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July 2011—In this Issue:
Of Grace and hope and other strange animals
“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”–Albert Einstein
“I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.”–Moses
One of the marks of missional leadership identified by Rev. Steve Bouman is “Passionate Curiosity.” As one might expect, the phrase is used a great deal in business, science, and motivational circles to describe a key element in greatness and genius. The list appeared in an article by Adam Bryant in the New York Times. Both chemists and sales managers use the phrase to motivate greatness and productivity. Even Albert Einstein described himself in these terms. However, Pastor Bouman applies the phrase not to achieving life goals or great scientific discovery but to the people of God engaged in mission for the sake of God and the world. As one thinks about people of faith, the trait of curiosity as a characteristic of mission is clearly evident.
Moses is one example. Moses was walking along the way tending his father-in-law’s sheep near Horeb when he saw a light flickering on the mountainside in the distance. His curiosity was piqued and he climbed up the mountain to see what it might be. To his surprise, a bush was on fire but was not being consumed by the flames. Moreover, a voice—the voice—spoke to him from the bush and called him to set his people free. His curiosity led him into a relationship with God and with his own people that he neither expected nor particularly wanted—yet a nation and a people were born of it. Without curiosity, he might have simply walked away, seeking greener pastures for Jethro’s sheep instead of shepherding the people of God out of Pharaoh’s hand and into the Promised Land.
What of Samuel? Late at night he heard a voice calling to him as he slept in the temple. God was calling to him with a quiet whisper. At first, he wasn’t sure who was calling for him, but he listened further for the voice. Without curiosity, he might have chosen to turn over, cover his ears, and go back to sleep. Instead, he got up, checked with his boss, and came to learn what God had in store for him as a prophet and a leader.
In the New Testament one can’t help but think of the first disciples, who, when Jesus said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of people,” put away their nets to see what this strange man was all about. Jesus came to change their lives into a great missional journey of teaching, healing, learning, and loving that was terribly different from anything they might have imagined for themselves.
Perhaps God is imagining something for you, for me, and for the Christian community that we can’t (or won’t) imagine for ourselves! A hearty role for leaders in the church might be to encourage passionate curiosity in our congregations, in our parishioners, and among our friends. Too often leaders rely on pat answers and established practice to solve every problem and conundrum. What if we committed ourselves to encouraging better questions, trying out creative ideas, and looking for unlikely solutions? What might happen if we got good and curious about what God is doing outside our doors, our city, or even our nation and joined in?
Curiosity leads us beyond what we are good at or comfortable with and escorts us into moments of uncertainty, danger, joy, and maybe even meaning. Curiosity can lead to new affirmations, new skills, new directions, and new appreciation for what we already love. Passionate curiosity might lead us to a new life in Christ.
Perhaps Einstein is right; maybe remark-able intellect, great skills, tons of workshops, or super talent aren’t the only gifts that make a genius. Perhaps there is already a genius for mission in us that God has given in the form of passionate curiosity.
Friday, July 15 • 5:00 PM
Council met Tuesday, June 21. Here are some of the highlights of the meeting:
Throughout the summer, In Stitches will meet the second and the fourth Sunday of the month after church in the courtyard. Join us for crafty fun. Learn to make the ribbon lei, start a pillow for church, or bring your own project. Dates for the summer are July 10 and 24 and August 14.
June 15 • 5:30 PM
Mark your calendars for this summer’s Pau Hana Friday event! We will again be meeting at site 28A at Ala Moana Beach Park.
The day’s events are still in the planning stages, so stay tuned for further details in the weekly announcements!
All are invited to attend and take part in interesting discussions—spiced with fun, films, and faith studies—in our weekly Adult Forum, after the Sunday morning service at 10:30 AM in the Boardroom.
This is the date for the last Sunday in the summer worship schedule, where the 8:00, 10:30 and children choirs will participate at Carl Crosier’s last service as Cantor of the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. The Fellowship Committee will be hosting a celebration in the courtyard after the Sunday service. Stay tuned for further details about the celebration and how you can participate!
