October 25, 2012
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Five years from now, on October 31, 2017, we will be celebrating the 500th year of the Protestant Reformation! If we lived in Germany, we would already be participating in different festivities because Europe has declared 2008 to 2017 as the “Luther Decade.”
At Peace Lutheran this Sunday, we will be remembering the Reformation in our worship through our prayers, hymns and stories. In fact, we will be privileged to hear stories from our three South African Delegation members – stories that allow us to peek into the mysterious ways God transformed them through the experience of meeting with people from Lwamondo Parish. What a gift we shall have!
At its heart, the Reformation is about liberation… freedom… truth… In fact, the message of the pericopes (set of scriptures) we will be reading is: “Live free only in Christ.” It’s a powerful message! Yet, I often wonder whether we can “see” the freedom offered through Christ if we cannot see the many ways in which we are enslaved – enslaved to doing our duty… to ever increasing job demands, rising cost of tuition, time and money for elder care…enslaved to our anger, our compulsion to take care of others, envy, perfectionism, and more.
Through his early experiences, Martin Luther realized he was not free. In fact, his experience of his own sinfulness drove him to spend six hours at a time in the confessional, until his spiritual confessor told him to go get a good night’s sleep. But, the real break-through for him came in the midst of his trials with the pope, his accusers and his personal demons. For years he had been trying to do enough penance to earn God’s approval. Finally, though a study of the New Testament text from the Greek, he realized that the original Greek words reveal that we are “set right” before God because of God’s goodness, not anything we do, ourselves. In other words, “We are saved by grace through faith, not our doing, it is a gift from God – not by works so no one can boast.” (Eph 2:8)
Martin Luther clearly saw the problems… the sinfulness… the hopelessness of Medieval theology. AND… he clearly saw the source of hope – that we are set free by God’s grace! In other words, the more we are captured by the love of God through our relationship with Christ Jesus, the more we are set free. So, there is “re-formation” continuously happening in our hearts and in our world!
Thanks be to God!
Pastor Mary Ann
A special visitor this Sunday–Morgan Bach, who just returned from a year in Palestine, will be speaking about her experience there. She is the grand-daughter of our Sanctuary designer, Richard Caemmerer, who taught at Valparaiso University and later founded Grunewald Guild. Here’s Morgan’s bio:
Morgan Bach, 25, from Seattle, Washington is giving a presentation on her experience traveling in Palestine and Israel this last year. She spent eight months living in the Palestinian village of Al Aqaba, and coordinating visitors and volunteers from all over the world to visit the village, most of which is under threat of demolition. Morgan’s speaking tour aims to raise awareness about the inequalities faced by Palestinian Muslims and Christians under Israeli occupation, and the inspiring work being done by people of all faiths to restore dignity and trust in the Holy Land. Morgan is associated with the Lutheran retreat centers of Holden Village and the Grunewald Guild in Washington State. In Jerusalem, she was a member of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem, and was involved with, and inspired by the work of the international and local Lutheran churches in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Ramallah.
Please welcome Morgan to Peace this Sunday and join her in the Gathering Hall for her talk after Worship!
From Council President, Pat Leong
With the most recent rains and the chilly weather at night, I am finally feeling that fall is here. Time goes so quickly; Pastor Mary Ann has already been with us for over a month. I feel so grateful for how much she truly cares for our congregation. The theme for this fall is “Blessed to be a Blessing” and we are blessed in so many ways. It is such a privilege to work with our church members who bless Peace with their resources and efforts, resulting in a very successful Pet Festival and a delegation to visit our dear Partnership friends in South Africa. I am looking forward to a wonderful season of Jazz at Peace. As we look forward to the holiday season, let us each ask ourselves how we can continue to share our many blessings with those near and far.
All-Nite Soul this Sunday at Peace, 5 pm-7:30 pm. THIS YEAR ALL NITE SOUL @ JAZZ CHURCH WEST HONORS the Fred Randolph Quintet. This superlatively talented group of musicians will serve up a mix of their latest compositions. A solid night of jazz!
PLUS! As all of the quintet members are also teachers., joining them on the bandstand will be a few of their best students. Come hear the future of jazz as it passed on by the best player/teachers of now in the magic spirit of the jazz jam. Fun for all! Click here to see the complete Fall schedule for Jazz @ Peace.
Greg Grebe sends a big thank you to all of the people who helped with the Pet Festival/Blessing of the Animals this year, especially: Everett Sylwanowicz, Tim Griesbach, Charlene McPherson, Pam and Chuck Fisher, Arlene Reed, Ro LoBianco, Bill Carmel, Audrey Hohertz-Serpan, Allison Winter, Pr. Margareta, Pr. Mary Ann, Elise Ching, Pat Leong, Maili Malvre, Gary Sponholtz, and John and Mary Ellen Nowel. The Bluegrass music provided by Gary, John and Mary Ellen during the event was a great addition! The Pet Festival was a huge success in every way, blessings for the animals, pet adoptions, food and fun.
Another cat adoption opportunity–Dabbie Bowron forwards an email from a friend who must give up her sweet 13 yr old cat and move to Southern California. Details are on the kiosk or call the Office.
A belated thank you to Jeanie Locklear and Dabbie Bowron who managed the Office while Libby Flynn went to South Africa with Elizabeth Hunter Ashley, Jack O’Neil and Pr Steve as our 2012 Delegation to Lwamondo Parish in Limpopo Province. Only a couple of questions came up and they could be answered byinternational text messages!
Healing Prayer Sunday last week was so special with prayers in each group and Pr. Mary Ann’s stories about how the mother eagle nudges her fledglings out of the nest and over the edge of a cliff when they’re old enough to be on their own, but scoops them up if they don’t start flying. A propos to how God works with us!
- Weekly (Tues) Yoga Level One in the Gathering Hall at 9:15 am
- Weekly (Thurs) Chair Yoga in the Gathering Hall at 4:45 pm
- Oct 28–Reformation Sunday (remember to wear red); stay tuned for some great stories from our Delegation to South Africa ;
Jazz Church West presents All- Nite Soul–The Fred Randolph Quintet–joined by his students 5-7:30 pm
- Nov 4 –All Saints Day Sunday Service; Council Retreat noon-3 pm
- Nov 11–Bread for the World Sunday Service; Jazz Church West presents Glenn Pearson with Clifford Brown III.
- Nov 18–Consecration/Stewardship Sunday Service
- Nov 21–Interfaith Thanksgiving Service at Beth Chaim
- Nov 22–Thanksgiving Day (no service)
- Nov 25–Christ the King Sunday Service