Special services

Palm Sunday Worship

Welcome to worship at St. John’s Lutheran in Schuyler and thank you for joining us. As you prepare for this time of worship, we encourage you to set aside distractions and prepare your heart and your space to be a sanctuary. This may include lighting a candle, having a bowl of water in front of you to remember your baptism, or having your bible or a hymnal handy. 

Today you are also encouraged to have something in the way of palm branches, as we join with the crowds welcoming Jesus into Jerusalem at the beginning of this Holy Week. Our steps have led us once more on this Lenten journey toward the cross, and today we enter Jerusalem and prepare to hear once again the central story of our faith: the story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Hosanna in the highest.

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Sunday, April 10, 2022
Palm Sunday / Sunday of the Passion
Ministers: the people
Pastor: Day Hefner
Organist: Chrissi Bywater
Lector: Karen Henry
Usher: Karen Henry
Communion assistant: Tracey Kracl
Bulletin slideshow: Jalaine Vavricek

Click here to see announcements and the prayer list.

GATHERING
The Holy Spirit calls us together as the people of God.

ACCLAMATION
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

PROCESSIONAL GOSPEL: Luke 19:28-40
The holy gospel according to Luke.
Glory to you, O Lord.

After he had said this, [Jesus] went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it.’ ” So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They said, “The Lord needs it.” Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying,  “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”

The gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.

BLESSING OF PALMS
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Let us pray.
We praise you, O God, for redeeming the world through our Savior Jesus Christ. Today he entered the holy city in triumph and was proclaimed messiah and king by those who spread garments and branches along his way. Bless these branches and those who carry them. Grant us grace to follow our Lord in the way of the cross, so that, joined to his death and resurrection, we enter into life with you; through the same Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Amen.

Let us go forth in peace, in the name of Christ. Amen.

GATHERING SONG (ELW 344All Glory, Laud, and Honor

All glory, laud, and honor to you, redeemer, King,
to whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring.

You are the King of Israel and David's royal Son,
now in the Lord's name coming, our King and Blessed One.

All glory, laud, and honor to you, redeemer, King,
to whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring.

The company of angels are praising you on high;
creation and all mortals in chorus make reply.

All glory, laud, and honor to you, redeemer, King,
to whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring.

The multitude of pilgrims with palms before you went;
Our praise and prayer and anthems before you we present.

To you, before your passion, they sang their hymns of praise.
To you, now high exalted, our melody we raise.

All glory, laud, and honor to you, redeemer, King,
to whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring.

Their praises you accepted; accept the praise we bring,
great author of all goodness, O good and gracious King.

All glory, laud, and honor to you, redeemer, King,
to whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring.

PRAYER OF THE DAY
As we now enter into the contemplation of the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ and meditate on the salvation of the world through his sufferings, death, burial, and resurrection, let us pray.

Everlasting God, in your endless love for the human race you sent our Lord Jesus Christ to take on our nature and to suffer death on the cross. In your mercy enable us to share in his obedience to your will and in the glorious victory of his resurrection, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Amen.

WORD
God speaks to us in scripture reading, preaching, and song.

FIRST READING: Isaiah 50:4-9a
The Lord God has given me 
the tongue of a teacher,
that I may know how to sustain 
the weary with a word.
Morning by morning he wakens—
wakens my ear 
to listen as those who are taught. 
The Lord God has opened my ear, 
and I was not rebellious, 
I did not turn backward. 
I gave my back to those who struck me, 
and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; 
I did not hide my face 
from insult and spitting.
The Lord God helps me; 
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like flint, 
and I know that I shall not be put to shame; 
he who vindicates me is near. 
Who will contend with me? 
Let us stand up together. 
Who are my adversaries? 
Let them confront me.
It is the Lord God who helps me; 
who will declare me guilty?

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.

PSALM: Psalm 31:9-16
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; my eye is consumed with sorrow, and also my throat and my belly.
For my life is wasted with grief, and my years with sighing;my strength fails me because of affliction, and my bones are consumed.

