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February 2009—In this Issue:
View the entire issue as a full-color PDF via the link below:
February 2009 HeartBeat (PDF)
On Martin Luther King Day I had a rare chance to watch Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in its entirety. Like most folks, I have been treated over the years to snippets and bits of the speech but had not heard it from beginning to end for many years. As I listened to this powerful young preacher call all people to present action and future hope, I found myself mesmerized—not by his skillful oration but by the power of the message he proclaimed. Rooted in his faith, this Christian minister called on every person—black or white, rich or poor—to become engaged in the process of ending racism and bringing justice for all people. He said on that day in 1963, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
Forty-five years later we still struggle to live Dr. King’s dream. Many still look at the hollow shell of skin color, physical beauty, clothing, weight, or hairstyle and pretend to “know” some thing about the person who wears them. Some jump to link nationality with political stripe, religious convictions with terrorism, democracy with godliness, and patriotism with holy living. But God’s created world is so much subtler, and so much more beautiful. True beauty lies deeper than pigment or nationality, political aspiration or religious fervor. Beauty lies in being known and knowing another. This is the beauty God chooses for us on the cross, and in our Baptism, and in our community—that we should be known and loved, know and love. From this root—being known by God and knowing the other—God builds a world where Dr. King’s dream and Jesus’ mission will be fulfilled.
Our part of the dream begins in being open to hear God’s call and prepared to share our lives with others. It grows as we serve the neighbor we know and the stranger we do not; when we feed him, clothe her, share a word of encouragement, give our money, callous our hands, pray in love, weep in sadness, and share bread and wine with a stranger. Our part of the dream grows when we share the burden of our anxiety and lift up a troubled neighbor, when we stand against that which destroys and lend our selves to that which builds. In motions small and large, God creates peace and reconciles the world to God’s self. It is God’s work and our hands to make meatloaf for the hungry, sing a Bach cantata, share our church home with a stranger, reach out into the neighborhood to bring the gospel, laugh with a homeless man, or simply smile for no reason at all. God’s work through our hands bears hope and dreams dreams—the hope of a risen Christ and the dreams of a preacher’s speech on a hot summer day.
Pastor Jeff Lilley
The LCH Council met on January 20, 2009. Here is a brief recap of the items discussed.
Opening Your Spiritual Gifts!
Over the next several weeks, the Stewardship Committee will be encouraging and helping you to explore your spiritual gifts. This is a three-part process that begins with a study of scripture, moves on to self assessment, and culminates in verifying your gifts and putting them to use.
We will be using tools developed by the ELCA for this purpose. The most complete version is available on the web at <archive.elca.org/evangelizingchurch/print/spiritgifts.html>. (You can get to these tools without typing that complicated address via the online version of the HeartBeat available on the LCH website.)
Scripture Reference. Paul had a lot to say about spiritual gifts in his letter to the early churches, so a good place to start is with Romans 12, I Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4. In these letters we learn that God blesses every one of us with at least one spiritual gift. We also learn that there are two purposes for these gifts: bringing us together in our faith and helping the church grow in both numbers and spirit. God wants us to use these gifts out of love for one another and in service to one another. The online materials have more detailed information about the individual service gifts that can be most important in building up the church. (Look in the “Scripture References” section of the web page mentioned above.)
Self Assessment. The ELCA materials contain a questionnaire with 60 items about how you perceive yourself in a variety of situations. Your answers to these questions can be related to the various spiritual gifts and, taken together, will give you an idea of the particular gift or gifts God has given you. The assessment tool is available in an online version you can take at home. and we will have paper copies for those who prefer that form. Since the online version is self scoring (for those without the gift of arithmetic), we will try to set up several computer stations on Sunday mornings so everyone can use that method.
Exploration and Use of Your Gifts. Once everyone has had the opportunity to study the scripture references and take the self assessment, we will try to correlate the spiritual gifts categories with specific ministries at LCH. We may even embark on some new ministries if a number of you discover gifts to share in new ventures. As part of this effort, an updated LCH Ministry Guide will be distributed in March. (More information can be found in the “Self Examination” section at the end of the web page mentioned at the beginning.)
We encourage every one of us at LCH—whether you are young or old, have just joined us or are a long-time member, feel spiritually gifted or don’t recognize your gifts—to participate in this process. Like every gift we receive, it is impossible to fully appreciate and make use of our spiritual gifts until they have been opened!
