Welcome to Volume 4 Number 23 of this E-Newsletter.
Grace, Mercy and Peace from our Risen Savior.
I don't know about you but I have been moving between grief and anger as I have read and heard more about our current policies as a nation to separate parents from children as they reach our boarders. Grief because I cannot imagine the pain and heartbreak that these parents must experience having to turn their children over not knowing when they are going to see them again or without knowing what is going to happen to them. I cannot help but think of my two children and how absolutely destroy I would be to have them taken from me. Piled on top is that these brothers and sisters arriving at our boarders, seeking a safe place to live have traveled long distances, they are in a strange land surrounded by the unfamiliar and unknown. I am just heartbroken and have a hard time finding my words.
I am outraged as a believer because the Gospel for me points to something very different than this. No only is the Gospel a message of love, inclusion grace and compassion but it specifically points us to ways we are to act and care for children in our midst. Jesus himself said "let the little children come to me" (Matthew 19:14) but more importantly I consider Luke 17.
Luke 17 opens with an admittance that stumbling blocks will be present in our lives but that we are called to not place stumbling blocks in front of others, especially "little ones." Now little ones could be those new or beginning in the faith or children. So for me a big part of the Gospel is about how we are working to not only not place stumbling blocks in front of other but that we are active in removing those blocks that are being put in place. There are events and pieces of policy in place (and I don't care when or where or what party put policies in place) that are actively placing stumbling blocks in front of others, like separating parents from children.
I wish that I had something more eloquent to say but at this moment of writing I am getting a little too emotional and angry to put together more thoughts. I just know the Gospel calls me to consider the rest of the world and I am reminded that whatever I do unto the least of these I do also to God.
The ELCA and other denominations have been vocal and active about this issue, there was a statement from the ELCA here, there are also lots of groups doing work here locally like the Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice (IMIrJ) and others. Let Pastor Andrew know if you are interested in a further discussion or work in this area. Consider the lives of others and consider if you were in their position how you would feel being separated from your children...Lord, Have Mercy.
**I am always interested in discussing issues and current events with anyone so please feel free to contact me for conversation.
Prayer Requests: The family and friends of Shirley P., Nicolas, Debi, Andrea, David, Daniel, Dorothy F, Ellie and Noel, Christopher and Jill, Lee, Tom S., Rev. Maggie, Todd, Melanie, Jane, Don, Rheasa (Re-A-Sa) and Caleb, Patty and Berry, Jim, Barbara, Cookie, help us to remember and keep the promises we made to Oscar, Otto, Leah, Nichole, Sophia, Danielle, Grayson, Elijah in their baptism, St. Mark's Lutheran, St. Paul Lutheran, Puddletown School, we pray for students and teachers everywhere, help us to remain troubled by everything that is troubling in the world, we pray for all those lonely or forgotten in their time of need, we pray for the church, the world, and all those in need.
Vacation Bible School- Summer is almost here and it is time to start thinking about Vacation Bible School. We are partnering again with our brothers and sisters here in SE Portland to have an Ecumenical VBS. Once again Holy Family is hosting, with Moreland Presbyterian, Our Lady of Sorrows, St. Agatha, St. Ignatius and Holy Trinity being a part of the event. The theme this year is Shipwrecked and will be talking place July 9-13. Registration information will be coming soon along with volunteer opportunities for adults. Let Pastor Andrew know if you are interested in more details.
Tell Me More?- Are there things you see or we do around church that you wonder why? Like what are the symbols about on Pastor Andrew's stoles, or do pieces of our liturgy come from scripture, if so where? We will be compiling a list of questions over the coming weeks that we can chat about and learn together. Starting on July 8th we will be gathering during coffee hour to finish out Matthew Bible Study and then begin our Tell Me More.
5th Sunday In-Gathering- We are wrapping up our April In-Gathering of book for the Blast off for Books campaign, if you still want to donate please contact the church office. For July we will be putting together School Kits for Lutheran World Relief. For each kit we need 4 70-sheet 8' x 10.5" notebooks, one 30-centimeter ruler, one pencil sharpener, one pair of blunt scissors, 5 unsharpened #2 pencils, 5 black or blue ballpoint pens, one of ob 16 or 24 crayons, one eraser, one study drawstring backpack-style cloth bag 14' x 17'. We will be collecting them for our In-gathering on July 29th.
