In the Sanctuary at 8:30AM and 11AM -
a blended service of traditional and contemporary elements with communion

In the hall at 9:45AM
scripture, prayer, and creative response with communion

Worship each Sunday @ 8:30AM, 9:45AM, and 11AM

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Our Many Gendered God

This week at Trinity Lutheran, we'll be thinking about issues of gender and the ways we still need to transform our society.  I've b...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

REFORMATION 2008 Jeremiah 21:31-34
OCTOBER 26, 2008
It is amazing what we do with the Bible.
A lively debate once ensured during an adult Bible Study class, this must have been fifteen or sixteen years ago, back in my navy days, over little read books of the Bible. One of the people around the table was a woman, older, who prided herself in her knowledge of the Bible. She liked to argue about Scripture and most people just gave up and let her win discussions because, well, she just knew more than them so she must be right. I have no memory of how we got on the topic of little read books of the Bible – but there it was.

“Jude,” I offered as my contribution. She looked at me like I had two heads. “Jude? There is no such book as Jude. You don’t know what you are talking about,” she said to me. I think that she offered Numbers as the definitive answer. Nobody reads Numbers…there are too many numbers in it.” End of discussion, if I could only let it go. “I like Jude,” I said. Only twenty five verses, long sitting towards the end of the New Testament, there Jude waits for us to discover it. Of course, none of us were concerned at the time with what might actually be contained in these least read books. It was just an exercise in trivia.

As a child in Sunday school back in the 70’s, the teachers would put charts up on the walls with our names on them. Each week we had the opportunity to earn a gold star for memorizing the Scripture passage for that week. Nothing was better than having a long row of gold stars after your name for all the world to see and earning the praise of your teacher, all of whom seemed to know the Bible like the back of their hand. Today, this may seem a quaint, if busy, activity. In school children memorize facts for a test and dump them out for the next. Quick the capitals of Europe. Next week, the mountain ranges of South America then the weather patterns in Asia. We memorize and dump, memorize and dump. Admit, sometimes it seemed like our heads were going to explode. Exports, imports, major river systems, the dynasties of China. My head just can’t hold another thing! Arrrrg!

I suggest that there is a difference between what we memorized in Sunday school and what we learned in history or math or even biology and chemistry for that matter. The argument isn’t that one set of words is more important than another set of words, but rather something else altogether. As kids we may have thought that those gold starts looked pretty darn good, but that was a first step, the equipping with a tool, getting us into Scripture by memorizing it, rather than allowing us a free pass on opening the word of God for the rest of our lives once our line of Gold stars was complete. There are many different tools to get us intro Scripture, but why bother?

Why bother, indeed.
OK: Quick quiz. How many of you think reading the Bible is important for you personally. An important thing that you should be doing in your life right now.
Pretty much all of us, right? But why?

Our first reading today introduces us to the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah. Now, Jeremiah is speaking to a people is serious crisis. Most of us remember King David, right? And he had a son Solomon, famous for his wisdom, for his many many wives, for having the first temple in Jerusalem built, for his riches and so on. Well, Solomon dies and chaos ensures. The Kingdom of Israel that David had built and Solomon had expanded to its greatest heights as a political and economic power ended up splitting into two parts, two kingdoms, the northern and the southern. In time, the Northern Kingdom gets invaded by Assyria and its towns and cities either destroyed or populated by other people from other nations. The people of the Northern Kingdom are scattered throughout the Assyrian Empire. There is no home to go home to – no nation left to put back together. It is a crisis with a capital “C” with no bailout, no strategy to fix it, not even the possibility of a strategy in play. The Northern Kingdom of Israel is no more. And into this crisis of unbearable magnitude Jeremiah speaks:
The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt — a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the LORD. 33But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, "Know the LORD," for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

Jeremiah speaks of an impossible hope made possible because God continues to promise to be in relationship with God’s people. God’s law would be written on their hearts – no longer would they have to tell one another to know the Lord – they would know the Lord.

