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May 2008—In this Issue:
View the entire issue as a full-color PDF via the link below:
May 2008 HeartBeat (PDF)
Of Leadership and Growing the Kingdom
On April 9, I quietly celebrated my one-year anniversary living in Hawaii. The first few months were difficult. Jean was still in Kansas working full time, packing all of our goods, negotiating with movers, and trying to sell our home to uncooperative buyers. Hawaiian culture, Honolulu streets, Hukilau procedures, and local custom were all new and terribly unfamiliar to me. The one familiar place was church. At Lutheran Church of Honolulu, I found joyful singing, faithful people, folks who cared about my well-being, and a hunger to grow in the Spirit. Although I missed my family, you quickly invited me into your family of Christ. Thank you.
A year later, I feel much the same. Lutheran Church of Honolulu is a church family deeply rooted in the faith, steeped in history, and longing to grow into God’s preferred future. Some parts of our mission are well established and clear. The 10:30 am worship service, In Stitches, Compline, Choir Ministry, Sunday School, IHS, Altar Guild, Fellowship, Worship, and Concert Ministries know where they are going and function exceptionally well. The Congregational Council is exceptionally strong, with council members willing to develop their own leadership skills, vision, and mission for the sake of Christ. The 8:00 am worship service has begun a new chapter with the addition of a new pianist, a beautiful new liturgy, and a committed cadre of musicians new and old. Strong leadership is the common denominator for each of these ministries. Other ministries are new or in redevelopment. For instance, Robert Zimmer and Ray Herradura are new co-chairs for our active Social Ministry! Mary Magdalene Society has committed to meet regularly and include service as a part of their mission. But like many churches, LCH ministries are run by a relatively small group of people who do a lot. The 80-20 rule is alive and well!
Other ministries are desperately needed but have not yet gotten off the ground. While most visitors tell me they feel very welcome and at ease, we do not have a small group ministry taking deliberate responsibility for greeting our members and guests before and after worship. I envision a group of three or more persons at each service who are willing to manage the name tags, greet our members with a welcoming smile, and share God’s aloha with guests by giving a handmade lei. On busy Sundays they might help direct guests to the Poki Lot and assist ushers in finding seats for worshippers. What a wonderful way to share the peace and love that God first shared with us! (Someone once told me that they were greeted more warmly at the opera than at the church they were attending. Guess which one they frequented more often?)
Our kupuna (honored elders) tell us that they would like to have a regularly scheduled gathering sponsored by the church. Others occasionally need rides to worship or other church events. Some years ago “Hui Aikane” gathered at the church monthly for Bible Study and a light lunch, providing a valuable and much appreciated outing for senior adults. We have more seniors than ever but no small group to meet their needs. There are all sorts of other ministries leaders and members alike have mentioned, and where there is passion and leadership, we can move ahead.
What will it take to grow the kingdom here at LCH? Leadership. Vibrant ministries have committed leaders who help others to serve Christ in ministry to others. Without those committed lay leaders, ministries flounder or fail to realize their full potential. Who are those leaders? Look in the mirror. You find there a person created and loved by God, equipped for mission, supported by a loving congregation, and gifted for ministry in the world. You may not see a leader there, but God does. You may not see a servant there, but God does. Do not be afraid to share yourself to grow God’s kingdom. You may be ready to dive into the pool, or you may just want to dip your big toe in to test the waters. But if you are willing to share even a small bit of your time and gifts, ministry is calling.
God is up to wonderful things in our congregation, our conference, on our island, and in the world. Lutheran Church of Honolulu can be a leader in bringing God’s vision to light.
Want to get involved? Call Pastor Jeff, Council President Brian Weis, or another member of the congregational council and let them know. Contact a ministry leader and let them know you would like to join a ministry. Say, “Yes” when your passions meet ministry needs.
May we all be a blessing for the world, sharing God’s peace, feeding the hungry, acting for justice, and loving all that God has created.
