Category Archives: The Paradox – monthly newsletter

Monthly newsletter of AllSaintsLutheranChurch.com

June, 2012 – Paradox newsletter

From the Pastor…

“What though my joys and comforts die? The Lord my Savior liveth.
What though the darkness gather round?
Songs in the night he giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that Rock I’m clinging.
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing?

(Worship hymnal #763)

 

This is it, folks!  We’re celebrating our ministry, and All Saints is entering uncharted waters this Summer.  What happens in a Christian community when there is no pastor or dedicated gathering space?

Churches everywhere are feeling the pinch.  It’s hard to ‘recruit and retain’ new people; it’s hard to make things work with small numbers – few people and few dollars.  What do we do?  Some communities choose to ‘circle the wagons’ and keep doing what they’ve always done (perhaps doing it with more vigor with the hope that others will want to dive in as energetically).  Perhaps what we’re called to do is look for need in the surrounding community, and work to meet that need.

I don’t think there’s a formula for growing a church.  I think we can work at doing things with integrity – so that our actions match the words we speak – and we can work at being open to all people and expressions of life, offering welcome and invitation.  And then we concentrate on   the primary marks: being hospitable, showing generosity, no coveting, no vengeance, observing Sabbath rest.

Speak and be Good News!

Pastor Tyler Gingrich

* * * * * * *

THANK YOU…

– to Katrina, Peter, Karen, Jesse, Lynette, Melissa for the hospitality on Ascension Day!

– to Melissa, Karen, Jesse, Katrina, Lynette, for the music on Ascension Day!

– Melissa and Myrle for the soup!

– to Jesse for the coffeehouse tunes!

* * * * * * *

“Something New Is Emerging”

All Saints Lutheran is discerning the future.  We are unable to support a pastor or property, and yet we do unique ministry and have made creative use of resources available to us.

To connect with each other and with others, we have made good use of online websites:

http://www.facebook.com/kelownalutheran

http://www.youtube.com/kelownalutheran

https://allsaintskelowna.wordpress.com/

With these sites, and others as well as our own, we can stay in touch, we can remain a presence – ‘leaven in the lump.’

* * * * * * *

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” — Desmond Tutu

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Celebration of Ministry

Saturday, June 9

 1pm – service

2:30-5:30 – potluck/BBQ/social

* * * * * * *

“Souper Sundays will continue at the church-house

on the third Sunday of the month, 5:30pm, until further notice!”

* * * * * * *

Worship leaders in June

June 3 – Ken W, lector; Myrle S, host; Myrle, liturgist

June 9 – Jesse W, lector; ______, greeter(s); BBQ/potluck, host; Myrle, liturgist

June 10 – ______, lector; _____, host; _____, liturgist

June 17 (Souper Sunday) – ________, ________, soup

June 24 – ______, lector; _____, host; _____, liturgist

* * * * * * *

see our online calendar for upcoming events with dates/times/locations

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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

* * * * * * *

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

* * * * * * * *

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

* * * * * * * * *

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

* * * * * * * *

see our online calendar for dates/times of events!

April, 2012 – Paradox newsletter

From the Pastor…

“unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain;
but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

(John 12:24)

The new life story, this year, reminds me of the year my daughter, Caitlyn, was born.  She was born on Easter Monday, and the next day, her great-grandmother (my last-surviving grand-parent) died.  The Easter story of new life: both in the great joy of a beautiful baby, and in the sadness of death.

The symbol of a seed, being buried and “dying” is a striking one.  We may not think in terms of the seed dying, but all of its “seed-liness” vanishes when it makes way for the new plant that comes to life.

I’m conscious that we, as a community of faith, are going through a grieving and dying process.  Even as part of our ELCIC, we are experiencing death.  But perhaps these are deaths that will lead to something new – some new life that we can not conceive of now.

Perhaps we are a seed that, in dying, will bear much fruit.  -Pastor Tyler Gingrich

* * * * * * *

Wounded, Weeping

Even the sparrow finds a home in your presence, O God,
the wren nests safely in your care.
Look upon me with tender love,
for I, your wounded bird, can neither fly
nor sing your praise.

My heart is broken,
my strength is gone,
my helplessness laid bare.