I am the scorn of all my enemies, a disgrace to my neighbors, a dismay to my acquaintances; when they see me in the street they avoid me.
Like the dead I am forgotten, out of mind;I am as useless as a broken pot.

For I have heard the whispering of the crowd; fear is all around; they put their heads together against me; they plot to take my life.
But as for me, I have trusted in you, O Lord.I have said, “You are my God.

My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me.
Let your face shine upon your servant;save me in your steadfast love.”

SECOND READING: Philippians 2:5-11
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross.

Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION

Return to the Lord your God, for God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.

GOSPEL: Luke 22:14–23:56
The holy gospel according to Luke.
Glory to you, O Lord.

When the hour came, [Jesus] took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. 21But see, the one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the table. For the Son of Man is going as it has been determined, but woe to that one by whom he is betrayed!” Then they began to ask one another which one of them it could be who would do this.

A dispute also arose among them as to which one of them was to be regarded as the greatest. But he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. “You are those who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer on you, just as my Father has conferred on me, a kingdom, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. “Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” And he said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death!” Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day, until you have denied three times that you know me.”

He said to them, “When I sent you out without a purse, bag, or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “No, not a thing.” He said to them, “But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag. And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you, this scripture must be fulfilled in me, ‘And he was counted among the lawless’; and indeed what is written about me is being fulfilled.” They said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” He replied, “It is enough.”

He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. When he reached the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.” Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.” ⟦Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.⟧ When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.”

While he was still speaking, suddenly a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him; but Jesus said to him, “Judas, is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Son of Man?” When those who were around him saw what was coming, they asked, “Lord, should we strike with the sword?” Then one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple police, and the elders who had come for him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a bandit? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness!”

Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house. But Peter was following at a distance. When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said, “This man also was with him.” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” A little later someone else, on seeing him, said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” Then about an hour later still another kept insisting, “Surely this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about!” At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

Now the men who were holding Jesus began to mock him and beat him; they also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” They kept heaping many other insults on him. When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, gathered together, and they brought him to their council. They said, “If you are the Messiah, tell us.” He replied, “If I tell you, you will not believe; and if I question you, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” All of them asked, “Are you, then, the Son of God?” He said to them, “You say that I am.” Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips!”

Then the assembly rose as a body and brought Jesus before Pilate. They began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man perverting our nation, forbidding us to pay taxes to the emperor, and saying that he himself is the Messiah, a king.” Then Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He answered, “You say so.” Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no basis for an accusation against this man.” But they were insistent and said, “He stirs up the people by teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he began even to this place.”

When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him off to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had been wanting to see him for a long time, because he had heard about him and was hoping to see him perform some sign. He questioned him at some length, but Jesus gave him no answer. The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. Even Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him; then he put an elegant robe on him, and sent him back to Pilate. That same day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other; before this they had been enemies.

Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and here I have examined him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us. Indeed, he has done nothing to deserve death. I will therefore have him flogged and release him.” Then they all shouted out together, “Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas for us!” (This was a man who had been put in prison for an insurrection that had taken place in the city, and for murder.) Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again; but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death; I will therefore have him flogged and then release him.” But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed. So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted. He released the man they asked for, the one who had been put in prison for insurrection and murder, and he handed Jesus over as they wished.

As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus. A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are surely coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us’; and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?” Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. ⟦Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”⟧ And they cast lots to divide his clothing. And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”

One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last. When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, “Certainly this man was innocent.” And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle saw what had taken place, they returned home, beating their breasts. But all his acquaintances, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph, who, though a member of the council, had not agreed to their plan and action. He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea, and he was waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid it in a rock-hewn tomb where no one had ever been laid. It was the day of Preparation, and the sabbath was beginning. The women who had come with him from Galilee followed, and they saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Then they returned, and prepared spices and ointments.   On the sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

The gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.

SERMON

HYMN OF THE DAY (ELW 343My Song Is Love Unknown

My song is love unknown,
my Savior's love to me,
love to the loveless shown
that they might lovely be.
Oh, who am I that for my sake
my Lord should take frail flesh and die?

He came from his blest throne
salvation to bestow;
the world that was his own
would not its Savior know.
But, oh, my friend, my friend indeed,
who at my need his life did spend!