Anyone here ever drilled? Not with power tools, but with your own two feet with out on a hot parade field in the summer? My freshman year at the Naval Academy we drilled and drilled until those teaching us were convinced that we wouldn’t embarrass ourselves when our parents showed up for parents weekend. Summers in Annapolis are hot and humid and we would sweat until our undershirts clung sticky to our bodies and we could feel the sweat ripping like a leaky faucet down our necks. Once drill was over we would race to the sink and fill our water glasses over and over again until you could hear the water sloshing around in our stomachs. It wasn’t cold, but it did the job – it took care of our thirst – a means to an end. We thirst, you and I, we thirst for God, to know God, to be God’s people - and God longs to be in relationship with us. Not to just fill our bellies - not to merely satisfy us - not to be a means to an end. No, that’s too small thinking.

How God wants to know us - the sense of knowing in our Jeremiah text today carries with a sense of deepest intimacy. It is not about knowing like we once knew the names of the rivers in Europe or even how we once may have known the 65 books of the Bible in order, of course, or could recite the 23rd Psalm by heart. It is the knowing of a loving God who came to us in the flesh, born of Mary, to live and suffer and die for us on the cross. Through and in whom grace was poured out to blot away our sins and reconcile us back to God.

Where do we discover that loving God? The primary means, the living fountain from which we drink our fill until we thirst no more, is Holy Scripture: The word, that through the power of the Holy Spirit may be written in our hearts and fill our very being with its promise, its hope, its joy, its challenge, its forgiveness, its grace. It is one thing to say that we own a Bible or have read a Bible (good book, interesting plot, drags at times) and it is another thing altogether to say that we have refreshed ourselves from its water, that we have been met by God there and walked with God and felt God’s love enwrap us, guide us, comfort us and give us strength. As a Book of Faith congregation we will be providing you with many opportunities to re-acquaint you with God’s holy word and invite you ever deeper into relationship with God through it. God wants to be your God. God wants you to know him, not know of him, but know him. Not the trivia, but the love, not a feeling, but a man, not just a man, but Jesus, The question is, do you know how thirsty you are?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

(1) COVENANTING (during Worship) - We will covenant to intentionally grow together in our use and familiarity with the Bible at worship and in our life joining thousands of congregations as part of the ELCA’s Book of Faith Initiative.

(2) Our Hand Chimes will be blessing us during our second service prelude

(3) A Reformation Puppet Tale (with free popcorn!) during Intergenerational Sunday School (IGSS – 9:30AM) along with some cool activities will remind us of Luther's life including his translating of the Bible into the common tongue of the people so that everyone could engage God's Word in their life more fully.

(4) At 12:15 we will have some pizza ($1 slice) and jump right in to a brief presentation about the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith initiative

(5) Take a short survey to help us shape our participation in the Book of Faith Initiative.

(6) You will also have an opportunity to be among the first to sign up for a three week second service coffee hour Bible Study led by Pastor Keith on "Re-Discovering the Book of Faith." This Bible Study will take place at 12:15PM on NOV 2, 9, and 16.

(7) You will also have the opportunity to reserve a copy of the new "Lutheran Study Bible" - for $17.50 softcover or $22.50 for Hard Cover, a 35% discount with free shipping as long as we place an order for 10 from the congregation as a whole. After December 31st the price charged by Augsburg Fortress publishing goes up to $24.99 and $34.99, respectively.

(8) Free copies of The Lutheran Magazine's special issue on Lutheran 101 given away while supplies last - everything you wanted to know about the basics of what Lutheran's believe. If you like the magazine we will be taking orders for a one year subscription at a tremendous discount.

(9) The Annual Augsburg Fortress (Our Lutheran Publishing House) Christmas and Lutheran Book Sale will be set up in the Fellowship Hall (we get a free copy of each book for Trinity’s library AND all profits will benefit our Justice Ministry Network.

(10) And if this isn't enough, a few loaves of Pastor's homemade bread will be randomly given away to a few lucky attendees! What a deal!

PS - One thing NOT on the top ten list are my soon to be surgery scars. Pastor will not be showing these off - I am told that they will be too small to see any way! Should be home same day (Monday October 19th) and taking it easy for a couple of days.

