Grace, Mercy and Peace to you, Welcome to Volume 44 of this E-Newsletter.
The month of November always seems to be a lost month for me. It always sneaks up on me after Halloween, always becomes deeply meaningful after All Saints Day and then the focus shifts towards Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas looming on the horizon. But November always seems to be important for me because it is a month where our lives seem to revolve around the other and not ourselves.
Throughout the entire month our lives reflect that understanding that we gain from scripture to value interdependence and community more than independence. On All Saints day we remember those that help shape our faith, we remember how we were once young and others took us under their wing to learn discipleship and this life of faith, and we hearing the calling to be that witness to the faith to others in their lives.
Today being Armistice Day and now Veterans day we remember those that served our country, that protected the vulnerable in the world and society. However, we remember this day not just the fact that they served in the past but that we are called to serve them in the here and now. Many are suffering because of that service, many are wounded mentally, physically, and spiritually, many are homeless and hungry and have been forgotten in our society. We are called to hold all up in our society because being a part of a community means we look out for those forgotten in our world.
This brings us to Thanksgiving in a few weeks, I am sure that I do not need to go on a long explanation of the importance of family and community when we gather that day around a table to share a meal together. However, as with our veterans, there are many that have no table to gather around, there are some tables that won't have enough to go around, and some tables where all aren't accepted for one reason or another. Once again this call to community this month brings us to a place where we look to the other more than ourselves.
It is easy to remember community and the importance of things like families when we are gathered together around a table or when there is a date marked on the calendar. But the true calling of discipleship is when we respond as when we are not prompted by a holiday. Recently there has been a large turn of events at the University of Missouri after the resignation of their President after the handling of racially charged incidents. This is another moment where communities are standing up for those that are being exploited and abused by systems of power. This is what being a part of a community looks like on a day to day basis. Standing up, next to, or in the place of those being abused but we are called to be in that community with one another. I came across a because quote the other day from Charles Peguy "We must be saved together. We cannot go to God alone; else he (sic) would ask, 'Where are the others?'" We are not living lives in isolation or independence but as one body and as one creation.
Prayer Requests: Dave F, Betty J, Shirley P., Leah, The family and friends of Lois T., Don, Steven, Glen and Jill, Karen, Dorothy F, Pastor Janell, Rev. Maggie, Marie and Jake, Jane, Noel, St. Mark's Lutheran, St. Paul Lutheran, Pastor Fred, Danielle, Grayson and all those preparing for baptism or recently baptized, 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.
-Check those calendars because Holy Trinity is looking for a Sunday evening to head up to the Grotto for the Festival of Lights! We have been kicking around two dates, Dec. 6th or 13th. We would gather together for fellowship either at the church or elsewhere before heading to see the lights at the Grotto, so check you calendar, invite your friends and sign up in the fellowship room. We are also planning of decorating the church for Christmas this day.
*NEW *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.
*New *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.
*NEW *Believe it or not Christmas is right around the corner. The music department of Concordia University are preforming services of Lessons and Carols at St. Michael's Lutheran, right next to their campus on December 4th at 7pm, December 5th at 7pm and December 6th at 3pm. If you are looking to add a beautiful musical experience to your Advent season this is a wonderful option.
-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.
* This Month *5th Sunday ingathering of canned goods is right around the corner again. Our next ingathering will be, November 29th! This month we will be supporting a local food bank. So bring in those canned goods!
*NEW *You are invited to attend an Organ Concert by Christopher Houlihan November 13th at 7pm. The concert will be at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral here in Portland is is sponsored by Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Portland Chapter-American Guild of Organists. It is a free concert but there will be a free will offering.
-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 might be a few big developments over the next few months here at Holy Trinity so be sure to keep your eyes peeled and ears open.
-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 Nov. 16-20
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. Church Council at night.
Friday- On call if needed, Out of Town the following week.
Blessings Pastor Andrew