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January 2008—In this Issue:
View the entire issue as a full-color PDF via the link below:
January 2008 HeartBeat (PDF)
And the word became flesh, and dwelt among us. John 1:14
These words found in the gospel of John express the heart of Christmas. Shrouded in Santa Claus, company Christmas parties, frantic shopping, and harried worship schedules is the fundamental and amazing truth contained in five words. Stop for a moment and ponder this:
God became one of us.
The birth of Jesus is heartwarming and sentimental, lovely and powerful, but incomplete unless we draw back the swaddling clothes and stand awed at God’s foolishness. There, right before our eyes is God—helpless, crying, sleeping, vulnerable, delicate flesh and blood—one of us. We marvel at God’s sacrifice on the cross but seldom get past sentimentality at God’s birth. We devote forty days before Easter in solemn preparation for Jesus’ death and resurrection but struggle to give voice to Advent’s powerful cry. Our neighbors and friends rush headlong into the “holiday season” only vaguely aware that we are about to celebrate a monumental moment in history:
God became one of us.
So we are called by John the Baptist to prepare the highway, make the path straight, pull back the swaddling clothes, and reveal the baby Jesus for what he really is—word made flesh and dwelling with us. We invite the world to hear an amazing story, to sing with joy the songs of this holy season, and share the legacy of God’s amazing gift. We embrace those who weep in sorrow for lost loved ones and unrealized dreams, those for whom Christmas days become a burden. We share our bounty with those in need and live kindness however we are able. We do all of this not because it is the right thing to do, or to ease our conscience, but because we are compelled by one simple reality of our faith:
God became one of us.
May God bless you in this wondrous time of Christ’s birth,
Pastor Jeff Lilley
Pastor Jeff Lilley will lead a book study on Kelly Fryer’s book Reclaiming the “C” Word: Daring to be Church Again during the month of January. The congregational Council is currently studying this book as part of their monthly devotions. Rev. Fryer challenges the current structures of the church and calls us to reclaim our missional heritage in the context of a changing culture. She makes a convincing argument that the Lutheran Church has a gift to give that the world is desperate to receive. If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact Pastor Jeff at the church office, 941-2566.
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 (located at Calvary by the Sea Lutheran Church). Bring canned foods, sample-sized shampoos, soaps, and personal items. 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.
At 11:45 am on Sunday, January 6 (and every first Sunday thereafter), the chairperson or another representative of each committee will meet in the Board Room with Pastor Jeff Lilley and Brian Weis, president of the Church Council. This is to enhance communications between all committees. Looking forward to seeing you all there!
Writers’ Workshop will meet Monday, January 7, from 7:00 to 8:30 pm in the Board Room (or the Rainbow Room) at LCH to kick off the new year.
Always meaning to do handwork? Come join In Stitches, the LCH craft group, and work on your own project, learn a new skill, or work on objects for the church. We meet the second and fourth Saturdays of each month in the Board Room from 9:00 to 11:00 am. The next few meetings are January 12 and 26, February 9 and 23, and March 8 and 22.
Contact Linda Miller through the Church Office (941-2566) for more information.
The Process Forum series continues this month by focusing on an article by James Poling. Poling, widely known for his work in Pastoral Counseling and Pastoral Theology, speaks from a Process Perspective. He maintains that anyone offering Pastoral Counseling must pay special attention to the deep cultural and personal conditions of the client, acknowledge the pervasive work of “spirit” in each circumstance, and recognize the dynamic between the counselor and client. Poling’s article has been selected partly because he himself will be speaking in Honolulu next month. The article is available from <www.ctr4process.org>, and there is direct link to it in the Process Thought section of “LCH Table Talk” on the church website.
The session will be led by Fritz Fritschel on Saturday, January 12, at 9:30 am in the Isenberg Hall at LCH, with a repeat session on Sunday, January 13, about noon.
The Lunch Bunch will meet on Sunday, January 13 (the second Sunday of each month). Everyone will gather in the Hörmann Courtyard at 12:00 noon, then decide where to go and have lunch. Please join us for this fun-filled fellowship!
For more information, call Stephanie Miller through the Church Office (941-2566).
Are you interested in becoming a member of Lutheran Church of Honolulu? Come to learn more about this community faith and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and to meet some of the leaders and key volunteers in the congregation. We will cover the basics of Lutheran theology and liturgy and share information about the many opportunities available to live out your faith. The three-session class is open to anyone interested in exploring membership at LCH or anyone curious about the topic.
Sundays, January 13, 20, and 27, 2:00–4:00 pm
The AIDS Memorial Quilt was displayed at LCH for World AIDS Day (December 1) and during Sunday worship services following day. At right, the choir concludes Advent Procession singing around the altar.
