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October 2010—In this Issue:
Welcoming the Stranger
In his book Welcoming the Stranger, Pat Kieffert draws our attention to Sarah and Abraham. He notes that on that bright desert day Abraham would have seen the three strangers approaching from the distance—at first a dot, and then a lump on the horizon, and then visibly human, and finally face to face. He could not have known their intentions, their background, or what gifts or harm they might bring. But he did know that the Torah required him to provide hospitality to these dusty forms who stood nose breadths away, no longer impersonal, but real beings.
Kieffert draws a parallel between Abraham’s experience with those angelic strangers and that of the modern church. He maintains that many modern churches are built around a “personal” model. Worship is designed and executed to appeal to personal tastes and preferences. Evangelism, if done at all, seeks to replicate and perpetuate the current membership, and members look on visitors with more than a little suspicion. Even so-called “cutting edge” churches which seek to cut through old fashioned worship pattern with rock bands and praise choirs mostly end up with worshipers moving in bubbles of personal preference while dancing in a crowd of a thousand church goers!
Most of us have had the experience of visiting a new church and having no idea where to sit, when to sing, what to say, or how to act. This is compounded by parishioners staking out their pews and tight lipped ushers refusing even a friendly “good morning.” (These same people will greet each other fondly, sing “Away in a Manger” with tears streaming, and step on your foot in a rush out the door.) I would compare this sort of worship to going to a theater. There are 200 people around you watching the same movie, eating the same food, in the same room, but you are there to have your experience and would prefer that the stranger next to you move down a few seats and give you some elbow room.
Kieffert proposes that worship—and even church itself—is a decidedly public rather than private matter. Like Abraham, we are called to provide hospitality to the stranger. Abraham is not required to make friends of the three strangers, nor does he have to share his deepest secrets or find out their hobbies so they can be put on an appropriate committee. Torah requires him to give them shelter, food, and water—the necessities of life. To do even those basic services, Abraham has to open himself, and his house, to the stranger. In the same way, worship, even the life of the church, must be opened so that the stranger (and the disenfranchised, confused, or lonely in our own ‘ohana) can find, shelter, comfort, and spiritual sustenance in the midst of church worship and programming. By understanding worship as a public event, we are free to see with fresh eyes those ways in which our worship has become parochial, difficult to follow, or even unfriendly. At the same time, we are freed to lift up those ways in which our worship is truly welcoming, inspiring, even awe-some. We can welcome the stranger with smiles and greetings—but also with a worship that invites them wholly into the mystery of the God of love—and then accompany them through the journey.
Once every one of us was a stranger here at LCH, let us welcome the stranger as Abraham did, that we too might be blessed.
Council met Tuesday, September 21. Here are the highlights of the meeting:
Come join us for the first Pau Hana party of the fall! We will gather at our usual site (28A) at Ala Moana Beach park Friday, October 1, 5:00–7:45 PM, for food, fellowship, and fireworks. This month’s Pau Hana is sponsored by the Stewardship Team, who will have hot dogs, hamburgers, drinks and chips available for everyone. You are welcome to bring a dessert or side dish, but it is not necessary.
Come early to enjoy the beach, swimming, or lively conversation. Please check the LCH website for a map indicating the picnic spot.
The September 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 on the first Sunday of each month, so your next opportunity to participate is on Sunday, October 3rd.
Sunday, October 3rd, at 11:45 AM, the chair or another representative of each committee will meet with Pastor Jeff and Council President Olivia Castro in the Boardroom. This meeting is to enhance communications among committees. See you there!
In honor of St. Francis of Assisi, please join us Sunday, October 3rd, at 3:00 PM, for a blessing of the animals in the Hörmann Courtyard.
St. Francis, like many Christians of his time, believed that God blesses all creatures and that nature reveals God’s presence. Legends abound about his special love for animals, and as a result he is a patron saint of pets.
We will celebrate this day with a brief worship service and blessing of pets. Feel free to bring any pet you choose with you. We will have comfort stations and shade for the service. This is a great chance to share your pet passion with others!
A Whiteheadian Poet—Conrad Hilberry
The perspective of Process Thought has helped my understanding of nearly all aspects of my religious life. Its ability to engage in conversation with the wide spectrum of ideas and experiences of the 21st century makes it exciting and challenging.
Join us—newcomers always welcome—for the next session on Saturday, October 9, 9:30–11:00 AM, in the Rainbow Room at the church. A repeat session will be held Sunday, October 10, following the 10:30 AM service.