Pastor Jeff Lilley
Mary Fastenau, Secretary
LCH Worships with New Liturgy
On Sunday, April 20, Lutheran Church of Honolulu introduced a new liturgy commissioned by Kathy Crosier for the 8:00 am worship service. “Alleluia” blends traditional texts with wonderfully conceived melodies and harmonies. Doris Au MacDonald (Kathy Crosier’s sister) and Sharon Dennis of the award-winning duo The Braeded Chord wrote the liturgy and then traveled to Honolulu to introduce LCH musicians and the congregation to it. Friday evening, the duo treated the congregation to a “Coffee House” style concert in the Hörmann Courtyard. On Saturday, musicians, choir members, and congregants learned the liturgy and prepared to lead the congregation for the debut on Sunday morning. Comments after the service from both young and old were very positive. Blessings and thank you to Doris and Sharon, and to Kathy for helping us open this new and exciting chapter in worship at Lutheran Church of Honolulu. Want to learn more about The Braeded Chord? Check out their website at <www.thebraededchord.com>.
Robert Zimmer and Ray Herradura, Co-chairmen
On behalf of the members of the Lutheran Church of Honolulu, we would like to take this opportunity to thank Carol Langner for her excellent care of this ministry over the past few years. Carol has worked tirelessly, giving her attention to the needs of organizations that have reached out to our LCH community for assistance. Thank you, Carol.
We have been offered—and have accepted until the end of this year—the co-chairmanship of the Social Ministry Committee. We ask for your assistance so LCH can continue to help those less fortunate.
Pastor Jeff, Robert Zimmer, and Peggy Anderson will travel to Irvine, California, from May 1 to 3 for the annual Pacifica Synod Assembly. Each year, voting members from around our synod (Southern California and Hawaii) gather to worship, fellowship, pray, and tend to the business and mission of our synod. This year, we will also dedicate the Pacifica Synod Center for Mission. Housing our Synod offices, the Center for Mission will include worship and meeting space, satellite communications equipment for distance learning and meetings, as well as open areas that enhance the spiritual mission of our synod. Bishop Murray Finck hopes that the building, purchased with donated funds, will be mortgage-free and fully endowed through generous donations (see B2B2B story in this HeartBeat). Please pray for our voting members and all who will attend this event.
You are so generous! The April ingathering for Angel Network was wonderful. A trunk full of canned tuna, spam, pasta, canned fruit, personal care items, and even some chocolate was delivered to ANC. Mac, chief volunteer and all around cool guy, sends his mahalo to the LCH community for all the support. Our ingathering is scheduled for the first Sunday of every month, so the next opportunity is Sunday, May 4.
Homilist Jim Sullivan during the children’s conversation.
Earth Day bulletin board.
Poster created by the children of LCH.
On Sunday, May 4, at 11:45 am (and continuing the first Sunday of every month), the chairperson or another representative of each committee will meet in the Boardroom with Pastor Jeff Lilley and Council President Brian Weis. This is to enhance communications between all committees. See you all there!
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America released its Draft Social Statement on Human Sexuality in March of this year. The draft, developed over the past few years as part of “Journeying Together Faithfully,” serves as a “first attempt” to articulate issues surrounding sexuality. The draft will be voted on at the 2009 Churchwide Assembly. While the press has concentrated on issues surrounding homosexuality, this document addresses human sexuality as a whole and seeks greater understanding about relationships, their meaning, and how spirituality informs those sexual relationships. The taskforce invites individuals, congregations, and synods to offer their responses to the document prior to November 1, 2008. Bishop Murray Finck of the Pacifica Synod will be on Oahu Saturday, July 19, (time and place TBA) to conduct a “Listening Post” for the Hukilau Conference. As a member of the taskforce, he will take comments for consideration.
Lutheran Church of Honolulu hopes to offer several opportunities for its members and friends to study and comment on the document. The first opportunity will take place during the education hour at 9:15 am on Sundays, May 4 and 18. Participants should read the document in its entirety before the first session. We will then parse through it during the two scheduled sessions.
Copies of the Draft Social Statement on Human Sexuality are available in the LCH Church office or online at <www.elca.org/faithfuljourney/draft/draftstatement.pdf>. Save a tree and download it to your laptop or read it online!