The back to school sales will be staring again soon, and that makes it a great time to stock up on items to fill those shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child! Last year LCH prepared almost 50 boxes that were sent to Haiti, and that was with little advanced notice. Imagine how much more we can do this year if we prepare!
Here is what you can do to participate in the program:
You will be asked to bring the shoe boxes to church in early November.
More information on the program can be found at <www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/Pack_A_Shoe_Box/>.
Are you interested in a local project? Stay tuned for information on Operation Backpack which provides a back pack and school supplies for homeless and low income children.
Perhaps you are considering leaving part of your estate as a gift to the church. If the gift you are thinking about giving to the church, upon your death, is your home, you might want to consider giving it to the church now instead. You are still able to live in your home but are also able to take advantage of tax deductions currently. You will be able to carry over any unused portion of the tax deduction up to five years. For more details about this gift planning strategy, contact our congregation’s gift planner, Greg Shepherd at: (909) 910-6823 or <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
As you know, the congregation voted on several initiatives at the May 21 meeting. One of these initiatives focused on the calling of an associate pastor. Although we are still in the beginning stages of planning this call, we want to bring you up to speed on where we are in the process, and to provide you with some details about the steps needed to call an associate pastor.
The vote to call an associate pastor is coupled with our ability to raise the money needed to fund the position. However, the congregational leadership is confident that we will achieve the needed support and encourages us to move forward.
The first formal step was taken earlier this month with a letter of formal notification sent to Bishop Murray Finck and his staff at the Pacifica Synod. This lets him know that we are ready to start the process.
The next step is planning for the first formal meeting of the Call Committee. At this initial meeting, the committee will discuss the duties and responsibilities of such a committee, review the process of calling a pastor, review the Ministry Profile of the congregation, appoint a chair for the committee, and discuss any other questions regarding the process and committee roles.
In the meantime, if you would like more information on the call process, you may find the Pacifica Synod website very helpful. It provides a wealth of information, and while not every part of the process will apply to our particular situation, there is some really good information for you to read. Check out: <www.pacificasynod.org/call.htm>.
These are exciting times for all of us! Keep posted for more information!
Bill Potter, Webmaster
The main concern in June has been updating the LCH website so that everyone is prepared for our yearly change to the summer worship schedule. Advance notice was posted on the Home page, and the Sunday schedule was updated on the afternoon of the last Sunday with two morning worship services. The schedule change was also included on the Worship and Visitors pages.
Since similar changes happen every June and undone every August, I usually keep the text for both schedule on the page and “comment out” the version that does not apply. That way, I just have to erase the comment tags on the summer text in June, while at the same time, putting them around the text that describes the regular schedule. Then, the pattern is reversed in August.
Thirty-six participants (eight adults and twenty-eight youth) from Maui and O‘ahu will travel to Thousand Oaks, California, for the Western States Youth Gathering—the premier youth event for Lutherans held July 1–5. They will be joining over six hundred youth from eleven other states. The triennial event is a joint effort of several ELCA groups desiring to provide a positive Christian experience for high school aged young adults.
The theme is “In the Balance” using Romans 8:30–38 as a scriptural base. The event will include large group learning, praise, worship, service projects and fun. Keynote speeches by leading youth ministers and music by “Agape” will highlight how the youth can be “In Balance” in life and in faith.
Hawai‘i participants include Pastor Jeff, Jordan McCreary, and Colin Buckley from Lutheran Church of Honolulu, as well as participants from Kihei Lutheran in Maui, Christ Lutheran Mililani, Calvary by the Sea Lutheran, and Maluhia Lutheran in Wai‘anae. Pastors Lilley, Mason, Krueger, and Perkins will accompany the youth.
