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“I Was in Prison and You Visited Me.” Guest Preacher: Pastor Jeff Backer

“And when I was in prison, you visited me.” -Matthew 25:36 

Hello Gloria Dei, 

One of the great chapters within the Bible is Matthew 25. In it, Jesus tells of his coming again in glory to judge the nations and peoples of the world.  

Jesus says to those on his right, “I was hungry, and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. When I was a stranger, you welcomed me. I was naked and you gave me clothing. When I was sick, you took care of me.” 

And then Jesus finishes this section by saying, “And when I was in prison, you visited me” (Matthew 25:36). 

I’m highlighting this section of the Bible because the pastor for the men in the state penitentiary will be bringing us God’s Word this weekend in worship. I am delighted that Pastor Jeff Backer, who is pastor to the congregation within the prison walls, an ELCA congregation called St. Dysmas Church, will be with us. 

Pastor Jeff will provide information about how you can actually fulfill Jesus’ words from Matthew 25 and visit the men during a worship service in the chapel of the prison. I’ve done it a few times, and it is so, so, important. Some in our congregation worship regularly with the men. You can too. Paperwork is needed ahead of time, so if you are interested, please let any of us pastors know, and we’ll get you what you need. And just so you know, this prison ministry is one of the many ministries we support financially as well. 

I encourage you to be in worship this weekend to worship God and to hear Pastor Jeff’s message. If you can’t be at Gloria Dei in person, then tune in online, Sunday at 9:00 a.m. 

It is appropriate that the assigned reading for this week in our journey through the New Testament is Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Paul writes this joy-filled letter while he is sitting in a first-century prison in Rome. Take time to read the four chapters of Philippians. The specific text being read in worship is Philippians 2:1-11. 

And once again, I want to remind you that Holly Brunick, our Business and Facilities Manager, has announced her retirement. She will be retiring on June 1. We have posted a job description and are now beginning with a search for possible candidates. If you or someone you know may be interested, please use our online application to upload a cover letter and resume.  Please know that accounting experience is necessary for this position. 

See you in worship, 

Pastor Tim 

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