The Association of Downtown Lutheran Churches

The Association of Downtown Lutheran Churches

Downtown Issue # 32 – February, 2017

Posted by admin on February 27, 2017

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 #32– February, 2017

IN THIS ISSUE:

  1. WELCOME!
  2. MISSION STATEMENT
  3. HELP EXPAND OUR REACH
  4. RESOURCES OFFERED
  5. IN OUR PRAYERS
  6. WELCOME!
  7. AND FAREWELL…
  8. CELEBRATIONS
  9. MISSION STATEMENTS
  10. 2017
  11. SPOTLIGHT ON PITTSBURGH, PA
  12. SPOTLIGHT ON DETROIT, MI
  13. SPOTLIGHT ON LAS VEGAS, NV
  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 country.  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.”

 

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!

 

RESOURCES OFFERED

Our mission is stated above.  That mission is fulfilled in the following ways: 1) the quarterly electronic newsletter “Downtown” shares stories of joys and challenges of downtown ministry as well as “spotlight” ideas of creative outreaches adaptable for local use; 2) the leader of the Association is available for conversations and consultations with downtown pastors, church leaders and congregations; 3)  referrals are provided to other pastors, congregations and groups that might be of assistance; 4) when there is adequate interest and support, “gatherings” have been sponsored by the Association.

 

IN OUR PRAYERS

Please include in your personal and corporate prayers the following vacant, calling downtown ministries:

First Good Shepherd Lutheran (LCMS), downtown Las Vegas, NV (pastor)
First Lutheran (ELCA), downtown San Diego, CA
St. John Lutheran (ELCA), downtown Albany, NY (pastor)
St. Paul Lutheran (ELCA) and Roman Catholic Community of Faith, downtown Denver, CO   (Lutheran pastor)
Trinity Lutheran (LCMS), downtown Orlando, FL (senior pastor)
Trinity Lutheran (LCMS), downtown Memphis, TN (pastor)

If you have a vacancy you desire added to our prayers please send notice to DowntownChurches@aol.com .

 

WELCOME

Historic Trinity Lutheran (LCMS), downtown St. Louis, MO, installed The Reverend Joshua Hatcher as its new senior pastor on Sunday 8 January 2017.

Augustana Lutheran / La Comunidad de Santa Maria (ELCA), downtown Washington, DC, installed The Reverend Cathy Rosenholtz as its new senior pastor on Sunday 12 February 2017.

We welcome Pastor Hatcher and Pastor Rosenholtz to the exciting mission and ministry in the great downtown!

 

AND FAREWELL…

Pastor Wendy Moen, after 13 years serving at First Trinity Lutheran (ELCA) in downtown Washington, DC, has announced acceptance of a call to Grace Lutheran in Washington, DC.

We thank Pastor Moen for her faithful service at First Trinity Lutheran and wish her God’s richest blessings at Grace Lutheran!

 

CELEBRATIONS

Trinity Lutheran (LCMS) in downtown Springfield, IL celebrated its 175th Anniversary on Sunday 20 November 2016 with guest preacher The Reverend Dr. Dale A. Meyer, President of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis and former Speaker of “The Lutheran Hour.”  Located kitty-corner across from the Illinois State Capitol, the founding pastor of Trinity, Pastor Francis Springer, was a neighbor of Abraham Lincoln.

And it’s never too early to start planning!  Trinity Lutheran in downtown Orlando, FL, has begun to plan for its 100th Anniversary in 2019 with brainstorming centering around service, education, outreach and Trinity family fun.

 

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.  Sometimes, in addition to formally adopted mission statements, churches have catch-phrase tag lines that just as much describe their perceived mission.  Here are a couple of those:

  • First Good Shepherd Lutheran, downtown Las Vegas, NV: “Connecting People to Christ and One Another.”
  • Mount Calvary Lutheran, downtown Milwaukee, WI: “Bringing Christ’s Hope to the Heart of the City for 90 Years.”
  • St. John Lutheran, downtown Sacramento, CA: “A Church for the City.”

 

2017

What is your congregation doing to celebrate Reformation 500 during 2017?  Special services?  Special service projects?  Special trips?  Special offerings?  Special joint events?  Send your plans to DowntownChurches@aol.com .

 

SPOTLIGHT ON PITTSBURGH, PA

First English Evangelical Lutheran in downtown Pittsburgh recently participated in “Open Doors Pittsburgh.”  Thirty-five buildings throughout downtown Pittsburgh participated, providing an opportunity for people to enter buildings they have walked past but have never been able to go in and look around.

An overwhelming number of people (1,322 people over two days) toured First English Lutheran!  First Church staff and members, along with volunteers from Open Doors, led the tours and provided a brief history of the church.  Four places were specifically shown guests: 1) the organ chamber; 2) the Nave from the Parish House door; 3) the Nave from the Narthex; 4) the Columbarium (with the option of ringing the bells).  A number of those attending stated they would be back!

What “side doors” do you use to get downtown residents and visitors into your church?  Send 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 .

 

SPOTLIGHT ON DETROIT, MI

A truly joyous Christmas!

Historic Trinity Lutheran in downtown Detroit comfortably seats 300 before chairs need to be added to aisles.  This year a prayerful decision was made to expand to four Christmas Eve services, hoping attendance would somehow spread evenly among each service.  The attendance results show God at work – 308 attended the 5:00 p.m. service; 265 attended the 7:00 p.m. service; 254 attended the 9:00 p.m. service and 250 attended the 11:00 p.m. service.  Historic Trinity reports the highest Christmas Eve attendance in 5 years – all without ANY chairs!  Praise the Lord!

What joys did your congregation experience at Christmas?  Send your stories to DowntownChurches@aol.com .

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

 

SPOTLIGHT ON LAS VEGAS, NV

First Good Shepherd Lutheran in downtown Las Vegas recently reached out to neighbor families by hosting a Community After Christmas Movie Night.  A movie appealing to children was shown while hot chocolate and popcorn were served.  This outreach seems especially appropriate to bring attention to First Good Shepherd’s parochial school.

How has your congregation reached out to neighborhood families?   Send your stories to DowntownChurches@aol.com .

A member of the LCMS, more information about First Good Shepherd Lutheran’s outreach to downtown Las Vegas can be found at www.fgsls.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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