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December 2006—In this Issue:
View the entire issue as a full-color PDF via the link below:
December 2006 HeartBeat (PDF)
Brothers and sisters in Christ,
We have been in a time of preparation for the calling of a new pastor since I joined you in May. There has been purposeful reflection about who we are and whose we are, what brought us together and keeps us together, hurts and concerns within our Ohana, and hopes and dreams for our future.
Advent is the season for Christendom to do much the same as we prepare for the coming of the Messiah; Immanuel (God is with us); Jesus the Savior, Son of Man and Son of the Living God.
This, too, should be a time of purposeful reflection about who and whose we are as individuals and the people of God. It is an opportunity to ask ourselves what it is we are seeking and what it is we have found in the family of Christ.
Are we shouldering or holding onto hurts and concerns best turned over to Christ, best dealt with by offering and seeking forgiveness? From what we have learned from those hurts and concerns, can we be a vessel for the love of Christ in reaching those who need succor, hope and peace?
As we again hear the stories about this great gift of God and ponder the meaning and purpose of Christ’s coming, let us ask ourselves:
Who is this child?
Why has he come?
And has he come with a purpose, a mission, a meaning?
What is he to us?*
This is more than a child’s sweet Christmas story dusted off for the holidays. It is more than handed down family tradition, family ritual, or family faith.
I encourage you to give yourself a gift this Advent season. Ask those questions for yourself and make your faith your own this year. Dare to open yourself up so that the coming of “God with us” renews your understanding that you were never meant to live life on your own, but with the guidance and love of the One who knows what it is to be human AND divine. Dare to hope and dream that by putting Christ first and in charge, all things are possible in Him.
Get caught up in a new holiday spirit this year, the Holy Spirit, that announces that God has kept His promise in the gift of His Son. What finer gift could you receive?
I invite you to celebrate this gift—and to invite family and friends—by attending and participating in a number of the worship opportunities this month.
May God continue to richly bless you.
In His aloha,
* Robert Bornemann: “Reflections on an Ancient Birth”
It has been a custom in past years for members and friends of LCH to help decorate the altar for Christmas by donating poinsettia plants in honor or memory of loved ones. If you want to participate in this tradition, please fill out the enclosed form, place it in the collection plate with your check for $7.00 or mail it in to the church office. The deadline for ordering is December 10, 2006.
You may pick your poinsettia up after the Christmas morning service.
The Learning Ministry invites you to all of our Christmas programs this year. Beginning on December 3, we will have the Jesse Tree each Sunday at 9:15 am. Please bring your children to learn the Christmas story in music, visual impressions, and prayer.
Our children will conclude the Jesse Tree at the service on Sunday, December 24 at 9:15 am. Please bring, and come with your children, to worship.
On Monday, December 4, Writers’ Workshop will meet in the pastor’s office from 7:00 to 9:00 pm for our final meeting of 2006 (please note expanded session!). All are welcome. For more information please contact Kathryn Klingebiel.
The LCH craft group, In Stitches, is still very active at the church every second and fourth Saturday mornings at 9:00 am. We are finishing up needlepoint pillows and making ribbon and yarn lei for visitors, but most of all we are having fun.
Come to our meetings and learn to make several kinds of lei, or work on a church pillow or your own craft, or come for the fellowship. Meeting dates are as follows...December 9, January 13 and 27; except December 23 when we break for Christmas.
Many books continue to be written about the figure of the Christ by believers and skeptics. What approach might be best used for understanding this focal figure of our faith [hermeneutics]? How has our picture of Jesus changed within our own journey of faith? What does a process theology perspective contribute to the discussion? The next session in the Process Theology series led by Fritz Fritschel will be held on Saturday, December 9, from 9:30 to 11:00 am at LCH. It is open to the public.
