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October 2007—In this Issue:
View the entire issue as a full-color PDF via the link below:
October 2007 HeartBeat (PDF)
A Living God, A Living Word
One of Martin Luther’s most powerful teachings was his renewed interest in God’s Word as a living address to God’s people. In a time when few people read the Bible or knew much of its contents, and Church tradition and interpretation of Law dominated the theological landscape, Luther had the audacity to suggest that God’s people could—and should—hear the Word for themselves and then live it out. Most pastors and scholars at the time believed that common folk did not possess the innate ability to adequately comprehend or interpret scripture. Luther’s suggestion that scripture be available in the common language of the land and be made available in the family and on the farm seemed dangerous and irresponsible to those charged with guarding sacred scripture from corruption.
But Luther insisted in his lectures and sermons that the very God weaving through the lives of Moses and Jacob, Priscilla and Saul was weaving still through the alleys, byways, and churches of Europe and the world. God’s story did not need to be guarded; it needed to be told. Luther’s translation of the Bible in German coupled with Gutenberg’s printing press allowed a new generation of the faithful to read for themselves how Jesus challenged authorities of his time and proclaimed God’s kingdom to be near. For the first time people had the tools they needed to read and interpret scripture for themselves. But the Word is not limited to scripture. Luther understood the Word to be much more than dead history (no matter what the language)! The hearing of the Word in preaching and the living of the Word in everyday experience were also terribly important. Luther urged preachers to put away fear and preach Law and Gospel with courage and faithfulness. In his own sermons he addressed everyday issues, took on political controversy, and challenged the church he loved. At times he went too far, sometimes not far enough, and history has proved Luther to be despicable on some issues, but his boldness sprung from his understanding of the Word. He believed that the Word was (and is) a living address by a living God to a living church.
These days, God’s people have more tools for study and interpretation of the Word than ever before! Hundreds of translations and paraphrases and thousands of commentaries and devotional books are available for our use. We can sit out on the lanai and sift through photographs of original Greek and Hebrew documents on the internet. Software is available that allows anyone to access commentaries about even the most obscure passages of the Old Testament. Many of us hungrily read and hear that Word. Bible studies at school, work and in the family are on the rise in certain segments of God’s Church. If the level of sophistication in LCH’s adult study is any indicator, many of our own members have been busy! Still, many Christians seldom read the Bible for themselves, nor do they plumb its rich resources with any regularity. Some studies suggest that many young Christians do not even know the major stories of the Bible or how to find them. Despite better tools, we are in danger of missing God’s living address called the Word.
Still, God weaves God’s love through the fabric of our lives and reminds us over and over again about that deep love made manifest on the cross. God keeps calling us to life and giving us the tools to help us live and understand at deeper levels. God sends us preachers and teachers, wonderful stories and comforting words. We are the church of a living God, and a living Word.
Pastor Jeff Lilley
Letter writing campaign in the Courtyard
Nationally, on Sunday, October 21, 2007, thousands of churches and community groups will focus on the pending U.S. Farm Bill that will impact the nutritional safety net of hungry people in the U.S. and worldwide, as well as the continued viability of the family farm.
LCH will join the national campaign of letters. Plenty of stationery and stamps will be available between services in the courtyard, along with sample letters. Spend a few minutes and urge our Hawaii Senators to support changes to the U.S. Farm Bill.
The U.S. House version of the farm bill, passed in late July, included a significant increase in funding for nutrition programs and additional resources for conservation. But the House farm bill contains no broad reform of commodity payments. Instead of moving resources to small farmers, the bill protects multi-millionaire farmers.
BFW’s letter campaign will encourage Senators to reform farm commodity payments to provide more fairness to struggling family farmers in the U.S. and in developing countries, and to include significant improvements to nutrition, rural development, and conservation.
Domestically, the Food Stamp Program is part of the Farm Bill. Food stamps are the first line of defense against hunger in the U.S., but more families should be eligible, and benefits must be increased (food stamps now=$1/person/meal). Internationally, the McGovern-Dole School Feeding Program, also included in the U.S. farm bill, provides funds for school meal programs in developing countries (including Afghanistan).
Bread for the World is a Christian citizens’ movement seeking justice for the world’s hungry people by lobbying our nation’s decision makers. BFW focuses on using the collective power of people of faith within a democracy to support policies, laws and budgets that address the root causes of hunger and poverty.