Gather me beneath your wing;
enfold me with your mercy.
Restore in me the image of your love;
Christ, the wounded healer.

Amen

(Susan Briehl, Marty Haugen Turn My Heart, pp.2-3)

* * * * * * *

THANK YOU…

– to Delores, and Lynette and Arno for the soup on March 18th!

– to Jack for all his work with our finances!

– to Paul for his eloquence at our congregational meeting

– to Karen for her faithful service on Advisory, doing deposits, offering rides

– to Lynette for getting word out about All Saints in creative ways!

* * * * * * *

PROPHETIC WORDS FOR OUR DAY…

Love

It does not matter how astutely we move the pieces on the chessboard. The game of life and death is a game we lose. Perhaps there will be a final reckoning at the end, a looking back on it all, but more likely our last moments will be devoted to summoning the momentous energy to gulp down one more breath among blinking lights and the hum of the hospital monitors. I have seen enough of death to know its ugly and tawdry face. It is coming. It comes for all of us. Time is short. Life is brief.

Love means living for others. Many parents know this sacrifice, not the temporary sacrifice made to assist another, but the daily sacrifice to create life at the expense of our pleasure, career and dreams. There is drudgery and difficulty in this self-denial. It is not easy. But by giving up parts of ourselves for others, by accepting that we must be willing to lose life to create and preserve life, we honor the core of the [Ten] commandments. The commandments hold out to us the possibility of love. Those who have this love are able to receive and give love to others. Those who do not know this love live in Dostoyevsky’s hell. The worst torment in life…is the torment of being exiled to a life without love. Love is the mysterious life force that comes closest to putting us in touch with the power and majesty of God. It is the spark of divinity we carry within us. It is what we pass on to others. It is life. The more we reach out to sustain life, as individuals, as communities and as a nation, the more we affirm that which we know we must affirm.

Chris Hedges, Losing Moses on the Freeway, pp.172-173

* * * * * * *

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on.”  -Robert Frost

* * * * * * *

Lutheran Women
2012 Spring Event – May 5th

at Christ Lutheran Church
cost: $7
contact: Laura Loge
(250-769-7622)

register by April 29

* * * * * * *

Ascension Day Church Music Festival – May 17th!
Mark the date, and join in making a joyous noise!

* * * * * * *

Worship leaders in April…

Readers – April 1, Katrina; April 5, ______; April 8, Jesse; April 22, Karen; April 29, Lynette

Hosts – April 1, Denney; April 8, potluck breakfast; April 22, Jensen; April 29, Plamondon

Liturgists – April 1, Darlene; April 8, ______; April 22, ______; April 29, _________

Soup on April 15 – Plamondon, Jensen

* * * * * * *

find our calendar of activities online here.

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

* * * * * * *

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

* * * * * * *

Annual Congregational Meeting

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Read our Annual Report, and attend the meeting!

* * * * * * *

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!

February 2012 newsletter

From the Pastor…

All who hunger, sing together, Jesus Christ is living bread. Come from loneliness and longing. Here in peace we have been fed. Blest are those who from this table live their days in gratitude. Taste and see the grace eternal. Taste and see that God is good.

(Worship hymnal #461)

We’re being pushed to new places!  We must take responsibility for our future as a community of faith!

This month, we will do two things that connect us with life around: we observe Reconciling In Christ Sunday on February 5th, and Ash Wednesday is February 22nd.  To where are we being called?  Is our existence, primarily, for ourselves, or do we exist for the betterment of life for all?  (And, if so, are we willing to work at laying the foundations for a community of faith that will continue into the future?)

The hymnist writes of how we are connected in the Eucharist, and how we are also connected in song!  There is also a statement of the reality in which many find themselves, today: loneliness, longing, unrest.  In the story of Jesus Christ, we are invited into living the hospitality, the generosity, the Sabbath rest, the non-violence, the non-covetous way, which we’ve seen in Jesus’ life.  We are invited into another way that challenges the way life tends to be around us in society.

Read the words about prophetic voice and discernment in this newsletter – collectively, as members of the body of Christ, we must discern  God’s call to us in this place at this time.  Yes, we are facing obstacles, but we’re a creative bunch!  We have gifts that need to be shared in this area at this time!