Your Stewardship Committee
Gather in giving! The January in-gathering for the Angel Network was satisfying. A shopping cart with saimin, canned goods, Spam, and personal care items was collected for the Angel Network located at Calvary by the Sea Lutheran Church. Thank you all for your support. In-gatherings are scheduled for the first Sunday of each month, so your next opportunity to participate is February 1.
Sunday, February 1, at 11:45 AM (and on the first Sunday of every month), the chairperson or another representative of each committee will meet in the Boardroom with Pastor Jeff Lilley and the Council President Olivia Castro. This is to enhance communications between all committees. See you all there!
Friday, February 6, & Saturday, February 7
Just a few reminders to both youth and adult volunteers who will work at the LCH Youth Ministry Fundraiser, a.k.a. Punahou Carnival parking.
There are numerous open shifts for the weekend, so please encourage others to volunteer and join in the fun. We promise that you’ll have a good time!
Sign up in the Hörmann Court yard on Sunday or e-mail Pan Buckley or Jeanne Castello.
Pam Buckley, Jeanne Castello,
Do you need to find new ways to relax? One method is to laugh and talk with friends while occupying your hands with small repetitive tasks. Come join us for fellowship and crafting at In Stitches, the LCH craft group. You can work on your own project or on a craft for the church. We meet in the boardroom from 9:00 to 11:00 AM on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month. The next few sessions are February 14 and 28, March 14 and 28, and April 11 and 25.
The next Process Forum explores views on death by Process theologians. The meeting will be on Saturday, February 14, at LCH, 9:30–11:00 AM. A special article, unfortunately not online, will serve as a basis for some of the discussion. The article is “A Pastoral on Death and Immortality” by Robert Mellert. If anyone wants a copy of the article, please contact Fritz Fritschel. A repeat session will be held on Sunday, February 15, about noon.
Google the following title to read another fine article concerning the topic: “God is Becoming: Consolation in the Face of Tragedy.”
Food for Thought will meet for our next potluck supper and discussion at the home of Irmgard Hörmann on Saturday, February 21, at 6:30 PM. All are welcome. For directions or information, please call Kathryn Klingebiel through the Church Office (941-2566).
Adam Burke, OYEA Coordinator
On February 6 and 7, we have LCH’s Punahou Carnival Fundraiser. Each year, LCH rents parking space at the church to those attending the carnival. Don’t miss out on this easy money maker!
On February 14, we have a surfing event at Barbers Point. We plan for another surf session on the afternoon of Valentine’s Day.
On February 22, joint confirmation is scheduled at Joy of Christ.
On February 15 we will have the fifth annual Faith and 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.
We need your commitment to have an item in the show as soon as possible. Sign up on the sheet out in the courtyard, or talk to Linda Miller. It’s always fun to share our creations with each other.
9:15–10:15, Boardroom, Jan. 17–Mar. 14, led by Steve Miller
PHASES OF ADULT SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT
What phase are you? What phase would you like to be? Can we handle more than one spiritual view? Are Christian spiritual phases similar to those of other major religions? Can we/should we change our spiritual view over our lifetime?
Come and discuss. All ages are welcome—we need your wisdom!
We are delighted that John Alexander has joined LCH as leader for the 8:00 O’Clock Ensemble. He received a B. A. from The George Washington University and has been choral director at ‘Iolani School since 1982. John has over 180 students in grades 5-12 and is also active with ‘Iolani School’s spring musical each year.
He comes to us after a 25-year stint as staff singer at St. Andrew’s Cathedral.
Those interested in joining the 8:00 O’Clock Ensemble should contact John to schedule an interview.
Bill Potter, Webmaster
In addition to the regular additions to the LCH website, you may notice a couple of enhancements using Google Maps and Google Earth made during the month of January.
The first enhancement is to our driving directions page and is designed to make it easier for visitors to find us. I’m sure most of you have used Google Maps to get driving directions along with a map with your route marked, but you may not know that it’s possible to embed those same maps in a web page. Using this functionality, I replaced the sketch street map we used to have on the driving directions page with individual maps showing how to get to LCH from Waikiki, East Honolulu, or downtown and the rest of Oahu. To help people with parking, I created a “satellite” map showing the relationship of our parking lots to the church and other surrounding buildings. I wanted to create a similar map for the bus directions page, but it turns out that Google has some of the bus stops near LCH placed incorrectly, so I’m holding off on that for right now.
