7pm Worship Service with  Distribution of Ashes

FEB 21-MAR. 21
    Wednesdays at 6pm Soup & Sandwich suppers.         (2018 Soup and sandwich schedule)
     7pm Lenten Service with a Drama Series

FEB. 259am THOMAS MASS during Sermon Time

    Regular Service Times

    7pm in the Fellowship Hall. A reenactment of
    the Lord’s Supper.

    7pm service featuring the “Lord’s Walk to Calvary”

    7am Service
    8am Easter Breakfast
    10am Service - The Choir will perform an Easter     Cantata at the 10am service

Our deepest sympathy to Marilyn and Irvin Lange and family. Their daughter Katherine Arbogast passed away January 10th, in Denver.  

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,
Love leaves a memory no one can steal.
From an Irish Headstone

  A VERY BIG THANK YOU FOR 2017!  SOTH thanks everyone who helped in any way here at SOTH in 2017!! Employees and Volunteers, Members and Friends….SOTH thanks you!! Big jobs, Little jobs, Big things, Little things….all are needed and appreciated. You are Loved and Hugged and Blessed. SOTH could not make it without you!!  

Dear SOTH Family…
We are beyond grateful once again for all the wonderful gifts donated to our Christmas Drive. All of you are amazing to us and we thank you so much!
Terri Harmon, Linda Freed, Cheryl Carroll, Jeannie Melcher

Thank you so very much for putting on the Living Nativity every year. It is such a special part of our family’s Christmas Season! Your hard work is appreciated!
God Bless You, Judy Enderle  
“Jesus is the Reason for the Season”

A VERY BIG THANK YOU TO….Lee and Martha Valentine, and Darrel and Juliette Cool, for folding and mailing this February newsletter. God Bless you!!

THANKS to the support of ELCA congregations and members, a new class of students, future pastors and young-adult volunteers began their studies or service several months ago. Among them is our very own Katie Romano, serving with Young Adults in Global Mission in Rwanda. With your continued prayers and gifts we can support even more of the global Lutheran church’s future leaders.
February 2018  E-Newsletter              
C o n g r e g a t i o n     N e w s
   January Birthdays
Feb. 1  Wade Passero
Feb. 2  Danyka Bendt
Feb. 2  Nellie Jarvis
Feb. 3  Rick Coulson
Feb. 3  Kinley Norden
Feb. 5  Joshua Anderson
Feb. l0  Milo Cress
Feb. 11  Barb Pruett
Feb. 11  Ray Quick
Feb. 12  Linda Coffey
Feb. 14  Fay Dauel
Feb. 14  John Kelley
Feb. 15  Clarence Ver Sluys
Feb. 15  Sara Marietta
Feb. 16  Tyler Burkart
Feb. 16  Marvin Sampson
Feb. 17  Betty Fleming
Feb. 18  Lucia McClure
Feb. 18  Marcia Hollingsworth
Feb. 21  Kellan Evans
Feb. 24  Judy Putzer
Feb. 24  Charles Cook
Feb. 26  Tom Bang
Feb. 27  Archie Coulson-Powell
Feb. 27  Darrien Cooper
Feb. 28  Justin Barhite
Feb. 28  Robert Kippley

Hope Springs Eternal
Red Canyon road is one of the best bicycle rides in Fremont County. It’s about a 13 mile ride from my home to the end of pavement. Going up is more difficult because the rise in altitude is about 1000 feet, but returning is a breeze as most of it is downhill. A few months ago I was returning from the ride and able to maintain about 25 mph. The problem occurred when a squirrel ran out in front of me and I looked down and watch my front wheel run over him. My bike went into a severe shimmy and nearly dumped me on the pavement. The lesson I learned was to keep my eyes looking down the road 20 or 30 feet rather then staring straight down at the obstacle and then loosing balance. In other words, I didn’t keep my eye on the big picture and instead watched what I feared.

A teacher told her sixth grade class the importance of looking up when they walked. "Don't watch your feet," she said, "or they're going to start depending on your eyes to do the walking. Keep your head up and see the big picture and trust that your feet will follow your vision. 

“‘In those days after a time of suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.” Mark 13:24

If you have ever experienced significant change in your life, whether desired or dreaded, you know about “those days” of which the scripture speaks. You know what it is like to enter the darkness of change. Keeping your eye on the big picture during those times is important.

All change, whether welcome or unwanted, brings some kind of loss. It may be the loss of a relationship, the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, the loss of what is comfortable, familiar and safe. In other words, the world as you have known it has radically changed. During these times questions arise such as: How will I find my way forward when the usual lights that illumined my path no longer shine? What do we do when it feels as if the world is falling apart? Where do we go when it seems as if darkness is our only companion and God is nowhere to be seen? 

Our faith calls us to keep our eyes focused on the big picture and not be so absorbed with watching our feet that we lose sight of where they are taking us. See the big picture. That allows you to find hope, and often hope erupts out of darkness.

The most-revered symbol in Oklahoma City, sacred to many, is a tree: a sprawling,  shade-bearing 100-year-old American Elm. Tourists drive from miles around to see it. People pose for pictures beneath it. Arborists carefully protect it. This seemingly ordinary elm adorns posters and letterhead. Sure, there are other trees that are larger, fuller, greener, but no other tree is equally cherished or more lovingly cared for as is this one. You see, this tree endured the Oklahoma City bombing. On the morning of April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh parked his death-laden truck just a few yards away from this tree. His twisted malice killed 168 people including 19 children under the age of 6, wounded 850, destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, damaged 324 other buildings within a 16-block radius, and buried this elm tree in rubble. 

The force of the blast from the 4,000-pound bomb blew away one entire side of the tree and stripped the leaves and some of the limbs from what was left. Shards of glass and debris were shot deep into the trunk. Fire from the cars parked beneath it blackened and scorched it. No one expected the tree to survive. It was yet another casualty of despicable terrorism.

But then something unexpected happened. The elm began to bud. Sprouts pressed through damaged bark; green leaves pushed away gray soot. Life resurrected from an acre of death. People noticed. The tree modeled the resilience of the victims. So they began hanging signs of remembrance on it. They gathered under its branches when McVeigh's guilty verdict was read.

They gave that elm a name: “The Survivor Tree”. It had taken the full brunt of the explosion, absorbed the fury of pure evil, yet it remained. Saplings from the Survivor Tree were sent to Columbine High School after the massacre there, to New York City after the September 11, 2001 attacks and to Virginia Tech after the shooting in 2007 - each becoming a tangible symbol of hope that something good and beautiful lies beyond the unthinkable.

The poet George Herbert once wrote: “Hope dances without music.” This is a good picture for a life of faith. To hope in God’s grace is to move to a rhythm that other people may not hear. Having hope means constantly expecting a different kind of future, even when the daily news seems to confirm our fears. Hope is for those who feel the pain of the world. Hope is for those who agonize at human cruelty. Hope is for those who hear the cries of refugees and homeless and hungry children, and cry along with them.
In a world where hope seems so far away, we are a people of hope. We listen for the voice of angels in the wind. We wait. We listen. We hope.                                                                                ~ PB

                                 Sunday Services:    9:00 AM Traditional            10:30 AM Casual