Welcome to Volume 4 Number 35 of this E-Newsletter.
Grace, Mercy and Peace from our Risen Savior.
I have found the conversation around Colin Kaepernick fascinating over the past few years, it is an interesting discussion on multiple levels. For me what it has brought out is a moment of personal reflection on what moves me to respond. There is a lot to be learned about yourself when you can get to the primary moving force behind your actions or responses to stimulus in the world. A very surface level example is that I get out of bed in the morning even though I would rather sleep because Elijah wakes up and my motivation to be an active parent in his life moves me to get up and get him out of bed. My motivation is to be present in his life and to be there to reach his needs at this young age. On a deeper level I do not eat at Chick-Fil-A any longer because they have given financial contributions to groups that promote anti-LGBTQIA+ endeavors. My faith moves me to stand up and stand out for those people on the margins as I believe that Jesus did.
With the Kaepernick conversations we are once again standing at a place of national disagreement about not just his protests but now companies either using him to endorse their products or those distancing themselves from him. The question many are asking themselves is what is behind my support of Kaepernick or what drives my protest. What is my moral compass or what is the thing that I look to in order to make decisions. For some it is a question of how will I appear to my peers, a sense of social status, for others its about a commitment to an ethnic, cultural or national identity, what does my decision say about me being a part of a group, for some it is primarily financial, what side will give me the greatest maximization of wealth or power. Every decision we make stems from somewhere, so where does it come from for you?
For my understanding of faith, every decision we make should we traced back to our faith and what God is about in the world. When I think about what products I am going to buy, political candidate to vote for, or what causes I support, I first and foremost need to stop and consider what is the Gospel, who is working towards the Kingdom. Jesus in our Gospel this past week had a confrontation with the Pharisees, because they were clinging to human traditions and setting up boundaries around people rather than listening to the commands of God. I know that I quote these pieces of scripture often but I believe in the Good News of Matthew 25, where Jesus reminds us that whatever we do for the least of these people around us we are doing the same to God. It requires listening to God and listening to the world, we don't know who are the lease among us if we did not listen, we need to listen to the word of God and see where the Holy Spirit is nudging us to go.
So whatever you do make sure you are starting with the Gospel!
**I am always interested in discussing issues and current events with anyone so please feel free to contact me for conversation.
Prayer Requests: 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.
Church Picnic- We are planning dates for a church picnic to be hosted by the Ieriens. The picnic will be on Sept. 9th starting at or around 2pm. Everyone is invited to come and bring a friend! If you could please bring a dish to share the Ieriens are going to cover the meat for grilling and drinks. If you do not have their address please contact the church office or Pastor Andrew.
Lutheran Community Services NW Fundraising Lunch- Each year Lutheran Community Services NW host a lunch as one of their major fundraising event. LCSNW is a group here in town that provide services to the most at-risk populations, they have a wide range of services offered. The Lunch is on October 14th and the Marriott Downtown. If you are interested in more information about their work or want to attend the event please let Pastor Andrew know.
God's Work, Our Hands- Every September ELCA congregations around the country step out after worship for a day of service. Keep Sept. 16th clear on your calendar because after worship we will be gathering to write Christmas cards for those in hospice centers, nursing homes, correctional facilities and memory care facilities.
What's Going On- We will continue our Wednesday gatherings at Shut Up and Eat (SE 39th and Gladstone) at 6:30pm. We will be meeting again later this summer! We have not picked a topic yet so if you have an idea for something 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.
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.
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 9/10-14
Monday- around church or SE
Tuesday- around church or SE, Pastor's group in afternoon
Wednesday-around church or SE