You are cordially invited to Game Night on Saturday, January 26 (fourth Saturdays of each month), at 6:30 pm. It’s a potluck at Stephanie Miller’s home in Kaimuki, so bring a dish of your choice and a game! It will be great fun. Would love to see you there.
For directions to Steff’s home or for more information, contact her through the Church Office (941-2566).
Food for Thought will meet for potluck supper and discussion at the home of Irmgard Hörmann on Saturday, January 26, at 6:30 pm. All are welcome.
For directions or information, please contact Kathryn Klingebiel through the Church Office (941-2566, after Jan. 7).
Bill Potter, Webmaster
If you have looked at the church website recently, you may have noticed a couple of changes to our home page. For years, we have had a picture of LCH members waving a welcome. That picture is still there, but you may not see it each time you visit the page. Through the magic of php (a programming language), each time someone accesses the home page, an image is randomly selected from a list of pictures and displayed along with a caption to identify the photograph. We hope this adds some freshness to the page and conveys the message that there’s always something new on the website.
Our current list of pictures for the home page includes the “waving a welcome” picture, an exterior shot of the church building, and several other photos from the life of LCH. The images will change from time to time with the seasons and as we get really good pictures. Right now we have a very nice picture Francisco Barajas took of Kore S. lighting the advent wreath and a couple of pictures from the preschool Christmas pageant. You can try for a new image by pressing the “refresh” or “reload” button on your browser, but since the process is random, you may get the same photo again.
There is a way to see all the images in the cue, plus a few more. Just click on the home page image, and you will be taken to a “slideshow” of the possible images plus other pictures from the life of our congregation. The slideshow will play automatically, but there are controls so you can stop it or move backwards or forwards through the images. There’s also a link to return to the home page.
Thanks to members of the Communications Committee and Pastor Jeff for their helpful comments and suggestions as these changes to the home page developed.
The Fellowship Committee organized dinner at Kincaid’s Restaurant followed by a Christmas Trolley Ride on December 16. Above, Paul Fujii, Brian Weis, Peggy Anderson, and Jeanette Hanson enjoy conversation before dinner.
The daughter of John and Marybeth Steil was baptized on December 23, 2007. She was born on July 11, 2007, and her sponsor was Laura Steil. We welcome her into the family of God and into this community of faith.
Oahu Youth Education and Activities (OYEA) has called Adam Burke to serve as its first Youth Coordinator. A graduate of Pacific Lutheran University, Adam grew up on Oahu and is the son of local Pastor Dale Burke. He is a person of remarkable faith and energy and a welcome addition to the staff of all our churches. His responsibilities include monthly activities with youth, planning of summer programming, communication, and mission development. He is meeting with each partner congregation to assess youth ministry needs and help develop more effective youth ministry island-wide. He is also helping the partner congregations determine the feasibility of a full-time youth coordinator. Adam reports to a board of directors selected from the partner churches with whom he meets with on a monthly basis. Currently the Board includes: Collette Weidemann (Christ, Mililani), Bruce Kau (Calvary by the Sea), Jeff Lilley (Lutheran Church of Honolulu), and Dave Kieffer (Christ, Mililani). LCH interns Josh Graber and Katie Grindberg were instrumental in developing the seeds for this new ministry!
Adam will be installed on Sunday, January 27, 2008, at 5:00 pm at Joy of Christ Lutheran Church in Pearl City. Please plan to join us for this wonderful event!
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ.
I have just finished my first semester in seminary. It was wonderful. There was a great deal of reading, especially reading a number of Martin Luther’s writings in my Reformation History class, as well as reading a wide range of theologians in my Systematic Theology class—Creation and the Triune God. I also took a course on the Gospel of Luke. These were my three courses that required the most work in terms of reading and writing. However, they were all very interesting. I am sorry that as we got into Luke the lectionary was running away from us. It is a wonderful narrative Gospel that does a great job at telling the story of Christ; I look forward to being able to preach from it, but that will have to wait a while (maybe next time it comes around). My fall semester was filled out by taking Hebrew, my last language since I took Greek this summer. Together the two of them are able to open Scripture in an amazing way. It is possible to see things (some desirable, others that open even more questions) with them that cannot be seen with the English translation alone. I also took a Church Music class that was a history of Church music from the Reformation to the Present. This course included a lab component where I had to sing the prefaces (the long parts that the minister sings before the “Holy, holy, holy”). I would have made our Music Director, Carl Crosier, proud.
So I had a full academic semester. However, not all time should be spent doing school work. I have, as per another requirement, become involved in a local congregation—what the seminary calls a “teaching parish.” Here I have continued to be involved in worship leadership, have extended myself to team-teaching a fourth and fifth grade Sunday school class with another seminarian, and have also joined the church choir. It is good, but LCH’s is better! When not doing either school work or church stuff, I work on the seminary grounds crew. This is good because it gives me a chance to get some physical exercise rather than just mental; and it is a nice break from the studies. Before winter, most of the time was spent mowing lawns and picking up leaves when they started to fall. Now that we have snow on the ground, the work has lessened somewhat, except that we are the snow removal people.
