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March 2007—In this Issue:
View the entire issue as a full-color PDF via the link below:
March 2007 HeartBeat (PDF)
by Jimmy Castro
Pastor Jeff Lilley, Jean Lilley, and Seth Lilley at Honolulu International Airport
Pastor Jeff Lilley was ordained on February 17, 1990, after receiving his M. Div. degree from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. Some of his contemporaries and good friends from PLTS seminary are familiar to LCH members: past interns Greg Ronning, Dawn and Torin Finney. He is married to Jean, who is currently Executive Director for the Lawrence Habitat for Humanity. A musical family, the Lilleys have two children. Meghann plays the viola and piano and is in her second year at the University of Kansas, working at two jobs in pursuing a music education degree. Seth, is a budding thespian in the tenth grade whose passions include “all kinds of music” (especially rock and reggae), playing the violin, piano, and guitar, in addition to being lead singer for his band.
Pastor Jeff’s study of scripture is a joy and passion for him. He regularly meets several colleagues to study the Sunday texts in preparation for preaching. His colleagues describe Pastor Jeff as disarmingly intelligent, warm, genuine, gifted with discernment, and authentic with no pretense. He is Dean of Area Ministry 7 (Metro Kansas City) and provides pastoral care to pastors and their families in times of crisis. A few years ago, he wrote and received a Clergy Renewal grant to develop a lay leadership team who takes all responsibility for life in the congregation. He also developed a discernment process for those seeking public ministry; our past intern Katy Grindberg is a product of that six-month process. Known as a collaborative leader, Pastor Jeff proclaims the message is “not about us (pastors), but about God; preaching is not a performance.”
During their weeklong stay on Oahu, the Lilley family had a chance to do some sightseeing. In this picture, the brisk tradewinds blow Jean Lilley’s hair on the OYEA hike to the Makapu‘u lighthouse.
Brothers and sisters in Christ,
Many of you joined us for the Ash Wednesday worship service that signals the forty days of reflection that enable us to better appreciate the meaning of the Last Supper commemoration of Maundy Thursday, the seeming finality of the crucifixion of Christ on Good Friday, the Vigil of Easter that keeps alight the flicker of hope in the promise of the resurrection, and the jubilation of new life at Easter.
It is appropriate that as we begin this season of Lent, this time of preparation, we take time to reflect on how we individually and corporately have lived lives that required God to offer his Son as the payment for our sin, that we might be forgiven and be in continued relationship with God throughout eternity.
To be an Easter people, it is essential that we are clear about not only the reward but the cost of discipleship. Ours is not simply a faith handed down, but a faith tested, a faith refined, a faith made our own. We cannot afford to allow our faith to become stale if it is to be vital and engaging, healing and life-sustaining. So I challenge you to invest yourself in taking a closer look at your relationship with your Creator and make use of the many opportunities at LCH for reflection and worship.
It is ironic, perhaps, that at this very same time we are concluding a different period of reflection and preparation that resulted in a new vitality and greater determination to be the people of God in this place and to invite a new shepherd to join in the ministry of LCH. The individual and corporate struggles to understand God’s will for you and to work together to put flesh to your vision for mission and ministry have been encouraging for me as your interim pastor.
Now it is important that you celebrate the results of prayer, hard work, and trust in God’s Spirit that brought you to the unanimous vote to invite the Rev. Jeff Lilley to be your new pastor. It is also important, however, to assess how the congregation, the transition team, and the pastor have done in fulfilling the expectations of the intentional interim process and what we yet need to do before Pastor Lilley arrives.
Various ministry teams will invite you in this newsletter to enthusiastically assist in ensuring we make the most of what we have learned together, but also in enhancing aspects of our ministry, and doing the chores that will prepare our facility for the arrival of the pastor and of our Easter visitors.
As of this writing, it appears that I will be with you through Easter. There certainly is much to do in moving into the closing phase of my interim pastorate with you. But in the time that remains to us together, your needs will continue to be my priority, so please do not hesitate to advise how I may assist you.
May God give you the grace and strength to take up the cross and follow him.
Blessings and aloha,
Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return
Deacon Jacob Burkman, Pastor Steve, and Subdeacon Michael Burnett wear the black dalmatics on Ash Wednesday.
The black paraments are only used on Ash Wednesday, but the black dalmatics are also worn on Good Friday.
Following the unanimous vote to call Pastor Jeff Lilley, it is appropriate for us to review how far we have come in the Intentional Interim process and talk about what comes next. Between services on March 4 and 10, Stephen Schmidt will represent the Transition Team in leading us through an evaluation process. How did the congregation, the Transition Team, and the Interim Pastor do in responding to the Intentional Interim tasks? Please add your voice to this assessment of our progress and identification of things we yet need to address before the arrival of the new pastor.