Friday, October 17, 2008

SUNDAY OCTOBER 19, 2008 8AM and 10:45AM

Romans 8:31-37
What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written,"For your sake we are being killed all day long;we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered."No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

We step away from the regular three year lectionary readings this Sunday for our annual healing liturgy in commemoration of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Our fifth by my count.
Our second reading this Sunday, comes from Paul’s Letter to the Romans.

The phone rings and mom’s voice is strained.
It had been a week of waiting. A week for me anyway. Longer for her.
What exactly goes through a woman’s mind when she finds a lump in her breast; her private thoughts; her private fears, her concerns. What fills her waking moments during those hours, days and nights? This I do not know. Mom had lived with the lump for weeks. Then the doctor’s appointment. Then the tests and biopsies. Then the waiting. The painful, long waiting. On a Monday morning nearly two years ago the phone rang. Mom straining to speak; confiding, confessing, revealing. The word “cancer” comes out. In strength and weakness. In tears and concern.

What then shall we say to these things?

No trace of it in the family, not a smoker, mom.
Snuck into a lymph node, just one. Tilting the percentages just a bit, which can seem stark when the issue is a person’s life. My mother’s life.
I’m her rock she tells me. Her son. The pastor. She asks for prayer.
Have you ever prayed over the phone for your mother who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer?

I can’t imagine that fraternity is large, but, I could easily be mistaken.
Shift modes, change hats, son, pastor, rock.
What then shall we say to these things?
Successful surgery, recovery, pineapple drains stay in far too long, stitches and dressings. Dad becomes a cook, a nurse, a companion along the way. I learn big words and research chemotherapy combinations. Infusions come and go and blood counts fall. Fainting spells and new medication costing ten times our monthly car payment enter the picture. Thank God for insurance. They approve. Counts come up, but other issues arrive. Off the medicine. Counts go down.. Infusions continue. Months pass. Good days and bad days and tough days and sad days.

What then shall we say to these things?

Then it is done. Hair still in place. Port removed. Reconstruction on the horizon. Tests clear. And now another year in the can. Scans clear again.
What then shall we say to these things?

Well, as a son, pastor and rock I imagine that I should have a lot to say.

Paul says that we are more than conquerors who him who loved us. Loved us enough to take on the same frail flesh. The flesh of lumps and biopsies and scars. Marked by ports and blood test pricks and IV’s. The same flesh that feels the pain, that remembers long after. We are more than conquerors. Not just victors. Not just triumphant. No we are more.

We are more.

We are more because Christ’s love for us knows no limits, no boundaries.
Christ himself crossed the boundary into death. Destroyed the power of death for you and for me.
Did so in order that whether we live or whether we die we are the Lord’s. Safe in his love, his peace, his strength, his embrace.
We are the Lord’s.

When I was a kid, I thought that my mother was indestructible. Oh, I am sure that she got sick from time to time, but I took no notice. Nothing slowed her down, nothing crushed her spirit. And I am sure that many nights she took her concerns for my and for my sisters to God in prayer. She cooked, she cleaned, she folded clothes like nobody’s business. And she still does, though we wish that she would slow down a bit and sometimes her body makes her take a breather. Two years have passed since the phone rang and the woman who once prayed for me and likely still does, asked me to return the favor; her son, the pastor, her rock.

We think rocks are strong. But they crack and splinter. They wear and turn to dust in time. Big rocks become smaller ones and then turn to dust. And so it would always be except that God could not stand for us to be dust again.
37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

