Welcome to Volume 3 Number 34 of this E-Newsletter.
Grace, Mercy and Peace from our Risen Savior.
I would imagine that you knew exactly where you were 16 years ago yesterday when you heard the news, I know I sure do. Yesterday marked the anniversary of an event that has redefined our country and world. 9/11/01 still feels like yesterday, I don't event have to close my eyes to be taken back to where I was that moment I heard the news. No matter how many years seem to pass I am still heartbroken, still mourning and still left with a sense of a void that I can't seem to fill. It was a horrific day, with unspeakable actions taken and lives lost.
I have a daily devotional book that I read through most days of the year, it is called Common Prayer a Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals. The reading listed for yesterday was from Matthew 6, the part where Jesus reminds us not to worry about our lives, what we will eat or drink that God will take care of us and care for us. The example that Jesus gives us is to look to the lilies of the field and how they do not spin or labor and God takes care of them, and the bids of the air, that they do not sow or reap or store in barns but God cares for them and are we not more valuable than bids and lilies. Verses like these have served as reminders of God's love, peace and presence with us in times of trouble for believers for generations. I myself have turned to them in times of need to remind myself of God's promises in the past...
However, yesterday on 9/11 these words came more to me as troubling and challenging than ever. It is hard for me, and I am sure I am not alone to hear those words to not worry and take them to heart on days like 9/11. I feel the need to push back against them and I struggle with them because I do find things to worry about and to fret about. It is not like eating or drinking are small things, they are major needs. On days like 9/11 I find myself worrying about the small mundane things to the large things and everything in-between. The on the surface don't worry about your day to day doesn't sit well and does not provide the words of hope I need to hear.
For me, I have always found my faith to be most vibrant when I push back and call it into question. Yesterday I didn't find the peace in Jesus's words but when I ask myself why it causes me to reflect on my faith and where I see God in the world and in my life. I have found that when I just blindly accept something it does not have a last impact on my life or day to day. However, when I allow myself to ask the challenging questions I find myself joining in the story of faith, from Abraham and Sarah to Moses to the Disciples, the early church and to my brothers and sisters in Christ.
I find myself in the place others before me have been in wondering and asking. Sometimes I don't get the answers I want, but it causes me to put myself aside and trust that there are something out of my control (really most things are) and that God really does care and love me in the midst of all of the uncertainty and doubt I feel. When I find the space to sit in the uncertainty of the world but to seek the Kingdom of God first, I know that I am not in control of the world but I am reminded that God is present in that uncertainty.
**I am always interested in discussing issues and current events with anyone so please feel free to contact me for conversation.
Prayer Requests: The Daack Family, Shirley P., 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 the church, the world, and all those in need.
What's Going On- We have wrapped up our summer project so look for more information about our Wednesday gatherings in the future and where we are going next.
Summer Hymns and Preaching- We are nearing the end of the preaching topics for the summer, thank you to everyone who participated and be ready for this project to return next summer.
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.
Church Picnic- Thank you to everyone who was a part of our picnic last Sunday. It was a little different than we had planned but it was a great opportunity for fellowship and a time to celebrate.
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.
Cross-Cultural Temple Tour- Faith communities like ours have been invited to a tour on September 16th to visit other faith communities Houses of Worship.
This bridge-building experience has been described as a fascinating and unsettling experience. We recommend this multicultural tour as an opportunity to get to know our neighbors in the Portland area. The day includes a guided visit to a Muslim mosque, Sikh temple, Hindu temple and a Buddhist temple. Registration is $69 and includes a delicious ethnic lunch! See Pastor Andrew for more details.
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.
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 Sept. 19, Oct. 3rd, 17, 31, Nov. 7.
Thank You! Photography Open House- Thank you to everyone who came out to support local artist Taran Nadler and his first photography exhibit. It was a great success and we are blessed to have his work still hanging on our walls for a few more weeks. If you have not gotten a chance to take a look make time for it because it is well worth it. There is another two dates for an Open House and chance to meet the artist. One is Tuesday September 12th from 6-8 and Sunday September 24th from 11:30-2.
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
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 9/18-22
Monday- On call if needed
Tuesday- Bible Study at church in the a.m., Pastors group at noon.
Wednesday- around church or SE
Thursday- around church or SE PDX
Friday- Sermon prep and on call if needed.