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December 2007—In this Issue:
View the entire issue as a full-color PDF via the link below:
December 2007 HeartBeat (PDF)
A red Schwinn Cruiser bicycle with a banana seat! That was all I wanted for Christmas when I was seven years old. We lived in Tempe, Arizona, not far from the university and only a few blocks from school. It was a neighborhood full of kids who spent the long hours after school riding around the neighborhood, racing along sidewalks, and dashing around parking lots. I had a hand-me-down bike that had been pretty much ruined by my older brother. The chain fell off at regular intervals, the handlebars were bent at an odd angle, and there was no seat. When the other kids rode off for the days adventure, I found myself poking along and falling further behind with each passing minute. Soon the bike would break down, and I walked home dragging a bicycle carcass behind me.
I begged my folks for a new bike for a couple of years. One night as I was watching TV, a Schwinn commercial showed a tow-headed kid riding like the wind on a low, red, very cool bicycle. As he stood up to pedal I caught a glimpse of the tufted yellow banana seat that made every other bike seem impossibly old fashioned and out of date. Whatever lust a seven-year old can muster came into full bloom that afternoon. I had to have that bike. Every fiber of desire quivered to possess that bicycle. On Christmas morning, I awoke to find my dream fulfilled. There, glistening red and yellow, was the bike of my dreams. I remember the excitement like it was yesterday.
While the first memory of that bicycle is etched in my mind, the last memory is hazy. The last time I remember seeing the bike was in the junk pile behind the back wall of our new house in Phoenix. Apple red had turned to rust, bright chrome had given way to a dull metallic patina devoid of luster, and the proud banana seat had long been discarded. Hidden in dirt, rust, frame, and spokes were memories of freedom, independence, and adventure. But the bike itself was used up and forgotten. The things of Christmas are like that. Perhaps we remember the desire, the anticipation, even the lust. But having acquired the object of our desire, ash returns to ash and dust to dust.
As Christmas approaches, we are inundated with commercials telling of all the things we need to need. And maybe our need to give is satisfied in this season. In the end, the stuff we buy falls to dust or fades into dim memory. But the stories we live and the families we love last long after we pack away the artificial Christmas tree and deflate the life-size inflatable snow globe. The Christ child and his promise of freedom and love cannot be packed conveniently away. His journey toward the cross is begun and all believers are along for the ride. All the stuff in the world cannot change this—or us.
Have a wonderful story this Christmas,
Here are the highlights of the November 13, 2007, Church Council meeting:
The Lutheran Church of Honolulu has been blessed by wonderful intern pastors in recent years (Katy Grindberg and Josh Graber) and we would like to continue to share our aloha with them and with Jacob Burkman, our seminarian. Over the next few Sundays we will gather items to brighten their days over the holiday season. Fun food items, gift cards, aloha gifts or any item to share the love of our congregation may be brought to the table set up in the courtyard. Note cards will be available to write a personal note.
Not a part of an Adult Study on Sunday Morning? Join Pastor Jeff to talk story about your faith each Sunday morning at 9:15. Bring your stories, questions, curiosity, or desire to fall in love with God and each other to the circle of chairs located near the water cooler in the Hörmann Courtyard. This is an informal time of sharing for persons of any age.
A big thank you to everyone who helped make this year’s Lutherfest a great success! Mahalo nui loa to Francisco Barajas with the auction, to Robert Raasch with the bar, to Jeanette Hanson and her capable Fellowship committee with the evening’s dinner, to Fritz Fritschel and Angie and Jim Niermann for the Martin Luther skit, to Fred Benco and his lively accordion music, and to Carl Crosier and choir for the madrigals. We hope you had as much fun as we did, and we look forward to next year’s celebration.
Note: The proceeds from the auction and refreshment sales have netted $2180. Add the $1300 match from Thrivent, and we have some seed money for the repair and paving of the rear parking lot.
Peggy Anderson, Stephanie Miller, and Jean Lilley (in the background) at the Lutherfest auction.