Seeing other congregations that have difficulty moving into new places because of issues around size and building, we are – by contrast – “unencumbered.”  How might our ability to provide a spirit of openness in this city be carried on through our currently-small size?  Let’s share ideas this month! -Pastor Tyler Gingrich

* * * * * * *

THANK YOU…

– to Lynette and Myrle for the soup on the 15th!

– to Myrle, Jim, Delores, and Karen for their help on our collaborative service at Faith!

– to Delores and Karen for hospitality on the 21st

– to everyone for their kind support and prayers as Sarah was baptized on the 1st!

* * * * * * *

“LOOKING TO THE FUTURE”

The Prophetic Voice and Discernment

Corporate discernment is, in almost every case, more reliable than individual discernment. The exceptions are those times when God requires an individual to be a prophetic voice to God’s people, or the voice of conscience to an irreverent community – a community that is pursuing comfort over discipleship, seeking solace and peace when there is no peace, avoiding action when deeds of justice and mercy are called for. In such cases, the voice of the community is not more reliable than the individual’s. Even in such cases, however, individuals who believe they have been called to be prophetic voices need to test what they discern as God speaking a prophetic word through them with at least one other person who is judged to be a child and servant of God, a person faithful in prayer and scripture reading.

Unless you perceive and have confirmed that God is calling you as an individual to be a prophetic voice to a faltering community, as you begin to think about engaging in a discernment process, we encourage you to invite all your members to engage in the adventure with you. You are trying to perceive God’s call to you as members of the body of Christ, a people desiring nothing less than to obey God’s desire for you as a community of faith.

Roy M. Oswald, Robert E. Friedrich, Jr, Discerning Your Congregation’s Future, pp.xi-xii

* * * * * * *

There is only one happiness in life—to love and be loved.”
-George Sands (
Baroness Dudevant)

* * * * * * *

Worship leaders in February

Feb 5 – Lynette, lector; potluck lunch; Myrle, liturgist

Feb 12 – Myrle, lector; Denney’s host; Darlene, liturgist

Feb 19 (Souper Sunday) – Mcintosh & _______ host

Feb 22 (Ash Wednesday) – Myrle, lector; ________, liturgist

Feb 26 – Jim, lector; potluck lunch; Myrle, liturgist

* * * * * * *

We need to talk, as a community!

Come to church at our church-house on February 5th & 26th,

stay for a light, potluck lunch, and Table-talk!

* * * * * * *

Saturday afternoon

Movies!

February 11 & 18

 3:00pm at the

church-house

* * * * * * *

See our online calendar for times & places of our programs!

January Paradox newsletter

From the Pastor…

And this star, as bright as day, that will never lead astray with its message so appealing, is the word of God, revealing Christ, the way, the truth, the life

(Worship hymnal #301)

As Pastor Dan Erlander says it, we “live wet.”  As baptized followers of Jesus, that rite of welcome to the family of God is a constant reminder of who we are – it is an identifying trait!  We are “followers of the way” of Jesus Christ – part of his movement of truth and life.

Luther writes in the Small Catechism about Baptism: “What then is the significance of such a baptism with water? Answer: It signifies that the old creature in us with all sins and evil desires is to be drowned and die through daily contrition and repentance, and on the other hand that daily a new person is to come forth and rise up to live before God in righteousness and purity forever. “

As I enjoy watching my children grow – even as I continue to age, myself – I realize more and more that the process of maturing has to do with recognizing that our personal needs are not the only ones, or even the most important ones.  It’s a realization that we are all connected – and we are to open up, and move away from a ‘curbed in on self’ way of being.

Baptism reminds us of our inter-connectedness in life, and invites mindfulness of others.

-Pastor Tyler Gingrich

* * * * * * *

THANK YOU…

– to Melissa, Darlene, Jack, Katrina, Peter, Karen, Lynette, Arno, Liz, Myrle, Paul for all their work to host a superb Student Supper!

– to Myrle, Jack, Katrina, and Lynette for their help on our first collaborative service at Faith!

– to Sid and Shawn for the great music and sound system on December 5th and 20th

– to Jesse for sharing his time and music between classes and papers!

