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May 2009—In this Issue:
View the entire issue as a full-color PDF via the link below:
May 2009 HeartBeat (PDF)
An Easter People
Last night HPR featured a segment exploring the relationship between religion and healing that was truly inspiring. Speaking to cancer patients, the reporter asked a young woman whose cancer was in remission how prayer and faith helped her in her battle with cancer. She talked extensively about how she really had not paid all that much attention to God or faith in her life. But within a short span of time she suffered three miscarriages and was diagnosed with cancer. She joked with family and friends “What is coming next, locusts, boils, frogs falling from the sky?” Although never deeply religious, she concluded that she simply could not face her disease with sheer will alone. Her cancer led her to rely on a higher power. She did not expect that God would bring her a miracle, but she found an inner peace in a God who would not let her go.
In another interview, a physician being treated for a very painful cancer described her journey as one of enduring in God. During painful treatments she would pray, “I am a maiden of Jesus. I belong to God. This too shall pass.” She found in her prayer reassurance that pain did not—and would not—define her life. As a child of God, she had more to do and more life to live. She learned to go to an inner peace when the pain was unbearable and put herself into God’s hands. Her voice, hoarse and labored, was filled with conviction and strength. It was an Easter voice.
A common theme throughout the report was that folks who acknowledge God, or a power greater than themselves, seem to experience better quality of life through difficult times. They also seem to approach death in a more positive and less fearful manner. I appreciated that the reporter acknowledged that both people who pray and people who do not pray are, in some cases, healed from their disease. On the other hand, both groups also experience similar mortality rates. The difference I appreciated was how faith seemed to radically change the experience of living with the disease—and of dying from the disease.
I was humbled by the voices I heard on the radio. As I thought of my own “problems,” I wondered about their significance compared to the stories of these Easter people I heard on the radio for whom the presence of God was a palpable reality. I wake up in the middle of the night worrying about church budget, pulling together an evangelism committee, organizing the next youth event, or the hundreds of little tasks that seem to go undone every week. My stomach churns when I forget to reply to an email or miss an appointment with a parishioner. Because I can successfully maintain the illusion of control in these small matters, maybe I think I don’t need God. But the same risen Lord who accompanies the dying also stands close by the living. Does it take a plague of Biblical proportions to call us to our higher power? I hope not.
We are called to be an Easter people, not only when death looms nearby, but also when life is staring us in the face with all its complexity and long repeated rhythms. In problems small and large, God shares our pain and is present with us, calling us into places deeper and more profound. “I am a maiden of Jesus. I belong to God. This too shall pass.” In joys great and tiny God calls us to see the risen Christ, to live thankfully and with extravagant generosity. In this way we are all changed and become light for those who walk, by their own choice or by choices thrust upon them, in darkness.
You are an Easter people!
Thank you for your continued support and participation in the ministry at Lutheran Church of Honolulu. Despite efforts to curb spending and encourage additional gifts, our financial situation has not improved significantly. Easter offerings helped us. However, the widespread financial downturn is continuing to affect us all. We have some reserves, but the donations are still running about 16% behind last year’s rate. Should giving continue at the current rate, we project a $44,000 deficit at the end of 2009. This needs to be made up by lower expenses and increased offerings.
The council has already made adjustments to the budget that will save us $12,000, without significantly affecting our programs. Salaries for core staff are contractual, so expense savings need to come out of discretionary spending on programs. Because of the continuing shortfall in offerings, the council is now asking all the programs and the Worship and Music committee to decrease spending by 20% for the year.
When these savings are achieved, they still will make up less than half of the projected shortfall. To minimize the impact on programs we need to increase our offerings. To grow our ministry, we should also invite friends, neighbors, and strangers to share in our worship and fellowship and consider becoming a part of the LCH Ohana.
You will each be receiving a letter outlining our financial situation. We are growing in membership and activities. We appeal to many diverse groups. LCH is a haven of harmony and grace in these stressful times. We hope that each of us can sponsor an activity or donate a little extra to preserve the fullness of our ministry.
