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March 2009—In this Issue:
View the entire issue as a full-color PDF via the link below:
March 2009 HeartBeat (PDF)
Easter is a Journey, Not a Destination
One of the many things I love about my family is their sense of adventure. My children grew up taking camping vacations that involved a lot of driving, detours, getting lost, and occasionally running out of gas. We often began our trips in the half-light of dawn and traveled well into the night. We’ve stayed at KOA campgrounds with nothing more than sleeping bags and flashlights, and we’ve spent days at a time in beautiful cabins overlooking pristine lakes and mountains emerald green with pines. Often, we headed to the mountains, but we also journeyed across the plains, through the desert, or even into the wilds of South Dakota. One trip took us from Kansas, to Maine, down the East coast to North Carolina, and then back across the country to the Midwest! At the end of each trip there was a destination we were trying to reach. Sometimes the destination was spectacular. Sometimes it was a bust. But over time, I came to appreciate that the real source of adventure was not the destination itself but the journey.
Driving across country gave our family time to talk. We learned a lot about each other through extended conversation, laughing, fighting, sniping, teasing, and cajoling. I learned to appreciate how much my daughter loved her Colorado friends when tears flowed for miles on our way home from a Thanksgiving visit. The kids learned that I make up songs about everything! (One song in particular has kept us foolishly entertained for years—don’t ask.) We also learned to appreciate the beauty and variety of God’s creation as the landscape unfolded outside our car window. Plains turned to hills, hills into desert, desert into mountain, and mountain into ocean. On those occasions when time was limited and we had to fly for our vacation, I felt robbed of most of the adventure. The journey was book ended by airports. The landscape had unfolded beneath me unaware, unseen, un-experienced. On those trips, the journey had given way to destination. It was like seeing the opening credits of a movie and then leaving the theater until the last scene flickered on the screen. I “went” to the movie, but I didn’t experience it.
Easter is a journey that we take with one another and with the whole Christian community. It begins in the half-light of Ash Wednesday, where we are reminded that we begin and end in dust. Through the weeks of Lent we have the rare opportunity to eat at the family table together. Soup, bread, fellowship, laughter, stories and friendships old and new punctuate prayerful worship each Wednesday night. Some of us will stay to learn more about the holiness of simplicity through the writings of Paula Huston. Others will go home for rest and renewal. The journey will wend through images of water and baptism, promise and betrayal until we arrive in Jerusalem with Jesus on the Sunday of the Passion. A few days later we will gather around the table of Passover and hear how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and called them to serve others. The view will darken with coming of dusk and deep darkness on Good Friday. Jesus—hung between two thieves—is killed as a traitor, but his dying words betray God’s justice instead. And then we wait. Beginning in darkness, a single match is struck to light the new fire of Easter Vigil. A crimson thread sweeping across the long curve of the horizon greets our long journey. There is a hint of hope in this darkness as we hear the great stories and sing the great songs in anticipation of the good news that Christ is alive. We vigil, we wait. And then comes the dawn! With trumpet and bell the Son rises and greets us with the holy word of grace. We shout “alleluia!” at the dawn and embrace God’s grace like a friend well met after a long journey. We know we are home; we have arrived. But even in the glory of Easter’s morn, God calls us to journey once again. This time into the hearts of the world, that they might join us and Christ on the journey of faith,
I hope and pray that you will join us for the whole journey of Lent and Easter this year!
Pastor Jeff Lilley
The LCH Council met on February 17, 2009. Here is a brief recap of the items discussed.
Spiritual Gifts for everyone!!
During the Sundays in March, all of us at LCH will have several opportunities to explore our Spiritual Gifts.
The adventure begins on March 8 and 15 when the Stewardship Team will be distributing Spiritual Gift Stimulus Packages to everyone at worship. In the following weeks, we will have an information table set up to assist you in taking the Spiritual Gifts Self Assessment either online or on paper. If that weren’t enough, there will also be a special bulletin board display with more information about finding and using your Spiritual Gifts.
Toward the end of March, we will distribute an updated LCH Ministries Guide so you can put your newly discovered spiritual gifts to good use furthering the mission of our congregation.
If you can’t wait for March 8 and want to get a head start exploring your Spiritual Gifts, check out the links at <www.LCHwelcome.org/gifts>.
Your Stewardship Committee
Thanks to the holiday generosity of LCH members, a check for $1,611.00 has been sent to Hawaii Meals on Wheels, our designated beneficiary for Advent–Christmas special giving. HMOW serves the frail elderly and homebound by delivering hot meals to individual homes. Along with nutritious meals, a little human contact provides an important element of care of lonely people.
Local non-profit service agencies are struggling to maintain services during challenging economic conditions. Volunteers are always needed to deliver meals, usually requiring about one hour weekly. Call 988-6747.
Thanks to all who participated in fasting & feasting.
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. Ingatherings are scheduled for the first Sunday of each month, so your next opportunity to participate is March 1.
