Welcome to Volume 3 Number 37 of this E-Newsletter.
Grace, Mercy and Peace from our Risen Savior.
I am still troubled, saddened, hurt and bewildered by the events that occurred in Las Vegas over the weekend. There are times like these when I am so very distraught by the world and what happens on a day to day basis. I have trouble making sense of it all, I know that I am not the only one and it is days like these that I am glad that Elijah isn't old enough to know what's going on, but I know the day is coming where I will have to explain it all to him.
I am still asking myself what should I say, what should I do, how do I learn how to deal with events that these that seem to happen over and over again. The phrase "thoughts and prayers" seems to be the first thing out of my lips and so many others when events like Las Vegas, Hurricane Maria, and so many other events occur. I fear that the phrase has too quickly become just a throw away phrase because there is deep importance to prayer in times like these. Prayer is not just something we do to give thank to God before meals but it is something that is a part of the rhythms of our life to orient ourselves towards where the needs are in the world and where we are being called to go. Prayer should be the first step that moves us towards where God calls us to go.
There has to be something in addition to prayer. There has to be something that comes alongside of our prayers. I recognize that we come from different walks of life, with different backgrounds, having different views of the order of the world. However, we live in an intertwined world where we are not separate from one another and In many ways I feel that we have similar goals. One I believe is that no one wants to experience violence in their lives, the lives of their family, their friends or anyone. No one should live with violence and no one should be afraid to walk out of their doors to live their lives. So I think that one of our common callings in life is to work towards the end of violence so events like Las Vegas don't occur.
There is work to be done around lament, how we create space for giving, for naming injustice, for praying, crying and caring for one another. There is work to be done around how we raise up our community which involves listening to scripture, repenting of our actions, modeling and practicing conflict resolution, addressing bullying, having respectful conversions with people that have difference of opinions, and finding ways to work to reduce violence. There is also policy and advocacy work that needs to be done so that we can address the causes of violence and the effects of it.
We mourn the loss of life, all life is sacred and precious we are called to work for the life, wholeness and wellness of all. I am reminded each time something like this happens of just how valuable life is and how easy it can be taken for no reason. I know that we are called to something greater and bigger. Violence has no place in or world or the Kingdom of God.
I reflect often on the words from Isaiah 2 "God will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore."
**I am always interested in discussing issues and current events with anyone so please feel free to contact me for conversation.
Prayer Requests: Lawrence's Family and friends, Shirley P., Debi, Andrea, David, Daniel, Dorothy F, Noel, Christopher and Jill, Tom S., Rev. Maggie, Jane, Don, Rheasa (Re-A-Sa) and Caleb, Patty and Berry, 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.
What's Going On- We will begin our Wednesday gathering at Shut Up and Eat starting on 10/25, then again on 11/8 and 12/13/
Eco-Faith Recovery- Pastor Andrew is beginning work with Eco-Faith Recovery which is a Lutheran group that is making the connection between our spiritual lives and our environment and stewardship around creation. There will be an information meeting Thursday Oct. 12th at Central Lutheran Church at 7pm.
Lutheran Community Services NW Luncheon- Lutheran Community Services is a Lutheran service serving communities here in Portland and surround areas. Each year they host a Luncheon to update the community on the work they are doing and to seek contributions and support for the coming year. If you have interest in attending and did not receive an invitation please contact Pastor Andrew. The event will be on October 15th at 12:30pm.
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.
Holy Trinity Vitality Survey- The Oregon Synod is beginning the process of planning for the future of the church and Synod. Part of that process is a survey that congregations are being asked to participate in. This is a tool for us as a congregation to hear about our strengths and weaknesses so that we are better able to meet the needs of our members and communities. April is heading up the survey process so see her for a survey and for updates on the process.
500th Reformation Celebrations- This year we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. There will be a lot of events happening around the Portland area to celebrate. St. James's Lutheran on the Park Blocks have a weekend of events Oct. 13-15. St. Mark's is also have numerous Reformation events. You can read more about both on the bulletin board.
Oregon 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- We have dates for our Sunday evening worships this fall. We will be gathering on 10/22, 11/26, 12/17 at church at 5pm.
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.
Bible Study on Matthew- Our Gospel readings this year comes from the Gospel of Matthew, so why not take a deeper dive into the book. Join us Tuesday mornings at 10 here at Holy Trinity for a study on Matthews Gospel. We will join together in prayer, conversation, scripture and fellowship during our time together. This will be an 8 session course, which you can attend as you are able our next gathering will be on Oct. 17th, 31, Nov. 7, 28th.
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 10/9-13
Monday- Bishop's Convocation in Welches Oregon
Tuesday- Bishop's Convocation in Welches Oregon
Wednesday- Bishop's Convocation in Welches Oregon
Thursday- around church or SE PDX,
Friday- Sermon prep and on call if needed.