We are not dust, but through Christ we are more than conquerors. We are children of God and inheritors of God’s Kingdom. We who were no people, have become God’s people. And God will not suffer to let us go. And in that love is a strength that knows no bounds. No limits. A strength in which we now share. A strength through which we now live triumphant even in the most difficult times.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Thoughts on this Sunday's Sermon
From the First Lesson: Isaiah 25:1–9
O LORD, you are my God;I will exalt you, I will praise your name;for you have done wonderful things,plans formed of old, faithful and sure.2For you have made the city a heap,the fortified city a ruin;the palace of aliens is a city no more,it will never be rebuilt.3Therefore strong peoples will glorify you;cities of ruthless nations will fear you.4For you have been a refuge to the poor,a refuge to the needy in their distress,a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat.When the blast of the ruthless was like a winter rainstorm,5the noise of aliens like heat in a dry place,you subdued the heat with the shade of clouds;the song of the ruthless was stilled.
Three strips of bacon once taught me an important life lesson.
Not thick sliced bacon nirvana or sprinkled with brown sugar and cracked pepper and slowly cooked in an oven, no. Just your run-of-the-mill breakfast special at any motel with a bed and a breakfast promise. Three measly slices. Austere even..
Our family had saved box tops and earned enough points to trade them in for rail tickets so that we could visit Washington, DC for our summer vacation. The place where we stayed offered breakfast and I remember asking for an extra order of bacon – I loved bacon and as a growing teenage boy I couldn’t get enough of it. $1.70 was too much of an impact on our budget, so I had to settle for the special. No extra bacon for me. Dad was firm on that. I resented it. Thirty years later I can remember that breakfast.
I thought we were poor, but I was wrong.
I remember Christmas not too many years later. I wanted a camera to replace my old 126 pocket camera – you remember – the one with the flip-flash. So I asked for a 35 millimeter single lens reflex. A real camera. A cool camera. One that the other kids could see and think that I wasn’t some poor dork. Well, Christmas arrived and when I unwrapped the last box there sat a Polaroid instamatic. Big and boxy and noisy and definitely to my teenage thinking not cool. Just another thing for the kids to point at and make fun of me. My face must have said it all. It broke my mom’s heart. I fled the room, pajamas and all, trading the warm fire for the freezing temperatures of our porch to weep alone. Single handedly I had ruined Christmas for our entire extended family. You don’t forget those things, either.
I thought we were poor, but I was wrong.
We collected milk jug caps and traded them for baseball tickets and grew our own vegetables, lettuce and green pepper and radishes and green beans and tomatoes and more. And we all worked when we were old enough – flipping burgers and delivering papers and babysitting.
We couldn’t afford $1.70 for extra bacon, but we were not poor.
I got to eat breakfast as I did every day. Captain Crunch and Cheerios and every sugared cereal imaginable and toast with butter and cinnamon and lots of other good stuff – eggs and bacon and pancakes and waffles.
That $1.70 is almost twice as much as 1.2 billion people live on for an entire day in this world of ours. That’s “B” as in billion. The cows in Europe receive over $2 a day in subsidies. Dare I even ask if a cow is worth as much as two human beings?

Every day, 800 million people go to bed hungry. Every day, 28,000 children die from poverty related causes.

That’s the world. What about here in this country. Well three years ago 35.5 million people—including 12.6 million children—lived in households that experience hunger or the risk of hunger. At the time, this represented more than one in ten households in the United States. Imagine what this figure is today. This week. Today. All folks have to do is to volunteer at our food pantry to understand how the dangers of hunger are rising in our local community.

Two years ago, the U.S. Conference of Mayors reported that requests for emergency food assistance increased an average of 7 percent. The study also found that 48 percent of those requesting emergency food assistance were members of families with children and that 37 percent of adults requesting such assistance were employed. Unemployment, high housing costs, poverty or lack of income, and high medical costs led the list of reasons contributing to the rise.

Almost half the cities surveyed in the Mayors' report (45 percent) said they are not able to provide an adequate quantity of food to those in need. And 63 percent of surveyed cities reported they had to decrease the quantity of food provided and/or the number of times people can come to get food assistance. An average of 23 percent of the demand for emergency food assistance is estimated to have gone unmet in the survey cities, up from 18 percent the year before. I shudder to think what these figures are today, now that the housing bubble has burst and the economy is the fastest roller coaster ride around.

In our first lesson Isaiah reminds us that God is not blind to the injustice of poverty. That God is not deaf to the pains of hunger. That God is not impotent with respect to the problems that seem to overwhelm the wisest and most powerful people on the planet.

“God has done wonderful things,” Isaiah declares.
Not God did wonderful things once or used to do wonderful things (but is finished now and they have no bearing on the present) or might do wonderful things sometime. God has done wonderful things and is doing wonderful things. Plans formed of old are coming to fruition. The past is manifesting into the present. What plans? Plans for the powerless and poor, the broken and forgotten. Plans for the suffering without a voice. Plans for the hungry and the forgotten. The nameless.