Sometimes we strew his way
and his sweet praises sing;
resounding all the day
hosannas to our king.
Then "Crucify!" is all our breath,
and for his death we thirst and cry.

We cry out; we will have
our dear Lord made away,
a murderer to save,
the prince of life to slay.
Yet cheerful he to suff'ring goes
that he his foes from thence might free.

In life no house, no home
my Lord on earth might have;
in death no friendly tomb
but what a stranger gave.
What may I say? Heav'n was his home
but mine the tomb wherein he lay.

Here might I stay and sing—
no story so divine!
Never was love, dear King,
never was grief like thine.
This is my friend, in whose sweet praise
I all my days could gladly spend!

APOSTLES CREED

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the deadOn the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

Drawn close to the heart of God, we offer these prayers for the church, the world, and all who are in need.
Silence for reflection

We pray for the church, called to follow Jesus in the way of the cross. Make us unflinching servants of the gospel. Deliver us from hardship as we confront the forces of injustice and practice radical compassion. Merciful God,
receive our prayer.

For the earth and all its inhabitants, created in love: Train us to recognize your divine goodness in the world around us. Rouse in us a reverence for creation, that we take greater care of its resources. Merciful God,
receive our prayer.

For those in positions of authority called to lead with integrity and compassion: Supply them with courage and vulnerability when challenged with new ideas. Deliver them from fear that limits imagination and impedes justice. Merciful God,
receive our prayer.

For those who suffer, waiting expectantly for mercy and consolation: Accompany those who feel abandoned or betrayed, defend those who are wrongly accused, and embrace those who are incarcerated or detained. Heal those who are ill (especially). Merciful God,
receive our prayer.

For Christians around the world, preparing this week to journey with Jesus to the cross: Reveal to us once again the earthshaking power of humble service, unmerited forgiveness, and sacrificial love. Lead us all from death to life. Merciful God,
receive our prayer.

We remember those who have died (especially Mikael Agricola and . . .), who were commended into your hands. Remember us when you come into your kingdom, and prepare a place for each of us with you in paradise. Merciful God,
receive our prayer.

Accept the prayers we bring, O God, on behalf of a world in need, for the sake of Jesus Christ.
Amen.

PEACE
The peace of Christ be with you always.  
And also with you.

MEAL
God feeds us with the presence of Jesus Christ.

OFFERING
There are many ways to make your offering:

  • Checks may be mailed or dropped off at the church
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  • Make a secure offering online by clicking on the button below (opens up our Tithe.ly giving page in a new window)

OFFERING PRAYER 

Let us pray. Extravagant God, you have blessed us with the fullness of creation. Now we gather at your feast where you offer us the food that satisfies. Take and use what we offer here, come among us, and feed us with the body and blood of Christ, in whose name we pray.
Amen.

GREAT THANKSGIVING

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

PREFACE

It is indeed right, our duty and our joy… we praise your name and join their unending hymn:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, Lord God of power and might, heav’n and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

EUCHARISTIC PRAYER / WORDS OF INSTITUTION
For as often as we eat… the Lord’s death until he comes:
Christ has died.  Christ is risen.  Christ will come again.

Therefore, O God… to share with us the great and promised feast.
Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus.

Send now, we pray… receive our inheritance with all your saints in light.
Amen.  Come, Holy Spirit.

LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

INVITATION TO COMMUNION
Here is food and drink for the journey. Take and be filled.

COMMUNION
All are welcome at the Lord’s table, whether Lutheran or not.  Ushers will invite you up by household to take communion at the table. Wine and juice are available.

COMMUNION SONG (ELW 465) As the Grains of Wheat

As the grains of wheat once scattered on the hill
were gathered into one to become our bread;
so may all your people from all the ends of earth
be gathered into one in you.

As this cup of blessing is shared within our midst,
may we share the presence of your love.

As the grains of wheat once scattered on the hill
were gathered into one to become our bread;
so may all your people from all the ends of earth
be gathered into one in you.

Let this be a foretaste of all that is to come
when all creation shares this feast with you.

