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February 2011—In this Issue:
A Light for Life
I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.
Many of the images of Epiphany include elements of light and illumination. The texts for Epiphany draw attention to how God is being “revealed” in the world: through the prophetic word of Isaiah, through the ministry of John the Baptist, and through the baptism and early ministry of Jesus.
Isaiah sees the coming of the Messiah as a light to the nations who will sit in darkness no more. The magi follow a bright star and find Immanuel, God with us, cradled in a manger. John, full of the Holy Spirit encounters Jesus as a dawn brings a voice and dove proclaiming this child of God. Fishermen see that light in Jesus and are compelled to follow him into a ministry of repentance, preaching, and healing.
But the light of Epiphany is so much more than the harsh spotlight of the stage or the glaring light of a desert sun. There is room for shadow that lends depth and nuance to our spiritual experience. Isaiah is plagued with the knowledge that God’s people will not believe what he has said, the magi travel with the weight of Herod’s threats dogging every step, and John hopes against hope that this Jesus will indeed be the Messiah for whom he longed. God is present in each, yet there are wonder and doubt, exhilaration and fear in each of them as well.
The light reveals much, but not all. There are shadows of truth which our best intentions and clearest thinking cannot penetrate. Our journey is to find peace there, for both shadow and light are part of full and rich living. But we are not destined to “sit” in darkness; we are welcomed into the light of Christ.
This is the word of grace that the world needs to hear. God is revealing God’s self again and again in word and sacrament, in deeds of generosity, in presence with those who suffer, in courageous heroes who stand for justice, in music and art, in theater and in the simple loving touch of the innocent child. God is revealing God’s self in hearts metamorphosed by hope, in homes for the houseless, in tiny acts of generosity, and in every moment we stand up for someone who has been knocked down.
This gift of light is not to be ensconced in church buildings nor imprisoned by apathy. It will shine. The exciting question is this: Will it shine through us, or is there another? Perhaps the greatest image of Epiphany might be you saying yes to a God who is loose in the world, bringing a light for life.
Council met Tuesday, January 25. Here are some of the highlights of the meeting:
All are invited to attend and take part in interesting discussions—spiced with fun, films, and faith studies—in our weekly Adult Forum, between services on Sunday mornings, beginning at 9:25 AM in the Boardroom.
Through February 6th, we continue with our series of Christians who changed the world, this time studying Nobel Peace Prize winner Albert Schweitzer. Beginning February 13th, the Adult Forum will begin another intriguing topic. Please come!
On February 13 we will hold our annual Faith and Arts Sunday, where we highlight the creativity of our congregation by displaying our artwork, handwork, and writing during the services.
Please sign up in the courtyard so we can show your art or craft item on that day. We need the information on the items by no later than February 6.
Friday and Saturday, February 4th and 5th
Each year the youth group requests your help with their Punahou Carnival Parking fundraiser. This year the carnival takes place on Friday, February 4th, (11:00 AM–11:00 PM) and Saturday, February 5th, (11:00 AM–11:00 PM).
Event coordinators provide snacks, drinks, flashlights, and safety vests. You provide the fellowship! Sign up in the Hörmann Courtyard on Sunday or contact Jerelyn Watanabe through the Church Office (941-2566) if you have any questions.
Here are a few reminders for those who have volunteered to work:
I am suggesting something slightly different for Saturday, February 12, at our Process Forum.
Are you willing to take a look with me at the sermon delivered at the German Vespers at LCH on January 2nd? You can find an English version of the sermon at this link: <www.lchwelcome.org/sermons/2011/sermon11-01-02.html>.
The sermon is entitled “Musings on Cantata 28,” the cantata that was sung at the Vespers. I will have copies of the sermon available also, in case you want to receive in that way.
Although the title may make it sound like we will be doing musical analysis, there are actually a number of process related themes over which we can chew. Join us February 12 at 9:30 AM at LCH. There will be a repeat session on Sunday, February 13th, around noon.
Calling all golfers and wannabees! Our first outing of 2011 is planned for February 13!
Contact Peggy Anderson through the Church Office (941-2566)..
Writers’ Workshop has set its Spring 2011 schedule. We will hold our next meeting on Monday, February 21, from 7:00 to 8:30 PM in the Boardroom at LCH. Future meetings are scheduled for March 14 and April 18. There may also be a May meeting, which is TBA. All are welcome. For information, , please contact Kathryn Klingebiel through the Church Office (941-2566).
Nick Castello, raised in the congregation by his parents Jeanne and Randy, has joined the UH men’s volleyball team at the libero position. This is a recognition of Nick’s superior athleticism and academic determination. What does a libero do? Take a look at the bulletin board for some more information about this vital position, as well as the posted schedule for home games.