Cloaked in our own fear of the future and perhaps even an uncertain present we run the dangers of circling the wagons, of navel gazing, of forgetting whose we are.

O LORD, you are my God;I will exalt you, I will praise your name;for you have done wonderful things.

Try praying that while watching CNN this week or CNBC or MSNBC.
The elevator that is the Dow Jones Industrial Average has discovered some floors that it hasn’t seen in five years. Banks are throwing up their hands. We don’t want to praise God. We don’t want to remember the poor. We want to know that our retirement isn’t going to go up in smoke or that we are not going to go from serving at the food pantry to surviving on it ourselves.

I have spent time in my adult married life leaning on a food pantry to get by, of being qualified for and using WIC (Women, Infant and Children) coupons to help feed our family. Been there done that. And fear of that can certainly drive us to forget whose we are.

That the plans of old have come to fruition in Christ Jesus. That the Kingdom of God has broken in to this world. That God’s call to us to proclaim and live into the reality of the Kingdom sounds even louder in times of fear and uncertainty because that call is the one true thing that you and I have . Our only real possession. One promise not subject to the whims of economic indicators.

Our response is faith and to be faithful.
To exalt the God who called us into being and ransomed us from our sin.
To declare the wonderful things that God has done.
To outshout the fear.
To overwhelm the uncertainty.

To serve the poor more diligently, more lovingly, with greater enthusiasm.
To live our God’s call to justice in imitation of Christ Jesus.
To not weep over $1.70 worth of bacon, while there are hungrier ones to feed.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Our off-load was blessed with an hour of torrential rain to keep us cool - the Herald departed before things got real bad - protect the cameras and all that - they hung out with us for two hours - keep your eye out for a photo spread in the next few days in the local section.

The Patch is in full swing. It is amazing how many non-Trinity families from the neighborhood stop by with their kids, take pictures, buy a pumpkin or two and chat. How the Spirit uses something as simple as a vegetable (for you science buffs, a fruit) to bring us together and give us the opportunity to practice hospitality!

Speaking of pumpkins - buy yours soon - they are in fine shape with lots of choices for now. There is no guarantee that we will be re-supplied later on. This SAT from noon to 4PM is our "Fall Festival" with crafts, food, face painting, story time and much more. Please join us!

Want to volunteer at the PATCH and meet some new friends?
Kathy Velelz needs some help this coming week:
MON 10/13 6:00-7:30PM
TUE 10/14 1:00-4:00PM
WED 10/15 1:00-4:00PM 6:00-7:30PM
THU 10/16 10:00-1:00PM 1:00-4:00PM
FRI 10/171 0:00-1:00PM 1:00-4:00PM
Anyone that could give any time can e-mail Kathy directly and she will make sure that you get added to the list.

Some folks have these emergencies when we as their brothers and sisters in community together can give them a boost. In such a thought, the Helping Hands Fund was born. We can't do everything, but we can jump in when we can do the most good with the resources at hand.
We will be raising some funds for this fund on SUNDAY OCT 19th (note date change) with a car wash and luncheon. Special envelopes will also be in the bulletin that day for those who desire to support this fund in that way. The Gearharts will be leading the wash cycle (and they need some volunteers!) and Earline will be heading up lunch (and she always appreciates help as well).

Please note: copies of the Talent Show DVD are available in the narthex with a suggested donation with all proceeds benefiting this fund as well. See Pastor and Piper as Sonny and Cher. Hear the wedding song that Janean wrote for Jeff. See a dog showing off the latest trick that he taught her master and a historic figure proclaiming liberty and Frank tell a thousand jokes give or take and Marge singing about growing old and Marilyn and her guitar playing friend Kevin do some country and so much more!

ELCA National Youth Gathering
Every three years, the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) has its National Youth Gathering for youth in grades 8 through 12.
JULY 2009 will be the next event and it will be a service-focused event in New Orleans from JULY 22-26.

There the youth will meet up with some 35,000 other ELCA youth and work with them in pre-arranged and supervised service projects throughout the city along with their chaperones (which will include me and likely others from Trinity)
The evenings will be filled with exciting worship, Bible study and group events.