Other opportunities for “Ohana” Style meetings in member’s homes are being developed, but details have not been finalized as of this printing.
In Stitches, the LCH craft group is going strong. They meet the second and fourth Saturdays of the month from 9:00 to 11:00 am in the Boardroom. They work on items for the church, as well as on their own projects. Come for the fellowship! The next few meetings are on May 10 and 24 and June 14 and 28.
For more information, please call Linda Miller through the Church Office (91-2566).
On Sunday, May 11, Robin Stevenson, a Field Organizer from the Oregon office of Bread for the World, will give a short temple talk at each service, a presentation during the Adult Education Hour between services, and a presentation to the children after Sunday School. He will also assist in a letter writing campaign following the 10:30 service. This has been a rewarding experience for us in the past, and we look forward to it again this year.
“The Best of Times, The Worst of Times.” This is the title of an article by John Cobb, widely recognized as the leading proponent at the current time of Process Theology. The article can be found at Religion Online:t <www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=3346>. The article reviews some of the current situations in the world. Does a process perspective have any practical responses to make? Join us on Saturday, May 10, 9:30-11:00 am, or on Sunday, May 11, about noon in the Isenberg Hall. Both discussions will be led by Fritz Fritschel.
Lunch Bunch meets Sunday, May 11 (the second Sunday of every month). Everyone will gather in the Hörmann Courtyard at 12:00 noon, then decide where to go and have lunch from there. Please join us for this fun-filled fellowship!
For information, please call Stephanie Miller at through the Church Office (941-2566).
A fundraising concert for the Institute of Human Services
Invite your mothers and other friends to a special Mothers’ Day concert on Sunday, May 11, at 4:00 pm in another Bach Pilgrimage program. Bach’s works from his Cöthen years will be performed, including the Sonata III in E major for violin and harpsichord, BWV 1017; Orchestra Suite Nr. 1 in C major, BWV 1066; Organ Prelude and Fugue in D minor, BWV 539; and Cantata Nr. 23 “Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn” Soloists include Darel Stark, violin; Evelyn Zuckermann, harpsichord; Georgine Stark, soprano; Carl Crosier, alto; Ian Capps, tenor; Keane Ishii, bass; and Katherine Crosier, organist with the Lutheran Church of Honolulu Choir and the Bach Chamber Orchestra.
Tickets are available at the door at
Don’t miss this wonderful way to treat your Mom and support IHS at the same time.
The Chronicles of Narnia—Prince Caspian (PG), Saturday, May 17
Movies at the Consolidated Theatres, Mililani, from 12:00 to 4:00 pm. Hosted by the junior and senior high school youth. Ticket cost is $6.00 (pre-ordered).
Confirmation: End of Year Party ,Sunday, May 18/p>
The party is hosted by Pastor Tim Mason from Calvary by the Sea Lutheran Church, at his home in Mariner’s Village III, off of Lunalilo Home Road. Carpool with church members. The pool opens at 2:30 pm; swim until 7:00 pm. Dinner will be at 4:30 pm.
Camp Erdman on the North Shore, June 29-July 4 (Sunday thru Friday)
OYEA is bringing the counselors from Camp WAPO in Wisconsin to lead a week of Summer Bible Camp for our Hawaii youth. A week of fun, fellowship, and great opportunities to learn about God’s Word with the theme: “Blessings from God.”
We will have games and prizes for our students on May 25, between services, to celebrate the last day of Sunday school. Sign up in the Hörmann Courtyard to supervise one of the games. Possible choices are: the dinosaur race, pocket lady (or gentleman?), treasure hunt box, fish pond, penny drop, and the ever popular cupcake walk. Help make this a fun end-of-the-year event for our young ones.
Bill Potter and the Stewardship Committee
“Count your blessings”, the song tells us, but sometimes it’s not as easy as it seems. It’s not just that we have so many blessings that it’s hard to keep track of them. There’s also a problem that blessings don’t necessarily follow the same rules of arithmetic as everything else.
Take the Synod’s B2B2B campaign. The title indicates that there are two blessings: the new Pacifica Synod office and the guest house/training center for the South West Synod in Ethiopia.