Follow this link for more pictures from Lutherfest, including a cake for Martin Luther’s 524th birthday.
The Lutheran Church of Honolulu in collaboration with The NAMES Project Foundation Hawaii Islands Chapter are pleased to host this observance of the 19th Annual International World AIDS Day and also the 20th anniversary of the AIDS Memorial Quilt.
Schedule of Events:
On December 2, the display of the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be open during Sunday Services at 8:00 AM, 10:30 AM, and during the Advent Procession at 7:30 PM.
We are currently taking any volunteers to add to the program from 7:00 p.m. through 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 1. If you would like to volunteer prayer time, etc. please contact: Ray Herradura or Peggy Anderson.
Save The Food Basket is a non-profit community activity, which supplies food, dry goods, and meals to people who are disabled with HIV/AIDS. Your commitment to this project in the past has been greatly appreciated.
This year, LCH has been asked to collect 150 bottles of dish liquid and another 150 bottles of laundry detergent in approximately 12 oz. sizes.The recipients cannot purchase these items with food stamps, so this is where Save The Food Basket comes in. Please bring your items to LCH for collection by Saturday, December 1.
Food for Thought will meet for our monthly potluck supper and discussion at the home of Irmgard Hörmann this Saturday, December 1, at 6:30 pm. All are welcome.
For directions or information, please call Linda Miller through the Church Office (941-2566).
This Advent, LCH plans to give $3200 to Kokua Kalihi Valley (KKV), earmarked for medical care for Pacific Islander immigrants. How will we do this? By fully matching a $1600 grant from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, awarded through their Care Abounds in Communities collaboration with individual congregations.
After the pie potluck on Thanksgiving (wow!), we’re all ready to cut back a little. Consider foregoing one meal a week, or skipping a restaurant outing during December, and pledge the $15–20 saved toward fasting & feasting. A $15–20 pledge from 100 members will easily meet our goal of $1600.
KKV was started over 30 years ago by Jory Watland, a local Lutheran pastor. It has become a major social service agency in the Kalihi area, providing medical, dental, translation, social work, and many other services to immigrant families. Presently, Pacific Islanders make up a large group of new residents in our state, and the support of KKV is invaluable as they transition to a new life in Hawai‘i.
Because of the calendar stipulations of Thrivent, all donations to fasting & feasting must be made by Christmas Day. Please be sure to include “fasting & feasting” on your check. May our own Advent blessings be enriched by sharing with others in our community.
Process theology is very interested in developing an understanding of divine power. Many of the traditional notions of power seem to have been usurped by the “marketplace.” This will be the topic for the next presentation in the Process Forum Series. Join us on Saturday, December 8, 9:30-11:00 a.m. for the discussion, led by Fritz Fritschel. A repeat session will be held on Sunday, December 9, at 12:00 noon with a light lunch. Check the LCH website <Table Talk/Spirituality and Theology/Process Talk> for access to an article entitled, “The Market as God,” by Harvey Cox.
Mark the first Sunday of every month on your calendars and make that extra trip to Costco or Sam’s Club. While donations for Angel Network are welcome any time, Pastor Jeff has set the first Sunday of every month as a special ingathering for Angel Network. Bring canned foods, sample-sized shampoo, soap, personal items, etc. Spam, Cup-a-noodle and canned tuna are favorites. Also, bring plastic grocery bags which are used to distribute the items to our friends in need. There is a table set up in the Hörmann Courtyard to receive your donations.
As Advent approaches, we would like to invite everyone to be part of our Jesse Tree devotions each Sunday of advent in the nave at 9:15 am. It is a tradition at LCH for the children to present this short service of music and readings during Advent. It lasts about 20 minutes. This year, the Jesse Tree service will be held on December 2, 9, 16 and 23. The older children will read Bible stories and prayers, the youngest children will hang ornaments on the tree representing each story, and everyone will sing the Jesse Tree song. Please come and enjoy this very special offering from the children of the congregation.
