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142 N. Date
Mesa, Arizona 85201
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Sent to Witness
“First Evangelical Lutheran Church/La Primera is committed to being a radically loving and welcoming community of faith, centered in the Good News of Jesus Christ. Therefore, in faithfulness to the Gospel and our Lutheran heritage, and to the best of our ability, we promise to provide programs, ministries, and pastoral care to all who seek God in this place. All are welcome here, including persons of every race, ethnicity, creed, class, age, gender, marital status, physical or mental ability, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.”
All are welcome here.
That means we welcome you: If you are Native, Asian, Latino, Black, White… If you are male, female, androgynous… If you are 3 days old, 33 years old, or 103 years old… If you’ve never set foot in a church; or if you are Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, Roman Catholic, Mormon, agnostic or a life-long Lutheran... If you are monolingual or multilingual… If you are single, married, divorced, separated or partnered…. If you are straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual…If you have, or had, addictions, phobias, or a criminal record… If you have enough or are struggling to make ends meet…If you are fully-abled, disabled, or a person of differing abilities…
All saints and sinners are welcome here!
We will be meeting virtually for
worship on ZOOM Palm Sunday (April 5) at 9:30 AM.
We will be emailing an invitation and
a bulletin for you to follow along.
If you haven't already done so, your email address is needed to send this to you.
Please email your e-address to PastorDana@firstevlutheran.com
The following message was received from our Bishop,
The Rev. Deborah K. Hutterer:
How quickly our world has changed.
Two weeks ago, I sent a letter urging our congregations to suspend in-person worship until early April. And now, I write to urge you to suspend in-person worship until early May, possibly longer.
Arizona’s Governor Ducey, Nevada’s Governor Sisolak, and Utah’s Governor Herbert—acknowledging health expert advice that illnesses and hospitalizations will peak in late April and early May—are urging stronger precautions by the day. The number of COVID-19 cases and deaths grow exponentially.
Through the great commandments to love God and love our neighbor, we understand the need to avoid meeting in person. In this moment—to protect our neighbor and ourselves from potential infection—loving our neighbor means not being physically present with them. In this moment, we find new and creative ways to be present and serve our neighbor.
As we near the end of Lent, what about Holy Week and Easter?
The word “quarantine” comes from quaresima, the Italian word for Lent. Ships were “quarantined” for 40 days in port before they were able to dock and unload people and cargo. Of all the seasons of the year to be experiencing a quarantine, this present season of Lent is very appropriate. Just as Lent ends with Easter, this season of quarantine will end with renewed faith in our Risen Lord—though it will not happen by April 12, 2020.
Easter has always been a changing date. Our Lutheran theology reminds us that every Sunday is a little Easter. When we can safely gather together in person, that will be Easter.