Welcome to Volume 2 Number 51 of this E-Newsletter.
Grace, Mercy and Peace from our Risen Savior.
I am sure you already know but Christmas is just a few days away. It is hard to imagine I know, especially since here in Portland the month has been a blur of ice and snow days. Days seem to speed up around this time of year, spinning faster and faster seemingly out of control. Our list of things to do grows longer by the day, and we always seem to add more to the list than we remove. Before we know it Christmas has come and gone, what are we left with...
What remains is the light shinning in the darkness, a light the darkness cannot overcome. Figuratively there are many moments and times when we are in darkness, darkness can and does come in many forms. It could be struggles at home, anxiety about life or the world, questions of
"how will we make the next mortgage payment," it could be depression or any other form. It feels all enveloping and all encompassing. When was the last time you were not just figuratively in the dark, but actually literally in the dark? Can you remember that feeling?
I can recall my times and nights being in the dark of Elijah's room rocking him back to sleep. He has a hard time sleeping if it is not pitch black, so his room is incredible dark. It was so incredibly disorienting for me, not have any light at all to work with, in those moments even the slightest missteps could be dangerous. I cannot tell you how many times in putting Elijah down into his bed did I bump his head on the bars because I was a few inches off where I needed to be.
In the darkness, even the smallest hint of light illuminates. In the dark of Elijah's room a small sliver of light makes all the difference in the darkness. In the darkness of night, on the longest and darkest of days the small ray of light, glimpse of light is a sign of hope and mercy. When we celebrate the birth of Christ, this is not just a small light coming into our darkness, but it is an explosion of the Heavenly Host, the light of God coming into the world. This light in the world, silences the darkness, it obliterates the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it. That is the Good News! and this changes everything for our lives and the world.
Prayer Requests: Shirley P., Andrea, Fern, Bruce, David, Bob, Alice, Dorothy F, Pastor Janell, Noel, Terry, Allen, Barbara, Rev. Maggie, Sherry S., Jane, Don, Rheasa (Re-A-Sa) and Caleb, April, Patty and Berry, Oscar, Otto, Leah, Nichole, Sophia, Danielle, Grayson, Elijah, St. Mark's Lutheran, St. Paul Lutheran, we pray for students and teachers everywhere, help us to remain troubled by everything that is troubling in the world, we pray for the church, the world, and all those in need.
What's Going On Jan. 11th- Join us at Shut Up and Eat (SE 39th and Gladstone) at 6pm for our monthly discussion group. We will be chatting each month about current events and issues currently in the news. If you have a topic you would like to discuss in the future let Pastor Andrew know. If you don't have the time to read the articles do not worries all are welcome at the conversation.
Holy Trinity Supper Club *New Date being discussed- Once a month we will be hosting an evening meal and worship here at Holy Trinity. We will be gathering around 4:30 at the church for dinner and conversation together followed by a short informal worship service. All are welcome and come hungry. This coming month things will look a bit different.
Holy Trinity, St. Paul and St. Mark’s Lutheran Churches
coming together to study
“Faith, Sexism and Justice,”
the ELCA’s proposed social statement on women and justice
Noon to 1:30 on 7 Sundays, with a light lunch provided by the hosting congregation.
Come be a party of conversations that matter; come help shape the ELCA’s next social statement.
We are invited to answer the question: what would you like our church (the ELCA) as part of Christ’s body to say and do about sexism and justice?
Jan. 8th, at Holy Trinity Lutheran (7220 SE Cesar Chavez Blvd)
Jan. 22nd, at St. Mark’s Lutheran (5415 SE Powell Blvd)
Feb. 12th, at St. Paul Lutheran (3880 SE Brooklyn St)
Feb. 26th, at Holy Trinity Lutheran
March 5th, at St. Mark’s Lutheran
March 19th, at St. Paul’s
April 2nd, at Holy Trinity
The study document can be downloaded as a PDF at http://download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/FAITH_SEXISM_JUSTICE_Conversations_toward_a_Social_Statement.pdf;
Paper copies of each module will be available through the three congregations
We are having a few Church Council members whose terms are ending this year, so we will have a few open spots on Council if you are interested in serving the Church in this way.
New + FARM ANIMALS + Starting December 4th, ELCA Farm Animal donation money is being collected. We will take donations through Jan. 29th. Please mark your donation “farm animals”.
New Winter Clothes Needed- Warm jackets, hats, gloves, sports bras, thick socks, and scarves 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.
You should have received in the mail a questioner about the order of the projects you would like to see done at Holy Trinity. When you finish filling it out if you could please return it the Chris.
Our Sunday School is officially back and off to a great start! One Sunday a month we will have an extra focus on Christian Education. Our Church in Action Children's Program will be integrated with our Sunday Worship. New dates are being scheduled for 2017.
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 dates set for Sunday School for the rest of the year. So mark your calendars for Dec 11. Look for a flyer coming soon to share with your family and friends!
Winter is now! So join Pastor Andrew on Wednesday to walk around the neighborhood. We will be meeting at 2:30 at the church and set off for a stroll around the neighborhood.
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 12/26-30
Monday- out of office on-call if needed
Tuesday- out of office on call if needed
Wednesday- Around church or se most of the day
Thursday- around church or se
Friday- Sermon prep, on-call if needed