Pastor Lilley has requested that we update our members and friends directory prior to his arrival. The Stewardship Committee has worked hard to refine those directories, but we need your assistance to ensure their accuracy. We would also like to provide fresh digital photos and would appreciate you taking a few moments to allow our photographers to take your family picture. If you have a recent digital photo of your family you would prefer us to use, please e-mail that to the church office at <email@example.com>.
by Mary Fastenau
The Church Council met on Tuesday, February 20, 2007. The following were the major agenda items discussed:
by Roy Helms
First the Not-so-Good. The average monthly giving we have planned in our 2007 budget is $20,327. In January plate offerings were only $14,223.92, or nearly $6000 short of our goal. Historically, January has been a slow month. 2007 was slower than usual, however. In 2006 the offerings exceeded $16,500. We want the congregation’s finances to be in a healthy state when we are joined by the new pastor, so please help us meet the monthly targets.
The good news is that the appeal for continued support for the Capital Campaign projects was heard by many and over $2,000 was contributed in January. This is 10% of what is needed to close out the contracts on the bathroom renovations. The work is drawing to a close (Hurrah!) and the checks to the contractors will need to be issued in February. Please consider a special gift for the completion of these much-improved facilities.
There are additional repairs needed on our facility so please remember LCH with your gifts.
To kick off this year’s “Fill the Ark” Heifer Campaign, the youth of LCH have organized and are performing a concert on Saturday, March 3 at 4:00 pm. About $4,000 is needed to complete their goal of purchasing an ark of animals to distribute through Heifer International to help end world hunger. The concert is free, but come prepared to give a donation and/or sign up to commit to the dollar-a-day Lenten Season giving plan. This year marks our third annual fund drive and second annual Benefit Concert. For more information about Heifer International or the concert, see Anna Womack or Mitchell G.
The next joint confirmation event is scheduled for March 4 at Maluhia Lutheran, from 4:30-7:00 pm. Please remember to bring your Lutheran Handbook and Bible.
Where: Kawaiaha’o Church Front Lawn—957 Punchbowl Street
Time: Every Wednesday at Noon—now thru April 4
Featuring: Betty Loo Taylor, Jazz Pianist Extraordinaire & Friends
Admission: Offered as a gift to the community
This is an interesting concept of incorporating Jazz with Reflective commentary on the Lenten season. Bring lunch, a friend or friends, and join us for an inspirational Musical Feast featuring Hawaii’s premiere vocal and instrumental jazz musicians.
How might Christian faith and economics best interface with one another? What kind of economic ethic emerges out of the Biblical tradition? What challenges face our current economic practices? Process thought has a significant contribution to make to such a discussion. John Cobb, Jr. in his Britt lectures here in February outlined a few key details in this regard. We will continue our own discussion on this process-related issue on Saturday, March 10, 9:30–11:00 AM
Some people have indicated an interest in this theological forum, but find Saturday mornings a difficult time to attend. If enough people indicate an interest, a repeat session could be held on the Sunday noon following the Saturday presentation. If you are interested in Sunday noon session, with food, please let Fritz Fritschel know.
Come and join the LCH craft group for fellowship, learn new techniques, make a pillow or lei for the church, make a ribbon bookmark for the ELW hymnals, or just work on something of your own. We meet from 9:00 to 11:00 AM on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month in the Board Room. The dates are as follows: March 10 and 24, April 14 and 28, and May 12 and 26. Call Linda Miller at through the church office (941-2566) with questions or for encouragement.
The Bishop and People of the Episcopal Church in Hawaii request your prayers at the Ordination of the Reverend Canon Robert L. Fitzpatrick as the Fifth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Hawaii and the Eleventh Bishop in the Hawaiian Islands. The Ordination is at 10:00 am on Saturday, March 10, 2007, at the Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew, 229 Queen Emma Square.
A letter has been sent on your behalf congratulating Bishop Fitzpatrick and pledging our support in joint ministry efforts.
Bishop Fitzpatrick met with the Hukilau clergy in February and has invited all ELCA congregations and their pastors to attend Diocese meetings, conferences, and workshops. Look for future announcements of them in the Heart Beat.
This year, the Synod Assembly will be at the Waikiki Beach Marriott, May 2-5. As hosts for some 800 people, there are a great many details to which we as Hukilau congregations must attend, including sharing the unique ministry of LCH with a busload of visitors one afternoon. A LCH coordinator is needed to help identify and train our volunteers. Please see Brian Weis or Pastor Steve if you are interested. Sign-up sheets for specific tasks are on the bulletin board in the courtyard. A LCH display table will be set up at the Assembly and also needs volunteers to share information about our ministry.
In addition to regular updates for the Congregational Life section, I have made a change to the way weekly sermons are formatted. For the last few years, I have used “frames” for the sermons, but this approach has fallen out of favor with the web community, so I eliminated the frames in mid-February. With this more accessible format, I hope that more people in cyberspace will benefit from the good preaching we enjoy at LCH.
An important project that has just been completed is a page gathering together lots of information for prospective visitors. The page includes information about our location, bus and driving directions, a description of what visitors can expect during worship, and something about what to expect from the people of LCH. To make this page useful for those who are unfamiliar with Lutheranism, I have tried to avoid “churchy” language. To view this new page, follow the “Visitor Information” link on the Home Page.
