The Association of Downtown Lutheran Churches

The Association of Downtown Lutheran Churches

Archive for August, 2013

Downtown Issue # 21 – August, 2013

Posted by admin on August 16, 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 #21– August, 2013

IN THIS ISSUE:

  1. WELCOME!
  2. MISSION STATEMENT
  3. NEWSLETTERS ARE STILL BEING SOUGHT
  4. NEW ORLEANS GATHERING
  5. PASTORAL RETIREMENT
  6. WELCOME TO NEW MEMBERS
  7. 100th  BIRTHDAY CONGRATULATIONS
  8. SPOTLIGHT ON CHICAGO, IL
  9. SPOTLIGHT ON PITTSBURGH, PA
  10. SPOTLIGHT ON MEMPHIS, TN
  11. SPOTLIGHT ON MUSKOGEE, OK
  12. SPOTLIGHT ON TULSA, OK
  13. SPOTLIGHT ON PORTLAND, OR
  14. 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.


NEW ORLEANS GATHERING

We are still hopeful that the next Gathering of the Association of Downtown Lutheran Churches will be hosted at Grace Lutheran in downtown New Orleans soon after Easter, 2014!  The weekend initially  announced turns out to be the annual New Orleans Jazz Festival, meaning hotel rooms are at a high premium, both in terms of availability and pricing.  We hope to have alternate dates to announce soon!


PASTORAL RETIREMENT

The recent issue of “First Things” of First Lutheran (LCMS) in Long Beach, CA announced the retirement of Pastor Doug Johnstone sometime later this year.  Pastor Johnstone has enjoyed a wonderful 8-year ministry at First Lutheran and will be long remembered for his insistent  urging to be actively involved in the downtown Long Beach community.  Pastor Johnstone led the “Urban Hike” of downtown Los Angeles when the 5th Gathering of the ADLC met in Pasadena in April, 2011.  Prayers are requested for First Lutheran and for Pastor Johnstone and family..


WELCOME TO NEW MEMBERS

The Association of Downtown Lutheran Churches is proud to introduce and welcome the following new pastors to great downtown churches across the country:

The Reverend Brian A. Evans as 19th Senior Pastor of First English Lutheran (ELCA) in downtown Pittsburgh, PA.

The Reverend Amanda Zentz-Alo as Pastor of Central Lutheran (ELCA) in downtown Portland, OR.

The Reverend David Nevergall as Senior Pastor at Holy Trinity Lutheran (ELCA) in downtown Akron, OH.

We hope each of these new pastoral members will be a blessing to their congregations and that the ADLC will be a blessing to them!


100TH BIRTHDAY CONGRATULATIONS

God’s richest blessings are sent to The Rev. Dr. Clarence W. Knippa, Pastor Emeritus of Grace Evangelical Lutheran in downtown Tulsa as he celebrated his 100th Birthday on Saturday 17 August!

The Tulsa Historical Society states that Pastor Knippa has been at the center of many causes, such as improving race relations, preserving neighborhoods, addressing homelessness and creating understanding among people of different religions.  He is recognized by his peers as someone who offers sympathy but also always pushes forward for a solution to community problems.

Pastor Knippa, Happy Birthday!  And God’s richest blessings always!


SPOTLIGHT ON CHICAGO, IL

Many downtown churches at one time or another struggle with the pressure to cancel ministry programs due to a lack of volunteers (as downtown church members age) or due to a lack of finances to support such programs.

Historic St. Matthew’s Lutheran in downtown Chicago struggled with how to maintain an annual Vacation Bible School, seen as being a vital outreach in a community filled with children.  Like the man of Macedonia (Acts 16), Pastor Julio Loza issued the clarion call: “Come to Chicago’s Pilsen and help us.”  Pastor Matthew Troester and the members of St. Paul Lutheran in suburban Matteson heard and responded.

This summer, St. Paul Lutheran again provided about 25 volunteers and all the VBS material for students.  Historic St. Matthew’s dedicated workers aimed to recruit 250 students from the community.  The link between St. Paul’s and Historic St. Matthew’s is the common faith and love they share in Christ to help the poor, to touch their hearts with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to change lives and enhance faith in Christ.

A member of the LCMS, more information about Historic St. Matthew Lutheran’s outreach to downtown Chicago can be found at www.stmatthewchicago.org .