As the grains of wheat once scattered on the hill
were gathered into one to become our bread;
so may all your people from all the ends of earth
be gathered into one in you.

POST-COMMUNION BLESSING

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

Let us pray.

Blessed Jesus, in this rich meal of grace, you have fed us with your body, the bread of life. Now send us forth to bear your life-giving hope to a world in need.
Amen.

SENDING
God blesses us and sends us in mission to the world.

SENDING SONG (ELW 339Christ, the Life of All the Living

Christ, the life of all the living,
Christ, the death of death, our foe,
Christ, yourself for me once giving
to the darkest depths of woe:
through your suff’ring, death, and merit
life eternal I inherit.
Thousand, thousand thanks are due,
dearest Jesus, unto you.

You have suffered great affliction
and have borne it patiently,
even death by crucifixion,
fully to atone for me;
for you chose to be tormented
that my doom should be prevented.
Thousand, thousand thanks are due,
dearest Jesus, unto you.

Then, for all that bought my pardon,
for the sorrows deep and sore,
for the anguish in the garden,
I will thank you evermore;
thank you for the groaning, sighing,
for the bleeding and the dying,
for that last triumphant cry,
praise you evermore on high.

BLESSING
You are children of God, anointed with the oil of gladness and strengthened for the journey. Almighty God, motherly, majestic, and mighty, bless you this day and always.
Amen.

DISMISSAL
Go in peace. Jesus meets you on the way.
Thanks be to God.

Special services

Burning of the Palms

 (liturgy adapted from one posted in ELCA Clergy FB group by Rev. Angela Ryan Jennings)

On the Sunday of the Passion, when Jesus entered Jerusalem, people lined the way and waved their palms in praise of the coming one.
“Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord,” they cried. “Alleluia!”

Yet by the end of the week those same people cried out for Jesus’ death. Their praise turned to condemnation and taunts of the one lifted high on the cross.
 “Crucify Him! Crucify Him! Release for us Barabbas!”

Today we hail Christ as our Lord and King, our Savior, our transformed Lord.
Yet with our words and by our actions, we condemn this Lord, denying his power over us, each day by the life we live.

The one we would proclaim as our Lord on Sunday, we wander away from on Monday, and deny, betray, curse, and abandon the rest of the week.  
We fail to see and honor his face in the face of our neighbor.  We fail to care for his image, imprinted on creation.

The psalmist asks God, “What are human beings that you are mindful of them, O Lord?”
From dust we were formed and to dust we shall return:  earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.  We have no life apart from God.

In God’s anger we become like dried leaves, once used for praise, but now simply rustling in the wind.
Our empty praise and words burn to dust in the face of God’s hot anger.

[the palms are burned in silence]

Yet God desires the death of no one.  God tenderly calls us to turn from our sin, back to the path of life.  For God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.
Have mercy upon us, O Lord, and do not let your anger burn against us forever; let our prayers rise before you as incense.  Turn our wayward hearts back toward you.

Let us pray.

Gracious God, out of your great love and mercy, you breathed into dust the breath of life, creating us to love you and to serve our neighbors.  Lead us into true repentance this season of Lent.  Call forth our prayers and acts of kindness, and strengthen us to face the truth of our mortality with confidence in the mercy of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 
Amen.

Special services

Christmas Eve Worship

Merry Christmas! And thank you for joining us for worship! Wherever you are, we invite you to create space for worship, both in your physical space and in your heart — light your Advent wreath or grab a bible or hymnal, or do whatever helps you most to feel worshipful.
We will be singing Silent Night by candlelight, and we encourage you to light candles also and sing with us.

Please click below to support our ministry through your offering:


Friday, December 24, 2021 • Christmas Eve
Ministers: the people
Pastor: Day Hefner
Organist: Chrissi Bywater
Lector: Jon Knutson
Usher:
PowerPoint:

GATHERING
The Holy Spirit calls us together as the people of God.

CHRISTMAS DIALOGUE
Jesus Christ is the Light of the world!
He is the Light no darkness can overcome.

At darkest night we gather to celebrate the great light of our salvation.
With the heavenly host we sing, “Glory to God in the highest heaven.”

