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August 2010—In this Issue:
On Being Present
Christian Century recently ran an article in which the author wrote about the ubiquitous distractions many modern people endure. He and his wife were out to dinner when her Blackberry phone beeped with a call. “May I take this?” she asked apologetically. “Of course,” the author replied. After the call, she returned to the table physically, but was not really present through the rest of the meal. Prompted by the call, her thoughts had turned to upcoming trip, her time with her partner become unintentionally disturbed, and it became clear to the author that that call was more important to her than he was.
All of us become distracted by different things, but as technology becomes more portable and powerful, many of us have become addicted to a constant flow of information and instant accessibility. During almost every meeting I attend, someone will pull out their iPhone™ or Blackberry™ to check email, send a text, or perform a quick “someone must need me” check. In that moment, they are no longer fully present with the rest of us, and sometimes, for many moments after, they absent themselves to tend to what can only be interpreted as “more important matters.”
I wonder if we forget that when we pull out our technology—even with permission—we are making a conscious choice about the company we prefer and with whom we desire to be present. Sadly, we have become so accustomed to technological intrusions that we often dismiss or even accept the interruptions. In more formal occasions, we need to be reminded to turn off our technology as a courtesy to others. Perhaps we don’t want to be rude to the person being rude, or maybe we don’t think it really matters—but it does.
One of the greatest gifts we can give to another person is our undivided attention. That is the promise that we receive in Christ. Jesus tells the disciples that he will “be with them always.” The sense we have is that Jesus will remain fully present with us through even our most distracted times. Imagine if God had decided to take a phone call just the moment that Abraham swung the knife to sacrifice Isaac. (“Just a sec. there, Abe, it’s my broker.”) What if Mary had been busy texting when the angel of the Lord came for a visit? What do we miss when we neglect to be present with friends and strangers? What opportunities do we squander when we fail to look into each other’s eyes and attend to the words?
While technology may be designed to help us “keep in touch,” its misuse can isolate us in ways we do not expect. Well used and in moderation, technology can strengthen our ties to one another, but when our relationships start to be with the technology itself, we are in trouble. Maybe a good rule of thumb might be to strive for as much time “face-to-face” as on Facebook.
Council met on Tuesday, July 20. The treasurer reported that our overall financial outlook is holding stable, in spite of the poor economy. If all goes according to plan, we can expect the photovoltaic system to be in place by the end of the month. Summer camp was an unsurpassed success! Fellowship is planning a picnic potluck on August 8, and LutherFest is scheduled for Saturday, October 30. We are looking for someone to plan the program, perhaps with Stewardship.
The call committee for a new cantor was finalized. They will be gathering input from the congregation over the next couple of months. In addition, a task force was formed to come up with an overall leadership plan in response to the departure of our parish administrator, a request for consideration of the creation of an associate pastor position, and continued need for youth leadership. Karyn Castro will fill in as interim church secretary, and Carolyn Koehler will fill in as interim financial secretary.
Sunday, August 1st, at 10:30 AM, the chair or another representative of each committee will meet in Pastor Jeff’s office with Council President Olivia Castro. This meeting, repeated the first Sunday of each month, is to enhance communications among committees. See you there!
The July 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 for all your support.
In-gatherings are scheduled for the first Sunday of each month, so your next opportunity to participate is August 1st.
August 1 at 4:00 PM, LCH will be the venue for a concert chat presented by the Musicians of the Honolulu Symphony and sponsored by Live Music Awareness. They will be playing a string trio by Beethoven and a string quintet by Dvorak. Following the performance, a musician representative will lead a discussion of the current symphony situation and answer questions. Refreshments will be served in the courtyard following the event, which should end around 6:00 PM. (You will already be there for the Compline service that evening!)
The event is free of charge, but ways to help contribute to the musicians’ various support funds will be discussed. Please visit <honolulusymphonymusicians.org> for further information and to join the musicians’ ‘ohana email list.
Joseph Fala Senior Organ Recital
Joey Fala, who has played frequently at LCH, will present his final organ recital in Honolulu on Saturday, August 7, at Central Union Church. Long-time student of Kathy Crosier, Joey recently graduated from ‘Iolani School and will be studying architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York beginning this fall.
The free recital begins at 5:00 PM and will feature works by Stanley, Franck, Bach, Hebble, and Messiaen.
The Fellowship Committee will host a picnic-themed potluck on August 8th to say goodbye to the one-service worship format before resuming the traditional two-service worship format. Please plan on joining in the luncheon right after the 9:15 AM service.