This is both a once in a life-time and life changing event.

Non ELCA friends can attend as long as the proper forms are completed and they agree to the behavior covenant that all must agree to.
The cost for registration, hotel and transportation is without scholarships around $700. This doesn't include food and spending money.
HOWEVER, we will substantially reduce this cost off the bat with scholarships and allow for several fundraising opportunities before the event.

Every youth who wants to go will be able to go despite any financial hardship. Period.
It is that important.

It is also very important that if you have any interest that you contact me by FRI OCT 17th so that we can get registered before the event fills up. Over 30,000 youth are already registered.
ON SUNDAY OCT 19th those interested will meet right after church to discuss the trip and answer questions.

More info can be found at http://archive.elca.org/youth/gathering.html

Or you can fire away with questions for me.

Labyrinth Meeting This Sunday
Following second service during coffee hour.
On the agenda - signage and brochures and all weather brochure holder, our first ever All Saints Day Night-time Candle lighted Prayer Walk, Advent candle lighted Prayer Walks and more. Please join us!

The Problems Assembly is almost here!
Please join the cadre of folks from Trinity on THURSDAY Evening OCT 16th as we choose the new issue to add to last year's (affordable rental housing and dental care for those in need). Car pools can be arranged. Come out and hear about the victories, the progress, the challenges ahead. Contact Janean Baumal janeanlb@hotmail.com for more information.

Help Us Feed the Hungry
We have offered to visit First Lutheran church, FT Lauderdale, on WED NOV 19th to assist in their ministry of providing dinner for the hungry of their community, a ministry that they have shouldered by themselves for many years. We would depart Trinity at 5PM Sharp (car pools available) and return to Trinity around 8:15PM. We need folks willing to help prepare dinner and to help serve. Typically 40-50 people are served. Youth are especially invited to assist in this important ministry. The evening ends with some discussion and a brief worship service. Sign up on your worship slip. Contact Ro Mileto or Pastor Keith if you have any questions.

Since some of you asked...I will be going in for gall bladder surgery on Monday October 20th - should be one day in and out - so I won't be available that day - Ron and Janean can more than aptly handle any needs. (Remember SAM will be gone out of the office on vacation through Reformation Sunday.) Hopefully, this surgery will result in a few less pained expressions and the discomfort that produces them and prevent a re-occurrence of the attack that sent me to the ER this past summer. But much more importantly Dad is going in for another heart cath this coming week so please keep him in your prayers as well.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Pumpkins are Coming!
(and other good stuff)

Pumpkin Patch
Over 1,000 pumpkins and various minis, spookies, gourds, and Indian corn will be arriving by truck SATURDAY October 4th at 3PM (note time change).

Please join us for the off-load - many hands needed. Reasonably priced pumpkins of all shapes and sizes will be for sale while supplies last or through OCT 31st. Shifts to work the patch are still available by contacting Kathy Velez. Our "Fall Festival" is set for Saturday October 11th from noon to 4PM with pumpkin carving, food, crafts, face painting, bake sale, and much more!

A sign up list to volunteer and donate food for the event will go around this Sunday.
We'll need hotdogs, buns, small bags of chips, Polish Sausage, small cans of soda (dropped off by THURSDAY Oct 9th) and Baked Goods (dropped off by SAT OCT 11th at 11AM).

Parsonage Open House
Please stop by this Sunday between 12:30PM and 2PM for some cake and other goodies and an opportunity to see what your contributions and efforts have brought forth in this past summer's parsonage renovations. At 1PM we will host a house blessing at the parsonage as well. Maps will be available at worship, but it is just around the corner from the church at 7120 SW 2nd CT.

Giving Statements
Third quarter giving statements along with an important letter from our council president, Ron McCoy, updating everyone on our current financial picture, will be in the mail this week. Given the national picture constantly in the news, your generosity continues to be uplifting. Not wanting to steal any of Ron's message, while our income does not meet our expenses, we are in much better shape then we thought we would be when we passed the budget. Balancing the budget is still clearly in our sights and just a small stretch.