We will look at some features of “process theology” using an article entitled “Whiteheadian Poems.” You may find it online in the Process Studies Journal section of Religion-Online.
Any questions or snags—talk to Fritz
All adults (young and old) are invited to our Sunday Adult Forum. We will complete our movie/study of William Wilberforce, the British parliamentarian who spent his life fighting the British slave trade, on October 3rd. Please come and view the fine movie, “Amazing Grace,” and talk story at 9:15 AM on Sunday mornings in the Boardroom.
Beginning October 10th, Dr. Steve Miller will lead a new series of group discussions, “Life Transitions—Welcomed or Required?” Come join the Adult Forum for a mutual discussion of how we handle Transitions from one life phase to the next. Come, share and learn. For more information, contact Steve Miller at 261-7536.
“Christian life consists of faith and charity.” —Martin Luther
At first glance, these words of Luther seem simple and clear, but living lives of faith and charity is no simple matter.
Faith goes far beyond believing that God exists to living in relationship with God, our creator. In explaining the Apostles’ Creed, Luther wrote “God has created me and all that exists...God daily and abundantly provides...all the necessities and nourishment for this body and life...out of pure, fatherly, and divine goodness and mercy.”
When we live with faith that God will provide, we can be freed to live charitably. As Paul wrote, “Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal. As the Scriptures say, ‘Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough.’” (2 Corinthians 8:14–15)
When we live lives of faith and charity, we live as good stewards all that God has blessed us with. We consider all that have to be not our own but God’s own—treasures that have been entrusted to us. As individuals, we are stewards of our individual time, our individual talents, and our individual money. But as a congregation, we are collective stewards of additional great riches.
How are we doing as stewards of our ‘ohana, our community, and our world? Check out the new courtyard bulletin board as it explores our stewardship of these treasures with pictures appear illustrating the ministry of our congregation.
Throughout the month of October, we encourage you nurture our LCH ‘ohana. Of particular interest will be Pau Hana picnic on Friday, October 1, and our LutherFest celebration on Saturday, October 30. For additional details about these two events, see the articles on Pau Hana and LutherFest in this issue, but the most important thing is to bring yourselves and your families and friends to these fun-filled events.
Your Stewardship Team
Come enjoy the best chili and pies on O‘ahu at the 2nd Annual OYEA Chili Cook-Off and Pie Bake-Off, hosted at St. John Lutheran Church on Saturday, October 16th, from 2:00 to 5:00 PM.
Bring your friends and bring your family to savor the wares of great cooks from across the island. Help select our winners by depositing your dollars and votes as you sample. Entrance fee of $5, with all proceeds benefitting OYEA.
Mark your calendar now for Saturday, October 30, and plan to attend our annual LutherFest. This will be an evening of food, fellowship, and frivolity, as we celebrate our Lutheran heritage.
The evening begins at 5:30 PM with pupus in the Hörmann Courtyard. Our Fellowship Committee will provide snacks and non-alcoholic beverages, and LCH-label wine and beer will be offered for sale. You won’t want to miss the delicious Chilean Carmenere and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc that were specially selected and bottled for this occasion.
Dinner will be potluck with an Italian theme. If you have a special recipe for lasagna or ravioli or other Italian treat, we hope you’ll bring that. Otherwise, salads, vegetables, and other side dishes are welcome. The Fellowship Committee will be providing dessert for the evening, but more on that later.
After-dinner entertainment will be provided by you in the “LCH’s Got Talent” show. This is your opportunity to showcase your hidden, off-beat talent to the entire LCH ‘ohana. All kinds of acts are welcome. Tell a joke, juggle, dance, sing, stand on your head—whatever you think you do best! So start practicing to compete for the special prizes to be awarded to the best acts in different categories. Entry forms will be available at church beginning October 3.
Following the show, you will have a chance to vote on your favorite acts while enjoying tiramisu and cheesecake for dessert. Just put your dollar bills (or ten- or twenty- or hundred-dollar bills) in the boxes for the contestants, and the acts with the most money will be declared winners. All of the money collected will go towards renovations of the back parking lot.
You won’t want to miss the evening of fun with the LCH ‘ohana.
We are blessed that many groups and committees meet on our church campus throughout the month. Whether you meet for coffee or share a meal at your gathering, please feel free to use any item(s) from the kitchen. We do ask, though, that all items borrowed from the kitchen be put back in the kitchen. If someone else set up and you happen to clean up, please, please return item(s) to the kitchen. If you don’t know where something came from, please leave a note for the Fellowship Committee, and we will store the item(s) in its proper place. This will ensure that the necessary items needed for our weekly coffee table and other fellowship events are available at our fingertips from the kitchen.
