Welcome to Volume 3 Number 13 of this E-Newsletter.
Grace, Mercy and Peace from our Risen Savior.
Before I dive into my ramblings for the week I wanted to thank everyone for make this past week so incredible, Holy Week was powerful and moving and Easter was such a joyous experience, thank you!
From the file of "I won't have time to preach on this Sunday but I found it interesting," comes our Epistle Reading from 1 Peter this Sunday. On the surface it sounds like Paul, or someone writing like Paul, giving a wonderful introduction to the letter he was writing and reminding us about the promises we have through our shared new life in Christ. One the surface it seems like a great theological piece but when we consider the audience of the letter the reading changes a bit.
Many if not a majority of Christians living in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey), to which this letter was written, we resident aliens and visiting foreigners to the Roman controlled area, so they looked different, worshiped differently and did not totally fit the culture that was around them. In the first century, there was no empire-wide persecution of Christians at this time, however if a majority of Christians were resident aliens or visiting foreigners they were not Roman citizens so they did not have the luxury that citizens enjoyed. They were from diverse communities, different from their neighbors however, they still paid taxes, contributed to the local economy, but they could not vote, or inherit property, and were denied the legal protection that citizens enjoyed.
The experience here of the early church sounds pretty similar to the lived experience of immigrants, refugees and people who practice other faith's than Christianity in our own country today. Our society points to and draws attention to those that look differently or worship differently they are perceived as endangering the economic security and social well-being of a community. However, like with the early Christians these visiting foreigners and resident aliens in the United States, are working, volunteering in our communities, serving our country in the military and paying taxes, but still aren't afforded the legal protections and ability to vote as we do.
I might be getting a bit long winded but I find this to be an important consideration for our own lives of faith and walks of discipleship. When we look back at the text we can now see that these outsiders to which the letter of 1 Peter was written were words of hope and reminders that God gives us belonging where and when the world doesn't. We, all of us, have been reborn into God's family, our society may tell us otherwise but God see the tested value of our faith and reminds us, all of us that new life is present and salvation is secured. It may not be an easy journey but we walk in that hope learning again and again what is means to be a disciple of Jesus.
**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 Fern Luke, Shirley P., Andrea, David, Dorothy F, Noel, Rev. Maggie, Jane, Don, Rheasa (Re-A-Sa) and Caleb, Lu-Ann, Kathy, 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, 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- Join us at Shut Up and Eat (SE 39th and Gladstone) for our monthly discussion group. We are looking into dates for April currently. Each month we gather to talk about things going on in the world, we usually start with a topic then make our way from there. If you have a topic for a future week you would like to discuss let the church office know.
New Summer Hymns and Preaching- Last summer we experimented with a total request hymn sing and it will be back again this summer. We posted a sheet of paper outside of the sanctuary where people wrote down their favorite hymns and we sang them throughout the summer, so start thinking of your favorite hymns. Also this Summer Pastor Andrew would love input on preaching topics, so there will also be a sheet where you could put down topics, pieces of scripture, or anything else you would like to have preached about this summer.
*Rescheduled Portland Chamber Music Concert- Free concert in Woodstock Neighborhood, May 13th at 7pm! Come enjoy the music of friends in the company of piano, flute, clarinet, violin, cello and soprano. It's fun for the whole family!
Featuring music by Klein, Smith Moore, Leo Smit and more!
PCM Spring 2017 season is sponsored in part by grants from Oregon Community Foundation, Multnomah County Cultural Coalition & the Oregon Cultural Trust.
Portland Chamber Music is a nonprofit organization bringing together musicians and audiences from all walks of life in quality, welcoming performances and music education that is accessible to all.
Holy Trinity Supper Club *new dates 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.
*Rescheduled Spring Cleaning! After getting canceled this past weekend we are trying to reschedule our Spring Cleaning. Check your calendars for April 29th, May 13th, June 17th for our spring cleaning! There will a spot on the chalkboard in the fellowship room to select the dates you are available. There will also be a list where we can post jobs to be down on the clean up day.
Puddletown Pride- Puddletown had to reschedule their spring cleanup day because of the power outage as well. They will be gathering on May 13th, if you would like to join us. We will also be providing some refreshments while they are here if you would like to help please let Pastor Andrew know.
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.
Prayer List- We have thinned out our prayer list but do not mean to take people off that still need to be on the list, so please let the church off know if we took anyone off in haste.
Seeds of an Eco-Reformation- The Oregon Synod has received some grant money for congregations to do work around ecology and stewardship of creation work. If you are interested in a project like this please talk with Pastor Andrew.
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 4/24-28
Monday- on call if needed
Tuesday- around the office or SE Portland, Pastor's group at noon
Wednesday- around the office or SE Portland
Thursday- around church or Se Portland.
Friday- sermon writing, on call if needed.