Welcome to Volume 3 Number 20 of this E-Newsletter.
Grace, Mercy and Peace from our Risen Savior.
*Note from Andrew- This week continues 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 the word comes from Pastor Kelle Nelson, pastor of St Paul Lutheran. There is more information on the project below or you can check out the blog http://sepdxlutherans.blogspot.com/
A couple years ago I set out to paint my dining room furniture. It was dated, and it seemed to know it. As with most of us, it’s prime years was somewhere before 1999, yet somehow it just stood there in my dining room refusing to conform to the new standards I had for it. It just looked tired. And on top of it, it was a piece of furniture that once held great memories for me and that was also a hard thing to think about.
This was the dining room table that my previous husband and I purchased together for our first home. A long oval table, six chairs, and a hutch. The table has memories of amazing meals, and long nights playing board games. The hutch holds my wedding china and my grandmother’s goblets. It was the nucleus of fun family events, and now after my divorce it reminded me of what once was, and it was not only old and out of style – it’s seemed ugly and not worth keeping around. I wanted it gone. Mostly because it stood as a reminder of something lost, and things I no longer wanted to be reminded of, which continued to make my heart hurt.
Ignoring it didn’t work. This stubborn furniture just refused to leave on its own. And I could blame the furniture, but lots of other couches, drapes, dishes and knick-knacks seemed to move themselves around that first couple of years after my divorce. There was a reason this oak table and hutch stayed around. Perhaps it was to taunt me with its brass accents and knobs, or maybe it was waiting for me to grow up a little and see that something valid and worthy was still there. I just needed to see it for myself.
One day I started to paint the hutch. I bought some fancy paint that updates old furniture and I found myself laying down a sheet on my living room floor, taking off the glass doors one at a time without a large plan of what I really intended to do. My newlywed husband sanded some spots for me and I bought a few new accessories and got rid of some old stuff. When all of it had dried and set, I watched as my husband and my son lifted it back into place and put the doors back on together, and something warm in my heart creeped up on me.
Salvation is that thing that redeems us as it lifts us out of what we see that is old and ugly in our lives and reminds us of the purpose it did and continues to have. The most amazing part of it all is that we don’t have to do anything but receive it and know that it is a gift from a God that loves every part of us just as we are.
That table, the hutch, my heart, my memories and my outlook to my future was salvaged that day, and I give thanks to a God who patiently waited for me to recognize that option all along.
We sit at that table now as a blended family of six, and we pray together, we eat together, we play board games, the children often stand on the chairs and dance at least one time throughout our family meal. We have awful manners, but no longer does that room look and feel like a shrine of something that is old and sad. It is alive.
While it still holds a resemblance of what it once was, I no longer find it ugly. I even like that it still reminds me of what it once looked like as it warmly welcomes me into the opportunity of a hopeful future. It has become a piece of my salvation. It is a reminder of the continued beauty that comes out of God’s grace, and the opportunity that God gives us to always, always … always be redeemed no matter how ugly and worthless things seem.
Pastor Kelle Nelson, St. Paul Lutheran
**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.
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.
This Sunday VBS Pre-Event Experience Peru- What better way to get excited about VBS this summer than diving into our VBS cirriculm Passport to Peru. from 12-2:30 there will be Peruvian food, games, food and more. The gathering will be at Holy Family and should be a wonderful afternoon of getting ready for VBS.
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 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.
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.
New Holy Lands Trip- Pastor Curtis Zieske, currently the interim pastor at Our Saviour's in Seaside, is organizing a trip to the Holy Lands this fall and is inviting members of Oregon Synod congregations to come along. The trip is from October 31st till November 13th. Pastor Andrew has more information if you are interested.
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 6/12-16
Monday- on call if needed, Evening SE Meeting
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