In Christ, God’s Word is made flesh and lives among us.
With the shepherds, we will tell of the wonders we have seen and heard.

GREETING & PRAYER

May the grace and truth of Christ be with you.
And also with you.

Let us pray.

Almighty God, you made this holy night shine with the brightness of the true Light. Grant that here on earth we may walk in the light of Jesus’ presence and in the last day wake to the brightness of his glory; through your only Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Amen.

WORD
God speaks to us in scripture reading, preaching, and song.

FIRST READING: Isaiah 9:2-7

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined.  You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder.  For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.  For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire.  For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom.  He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore.  The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God!

HYMN (ELW 296) What Child Is This

What child is this, who, laid to rest,
on Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet
while shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the king,
whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
haste, haste to bring him laud,
the babe, the son of Mary!

Why lies he in such mean estate
where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear; for sinners here
the silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce him through,
the cross be borne for me, for you;
hail, hail the Word made flesh,
the babe, the son of Mary!

So bring him incense, gold, and myrrh;
come, peasant, king, to own him.
The King of kings salvation brings;
let loving hearts enthrone him.
Raise, raise the song on high,
the virgin sings her lullaby;
joy, joy, for Christ is born,
the babe, the son of Mary!

SECOND READING: Titus 2:11-14

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God!

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION (ELW p.205)
Alleluia!  Lord and Savior: open now your saving word. Let it burn like fire within us; speak until our hearts are stirred. Alleluia!  Lord, we sing for the good news that you bring.

GOSPEL: Luke 2:1-20

The holy gospel according to Luke.
Glory to you, O Lord.

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom God favors!”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

The gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.

SERMON

HYMN OF THE DAY (ELW 270Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Hark! The herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn king;
peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled."
Joyful, all you nations, rise;
join the triumph of the skies;
with angelic hosts proclaim,
"Christ is born in Bethlehem!"
Hark! The herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn king!"

Christ, by highest heav'n adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
late in time behold him come,
offspring of a virgin's womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see!
Hail, incarnate deity!
Pleased as man with us to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel!
Hark! The herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn king!"

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of peace!
Hail the Sun of righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
ris'n with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by,
born that we no more may die,
born to raise each child of earth,
born to give us second birth.
Hark! The herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn king!"

APOSTLES CREED

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

As heaven and earth rejoice, let us pray for the needs of the church and all the world.
A brief silence.

Your great compassion, O God, has increased our joy. Give us gratitude each day for your light and the bread of life. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

Because of your generosity, the trees clap their hands, the deep waters teem with varied creatures, and the stars burn with distant fire. Make us grateful for all that you call us to nurture and protect. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

Because you know our need for order, you give us nations, cities, and neighborhoods. Help us to welcome the expertise of leaders, to uphold their good direction, and to oppose what harms the vulnerable. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

Because you are a God of healing and renewal, you make whole what is broken. We beg your mercy on all who find this time of year a burden. Strengthen the grieving and comfort those who struggle with addictions. We pray especially for… and for all those whom we hold silently in our hearts. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

By the power of the Holy Spirit, you have given us to each other to encourage and challenge. Give us hearts that remember your Christmas gifts beyond this night. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

We give thanks for those before us who witnessed to your presence, taught us to pray, and strengthened us in the truth, and all with whom we share the feast of eternal life. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

Into your hands we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy; through Christ, our Lord.
Amen.

PEACE
The peace of Christ be with you always.  
And also with you.

MEAL
God feeds us with the presence of Jesus Christ.

OFFERING
There are many ways to make your offering:

  • Checks may be mailed or dropped off at the church
  • Ask your bank about setting up automatic giving
  • Make a secure offering online by clicking on the button below (opens up our Tithe.ly giving page in a new window)

OFFERING PRAYER
God of abundance, we bring before you the precious fruits of your creation, and with them our very lives. Teach us patience and hope as we care for all those in need until the coming of your Son, our Savior and Lord.
Amen.

GREAT THANKSGIVING

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

PREFACE

It is indeed right, our duty and our joy… we praise your name and join their unending hymn:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, Heav’n and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest, Hosanna in the highest.