Thank you, groups, for your commitment to our ministry,
Bill Potter, Webmaster
The LCH website is always growing and changes. Among the new pages or items you may have noticed in the last month are an “LCH and me” profile of Cathy Tokishi, a slideshow with pictures from the wine bottling on September 5, a schedule of concerts and special worship services between now and August, various new pictures, a video of Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson’s answer to the question “Why Lutheran?” and updates to several of our pages to let people know that we offer gluten-free wafers and grape juice at communion.
We are moving forward with the “people” pages I mentioned in last month’s column, so look for extra links to appear with people’s names. In a related effort, we are taking the information Karen Fay has gathered about all our different groups and committees and making a separate page for each group. Look for links from the Groups and Committees page in the Congregational Life sections. The text is all ready, and photos are being added.
The Concert Committee has decided to sell tickets to this year’s Abendmusiken concert series online using PayPal, so I have been trying to figure out the ins and outs of online commerce. You can get to the ticket page by typing <www.lchwelcome.org/music2010>. In additions to buttons to purchase tickets to each of the concerts, there are buttons for donations to the Music Fund and the new Music Endowment Fund. I will be adding a page for one-time and recurring donations at a later date.
As Parish Coordinator, not only do I coordinate the administrative activities of the church office and the many ministries and committees overseen by LCH, I also serve as the face of the church—being that helpful voice on the phone and that smiling face when you step into the office.
If you want to know me in a nutshell, here it is. From rural Southern Oregon, I am a country girl at heart. My parents live in Klamath Falls, Oregon, my older sister is married and completing medical school in Portland, and my boyfriend teaches and coaches out in Wai‘anae.
I love the outdoors and love being active. Fitness, healthy living, and nutritious eating are my passions in life. I graduated from UH in sociology, and couldn’t be more thrilled to be finished with school! I have worked a multitude of jobs, ranging from custodial, to clerical, to making coffee, to creating energy and waste audits for the U.S. Coast Guard. And that is just a sampling! I am incredibly determined, motivated, and independent. Baking, cooking, and trail running are some of my favorite hobbies. I unashamedly love country music and have played the harp since 2nd grade. I haven’t owned a TV or microwave for years, like all things French, and am definitely a cat person. Give me a good book and nothing will get done.
I put a lot of stock in my friendships and have been given amazing friends to share my life with. I love to laugh and rarely get offended; however, I am also very competitive. Humor is a key component of my life. I would rather spend my money on traveling than on a nice home or car, and I refuse to have a job that isn’t benefitting others. Ideally, I would like to serve overseas at some point in my life. I love my parents, love my friends, and love my life here in Hawaii. I am incredibly blessed and don’t realize that enough.
If Music Be the Food of Love, October 11 at 7:30 PM
“If Music Be the Food of Love,” the first of this season’s Abendmusiken Concerts, will mark milestone birthdays for Carl and Katherine Crosier, as they perform a wide range of compositions with musical colleagues. Featured solo performers will be Darel Stark, violinist; Georgine Stark, soprano; Anna Womack, viola; Allen Bauchle, trumpet; Claire Starz Butin, flute; Andrew Eckard, cello; and the Lutheran Church of Honolulu Choir. The Crosiers will also perform an organ duet on our two Beckerath pipe organs. The concert is a benefit for the Music Endowment Fund. Tickets are $25 and will be available at church and online.
The entire 2010–2011 Abendmusiken season will be a celebration of Carl Crosier’s 38 years as Cantor of the Lutheran Church of Honolulu before he retires in August 2011. Mark your calendars for these other concert of the season:
Next Heart Beat Deadline is Tuesday, October 26!
Out of the mouths of God’s kids
A high school student gave this answer on a music test: “Music sung by two people is called a duel; if they sing without music it is called Acapulco.”
A woman took her four-year-old daughter to a baptismal service at her church. Later that night at home, her daughter took all of her dolls into the bathtub with her and held her own baptismal service. As she dunked each doll under the water, she repeated, “Now I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and hold your nose.”
—Columnist Smiley Anders
A priest at St. Richard’s Church in Jackson, MS, was asking questions of children about to receive their first communion. “What was served at the Last Supper?” he asked a little girl.
The girl thought for a while, then replied, “Well, first they had a saladÉ”
—via Jeff Totten, Hammond, LA
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1730 Punahou Street, Honolulu, HI 96822 • 808-941-2566
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