The Association of Downtown Lutheran Churches

The Association of Downtown Lutheran Churches

Downtown Issue # 19 – March, 2013

Posted by admin on March 15, 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 #19– March, 2013

IN THIS ISSUE:

  1. WELCOME!
  2. MISSION STATEMENT
  3. NEWSLETTERS ARE STILL BEING SOUGHT
  4. A TIME TO SAY “THANKS”
  5. ENCOURAGE YOUR MEMBERS TO READ!
  6. UPDATES ON DOWNTOWN MINISTRIES
  7. FOCUS ON PHOENIX, AZ
  8. SPOTLIGHT ON DETROIT, MI
  9. SPOTLIGHT ON LONG BEACH, CA
  10. SPOTLIGHT ON PITTSBURGH, PA
  11. SPOTLIGHT ON AKRON, OH
  12. 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.


A TIME TO SAY “THANKS”

“Downtown” comes electronically to you free of cost thanks to the efforts of Brian Hooper, an Elder of and one of several  resident “tech gurus” around Historic First Lutheran, Pasadena, CA.  Brian is the one who programs all the links into the newsletter and also updates the Association website – www.downtownlutheranchurches.org  It’s time to formally thank Brian for his labor of love!.


ENCOURAGE YOUR MEMBERS TO READ

“Downtown” is not intended to be a private newsletter.  When you receive this issue, please feel free to include a mention about “Downtown” in your weekly bulletins and / or newsletter.  All members of all downtown churches are highly encouraged to read “Downtown” on the Association website – www.downtownlutheranchurches.org – and / or subscribe to receive it electronically by sending an email request to DowntownChurches@aol.com .


UPDATES ON DOWNTOWN MINISTRIES

First English Lutheran (ELCA) in downtown Pittsburgh, PA is searching for a new Senior Pastor following the retirement of The Reverend Dr. David Gleason in January.  Potential candidates are encouraged to follow the church’s usual order in submitting his or her name for consideration.  Prayers are requested during this time of transition.

The recent issue of “Trinity Times” of Historic Trinity Lutheran (LCMS) in St. Louis, MO announced the retirement of Senior Pastor, The Reverend David B. Marth, effective 31 December 2013.  Pastor Marth has enjoyed a blessed 20+ year run as Senior Pastor (40 years in the Holy Ministry) and desires to spend more quality time with his family.  Prayers are requested for Historic Trinity and for Pastor Marth and family.

As reported in “Downtown” Issue #18 (January 2013), the members of Zion Lutheran in downtown Portland, OR approved the construction of a Christian Home for Children in Kenya as part of the celebration of its 125th Anniversary.  A recent issue of “The Zion Star” proudly announced that $14,000.00 of the $83,000.00 construction cost has already been donated.  Zion hosted Pastor David Chuchu from Kenya on Sunday 24 February.


SPOTLIGHT ON PHOENIX, AZ

Grace Lutheran in downtown Phoenix annually offers “Heat Respite” in its Hope Hall.  This is a chance for community members who live on the street to find respite from the nailing heat of Phoenix summers.  This year’s “Heat Respite” outreach runs from 17 June through 30 August.

During “Heat Respite” a host of other churches throughout Phoenix support Grace by supplying  volunteer staffers, sack lunches, funding for air conditioning, bottled water and providing services like teaching yoga or giving haircuts.

A member of the ELCA, more information about Grace Lutheran’s outreach to downtown Phoenix can be found at www.graceinthecity.com .


SPOTLIGHT ON DETROIT, MI

It is certainly no understatement that there is always A LOT going on around Historic Trinity Lutheran in downtown Detroit.  Here are four recent things to inspire us all:

Historic Trinity has begun a billboard ministry, very publicly informing the community that Historic Trinity is alive and well in downtown Detroit.  Members and friends have been encouraged to watch for the billboards popping up in different locations around the city.

Challenging the notion that “city ministry” is dead, Historic Trinity has founded a new mission start, known as “Lutheran Church in the City” (LCC).  Under the leadership of Vicar Mark Doede, LCC is presently meeting every Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m. at the “Traffic Jam and Snug” restaurant in midtown Detroit for discussion and prayer.

Web sites?  Yes!  But how about Facebook, Blogger, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flicker, Vimeo and YouTube?  Historic Trinity has dedicated volunteers who keep all those social media sites current, greatly increasing the possibility of people “discovering” Historic Trinity!

To assist worshipers during these economic down days, Historic Trinity offers a “Coupon Box” in Luther Lounge for people to donate coupons and / or sort through and take coupons they can use.

WOW!  All great ideas for the downtown church!

A member of the LCMS, more information about Historic Trinity Lutheran’s outreach to downtown Detroit can be found at www.historictrinity.org, www.historictrinityinc.org, and at www.citychurchlcc.org .


SPOTLIGHT ON LONG BEACH, CA
It has long been noted – and sadly so – that Lutheran schools of  higher education (both collegiate and seminary) have done a poor job preparing future workers for the challenges of downtown and city / urban ministry.  But, thankfully, things appear to be changing.

For a week in February, Pastor Douglas Johnstone and First Lutheran in downtown Long Beach sponsored an intensive “exposure to ministry in the urban setting” experience for a group of students (accompanied by a professor) from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, including one doctoral student whose name has been on the “wait list” for this experience for two years!

While in Long Beach, the students lived with a Vietnamese family, a Muslim family and the Johnstones, changing residences every three days.  They dialogued with community leaders working in the multi-ethnic environment.  They were exposed to at least seven different language / ethnic communities and at least four different non-Christian faith communities.  One day even included a seven-mile urban hike through a variety of neighborhoods in downtown Los Angeles.

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


SPOTLIGHT ON PITTSBURGH, PA

First English Lutheran in downtown Pittsburgh opens its doors to the community every Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. for “Music at Midday,” twenty minutes of beautiful music in the nave performed by gifted young musicians from Duquesne University’s Sacred Music Program.  Current music offerings vary from the organ to the oboe to vocal.  What a wonderful lunch break for employees from the high rise offices surrounding First English Lutheran!

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


SPOTLIGHT ON AKRON, OH

Zion Lutheran in downtown Akron operated its own post office at Christmas.  “Post Office Tables” were set up.  Members were encouraged to save postage costs by bringing cards that would otherwise be mailed to fellow church members.  Those cards that were not picked up were hand delivered by volunteers.  “Postal donations” (in lieu of what would have been spent on postage) benefitted youth activities.

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