THANKSGIVING AT THE TABLE
Holy one, the beginning and the end… Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

With this bread and cup, we remember… We look with hope for his coming.
Come, Lord Jesus.

Holy God, we long for your Spirit… Bring the gift of peace on earth.
Come, Holy Spirit.

LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

INVITATION TO COMMUNION
Today, a savior is born to us! Come and feast at his table.

COMMUNION
All are welcome at the Lord’s table, whether Lutheran or not.  Ushers will invite you up by household to take communion at the table. Wine and juice are available.

COMMUNION SONG (ELW 288Good Christian Friends, Rejoice!

Good Christian friends, rejoice
with heart and soul and voice;
give ye heed to what we say:
Jesus Christ is born today;
ox and ass before him bow,
and he is in the manger now.
Christ is born today!
Christ is born today!

Good Christian friends, rejoice
with heart and soul and voice;
now ye hear of endless bliss:
Jesus Christ was born for this!
He has opened heaven's door,
and we are blest forevermore.
Christ was born for this!
Christ was born for this!

Good Christian friends, rejoice
with heart and soul and voice;
now ye need not fear the grave;
Jesus Christ was born to save!
Calls you one and calls you all
to gain the everlasting hall.
Christ was born to save!
Christ was born to save!

POST-COMMUNION BLESSING

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

Let us pray.

Radiant God, with our eyes we have seen your salvation, and in this meal we have feasted on your grace. May your Word take flesh in us, that we may be your holy people, revealing your glory made known to us in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Amen.

SENDING
God blesses us and sends us in mission to the world.

SENDING SONG (ELW 281Silent Night, Holy Night!

Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, all is bright
round yon virgin mother and child.
Holy Infant, so tender and mild,
sleep in heavenly peace,
sleep in heavenly peace.
 
Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight;
glories stream from heaven afar,
heav’nly hosts sing, alleluia!
Christ, the Savior, is born!
Christ, the Savior, is born!
 
Silent night, holy night!
Son of God, love’s pure light
radiant beams from your holy face,
with the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at your birth,
Jesus, Lord, at your birth.

BLESSING
May the Lord God, who has called you out of darkness to be servants of light, grant you the joy of the angels, the eagerness of the shepherds, and the peace of the Christ Child. In the name of Almighty God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Amen.

DISMISSAL 
Go in peace. Share the good news of great joy!
Thanks be to God.

Funeral, Special services

Marlene Zima funeral bulletin

Funeral of Marlene Zima
December 3, 2021
St. John’s Lutheran Church, Schuyler, NE
Pastor: Rev. Day Hefner
Musicians: Mitchell Heavican, Virginia Semrad
Lectors: Myla Zima, Jonathon Rinehart
Obituary


GATHERING
The Holy Spirit calls us together as the people of God.

Welcome in the name of Jesus, the Savior of the world.  We are gathered to worship, to proclaim Christ crucified and risen, to remember before God our sister Marlene Zima, to give thanks for her life, to commend her to our merciful redeemer, and to comfort one another in our grief.

THANKSGIVING FOR BAPTISM

When we were baptized in Christ Jesus, we were baptized into his death.  We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live a new life.  For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

Eternal God, maker of heaven and earth, who formed us from the dust of the earth, who by your breath gave us life, we glorify you.
We glorify you.

Jesus Christ, the resurrection and the life, who suffered death for all humanity, who rose from the grave to open the way to eternal life, we praise you.
We praise you.

Holy Spirit, author and giver of life, the comforter of all who sorrow, our sure confidence and everlasting hope, we worship you.
We worship you.

To you, O blessed Trinity, be glory and honor, forever and ever.
Amen.

Special Music: On Eagle’s Wings
Soloist: Mitchel Heavican

GREETING

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
And also with you.

PRAYER OF THE DAY

Let us pray.  O God of grace and glory, we remember before you today our sister Marlene.  We thank you for giving her to us to know and to love as a companion in our pilgrimage on earth.  In your boundless compassion, console us who mourn.  Give us faith to see that death has been swallowed up in the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ, so that we may live in confidence and hope until, by your call, we are gathered to our heavenly home in the company of all your saints; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Amen.