Are you interested in being on the 2007 Audit Committee? Please let Council President Brian Weis or Pastor Jeff Lilley know.
The LCH craft group, In Stitches, will continue to meet through the Fall. The meeting dates are as follows...December 8 and 22; the second and fourth Saturdays of each month in the newly refurbished Board Room, from 9:00-11:00 am.
We work on church projects, as well as our own projects, and encourage each other in our art. For more information contact Linda Miller through the Church Office (941-2566).
The next Lunch Bunch will be on Sunday, December 9 (the second Sunday of every month). Everyone will meet in the Hörmann Courtyard at 12:00 noon and decide where to go and have lunch. Please join us for fun-filled fellowship!
For more information, contact Stephanie Miller through the Church Office (941-2566).
Writers’ Workshop will meet on Monday, December 10, from 7:00-8:30 pm in the Board Room (or the Rainbow Room) at LCH. This will be our last meeting of the year; to kick off the new year, our next session is scheduled for January 7, 2008.
You are invited to the next Game Night on Saturday, December 22 (fourth Saturday of every month), a Caroling Party at 6:30 pm. It’s a potluck at Stephanie Miller’s home, so bring a dish of your choice, and a game! Would love to see you there and hear how your Thanksgivings went.
For directions to Steff’s home or for more information, contact her through the Church Office (941-2566)
We will be decorating the church for Christmas on Monday, December 24, from 9:00 am till it’s finished. Come help us transform the sanctuary.
Thank you to the 42 commitments made for this year’s “Giving from the Heart” stewardship campaign. A confirmation letter of your 2008 pledge has been mailed this past week. If you haven’t received this letter, please contact Bill Potter at <email@example.com>. In addition, if you’ve requested offering envelopes for next year, they should be ready for distribution on December 16. If you did not request envelopes on your pledge card or didn’t pledge and would like envelopes, please contact Bill.
Still haven’t filled out your pledge card? Don’t worry. You can still turn in your “Giving from the Heart” pledge card via the offering plate or through the church office. We welcome any contribution that you are able to give.
Thanks to all of you for giving from the heart to our various ministries and programs here at LCH.
The Counting Room before (left) and after (right) refurbishing.
The Miller Family Charitable Fund gave a $5,000 grant to LCH for refurbishing the Board Room. Many thanks go to Stephen and Linda Miller and family. Thanks, also, go out to all of the LCHers who volunteered to move all of the furniture, etc. out, shop for supplies, repair and paint the ceilings and walls, install new fixtures, and get the rooms (Board Room, Sacristy, Utility Room, Counting Room) back in order and ready for use. It’s amazing what some new flooring, new fixtures, and a lot of helping hands accomplished in a week. Thank you, Lord, for the many blessings you have bestowed upon us.
Mahalo to On On at McCully Chinese Restaurant. Norman Wong of On On has provided 10% discount coupons for take-out or dine-in orders; the coupons are available at the church office. In addition, On On is also giving LCH a 10% donation of all food purchased with the use of the coupon. It’s a Win-Win situation.
Next Heart Beat Deadline is Tuesday, December 18!
Bibles & cell phones
Fr. Taras Miles, pastor of St. Demetrius Ukrainian Catholic Church in Belfield, ND, sent this item from The New Star in Chicago, IL:
Who Does What?
A man and his wife were having an argument about who should brew the coffee each morning.
The wife said, “You should do it because you get up first, and then we don’t have to wait as long to get our coffee.”
The husband said, “You are in charge of cooking around here, and you should do it because that is your job, and I can just wait for my coffee.”
Wife replies, “No, you should do it, and besides, it is in the Bible that the man should do the coffee.”
Husband replies, “I can’t believe that; show me.”
So she fetched the Bible, and opened the New Testament and showed him at the top of several pages, that it indeed says “HEBREWS.”
Copyright © 2007 Lutheran Church of Honolulu
Comments welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org