Tag Archives: missions

give

She gave out of all she had. . .

Mark 12:38-44

38 As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39 and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! 40 They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” 41 He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. 43 Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. 44 For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

                Jesus’ words have constantly and consistently been a problem and an inconvenience to the elite/wealthy members of society ever since he spoke them. The Gospels are filled with stories showing Jesus comforting the conflicted and conflicting the comfortable. Jesus brilliantly sees through and beyond the surface and recognizes the actual intentions and character of rich and poor alike. Do we follow Jesus example? Do we hold people accountable to their actions that denigrate and oppress the voiceless? Do we hold ourselves accountable for participating in systems of greed and oppression?

For the past several weeks I’ve found myself thinking back to a day in early October when I was in Honduras. We were in the 15-passenger van travelling to El Buen Pastor Lutheran (Good Shepherd Lutheran) for worship on a Sunday morning. During the drive I notice several huge factories on the outskirts of town. Each factory contained 10,000 workers devoted to making name brand shoes and clothes. The workers earn 8 dollars per full day of work. Next to the factories were several 2 to 3 million dollar homes with big fences and heavily armed security guards patrolling the properties. It is not secret to anyone that the people who own those homes are connected with gangs, narco-trafficking, and/or corrupted government. Seeing such stark examples of elite/poor, greedy/humble, oppressor/oppressed I couldn’t help but think of Jesus’ words. I do feel some comfort knowing that some day Jesus will right all these wrongs and bring into the fullness of Kingdom, but I am also impatient and upset that people are suffering now. But I am also encouraged that Jesus invites me and you into God’s powerful mission of sharing God’s love and peace with all. My wise Grandmother used to tell me that if I don’t like something instead of whining and complaining I should do something constructive to help change it.

Blessings~ Pr. Erik

Christmas Candlelight

Advent and Christ’s Arrival

 

  Luke 21:25-36

25 “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. 26 People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

29 Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; 30 as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. 31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

34 “Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, 35 like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Blessed Advent everyone!

The future coming of Jesus Christ with glory and majesty is a big part of this weeks reading. We are at the first Sunday of the liturgical year, but our reading today builds upon and continues themes from previous weeks. Recently, we observed All Saints Day which focused on drawing all people, with special recognition of those who have recently passed away, into the body of the resurrected and ascended Christ. Promises made by God and promises kept by God are themes to diligently remember. We’ve also been talking about Apocalyptic texts which reassures the promises that God has made to God’s people in spite of the tragedy and oppression that the community faces. Last week was Christ the King Sunday which centers on one of Christ’s roles/offices which is King. Themes of Christ’s kingship extend into Advent, Christmas and Epiphany.

Sunday’s gospel reading is located near the end of Luke’s gospel. Jesus tells his followers to be alert because redemption is drawing near are also words that we (people living in 2018) should also take to heart. Paying attention and being alert to the needs of our neighbors are super important. Being alert to what and where God is calling us to live our lives is our purpose. In short, Advent is a time to prepare for Christ’s arrival, and we prepare not by simply waiting, but by actively engaging in the world that God love so much.

With faith, hope, and love~ Pastor Erik

 

Rooted in Faith + Growing in Christ + Reaching to Serve

 

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Teller-Brevig Luncheon

What a beautiful Sunday! At worship we challenged Pr. David with the Mystery Box. Then we all enjoyed a great luncheon in the fellowship hall and celebrated our mission partners in Teller and Brevig in Alaska! Together we raised more than $1,400 for Teller-Brevig! Click here to see more pictures.

Thank you to the Missions Team and all the volunteers for planning and hosting such a wonderful event!

phebe hospital

PV for Phebe


This week at worship we celebrated “Solar Sunday” in collaboration with the Women of the ELCA and churches across the country. It was a wonderful service about light and mission. We raised funds to install solar panels at Phebe Hospital in Liberia.

In 2012, 17 members of the Women of the ELCA traveled to Liberia to visit and learn about the bold women who mobilized to end a civil war. The group visited Phebe Hospital, which was co-founded by the Lutheran Church in 1921 and is powered solely by diesel generators. Phebe faces the very real challenge of daily blackouts due to generator failure and fuel disruption. There is one natural solution: solar.

WELCA and RREAL (Rural Renewable Energy Alliance) have partnered to construct a solar array for Phebe. This sustainable, long-term solution would free up over $250,000 annually to fight illnesses like malaria and Ebola.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the campaign on Sunday! Click here if you would like to make a donation online: https://givemn.org/project/Solar-Panels-For-Phebe-Hospital. And if you would like to learn more about Liberia, join us Wednesday, August 5 in the Fireside Room at church from 5-6:15pm for a screening of the award-winning documentary, “Pray the Devil Back to Hell”. (http://praythedevilbacktohell.com/) We hope you’ll join us!