Welcome to Volume 3 Number 19 of this E-Newsletter.
Grace, Mercy and Peace from our Risen Savior.
*Note from Andrew- This week begins our Summer series with St. Paul and St. Mark's, our writing each week are going to be from different leaders in SE. This week Bonnie Beadles-Bohling. There is more information on the project below or you can check out the blog http://sepdxlutherans.blogspot.com/
Is Jesus Christ your personal Lord and Savior?
In the Small Catechism, Luther unpacks the core teachings of the church via the question: what does this mean? If you happened to undergo Lutheran confirmation in your youth or an adult catechism class upon coming to the faith, this phrase may ring familiar. I find this question to often be my first response as I ponder where and how God is at work in our lives and in our world. It is the lens through which I examine questions such as the one above. Have you heard this question? Have you been asked this question? Does this question have meaning for you? What associations, concerns or responses does it bring up in your gut? Your soul? Your mind?
In my experience, it is a modern evangelical question with a distinctly self-reliant flavor. The question isn’t, “Does Jesus save?” or “How does Jesus save?” or “What is salvation?”. The question is, “Has Jesus saved YOU?”. Or, as it sits in my ear, “Have you chosen Christ?”. I am left asking, “what does this mean?”.
In my youth, I was a junior counselor at a Midwestern Bible Camp. I have many great memories of that experience. I also have a few regrets. There was a “game” we played with the kids called angels and demons. It was a bit like spiritual battle-ball. The campers were blindfolded and set loose in a dimly lit gym. Counselors, some in the role of demons and some as angels, would target kids, trying to persuade them to follow. The point of the games was to have kids, under confusion and emotional distress, declare Jesus as Lord and Savior to save themselves and stop the competing entities hounding them. Oh, the fear involved in believing that we are responsible for our own salvation! The stuff of nightmares…
Is the question of salvation a question of what you have done or a question of what Jesus has done? Luther found relief from his own fear in the scripture: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God”. (Ephesians 2:8). And so, what to make of the urge to believe that our salvation comes from choosing Christ? Does our salvation really hinge on anything we can do? Luther says no and points to grace (God’s free gift) alone, through faith alone and even goes so far as to claim that faith itself is also a gift from God, generated by the Holy Spirit. In this way, we do not in any way effect our own salvation.
For you, what does this mean?
Bonnie Beadles-Bohling, Lay Leader, South East Community Organizing
**I am always interested in discussing issues and current events with anyone so please feel free to contact me for conversation.
Prayer Requests: Shirley P., Andrea, David, Daniel, Dorothy F, Noel, Christopher and Jill, Tom S., 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, 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 the church, the world, and all those in need.
What's Going On- Over the summer What's Going On is going to have a new look. We are combining with St. Mark's and St. Paul Lutheran for monthly discussions. After our Faith, Sexism and Justice work there was a desire to gather together to continue conversation around our shared faith. So each month during the summer will gather to talk about different topics, June will be salvation, July will be Scripture and August will be Society. Each week our e-newsletter will be written by a different voice here in SE Portland. Join us at Shut Up and Eat (SE 39th and Gladstone) for our next gathering will be June 28th from 6-7:30pm.
New Passport to Peru Vacation Bible School- Once again Holy Trinity will be joining with the saints of Holy Family Catholic Parish, Moreland Presbyterian, St. Ignatius Catholic Parish and St. Agatha's Catholic Parish for Vacation Bible School this coming summer. Children ages 4 through those who have completed 5th grace, so if you have someone your house, family or neighborhood please pass the word around. The dates of VBS are July 10-14 the Church Office has more information if needed.
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.
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.
New For the Bible Tells Me So- St. Paul's and St. Mark's have organized a series of Bible studies and a movie around the topic of What Does the Bible Say about Sexuality and Gender-Based Issues? A thesis of the film is that much of Christianity's homophobia represents a misreading of scripture, a denial of science, and an embrace of quack psychology. The movie, For the Bible Tells Me So, will first be shown at St. Paul's on Sunday, June 4th at 11:30 am following the worship service. A second showing will be on June 25th at 5:30 pm. Both showings will be accompanied by meals! A two part Bible study will be held at St. Paul's on June 11th and 18th from 11:30 am to 12:15 pm following the worship service. The main resource for the Bible study (besides the Bible) will be The Good Book by Peter J. Gomes. The first part of the study will focus on how to read the Bible with our mind and our heart. The second part will build on the first part to understand the various references in the Bible to sexuality.
New Southeast PDX Meeting- Last month Apirl, Romeo and I attended a meeting of people in SE PDX to talk about the neighborhood, hear stories, and to talk about the pressures and strains we experience in our day to day loves. We are going to be meeting again on June 12th from 6-8 at St. Mark's and I would love to have you come along. If you have any questions you can feel free to ask.
Spring Cleaning! After getting canceled we have set June 17th for our spring cleaning! There is a list where we can post jobs to be down on the clean up day.
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.
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 6/5-9
Monday- on call if needed
Tuesday- around the office or SE Portland, Pastor's group at noon
Wednesday- around church or SE Portland
Thursday- around church or SE Portland
Friday- sermon writing, on call if needed