March Paradox Newsletter

From the Pastor…

Tree of Life and awesome myst’ry, in your death we are reborn;
though you die in all of hist’ry, still you rise with ev’ry morn, still you rise with ev’ry morn.

(Worship hymnal #334)

The season of Lent is one of fasting, almsgiving, and prayer – we hear about this as we begin the journey on Ash Wednesday.

What does this mean for us, in this day and place?  Do we fast?  Do we give alms?  Do we pray?

We lack for little, if anything, in our society – and perhaps even especially in our Lutheran churches.  Part of what we strive for, corporately, is to never be without – and we’ve even taken that to mean “never without certain luxuries.”

At our February ‘Souper Sunday,’ we watched a documentary that invited a different way to look at living.  As one of the people said after the film, “we’re being invited to live with less.”  But that’s a hard pill to swallow!  We don’t want to have to change.  We don’t want to do with less.  Not to mention, we’ve built our lives in such a way that ‘doing with less’ almost feels like an assault on what we believe we’re entitled to!

Over these six weeks of Lent, I invite you to consider your giving, your prayer, and your own fasting.  How are you being generous in your living?  How are you being mindful of others?  How are you doing without for the sake of creatures and creation?  And I invite you to consider your generosity, your mindfulness, and your living-with-less in light of our congregation.  Is our community worth fighting for?  Maybe it is; maybe it’s too much work.

Our community is a symbol of the larger church.  We are struggling for survival, so our routines until now won’t be what carry us – we’ll have to die and rise to new life.  Alternatively, we may, in fact, die – All Saints Lutheran may dissolve – but new life can spring up from seeds we’ve sown.  –Pastor Tyler Gingrich

* * * * * * *

THANK YOU…

– to Darlene, Karen, and Melissa for the soup on the 19th!

– to Karen, Lynette, Jesse, and Delores, for helping host our ‘Shrove Pancakes’!

– to Melissa for all the hosting she does for programming between Sundays!

– to Karen and Jesse for their music!

– to those participating in our ‘Table Talk’ conversations about our future!

* * * * * * *

PROPHETIC WORDS FOR OUR DAY

Poverty and People of Faith

Standing against poverty is nothing new, especially for Lutherans. Over the years, we have launched social ministries that serve the poor. We have responded to disasters. We have established food pantries and agencies like Lutheran Social Service. We have condemned occasionally the comfort and complacency with which followers of Christ have made peace with the existence of the poor at their doorstep. We have felt some chagrin at other people’s insensitivity to the homeless here and the famines abroad. However, we are not a church made up of many poor people. In this country [USA, but Canada as well], Lutherans have settled into the comfort of third and fourth generations of immigrants, most all of us comfortably middle class. We are largely distant from these issues. We may sympathize with those seeking to eliminate poverty through advocacy, but such sympathies do not consume much of our attention and energy.

For ten years as a parish pastor, I (Peter) served a wonderful, mostly African American congregation in Milwaukee that was no stranger to persons living in poverty. For this congregation, walking with the poor was less a burden than a gift. Ministry was a gift in setting before us the strength, generosity, and resilience of people living in the grips of poverty. At the same time, the cruelty we inflict on each other as a human family and the sinfulness of tolerating the existence of the conditions that leave people in poverty was laid bare. The existence of poverty in unmistakably a faith issue when seen that up-close.

Nancy Maeker, Peter Rogness,

Ending Poverty: A 20/20 Vision, p.10

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It is better to die for an idea that will live, than to live for an idea that will die”  -Steve Biko

* * * * * * *

World Religions Conversations

We welcome

Kamilla Bahbahani, Baha’i, and Jeremy Finkleman, Jewish,
to speak about their faiths

Thursdays, March 8 & 29, 7:00pm

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Annual Congregational Meeting

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Read our Annual Report, and attend the meeting!

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Worship Leaders in March…

Lectors – March 4, Katrina; March 11, Karen; March 25, Lynette

Hosts – March 4, Plamondon; March 11, _______; March 25, potluck

Soup – March 18, Jensen, _______

Liturgists – March 4, ______; March 11, _______; March 25, Karen

* * * * * * *

see our online calendar for programming in March!

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Posted on March 1, 2012, in The Paradox - monthly newsletter. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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