The Fellowship Committee invites you to an evening of dinner at Kincaid’s at Ward Warehouse and the Christmas Trolley on Sun., Dec. 10. The dinner is at 4:30 pm. and the trolley ride will be at 6:45 p.m. Kincaid’s has an early evening dinner special at $19.95 for a complete dinner in addition to their regular menu. Children’s menu is also available. We have a reservation for 20 people. There will be an 18% gratuity added to the menu for separate checks. The sign up sheet is in the courtyard on Sun., Nov. 26 and Dec. 3. Please indicate your menu choice so that we can pre-order.
See you at Kincaid’s and the Christmas Trolley ride!
The Lunch Bunch is a group that meets the third Sunday of every month for lunch after the 10:30 am service, at approximately 12:30 pm, choosing a different place each month. The next date will be December 17. Call Stephanie Miller for more information.
The Fellowship Committee will be hosting a Brunch Potluck on Sunday, Dec. 31 after the 9:15 service. The committee will be furnishing a ham and dinner rolls. Please bring a dish to share as shown below:
We look forward to seeing you there!
Thank you so much for your support in our purchasing of the new ELW hymnal. Donations are still trickling in and we are close to paying for the 200 hymnals we have ordered along with the accompaniment books. We can still use your help to make it over the top so consider giving a hymnal to the church as a Christmas present. It is $17.50 for each hymnal. You may send a check to the church office or drop it in the offering plate with HYMNAL written on the memo line. To have a personalized bookplate in the front of the hymnal you donate, notify the church office. Thanks again.
focus on ELCA World Hunger Appeal
During the Social Ministry Committee’s presentation to the Adult Forum on October 22, several asked that LCH give more support to the ELCA World Hunger Appeal. So this year, your contributions to fasting & feasting will go to ELCA World Hunger. To help us all learn more about the global work of the ELCA, each of the Sunday Announcements sheets during Advent will feature articles on ELCA World Hunger and its partners-in-ministry.
fasting & feasting: Advent-Christmas-Epiphany 2006-2007
As part of your Advent preparations, consider some level of participation in fasting & feasting. Inaugurated at LCH in 1997, “fasting & feasting” is an Advent devotional exercise with a social ministry twist. In response to the pressures of the holiday season, especially regarding the overabundance of food, a weekly day of fasting is suggested. Participants work within their own health needs, and set aside food money thus saved to help others. Carve out some time during your fasting day to pray, read or by other means focus on the meaning of the season—the promised coming of the Prince of Peace.
Chosen One of God, ever patient with bruised reed and dimly burning wick: Forgive our failings toward those in need. Strengthen and renew us, that as we are able we might offer care. This we ask as we wait in hope for your coming; Amen.
Our “fasting & feasting” offerings will be collected on January 6, 2007. The ELCA’s World Hunger Appeal <http://www.elca.org/hunger/> and Stand with Africa <http://www.standwithafrica.org/homepage.html> will be the beneficiaries of our generosity this year.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s (ELCA) commitment to supporting people who live with chronic hunger and poverty around the corner and around the world is carried out by ELCA World Hunger through relief, development, education, and advocacy.
Stand With Africa is a collaborative campaign (Lutheran World Relief, the ELCA World Hunger Program and the LCMS World Relief) that supports African churches and communities as they withstand AIDS, banish hunger, and build peace.
O God, you have remembered your promise of mercy, you have come to dwell among us, and you have revealed your glory. Pour out upon us the Spirit of your love, that we might pour ourselves out for the hungry and reveal your care to the afflicted. In the name of Jesus we pray; Amen.
(Prayers from: Pour Yourself Out for the Hungry: A Resource for Worship © 1993 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America)
Like to shop by catalog? Check out the courtyard rack where you’ll find catalogs for the ELCA, Lutheran World Relief and Heifer International. Happy shopping!
