Grace, Mercy and Peace to you, Welcome to Volume 47 of this E-Newsletter.
So how are those to do lists coming along? It seems that at this time of year that we are constantly adding things to our list without it ever getting shorter or if you are like me, once you get something crossed off another 3 things have been added. It just seems to be the way things go around the Christmas season, list get long.
There is one thing that I hope is near the top of your to do list this year. This isn't some shameless pledge for something gong on at the church. But rather it is the call that we heard last Sunday, to "Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight...and make the rough ways smooth." It is the same call we hear every Advent. It is the calling of the one crying from the Wilderness. It is the calling direct to our core as we prepare for the birth of Christ.
Now this may seem like a large calling, it may seem impossible or our of our hands but like the calling from John the Baptist it starts small and builds from there. Preparing the way of the Lord takes many shapes and forms, it can be taking a stand for the Gospel in the World or it can be the way in which we love our neighbor as ourself.
The voice of one crying in the Wilderness is what we are called to be, making the way straight. In the reading last week we hear about all the powers in the world, both religious and political. However, the fascinating thing is that they are not the ones receiving the word of this new Christ child coming into the world. It was John, living in the wilderness of the world. We are now the ones receiving the word from God. So it is from this place in our wilderness of life that we are called to make the way straight.
Making the way straight might be adding to the to do list this holiday season (sorry, not sorry) but it is the real calling of this season of Advent. This is the work of this season that needs to get done, we need to find a way to make the way plain for those little, least, lost and forgotten in society and we need to find a way to make our lives of discipleship plain as well.
So take some time this season of Advent to consider how you are making the way plain for others rather than putting up walls and barriers.
Prayer Requests: Betty J, Shirley P., Don T., Leah, Steven, Glen and Jill, Karen, Dorothy F, Pastor Janell, Rev. Maggie, Pastor Fred, Sherry S., The Friends and Family of Marty H., The Friends and Family of James R., 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.
- 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).
*Town Hall Meeting * Over the past year we have been working on the process of Calling a Pastor here at Holy Trinity. This process is nearing the end but there are few more steps before we are done. The Call Committee has recommended Andrew Rickel to the Church Council as their candidate . On Sunday December 13th there will be a time for any and all questions or comments that you may have for the candidate. Andrew will be available during the fellowship time to answer questions formally or informally.
*Bring a Friend Sunday/Church Brunch *Sunday the 20th of December two big things are going on here at church. First of all it is our bring a friend Sunday so grab a friend for church that day. Also we will be having a brunch afterwards so plan on signing up and bringing a dish.
- Coming soon is our new Discipleship calendar for 2016!
*Mark Your Calendars *Christmas is right around the corner so make sure to have Christmas Eve Worship written on your calendar for 10pm so you can be sure to be with us.
- Worry Eaters! The Davis family are organizing donations for Children's Hospitals in Portland this year. They are purchasing Worry Eaters http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00VZ36NNY/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_1?pf_rd_p=1944687762&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B00CJ23MPM&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=19FW07J635G0KRK8YVKD for kids in the hospital. They are stuffed animals that are therapeutic for the fears and worries of kids in the hospital. They plan on taking them over in a few weeks so if you would like to support the this outreach purchase them soon and bring them into church.
- If you can't join us this week at the Grotto plan on taking a spin through the Lights in the Campground at the Apostolic Faith Church on the corner of 52nd and Duke. The will be open the weekend of December 13-15.
- 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.
- Available this week are our Table Top Talk materials. These are designed to be taken home for dinner conversation. Most of what we learn about faith occurs at home, that is the place where we see faith in action and we hear the conversations that help to continue our growth as disciples. These materials are meant to be conversation starters over dinner, in the car or around the table. They will be available each week at church and also on the recourses tab of our website.
- 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 daily 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 12/14-18
Monday- on call if needed
Tuesday- Around the church in the morning and afternoon. Preaching group at noon.
Wednesday- Around the church
Thursday-On call if needed during the day
Friday- On call if needed, sermon prep
Blessings Pastor Andrew