From the Pastor

Now that was holy! What a meaningful, delight-filled Holy Week. It was a pleasure to travel with you all through the wilderness of Lent into the sacred Triduum – the three day Passion of Christ.

*Maundy Thursday Sacred Meal

 

On Maundy Thursday, we gathered around beautiful tables of grace. We shared bread and scripture, wine and laughter. It was truly a delight to remember our sacred story, the story of our salvation, told by all the people gathered around the table. Thank you to all who were present, all who prepared food, and helped to bring this Sacred Meal to life

 

 

 

*Good Friday

Good Friday took a solemn turn. We gathered around the barren altar to pray, sing, read and linger in the hollowness of grief. We joined the ancient church in Solemn Reproach – hearing Jesus cry out, “O my people, O my church, what have I done to you? How have I offended you?” The same story of Salvation that we celebrated on MaundyThursday, became a reminder of our separation from God.

 

 

 

*Easter Sunday

 

Death does not have the final word! Sunday morning brought Good News of Resurrection and new life. We celebrate that we are an Easter people! In her book, The Three Day Feast, Gail Ramshaw expresses it like this, “Christians keep Easter in a big way because the death and resurrection of Christ keeps us.” Yes indeed! We celebrated this Good News with doughnuts and candy-filled eggs and each-other.

 

 

Thank you for this holy week. Experiences like this make me even more grateful for the time we have shared. Our family is grateful for all the ways you have shared the love of Christ with us. As my call with Celebration comes to a close, I look forward to sharing even more meaningful moments with you all. And I am sure, in the month to come, we will continue to join Mary Magdalene’s proclamation, “I have seen the Lord!”

Easter Blessings!

Pastor Jen

 

 

From the Pastor

Wafer and Wine

The story of our salvation is shared one sacred meal at a time. Gathered around tables of grace, we are fed and nourished by Jesus. Gathered around tables, the faith is passed from one generation to the next. Gathered around tables, strangers become neighbors. We eat simple food that becomes sacred. We hear simple stories that contain the divine.

Sacred meals are sprinkled throughout the Bible. Far from a feast, Adam and Eve’s relationship with God is transformed as they eat the fruit of the tree of good and evil. The Israelites eat manna in the wilderness as they dream of milk and honey in the Promise Land. Exodus 12 outlines the feast of unleavened bread – the meal honoring the time the angel of death passed-over the homes of the Israelites. This Passover feast is the same meal Jesus asked his disciples to prepare in an upper room. There the Passover feast is transformed into a new covenant – a sacred meal of wine and bread, blood and flesh.

We remember Jesus’ Last Supper and the institution of Holy Communion each Maundy Thursday. This year, instead of Beer & Hymns, we’ll gather around common tables to feast on the story of our salvation. We’ll learn how our Jewish brothers and sisters mark the Passover with a Seder Meal.* Inspired by their faithful tradition, we’ll read scripture, share a common meal and expect Christ to be revealed in our midst.

So I invite you to enter the story of our salvation. I invite you to gather around tables of grace, to eat simple food that becomes sacred and to hear simple stories that contain the divine. In this, Christ will certainly be revealed.

Peace.

Pastor Jen

*Christian Theologians caution the faithful about reenacting Seder Meals. They worry at will not honor our Jewish brothers and sisters. Check out this article from Christianity Today or this article from the ELCA for more information.

From the Pastor

 

Luther Rose

 

From one celebration to the next! After marking our 10th Anniversary with generosity and joy, we look forward to marking the 500thAnniversary of the Reformation with grace and unity.

October 31, 2017 marks the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. On this day in 1517, Martin Luther proposed a conversation, 95 theses to be exact, around issues of repentance and the selling of indulgences in the Roman Catholic Church. This conversation turned into the Lutheran Christian tradition, a tradition steeped in grace and sacramental community.

Our community will celebrate the 500th Anniversary in a couple ways.

–        500 Years of God’s Grace in Action – A sermon series and worship focus for the month of October. Each Sundaywe’ll explore core theological concepts and grace in action through the Lutheran tradition.

–        Reformation Book Store – A mini-book store will open October 8 with an offering of Reformation-themed books from Augsburg Fortress.

–        Reformation Beer & Hymns – Our 4th Annual event will take place at Saint Arnold Brewing Co. on October 22. This year, Bishop Michael Rinehart will join our faithful band! Get your tickets today! All proceeds go to ELCA World Hunger.

–        Reformation 500 Prayer Service at the Co-Cathedral in downtown Houston, on the evening of October 25. We celebrate our shared history with the Roman Catholic Church. All our welcome!

–        Reformation Sunday! A celebratory worship on October 29. Wear red!

Let’s celebrate 500 years of God’s grace in action. And in doing this, we’ll likely catch another glimpse of God’s reforming work among us still today.

Peace.

Pastor Jen