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Lutheran Church of Honolulu, 1730 Punahou St., Honolulu, HI 96822; ELCA; 808-941-2566

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Congregational Life at LCH—January, February, and March 2009

Members Pitch in for Work Day

Saturday, March 28, was a busy day at LCH as members gathered for a spring work day. Under the direction of master organizer Jim Sullivan, people spread out over the campus to dust, clean, and polish, to wash and even power wash, and to dig and trim. Lunch was provided around noon, and work continued into the afternoon. In the end, much had been accomplished, but there is more to do, so be on the lookout for announcement of the next work day.

At right, Bob Tellander looks up from his work trimming plants along side of the church.

LCH Hosts BACHanalia

LCH celebrated the 324th anniversary of J.S. Bach’s birth a day late on Sunday, March 22, with a BACHanalia. The event began with an afternoon organ marathon and concluded with Back Vespers for Lent.

The organ marathon, produced in cooperation with the Hawaii Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, feathered eleven different Honolulu organists playing a variety of works representing every aspect of his work, along with one work for the harpsichord. At left, the performers pose for a group picture following the marathon.

The organ marathon ran a bit longer than expected, so there was not much time for concert goers to finish their “Bach’s lunches” before vespers, which featured two Bach cantatas, Nr. 10 (German Magnificat) and Nr. 22.

All in all, it was a wonderful celebration for the great composer.

Identifying Our Spiritual Gifts

Three members complete the questionnaire on the laptops set up outside the office.Led by our Stewardship Committee, the congregation has begun a process of identifying individual spiritual gifts. On March 8, everyone received a “Spiritual Gifts Stimulus Package” to encourage them along in the process. Key among the contents of each package was this verse of scripture: “God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well” (Romans 12:6).

On March 15, committee members were prepared to help members identify their own particular spiritual gifts. All the office computers—as well as several other laptops on a table outside the office—were set to the ELCA “Spiritual Gifts Inventory,” and members stopped by after each of the morning services to complete the questionnaire and receive a printed chart identifying their strongest gifts. There were also printed questionnaires for those more comfortable with pencil and paper.

At right, three members complete the questionnaire on the laptops set up outside the office.

If you missed this opportunity, you can complete the inventory online, or ask for a printed copy in the church office.

An updated copy of the LCH MInistry Guide will be available soon to help folks match their spiritual gifts with ministry opportunities at LCH.

Ark V “Fills the Ark”

Again this year, the children of LCH’s Sunday School have challenged the congregation to “fill the ark” by raising $5,000 to purchase an ark of animals from Heifer International for families around the world. And again this year, the children have kicked off the effort with a benefit concert featuring the talents of our children and youth.

The large crowd in the LCH Nave was treated to music of all sorts as well as hula performances and recitations from Shakespeare to Lewis Carroll. At left, The Toad Trio presents songs from John Gay’s The Beggar's Opera on violin, ’cello, and piano.

See more pictures from the concert in the Benefit Concert for Heifer International 2009 Slideshow

LCHers Serve 250 at IHS

One gauge of prosperity—or the lack of prosperity—is the number of guest fed each night at IHS, the Institute for Human Services, Honolulu’s largest homeless shelter. Our regular IHS crew got definite confirmation of economic conditions in the state this Friday, February 20, when they served 250 guests at the regular third-Friday meal provided by LCH.

Fortunately, the group, under the leadership of Jimmy Castro had prepared enough of our popular meatloaf (with real meat, as well as other tasty and healthy additions) to feed the large crowd. The number of workers from LCH was down a bit, but IHS staff pitched in to help, and everyone was fed in a timely manner. If you’d like to help out on March 20, speak to Jimmy or Olivia Castro.

At right, Mary-Jo Estes, BIll Potter, BIllie Jean Ries, and Jimmy Castro enjoy their own meatloaf dinners once all the guests had been served.

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LCH Celebrates Faith & Arts Sunday

Members and friends of LCH enjoyed their yearly celebration of Faith & Arts Sunday this year on February 15. Again this year, members and friends displayed a wide range of works ranging from knitting and jewelry to painting and photography to works of prose and poetry. Artists also ran the gamut from the very young to veterans with many year’s experience.

At left, members and visitors view a few of he many works on display. See additional pictures in the Faith & Arts 2009 slideshow.

Thanks to Linda Miller, who organized the displays, and to all of our artists.

Sidewalk Repairs Begin

Saturday, February 14, was a noisy day on the campus of LCH as workers tore up portions of the sidewalk around the LCH campus that had been damaged by the trees cut down in January. Once the damaged sidewalk had been removed, and tree roots cut out, the workers put in forms so that new sidewalks can be poured the next week.

At right, workers clear away pieces of the sidewalk that had been broken up by jack hammers.

Watch as the repairs progress in the Sidewalk Repairs Slideshow.