– to everyone who contributed to our Advent mitten tree – our community donated a significant amount of clothing to Inn From The Cold Kelowna!

* * * * * * *

PROPHETIC WORDS FOR OUR DAY

Poorest Women Trapped in a “Vicious Circle”

Canadian women have developed some common understandings over the last 40 years of activism. We were not satisfied with the thin, formal version of women’s equality.  We fought for the full, substantive version, with material conditions at its centre. This comprehensive version of equality, which even the Supreme Court of Canada says it embraces, commits us to look at women’s real conditions, and ask whether women experience equal outcomes.

In the language of international human rights, that means that social and economic rights are an integral part of the “substance” of substantive equality, and inseparable from it. Women who are the most materially disadvantaged, many of whom are Aboriginal, racialized, or have a disability, do not enjoy equality, and their sexual autonomy, security, political participation, and liberty are all constrained.

The full version of equality cannot be delivered by a stripped-down version of the state, which is understood to deliver freedom by its absence. It requires attentiveness, action, and spending by governments to create conditions of equality for women, not withdrawal from social policy, and deference to the market, which has been the pattern of recent years.

[…]

As a feminist and a human rights activist, it is unacceptable to me that in Canada there are women trapped in conditions that stand so starkly in contradiction to our declared commitments to equality. What created the “vicious circle” is the absence of adequate, basic social programs – affordable housing, civil legal aid, and income security – that can change these conditions and prevent the harms.

Shelagh Day, found in Speaking Truth to Power, edited by Trish Hennessy and Ed Finn, pp.23-25

* * * * * * *

“The mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work unless it’s open.”

* * * * * * *

We welcome our guest speaker

Rev. Curtis Aguirre

(pastor at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Penticton)

“What I Like About The Church Fathers”

Souper Sunday, January 15th

* * * * * * *

We collaborate in ministry…
Worship services with Faith Lutheran Church (250 Gibbs Rd W) this month:

January 8 at 10:00am; January 29 at 10:00am (lunch & conversation to follow)

* * * * * * *

Worship leaders in January:

Jan 1… Lector – Jane G; Host – Gingrich; Liturgist – Myrle

Jan 8… Lector – Karen M; Host – Faith Luth Ch; Liturgist – Myrle

Jan 15 (Souper Sunday)… Host – Stebner, Sundmark

Jan 22… Lector – Darlene D; Host – Denney; Liturgist – Darlene

Jan 29… Host – Faith Luth Ch.

* * * * * * *

See our online calendar for dates, times, and places of our programming in January!

December Paradox newsletter

From the Pastor…

Flames of fire for warmth and welcome,
Light the candles, help us see our place in creation.

(Advent wreath song)

Our place in creation is a dubious one, isn’t it?  Life is a fragile thing.  We take it for granted, at times.

Our place in the world – as Christians – is changing in major ways.  As members of a mainline, protestant church, we have seen significant change in recent decades.  People simply do not gravitate to our buildings the way they once did.  It is easy to lose heart.

However, we continue to have good news to share. The quality of worship we offer is as good as ever. We continue to have reason to connect with others, and to work at showing compassion, generosity, and hospitality, and striving for justice.

The question, then, becomes: for how long are we willing to hang on?

Advent is a season of hope.  It is a season with great anticipation, and we look forward to the arrival of God-among-us.  The thing is, the ‘second coming’ is not a matter of waiting and expecting another to do it for us.  We – us who are followers of the way of Jesus – are that second coming.  The work that Jesus did is what we are called to carry on, today, in our lives.

It’s a constant reminder for us to discern our place in creation.  What do we have to offer?  What is fair and good for us to expect in this life?  To what places shall we go to engage in ministry?  We’re living in a new day!  We’re starting to engage new possibilities!  All Saints is starting a year of new possibilities, and we will look different before the church-year is out…!

Pastor Tyler Gingrich

* * * * * *

THANK YOU…

– to Melissa, Karen, and Jesse for the music!

– to Lynette and Karen for representing All Saints in collaboration conversations!

– to Roy for the Souper spoons!

– to Melissa and Paul for the delicious soup!