First quarter giving statements have been distributed. However, I forgot the enter 2009 pledges before printing them, so they do not show the comparison between what you pledged and what you gave. I will be happy to print a new statement with this information for anyone who wants one. Just email me at <email@example.com> or call the Church Office (941-2566).
Each month we produce a full-color electronic version of The HeartBeat for members and friends who prefer that format. E-HeartBeat is distributed by email and requires Adobe Reader.
If you’d like to switch to E-HeartBeat (or if you’d like to get it in addition to your hard copy), contact the Church Office at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Food for Thought will meet for our next potluck supper and discussion at the home of Irmgard Hörmann on Saturday, May 2, at 6:30 PM. All are welcome. For directions or information, please contact Kathryn Klingebiel through the Church Office (941-2566).
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 May 3rd.
Sunday, May 3rd, 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!
We have had so many wonderful visitors the last few weeks that we are dangerously low on lei. If you are one of our faithful suppliers, could you pick up the ribbon at church and craft a few for us? If you would like to learn how to make the ribbon lei, we would love to teach you.
In Stitches, the LCH craft group, meets the second and the fourth Saturday on every month from 9:00 to 11:00 AM in the Boardroom. We welcome all to enjoy fellowship while working with our hands. You can bring your own project or work on something for the church. The next few meeting are May 9 and 23 and June 13 and 27. We will take a break for the month of July.
Writers’ Workshop will meet next on Monday, May 11, 7:00–8:30 PM in the Boardroom (or the Rainbow Room) at LCH. All are welcome. This is our final meeting before the summer. For information, please contact Kathryn Klingebiel through the Church Office (941-2566).
On May 31, the last day of Sunday school before we start the summer schedule, we will have special fun activities for the children in Isenberg Hall during the Learning Ministries hour. There will be games, singing, a puppet show, and a special snack. Adults are welcome; children are enthusiastically embraced. See you there.
The Fellowship Committee will be hosting a Brunch Potluck on Sunday, June 7 after the 9:15 service. The committee will be furnishing a ham and dinner rolls. Please bring a dish to share as shown below:
It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a couple months here in South Africa. I’d love to share a quick update of my experiences and time spent thus far.
Upon arrival, I quickly reconnected with the youth at Abundant Life Church, an all-Black church in a nearby township. I first served the youth at this church for a five-month period in 2007. This time around, I’ve been meeting with the junior high youth (Fridays), the senior high/young adults (Saturdays), and all the youth on Sundays. It is amazing to see the joy and fire these youth have for our Lord, especially considering the challenges and lack of resources in their lives. God continues to transform their lives and this community...and me in the process.
My other time is spent speaking at nearby schools and supporting the ministry of Tertius Niewoudt, a former youth pastor who visited OYEA in December of 2007. I’m excited to be making a short trip to Namibia in early May along with a missionary team.
The time here is quickly passing—just a month left. Before I know it, I’ll be back in Hawaii...and ready for the OYEA Summer Camp! I look forward to seeing you all again soon!
Love and aloha,
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, crocheted, 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.
For project/pattern information, 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 9:00 to 11:00 AM. The next few meetings are May 9 and 23 and June 13 and 27. We will take a break for the month of July. Contact Linda Miller through the Church Office (941-2566) for more information.
Bill Potter, Webmaster
Thanks to a lot of help from a number of photographers, I have been able to put together another slideshow for Holy Week and Easter 2009 at LCH. Check it out for events you may have missed. There are links from related stories on the Congregational Life page.
By the time you receive your HeartBeat, there should also be a slideshow from Earth Day Sunday.
Since April marked the beginning of a new quarter, I updated the visual representation of visitors using Google Earth (follow the link from the Website Information section in the blue navigation section of the Home page), and Congregational Life stories from the first quarter of the year were moved to their own page to free up space on the Congregational Life page.
