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Bulletin for Sunday, December 15, 2019
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In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. 2 The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.
3 Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. 4 They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, 5 both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.
Naomi and Ruth Return to Bethlehem
6 When Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. 7 With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah.
8 Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me. 9 May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.”
Then she kissed them goodbye and they wept aloud 10 and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.”
11 But Naomi said, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands? 12 Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me—even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons— 13 would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has turned against me!”
14 At this they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her.
15 “Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.”
16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.
19 So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?”
20 “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”
22 So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.
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Leader: The word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God.
This week’s worship.
2nd Annual Christmas Store
On Sunday afternoon, December 15, at our annual Athens Drive Christmas Celebration, we will be hosting our second annual low-cost Christmas Store. Our Angel Tree will be going up this weekend with gift ideas, and our Amazon wishlist is live here. Please join us in serving families in our community. Grab an ornament on Sunday or grab a gift from the wish list!
If you have questions or would like to volunteer in the store, please contact Cynthia Wilson.
Athens Drive Christmas Celebration 12/15
Next Sunday is our big annual Athens Drive Christmas Celebration. We will need lots of help to make it all happen. Please join us after worship next week to help get ready for our biggest outreach of the Christmas season.
Two Children’s Ministry Volunteers Needed
Starting in January, 2020, we will have TWO open volunteer slots in Ekklesia Kids. Like all our Sunday morning ministry teams, the commitment is once a month. If you are interested, email our fearless kids leader Lindsay Stevenson. She’d be delighted to hear from you.
Christmas Eve Worship – 5pm
Christmas Eve is always a beautiful and unique worship experience at Ekklesia. Join us at 5 pm on Tuesday, 12/24 for our last worship service of the year!
No Church on Sunday, December 29th
It is our long-standing Ekklesia tradition to take a “sabbatical” on the Sunday after Christmas. And so, on December 29th, there will be no church. Sleep in. Invite friends over for brunch. Enjoy the holiday season. Worship will resume on Sunday, January 5th.
Last Week’s Newsletter
In case you missed it, here’s a link to last week’s newsletter … complete with all the latest news and updates. [Read now]