Sunday, March 1, at 11:45 AM (and 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 among committees. See you all there!
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 March 14 and 28 and April 11 and 25.
The topic for the March Process Thought Forum will be “In Quest for the Common Good.”
Two short articles are recommended, and both are accessible online. The first is “Financial Collapse: Lessons from the Social Gospel” (Christian Century, December 30, 2008) by Gary Dorrien. The second is “The Social Business Model” by Muhammed Yunus, available at <defeatpoverty.com/2008/02/social-business-model.html>. You can find many other references to Yunus’ idea of social business online.
The group will meet at Lutheran Church of Honolulu on Saturday, March 14, 9:30–11:00 AM, with a repeat session Sunday at noon. Contact Fritz Fritschel through the Church (941-2566) for further information.
Writers’ Workshop will meet for our next meeting on Monday, March 16, 7:00–8:30 PM in the Boardroom (or the Rainbow Room) at LCH. All are welcome. Additional meetings have been scheduled for April 13 and May 11. For information, please contact Kathryn Klingebiel through the Church Office (941-2566).
On March 6, there is a meeting of OYEA’s youth council.
On March 7, a pool party is scheduled at Pastor Karen’s in Waianae. Come join in on the fun and fellowship.
On March 12–14, OYEA participates in the Hawaiian Island Ministries (HIM) Convention.
On March 15, a Seder Meal will be the focus of joint confirmation at St. John.
To kick off this year’s “Fill the Ark” Heifer Campaign, the youth of LCH are organizing and performing a concert on Saturday, March 7, at 4:00 PM. About $5,000 is needed to complete our goal of purchasing an ark of animals to be distributed through Heifer International to help end world hunger.
This year’s concert offerings will include hula, chamber music, piano, and even some Shakespeare! The concert is free, but come prepared to give a donation and/or sign up to commit to the $1-a-day Lenten Season giving plan. Think of it as buying ticket for a cruise around the world! Families in need from all over the globe are given the means and instruction to sustain a living and provide education for their children.
This year marks our fifth annual fund drive and fourth annual Benefit Concert. For more information about Heifer International or the concert, see Anna Womack or Mitchell G. Poster (PDF)
Mary-Jo Estes, Bill Potter, Billie jean Ries, and Jimmy Castro enjoy the same delicious meatloaf dinner they served to 250 guests at IHS, Honolulu’s homeless shelter. LCH serves dinner the third Friday of every month. Talk to Jimmy or Olivia Castro if you’d like to help out on March 20.
We had a great Punahou Carnival Parking Youth Fundraiser this year! Thanks to the 64 volunteers who covered the shifts from 9:30 AM till 11:30 PM on Friday and Saturday, February 6th and 7th. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed the fellowship and the excitement of the carnival in perfect, rainless conditions. The famous carnival malasadas were eaten with gusto along with the fruits, snacks, and beverages from our “sacristy snack bar.”
Despite of the fact that history has shown there is a higher turnover of carnival goers in rainy weather and thus higher receipts, this year the busy movement of cars in and out of both lots on Saturday allowed us to gross $5,106. The net profit will be less with the cost of the new LCH Event Parking signs and payment to Joy of Christ’s youth fund for their volunteer’s shift work. Although final figures are not available at this time, the profit should be over the $4,400 net figure from 2008. Like last year, LCH will receive a Thrivent Matching Grant for our fundraising efforts. We will receive $1,020 this year, which will be placed in the LCH Main Parking Lot Improvement Fund.
Mahalo to everyone who made this year’s Punahou Carnival Parking Fundraiser a huge success—the 64 adult and youth shift workers, our church administrator Kanani for fielding phone calls and giving administrative assistance, Roy Helms for doing the financial closing both nights and also for applying for the Thrivent Matching Grant. A special thank you to Pastor Jeff for ordering and displaying the fantastic new LCH Event Parking signs and for his continued support of this fundraising effort.
We look forward to next year’s Punahou Carnival Parking Youth Fundraiser and hope you will tell your friends to join us in the fun and fellowship of this event!
Your Punahou Carnival Parking Committee
Bill Potter, Webmaster
There have been quite a few regular addition to the LCH website over the last month, particularly to the Congregational Life page, but the most significant new feature relates to our Worship page.
We all know that it can be a little scary when you go someplace for the first time, so one of my goals for the website is to let people feel like they already know what we’re like and what to expect even before they set foot on campus.
To further that aim, I have put together slideshows for the 8:00 and 10:30 worship services. Each one has about 30 different pictures and accompanying text that takes a potential visitor through everything they will experience on a Sunday morning. Along with the pictures, I have included links to some of the music for the 8:00 service, links to audio of children’s conversations and sermons, and definitions of some words that may be unfamiliar. Links to the two slideshows follow the descriptions of the services on the Worship and Visitor pages.
