The Association of Downtown Lutheran Churches

The Association of Downtown Lutheran Churches

Downtown Issue # 27 – December, 2015

Posted by admin on December 16, 2015

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 #27– December, 2015

IN THIS ISSUE:

  1. WELCOME!
  2. MISSION STATEMENT
  3. NEWSLETTERS STILL BEING SOUGHT
  4. STATUS OF ‘DOWNTOWN”
  5. DOWNTOWNLUTHERANCHURCHES.ORG
  6. DEDICATION
  7. WELCOME TO NEW MEMBERS
  8. AND…..FAREWELL
  9. IN OUR PRAYERS
  10. HELP EXPAND OUR REACH
  11. REPORTING VARIOUS CELEBRATIONS
  12. SPOTLIGHT ON AUSTIN, TX
  13. SPOTLIGHT ON PITTSBURGH, PA
  14. SPOTLIGHT ON MEMPHIS, TN
  15. 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.  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.


STATUS OF ‘DOWNTOWN”

Some of you have noticed it has been a long time since you last received “Downtown” — May 2015 to be exact.  Yes, like many of you, we took the summer (and, in this case, also the fall)  months  off.  With so many clergy away on vacation and or occupied with summer projects, we figured readership numbers might not reward the efforts of  summer edition, but eyes have been closely and carefully watching what our member parishes have been up to and look forward to sharing a plethora of great ideas!  Please pray that we can return to our every-other-month schedule in 2016!


DOWNTOWNLUTHERANCHURCHES.ORG

The Association of Downtown Lutheran Churches is proud to introduce and welcome the following new pastor to a great downtown church:

Have you recently been on the Association’s web site?  Have you recently referred the web site to church members, to staff members, to colleagues serving in downtown, urban, even suburban ministries?   All the past issues of “Downtown” newsletter are posted on the web site.  Most recently we have posted a collection of statements compiled many years ago attempting to define the “downtown” church.  You’re encouraged to check it out today!


DEDICATION

Since Issue #1 of “Downtown” we have reserved the dedication of this resource in loving memory of downtown ministry veterans who have been awarded their eternal Crown.  We’re breaking that tradition this month.

This issue of “Downtown” is dedicated to honor The Reverend Dr. David Eberhard’s 56 years of ministry in Detroit, Michigan, including 34 years of faithful service as Head Pastor of Historic Trinity Lutheran Church in downtown Detroit.  During these past 34 years Dr. Eberhard led Historic Trinity to become the most successful and unique ministry in the Metro Detroit area – creating a rapidly growing membership, restoring the facilities, creating the concept of ‘Cathedral Ministry,” highlighting the role of the “Mother Church,” and developing many outreach activities such as the “Lutheran Church in the City.”  Dr. Eberhard is also the visionary who first convened the gathering of downtown Lutheran pastors in October, 1996 and encouraged the development of the Association of Downtown Lutheran Churches.

Dr. Eberhard: WELL DONE!  Thank You!

(As a personal note, please keep Dr. Eberhard in your prayers as he has seen a series of health set-backs lately, including cancer and now a broken foot.)

If you have suggestions for future issues of “Downtown” to be dedicated in memory or honor of other great veterans of downtown ministry, please do not hesitate to pass that information along to DowntownChurches@aol.com .


WELCOME TO NEW MEMBERS

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

The Reverend Chris  Brown was installed at Bethania Lutheran (ELCA) in downtown Solvang, CA  on Sunday 28 June 2015.

The Reverend Darryl L. Andrzejewski was installed as the 8th Pastor of Historic Trinity Lutheran (LCMS) in downtown Detroit, MI on Sunday 16 August 2015.

The Reverend Kyle Blake was installed at First Lutheran (LCMS) in downtown Long Beach, CA on Sunday 13 September 2015 (tasked with intentional church replanting).

We welcome Pastors Brown, Andrzejewski and Blake into the great downtown!


