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April 2009—In this Issue:
View the entire issue as a full-color PDF via the link below:
April 2009 HeartBeat (PDF)
For God So Loved the World
By the time you read this article, Christians around the world will be beginning the somber journey into Holy Week. Through the eyes of the synoptic witnesses we hear again the story of Jesus triumphal journey into Jerusalem, his capture and imprisonment, his death on the cross, and the long nights of sorrow following his interment in the tomb. But on the morning of the third day, Mary finds herself outside the tomb hoping to anoint Jesus’ body and give him the dignity he was denied in death, but he is gone! Seeing someone she supposes to be the gardener, she asks, “Where is he, where has he gone?” Jesus the carpenter, teacher, rebel, healer, pastor, and friend is revealed as Messiah, Savior, resurrected, Son of God, and King of Kings. All of this, because God loves the world—all the world.
As I sit reading the paper this morning, I am deeply thankful that God loves this world with such grace—especially God’s love for the human ones. As I skim the paper, I see headlines announcing AIG executive pay bonuses to the tune of 167 million dollars—managers rewarded for greed and poor performance. In Austria, a father is on trial for raping his daughter for 24 years in a soundproof basement. Unemployment is on the rise; greed-driven over-development in Phoenix has fueled a housing crisis that is leaving people wondering how to hang on to shelter; and homeless people in Hawai‘i are growing in numbers as people lose jobs. War rages in the Middle East, and whole towns are going bankrupt. In the meantime, genocide in Darfur, hunger in Korea and across Africa, a worldwide AIDS epidemic, and the poisoning of earth and sea are pushed off the front page. It defies logic that God still loves such a world, but God again and again proclaims that love. What an amazing grace.
Of course one cannot judge humanity by newspaper headlines. There are good people out there doing wonderfully good things. Unemployed professionals are using their downtime in service to non-profits. People young and old are finally getting on the green bandwagon, health care and education are becoming more important to the average citizen, and simplicity might be hip again. But this is not an Abraham at Sodom sort of proposal. (Abraham bargained with God to refrain from destroying the city if even a few righteous folks could be found.) Jesus does not die and rise for the righteous few, but for all of creation. Sheep and goats, righteous and sinner, religious and religulous are all bathed with the same Easter morning, the same Easter grace. For some, it is a life changing and enriching experience. For others, the living God is met with a shrug. But neither the gift of Easter nor its power is diminished by indifference, denial, or apathy—even when it happens in God’s own church.
God so loves the world that God continues to send God’s Son—even now. No recession, depression, obsession, apathy, boredom, anxiety, or fear can overshadow God’s brilliant light of graceful love, nor drown out the shouts of those who choose to live it out. Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Pastor Jeff Lilley
The LCH Council met on March 17, 2009. Here is a brief recap of the items discussed.
Spiritual Gifts for everyone!!
We hope that many of you had an opportunity to take the ELCA Spiritual Gifts Assessment and have started to identify your possible gifts. If you have not yet begun this process of opening your gifts, you can take the assessment online (go to <www.lchwelcome.org/gifts> and following the second link in that article), pick up a paper copy from the Church Office, or ask a member of the Stewardship Committee for one at church on Sunday.
Be sure and check out the wonderful Spiritual Gifts Bulletin Board display for encouragement and additional direction in finding and using your Spiritual Gifts.
The Stewardship Committee will also be distributing an updated LCH Ministries Guide to help you in match your newly-identified spiritual gifts with opportunities in the life of our congregation.
Blessings on your journey,
The world financial crisis affects us all. So we can work together as a community, regular updates on the church’s financial health will be in the HeartBeat and the Sunday bulletins.
Approximately 40% of the LCH budget is from parking, preschool, and Luther Place. This part of the budget is meeting our predictions. 60% of the LCH budget comes from member and plate offerings. Unfortunately, the member and plate offerings for January and February are running 16% lower than the donations rate for 2008.
This 16% lower rate of donations translates into a possible year end budget shortfall of about 10%, or over $44,000. While the Church Council will continue to make budget adjustments as possible, there are good things we can do to avoid cuts in our programs.
We can tell our friends and neighbors how LCH is growing as well as tell them how our church, especially in these times of stress, nurtures us. New members will bring new energy and support.
The bottom line from your friendly finance committee: Please keep up those donations!
