Summer Schedule Begins May 30

Hear ye, hear ye!

We will transition to our Summer Worship Schedule this weekend, May 30th, 2010, with ONE worship service at 9 am.  This service will be live broadcast on the radio each Sunday this summer on KOWZ, 100.9 FM.  It is rebroadcast on our local-access cable channel, 13, at around 9 am on each weekday.

Sunday School resumes in September, as does our two-service schedule (8:30 and 10:30), after the Labor Day weekend.

Have a safe, happy, and blessed summer season!  See you in worship.

On a Short Hiatus

Dear faithful readers,

Your readership is very important to us.

The blog will be taking a break until the beginning of June so pastorhh can recover from surgery. The ELCA News Feed at the right is updated automatically; however, comments on old posts will not be moderated. New posts will resume as soon as possible. In the meantime, this is an opportunity for you to check out some of the cool ministries in the blogroll.

We look forward to catching up with you in a couple of weeks.  “See” you then!

Grace and peace to each one,

pastorhh

Unity

Our denomination has been in a rather-painful process these last few months, as we seek what it means to be unified–and how that unity can be enhanced and maintained–even as we disagree on such issues as biblical interpretation and the ethics of sexuality.  And then we come to this week’s Gospel lesson.

In light of this, I find the words of Biblical scholar Mary Hinkle Shore especially profound:

How do you feel when someone prays out loud for you?

When I asked a few friends this question, these words surfaced: comforted, vulnerable, grateful, honored, humbled, awkward but appreciative, like someone really cares. Maybe one of the reasons it is so easy to turn John 17 into a “to do” list for the church is that such a list is easier to manage than such an experience as intimate as being the subject of another’s prayer. We are so obviously not in control as we listen to people pray for us. They, not we, are the ones doing the asking, and God, not we, is the one answering the prayer.

If Jesus were exhorting his disciples, and by extension us, we could strive to meet his expectations then. If he were exhorting us, we would have a mission, namely, not to disappoint him. Instead, we overhear a prayer on our behalf and are not called to action in that moment as much as wonder that the Father and the Son spend their time discussing the likes of us and our little community of faith.

She goes on, but we’ll leave it at that.  I am left wondering this:  can humanity strive for unity, or is it more about accepting the unity God has gifted us with?

Praying Jesus, thank you for even the faintest hint of unity with You.  Amen.

News Items

It was a busy week last week–one of those when your pastors were out of their offices more than in.  What did we do?  Well…

The First Lutheran Church AM Bible Study journeyed last Tuesday to the Science Museum of Minnesota.  What a great, spiritually enriching day!  We were able to view the Omnitheater movie entitled, “Arabia,”  spend time with the very-rarely-seen-in-North-America Dead Sea Scrolls, and see pages of the beautiful, illuminated, hand-made St John’s Bible.  Tuesday is Senior Citizen’s day, but any day is worth the trip and the price.  This exhibit runs until October 24, 2010.  Click on the hyperlinks in above paragraphs to learn more.

The family of Marlin Miner wants to thank you for your care, concern, and prayers in the wake of his stroke.  If you would like to send messages of support and receive updates on Marlin’s condition, the family has set up a Caring Bridge site here.  It is also listed now in the blog roll.

The Synod Assembly for our Southeastern Minnesota Synod was this past Friday-Saturday, May 7 and 8.  You can read the PDF summary of the event and actions taken here.  We will be hosting an adult forum with our voting members soon; watch for details.