I want to give special thanks to Edward Ichikawa who took most of the pictures for the 10:30 slideshow and to Carol Langner and Pastor Jeff for advice on format and content. I welcome your comments and suggestions for improving these two slideshows.
Last month I put out a call for someone with the gift of videography so we can add more video to the website. I’m happy to say that the McCreary family has stepped forward to help. We have enlisted the cooperation of our outstanding music staff, so we hope to have a few more videos soon.
February 25th begins our forty-day Lenten journey with the Ash Wednesday Liturgy at 7:30 PM. This is a solemn day of prayer and penitence as we join Christians throughout the world in our six-week preparation for the celebration of Christ’s resurrection. This service is marked by an almost stark simplicity as we confess our failings and receive ashes as a sign of repentance and our own mortality.
In recent decades, the focus of Lent has returned to the significance it had in the early centuries of the church. Rather than a forty-day reflection on the sufferings and death of Jesus, the purpose of Lent is to lead us to the destination of Easter, when we renew our baptismal vows and celebrate the paschal mystery of Jesus’ death and resurrection. As Lent was originally a season to prepare candidates for baptism, the entire assembly observes these intense weeks dedicated to spiritual formation as it prepares for the paschal feast. Lent is a spring housecleaning of the soul.
For this reason, we offer many opportunities for worship. Our 8:00 AM liturgy will use simple repetitive chants from Taizé, an ecumenical religious community in southern France founded by the son of a Lutheran pastor shortly after World War II. Pilgrims from all over the world journey to Taizé for spiritual renewal. The melodic responses characteristic of this music are extremely accessible and easy to memorize. We return to this setting each year to assist us in our sung corporate prayer.
The 10:30 AM liturgy will offer an opportunity to experience, in a simple manner, the reverence and spirituality of the Eastern Orthodox liturgy. The service music will be sung to Russian Orthodox chants totally unaccompanied. Worshippers are encouraged to sing in harmony assisted by the choir. During these Sundays in Lent, there will be no choir processions or organ postludes.
Our Compline services will also focus on the simplicity inherent in this season.
On Wednesday evenings in Lent, we will hold soup and salad suppers at 6:00 PM followed by Holden Evening Prayer in the church. Parishioners continue to tell me how meaningful they find these gatherings, which have become an important part of their personal Lenten observance. This will be followed by a book study (see Pastor Jeff’s article for more information).
There will also be two wonderful concert opportunities. The first will be our Fill the Ark V Concert on March 7 at 4:00 PM. This is a personal highlight in our concert season for me as our children and youth present wonderful music and raise much needed funds for Heifer International. This year will feature lots of firsts, including a piano trio and a dramatic reading from Shakespeare. The F.R.O.G.S. Choir and Chamber Orchestra will perform, along with several solos and duets, and there will be hula as well. It is simply amazing to see how this program has grown as our children become more and more skilled as musicians and performers. I am deeply indebted to the mentors of this program—Vicki Gorman, Anna Womack and Teresa McCreary—who have guided this effort from the beginning. And of course, I wish to thank Mitchell G. for suggesting these Fill the Ark Concerts from the beginning. Poster (PDF)
On March 22 (the day after J. S. Bach’s 324th birthday) we will hold an organ marathon of his music beginning at 2:30 PM. More than a dozen organists (including Jordan M., Katherine Crosier, and even myself) will perform a variety of music from the great organ repertoire of Bach. After a break for a “Bach’s lunch” we will conclude the celebration with a Bach Vesper Service for Lent. This will feature two wonderful cantatas (BWV 10, the German Magnificat, and BWV 22, one of two pieces written as audition pieces for the position of Thomaskantor). The service will also include the sublime motet BWV 118, Jesus the life of all the living. Poster (PDF)
I encourage all of you to enrich your Lenten journey by taking advantage of these many opportunities.
A few of the arts and crafts by members and friends of LCH displayed as part of the annual Faith & Arts Sunday celebrated this year on Sunday, February 15.
Next Heart Beat Deadline is Tuesday, March 17!
Jokes pastors can tell
“I was cutting up beets to make borscht when the doorbell rang. I was pretty well covered with bloodred beet juice as I opened the door to two earnest young men clutching Bibles.
“Their eyes grew big with horror. I seized the moment. Dropping my voice into my best Morticia imitation, I intoned, ‘I was just preparing a sacrifice. Do come in.’
“Those young evangelists must have died on the spot and turned into angels—because they flew away!”
—Sarah Stravinska, Chestnut, LA
>Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not weigh more than thy refrigerator.
Epitaphs on tombstones in Great Britain:
“Here lies in a horizontal position the outside case of Thomas Hinde, Clock and Watch Maker, who departed this life wound up in hope of being taken in hand by his Maker, and being thoroughly cleaned, repaired and set a-going in the world to come.”
“Erected to the memory of John McFarlane, drowned in the water of Leith, by a few affectionate friends.”
It’s maybe time to go on a Lenten diet when...
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