But along with paying off the mortgage on our Synod office complex, we will establish an endowment fund that will provide for ongoing operations and maintenance. And along with the office complex will come new high-tech communications equipment and a satellite uplink here in Hawaii to cut down on air travel and save us all money. I think that’s two more blessings. And so close to Earth Day, we shouldn’t forget the reduction in the Synod’s carbon footprint with less air travel, so maybe it’s three more.
And how many blessings should we count up for the lay ministry center in the South West Synod? Many think that the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) is the fastest growing Lutheran body in the world. According to the most recent information, the South West Synod has about 250,000 members in 775 congregations but only 77 ordained pastors. I guess that means there are 698 blessings waiting for the lay ministry center to prepare leadership. (And, as fast as they are growing, it’s probably more!)
So now we have one blessing plus one blessing equaling more than 700 blessings. But wait, there’s more. What about the blessings for each of us who contributes? Don’t we hear, “It’s more blessed to give”? Each of us at LCH—each of the 50,000 or so members of the Pacifica Synod—gets a blessing too as we give to help our sisters and brothers in the EECMY’s South West Synod. I guess we’re up to 50,703 blessings.
And one more blessing we shouldn’t forget. That’s the warm feeling we all got when we found out that LCH was the first congregation in the Hukilau to start its B2B2B campaign. That’s 50,704!
What kind of arithmetic is this? It’s not addition, and it’s not even multiplication. One blessing plus one blessing equals 50,704 blessings and counting. As a frequently quoted scripture puts it, “The Lord works in mysterious ways,” and I guess God’s arithmetic is one of those mysteries.
Even if it’s hard to count up blessings, it’s not hard to be a part of this all. We at LCH have committed to raising $20 for each of our 213 baptized members, so bring your cash or check (clearly marked B2B2B) to church by May 31. The names of everyone who contributes will be listed on a Wall of Thanksgiving in the new Synod building and sent to Ethiopia, so be sure to include your name, as you would like it listed.
Has it been awhile since you went to the beach? Work leaving you stressed and disconnected? Join us after work on Friday, May 30, at the Magic Island end of Ala Moana Beach Park for a Pau Hana party. This informal gathering is for everyone: families, singles, young and old. Pastor Jeff and his Pau Hana Team will have a simple dinner ready for you. Then we can hang out, go swimming, talk, play music or just enjoy a beautiful sunset. Come any time after 3:30 pm. Dinner will be ready around 5:00 pm. Inclement weather will cancel this event. We will post a notice on the website if cancelled.
On June 1, we will have the fourth annual Faith & Arts Sunday where we will highlight the creativity of our congregation by displaying our artwork, handwork, and writings during the services. Please allow us to show your art or craft item during that day, or to put your poem or short work of prose up on the board. Sign up on the list in the Hörmann Courtyard, or contact Linda Miller through the Church Office (941-2566).
The 2009 ELCA National Youth Gathering will be held July 22-26, 2009 in New Orleans, LA. Yes, this is over one year away, but the registration for the event opens in September of this year. Pastor Jeff is willing to lead a group for this event. Who can go? Anyone entering High School Fall of 2009, in High School, or who will graduate in 2009 is eligible to attend. Cost for the event is $295 registration, $200 (or more) hotel, plus round trip flight to New Orleans ($1,200?). If you are interested, please contact the church office.
On a quiet Sunday afternoon on April 13th, a vigorous event was going on in Isenberg Hall. Approximately 24 persons from the Church Council and the congregation at large were participating in LCH’s first Sustainability Workshop. Many of us have heard of this funny sounding word—sustainability. Politicians have touted it, newspapers and magazines have printed articles about it. So how can sitting around talking about saving the environment be that much fun?
Well, it wasn’t all sitting, nor was it all about the environment. The concept of sustainability has it roots in the 1987 Brundtland Commission Report, which talked about “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” This concept has been implemented throughout large corporations and institutions as “the dynamic balance of economic, social and environmental factors.” At LCH, social also includes spiritual and cultural values.
