The Association of Downtown Lutheran Churches

The Association of Downtown Lutheran Churches

Archive for June, 2008

Downtown: Issue #2 – June, 2008

Posted by admin on June 30, 2008

Downtown
A Quarterly Publication of The Association of Downtown Lutheran Churches
c/o Historic First Lutheran Church, 808 N. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena, CA 91104

DowntownChurches@aol.com
Issue #2 – June, 2008

IN THIS ISSUE:

  1. WELCOME
  2. A LIL’ HISTORY
  3. ADLC IS ALL-INCLUSIVE!
  4. EXCITING NEWS!
  5. DEDICATORY THANKS
  6. REQUEST FOR FUTURE DEDICATIONS
  7. FINE!  DON’T TAKE MY WORK FOR IT!
  8. QUESTIONS ASKED AND CHALLENGES NOTED
  9. CHRISTUS PRIMUS AWARD
  10. SAVE A TREE AND A STAMP
  11. THANKS FOR THE CONTRIBUTIONS
  12. GIFTS APPRECIATED
  13. “DOWNTOWN” SCHEDULE
  14. CLOSING

WELCOME!

A warm welcome to this issue of “Downtown,” a quarterly newsletter full of interchange and exchange between downtown Lutheran churches across our great country!  As your editor, it’s my hope you’ll find this a helpful, powerful resource to further equip and empower your ministry in the great downtown.  As your editor, I can only accomplish that goal when you respond to the content of this newsletter and feed me information about what’s going on with your own particular ministry. Responses, comments, constructive criticisms, etc. can be directed to DowntownChurches@aol.com .


A  LIL’  HISTORY

The Association of Downtown Lutheran Churches was founded in 1996 under the auspices of The Department of Evangelism of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, an outgrowth of the great vision of Dr. David Eberhard at Historic Trinity, Detroit.   The belief of those involved in the start of this organization was that our cities were great, often untapped, often ignored mission fields.  It was also clear that many “downtown” churches were uniquely different from other “urban” ministries. Hence the separate organization.


ADLC IS ALL-INCLUSIVE!

Permit me the opportunity to clarify the scope of The Association of Downtown Lutheran Churches since some of you raised the issue following the receipt of our inaugural issue in January.  While the origination of the Association was under the auspices of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, it has never been the intent of the ADLC to be denominational specific or to promote “party politics.”  In fact, our first conference in October, 1996, involved participants and speakers from The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Episcopal Church.

Since the “re-invention” of the ADLC under the interest of Wheat Ridge Ministries, a concerted effort has been made to identify and involve our brothers and sisters in The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as a way of cross-pollinating and enhancing our network.  Each newsletter is now mailed to 330 downtown churches across our great country, as well as the District Presidents of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, the Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Presiding Bishops of both the LCMS and ELCA.


EXCITING  NEWS!

The Association of Downtown Lutheran Churches has been “adopted” by the Center for U.S. Missions (C4USM) in Irvine, California.

This new association will lend the ADLC additional credibility and visibility and allow it to use the C4USM’s electronic distribution lists for its quarterly newsletter.  In addition, the dream of reviving regular gatherings of downtown churches across the country will become a reality.  The C4USM is very interested in further expanding the cross-denominational reach of the ADLC.

Details are currently being worked out with Pastor Mike Ruhl (Exec. Director of the C4USM) and with other prominent downtown church leaders to define the mission statement of the ADLC and embark upon this new direction.  If you have suggestions as to what you feel the mission of the ADLC should be, please fire off an email to DowntownChurches@aol.com .

Thank God for this development!


DEDICATORY THANKS

You might remember that the January, 2008  inaugural issue of “Downtown” was dedicated in loving memory of The Reverend Dr. David V. Koch, who was granted the Crown of Eternal Life on 27 September 2007.   David’s widow, Ruth, sent the following note of thanks:

“Dear Chris,
How dear of you to dedicate the first issue of Downtown to David’s memory.  I am grateful for your remembering and he would have been delighted! He always considered himself a downtown person – and prayed for the peace of the city. Thank you for highlighting that part of his life and commitment.
God bless your new newsletter and your new year of grace.
Love, Ruth”


REQUEST  FOR  FUTURE  DEDICATIONS

If you have suggestions for future issues of “Downtown” to be dedicated to other great veterans of downtown ministry (clergy or lay, living or faithfully departed), please pass that information along to me at DowntownChurches@aol.com .


FINE!  DON’T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT!