They will depart June 28 to Los Angeles airport and then drive to Thousand Oaks. As part of the pre-event activities they will have a BBQ lunch with Bishop Fink and the synod staff, spend a day at Magic Mountain amusement park, and enjoy a morning at Zuma Beach. Many of the youth will return to Hawai’i July 5, while others will travel on to Camp Wapogassette in Wisconsin for an additional week of camp.
Insights from Nan Wond and Chuck Huxel
We are deeply grateful for the privilege of representing LCH at the twenty-fourth Annual Synod Assembly in Irvine, California. The experience of close fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christian love both strengthened and enheartened us.
The theme of this year’s Assembly invited us to “Come To The Table.” The substance and spirit of this Gospel invitation were present in all aspects of the Assembly Program, so ably created and presented by the synod staff and volunteers. We were taught by Bible scholar Marta Stortz (Professor of Religion and Vocation, Augsburg College), that we are marked as Christians by our devotion to receiving the teaching of the Word, by the breaking and sharing of the Bread, and by prayer. As Christians, we are called to this “table,” that is, the process of engaging in mission. As we are called to this table and filled with Christ’s love, we then have the courage to reach out and to take the table to others in mission.
This theme, of sharing the table and of taking the table to our brothers and sisters in need, was further illuminated by the keynote speaker, Stephen Bouman (Executive Director, ELCA Congressional and Synodical Mission). He spoke movingly of his own family’s experience as immigrants and as being treated as “others.” He reminded us that we are all either immigrants or the descendants of immigrants. He emphasized that the process of engaging in mission is not without sacrifice and risk. Taking the table to others will require courage. Yet, we can be courageous because Christ—in calling us to the table and sharing with us the Bread of Life— has assured us of God’s love. And now Christ calls us from the Table to share God’s love with others. In addition to courage, mission also requires leadership, something abundantly evident at this Assembly.
Bishop Murray Finck did an outstanding job of leading the Assembly and in reporting on the state of the Synod. The worship experiences were moving and inspiring. Presentations by Synod youth and young adults were extremely well done, memorable, and bode well for the future of the ELCA. The Synod, in the face of hard economic times and some factional divisions is, in our view, doing pretty well. However, it needs and deserves our renewed and continued support and commitment.
As LCH is now poised to embark on a new journey with new leadership, the teachings from this Assembly have become particularly relevant. Between the two of us, we attended four excellent mission-oriented workshops and we hope that our experiences will be useful in this coming season at LCH.
Again, our thanks to the LCH Congregation for permitting us this remarkable experience, and a special thanks to Pastor Jeff for his guidance and his care for us.
In Christ’s Love,
The Hukilau Lutheran Churches on O‘ahu have chosen as mission project to serve meals to the homeless in Wai‘anae. On the last Saturday of each month, volunteers from the member congregations come together at Maluhia Lutheran Church in Wai‘anae to pack lunches. The lunches include chili and rice, fruit, granola bars, and bottled water.
For the June 25 event, LCH was able to collect enough cash and food donations to fund the “feeding”as well as send out its own group of volunteers to help pack the lunches.
The next One Pot One Hope event will take place on July 30. Please consider joining our LCH volunteers in this outreach through your time, your financial donation, or in donations of fruit, granola bars, bottled water, batteries, or handiwipes. Contact Miss Peggy for more information.
Next Heart Beat Deadline is Tuesday, July 19!
God’s kids say the funniest things
The pastor’s five-year-old boy had been so badly behaved during the week that she told him his punishment would be that he couldn’t go to the Sunday school picnic that Sunday.
When Sunday came, the pastor felt she had been too harsh and told her son that he could go to the picnic. The boy looked even sadder.
“What’s the matter? I thought you’d be happy to go to the picnic,’ his mother said
“It’s too late,”the boy replied. “I’ve already prayed for rain.”
—via Peter Dring, Land O Lakes, WI
Copyright © 2011 Lutheran Church of Honolulu
1730 Punahou Street, Honolulu, HI 96822 • 808-941-2566
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