Join with some of your LCH friends for a night at Stan Sherrif Stadium, and cheer on Nick and his teammates. Volleyball is a fast moving, exciting sport, and UH fans are passionate spectators. You’ll be amazed by the level of teamwork and split-second timing involved. Go Warriors, and go Nick!
When: From 10:00 PM on Friday, February 18, through 6:00 AM on Saturday, February 19.
Where: We will gather at LCH and commute to St. John’s Lutheran in Kailua. From there we will carpool to K-Bay Lanes on the Marine Corps Base.
What to Bring: $10.00, socks (for the bowling shoes) and a spirit prepared for a night full of fun, tons of games, and laughter.
Please sign up at your church and turn in your money to your pastor so we know how many to expect. Come join us for fun and feel free to bring a friend.
Any questions? Call the Church Office (941-2566).
Events and Activities on the Trip:
For Middle School Youth
For High School Youth
Cost for the trip: $500 per person plus airfare. (The $500 includes housing, programs and some meals.)
Bill Potter, Webmaster
With the new year, new quarter, and new month, our website has undergone its regular reorganization with a new issue of the HeartBeat, a new list of readings and music, and the Congregational Life page archived.
Normally, there would also be a new page showing fourth quarter visitors to the web page on Google Earth, but the website that converted my Google Analytics data to the form used by Google Earth has disappeared, so I cannot produce new pages at present.
However, there has been one major addition. In September 2009, I introduced pages that would produce new pages each day for Morning, Noon, and Evening Prayer and Compline using the daily lectionary in the back of the ELW. We continue to have at least a few visitors who use this service on a daily basis. In fact, the other day I got an email from someone in St. Croix Falls, WI, who has been using these pages on a regular basis.
Several months ago, I was reading a post on a great blog, Lutheran Zephyr, about daily prayer which said that the offices of Morning and Evening Prayer are too elaborate for most people to follow on a regular basis. The post held up the simpler pattern in Luther’s Small Catechism and his pamphlet A Simple Way to Pray (PDF). I pondered this post for several months, and finally over my vacation between Christmas and New Year’s, I tried my hand at bringing that simpler form to the net.
If you go to <www.LCHwelcome.org/devotions>, you will find links to Lutheran Morning Devotions and Lutheran Evening Devotions, both reproducing the pattern of the Small Catechism: blessing, creed, Lord’s Prayer, and a brief prayer for morning or evening. In keeping with the final rubric in the Catechism and additional suggestions in A Simple Way to Pray, you may choose among a number of optional items: additional prayers—the Episcopal collect of the day (since the ELW prayers are under copyright), Pastor Fritz’ ecological prayers, and individual petitions—as well as the Ten Commandments, and the lectionary psalm and lessons for that day.
Each user can select the options they want to include, and the system will put a cookie on the computer to remember those selections. You can even choose to have the system automatically select the appropriate for the time each time you go to <www.LCHwelcome.org/devotions>. Depending on options selected, Morning and Evening Devotions will take from two to five or six minutes.
I encourage you to give Lutheran Morning and Evening Devotions a try. I think you will find them an excellent starting place for the journey to a richer prayer life.
Attendance and Offerings for Sunday, January 30, 2011, were not available at time of publication.
Next Heart Beat Deadline is Tuesday, February 15!
Valentine’s Day ‘love’
Kids’ definition of “love” on Valentine’s Day in Sunday school, via Lowell Yoder, Holland, OH:
“Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.”
“There are two kinds of love. Our love. God’s love. But God makes both of them.”
“If you want to love better, you should start with a friend you hate.”
God’s kids say the funniest things
“One Sunday I was sitting in a front pew with my grandson, Caleb, age 7. He was particularly antsy that day and unable to sit still.
“Eventually he rolled off the pew with a thud and stayed on the floor, rolling back and forth. Just as I was about to take him out, the lay reader said, ‘Éand this was the place where they sacrificed the innocent children.’
“From under the pew, everyone heard Caleb say, ‘Oh, that’s pathetic!’
“So at least he was listening down there!”
—Shirr Keithan, Catawissa, PA
For years Dr. Don and Dona Cooper of Stillwater, OK, had a clipping of the following story on their office bulletin board:
“The little boy and his mother were having a discussion about death. ‘Mom, if heaven is so wonderful, why don’t people want to hurry up and get there?’ he asked.
“Well, Johnny,” the mother replied, “God has placed inside all of us something that makes us want to live.”
“Oh,” the boy replied, “that must be what our livers are for!”
Dona Cooper reported: “This summer one of our dear friends had a successful liver transplant, so along with a get-well card, we sent him this clipping. He replied that he also got a card from another friend who wanted to know if the transplant came with onions.”
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