We will provide some chicken and beverages, and if you’d like to contribute to the picnic meal, please consider finger foods and other traditional picnic goodies with the following guidelines by last name:
See you there, and remember to wear sunscreen!
The Stark Duo, , will be performing on Friday, August 13, 7:00 PM, at Studio 909 on Kapi‘olani Blvd. Their program will include various folk and classical music, as well as the world premier of their own Work for Voice and Violin, and the world premier of Carollo’s Metamorphosis No. 11 for solo violin. This concert will also include a special guest artist, five-year-old-soprano Sophia Stark. Tickets are $15.00 for general admission, and $5.00 for students. You can call (808) 754-0029 for more information. This will definitely be a night to remember!
We are looking for donated breakfast breads and other snacks to go with the beverages on the coffee table between services starting on August 15th, when the 8:00 and 10:30 AM services resume. Look for the sign up sheet on the name tag table in the courtyard.
We could use a volunteer to put out the snack for the children in Sunday School. It will take only a few minutes around 10:15 on Sunday morning starting August 15th. Contact Linda Miller or Laurie Leach through the Church Office (941-2566) to volunteer.
Focus on the Trinity
Come join the children’s Sunday School as we begin a new year. We will be starting on August 15th and will meet each Sunday from 9:15 to 10:15 AM. For the first three weeks we will explore the creed and the meaning of the Trinity along with a craft project and music.
All children from preschool to high school are welcome.
The Mary Magdalene Society, LCH’s group of LGBT members and friends, will meet for their regular potluck on Saturday, August 28th, at 6:00 PM at the home of Robert Raasch and Francisco Barajas in Mililani. All are invited to join in the food and fun.
These gatherings are always full of laughter and warm fellowship—not to mention lots of good food. Don’t miss it!
Are you called to make a real difference in the life of LCH? The Stewardship Committee is looking for a committee chairperson to lead team in upcoming Stewardship events. It’s a fun committee that plays an important role in our church ministry. If you are interested, please contact Mary Fastenau or Pastor Jeff. Mahalo!
LCH and the rest of OYEA congregations will kick off the 2010–11 confirmation season with a retreat August 20–21 at Christ Lutheran Church, Mililani. Students currently in confirmation and those entering confirmation this year should plan to attend this very fun event. We will get to know one another, play games, eat too much, and have our first round of confirmation lessons during this overnight retreat.
The cost is $30; scholarships are available to families who need them. Registration forms have been sent to current confirmation students. New students may contact the church office (941-2566) or <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Never heard of Confirmation? Confirmation is a voluntary period of Christian instruction, usually attended by youth entering the 6th through 9th grade. Participants grow in faith, learn about the Bible, have wonderful fellowship, and become more deeply rooted in the community. At the end of three years, they are “confirmed” in the promised that their parents and sponsors made at their baptism!
Campers work as a team to cross the high line together. Jesus reminds us that we are “all one body.”
The 2010 Summer Camp, a ministry of Oahu Youth Education and Activities, was an incredible success again this year. Over 40 campers from six congregations gathered at Camp Erdmann for six days of fun, outdoor activities, daily Bible study, devotions, music, and worship. Led by professional staff from Camp Wapogassett in Wisconsin, campers gathered under the theme “I am.” Each day centered around one of the “I am” sayings of Jesus like “I am the good shepherd” and “I am the way, the truth and the life.” Morning devotions on the theme were shared by island pastors who shared the experience with the youth.
A popular addition to the camp this year was the high ropes course at Erdmann. Each cabin took turn ascending the rope nets and had to work as a team to get their cabin across the two-level course 25 feet in the air. Although fitted with the best safety gear, there were more than a few nervous youth!
Evenings were spent in camp fire devotions, and nights in the cabin always included a cabin devotion and “The Last Word,” a reading from scripture to sum up the day. Our youth had the opportunity to interact with youth from around the island, to grow in faith, and to enjoy a powerful week with their new-found friends.
The OYEA board would like especially to thank Bill Potter, Carol Langner and Fritz Fritschel, and the German Benevolence Society for their generous donations to the camp. Their support, together with donations from members of other congregations, allowed several youth to attend the camp who would have otherwise not been able to afford the experience. It is wonderful to see our churches working together for such a great cause, our youth!
Each day began and ended in lively worship. In this photo, the kids are singing “I want to be like the Father.”
Campers shared in lots of games at Camp. Fun and laughter were a theme for the week.
Ried and the rest of his team inch out onto the highropes. They look a little nervous.
