Grace, Mercy and Peace to you, Welcome to Volume 49 of this E-Newsletter.
Believe it or not we are just hours and minutes away from Christmas Eve, then Christmas Day. Can you believe it? It seem like only yesterday we were sitting around eating turkey with family or just moments before that sending kids off to school on their first day back. But just like that we are here at Christmas. Amazing isn't it?
If you are anything like me, this week has been a whirlwind of activity and slight to moderate chaos getting ready for Christmas. Not just around the church office but also at home. It is that time of year when everything speeds up, we are rushing about with only a moment to sit and bask in the glow of our tree, or read a Christmas card from a friend, or just sitting for an extra minute in our car before heading into another store.
Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year for a host of reason, one of the largest being the wealth of beautiful scripture that we hear around this time of year. Announcing the coming and then the birth of this Christ child. If you get a moment over the coming days to stop and ponder the birth of this child, can I propose some scripture to consider.
It is nothing that you haven't heard before, it comes around every holiday, but I wonder if we consider what we are truly saying or reading when it comes to this verse. Take a moment and flip to Isaiah 9:6-7 and read this familial words, "...And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Might God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." These words have been attributed to the prophets foretelling of Jesus, but also were written by a person, in a time, for the birth of another Child. But if we believe these to be true about Jesus what are we really proclaiming.
We refer to this new Christ child as a Wonderful Counselor, what does that look like for our day and age today, what does it mean for us when we refer to Jesus as a wonderful counselor? The same goes with Prince of Peace, if Jesus is the Prince of Peace what does that mean for us as his disciples? If we are praising this child coming into this world, giving Him titles what then does it mean for us His disciples? I think it means something very drastic for our world...
Prayer Requests: Betty J, Shirley P., Don T., Leah, Steven, Glen and Jill, Karen, Dorothy F, Pastor Janell, Rev. Maggie, Pastor Fred, Sherry S., Marlyn K., Clark, Jade, Jane, Don, St. Mark's Lutheran,St. Paul Lutheran, Danielle, Grayson, Elijah 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.
*Welcome Pastor Susan Kintner! *Pastor Kintner serves the Oregon Synod as Assistant to the Bishop (A2B) and Sunday she is our Synodical Representative to our Call Vote! She has been one of our biggest supports, resources, and encouragers in making the Calling of a Pastor possible here at Holy Trinity!
- Don't call it a comeback...ok call it a comeback because it is coming back! Sunday School that is. With the help of Theresa Davis we will be reigniting our Sunday School Program here at Holy Trinity. We will be beginning in January with a one Sunday a month focus on Christian Education. Our Church in Action Children's Program will be integrated with our Sunday Worship. So plan on joining us January 10th and every second Sunday (unless otherwise stated).
*This Sunday Call Vote *There is a special congregational meeting schedule for THIS SUNDAY, December 27th after the service. There will be two things on the docket for that Sunday, the first being a vote to Call Andrew Rickel as Pastor of Holy Trinity and second to vote on the compensation package the Holy Trinity has prepared. All members are encourage to attend this monumental day.
*New Epiphany Celebration...Following a Star. *Join us for potluck, fellowship, storytelling and Epiphany banner making for our communities. We will be gathering at St. Paul Lutheran for a Congregational and multi-generational event. The highlights being bible storytelling of the journey of the Magi and construction of banners for our congregations to reveal as an epiphany to our communities. Plan on joining us and if you can bring something to eat to share.
*Bring a Friend Sunday/Church Brunch *was a huge success, thank you to everyone who attended and made it possible.
*New *The HTLC Winter Coat Drive is upon us. Throughout the month of January we will be collecting gently used coats for those in need this winter. Bring in those coats for collection and we will bring them to a clothing closet each week so they can get directly into the hands of those in need. We are up to 9 coats already!
*New *Discipleship 2016! Each month during 2016 we will be encountering new ways to engage our discipleship. Every month we will have a different focus as a congregation, and learn new ways to engage our faith. January will be a month to engage with a new type of worship. Join us as we travel to Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church on Friday January 8th for their Taize Worship Service at 7pm. 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.
*Mark Your Calendars *Christmas is Friday so make sure to have Christmas Eve Worship written on your calendar for 10pm so you can be sure to be with us.
- If you are like me and do searching for things on the internet do I have a thing for you. I have gotten Holy Trinity set up with Goodsearch.com. It is an online search engine that is powered by yahoo and everytime you use it search engine it donates to a charity of your choice, in our situation that is Holy Trinity. So set that browser to good search and select Holy Trinity and get searching.
- 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.
- If you are feeling the need to travel in 2016 the Oregon Synod of the ELCA is sponsoring a trip to the Holy Land. The trip will be in May and all are welcome to go on the trip. If you are interested contact Pastor Andrew for more details.
- If you are feeling the itch to travel but the Holy Lands is not your cup of tea, maybe you are interested in cruising with other Lutherans to Alaska. My dear friend Ben Fredericks (member of my internship congregation Resurrection Lutheran) is organizing a cruise for Lutheran Congregations in May of 2016. The trip will be from May 14th to the 21st and will be a wonderful opportunity to see the sights and sounds of the Pacific NW and enjoy great fellowship with other Lutherans. Contact the church office for more info.
- Summer maybe ending but this is a great time of the year to start getting more active and enjoy the beautiful weather we are having. So join Pastor Andrew on Wednesday to walk around the neighborhood. We will be meeting at 2:30 at the church and set off for a stroll around the neighborhood.
- Holy Trinity's Little Library- Thanks to Keith our Little Library is now complete. In the coming weeks we will be preparing it to be hung on the fence outside for the community. However, it is currently empty, so help us fill it but leaving a recommendation of books to fill it with. We are looking for books that have had an impact on your faith life. So what book(s) have impacted your faith?
-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 http://www.yelp.com/biz/holy-trinity-lutheran-church-portland
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
Keep an eye on our webpage www.htlcpdx.com for more updates as well.
Pastor Andrew's schedule for 12/28-1/1
Monday- on call if needed
Tuesday- on call if needed
Wednesday- on call if needed
Thursday- on call if needed
Friday- On call if needed, sermon prep
Blessings Pastor Andrew