Grandkids and Great-Grandkids Share Memories of “Grandma Zima”

WORD
God speaks to us in scripture reading, preaching, and song.

READING: Proverbs 31:25-31
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her happy; her husband too, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her a share in the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the city gates.

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.

PSALM: Psalm 23 (please read responsively the boldface type)
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.
The Lord makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters.

You restore my soul, O Lord, and guide me along right pathways for your name’s sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil, and my cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

READING: Romans 6:3-9
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God. 

READING: John 14:1-6
[Jesus said] “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God. 

SERMON

HYMN OF THE DAY (856): How Great Thou Art

O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
consider all the works thy hand hath made,
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
thy pow'r throughout the universe displayed;
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee,
how great thou art!  How great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee,
how great thou art!  How great thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander,
I hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
when I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
and hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze;
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee,
how great thou art!  How great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee,
how great thou art!  How great thou art!

But when I think that God, his Son not sparing,
sent him to die, I scarce can take it in,
that on the cross, my burden gladly bearing
he bled and died to take away my sin;
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee,
how great thou art!  How great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee,
how great thou art!  How great thou art!

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
and take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration
and there proclaim, "My God, how great thou art!"
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee,
how great thou art!  How great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee,
how great thou art!  How great thou art!

CREED

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.  

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day, he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.


I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

Let us pray.Almighty God, in holy baptism you have knit your chosen people together into one communion of saints in the body of Christ. Give to your whole church in heaven and on earth your light and your peace. God of mercy,
hear our prayer.

Grant that all who have been baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection may die to sin and rise to share the new life in Christ. God of mercy,
hear our prayer.

Give courage and faith to all who mourn, and a sure and certain hope in your loving care, that, casting all their sorrow on you, they may have strength for the days ahead. God of mercy,
hear our prayer.

Grant to us who are still in our pilgrimage, and who walk as yet by faith, that, where this world groans in grief and pain, your Holy Spirit may lead us to bear witness to your light and life. God of mercy,
hear our prayer.

Help us, in the midst of things we cannot understand, to believe and trust in the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, and the resurrection to life everlasting. God of mercy,
hear our prayer.

God of all grace, we give you thanks because by his death our Savior Jesus Christ destroyed the power of death and by his resurrection he opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. Make us certain that because he lives we shall live also, and that neither death nor life, nor things present nor things to come, will be able to separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Amen.

LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

COMMENDATION

Let us commend our sister, Marlene Zima, to the mercy of God, our maker and redeemer.

Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant Marlene. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive her into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. 
Amen.

DISMISSAL

Let us go forth in peace,
in the name of Christ. Amen.

Special music: The Green, Green Grass of Home

Interment will be at Schuyler Cemetery.
A luncheon will follow in the fellowship hall.


Family Memories of Marlene

When you are born and raised in a community and live to be 84+, you get to know a lot of people! Mom & Dad liked sports – we went to the Schuyler Warriors basketball games and followed them to districts while I was still in grade school and then they started going to the NE Cornhusker football games. That was an all day affair for them and the fever continued as they made it to a few bowl games. When they couldn’t make it to the games you could find them watching it on TV.  Then on one day the score was really close and NE needed to make an important play and it was just too much for mom to watch, so she got up and ran to the bathroom and lo and behold the team did what needed to be done. Up to her going into the hospital she has kept up that practice and had to admit there were games where she felt she spent the entire game in the bathroom! She wasn’t able to do this little ritual of hers for the last two games as she was in the hospital – so maybe that’s why they lost?

Mom LOVED to dance and she married a dancer (which I secretly think was one of the major prerequisites to finding the right man!) Watching her and dad do the jitterbug to Glen Miller’s “In the Mood” was one of the best things ever for us 3 kids to watch.

