May, 2012 – Paradox newsletter

From the Pastor…

“Walking the way, Christ in the center telling the story to open our eyes; breaking our bread, giving us glory: Jesus our blessing, our constant surprise.(Worship hymnal #377)

Sometimes I am asked how Lutherans read the Bible.  It is key, in a Lutheran reading of Hebrew or Christian scriptures, to read ‘through a lens of Christ,’ which means, if something doesn’t fit with the way and teaching of Jesus, it is of secondary importance and not vital to a life of faith.

The words of the hymnist remind us of walking the way: we are to live what we say we believe.  As you may know, early Christians were not called ‘Christian,’ but ‘followers of the way.’  In effect, it’s a far more challenging identity – do we follow in the way Jesus lived?  Do we hold up the needs of all, especially those who may be oppressed or living in poverty?  Do we give up ourselves for the sake of the greater good?  Do we deny ourselves?

Our sacraments – Baptism and Communion – remind us of our connection to life, our connection to each other. We all enter into life in the same way and are part of the great web of life, and we celebrate that, and acknowledge the gift that life is, in Baptism.  We recognize that we all need sustenance on the way – food, shelter, clothing, but also friendship, compassion, peace – and we celebrate that, and experience receiving from the same cup and loaf, in Communion.

Our challenge, as we go into the world, is to live in these society-confronting ways.  To live as followers of Jesus’ way is to keep all in mind, and to show compassion.
-Pastor Tyler Gingrich

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THANK YOU…

– to Katrina and Peter, and Delores for soup on April 15th!

– to Karen and Jesse for their participation in the Easter Vigil and representing All Saints

– to Roy for his part in organizing the Good Friday walk, and for helping with Souper Sundays

to Wally and Vern for their words of wisdom in reading-introductions and conversational sermons

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FAITH IS ABOUT QUESTIONS

The Eternal Truth Inside

the Myths of Resurrection and Ascension

Over history the resurrection stories of the various gospels have flowed together in the common mind until their differences have become totally blurred and their content blended into a kind of harmony that a careful reading of these texts will not sustain. I have tried to separate them, but in order to make the stories complete I need to point to a uniquely Lucan narrative which many people confuse with the resurrection. I refer to the story of Jesus’ ascension into heaven. Why Luke needed to develop the ascension story is itself noteworthy. More than any writer before him, Luke transformed the resurrection into a physical, literal account of a resuscitated body. When Luke has Jesus appear to the disciples for the first time, they think they are seeing a ghost. To counter this nonphysical interpretation, Luke has Jesus invite them to touch his hands and feet. Ghosts or spirits do not have flesh and bones, he argues. It is a very physical claim. Then this risen, non-ghostlike Jesus asks for food. He is provided with a piece of broiled fish, which he eats, thus demonstrating that his gastrointestinal system is working fully. Then he does for them what he had previously done for Cleopas in Luke’s first resurrection narrative – he “open[s] their minds to understand the scriptures” and provides the disciples with their missionary marching orders: “Repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached…to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” He then commands the disciples to stay in the city until they are “clothed with power from on high” (24:44-50). Only then does Jesus part from them (v. 51).

John Shelby Spong, Jesus for the Non-Religious, pp.125-126

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“There never was a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him asleep.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Celebration of Ministry

 Saturday, June 9

1pm – service

2:30-5:30 – potluck/social

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Ascension Day Church Music Festival

Thursday, May 17th, 7pm at Christian Reformed Church!

All Saints hosts this seventh, annual, ecumenical celebration of song!

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Worship Leaders in May…

May 6 – Lector – ________; Host – Plamondon; Liturgist – Myrle

May 13 – (11am at Christ Lutheran); Lector – Lynette

Thursday, May 17 – Hosts: Plamondon, Stebner, Whiteman

May 20 – (soup) Sundmark, Gingrich

May 27 – (10:30am at Highlands) Lector – _______; Liturgist – _______

can you help by filling in a blank? email: pastor@allsaintslutheranchurch.com

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see our online calendar for dates/times of events!

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

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