Join your friends from LCH at the Pau Hana party at Ala Moana Beach Park picnic site 28A, Friday evening April 3rd. The event starts at 5:00 P.M. Come straight from work or join us later in the evening if you prefer. The crew will have burger, polish dogs, chips, and drinks ready for you beginning about 5:30. If you would like to bring a side or a dessert, feel free, but you mostly just need to bring you. We eat, swim, play on the beach, hang out, talk, and truly enjoy a beautiful sunset. At around 7:30 (weather permitting), we watch the fireworks show courtesy of the Hilton Hotel. Bring a friend and let’s Pau Hana!
Gather in giving! The February 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 April 5th.
On April 5th (Palm Sunday) at 9:15 between services the children of the Sunday School will again host a Seder meal in Isenberg Hall. This is a traditional part of our Easter preparation at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. The Seder meal is the meal of Passover Jesus was celebrating with his followers when he first gave us the Eucharist. It is the Old Testament remembrance of God’s special relationship with His people and His freeing of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.
Come learn more on the 5th.
Sunday, April 5th, 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!
In Stitches, the LCH craft group, usually meet every second and fourth Saturday in the boardroom from 9 to 11 A.M. However, we will not meet on March 28 so our members can participate in the Church Work Day. (See you there!) We will also skip April 11, the day before Easter, due to scheduling conflicts for many of our members. We will resume on April 25, and the next few meetings are April 25, May 9 and 23, and June 13 and 27.
Saturday, April 11, 9:30–11:00 A.M. at LCH
What happens to the brain during spiritual practices? Recent neuroscientific studies suggest that meditation, contemplation, and prayer may change the brain and neurosystem in identifiable and possibly predictable ways. What are the implications of such findings for spiritual formation? You might want to check out the following article. “Four Process Observations on Neuroscience & Spiritual Practices” by David E. Roy. There is no Sunday session this month because of Easter. For further information call Fritz.
Easter morning, April 12, the Sunday School will hold its annual Easter egg hunt at 9:15 A.M. Please bring your own basket. (We have a few available for those who forget.) See you there!
Writers’ Workshop will meet for our next meeting on Monday, April 13, 7:00–8:30 P.M. in the Boardroom (or the Rainbow Room) at LCH. All are welcome. The final spring meeting has been scheduled for May 11. For information, please contact Kathryn Klingebiel through the Church Office (941-2566).
More than two thousand handmade rainbow scarves were worn at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in 2007, demonstrating support for a welcoming church. LCH contributed several of these scarves.
In August 2009, the ELCA meets for its next assembly. There are several proposals before the Assembly that pertain to the full inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender members and their families in the life of the church. Lutherans Concerned/North America (LC/NA) is supporting proposals addressing these issues.
These decisions will be taken with much soul-searching and prayer. To that end, LC/NA would like to provide prayer shawls to be used by participants at the assembly. These shawls will be for use in the chapel area and to remind participants to prayerfully consider every issue.
LC/NA is requesting the participation of all RIC organizations and congregations to contribute at least one shawl.
The shawls may be quilted, woven, crochet, or knit. The size should be about 72″ × 18″. The design is left up to the person creating the piece. The intent is to have a rainbow of individually colored shawls, but none should be rainbow-colored this time.
You can go to <www.goodsoil.org/prayershawls.html> for project/pattern information.
In Stitches (the LCH craft group) is happy to help anyone who wishes to contribute a prayer shawl. We meet every second and fourth Saturday in the boardroom from 9 to 11 AM. The next few meetings are April 25, May 9 and 23, and June 13 and 27. Contact Linda Miller through the Church Office (941-2566) for more information.
Bill Potter, Webmaster
The most significant update to the website has been the addition of slideshows for two of our signature LCH events: Faith & Arts Sunday and the Children’s Benefit Concert for Heifer International. You can get to both of them via links on the Congregational Life page.
The Faith & Arts slideshow features group shots that include most of the items displayed that Sunday. Each item is identified by title, artist’s name, and medium. There is also a link to a separate page with most of the works by members of our Writers’ Workshop that were displayed. Thanks to Linda Miller for her help matching each work with its description.
If you want to know when additional videos from the Heifer Concert have been posted or you just want to keep current with changes to the website, check the “What’s New?” page. You can get to there by clicking on the link in the “Website Information” section on the left side of the home page.
