was already in the planning works. Other items are new possibilities based on the survey results.
Dear members of God’s family at Resurrection Church,
Today is Christ the King Sunday when we contemplate the nature of Christ’s rule in our lives and in the world from the throne of grace and mercy. If you are able, join the congregation with your own worship at home at 10am on Sunday or otherwise engage our home worship resources in ways appropriate to your circumstances.
A pre-recorded worship service, complete with readings, Pastor Linman's sermon, prayers, and music will broadcast at 10am on Sunday, November 22, on our YouTube channel and will be available below:Worship material for November 22, 2020
- Home Worship Bulletin for November 22, 2020
- Children's Bulletin for November 22, 2020
- The transcript of Pastor Linman's sermon
The following have been posted to YouTube; here is the YouTube Playlist for November 22, 2020:
- Musical Meditation: Old Hundredth, by Piet Post
- Psalm 95:1-7a, arranged by Mark Sedio
- Pastor Linman's recorded sermon
- Hymn of the Day, #634: “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name”
- Hymn #883: “All People that on Earth do Dwell”
- Choir Anthem: “He, Watching Over Israel” from the Oratorio “Elijah”, Felix Mendelssohn
Christ the King, November 22, 2020
The holy gospel according to Matthew. Glory to you, O Lord.
Jesus said: 31“When the Son-of-Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34“Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the dominion prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ 41Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and the devil’s angels; 42for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ 45Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
Today is the culminating day in the church year, the Last Sunday after Pentecost, Christ the King, when we are invited to contemplate the nature of Christ’s reign and rule.
So it is that the gospel reading appointed for today is the parable of the judgment of the nations, where the Son of Man in glory separates, as it were, the sheep from the goats, rewarding some and sending the others to punishment. In wonderful ways, appointing this parable for Christ the King turns upside down our expectations concerning kingship, monarchial rule.
In short, the message becomes clear that Christ’s throne as ruler is not in some gilded palace. No, Christ’s throne is down and dirty among the hungry, the thirsty, the strangers, the naked, the sick, the prisoners – in short, among the least of those who are members of the Son of Man’s family.
Ms. Angie has a new message for the children of RELC! Click below to view:
In challenging times such as these, we’re all more aware of the need for God’s love in our lives and the importance of sharing with others. Please help us to build a culture of generosity by sharing your giving intention on Pledge Sunday, November 15. You can return your statement of giving intent at our outdoor worship service, mail it to the church office, or complete the online giving intent form. And you can ensure your intent by enrolling in our “Simply Giving” automatic funds transfer program. Thank you for generously enabling Resurrection to be a light to the community in dark times.
Dear Friends in Christ:
I want to let you all know that we just received confirmation that my son's surgery is indeed scheduled to take place tomorrow, Good Friday. This will be major surgery to correct the vascular malformation in Nathan's brain that first caused his stroke. Thus, Nathan, his mother, and I covet your prayers for effective, uncomplicated outcomes to this procedure.
Needless to say, my observance of home worship during this Holy Week will focus on my keeping vigil at my son's side, even as I also intend to share with you in using our congregation's worship resources to mark these Three Days. With Nathan's surgery in mind, I created video files of all of my Holy Week and Easter sermons early, so they are all uploaded and ready to go.
I don't know how many days Nathan will be in the hospital—it all depends on how the surgery and his recovery go. While attending to my son is my first priority in the coming days, I also intend to engage in my pastoral responsibilities as well, keeping abreast of church-related emails and phone messages and also preparing sermons for the next Sundays in Easter.
Thanks in advance for your prayers for us, and may you all have blessed and holy Three Days during these most trying and unprecedented times in the life of our congregation and in the world.
Sent with my own prayer for all of you in our life together.....
In Jesus' name,
Pastor Jonathan Linman
Beginning March 22
- Consistent with State, county, and local closure of group events and activities, Resurrection Lutheran Church will cancel all worship services, Sunday School and other educational activities, and Coffee Hour indefinitely beginning Sunday, March 22.
The Stained Glass Windows in the Nave at Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church
Dr. Melvin S. Lange, pastor of Resurrection Lutheran Church from 1958 to 1971, prepared the theological material for the artist, Roy Calligan, of the Hunt Stained Glass Studios in Pittsburgh, PA. The meaning of each of the seventeen windows is indicated by a Bible verse. The theme begins with the window to the left of the lectern (when facing the altar) and proceeds around the nave toward the back, and then forward on the opposite side toward the last window to the right of the pulpit.
We are a church that strives to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8). We do justice by serving our community through our social outreach activities and through contributions of finances and member’s time to local programs, including, for example, Lutheran Social Services. We provide opportunities for a rich Christian education to our members and to the community. Many of our members are active in synod activities and in ecumenical activities with other Christians.
We love kindness in the Christian work we do, often quietly but resolutely, for our members and for the community. Benevolence has always been a priority for our church, and we are a significant donor both in our financial resources and, perhaps more importantly to us, our member’s time. We are active with food assistance programs in the Arlington area and to other social service organizations.
We strive to walk humbly with our God in our worship services. We take liturgy, prayer, and music very seriously in our church as a path through which our parishioners can experience the word and sacrament in their lives. Finally, we are excited about offering the sacrament of communion to our parishioners at every Sunday service and believe it is important that we continue to do so.