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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—October, November, and December 2012

Preparing for New Year’s Vespers

It’s early afternoon on the last day of 2012, and throughout Honolulu folks are shopping for sashimi, champagne, and fireworks. But what about members of the LCH Choir and Bach Chamber Orchestra? They are hard at working preparing for German Vespers for New Year’s Day.

At right, Dr. Miguel Felipe, director of music and liturgy, works with the alto soloist and orchestra on a recitative from J.S. Bach’s Cantata 16.

Additional photos are available in the Christmas 2012 slideshow.

German Vespers is scheduled for 4:00 PM on January 1. All are welcome.

Deck the Halls

Walter Cummings and Peggy Anderson carefully select and place plants for the poinsettia treeThere were no boughs of holly, but there were lots of greens, plenty of poinsettias, beautiful paraments, and the traditional crèche to make the Nave ready for joyous celebrations of the Nativity.

The calendar complicated everything since Advent IV is December 23 this year, so an enthusiastic crew stayed after worship that day to put away the Advent paraments and decorate the Nave for Christmas.

Three different Christmas worship services are scheduled: family worship featuring the F.R.O.G.S. Choir at 5:00 PM Christmas Eve; traditional “Midnight Mass” at 10:00 PM, preceded by “Music for Christmastide” with J.S. Bach’s Cantata 63 at 10:30 PM; and Festival Choral Eucharist at 10:30 AM on Christmas Day, with the women of the LCH Choir.

At left, Walter Cummings and Peggy Anderson carefully select and place plants for the beautiful poinsettia tree behind the altar.

Additional photos are available in the Christmas 2012 slideshow.

(Almost) the End of an Era

Jeanne Castello guides Kathy to the table as Mary-Jo Estes cuts the cake in her honor.An era is drawing to a close as Kathy Crosier prepares to step down after more then thirty years as organist at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. So, not willing to miss an opportunity for a party, everyone was invited to join in a shower of lei in honor of Kathy’s last Sunday on December 23. (Her final worship service will be on Christmas Day.)

To give everyone a chance to participate, Kathy played her organ volutary at the end of the 8:00 AM service as well as at 10:30. And on both occaisions, the congregation rose to their feet in a standing ovation when Kathy finished playing.

A more elaborate farewell celebration will be held in January, after everyone has recovered from Christmas.

At right, Jeanne Castello guides Kathy to refreshment table while Mary-Jo Estes cuts the cake in her honor.

C. S. Lewis Expert Visits LCH

On Sunday, December 9, LCH welcomed the Rev. Dr. Michael Ward, chaplain of St. Peter’s College, Oxford, to both morning worship services and the Adult Forum. Dr. Ward is considered he foremost living scholar of C. S. Lewis and was the presenter of the BBC1 TV documentary, The Narnia Code.

Dr. Ward preached at both morning worship services about how the heavens communicate truths about God. (Audio from the 10:30 service [MP3] is available.)

His presentation at the Adult Forum centered on the writings of C. S. Lewis, focussing particularly on the Narnia Chronicles. In his presentation, he theorized that Lewis’ own deep religious faith and an appreciation for medieval astronomy tie together his seven Narnia-based novels.   Following his excellent presentation, which also touched on several other Lewis works,  Dr. Ward fielded questions about Lewis from his audience of more than thirty appreciative listeners.

At left, Dr. Ward discusses C. S. Lewis’ Narnia Chronicles during his Adult Forum presentation.

Jesse Tree Liturgy Launches Advent

As the congregation begins its observance of the Advent Season, the children of the Sunday School offer the Jesse Tree Liturgy each Sunday morning between the two morning worship services at 9:10 AM.

Based on Jesse Tree: Advent Song and Paraliturgies for Children by Dennis J. Newman (Chicago: GIA Publications, 2001), the liturgy looks at key figures in the geneology of Jesus—our ancestors in faith “who waited for the coming of Emmanuel.”

The liturgy involves song, spoken word, and decorating the Jesse Tree with symbols for each of the individulas mentioned. More about the Jesse Tree Liturgy and the symbols used can be found on the Jesse Tree page in the Children section.

At right, the children sing a verse from the Jesse Tree song, accompanied by piano and handbells. Additional photos are available on the LCH Facebook page.

Launching Exploring Boundaries and Evening Prayer

Pastor Angela leads the prayers during the first Evening Prayer service.November 18 saw the launch of two new programs at LCH: the Exploring Boundaries speaker series and Evening Prayer.