This January, I am taking the few electives that I get in the first year curriculum. One of them is Genesis to Revelation—a survey course on the Bible—and the other is New Religions in North America (which is being taught by a former Olaf professor of mine). The spring should be a lighter load than this fall. (I am only going to be taking four credits rather than the five that I took in the fall.) I will take Early Church History (up to the Reformation), Pentateuch, an Education class, a preaching class that they call “Telling the Story,” and a class that is not about preaching called “Reading the Audiences.” (I mention “not” being about preaching, since it seems to me that understanding the audience would have important implications to preaching, but I am told that is not the case with this class.) This next summer, in prelude to my next step in Candidacy, I am going to fulfill my Clinical Pastoral Education requirement. Doing applications for this has taken up a fair amount of my time this fall.
Winter came to Minnesota with a bang in the end of November. It suddenly got cold and snowy. We have had, until the last couple of days, nearly three weeks of temperatures constantly below freezing. This, thank God, has prevented us from getting the dreadful ice that has afflicted much of the mid-section of the country. Despite the fact that this really is not that unusual of a Minnesota winter, I find myself longing for the weather of Hawaii. Maybe even for a while I would not complain that it never changes.
It was a great pleasure to welcome Bob Zimmer to Luther Seminary in November when he came to have lunch with Josh Graber and me. If any of you end up in this neck of the woods, I would gladly welcome you and treat you to a wonderful Luther Seminary cafeteria meal. (It really is not that bad for cafeteria food most of the time). It was great to see him and get news of the happenings in Hawaii and at LCH.
I just received your care package. Thank you very much for all the chocolates (though I probably should not eat them all), cards and other gifts. They are greatly appreciated.
You and the ministry at LCH continue to be in my prayers, and I look forward to the chance to see you again in the flesh.
May the blessings of the season be upon you. Hauoli Makahiki Hou!
How do you like your new name badges? Mahalo to Pastor Jeff for designing and printing them and Olivia and Karyn C. for laminating them. They look awesome! Don’t forget to wear yours on Sundays.
Many thanks are due to the wonderful crew who worked so hard to renovate the Board Room this Fall. Members and staff helped each other to clear the Board Room in preparation for the renovation. Brian and Peggy spent weeks organizing material from the “basement” and making space for the items in the Counting Room. Special thanks to Jean-Paul Klingebiel and Bill Fay for countless hours of work and to Jean Lilley for acting as foreperson on major work days. Lars Tellander helped mid-week on several days as well. Thank you Randy and Jeanne Costello, Bob Tellander, Fritz Fritschel and Carol Langner, Don Person, Billie Jean, Brian, Peggy, Jacob, Bill, and many others (ran out of room)! Thank you! By doing the project ourselves we saved several thousand dollars and completed the main work in only six days!
At the end of this month, a group of St. Olaf students will be ending their Global Semester here in Honolulu and they will need places to stay! They will have already traveled to places like Egypt, India, Thailand, and China and we would like to give these students a warm aloha reception to the islands.
If you are able to host a student(s) while they are in town from January 25 to 29, please put your name down on the interest sheet located in the Hörmann Courtyard on Sundays, or contact Charlotte D’Evelyn through the Church Office (941-2566).
As specified in IRS regulations, all contributions made in person at church through Monday, December 31, or postmarked by December 31 will be counted as part of your 2007 contributions for tax purposes. Any contributions received (or postmarked) after December 31, no matter what the date on the check, will be credited to 2008 for tax purposes.
...where baby Jesus lay.
Next Heart Beat Deadline is Tuesday, January 22!
What is God Like?
God is like Hallmark Cards...
He cares enough to send His very best.
God is like General Electric...
He brings good things to life.
God is like Sears...
He has everything.
God is like Alka-Seltzer...
Try Him, you'll like Him.
God is like Delta...
He's ready when you are.
God is like All State...
You're in good hands with Him.
God is like VO-5 Hair Spray...
He holds through all kinds of weather.
God is like Dial Soap...
Aren't you glad you have Him? Don't you wish everybody did?
God is like the U.S. Post Office...
Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet nor dark of night will keep Him from His appointed destination.
God is like Chevrolet...
The heart beat of America.
God is like Maxwell House...
Good to the very last drop.
God is like Bounty...
He is the quicker-picker-upper,
He can handle the tough jobs,
and He won't fall apart on you.
God is like Bayer Aspirin...
He works miracles.
God is like a Ford...
He's got a better idea.
God is like Coke...
He's the real thing.
God is like Tide...
He gets the stains out
“Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.”
—Vesta M. Kelly
Copyright © 2008 Lutheran Church of Honolulu
Comments welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org