The ELCA Good Gifts catalog offers opportunities to support congregations, educate new pastors, Stand with Africa, and contribute to the ELCA’s World Hunger Appeal and Global Mission work. <http://www.elca.org/goodgifts/>
Through A Better Gift catalog, Lutheran World Relief makes available fair trade handcrafts and foods from around the world. LWR strives to promote living wages, women’s rights and eco-friendly production through our partnerships with small-scale artisan and farmer groups. No child exploitation is used to make the products. <http://www.lwr.org/handcraft/index.asp>
Through Heifer, you can gift your cousin with a cow, the love of your life with a llama, your best buddy with a buffalo, your godchild with a goat... and so on! <http://www.heifer.org>
No question about it, the Beckerath organ at LCH is a priceless musical instrument. Like a house or other piece of architecture, it periodically needs refurbishment and maintenance. Although our organ was last refurbished ten years ago, we have since found that there is a tremendous amount of dust in the case, owing to construction in the nave in the past few years. The pipes also sustained some damage by an incompetent tuner. Fortunately, one of the original installers of the instrument, Hans-Ulrich Erbsloeh, is still living, and will be coming with an assistant in 2007 to put the organ in its original, pristine condition. To save on airfare costs, we would like to ask you to consider donating airline miles to a central account. Airline miles are not tax-deductible, and are becoming increasingly difficult to redeem for free trips. But if we can pool our miles together, we can save on two airfares from Germany. Please contact Katherine Crosier by email to donate your miles.
At our recent Ohana gatherings, two seemingly different comments about Sunday morning worship at LCH were voiced by significant numbers of people. In discussing what brought and what keeps people to LCH, the largest segment said it was the welcoming, warmth and sense of family here. They can be themselves and celebrate who they are in the company of this “Ohana in Christ” and look forward to greeting each other every week.
Another significant number of people said that they appreciate the refuge and respite from the world and its demands. They value the sense of peace and reverence afforded them here as they commune with their God and obtain the forgiveness, grace, and renewal necessary for the rest of the week.
The worship and music committee asks for your thoughtful consideration and input about how we can continue to celebrate family and still respect those who need to prepare their hearts, minds, and souls for worship prior to the service.
One suggestion was that we greet each other in the courtyard and close one of the entry doors five minutes prior to the service as the prelude begins. Do you have other suggestions for accommodating and validating both needs?
Another suggestion, was that pastor begin the welcome prior to the prelude to signal the time for preparing ourselves.
Please contact Linda Miller or a member of her committee with your ideas. We value your input!
used ink cartridges and old cell phones
Drop your used printer ink cartridges/toners and old cell phones (handsets and batteries only) at the LCH Administrator’s office or in a drop box located at the church. Two companies will turn the cartridges and cell phones into CASH. The minimum we can send in is 50 cartridges and 35 cell phones. We now have 49 cartridges and 12 cell phones.
We received $53.00 for the first batch of cell phones that was sent in, which has gone to support IHS Meals for the homeless.
I want to thank those of you who are bringing items in for the Save The Food Basket distribution at Christmas time. The items being requested will be well used and those receiving them will feel blessed. We are still looking for more. Again the items requested are 180 each of Rolls of Plastic Wrap, Dishwashing Soap (12 oz is good), and Zip Lock type boxes of bags. These are all items that those who use Save The Food Basket are unable to purchase with BET cards. Save The Food Basket is a non-profit which assists in supplying needs to disabled persons with HIV and AIDS. On behalf of them, I thank you and ask for God’s blessings for all.”
Robert L. Zimmer
LCH has agreed to be a drop-off point for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program this year. We are invited to collect new, unwrapped toys by December 17th, which will then be distributed by the Salvation Army as Christmas gifts to needy children in our community. Look for posters and boxes in our courtyard the first three Sundays in December. Mahalo to Stephen Schmidt who has agreed to be our liaison for the program and deliver our donations to the coordinator.
To date you have donated $1430 to assist Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity in Kona’s Earthquake Response fund. Once all desiring assistance have made their requests known to LCHT’s council, funds in that account will be divided according to need.
Small initial funds have been given a number of victims by FEMA to make the most necessary repairs. Limited numbers of licensed contractors are being identified and some repairs are being scheduled in the upcoming weeks.
Mahalo nui loa for all of your support and prayers.