Learn more at their website: <www.bread.org/>.
This fall, LCHers have the opportunity to contribute a variety of goods to share with struggling people in our community. When you’re at the market, pick up a few extra things for our neighbors in need. Bring your offerings to LCH on the specified days. This is one small way we can act out our faith for serving the “least of these, our brethren.” Many thanks.
Operation Backpack—Oahu Lutherans and Episcopalians
Collection Day: Sunday, October 28, 2007, for transport to Calvary by the Sea for sorting and distribution.
Other appreciated items include toys, books, hair accessories, McDonald’s gift certificates and movie gift certificates.
Who is served: Elderly individuals living in low-income housing, residents of transitional housing projects, the homeless on the beaches in the Waianae area, individuals living in the VA Center in Kalaeloa.
Save the FoodBasket
Collection Days: Ongoing, at LCH on Sundays through December 1, 2007. Items taken to Save the FoodBasket at Church of the Crossroads for distribution).
Who is served: Disabled persons living with HIV-AIDS who are unable to purchase these items with food stamps.
Collection Days: The first Sunday of each month at LCH (October 7, November 4, and December 2. Items are taken to Calvary by the Sea for distribution.
Who is served: Clients of Angel Network (the homeless and people on low-income budgets).
The summer months are now a memory, and everyone has fallen back into their school and work routines. But we also know that there are times when we fall out of a routine, and sometimes we need a reminder.
One of the routines people can fall out of is giving to church. Do you remember the pledge card you brought to church with you last November? Have you kept up that pledge? For those who have generously given a portion of your treasure, we thank you again and encourage you to continue to do so.
However, sometimes our situations change, and we need to adjust to those circumstances. Perhaps you’ve been blessed with some added income, or maybe you’ve experienced a financial setback. In either case, you can modify your pledge to reflect those changed circumstances. Just let Bill Potter, our financial secretary, know your situation, and he will be glad to adjust the record of your pledge accordingly. (And of course, any communications you have with Bill about your contributions are always held in strict confidence.) It helps the Finance Committee to anticipate any shortages or increases and allows adjustments in the budget as well.
Looking ahead, quarterly statements of giving will be available at church shortly after the first week of October. We encourage you to pick up your statement on Sundays or during office hours (helping us save on postage) and review your statement to make sure it is correct. If you have any questions regarding your monetary contributions for 2007, email Bill Potter at <email@example.com> or call the church office (941-2566).
Your Stewardship Committee has been finishing up plans for the fall stewardship campaign. You can expect short temple talks during Sunday services beginning October 14, and your stewardship mailing and pledge card will arrive shortly thereafter. Our stewardship activities will come to an end with Lutherfest on Saturday, November 10, and the dedication of pledges on Sunday, November 11.
Mahalo for all the ways you—our members, friends, and visitors—share your time, talents, and treasure here at LCH and throughout our island home.
Your Stewardship Committee
Ushers Training—Pastor Jeff and Peter Flaschbart will be conducting ushers training on Sunday, October 7 at 9:30 am in the Courtyard.
Worship Assistants Training—Pastor Jeff and Linda Miller will be conducting Worship Assistants training on Saturday, October 13 at 10:00 am in the Nave.
Bill Potter, webmaster
As usual, there have been lots of little additions to the LCH website. We’ve added news of newly baptized babies as well as pictures from our celebration for Irmgard Hörmann in late July.
We have made another little change that our Sunday morning lectors will find very helpful. A link to full texts of the scripture lessons has been added to the “Readings, Hymns, and Special Music” link on the home page. However, other changes that may be even more important have been going on “under the hood.”
First, in mid-September, we added a small program to our server that creates sitemaps of our entire website in several different formats every week. While this might not seem to be of any significance to anyone other than a few computer geeks, in fact, it should help us “get out the word” about LCH to folks surfing the ’Net.
“What’s so special about sitemaps?” you may ask. A sitemap shows all the pages of a website, and this helps people (and machines) understand the structure of the website and makes it easier to find things. One of the sitemaps being produced is a webpage for people to refer to. You can see that by following the link in the “Website Information” section on our home page. More important for “getting out the word” is another sitemap for robots. This sitemap tells the folks at Google and the other search engines how our website is put together so their robots don’t miss any of our pages. It also tells them when pages are changed so they don’t miss new additions. The program even automates the process of notifying Google and others when the new sitemaps are generated. The hope is that these new sitemaps make it easier for everyone using the Internet to find out what’s happening at LCH.
