The Association of Downtown Lutheran Churches

The Association of Downtown Lutheran Churches

Downtown Issue # 28 – February, 2016

Posted by admin on February 8, 2016

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 #28– February, 2016

IN THIS ISSUE:

  1. WELCOME!
  2. MISSION STATEMENT
  3. REVISITING THE GATHERING IDEA
  4. IN OUR PRAYERS
  5. ADLC  IN “THE”  PARADE
  6. MISSION STATEMENTS
  7. REPORTING VARIOUS CELEBRATIONS
  8. SPOTLIGHT ON PORTLAND, OR
  9. SPOTLIGHT ON CHICAGO, IL
  10. SPOTLIGHT ON ORLANDO, FL
  11. SPOTLIGHT ON PORTLAND, OR
  12. SPOTLIGHT ON ST. LOUIS, MO
  13. SPOTLIGHT ON PITTSBURGH, PA
  14. CLOSING

WELCOME!

A warm welcome to this issue of “Downtown,” a newsletter full of interchange and exchange between downtown Lutheran churches across our great continent.  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.”


REVISITING THE GATHERING IDEA

Just recently was asked the question, “When is the next ‘Gathering’ scheduled?”

Folks, here’s the deal.

Since 1996, the Association has sponsored 7 “gatherings” in locations from Orlando to New Orleans to Pasadena, CA, also including centralized locations like St. Louis, Detroit and Springfield, IL.  We’ve been hosted by LCMS and ELCA congregations.  We’ve had presentations by Bishops and churchmen from both the LCMS and ELCA, as well as presentations by non-Lutherans involved in downtown community development work.  The largest gatherings were in Orlando and Pasadena (both 60+ attendees), but the past two gatherings (Springfield and New Orleans) were sparsely attended (less than 15 attendees, mostly the “regulars” who have attended every gathering to date).  The attendees at the past two gatherings have wrestled with the future of the “gatherings” with the general feeling that it was maybe time to take a break.

If there is again a desire to “gather” as an Association, let’s do it!  It’s wonderful to gather at a downtown church over a weekend to learn what they are doing in mission and ministry and to support each other as we serve around the country.  What is needed is a location suggestion (with a host), a date suggestion and a good handful of people committed to actually attend!

Please communicate your thoughts to DowntownChurches@aol.com .


IN OUR PRAYERS

Please include in your personal and corporate prayers the following vacant, calling downtown ministries:
– Augustana Lutheran / La Comunidad de Santa Maria (ELCA), downtown Washington, DC  (pastor)
– 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)
– St. John Lutheran (ELCA), downtown Albany, NY (pastor)

If you would like your vacancy added to our prayers, please email DowntownChurches@aol.com .


ADLC IN “THE” PARADE

Two founders of the Association of Downtown Lutheran Churches were honored to ride on the “Lutheran Hour Ministries / Lutheran Layman’s League” float in the Tournament of Roses Parade on 1 January 2016 in Pasadena, CA.  The Rev. Dr. John Arthur Nunes (along with his wife Monique), Professor at Valparaiso University,  and The Rev. Christopher Schaar, Senior Pastor at Historic First Lutheran, Pasadena, CA and Leader of the ADLC, rode down Colorado Boulevard in downtown Pasadena on a floral covered float depicting a First Century fishing boat and a lighthouse topped by a golden cross.

This year’s parade theme was “Find Your Adventure.”  The Lutheran Hour float was titled “Jesus is the Light of the World” and proclaimed the adventure of being modern disciples of Jesus Christ.

For more information about the Lutheran Hour Ministries float or to learn how to volunteer to become a “Petal Pusher” and help decorate floats during December, 2016 check out www.petalpushers.org .


MISSION STATEMENTS

It’s fascinating not only to see what downtown churches are up to in mission and ministry but also just as interesting how they define their mission in their respective communities.  This issue begins a regular feature sharing a few mission statements of different downtown churches:

Central Lutheran, Portland, OR: “Transformed by God’s love for the world through Christ, we are sent to Build Community, Do Justice, Make Peace.”
Concordia Lutheran, Sarasota, FL: “The mission of Concordia is to share Jesus’ harmony (“concordia”) with the heart of Sarasota.  Jesus comes to us in worship, giving to us His Good News for sharing and His love for caring!”

First Immanuel Lutheran, Portland, OR: “A Welcoming Community Centered in Christ’s Love, Joyfully Reaching Out Together”
Resurrection Lutheran, Chicago, IL: “RLC invites and welcomes all people to hear God’s Word, share our faith and celebrate the Sacraments.  Through music, liturgy and fellowship we embrace diversity, nurture children, advocate justice and praise God.  This is our response to the Gospel.”
St. John Lutheran, Albany, NY: “Worship the Lord, Serve Faithfully, Reach Out.”


REPORTING VARIOUS CELEBRATIONS

Resurrection Lutheran in downtown Chicago, IL recently celebrated the 20th Anniversary of service of musician Gary Jensen. The actual number of years is greater as Gary has served two “tours of service” at Resurrection but this celebration gave thanks for the most recent length of service and the wonderful music Gary has provided for God’s glory and the edification of His people!


