Welcome to Volume 4 Number 9 of this E-Newsletter.
Grace, Mercy and Peace from our Risen Savior.
Two quick announcements.
1. Sunday at 5 will be having a potluck and Holden Evening Prayer! I will be bringing some pizza and salad if anyone wants to bring something to share that would be wondering!
2. We have reschedule our Shut up and Eat Gathering for March 7th at 6:30pm.
Now onto my rather scatted thoughts this week...
I have been following a rather major conversation occurring at the Seminary from which I graduated, the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. The short version is this, since I have graduated the seminary merged with the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia (they are just a couple hours apart). It has not been a smooth transition and this seems to be the icing on the cake. Part of the merger was naming a new President. The now United Lutheran Seminary called Dr. Theresa Latini’s to be their President.
Ok so here is the brief rundown, I am going to give you a short rundown because this is also not my story so I do not want to inflect too much of my own take on her story. Dr. Lantini a couple of decades ago, was a part of a religious group that promoted and worked on conversion therapy. If you are not familiar with the term this is a "medical" procedure to try to convert someone from being gay to straight. It is problematic on many levels, that we can chat about later if you have questions. Dr. Lantini realized the problem with this work and years ago stopped her work with this group and has been spending her time since in the promotion of the LGBTQ community and working for their rights. The problem is that in the interviewing, hiring and other times before she was hiring no one talked about this or acknowledge that she did this work in the past. So the United Lutheran community, felt in the dark, that stuff was happening in secret and away from public conversation.
Dr. Lantini has repented and has turned from her former ways so it is not the repentance piece that I have been stewing over but the role of atonement and rehabilitation. I feel that I have more questions than answers right now so I will just share a few. If we truly repent then I believe that we are called to recognize that repentance and find ways to work to atone for what was done. I am not sure if it is as easy as saying you are sorry and moving on. This is why it has been so important for Pastors that have been abusive to leave their congregations and the ministry. This is why it is important that people like Al Franken step down from their office. From the President to our friends, neighbors and family members we need to figure how to hold people accountable for their actions part of us atoning for our sins is changing our path and living into God's promises. But how do we decide when atonement is done and their former actions are behind them.
I don't know...this has gotten me very turned around this week because forgiveness is not an easy thing, and the more we dig into the lives of those around us it gets messy. What I know to be true is that God's love is excessive and always greater than we can imagine, God's forgiveness for us is always greater and stronger than our forgiveness of ourselves or those around us. I know that we are called to a higher standard of love, acceptance, grace and forgiveness. But it is not easy, but how do we worship a God of second chances while we work to make things on earth as it is in heaven?
Thanks for reading my rather hazy take on this situation.
**I am always interested in discussing issues and current events with anyone so please feel free to contact me for conversation.
Prayer Requests: Nicolas, Shirley P., Debi, Andrea, David, Daniel, Dorothy F, Ellie and 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.
New Members- We are starting to work on another round of new member class, so if you have been a part of the community and would like to be become an official member please let Pastor Andrew know.
Church Photos- If anyone did not get their photo taken for the church please let Pastor Andrew know so we can get one scheduled for you.
Easter Lilies- Even though we have just begun Lent, we are going to think about Easter. This year we are giving the opportunity to give lilies to the congregation in honor of a loved one or in memory of a loved one who has died. We will have forms available in the office.
Momentary Humans---A Photography Exhibit- We are excited to announce a new gallery by Taran Nadler here at Holy Trinity. Last year we hosted his first gallery and he is back with another installation. The photos are up now and feel free to check them out next time you are in the building.
Rescheduled! What's Going On- We will continue our Wednesday gatherings on March 7th 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.
Synod Assembly- The Oregon Synod is trying something new this year for Synod Assembly. In years past we have gathered at a retreat center somewhere for three days. This year we are going to be breaking the event into two smaller events. The first is a Regional Gathering, there are five days around the Synod for congregations to gathering with fellow congregations in their local area, ours is May 5th at West Linn Lutheran and everyone is welcome to coming. The second event is our one day business meeting on May 19th at Gethsemane Lutheran and we can send two representatives from the congregation. If you are interested in either event please let Pastor Andrew know.
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.
THIS SUNDAY! Holy Trinity Supper Club- Our next gathering will be March 4th at 5pm. We will be gathering for dinner then Holden Evening Prayer. Bring something to share and come hungry!
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- We have a few more sessions in our study, that we will be looking to complete in the next few weeks. Through conversation we have decided to try to re-incorporate a Sunday Bible Study in which we will finish the last three session. Stay tuned for more information.
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 2/26-3/2
Monday- On call if needed
Tuesday- Around Church in the am- text study at noon
Wednesday-Around church or SE PDX, Shut Up and Eat at 6:30pm
Thursday- around church or SE PDX,
Friday- Sermon work-on call if needed