Welcome to Volume 3 Number 29 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 Bonnie! There is more information on the project below or you can check out the blog http://sepdxlutherans.blogspot.com
We began this blog with reflections on salvation. There was discussion of who does the saving, an invitation to ponder what we are saved from, and a reflection on what salvation does in us. But today I want to bring us full circle and ask: what are we saved for?
Is salvation a personal experience? Is it a change in status for the individual based on a gift from a loving God, restoring us to right relationship with our creator? Is that as far as it extends? Is salvation a “me and God thing”, or are the consequences broader? There is the freedom from that comes in this gift – freedom from fear of death, freedom from damnation, freedom from isolation, meaninglessness, desolation. But, what about the freedom for? What are we saved
The title of this project is Salvation, Scripture and Society. Here is where we get to Society! One of my favorite Lutheran tag lines is, “Free in Christ to Serve the Neighbor”. Here is the answer, for me, to what we are saved for. Because my efforts are not tied up in trying to work out my own salvation, I am free – free to co-create with God, free to collaborate with Jesus in the bringing of the Kingdom, free to join Christ the Reconciler in the work of restoration of all creation. This is the ultimate Good News of the Gospel – life beyond ourselves, our own fear, our own safety, our own security. Christ has set us free and in that freedom joined us to one another in loving service.
What does this mean? What does this mean on the ground, in the moment, in the midst of our daily living? How do you see this freedom playing out in your own life? Free in Christ to serve the neighbor…Galatians 5 tells us, “For freedom Christ has set us free…For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”’
Where are you longing for freedom? And, what if, like so much of the mystery of the cross, your liberation is hidden where you least expect to find it, in your willing bondage of love to your neighbor? Free in Christ to serve the neighbor. Free through Christ’s gift of liberation from the self-serving, free through Christ’s gift of us to one another to find our completeness in reconciliation and restoration. We need each other. We cannot live into our salvation on our own. We cannot fully live into relationship with God without living into the freedom to love and to serve our neighbors. God calls us to love what God loves. God loves you and God loves your neighbor – all your neighbors, your black and brown neighbors, your homeless neighbors, your rich and poor neighbors, your easy neighbors and your oh-so- hard neighbors, your gay neighbors, your Muslim neighbors, your invisible neighbors, the neighbors you’d rather not see. And you, you are set free, free to love and serve them too.
There is an individualism that can creep into our faith lives. Respecting religion as personal can become twisted, making our faith only about us and God. Is there really such a thing as “your own personal Jesus” as Depeche Mode sings? In the focus on having a “personal relationship with Jesus Christ”, can we miss what that relationship calls us to? Jesus may be our “all in all” but that is the foundation of our life in Christ. The culmination is in our love and service for neighbor.
**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., Ben I., 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 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 Aug. 23rd from 6:30-8pm.
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.
New 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.
New Church Picnic and Outdoor Worship- September 10th will be the date for our annual picnic and outdoor worship. We have shifted the date to the fall in hopes of nicer weather. We will be gathering for worship in the parking lot with a picnic lunch to follow. Also that Sunday we will be commissioning our new cross on the building and decommissioning our old one. So come and be a part of the history of Holy Trinity.
New Holy Trinity Vitality Survey- The Oregon Synod is beginnign 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.
Walk with Refugees and Immigrants- Portland Parks for New Portlanders is partnering with Sunday Parkways to organize "Walk with Refugees & Immigrants" on Sunday, August 20th. The community, city and elected leaders will gather at East Portland Neighborhood Office and participate in a mile walk towards Knott Park alongside the refugee & immigrant community to show our support. In partnership with refugee and immigrant organizations, this event plans to recognize the unique experiences of new Portlanders of all ages by honoring seniors and providing school supplies for children. Come hear refugees & Immigrants share their stories, diverse music, food, and other activities to enjoy. We urge all our neighbors, local businesses, board members, neighborhood associations & non-profits to join us on this walk for a more compassionate, generous, and welcoming Portland! 11am-2pm August 20th at East Portland Neighborhood Office (1017 ne 117th Ave)
This Sunday Holy Trinity Supper Club- Thank you to everyone who came to our supper club last Sunday. Despite the heat it was a wonderful evening of fellowship and worship. We will be having another Supper Club soon.
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 Savior'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.
This Sunday! 13th Viewing and Discussion- Thanks to everyone who came out and watched and conversed with us about the film. We are planning on doing more of these types of events so keep an eye on your calendar.
New 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 August 22nd, Sept. 5, 19, Oct. 3rd, 17, 31.
Photography Open House- Local artist Taran Nadler is going to be having his first exhibit of his photography here at Holy Trinity this August. The artist explains the project like this "The exhibit will showcase the work that first triggered my obsession with photography: the process of slowing down and re-learning to see the basic beauty in the world around us." Be sure to join us for the open house August. 25th from 5-8pm.
Camp Lutherwood Harvest Festival- October 1st will be Camp Lutherwoods Harvest Festival. It will be an afternoon of fellowship, fun, food and fundraising. Contact the church office for more details.
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
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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 7/14-18
Monday- Out of Office
Tuesday- Out of Office
Wednesday- Out of Office
Thursday- Around church or SE Portland
Friday- sermon writing, on call if needed.