Our inaugural issue celebrated the rebirth of many of our downtown areas with revitalization of all our downtown areas as a soon-approaching reality.

Perhaps you saw the article about the rebirth trends of downtowns and how congregations are catching onto those trends.  If you did not see the article, a copy that appeared in the Los Angeles Times is included in this mailing.  Make sure to check it out and celebrate what God is doing in our downtowns!


QUESTIONS ASKED AND CHALLENGES NOTED

In the days following our inaugural issue, many of you took the time to respond to many questions I asked.  In future issues, these questions and challenges will be addressed:

  • Developing “ownership.”
  • What is “spirituality” in a diverse community?
  • How do you do stewardship in a diverse community (maintaining healthy finances)?
  • Perceptions of a lack of safety in the community & security for staff and members.
  • Lack of support from colleagues.
  • Competition with other downtown “venues.”
  • Many in the civic community do not see the contributions made by the church or devalue them.
  • Evangelism to the downtown and marketing the downtown church (outreach ideas).
  • Overcoming the “mother church” attitude (the “stuffed shirt” syndrome and pride that prevents the downtown church from overcoming apathy).
  • Men’s ministry / women’s ministry / youth ministry.
  • Loss of Leadership.
  • Membership age of the congregation.
  • Dealing with those who want to go back to the past.
  • Dreaming new dreams.
  • Parking.
  • Long time members viewing themselves as owners of the buildings instead of being “disciple-making” people.
  • Maintaining facilities (including graffiti and trash).
  • Building and stabilizing families and communities.
  • Helping people understand (or care) that “Lutheran” is not a cult or antiquated term.
  • Bringing people to evening events.
  • Building a sense of unity and fellowship among diverse members, some of whom live at a distance.
  • The “clinical depression” of the community.

If you have found success with any of these challenges, PLEASE SHARE THEM with the rest of us!  Please email your successes to Downtownchurches@aol.com or use the enclosed response sheet.


CHRISTUS  PRIMUS  AWARD

Concordia University of Ann Arbor, Michigan awarded the Christus Primus Award to The Rev. Dr. David Eberhard, a former Detroit City Council member and the visionary behind the Association of Downtown Lutheran Churches, at their Spring Commencement on May 3, 2008.  The Rev. Dr. Thomas R. Ahlersmeyer, President of Concordia noted: “This award is given to recognize your many years of distinguished service to the Lord and His Church, especially the creative and courageous leadership you have provided as a churchman and statesman in the city, one of our church body’s most neglected mission fields and for your mission at Historic Trinity to develop a meaningful paradigm for downtown churches in America.”

Congratulations, Dr. Eberhard!


SAVE  A  TREE  AND  A  STAMP

If you would prefer to receive this newsletter and other important communications from the ADLC via e-mail in electronic form, please e-mail your request to Downtownchurches@aol.com .


THANKS  FOR  THE  CONTRIBUTIONS

This newsletter comes your way today thanks in part to monetary gifts made by The Rev. Dr. David Eberhard, by Pastor Christopher Schaar, and by St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Toledo, OH.


GIFTS  APPRECIATED

At this point, funds collected by the Association of Downtown Lutheran Churches are underwriting the cost of the printing and mailing of this newsletter.   At this particular time, each of these mailings cost about $300.00 to reach the nearly 450 on our mailing list.  If you have found this an insightful tool, gifts of any size would be appreciated to help defray the ongoing cost of this resource.  You may make checks payable to Historic First Lutheran and mail to 808 N. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena, CA 91104, designated for “Downtown.” Personal gifts will be receipted for tax purposes.  Individual and congregational donors will be acknowledged in future issues.


“DOWNTOWN” SCHEDULE

The plan for “Downtown” is that is will be a quarterly newsletter.  The plan is that an issue will be published the first month of each quarter.  As you can tell, this quarter didn’t work too well on that schedule, mainly due to the after-effects of Easter.  We hope the next issue, which will begin to tackle some of the questions and challenges printed on page 3, will be in the mail by the end of July.


CLOSING

In closing, my sisters and brothers in Christ, my wish for each of you is simple: KEEP PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST IN SEASON AND OUT OF SEASON FOR HE IT IS WHO IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.

As you preach Him, may He bless you in all ways, enabling you to continue to bless those around you!

Joined with you serving Christ and His people,

The Reverend Christopher Schaar
Editor
Senior Pastor, Historic First Lutheran, Pasadena, CA

About Me

    About

    Some details about you.

    Open "about_text.txt" file in the theme folder to edit this text.

Recent Comments