Helping Hands
A new "helping hands" fund is taking shape which will exist to help out families in crisis as resources allow with needs and requests being evaluated by a small team. For now, these emergency needs should be funnelled through Pastor Keith. Privacy, will be important, of course. A car wash, luncheon and bake sale will help raise some of those funds and is scheduled for Sunday October 12th. Sign up Sunday to be a part of our "Wash Gang" or just contact SAM in the office (954) 989-1903.

Operation Christmas Child
Nancy Berger, Jeanne Myers and Rhonda Roberts will be coordinating this year's Operation Christmas Child gift box program. Last year was a record for us - over 45 boxes, I believe - this year IGSS will have a special presentation on OCT 19th as well as the congregation (during each service). Keep your eyes on the bulletin and this blog for more info or just ask one of the coordinators.

Christmas Eve Program
"Dance of the Night Wind" will be our 7:30PM Christmas Eve program. Lots of parts. Lots of singing, dancing, drama, and most of all the Good News of Jesus shining through it all! A parts list and copies of the script were emailed out to folks we had on our list from last year - if you were missed, please email Pastor Keith or ask for a copy at IGSS. Parts will be announced on OCT 17th at IGSS. Adults are needed, especialy in the costume department and to help out with rehearsals. Please let Pastor Keith know if you want to lend a hand in the production.

Service in Commemoration of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Sunday October 19, 2008
Pink ribbons and balloons are symbols, but the heart of the matter is the faith that enables those affected by this disease to find the strength they need. We will light candles in memory of those affected, have an information table in the narthex, hear a faith story from someone whose life has been impacted by this disease, and participate in a service of healing for everyone. Please invite those whom you believe would benefit from this impactful service!

REFORMATION SUNDAY + Our 48th Anniversary =

Ok, it will be pizza and soda instead of steak, but our focus will be on moving forward as a Book of Faith congregation, so it will be about God's Word, not our gastronomic happiness.

So, what's in store? Well, special stuff begins during worship when will covenant together to become a Book of Faith Congregation (to intentionally grow together in our use and familiarity with the Bible at worship and in our life). A Reformation Puppet Tale during Intergenerational Sunday School (IGSS) along with some cool activities will remind us of Luther's life including his translating of the Bible into the common tongue of the people so that everyone could engage God's Word in their life more fully. At 12:15 we will have some pizza and jump right in to a brief presentation about the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith initiative and take a brief survey top help us shape our participation. You will also have an opportunity to be among the first to sign up for a three week second service coffee hour Bible Study led by Pastor Keith on "Re-Discovering the Book of Faith." This Bible Study will take place at 12:15PM on NOV 2, 9, and 16. You will also have the opportunity to reserve a copy of the new "Lutheran Study Bible" - for $17.50 softcover or $22.50, a 35% discount with free shipping as long as we place an order for 10 from the congregation as a whole. After December 31st the price charged by Augsburg Fortress publishing goes up to $24.99 and $34.99, respectively. Free copies of The Lutheran Magazine's special issue on Lutheran 101, everything you wanted to know about the basics of what Lutheran's believe, will be handed out to everyone who attends and if you like the magazine we will be taking orders for a one year subscription for only $7.95 - half off the cover price. And if this isn't enough, a few loaves of Pastor's homemade bread will be randomly given away to a few lucky attendees! What a deal!

All Saints Cantata
Rehearsals continue and we need you!
Our cantata singers continue to grow, but now is the time to grab a listening CD and let Barbara Gilson know that you want to add your voice to the growing throng. The cantata will be sung on Sunday, November 2nd at 10:45AM. This is also the Sunday to bring in a picture or memento of a loved one to honor them at our All Saints display table.

Ever in Christ
Pastor Keith
Talent Show 2008 Photos
(left) Frank and Marge still making us laugh as they celebrate 61 years of wedded bliss.

(below) Elizabeth gives us the option of liberty or death. Crowd unanimously chooses the former.

(Right) Small dog shows off latest trick:
Logan counts to "one"

(Below) Kayla belts one out to the adoring crowd

Marilyn and Kevin: sing a duet worthy of a Grammy! (Right)
Lisa cooks with attitude (below)
Lyn: Our evening's Poet Laureate! (Second below)