I have also posted two more videos from the Heifer Concert to YouTube. There are links from the Heifer Concert slideshow, or you can go to the LCHwebmaster channel on YouTube <www.youtube.com/lchwebmaster>.
The children and parents would like to thank the congregation of LCH for their wonderful, unfailing support of the children’s programs and endeavors. With your generous donations, the Heifer Benefit goal of $5,000 has been raised yet again for 2009. We are truly appreciative of your commitment to our projects despite the current climate of cut backs and short falls.
We would also like to thank the following people for their generous help with the “Fill the Ark V” concert and Benefit project: Pastor Jeff Lilley, Carl and Kathy Crosier, Bill Potter, Fritz Fritschel, Carol Langner, Linda Miller, Jeanette Hanson and the Fellowship Committee, Kanani Rosehill, and all the parents of the children who participated.
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 1st6th 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 am to 2:00 pm on June 25th and 26th and 9:00 am 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. 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. 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 pm on Sunday June 28th and conclude Friday July 3rd at noon. Cost of the camp is $350 per person. Limited scholarships are available.
Contact the Church Office (941-2566) for more information.
Please welcome our new nursery attendants Shannon Canzonieri (on the left in the picture) and Angela Young to the LCH ‘ohana.
Shannon is our new lead nursery attendant who recently moved from Colorado. She loves to travel and have new experiences and would like to learn to surf. Shannon has a bachelor degree in human development and family studies from Colorado State and she has been a nanny for many years. Her job has led her to meet wonderful families, as well as, traveling to see the world. Hawaii is the tenth location on her list of residency.
Angela is our new assistant attendant, born and raised on Oahu. She is currently attending UH pursuing a B.A. in early childhood education. She also works at Keiki Hauoli Children Center on the campus of HCC. Her hobbies include kung fu, lion dance, and cruising with friends. Angela also likes to spend as much time as she can with her family, especially her grandparents.
All in all, they both love working with kids! Welcome Shannon and Angela.
This summer we are beginning a golfing ‘ohana. Just a fun way to share—“accepting to all handicaps.”
Please let Peggy Anderson know if you are interested.
The council has cancelled our subscription to The Lutheran for 2010 to cut costs. It can be viewed online, and we will have some copies at church for those who would like a hard copy.
Some mothers of small children and choir members said they would have liked to attend the recently finished course on of Phases of Spiritual Development. Here’s another chance! While there is one service during the summer, we have arranged for the nursery attendants to stay for an hour after the single service so that parents and whomever desires can attend a repeat of the Seven Phases of Spiritual Development Course, led by Steve Miller. We will discuss our personal experiences and how they parallel the guidance of Christianity and many other religions. Please come, share your experiences of change in life, and learn what life might have in store for you next!
The whole LCH ‘ohana is cordially invited to celebrate the wedding of Janelle Hanson (daughter of Jeanette Hanson) and Jon Allen on Saturday, May 23, at 1:30 PM at LCH. Also, please join us for the reception in the courtyard after the ceremony. We look forward to you celebrating with us on this happy occasion.
If you are interested in getting the updated LCH Directory please email Kanani at the LCH office at <email@example.com> to save some trees (for those of you who live abroad). May 10th is the deadline for information updates. Our LCH database will be updated as well, and then the directory will be printed.
Thank you LCH of your patience.
For Earth Day Sunday, the children of LCH made posters and cleaned up trash in the neighborhood. At left, Ryan H. stands beside one of the Earth Day posters, displayed under the Sustainability bulletin board.
Next Heart Beat Deadline is Tuesday, May 19!
On a Mother’s Day card, a seven year-old girl wrote her Mother:
“Dear Mom, I’m going to make lunch for you on Mother’s Day. It’s going to be a surprise. P.S. I hope you like pizza and popcorn.”
Sign outside Covenant Moravian Church, York, PA:
“Despite appearances, I am in control.
—via Rev. Dean Jurgen
Words you would never hear from a Mother:
—via Rev. Dr. Karl R. Kraft
Copyright © 2009 Lutheran Church of Honolulu
Comments welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org