In the 80’s when things were rough for the farmers, mom needed to go to work to help make ends meet and she got a job as a checker at Didier’s and then Jack & Jill’s. She called me and said she didn’t think she could learn the cash register. I told her, “if you could figure out how to be a telephone operator during your high school years in Schuyler, you won’t have any problems” and she didn’t. She loved her customers and her high school carry outs. She was their mentor and she told me a few years ago if she had a do-over she would have liked to work with high school youth. She got her wish – just not in the form she was thinking of. So many times when we are out and about someone would tell her hi and she would ask about them what they were up to and then when they’d leave I’d ask her who that was and she would say “Oh that was one of my carryouts.”

Mom and Dad finally got to take some time off in Jan. and Feb. and drive down to Arizona; that started around 30 years ago. Mom’s childhood friend moved to Congress and they went to visit her and then they went on to Yuma and all of a sudden people from OR, WI, KS and Canada came into our lives. Sue and Deb got to fly down and stay with them for a few days which turned into a whirlwind of everything they wanted to show and share with us. We saw orange, lemon, and grapefruit groves, vegetable farming, desert, got to experience mom barter in Mexico and of course ended our days with date shakes made with (you guessed it) ICE CREAM!

Deb’s two daughters were able to go and stay with them and experience vacationing with Grandma and Grandpa. They have some funny stories to share if you are interested. Mom’s travel adventures continued after Dad passed – she discovered Moostash Tours and got to see New England, the Smokey Mountains, and Branson to hear her favorite singer, Danny O’Donnell. She wasn’t afraid to drive to Kearney, MO, and Junction City, KS, to visit Judi and Scott’s family either. She got to watch the great grandkids play soccer, watch football games with her great grandson, and do other activities with the great granddaughters. She got to participate in Myla and Jaydon’s 4-H activities and bundled up til she could hardly walk and looked like a mummy to watch one of Jaydon’s soccer games. 

Mom loved to shop – she would have a great way of asking Scott or I, do you think maybe, but only if you have time, we could go to Macy’s and IKEA. For me that was a 40 minute drive, for Scott 2 hours. And of course we always found time! Then Black Friday Sshopping entered her life with her daughter-in-law and her family. So after Thanksgiving for the last 7 years or so, Sue and Deb go shopping (Mom came with us once) and Jodi and her family go shopping (Mom always goes with them). Sue and Deb are home by 2 or 3 in the morning, Mom rolls in around 7 am – is it because she wants to see the sunrise, or eat before they come home or are they just more fun to be around??? I think it’s all 3.

Mom loved Jodi’s sugar cookies. So Jodi makes a platter of cookies for the family and a special plate for Mom of just sugar cookies that she doesn’t share with anyone and always responds, “oh for me, oh you didn’t need to go to all that work” and then hides the plate from everyone else, plus sneaks the sugar cookies off the platter Jodi brings home to share!!! Makes us laugh every year.

We aren’t sure which Mom loved more: Husker football, Husker women’s volleyball, shopping at Macy’s and IKEA, or shoes. She did wake up from a deep sleep and looked at me and said she ordered 20,000 pairs of shoes (I repeated the number to make sure I heard correct and she nodded her head yes) then she said I might have to return a few pairs, but maybe not, Katie might want them. Only Katie and Mom share the same shoe size – Ryan you might want to start building a storage shed.

Mom had inherited nerve issues, migraines and leg issues; she fell and broke her elbow at the NE collisum while attending Larry the Cable Guy show and had to do 6 months of painful physical therapy to get her elbow back to normal and she did it and was so proud of herself. When someone would ask her what happened she said she “fell for Larry the Cable Guy.” She also fought lymphoma and won! But then she got COVID and she apologized to us and told us she didn’t have any more strength to fight this. First time I heard her say 84 was old.

Mom never sat still – she was the energizer bunny whose battery got recharged by being around other people and doing for her family, church, friends and others. What we call adversities sometimes turns out to be God’s gift to us. God’s gifts come in all different sizes and shapes. God used each gift to stretch Mom, to make her reach out and motivate others, not to waste a single moment.

Yes we are going to miss Mom, but she has touched every one of you here. You are here because in some way she has touched your life. So although this is goodbye for now, there are still new gifts that God is giving us and it’s up to us to find a new way to use them – just like Mom did.