SPOTLIGHT ON PORTLAND, OR

The downtown church in particular is supposed to be a refreshing stream of living water in an otherwise often dry community.  It’s the task of the downtown church to be the leader in tackling and addressing issues the greater community fails to resolve.

The “Welcome and Reach Out Committee” (WeROC) of Central Lutheran in downtown Portland recently sponsored an adult forum called “It’s (More Than) Black and White: Recognizing White Privilege” to discuss issues of race, privilege and how we can be supportive of each other.  Community members were invited to share how race affects their daily lives in ways that differ greatly from the majority culture.  The “WeROC” also sponsored a live webcast of Bishop Eaton as she continues her call to address the complexity and implications of racism.

How does your parish tackle race issues within the parish and within the immediate neighborhood community?  Email your stories to DowntownChurches@aol.com .

A member of the ELCA, more information about Central Lutheran’s outreach to downtown Portland can be found at www.centralportland.org .


SPOTLIGHT ON CHICAGO

Reflective of the downtown itself, most downtown churches are surrounded by a virtual melting pot of races, colors and creeds.  Part of the missional challenge of the downtown church is to look like and minister to those in our immediate neighborhoods.

Celebrating diversity is something not foreign to First Immanuel Lutheran in downtown Chicago.  On Sunday 7 February First Immanuel sponsored an “International Fellowship Event with the Super Bowl and Chinese New Year Party.”  Then on Sunday 28 February First Immanuel will sponsor “Black History / International Dress Day with a multi cultural fellowship luncheon following worship.”

How does your parish include and celebrate the diversity within the parish and within the immediate neighborhood community?  Email your stories to DowntownChurches@aol.com .

A member of the LCMS, more information about First Immanuel Lutheran’s outreach to downtown Chicago can be found at www.1stimmanuelchicago.org .

 

SPOTLIGHT ON ORLANDO, FL

On Saturday 12 December 2015 a few members of Trinity Lutheran in downtown Orlando had a “Meet the Neighbors” Day.  They simply walked through their church neighborhood and talked with their neighbors.  Another day was planned for Saturday 16 January 2016, with the goal of getting 10 to 12 Trinity folks out into their church neighborhood.

How does your parish break down the invisible walls between your church building and your neighbors?  Email your stories to DowntownChurches@aol.com .

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


SPOTLIGHT ON PORTLAND, OR

It is always sad when age or physical limitations prevent people from participating in worship or other church events!

First Immanuel Lutheran in downtown Portland has used a generous bequest to help them stay connected with elderly members and others.  Taxi cab vouchers are available to anyone who may need help getting to worship or other church events.  This service is a gift and riders are never charged.

How does your parish enable the elderly and those otherwise unable to attend to continue as vital essentials in your mission and ministry?   Email your stories 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 .

 

SPOTLIGHT ON ST. LOUIS, MO

Now on its third or fourth round of calling a senior pastor (depending on who you listen to), Historic Trinity Lutheran’s call committee developed a fantastic new idea to help clearly communicate to potential candidates who they truly are as a downtown church.  A 7-page document based upon the standard candidate “Self-Evaluation Tool” (SET) was developed and is now sent in advance to those being interviewed.  The document reveals things like “Our Strengths in Ministry,” “Our Challenges in Ministry,” and “Our Current Situation as to a Parsonage.”  The document covers basically all questions normally asked, saving a lot of breath and a lot of energy.

Copies of Historic Trinity’s “Self-Evaluation Tool” may be requested from Call Committee Chair, The Rev. King Schoenfeld, at basileus@swbell.net .

What has your parish discovered or developed as a helpful tool while calling pastors or other full-time workers?   Email your stories to DowntownChurches@aol.com .

A member of the LCMS, more information about Historic Trinity Lutheran’s outreach to downtown St. Louis can be found at www.trinitystlouis.com .


SPOTLIGHT ON PITTSBURGH, PA

As Petula Clark crooned decades ago, people are indeed going “Downtown.”  That’s especially true during the Christmas season.  And First English Evangelical Lutheran in downtown Pittsburgh recently capitalized on the increased holiday traffic going by its doors.

During Advent, to provide a peaceful sanctuary for visitors downtown, the church building of First English Lutheran remained open throughout Friday evenings, with luminaria, signage and publicity to welcome people.  A simplified Taizé-style Vespers, featuring their own gifted instrumentalists, was held every Friday at 7:00 p.m.  This Friday evening event began on “Light-Up Night” on 20 November when folks of all ages descended upon the city to view festive lights and holiday decorations.

Then, on Christmas Day, those gathered at First English Lutheran left the building and concluded with a Procession to the Crèche (a larger than life nativity scene, the world’s only authorized replica of the Vatican’s Crèche in St. Peter’s Square in Rome) in the U.S. Steel Plaza across the street.  What a great way to bring the celebration of the birth of Christ out into the open!

What has your parish done to engage the downtown visitors all around you?   Email your stories to DowntownChurches@aol.com .

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

Comments are closed.

About Me

    About

    Some details about you.

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

Recent Comments