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This Week's Announcements


St. John Lutheran Church


Weekly Happenings




Sunday, Mar. 29th                   




Monday, Mar. 30th                     Office Open – 8:30-2:00 p.m.




Tuesday, Mar. 31st                  Office Open – 8:30-2:00 p.m.




Wednesday, April 1st                 OFFICE CLOSED




Thursday, April 2nd                 OFFICE CLOSED




Friday, April 3rd                        OFFICE CLOSED




Saturday, April 4th                          




Sunday, April 5th                   






Happy Birthday


Lillian Goad       4/2


Colin Pratt          4/2


Pat Kerth            4/3








Thought of the Week


“I believe that man will not merely endure; he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among the creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of kindness and compassion.” – William Faulkner














































I will continue to include the readings for the week of.






FIRST READING:    Ezekiel 37:1-14


SECOND READING:   Romans 8:6-11


GOSPEL:   John 11:1-45






Following is what you would normally see in the Sunday bulletin. Until things get back to normal, I will be including this information in the Weekly Happenings.





If you have a prayer concern to share with St. John Prayer Chain, please contact the church office at 937-898-5656.


PRAYER FAMILIES:  Praying for one another is an important part of our life together here at St. John. Each week, we will lift up a few of the people of our faith community to be included in our personal daily prayers & devotions. This week we pray for Hank & Cinda Barthel; David & Karen Erhard; Gary, Ellen & Katherine Fischer; Jim & Laurie Fletcher; June Frantz; Ross, Kim, Douglas, Lillian & Benjamin Goad; Marcia & Paige Harsman; Jean Harman; and Abigail Hunscke.




CONTINUING PRAYERS:   Please keep the following people in your prayers as they continue to struggle with their long-term concerns: Paulette Ahner, Nora Mendenhall, Sue Miller, Betty Murray, Shirlee Murray, Loren Ray, James Roeder, Helen Roskos, Lisa Smith, Dawn Snyder, and Catherine Thomas.




If you are looking for something to do, pull out the new St. John phone directory and make a phone call, or two, just to check on your brothers and sisters in Christ. Maybe there is something they need that they can’t get, but you might be able to, or maybe they just need to talk to someone to break up their day.




Looking for a worship service online? Go to the Southern Ohio Synod website (southernohiosynod.org). If you scroll down on the homepage, you will find resources for congregations that are posting their worship and/or devotions online.




You can also go to elca.org/worship. There, on the right-hand side of the screen, you will find a box titled “COVID-19 Resources”. Click on blogs.ELCA.org/Worship.




Dear Dayton conference colleagues-


If anyone in your congregations is interested in participating in an online Bible study, I am getting one started to begin on Wednesday, April 1.  It will be on Wednesday afternoons from 3:30pm-4:30pm, and we will be studying the Gospel of Mark.  If someone in your congregation would like to participate, they are more than welcome to join.  Please have them email me directly as soon as possible ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) so that I can send them both the login information for the group and the introductory material that we'll discuss the first time we get together on April 1.  I am starting the group next week so that people have time to read the introductory material.  Thank you.


I hope you all staying safe and healthy.


Kurt Lammi




IF you are out at the stores, pick up a bag of Easter candy for the Easter eggs, or if you would rather, give Caitlyn Brinkman the money and she will go out to the store to get the candy.




Volunteers are needed to record the Weekly Bible Verses for 2020. If you are interested, please call Emily in the church office at 898-5656. You will be supplied with the verses for a month and the instructions on how to record them. Thank you!












NOW I SEE: Jesus and the Man Born Blind




TEXT: JOHN 9:1-41




In the early Church, one metaphor for Baptism was ENLIGHTMENT. For in Baptism, God OPENS our eyes to see the TRUTH about WHO and WHOSE we are: God's BELOVED daughters and sons.




At the beginning of this passage, Jesus and the disciples encounter a “man blind from birth.”  Jesus refuses to play the blame game and seeks out the man to show the power of God to make new and whole. Jesus is not called the LIGHT OF THE WORLD for nothing! The man does not ask for healing, yet Jesus prepares a mud pack, places it on the man's eyes and directs him to go wash in the pool of Siloam. The man does so and comes back SEEING!  Jesus, the SENT ONE from God, commands the man to wash in the pool whose name means “Sent.”  The man is healed only after he follows Jesus' word and washes. This is a connection to Baptism. Then begins a multi-phase journey of faith and clearer spiritual sight.




First, his long-time friends and fellow beggars aren't sure what to make of the change in their friend: is this the same guy who used to be blind or a look-a-like?  The man answers by describing the process that “the man they call Jesus” performed and guided that led to his sight.




Next, this formerly blind man [FBM] is brought to some Jewish faith leaders, the Pharisees, because Jesus acted on the Sabbath, which is contrary to the Law. Some of the Pharisees said “this man” is not from God because he did this act on the Sabbath. Others countered that he couldn't have done such a thing unless he was connected to God. When they asked the FBM what he had to say, he responded, “He is a prophet.” [A step forward on a faith journey.]




Then, the Pharisees decided to speak to the man's parents and confirm that he was blind from birth. The parents, fearing separation from the synagogue if they affirmed that a healing miracle had happened, in effect “threw their son under the bus.” Ask him, they said, he is of age.




Another step in this man's faith journey occurs as the Pharisees confront him again: Declare this man a “sinner.” The FBM makes a faith statement: “Whether he is a sinner or not I don't know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” This led to another back-and-forth between the Pharisees and the man. The Pharisees ask again for details on the HOW and condemn the WHO [Jesus] as a “sinner.” The FBM proclaims Jesus as God-connected, and he is thrown out of the meeting.




All of these interactions have occurred while Jesus is “off stage.”  He returns into the narrative and seeks out the FBM to offer care and support in the “valley” of rejection and refusal to accept and affirm Jesus as FROM God. [Psalm 23, the “Good Shepherd” psalm is appointed for this day, Lent 4.] They dialogue about who Jesus is and Jesus reveals he is the “Son of Man,” meaning the one sent from God. The FBM learns he is looking at this God Man and confesses “Lord, I believe!” and bows down in worship.  A journey from the washing with water and Jesus' word through many challenges and into fuller faith.




As we seek to remain faithful in these challenging times of COVID-19 and the “stay-at-home” order, we can trust that Jesus is with us and continues to seek us out to provide strength, insight and hope now and always.




LENT 4 Prayer of the Day: Bend your ears to our prayers, Lord Christ, and come among us. By your gracious life and death for us, bring light into the darkness of our hearts, and anoint us with your Spirit [again, as you did at our Baptism], for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.




Some verses from “Amazing Grace” [ELW 779] underscore our theme …


1.  Amazing grace—how sweet the sound—that saved a wretch like me!  I once was lost, but now am found; was blind but now I see!




    4.  The Lord has promised good to me; his word my hope secures; he will my      shield and portion be as long as life endures.




We don't know when we will be able to gather together again.  The likelihood of the date of Easter Day, April 12, is not a certainty.  Our 2020 Lenten journey may be more than the usual 40 days, not including Sundays.  We journey with Jesus and we trust in God's Amazing Grace!




Pastor Jim


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