Welcome to Volume 4 Number 1 of this E-Newsletter.
Grace, Mercy and Peace from our Risen Savior.
New Year, new volume, it is kinda wild to think that we are entering into our 4th year of doing this weekly newsletter.
This weekend is a pretty monumental weekend around the Church. It is not very often that you get two high church days back to back like this. Saturday we celebrate Epiphany and then Sunday we celebrate Jesus Baptism. Since we won't have time to cover everything this weekend I wanted to share a thought about Epiphany that I might not have the time to preach on this Sunday.
I must say before moving to the NW I am not sure I fully understood the sentiment of some who say they find God in nature. At the time my world view was one that thought a supplemental way to experience God was in-creation but not the primary. However, this year the story of Epiphany stuck me differently.
A detail I had not noticed or considered before was the pretty obvious statement that the magi had no frame of reference to the God of Israel, they did not know of the promise of God that a Savior was to be born, they knew nothing of the Isralities but yet they ended up coming and visiting the Christ child. What was the first thing that made them seek this child? It was a star appearing in the sky, it wasn't from reading the prophets, or attending temple or knowing the promise of a Savior, but it was creation that pointed them to the child. I believe that as I have gotten older, and realized that I really have no idea how the Holy Spirit works, that my mind has been opened to the vast expansive creative possibility of the Holy Spirit's work.
I believe that we are able to experience and find God in all the places we don't expect, because we have a God that breaks boundaries and divides. The magi followed a star to find this Christ child, I maybe took a bit more traditional approach but I am finding that God is made known to us in places we would never see or expect. So I guess my question for you this day, is where have or did you experience God in a place you did not expect or how can we continue to encourage all people to find God in places that we don't expect.
*This Sunday after Church we will be taking down the Christmas decorations around church if you are free we would love to have your help.
**I am always interested in discussing issues and current events with anyone so please feel free to contact me for conversation.
Prayer Requests: The friends and family of Jerry Carley, the friends and family of Scott, Shirley P., Debi, Andrea, David, Daniel, Dorothy F, Noel, Christopher and Jill, Lee, Tom S., Rev. Maggie, Todd, Melanie, Jane, Don, Rheasa (Re-A-Sa) and Caleb, Patty and Berry, Jim, Barbara, Cookie, 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 all those lonely or forgotten in their time of need, we pray for the church, the world, and all those in need.
This Sunday! After worship on Sunday January 7th we will be taking down the Christmas decorations around the church. If you are able to stick around and lend a hand that would be wonderful!
New Annual Meeting!- January 28th after the 9:30 a.m. worship service will be our annual meeting. We will be hearing reports from the past year and voting on the budget for 2018. All members are encouraged to be there but all are welcome regardless of membership to join in the conversation around what we are doing here at Holy Trinity. Keep an eye on the mail for an announcement and agenda.
New Lutheran World Relief- Thanks to each and everyone of you we reached our $500 goal for our Goat Fund. Each year we collect money to send to Lutheran World Relief for farm animals for communities around the world. The Council will be discussing what configuration of goats, pigs, chickens and more to be sending with the money. If you have any input be sure to chat with a Council Member.
New Souper Bowl Sunday- In just a few short weeks Souper Bowl Sunday will be here! Since 1990 non-profits like Churches have been using the last Sunday in January as a massive in-gathering of canned goods and money for community food pantries. We will be gathering our cans on January 28th, so if you are able grab a few extra non-perishable food items and bring them to church over the next few weeks and we will take them over to the food pantry at St. Mark's after our worship on the 28th.
What's Going On- We will continue our Wednesday gatherings on January 31st at Shut Up and Eat (SE 39th and Gladstone) at 6:30pm. We will be talking this month about the intersection of patriotism and faith. We will be using this article as a conversation starter, but do not feel that you have to read it in-order to attend.
Eco-Faith Recovery- We will be gathering in the coming weeks to chat about the next steps in deepening our connection and relationship with the world around us through Eco-Faith Recovery.
Sign-Up Now- Many of our members have been doing some of the Worship Assistant jobs for a long time now and we are looking to get new people into worship leadership. We have created a new sign up sheet in the back of the sanctuary for those wishing to participate. If you have any questions concerning the positions please contact Pastor Andrew or someone you have seen filling that role. There will be a time after church on a future Sunday where we will walk through the responsibilities of each position if you have questions.
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.
Organ Fund- Are you enjoying the sound of the new Organ? we are accepting contributions to the Organ Fund to help with cost of this instrument. Please mark your donation "Organ Fund" so we can apply it to the proper account.
Holy Trinity Supper Club- Our next Supper Club and Holden Evening Prayer will be on January 28th starting at 5pm. Bring something to share and after the meal we will have worship.
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.
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 January 9th, 16th and 30th.
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 1/8-12
Monday- On call if needed
Tuesday- Matthew Bible Study in the am- text study at noon
Wednesday- around church or SE
Thursday- around church or SE, I.C.E. Vigil at noon
Friday- sermon writing, on call if needed