The Association of Downtown Lutheran Churches

The Association of Downtown Lutheran Churches

Archive for May, 2013

Downtown Issue # 20 – May, 2013

Posted by admin on May 25, 2013

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 #20– May, 2013

IN THIS ISSUE:

  1. WELCOME!
  2. MISSION STATEMENT
  3. NEWSLETTERS ARE STILL BEING SOUGHT
  4. IN LOVING MEMORY
  5. SPOTLIGHT ON ALBANY, NY
  6. SPOTLIGHT ON AKRON, OH
  7. FOCUS ON MEMPHIS, TN
  8. SPOTLIGHT ON TULSA, OK
  9. SPOTLIGHT ON SACRAMENTO, CA
  10. CLOSING

WELCOME!

A warm welcome to this issue of “Downtown,” a newsletter full of interchange and exchange between downtown Lutheran churches around our great world (yes, we have “international members” not just in the United States, but also in Canada and even Hungary!).  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 sent to DowntownChurches@aol.com .


MISSION STATEMENT

“The Association of Downtown Lutheran Churches celebrates the mission and ministry of the Lord through congregations in downtown neighborhoods, sharing and developing ideas and programs by communicating, networking and encouraging one another.”


NEWSLETTERS STILL BEING SOUGHT

If you’ve not yet added the Association to receive your weekly or monthly newsletters, won’t you please do so today?  It is guaranteed that every newsletter is indeed read!  If your congregation publishes a printed newsletter, would you please add us to your mailing list?  Please address them to Rev. Christopher Schaar, Historic First Lutheran, 808 N. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena, CA   91104-4317.  If your congregation publishes an electronic newsletter, would you please add us to your e-dis list?  Please send them to DowntownChurches@aol.com. If your e-news requires an email address to subscribe to receive your newsletter, please send notice of that fact to DowntownChurches@aol.com and we will subscribe.


IN LOVING MEMORY

This issue of “Downtown” is dedicated in loving memory of JulieAnn Hartburg and Jill Massey, two women who loved and supported ministry in the great downtown.

At age 56, JulieAnn Hartburg, wife of Pastor Mark Hartburg of Historic St. Paul’s Lutheran in downtown Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, went home to be with her Savior Jesus the day after Easter after a long battle against cancer.  She is survived by Pastor Mark and their daughters, Charissa and Kirsten.

At age 50, Jill Massey, wife of Pastor Steve Massey of St. Paul Lutheran in downtown Phoenix, AZ, went home to be with her Savior Jesus on 15 April after a sudden debilitating stroke.  She is survived by Pastor Steve and their son, Marco.

Christ is Risen!  He is Risen Indeed!  Hallelujah!


SPOTLIGHT ON ALBANY, NY

Like so many of our downtown churches, St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran in downtown Albany owns and operates a historic parish cemetery.  Their cemetery, though, is much more than just a repository for the physical remains of saints transferred to the Church Triumphant.

On Saturday 25 May, St. John’s will hold its Second Annual “Mass on the Grass.”  Worship will be held out-of-doors in St. John’s cemetery, followed by a picnic at the chapel.  What a unique idea!

A member of the ELCA, more information about St. John Evangelical Lutheran’s outreach to downtown Albany can be found at www.stjohnsalbany.org .


SPOTLIGHT ON AKRON, OH

The day before Ash Wednesday many public servants with uniforms went to the gym of Zion Lutheran in downtown Akron to receive a big “Thank You” in the form of a large variety of food.  Many smiling volunteers were present to offer thanks and encouragement along with the main dishes, salads, desserts and drinks that made up the fare for the day.

The Chief of Police, issuing words of thanks, commented “the Police Officers are reminded from time to time of the real kindness in the community and this is one fine example.”

A member of the LCMS, more information about Zion Lutheran’s outreach to downtown Akron can be found at www.ziononthehill.org .


SPOTLIGHT ON MEMPHIS, TN

Trinity Lutheran in downtown Memphis participated in “Prayer for the City” on Palm Sunday.  Members of all downtown churches were invited to walk together from their respective house of worship to City Hall for a brief service of prayer, with intercessions offered for all who love and serve the community and city.

A member of the LCMS, more information about Trinity Lutheran’s outreach to downtown Memphis can be found at www.trinitymemphis.org .


SPOTLIGHT ON TULSA, OK

So many churches today – including too many downtown churches – simply stand as monuments to what used to be, reminders of a time when the church was the center of a neighborhood and community.  So many downtown churches see people weekly travel into the city for one hour of worship, largely abandoning the church neighborhood the other 167 hours per week.

For several years now, Grace Lutheran in downtown Tulsa has been building “Bridges of Connectivity” with some of the disenfranchised of Tulsa by offering a weekly Bible study at the Yale Apartments and also by serving on the board of an organization called “Abba’s Family,” which is connected to the Mental Health Association of Tulsa.  Grace’s Upper Room and Thrivent are cooperating with these two organizations as well.  The primary goal is to reconnect people – most of whom are to various degrees mentally ill and formerly homeless – with society by helping them back into the church.  A survey has shown that 82% are interested in spiritual matters and most of them grew up Christian yet are afraid to return to the church because they feel like outcasts.

Grace is also working with these organizations to further reintegrate people into society by helping them secure part-time jobs, such as at Altamont Bakery.  These “societal outcasts” have learned to bake cookies so tasty and so popular that they are popping up all over Oklahoma and were recently requested as snacks at the National Governor’s Conference in Washington, D.C.

How is your church building “Bridges of Connectivity?”  We can all probably learn a lot from Grace Lutheran!

A member of the LCMS, more information about Grace Lutheran’s outreach to downtown Tulsa can be found at www.gracelutherantulsa.org .


SPOTLIGHT ON SACRAMENTO, CA

Many of our neighbors in downtown communities are artists who sometimes feel at odds with the perceived morals of “Christians.”  How do they get reached with the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ?
For 38 years now, St. John’s Art Festival is an open competitive art show, integrating faith and art in the life of the church.  This year’s competition, held in April, was themed “And It Was Good.”  Artists were invited to enter a piece in the show.  Art lovers were invited to attend.  Entry guidelines, show times and more information were posted on St. John’s website.
A member of the ELCA, more information about St. John’s Lutheran’s outreach to downtown Sacramento can be found at www.stjohnslc.org .


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 IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.  As you preach Jesus, 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

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