* * * * * *

“PROPHETIC WORDS FOR OUR DAY”

From “A Social Creed for the Twenty-first Century”

We Churches…have a message of hope for a fearful time. Just as the churches challenged      the harshness of early-nineteenth-century industrialization with a prophetic “Social Creed” in 1908, so in our era of globalization we offer a vision of a society that shares more and consumes less, seeks compassion over suspicion and equality over domination, and finds security in joined hands rather than massed arms. Inspired by Isaiah’s vision of a “peaceable kingdom,” we honor the dignity of every person and the intrinsic value of every creature and pray and work for the day when none “labor in vain or bear children for calamity” (Isa. 65:23). We do so as disciples of the One who came “that all may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10), in solidarity with Christians and with all who strive for justice around the world.

[…]

We – individual Christians and churches – commit ourselves to a culture of peace and freedom that embraces nonviolence, nurtures character, treasures the environment, and builds community, rooted in a spirituality of inner growth with outward action. We make this commitment together – as members of Christ’s body, led by the one Spirit – trusting in the God who makes all things new.

Approved by the General Assembly of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., November 7, 2007

* * * * * *

“We live in a country where it’s cheaper to fly to Paris than it is to fly a few provinces over and see for ourselves what another part of Canada is really about. More Canadians visit Florida than Manitoba. In a country with unity issues, this does not bode well.” -Rick Mercer

* * * * * *

Baptism of
Sarah Chantelle
Gingrich

on

Sunday, January 1st

 “You Are A Beloved Child of God”

* * * * * *

We collaborate in ministry…
Worship services with Faith Lutheran Church (250 Gibbs Rd W) this month:
December 11 at 10:00am; December 24 at 5:00pm

* * * * * *

Worship leaders for December…

Lectors: Dec 4 – Wally K; Dec 11 – Lynette; Dec 24 – Lynette; Dec 25 ______

Hosts: Dec 4 – Batke; Dec 11 – Faith Luth Ch; Dec 18 – Jensen, ______

Liturgists: Dec 4 – Myrle; Dec 11 – Myrle

email pastor@allsaintslutheranchurch.com to sign up in the blank spots!

* * * * * *

see our online calendar for times and places of our gatherings and programming!

November Paradox Newsletter

From the Pastor…

Yours, Lord, is the glory, and honour, as well;
Yours, Lord, now and always. Amen, amen.
(Worship hymnal #849)

This month we celebrate eight years as a worshipping community in Kelowna.  November is always something of a tension between hopefulness and despair – our church-year comes to a close, and the readings remind us of the brevity of life, but we give thanks that God is with us in life and in death.

In the past month, we have done some reflecting on our future.  Even as we have made some plans, we can not say what the future will hold.  Are we – each of us – in it for the long-haul, or are we nearing the end?  Can our vision of being creating a community where all might experience the welcoming presence of God have life in a new way?

November is a month where we are mindful of the saints – past, present, and future – all of us counted among them, as we are all counted sinners, too.  The saints of the future depend on us, the saints of the present.  As we move forward, we must consider how our actions, in these days, will give life and make possible a community of faith for future generations (or not).  It’s a struggle in the church, these days, I know.  We long to hold on to the familiar, and we agonize about what to do and who will do it.

Our role, in many ways, is to be creative about our invitation to others; to work at using language that conveys meaning; to engage in justice work in the community like we haven’t before.  All of this has to do with what it is to be followers of the way of Christ. -Pastor Tyler Gingrich

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THANK YOU…

– to Karen, Melissa, and Darlene for their leadership on October 23rd!

– to Lynette, Karen, Katrina, Jesse, Delores, and Darlene for planning day follow-up tasks

– to Paul for organizing lunch for our planning day, October 15th

– to all the generous donors to our Food Bank box!

– to Darlene, Amber and Mark, for the soup!

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PROPHETIC WORDS FOR OUR DAY…

Efficient industrial mechanization, combined with cheap available energy, provides nations with the ability to grow their economies in terms of Gross Domestic Product.

The production of Moai statues on Easter Island helped society develop skills in mathematics, mechanization, writing, trade and much more. The same concept applies today. Production helps societies evolve technologically. In a world of competitive international trade and occasional military conflict, nations with the strongest economies have the advantage.