It’s time for the Spring Pledge Drive for Hawaii Public Radio, and the station has reserved Saturday night, April 25, for LCH to staff the phones and take pledges.
We started doing this a few pledge drives ago and now specifically request to be on duty when “Prairie Home Companion” airs.
This past drive Bob Zimmer, who is lifelong friends with PHC cast member Butch Thompson, was on air for the entire 3-hour segment. It was priceless.
To expand the name recognition of LCH we plan to do two new things this time:
We also bring tuna hot dish, green jello, salad, and rolls. There will be plenty of other food if you are not craving tuna hot dish that night.
Please contact Josie Bidgood through the Church Office (941-2566) if you can help with the phones on April 25 from 6:00 to 9:00 P.M. or if you are willing to contribute to the “LCH Challenge.”
OYEA (Oahu Youth Education and Activities) is sponsoring the second Annual OYEA Summer Camp at Camp Erdman. Once again, the expert staff from Camp Wapogassette will provide leadership and programming for our camps. This year there will be two camp opportunities. The first camp is a day camp for children entering 1st–6th grades.
OYEA Day Camp will be held June 25th, 26th, and 27th at Calvary By the Sea Lutheran Church, 5339 Kalanianaole Highway, near Aina Haina. Camp hours will be 9:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. on June 25th and 26th, and 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 noon on June 27th. The camp is open to everyone, and church members are encouraged to invite friends to attend! Enrollment is limited, so sign up early! The cost is $75 per participant. Limited scholarships are available for those in financial need through the generosity of the German Benevolence Society of Hawaii and the Warner Trust. Registration forms are available from your church office or can be emailed on request.
OYEA Summer Camp will be held at Camp Erdman on the North Shore June 28th through July 3rd for those entering 7th grade through senior year in high school. The very cool and experienced team from Camp Wapogassette in Wisconsin will once again lead our youth in faith formation, outdoor fun, and generally a great time as they hang out together on the beautiful North Shore of Oahu. This all-inclusive camp experience includes meals, activities, and lodging at Camp Erdman. Transportation to and from the camp should be arranged locally. Pastors from local ELCA congregations will share in the camp experience as well as be available for any needs as they arise. The camp will start at 2:00 P.M. on Sunday June 28th and conclude Friday July 3rd at noon. Cost of the camp is $350 per person. Limited scholarships are available for those in financial need through the generosity of the German Benevolence Society of Hawaii and the Warner Trust. Registration forms are available from your church office or can be emailed on request.
Contact the Church Office (941-2566) for more information.
In December, as many people were preparing to celebrate Christmas, the people on the Waianae Coast of Oahu were hit with a wall of water and mud as the rains that poured down the hills tried to make their way to the ocean. Many people had damage that to this day they are still cleaning up.
The people of the Hukilau Conference collected a special offering in December and January for the victims of the floods and mud. Over $5,000 was collected from the churches of the Conference.
The Sternthal, Perkins, Patterson and DePeralta families (pictured below with Pastor David Keifer, Hukilau Dean, and Pastor Karen Perkins of St. Philip Episcopal and Maluhia Lutheran Churches) are very grateful for the ministries of the Hukilau that did not forget them in their time of need.
Don’t miss the Third Annual Young Organists Concert on Saturday, April 25th, at 7:00 p.m. Students as young as 4 years old through college-age will show off their talents on the King of Instruments. Our own Lillie J., Nathalie J., and Jordan M.—and others like Joey F. and Christopher L.—will perform. The concert is a benefit for the scholarship program of the Hawaii Chapter American Guild of Organists. Come support these budding organists! Poster (PDF)
Attendance & Offerings for Sunday, March 29, 2009 were not available at time of publication.
Next Heart Beat Deadline is Tuesday, April 21!
Out of the mouths of God’s kids
My family grew up in the Wyoming prairie, and on the long drive from church we would sing hymns to pass the time. Coming home from church one Easter Sunday, my parents asked us what hymns we wanted to sing.
“My little sister yelled, ‘Gravy Rose!’
“We all looked at her and my Mom said that she didn’t know that hymn.
“‘Yes you do!’ my little sister insisted. ‘You all know it. We sang it this morning.’
“My sister began singing, ‘Up from the gravy rose, with a mighty triumph for his toes...’”
—Mark E. Honstein, Chaplain
Copyright © 2009 Lutheran Church of Honolulu
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