SPOTLIGHT ON PITTSBURGH, PA

Summer is the time to focus upon Vacation Bible School, so here’s yet another creative, unique approach to VBS in the great downtown.

For many years now, the Downtown Pittsburgh Ministerium has jointly sponsored an annual VBS.  This year’s theme was “Parables on Parade.”  In addition to the obligatory games, crafts, study and snacks, lunch is provided each day at one of the downtown churches and then every afternoon is spent exploring downtown Pittsburgh through excursions or service opportunities.  And there’s the standing promise for plenty of time to splash in the downtown fountains.

A member of the ELCA, more information about Camp Downtown and First English Lutheran’s outreach to downtown Pittsburgh can be found at www.flcpittsburgh.org .


SPOTLIGHT ON MEMPHIS, TN

Education matters at Trinity Lutheran in downtown Memphis!

A recent issue of “The Candle” reports that The Martens Scholarship Committee recently awarded three academic scholarships: two to support third-year students at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis and one to support a graduate student at Concordia University in St. Paul.  Special thanks were offered to all those who have contributed to the fund in order to bless those preparing for careers as ministers and teachers in the Church.

The same issue of “The Candle” also advertised two fine Lutheran elementary schools in Memphis, with the encouragement for Trinity members to enroll their children in those schools.  As extra incentive, Trinity offers to pay the difference between the “member” and “non-member” tuition rates at those two schools.

What does your congregation do to support lifelong Christian education?   Please send your story to

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


SPOTLIGHT ON MUSKOGEE, OK

Thrown at every church – including downtown churches – is the temptation to turn in upon itself, to focus almost exclusively upon its own continued existence, to “build bigger barns” instead of planting God’s seeds [Luke 12:13-21].

A relatively small downtown church currently celebrating its 100th Anniversary, the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML) of First Lutheran in downtown Muskogee has decided to support the LCMS Lutheran Malaria Initiative in 2013.  A bake sale held in conjunction with a rummage sale took place during July, with a second bake sale scheduled after worship on Sunday 11 August.  A special offering will also be collected after worship on Sunday 25 August.  The LWML issued this reminder: one child in Africa dies every 60 seconds from malaria; over 1,400 die from malaria in every single 24-hour-period.

What does your congregation do to keep from being turned in upon itself, to be in active mission around our globe?  Please send your story to DowntownChurches@aol.com .

A member of the LCMS, more information about First Lutheran’s outreach to downtown Muskogee can be found at www.firstlutheranmuskogee.org .


SPOTLIGHT ON TULSA, OK

Early in the evening of 23 July, newscasters warned of severe thunderstorms later that night.  They were correct!  Over 100,000 residents of Tulsa lost power.  A clean-up crew gathered at Grace Evangelical Lutheran in downtown Tulsa the next morning at 6:00 a.m. to head to Moore, OK to assist tornado victims.  As they gathered, Pastor Christopher Hall stated, “Why drive all the way to Moore when we’re needed right here?”
Boots were on the ground in Tulsa at 6:00 a.m., clearing large trees and debris from neighborhoods.  One entire intersection was cleared by the Grace crew.  Clean-up also took place on Grace’s property and at the home of Pastor Hall, removing a tree from his pool.

How prepared is your congregation to immediately respond to tragedy in your community?  What plans are already set?  How have you responded to community tragedies in the past?     Please send your story to DowntownChurches@aol.com .

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


SPOTLIGHT ON PORTLAND, OR

First Immanuel Lutheran in downtown Portland has some wonderful business neighbors who have been kind enough to allow use of their parking lots for anyone attending worship.  Parking permission has been granted from four local businesses, all of which get identified by name and map location in  “The Immanuelite.”  The same parking directions are also easily located on First Immanuel’s website.

In addition, using proceeds from a bequest, First Immanuel has negotiated an arrangement with a local cab company to provide  vouchers to members who regularly need rides to church.  When no volunteer driver from the church is available, church members may call for a cab, pay with a voucher and the church directly pays the cab company.

What creative solutions has your congregation developed to deal with the dual challenges of downtown parking and transporting homebound members to worship?  Please send your story to DowntownChurches@aol.com .

A member of the ELCA, more information about First Immanuel Lutheran’s outreach to downtown Portland can be found at www.firstimmanuelluth.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

About Me

    About

    Some details about you.

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

Recent Comments