Welcome to Volume 4 Number 10 of this E-Newsletter.
Grace, Mercy and Peace from our Risen Savior.
I would imagine that you have heard the Gospel reading for this coming Sunday before. We have in the lectionary for this week a piece of John's Gospel that contains those famous words from John 3:16. "For God so loved the world that, God gave God's only son that whoever believed in him would not perish but have eternal life." It seems fitting that we have this reading the week in-which we are gathering at Shut Up and Eat when our topic is faith and patriotism.
I have always felt a great deal of tension between my Christian faith and my citizenry. I am grateful for where I was born, raised and the opportunities that have been afforded to me because of that. We enjoy a great deal of freedoms here in the States that I know are not the case elsewhere in the world, and I am proud of the ways in which as a country we have been proponents of human rights, inclusion and opportunity around the world. However, I find it hard to get to wrapped up in where I am from when the bigger claim on my life is my faith and what it means to be a part of the Body of Christ.
The more I read scripture the more I see the boarder-blurring work of the Holy Spirit. For me it all begins here with John 3:16 where we heard that God loves the whole world, which can be broad but the deeper we look in scripture we see the calling of the Gospel taking us to people and places that are not the Israelites. The Great Commission at the end of Matthew's Gospel calls us to "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations...", on the great day of Pentecost the disciple were able to speak all languages in-order to bring the Gospel to the world.
In Galatians we hear the words that there is no longer "Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For all are one in Christ Jesus." In the Body of Christ there are no nationalities and on the last day we hear the words from Revelation in the 7th chapter where the vision is of a great multitude, to great to count, made up of every nation, tribes, people and language gathered around the throne.
The Good News of Jesus Christ is a news that calls us to continually expand our horizons to understand God's love for the world. Each time I think that I am growing into a comfortable place with my understanding of God the Holy Spirits calls me again and again to see the bigger picture, to see how God includes those that the world tells us we shouldn't and how God loves the whole world with no exceptions.
Join us tonight at 6:30 to join in the conversation at Shut Up and Eat.
**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 be in April still 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 3/12-16
Monday- On call if needed
Tuesday- Around Church in the am- text study at noon
Wednesday-Around church or SE PDX,
Thursday- around church or SE PDX, Council in the evening
Friday- Sermon work-on call if needed