AND…..FAREWELL

On Sunday 25 October, The Reverend Christian Tiews preached his final sermon as Associate Pastor of Grace Lutheran in downtown Tulsa, OK.  After 7 years of faithful ministry, including leading the congregation through the calling of a new Senior Pastor three years ago, Pastor Tiews followed the leading of the Holy Spirit to become the Pastor of Trinity Lutheran in Okmulgee, OK, a Tulsa suburb. .


IN OUR PRAYERS

Please include in your personal and corporate prayers the following vacant, calling downtown ministries:
Historic Trinity Lutheran (LCMS), downtown St. Louis MO (senior pastor)
Trinity Lutheran (LCMS), downtown Orlando, FL (senior pastor)
Zion Lutheran (LCMS) downtown Portland, OR (pastor)


HELP EXPAND OUR REACH

Every electronic distribution of “Downtown” elicits comments of thanks for this avenue of sharing, encouraging, resourcing and challenging downtown churches!

When did you last share “Downtown” with your staff and leadership?  When did you last make your congregation aware of the existence of “Downtown”?

You are invited and encouraged to make copies of “Downtown.”  You are invited and encouraged to forward “Downtown” to your members via email.  You are invited and encouraged to send a link to the Association of Downtown Lutheran Churches website (www.downtownlutheranchurches.org) to all your contacts where ALL past issues of “Downtown” may be viewed.  You are invited and encouraged to include blurbs about “Downtown” and the Association in your bulletins and newsletters.  Most of all, you are invited and encouraged to encourage your staff and leaders and church members to request inclusion in our e-dis list.  All anyone needs to do is send an email request to DowntownChurches@aol.com .

Thanks for whatever you can do to help us expand our reach!


REPORTING VARIOUS CELEBRATIONS

Historic Trinity Lutheran in downtown Detroit, MI  hosted a special “165th Anniversary Service” during all morning worship services on Sunday 15 November 2015.  This was the finale of an entire year of celebration.  During this year Historic Trinity has hosted separate special recognition Sundays for those baptized, confirmed and / or married at Historic Trinity.

Also on Sunday 15 November 2015, Trinity Lutheran in downtown Sacramento, CA concluded its 100th Anniversary year with morning and afternoon worship celebrations, preceded on Saturday evening with a banquet and program including music and dancing.  Throughout the year, Trinity on a monthly basis welcomed back to its pulpit former pastors as well as ministry sons of the congregation (including the son of the founding pastor) and others who have been members of the congregation through the years.


SPOTLIGHT ON AUSTIN, TX

Many of our downtown churches in major metropolitan areas have colleges or universities nearby.   Much more than just a center of education, those colleges and universities are great mission fields! There are many chapels, ministry centers, etc. on many of those campuses, but do we sometimes forget the “beyond spiritual” needs of students?

Back in September, St Paul Lutheran in downtown Austin put out a call for “gently used beds, tables, chairs, dressers, bookshelves, dishes, pots & pans and other household items” for incoming international students at the University of Texas who arrive in our country with very little and often with limited budgets.

How has your congregation tapped into the mission field of local elementary schools / high schools / and colleges / universities?  Email your stories to DowntownChurches@aol.com .

A member of the LCMS, more information about St. Paul Lutheran’s outreach to downtown Austin can be found at www.stpaulaustin.org .


SPOTLIGHT ON PITTSBURGH, PA

Being in the “downtown” often intrinsically links a congregation with civic and historical events.  Even more so when that downtown church serves the nation’s capitol!

First English Lutheran in downtown Pittsburgh hosted its annual “Camp Downtown” this past summer with 36 “campers.”  More than “just” the traditional Vacation Bible School, “Camp Downtown” exposes the “campers” to downtown Pittsburgh.  This year’s Camp took “campers” around the city to learn about different ways to make joyful noises.  Special tours included the Benedum Center, Heinz Hall, a special presentation by Gemini Children’s Theater and even a venture inside First Lutheran’s organ!

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 MEMPHIS, TN

Based on Matthew 25:35-36, Trinity Lutheran in downtown Memphis responded to record heat and humidity by offering bottles of cold water on Washington Avenue on a day when the heat index reached 115 degrees!

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