GDP is often mistaken as an indicator of social well-being. This is incorrect. It is a survival indicator. The inhabitants of Southern Africa probably had a higher standard of living than their European invaders. Well, at least until they were invaded.

The Great Depression taught us that production must be balanced with consumption. The more a nation can produce by utilizing energy and mechanization, the more it needs to consume. […]

Consumerism is the process where efficient production is balanced with inefficient use of goods.

One of the consequences of increased industrial production and consumer demand is that it grows the economy. It grows the economy not just in terms of industrial output but also in terms of the technology involved in production. A consumer demanding faster cars and computers drives an industry to develop these technologies. Businesses that utilize the most efficient technologies gain competitive advantages over those that do not.

The consequence of the development of more efficient technology is that it puts us back in the situation where we have a choice.

1. We can reduce the industrial work week, have more leisure time and still produce the same amount of goods.

2. Continue to work as hard and as a result produce more good that need to be consumed.

(Conrad Schmidt, Workers of the World, Relax, pp.85-86)

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 “I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice” ~Abraham Lincoln

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NOTICE

Annual Campus Ministry Fundraising Student Supper

Monday, December 5

Let’s make it a good one!

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You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. –Steve Jobs

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Worship Leaders in November…
Lectors:
Nov 6 – Wally; Nov 13 -Melissa; Nov 27 – Darlene

Hosts:
Nov 6 – potluck; Nov 13 – ______; Nov 20 – Dianne V & _______ ; Nov 27 – Denney

Liturgists:
Nov 6 – _____ ; Nov 13 – ______ ; Nov 27 – Darlene

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See our calendar page for programming throughout the month!

October newsletter

From the Pastor…

God makes the clouds drop fatness, the desserts bloom and spring, the hills leap up in gladness, the valleys laugh and sing. God fills them with God’s fullness, all things with large increase, and crowns the year with goodness, with plenty and with peace.

Worship hymnal #694

It’s true: we are gifted with much!  God provides!

At The Great Thanksgiving – Holy Communion –  we hear, “take and eat, share the presence of Christ.,” and “take and drink, share in the life of the church.”  The elements of bread and wine are combined with the word, “do this in remembrance of me” – share this meal, and live as Christ! Martin Luther, teaching about Holy Communion, wrote: “The treasure is opened and placed at everyone’s door, yes, upon the table, but it is also your responsibility to take it and confidently believe that it is just as the words tell you.” (The Large Catechism; Wengert, p.470)

The Reformation, which we commemorate each October, is a call to be the church, and to question the traditions of the church.  We are a part of something that extends into the past, but we are also to vision for the future.  Who are we, today?  What do we offer to the community?

Our living needs to reflect our thankfulness, and it needs to show our faith.  Grace frees us, and we are freed for living our faith in the world.  So, we then take responsibility to show hospitality, to be generous, to engage in acts of compassion, peace, and justice.

We are Christians!  We give of ourselves!

We are Lutherans!  We ask questions and think about what we do and why we do it.

This month, our congregation looks at what we’re about, and who we are, in this city.  Let’s be confident in our mission! –Pastor Tyler Gingrich

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THANK YOU…

– to Pastor Ken for presiding at worship Sept 25th!

– to Karen and Jesse for the soup at September  Souper Sunday!

– to Melissa, Liz, Myrle, Darlene, Miriam, Ken, Peter, Katrina, Karen for being a superb church-house clean-up team!

– to Jesse for helping with UBC-O club displays

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“Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” ~G.B. Stern

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Congregational Planning Day

with John Wolff

Saturday,

October 15 10am-4pm

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Worship leaders in October

Readers…
Oct 2 – Delores; Oct 9 – Melissa; Oct 23 – Darlene; Oct 30 – Jesse

Hosts…
Oct 2 – Gingrich; Oct 9 – ______; Oct 16 – Denney/Haley; Oct 23 – Denney; Oct 30 – ______

Liturgists…
Oct 2 – ______; Oct 9 – Karen; Oct 23 – Darlene; Oct 30 – _______

If you can fill in a blank, please let pastor know: pastor@allsaintslutheranchurch.com

See our calendar of events!