The Angel Network, hosted at Calvary by the Sea, is the Hukilau’s food bank for feeding the homeless and destitute. Please consider including them in your regular grocery shopping. Bring cooked meat items and other food and toiletry items to church on Sundays.
Those who travel are encouraged to collect hotel soaps, shampoos and conditioners, and lotions for them.
The Angel Network also need your assistance on Thursdays and/or Fridays to stock shelves and fill grocery bags. Call Nikki Silverstein at 358-6954 to volunteer.
OYEA (Hukilau youth ministry) met November 19th at St. John, Kailua and walked through a local neighborhood collecting canned goods for Thanksgiving for the local Windward food pantry. Thanksgiving food baskets were delivered directly to a number of needy families as well. Good job!
December 17th is the annual Christmas party for confirmation through high school youth at Calvary by the Sea from 4:30-7:00 p.m. Bring your friends and join us for fun and food.
The OYEA advisory group will meet from 3:00-4:30 the same day and location.
A Youth Concert by “TangledBlue,” who performed at this year’s ELCA Youth Gathering, is being sponsored by OYEA and will be held at Calvary by the Sea on January 27th beginning at 3:00 p.m. Renowned (at Calvary) chef Bruce Kau will provide a free BBQ, and the performers will lead a “talk story” session. Free tickets will be given to Hukilau youth for them and their friends.
Camp WAPO plans are being made, with the addition of a New Orleans service project hosted by Lutheran Disaster Response and Habitat for Humanity this year. The June 28–July 14 dates were specifically chosen so those entering grade FOUR through those completing grade TWELVE will be included. An overnight at Mall of America will be included between camp and New Orleans. The anticipated cost for flights, ground transportation, camp fees, hotel, and minimal food and lodging fees in New Orleans, totals roughly $2000 each. OYEA will provide information for those only able to attend the camp or the service project.
All Hukilau congregations are actively planning a number of fund-raisers so that no youth or chaperones that wish to go will be denied because of lack of funds.
In order to obtain cheaper group rates and secure limited seats, deadline for reservations and a $50 non-refundable deposit is January 14th. Look for additional information in the coming weeks, but have your family discussions now.
The web site for Camp WAPO is <http://www.campwapo.youthsite.org/> See Pastor Steve or Fred Benco for additional information.
Following the recent earthquake, and in response to several requests from Hukilau congregations, Spiritual Care and Emergency Preparedness Training will be conducted by Pacific Health Ministry at their facility December 6 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This is designed for pastors and will help in making disaster preparedness plans and decisions for our congregations. Expect to see more information in the coming months.
Pledges made during our Stewardship campaign will be dedicated during both services the 1st Sunday in Advent, December 3rd. Please remember to submit your pledge cards and time and talent sheets by that date or bring them with you to worship that day.
Flo Foerster signs up at recent Ministry Fair while April Smith looks for more volunteers.
The first-half of LCH’s annual congregational meeting will take place on December 17, immediately following the Jesse Tree presentation between services. Treasurer Michael Burnett will present the 2007 Budget, followed by voting on Council members.
Dear Hawaii Ohana,
Due to unforeseen circumstances this year at my teaching job in Portland, I will be moving to San Francisco or Hawaii in January. I will be back in Hawaii for Christmas vacation Dec. 16-30 before I relocate. I am asking for your support in giving me any ideas/leads for jobs and housing possibilities in the Bay area and Hawaii.
I am considering a job in an alternative educational setting as well as jobs in other fields. My other areas of interest are life coaching, children’s advocacy, national health care, the environment, and work as a trainer/organizer with a team.
This past summer I spent a terrific month in Guanajuato, Mexico in a language immersion program and am now fairly conversational (not fluent) in Spanish. I am also interested in working with international students, immigrants, etc. If you don’t have any ideas or leads, please send your blessings and light.
Next Heart Beat Deadline is Tuesday, December 19!
Copyright © 2006 Lutheran Church of Honolulu
Comments welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org