In addition to the information already on this page, I am planning to have detailed driving directions from all parts of the island with photographs, but it’s going to take a few weeks to get all of those pictures.
Good advice from several members of the congregation was very helpful in developing this new page, and you can help make it even better by passing along any suggestions to make the visitors’ page an even better tool for evangelism.
We have been invited to a rally to apply public pressure on state elected officials to do everything possible to alleviate the homeless situation in Hawaii. Faith Action for Community Equity [FACE] is sponsoring this rally on March 17, at St. Theresa’s Co-Cathedral on School Street, from 9:00–11:00 AM. Father William Kunisch (former LCH intern, 1991) is the priest of St. Theresa’s Co-Cathedral.
FACE is a coalition of primarily religious groups, churches and temples, organized to address pressing public policy needs in our community. Although LCH is not currently a member, we are asked to lend our support for this significant rally. The aim is to have hundreds of concerned citizens in this show of force. Both Governor Lingle and Majority Leader Calvin Say are scheduled to attend. What better action can you take in the immediate future to alleviate homelessness? You will have a chance to sign up to indicate your support and attendance on Saturday, March 17.
by Carol Langner
Due to generous contributions to Fasting & Feasting during the Advent-Christmas season, LCH will be sending $1,148.89 to ELCA World Hunger Appeal and $854.10 to Stand with Africa (a specific ministry of World Hunger). Also, a residual of $1,403.56 was mailed to Bread for the World. This last amount included funds raised in 2006 that had not been sent to BFW before the end of the year. Thanks for all who continually give to these organizations—through them we minister to those living in poverty.
Middle school and high school youth again will attend Camp WAPO in Wisconsin for a week, departing Honolulu on June 28. Scholarships are available for both camp and airfare.
The Hukilau conference has opened the youth service project in New Orleans July 8–13 to anyone 16 years of age and above who would like to assist a sister ELCA congregation in a Habitat for Humanity project. Younger children may accompany adults; Tulane University and an ELCA congregation will provide activities for them. Randy Christensen is looking into airfare costs. Air-conditioned, dormitory-style housing and meals will be provided at minimal charge. If you are interested in participating, please see Pastor Steve for additional information.
Today I heard from the dean of students at PLTS, who was at the Regional Assignment in Chicago. I have been assigned to Region 2, which includes a big hunk of the Southwestern US, and Hawaii. The next move is the synodical assignment, which apparently will happen March 2, or soon thereafter, and I’ll let you all know what the verdict is then. My immediate focus is my thesis, which keeps trucking along, so prayers are appreciated for the synodical assignment process, as well as the thesis writing process.
I am very happy about this assignment—my strong preference was to stay in the Western US, and it looks like the ELCA agreed with me.
I’ll send an update after I get a phone call from my new bishop in a week and a half or so.
The Choir of Concordia College, Irvine, California, will be presenting two free concerts in Hawaii:
Both concerts are free and open to the public. All are invited.
A special place was reserved for the works of Gayle Shine, who passed away on Christmas Eve, 2006.
LCH’s Annual Arts and Faith Sunday was an opportunity to celebrate the role of the arts in shaping, expressing, and enriching our faith. This year’s celebration on Sunday, February 11, once again included special music, poetry, and displays of visual arts. Additional pictures are available in the Worship section.
At the right, chuck Huxel looks over some of the samples from Writers’ Workshop.
shared by Peggy Anderson
There was a painter named Wayne who was very interested in making a penny where he could, so he often thinned down his paint to make it go a wee bit further.
As it happened, he got away with this for some time, but eventually the Baptist Church decided to do a big restoration job on one of their biggest buildings.
Wayne put in a bid, and, because his price was so low, he got the job.
So he set about erecting the scaffolding and setting up the planks, and buying the paint and, yes, I am sorry to say, thinning it down with turpentine.
Well, Wayne was up on the scaffolding, painting away, the job nearly completed, when suddenly there was a horrendous clap of thunder, the sky opened, and the rain poured down washing the thinned paint from all over the church and knocking Wayne clear off the scaffold to land on the lawn among the gravestones, surrounded by telltale puddles of the thinned and useless paint.
Wayne was no fool. He knew this was a judgment from the Almighty, so he got down on his knees and cried: “Oh, God, forgive me; what should I do?”
And from the thunder, a mighty voice spoke...(you’re going to love this)...“Repaint! Repaint! And thin no more!”
Martin Luther said, “If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. I have so much business I cannot get on without spending three hours daily in prayer.”
Do you cut short your prayer life in order to give more attention to the business of your day? Perhaps if you practice giving prayer your first priority during Lent, you will be better empowered to tackle the challenges of the day—and be more at peace with yourself.
Next Heart Beat Deadline is Tuesday, March 20!
Copyright © 2007 Lutheran Church of Honolulu
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