It’s Punahou Carnival Time Again

The first weekend end in February means it’s Punahou Carnival time again, and that means adults and youth are parking cars for carnival goers and raising money for the youth of the congregation. Unlike many years, the weather is good this year, so revelers may be staying longer at the carnival, and revenue may be down, but it makes for enjoyable hours in the sun for our volunteers.

At left, Josie Bidgood collects money from a parker entering the Poki Street lot while Chris Bushman and Chuck Pearson stand ready to give directions.

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Welcoming Jiajia Seffrood in Baptism

Jiajia Seffrood was welcomed into the family of God and our community of faith on Sunday, February 1, through the sacrament of baptism. The 8:00 congregation joyfully greeted Jiajia as she professed her faith and was baptized.

At right, Pastor Jeff marks Jiajia with the sign of the cross as her husband and sponsor Troy (with his back to the camera) looks on.

Milton’s Paradise Lost

The players reading the second act of Paradise LostACT Readers Theatre presented a special performance of John Milton’s Paradise Lost at LCH as a fundraiser for Bread for the World. The epic poem was abridged and adapted for the stage by Jan McGrath and directed by LCH’s Sylvia Hormann-Alper. Our own Seth Lilley and Michael Burnett were in the cast.

In this picture, Richard Valasek (The Poet), Seth Lilley (Adam), Karen Valasek (Eve), Peter Togawa (The Son), and Michael Burnett (God/Uriel/Michael) tell of the casting out of Adam and Eve from Paradise. Also in the cast was Richard Pellett (Satan/Beelzebub).

A Time to Pluck Up...a Time to Sew

Workers cut up the mango tree in the back parking lot.Ecclesiastes tell us “For everything there is a season,” and that was in evidence on Saturday, January 24, when we experience both “a time to pluck up what is planted” and “a time to sew.”

Anyone coming to the LCH campus that day was greeted by the sounds of chainsaws and wood chippers as workers took down the golden shower tree on the corner of Poki and Dominis and the mango tree in the back parking lot. Having been cited by the City for damage to the sidewalk and threatened with fines, the Council had no choice but to have the two trees cut down. Making the best of an unfortunate situation, arrangements were made much of the wood to be put to good use. They are also seeking replacement trees that will not damage the sidewalk.

At right, workers use heavy equipment to take down pieces of the mango tree.

See additional pictures from the operation in the Parking Lot Tree Removal Slideshow.

In Stitches members working on their own crafts and church projects.But even in the midst of this uprooting, there was creation on our campus.

As they do on the second and fourth Saturday of every month, members of In Stiches, the LCH craft group, gathered to laugh and talk “while occupying their hands with small repetitive tasks.”

In this picture, Roy Helms (far left) works on another of his pew cushions for the church, Stephanie Miller completes one of her own projects, and Linda Miller and Mary-Jo Estes make ribbon lei for our visitors, undaunted by the sounds of the workers outside.

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LCH Hosts Prayer for Christian Unity

LCH hosted this year’s evening service marking the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on Wednesday, January 21. This was the second year for Honolulu churches to participate in this world-wide movement.

The evening brought together people and clergy from Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, UCC, and Presbyterian church under the theme “That they may become one in your hand.” Music for the service was provided by the LCH choir.

At right, Catholic Bishop Larry Silva (second from the right) leading the final collects. Joining him at the altar were the Rev. Christine Blice-Baum, chaplain at Hickam Air Force Base who served as deacon, the Rt. Rev. Robert J. Fitzpatrick, bishop of the Episcopal Church in Hawaii who preached, Pastor Jeff Lilley, officiant, and the Rev. David Kieffer, dean of the Hukilau Conference who represented Bishop Murray Fink.

Jamming in the New Year

Aloha Jam resumed for the new year on Monday, January 12, in the Boardroom, with friends joining on guitars and steel drums for a few hours of fellowship and musical fun.

Aloha Jam is scheduled for 6:00 PM on the second Monday of each month, and all are welcome. All kinds of instruments and all kinds of music are welcome, so come by an jam.

At left, the group is “Stuck in Folsom Prison.”

The next session is Monday, February 9. Talk to Pastor Jeff for more information.

German Vespers for New Year’s Day

Again this year LCH offered German Vespers as a New Year’s gift to the people of Honolulu. For 2009, the LCH Choir, the Bach Chamber Orchestra, and soloists presented another of J.S. Bach’s many New Year’s cantatas, Nr. 171: Gott, wie dein Name so ist auch dein Ruhm (God, as Your name is, so also Your praise is to the ends of the world) and Jan Dismas Zelenka’s Magnificat in D.

At right, soprano Georgine Stark sings “Jesus soll mein erstes Wort/In dem neuen Jahre heißen” (Jesus shall be my first word/uttered in the new year).

Pr. Fritz Fritschel, former assisting pastor at LCH, preached in German. Read the English translation of his sermon.

See more pictures from this service and pictures from other events in the celebration of Christmas at LCH in the Christmas 2008 Slideshow. Read the full list of music for the service.

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