In order to meet our needs and make sure that future generations can meet their needs, we need to begin balancing our economic, social, and environmental needs today. The first step is awareness, and some time was spent becoming aware and identifying the economic, social, and environmental needs. Part of this process was discovering your carbon footprint or your personal contribution of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, through electrical, automobile and airplane usage.
Some of us were surprised at how large our carbon footprint really is. Generally most Europeans have a carbon footprint about half that of ours, and an average Chinese person has one of about one tenth. The whole world wants a standard of living that is comparable to ours; however, the reality is that this world does not have enough energy, water, or natural resources to support such a lifestyle. The cost of carefree use of energy, water, and resources will be borne by future generations unless we make changes.
As with most things at LCH, our workshop group approached making us more sustainable by creating lists of tasks. Now this is not a bad thing and some of the items are listed below. They demonstrate a dynamic balancing of the economic, social and environmental concerns of the participants. Which of these will be implemented? Watch and see. Moreover, join us for the next LCH Sustainability Workshop and participate in creating more sustainable ideas to help us all be more sustainable.
Some of the sustainability ideas:
How Time Flies! Can you believe we’ve been using the “new” HeartBeat format for almost two years? How do you like it?
The Communications Committee, charged with facilitating and increasing the flow of information within the congregation, would like your feed back on this and other communication tools. You will find an insert survey (PDF) here in the HeartBeat. Please take a few moments to fill it out and return it to the church. You can place it in the offering plate on Sunday mornings, mail it in, or give it to Pastor Jeff or any committee member. Helpful suggestions for improvements are especially welcome so we can do a better job in the future.
The members of the Communications Committee are Michael Burnett, Kathy Crosier, Mary Fastenau, Roy Helms, Carol Langner, and Bill Potter. The committee meets once every month or two, and they welcome your participation. Just speak to any committee member.
Bill Potter, Webmaster
You remember that some time ago we modified the home page so that the picture changes on each visit, and at the same time, we added a feature so that a visitor who clicks on the home page picture is taken to a slideshow with photos from our life here at LCH. The slideshow is made possible by a bit of “shareware” called PHPslideshow. (If you haven’t heard the term shareware before, it’s a computer program that the creator offers free of charge to anyone who wants to use it.)
A few weeks ago, I discovered that we could use the PHPslideshow with different sets of pictures, and I realized this was a more interesting way of displaying pictures from events than a page of static pictures. I also found some little tricks so that I can recognize the people who took pictures in the slideshow and include links to other parts of the LCH website, such as the children’s conversation and sermon on Earth Day. With all these different capabilities, you can expect to see lots more slideshows in the future.
In the last HeartBeat, I told you about the Holy Week slideshow, and since that time, I have added slideshows for our Earth Day celebration and the visit from The Braeded Chord. (You will find links to these last two on the current Congregational Life page.)
Another recent change has been an upgrade to the software behind our LCH Table Talk forums. Towards the middle of April, we moved up to phpbb 3.0. This new version incorporates a number of new security feature and other enhancements for users. For example, you can upload files as attachments to posts. If you haven’t become a member of LCH Table Talk, it’s easy, so give it a try.
Finally, thanks to everyone who helps out with the website. It’s great to have your suggestions for making the site better, pictures you have taken, or even notice of a typo, broken link, or other problem. Together we are creating an exciting web presence for our wonderful congregation.
Next Heart Beat Deadline is Tuesday, May 20!
(clockwise starting at upper left) Blondie, Dennis the Menace’ mom, Hagar’s wife, and the moms in “Baby Blues,” “Luann,” “Zits,” and “For Better or For Worse.”
Mother’s Day Reflections
God gave the world stars
and there was beauty.
God gave the world sun
and there was warmth.
God gave the world rain
and there was life.
God gave the world mothers
and there was love.
—via Shalom Ministry
You know you’re a Mom when...
—via newsletter of
Advice to the preacher...
“How long can I speak?” asked the visiting preacher.
The deacon smiled and said, “Mate, you can preach just as long as you want to, but we all go home at ten past eight!”
—Pastor Donald Prout
Copyright © 2008 Lutheran Church of Honolulu
Comments welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org