The second “enhancement” is more fun than practical. Google recently released a browser plug-in that makes it possible to add Google Earth functionality to ordinary web pages. So, we now have a page that shows the distribution of visits to the website from all over the world on a Google Earth display. You can get to the page via a link from the “Website Information” section in the left navigation panel on the home page. If you don’t have the new Google Earth plug-in installed, you will see a download button, but once it is up and running, a globe appears with markers showing how many visits came from each country during the previous quarter. Right now, the page shows data for October–December 2008, but it will be updated soon after the end of each quarter.
The globe first comes up centered on the US, but you can use your mouse or the navigation controls to move to any part of the earth and to zoom in or out on an area. The makers are generated from Google Analytics data (which I wrote about in November) and vary in color and shape according to how many visits we had from each country. The original data is actually more detailed and shows which city visitors came from, but that doesn’t display with the browser plug-in. If you want to see that detail, you will have to use the stand-alone version of Google Earth, which is available as a free download. Once you have that application, download the data file using the link on this page, open it with Google Earth, and see exactly where our visitors came from.
I am working on a couple of other additions to the website, so stay tuned for those developments. And in line with the “Stewardship Corner” on p. 2, if you have the gift of videography, please let Pastor Jeff or me know so we can add more video to the website.
Ash Wednesday, February 25, marks the beginning of the Lent in the life of the church.
Traditionally, Lent was the time for those preparing for baptism to receive instruction in the Christian Faith and engage in acts of contrition prior to Baptism at Easter Vigil.
In more recent times, Lent has become a time of prayer, fasting, and simplicity as we prepare our hearts, minds, and bodies to celebrate the joy of Easter. Many describe Lent as a journey in which we walk with Christ through the streets of Jerusalem as he heals, preaches, and teaches. Our journey with Christ culminates in the powerful experience of Holy Week.
If you have never kept the discipline of Lent through prayer and worship, give it a try this year. In taking time out of your busy schedule each Wednesday to eat and pray with friends, you may find your heart renewed and your spirit lifted.
Please join us for Ash Wednesday Service, February 25th at 7:30 PM. Throughout the Wednesdays in Lent, beginning March 4, we have Lenten Soup Supper at 6:00 PM, Worship at 7:00, and a Lenten Book study at 7:30.
Our book this year is The Holy Way: Practices for a Simple Life by Paula Huston (Chicago: Loyola Press, 2003). Please preorder your copy through Pastor Jeff. The cost is $12.00.
February 13 at Ala Moana Beach Park Picnic Shelter 28A
Please join the Pau Hana Team for an evening of fun and frivolity Friday, February 13th, at Ala Moana Beach Park. The team will have everything set up by 5:00 PM, and dinner will be ready no later than 6:00.
Hamburgers, Boca Burgers, hotdogs, drinks, chips, table settings and flatware will be provided. You are welcome to bring a side dish, but there is always plenty so...come as you are! Adults, kids, teens, friends, and everyone else are welcome for the party.
What is there to do? Eat, swim in the ocean, surf, bring an instrument and play, talk among friends, and enjoy the beauty of the beach. The party generally breaks up after the Hilton Fireworks show.
Come one; come all!
Next Heart Beat Deadline is Tuesday, February 17!
Having been cited by the city for damage to the sidewalk, LCH had no choice but to have the mango and gold trees in the parking lot cut down. WE’ll miss the beautiful trees, one of which was planted many years ago by former pastor Don Johnson.
Good news and bad news for a pastor
Good news: Church attendance rose dramatically the last three weeks.
Good news: The church board finally voted to add more church parking.
Good news: You finally found a choir director who likes the same hymns you do.
Good news: You baptized seven people today in the river.
Good news: Mrs. Schmidt is wild about your sermons.
Good news: The church board accepted your job description as you wrote it.
Good news: Your biggest critic just left your church.
Good news: Your deacons want to raise funds to send you to the Holy Land.
—via Rev. Dr. Karl R. Kraft
Jokes pastors can tell
An irate subscriber called her local newspaper office and loudly demanded to know where her Sunday paper was.
“Ma’am, today is Saturday,” an employee replied. “The Sunday paper is not delivered until Sunday.”
There was a long pause on the other end of the phone, then the woman said, “I’ll bet that’s why no one was in church today, too.”
“More Americans can name the Three Stooges than the three branches of government. Well, that’s because the Three Stooges are more likely to get something done.”
Copyright © 2009 Lutheran Church of Honolulu
Comments welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org