One of the greatest gifts of camp is the formation of new Christian friendships with campers from other congregations.
Camper from Maluhia Lutheran works his way up the net on his way to the High Ropes Adventure.
Bill Potter, Webmaster
Last month I wrote about Kathy Crosier’s decision to start a blog to document the upcoming year of insanity that will mark Carl’s final year as cantor of the Lutheran Church of Honolulu, and I mentioned that one other member had proposed a blog as well. Little did I know at the time how Kathy would throw herself into this new project—or how involved I would be in it.
No sooner had I installed the software on our website than Kathy was blogging away. Even before we had agreed on the appearance of the blogs, gotten pictures for the headers, and gone live, she was averaging more than one post per day.
When July rolled around, Kathy and Carl set off on a vacation in France, and I thought the pace might let up, but I was wrong. From the day they landed in Paris, Kathy was documenting the churches, museums, concerts, and food in her blog. She had taken along her new iPad to save on weight, but there was just one problem. The iPad does not allow sharing between applications, so her browser could not access the photos in iPhoto. And what would a travel blog be without pictures? So, Kathy started emailing me the photos to be added to the blogs postings she was making.
If you haven’t done so, head over to <insanity.blogs.LCHwelcome.org> to read about Carl and Kathy’s adventures in France. It’s almost like being there as they get lost on the roads and subways, tour museums and churches, listen to concerts, and enjoy the food and drink of France.
But wait; there’s more. Just after Kathy started her blog, I was talking with Linda Miller and said that it would be really great if someone from the Sunday School would do a blog to help get the word out about all the wonderful things going on in that program. Linda listened politely and then firmly told me that someone else would have to do it. But the next day at church, she came over to say that she had realized that she had a lot she wanted to share about promoting a spiritual life for children. A few days later, she had drafted her first two posts, and we agreed to meet for a hands-on session to get her started.
While not as prolific as Kathy, Linda has been posting regularly since July 3. I have enjoyed “Notes from Nana Linda” tremendously, and I bet you will as well. You can find it at <nana.blogs.LCHwelcome.org>.
There has been one more exciting addition to the LCH website in the last month, and that is the beginning of an ongoing series we are calling “LCH and me: stories from the LCH ‘ohana.” For several months I have been wanting to get some “testimonies” from our members up on the website, but I could never figure out how to pull it all together. But at our June Communication Planning session, it was suggested that we recruit someone to interview individuals, couples, or families and write them up for the web. Luckily, Pastor Fritz agreed to do the interviews, and soon the first page was ready. Look for the new “LCH and me” button on the Home page, and follow it to read what Jake and Emily McIlvaine have to say about their life at LCH.
You can expect one or two new profiles each month, with the old ones being archived to create a rich and varied picture of the folks who make up the LCH family.
STUTTGART, GERMANY (ELCA)—Lutherans are meeting in Stuttgart, Germany, for their international assembly at a time when “the world is in pain,” said the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, president of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, according to a July 21 news release from Lutheran World Information (LWI). Hanson made the comment in his address here to the LWF Eleventh Assembly.
The LWF Assembly is the organization’s highest legislative body. It is meeting here July 20–27. The LWF is 140 member churches in 79 countries, representing more than 70 million Christians worldwide.
“Wars rage, the creation groans under the weight of our consumption, refugees wander in search of shelter, illness and death come to those who lack access to clean water and health care,” said Hanson.
“You bring to this assembly the cries of the people in your communities,” the LWF president said to the more than 400 delegates and hundreds of other participants attending the meeting hosted by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Württemberg, the LWI release said. The assembly theme is “Give Us Today Our Daily Bread.”
Referring to the theme of the meeting, Hanson said that although many in the world lack their daily bread, “we gather for this assembly in confident hope, for God has neither abandoned God’s people nor forsaken God’s creation.”
Lutherans from around the world are creating a “communion” of churches, he said, where Lutheran churches working together celebrate their common heritage, but do not become “preoccupied with our own identity and survival.”
“Rather, I believe our self-understanding is for the sake of being turned outward toward the world God so loves,” Hanson said in the release.
The LWF president commented on three issues that the LWF should address, LWI reported:
Touching on his seven years as LWF president, Hanson reiterated the identity of Lutheran churches as:
About 1,000 people, including 418 delegates from member churches, are participating in the assembly in Stuttgart. Participants also include invited ecumenical observers, official visitors, interpreters and translators, stewards, members of the LWF staff and other staff, accredited journalists and volunteers.
Next Heart Beat Deadline is Tuesday, August 17!
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