September, 2011 – Paradox newsletter

All Saints Calendar

From the Pastor…

Build us up, Lord, build us up;
As we guide and teach each other, help us to share your love with the world: ev’ry sister, ev’ry brother.

Worship hymnal #670

  I remember the day well, ten years ago, when the World Trade Center buildings in New York fell as a result of suicide bombers aboard passenger planes.  I remember the fear – even as I was in Saskatoon, and a good distance away from New York – that this was “close to home,” and I felt vulnerable.

It may be easy to say it was purely the act of a deranged person – or group of people – but I think it begs deeper reflection as to why this horrific event came to be.  Do we have a part to play in it?

It was no coincidence that it was at the epicenter of western, free-market capitalism: the USA, the trade center, the place where business and finances work at building great fortunes.  And it’s not a coincidence that the people involved in the bombing were from less-fortunate circumstances, aware of abject poverty elsewhere, and angry and desperate.

The thing is, there is great need elsewhere.  In our culture, we often deny need and vulnerability because we, ourselves, lack practically nothing, and we insulate ourselves from circumstances of need.  We have come to expect an infinite amount of products at our finger-tips, or energy-supplies that will never run out.  And we can trick ourselves into believing this – unsustainable as it is, and damaging to other peoples – because our system is set up so that those in poorer circumstances provide for us through things like trade agreements that are not fair.

Our task, as people of faith who care about the well-being of others, is to work at changing how we live so that more people, everywhere, have enough.  That all may have life! This month, I encourage you to participate in opportunities where we can achieve better understanding – a peace service on the 11th, a guest speaker on the 18th – mark your calendars! -Pastor Tyler Gingrich

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THANK YOU…

– to Jack, Darlene, Jay, Jeff for BBQing!!

– to Jesse and Sydney for help with set-up and music at the BBQ

– to Katrina, Myrle, Paul, Karen for the soup!!

– to Darlene and Karen for their leadership on August 10th!

– to Cathryn who continues to keep our financial records, even at her new home in the north!

to Roy and to Delores for cleaning up after most of our pizza suppers at our mid-week gatherings!

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PROPHETIC WORDS FOR OUR DAY…

In a resolutely secular society like Canada, one of the jobs of a theologian is to point out where the new theological language is emerging. One of those places is in Jack Layton’s final letter to Canadians. There he provides a synopsis of his own theology.

 

“Love is better than anger

Hope is better than fear

Optimism is better than despair”

 

What most Canadians will find difficult to articulate is where they’ve heard that language before. Consider the following passages from Christian and Hebrew Scriptures.

 

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18)

 

“Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another” (Ephesians 4:31-32)

 

“suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope” (Romans 5:3-4)

 

“I do not despair of my condition, for I have good hope of recovering from my illness” (2 Maccabees 9:22)

 

There are many other passages I could have quoted. Jack Layton didn’t think of himself as a very faithful member of the United Church of Canada but in the end, I think the evidence points the other way. Clearly Jack Layton embraced an open, loving and hopeful spirituality that millions of Canadians are responding to. God bless you, Jack, a good and faithful servant.

(Rev. Dr. Christopher Lind, “A Theologian Shows How Jack Layton’s Spirituality is Summarized in his ‘Letter to Canadians'” – Facebook note, August 22, 2011)

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Seen on bumper sticker:

“If going to church makes you a Christian,

 does going to the garage make you a car?

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Worship Leaders for September

Sept 4 – Lector, Karen; Host, Gingrich; Liturgist, Myrle

Sept 11 – Lector, Katrina; Host, potluck; Liturgist ________

Sept 18 (Souper Sunday) – Host, Whiteman and _________

Sept 25 – Lector, Delores; Host, _______; Liturgist, Myrle

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Souper Sunday
September 18 -5:30pm

We welcome
Rev. Dr. Ruth Wright
“Ministry at the Margins in Vancouver’s Down-town East-side”

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Congregational Planning Workshop

Saturday, October 15 (10am-4pm)

“Save The Date!”

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SEE OUR CALENDAR PAGE FOR TITLE AND TIMES OF PROGRAMS AND EVENTS!