The second change is even less visible. Thanks to a “trick” I learned from Robin Bush, I have been able to change each page on our site so that the LCH logo and navigation links at the top of each page are generated by little “include” files rather than being coded into each page. This means that when it comes time to change those parts of the website, I can change three or four “include” files rather than having to change every one of our almost 400 pages.
Now that the tedious work of switching over to the use of “include” files has been completed, I will be working with our Communications Committee on a modest makeover of the top part of our webpages. One idea is to make the logo a little smaller so that more of the page content is visible to folks with small monitors. I also hope to reorganize the navigation links.
I hope I haven’t been too “geeky” in this column, but I want everyone to know about these changes intended to make our website an even better witness to the vibrant life we have together here at LCH. If you have any questions about these changes, I’m happy to provide more details (in geek or non-geek language). Just ask or drop me an email.
On September 16, the congregation welcomed another member into our ‘ohana through the rite of baptism. Olivia and Jimmy Castro were sponsors for the son of Sean and Charlotte D’Evelyn, born on August 15 in San Diego, CA. Also participating were Sean’s parents, Mark and Diana D’Evelyn.
At right, Pastor Jeff Lilley with parents Sean and Charlotte D’Evelyn and sponsor Olivia Castro holding the baby.
Do you have any old prescription eyeglasses, prescription sunglasses, or regular sunglasses that you are no longer using? During the month of October, Sophie C. will be collecting glasses as part of her Junior Girl Scout Bronze Award project. Bring in your glasses any Sunday in October and look for the labeled “Sight Night” collection box in the Courtyard. After Halloween, I will deliver all the glasses to the Lions Club and Give the Gift of Sight Foundation for cleaning, repairs, and classification by prescription. They will send the glasses to people in developing countries who cannot afford glasses. As part of my project, I will be participating in “Sight Night” on Halloween. I will trick-or-treat for used glasses and invite my friends from school and Sunday school to join me. I hope I can collect even more glasses by collecting at church as well, so please share the gift of sight.
LCH celebrated Irmgard Hörmann’s 90th birthday in style at the end of July. The Heart Beat is happy to share pictures from that celebration
Irmgard was especially pleased that three long-term friends could participate in the celebration, Barbara Dole Larsen (seated, left), Marion Vaught (seated, right), and Wai Chee Yee (standing, second from the left). Joining them for the picture (standing, left to right) are Irmgard’s neighbor David Gonzalves, nephew David Hormann, and niece Phyllis Hormann.
Here are the highlights of the September 18, 2007 Church Council meeting:
Friday & Saturday, October 26 & 27, 8 PM
A celebration of the Baroque Concerto by its two unprecedented masters Antonio Vivaldi & Johann Sebastian Bach
For the first time in Hawaii, the Lutheran Church of Honolulu will present a program of concertos for one, two, three, and even four harpsichords and strings as well as the rarely performed Concerto for three violins by Bach. Vivaldi's Concerto in B minor for four violins will round out this unforgettable program.
Limited preferred seating $30; general admission $25, students $15. Reservations are strongly suggested. Please call the church office at 941-2566.
This program is not to be missed!
The In Stitches group meets the second and fourth Saturday of every month in the Board Room from 9:00-11:00 am. We continue to work on church projects and our own projects at these meetings. Come and join us. The meetings next month are as follows: October 13 and 27.
For more information or encouragement, contact Linda Miller through the Church Office (941-2566).
Writers’ Workshop will meet on Monday, October 15 from 7:00-8:30 pm in the Board Room at LCH.
The meetings for the Winter 2007 season are as follows: November 12, December 10, and to kick off the new year, January 7.
For more information, please contact Kathryn Klingebiel through the Church Office (941-2566).
Game Night is at Stephanie Miller’s home, the fourth Saturday of every month, at 6:30 pm. This month, Game Night is on Saturday, October 27. It’s a potluck, so bring a dish of your choice, and a game!
For directions to Steff’s home or for more information, contact her through the Church Office (941-2566).
Next Heart Beat Deadline is Tuesday, October 23!
Attendance and Offering for Sunday, September 30, 2007, not available at the time of publication.
Copyright © 2007 Lutheran Church of Honolulu
Comments welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org