Tonight! Rescheduled! What's Going On- We will continue our Wednesday gatherings at Shut Up and Eat (SE 39th and Gladstone) at 6:30pm. We will be meeting again on June 13th! We have not picked a topic yet so if you have an idea for something let Pastor Andrew know.
Summer Preaching and Singing- With summer on the horizon it is time to start thinking about topics you are interested in hearing Pastor Andrew preach about this summer and your favorite hymns to sing. There will be a sign up sheet in the narthex for you to write down your suggestions.
Eco-Faith Recovery- We will be gathering in the coming weeks to chat about the next steps in deepening our connection and relationship with the world around us through Eco-Faith Recovery.
Sign-Up Now- Many of our members have been doing some of the Worship Assistant jobs for a long time now and we are looking to get new people into worship leadership. We have created a new sign up sheet in the back of the sanctuary for those wishing to participate. If you have any questions concerning the positions please contact Pastor Andrew or someone you have seen filling that role. There will be a time after church on a future Sunday where we will walk through the responsibilities of each position if you have questions.
Organ Fund- Are you enjoying the sound of the new Organ? we are accepting contributions to the Organ Fund to help with cost of this instrument. Please mark your donation "Organ Fund" so we can apply it to the proper account.
Holy Trinity Supper Club- Our next gathering will be be on June 24th still at 5pm. We will be gathering for dinner then Holden Evening Prayer. Bring something to share and come hungry!
Children's Clothing Closet- The 4th Saturday of each month the Bethlehem Children's Clothing Closet is open at St. Mark's Lutheran Church from 12-2pm. Please pass the word along, there is also always a need for donations and volunteers. Contact Pastor Andrew if you have any questions.
Vigils at Immigration and Customs Enforcement- The Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice is hosting two events monthly to stand in solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters at the Portland Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (4310 SW Macadam Ave.). On the 2nd Thursday of each month at 12 pm a group will gather for walking, prayer and meditation and on the last Thursday of each month at 10 am there will be a prayer vigil held. Pastor Andrew will be attending as many as his schedule allows if you would like to come along.
Clothes Needed- Clothes for the summer months, especially shoes are needed for people who are part of the Re-entry program at the Clark County Jail. You can help show Gods merciful love to hurting people who are being released from jail often to the streets to be homeless. Be part of a success story. Your donation will give a person warmth, safety, hope, and dignity as they try and rebuild their lives. Donations can be brought to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. Let's help people start their journey with a gift from the Lord.
If you would like a printed version of our weekend newsletter they can be found on the bulletin board by the bathrooms at church.
There are some Lutheran community organizers looking to get to know SE Portland and do some work around concerns in the community. If you are interested in the future of our corner of Portland and want to chat with them they would love to hear about your passions and desires for Portland. Let Andrew know if you are interested in chatting with them.
We have been invited on the second Friday of every month to join for worship with the saints at Our Lady of Sorrows Church here in Woodstock. At 7pm on those Fridays they gather for a Taize Service. Taize is an ecumenical community in France that has developed a method of prayer that combines music, prayer and silence. It is a beautiful service and something that cannot be related in words but needs to be experienced. If you are looking for a new worship opportunity you should check it out.
Holy Trinity's Little Library- Thanks to Keith our Little Library is now complete and up on the fence! It is located on Ogden Street right off of 39th. So if you need a book or have a few to donate swing on by.
-There are many ways to connect and engage with Holy Trinity Lutheran.
Find us on Facebook: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church Portland
Spread the word on Yelp
Join us for devotions on Instagram: HTLCPDX
Follow us on Twitter @HTLCPDX
If you are interested in my occasional musing on my blog you can find it here http://spoileralertimnotagoodwriter.blogspot.com
Pastor Andrew's schedule for 6/18-22
*This week is the beginning of Pastor Andrew's paternity leave, he will be available via phone and email for matters of pastoral care but will be out of the office.