Exploring Boundaries combines food and fellowship with stimulating presentations that will explore ideas and values at the boundaries where our faith meets the rest of the world. The evening began with a light meal and fellowship at 5:00 PM in Isenberg Hall. In typical LCH fashion, although it was billed as a light meal, there was plenty for even the biggest appetites.

The presentation was equally substantial as Hope Jahren of LCH and the UH spoke about “Science and the Christian Church.” Her stimulating presentation sparked a lively discussion afterwards.

Following the presentation, everyone moved to the Nave, where Pastor Angela and the Evening Prayer Choir led a meditative service of word, prayer, and music.

At left, Pastor Angela leads the prayers, with the choir leading the sung responses. Additional photos are available on the LCH Facebook page.

Evening Prayer continues on the first and third Sundays of each month (unless preempted by a special service, such as Advent Procession on December 2). Exploring Boundaries is scheduled for the third Sunday. See the Exploring Boundaries page for more information and a schedule of future topics.

Fun, Food, and Frivolity at LutherFest

Sisters Merry Margarita and Merry Merlot bless participants as the arrive for LutherFest and purchase their LutherBucksMembers and friends of the congregation gathered on the eve of Reformation Sunday for the annual LutherFest, celebrating our Lutheran heritage with fun, food, frivolity, and even more food.

Participants were welcomed by Sisters Merry Margarita and Merry Merlot, who provided blessings and exchanged money for LutherBucks to be used to vote in the Rainbow Dessert Contest and at the bar, which was well stocked with LCH-label wine and local beer. In all, almost $1,000 was donated to the m1ssion campaign.

Following the potluck dinner, close to a dozen entries were presented for voting first on appearance and Lutheran heritage, and then the desserts were severed and votes were cast on flavor.

The crowd was entertained with a visit from “Brother Martin” and a song from the sisters as votes were tabulated. The evening was cut short by the warning sirens announcing the tsunami alert. Folks living in the inundation zone left, and the rest pitched in for one of the quickest clean-ups ever.

At right, Sisters Merry Margarita and Merry Merlot welcome and bless the guests. Additional photos will be available soon on the LCH Facebook page.

Children Take the Lead for Children’s Sabbath

Each October the children of LCH lead the congregation in worship on the annual Children’s Sabbath. In past years, music has accounted for the bulk of their contribution, but this year they raised the stakes by taking responsibility for the sermon as well.

Of course, the the F.R.O.G.S. (Families Revering Our God in Song) Choir and Chamber Orchestra still provided wonderful music in the form of prelude and communion music. In both pieces, the F.R.O.G.S. Choir sang with support of one of their own on violin and a youth on the piano. The closing organ voluntary was played by a youth from the congregation.

The skit, based on the Gospel lesson from Mark 10:35–45, took the place of both the children’s conversation and the sermon. It was presented by children from the third and fourth grade in the Sunday School, who have been working since the beginning of the school year under the direction of Georgine Stark.

At left, Jesus reacts to the request from James and John to sit on his right and left hands in the kingdom. Additional photos from Children’s Sabbath are available on the LCH Facebook page.

Blessing of the Animals

Pastor Jeff blesses the Heidenheimer's dog Zeus as the boys look on.LCH held a Blessing of Animals on Sunday, October 7, the Sunday closest to the commemoration of Francis of Assisi on October 4. In response, many members of the congregation and their pets (close to a dozen dogs and two cats) gathered in Isenberg Hall for the brief liturgy and fellowship. Fortunately, all of the pets (as well as their caretakers) were on their best behavior, and everyone enjoyed a pleasant time together.

The liturgy included hymns, readings, prayers, and an individual blessing for each of the animals present either physically or through photographs.

At right, Pastor Jeff blesses the Heidenheimer’s dog Zeus as the boys look on. Additional photos are available on the LCH Facebook page.

LCH Night at Hawai‘i Public Radio

Saturday night in the annual fall Public Radio fund drive, so of course, folks from LCH filled the Atherton Studio to answer phones during Prairie Home Companion. Josie Bidgood (former KHPR board member) and Chuck Pearson organized the group of nine from LCH to answer phones and speak on air.

In true Lutheran fashion, there was tuna hot dish (actually, gourmet tuna hot dish thanks to Chuck) and green jello. In addition to Chuck and Josie, Carol Langner and Fritz Fritschel, Jimmy and Olivia Castro, John Bickel, Jim Cartwright, and Bill Potter answered the phone. Folks even pooled their contributions to offer an on-air challenge.

At left, Bill Potter talks on air with KHPR staff member Nikki Motson and volunteer David Farmer. A couple of additional photos are available on the LCH Facebook page.

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