Dear Congregational Family,

1. All Saints’ Day & Sunday: Today is “All Saints’ Day.” This is the reason that Martin Luther picked yesterday (All Hallow’s Eve – All Holy Evening) to post his Ninety-Five Theses. All Hallow’s Eve was in preparation for today, the day on which the church is to remember that we are “saints” not by our good works or by trying somehow to buy our way into heaven, but by the divine and pure grace of God! In the Old Testament, God gives us a beautiful picture of what it means to be His saints. In Zechariah 3:1-5 the prophet is allowed to see a scene in the invisible world where Satan is accusing Joshua the High Priest (different from the Joshua who followed Moses) of his filthy sin and wanting to claim him for hell. But God rebukes Satan and announces that God has removed Joshua’s sin, and God instructs the angels to take off his filthy rags and to clothe him in clean garments. As saints our sins have been forgiven and we are clothed in the clean robes of righteousness of Jesus Christ!

This Sunday is “All Saints’ Sunday.” In observing it, we will:

    Celebrate that we are made to be “holy” children of God, saints of God, through the righteousness of Christ.
    Remember all those who have passed on from this life during this past (church) year.
    Meditate upon the mysteries of heaven.
    Celebrate Holy Communion together with one another and receive the Real Presence of Christ “in, with, and under” the bread and the wine. (Holy Communion will be celebrated at our 8:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 6:00 p.m. services.)
    Sing our beloved All Saints’ Sunday hymns! I love singing “For All the Saints,” “In Heaven Above,” and “Behold a Host” as a congregation here on earth, but also envisioning the congregation already in glory that is also worshiping the Lamb. Come and worship together this Sunday!

2. International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church: I know that at Ruthfred we are always concerned about our brothers and sisters in Christ who are being persecuted, but this Sunday we join in international prayer for them. Particular places of persecution and martyrdom in the world are: China, North Korea, Nigeria, Sudan, Syria, Iran, and India. The full list is longer and growing. Patty Condre will be giving a short presentation at the beginning of adult Sunday School about the Persecuted Church. In Hebrews 13:3 we are commanded to, “Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body [of Christ, the church].”

3. Sermon: Title: “The Lion & The Lamb”

Text: Revelation 4:1; 5:1-14; 7:9-17

God bless you as we continue,

“Growing Together in our Faith as the Family of God.”

Pastor Carlson