NEWSLETTER - The Anchor
August 2018 – the summer is not over yet, but the end is at hand with school starting in a few weeks. Summer and heat go together and August and September are our hottest months. Perhaps warm Augusts and Septembers give us an extended summer psychologically.
We have lots of action this month with guest Bishop Associate Kathryn Gulbranson visiting with us on Sunday the 12th, a BBQ on the 22nd, our annual Pie Social on the 19th, longtime member Carol Anderson’s Memorial Service in Santa Cruz on the 24th. Additionally, we are searching for a new Music Director, our new School Board is preparing our child development center’s bylaws, and we expect to have maintenance projects underway. All of this as we organize for:
“God’s Work. Our Hands.”
Sunday, September 9, 2018
Thanks to Sharon Wangsness, who is working on a new
GWOH banner made the outlines of our Hands!
Throughout the nation, many of the nearly 9,000 ELCA congregations, will put God’s Love into action with our hands in service to others. A wide variety of projects will be done. The People of HOPE will be assembling and distributing hygiene kits. All of God’s people have a contribution to make regardless of age.
I have come to see how vital “God’s Work. Our Hands.” is in the renewal of being ‘the church.’ I was surprised when it first began, especially when it meant in many congregations giving up Sunday worship for that one day.
In reality relationship with God is about much more than a safe Sunday morning experience. We encounter God in the hearing of the Word, and in receiving of the Sacrament, but also when we meet ‘others’ especially those outside of our fellowship. Those “others” are precisely the type of people the disciples wanted to keep away from Jesus. Jesus called off his disciples to teach them that even these belong to God. The religious elites were scandalized by Jesus’ involvement with tax collectors, the poor, those with diseases, lepers, prostitutes – all of the wrong type of people.
Sitting in the pew for worship is important, but it is only one side of the story. We meet God in many unsuspected places in daily life, especially when we reach outside our church walls to engage with people. People are all around us in our daily lives, and if we look closely, we will see people veiled by poverty.
The “stewardship of our life” should include worship with the community of faith, but also engagement with the broader, diverse community in which we live. Taking care of each other in the church is essential, yet taking care of others is also crucial. We show love in service to others not because God requires it, but because our neighbor needs it.
What about skipping worship altogether and just go do good deeds? This misses the point as much as the person who thinks faith is sitting through church on Sunday. For us, there is always a movement from worship to the streets and back again. In a healthy church, there is a continuous exchange between the altar and the street. We learn lessons from serving others, and we bring this back to worship and suddenly hear new things in the Word. Then in worship, we understand and experience new dimensions of unconditional love inspiring us to go back and to serve with greater perspective. Through this process, we grow in grace, develop wisdom and become spiritually rich.
Enjoy your vacation! May you be re-created.
John Sullivan, Pastor
The last week of June and going into July was busy for the kids and me; we had MYLE and the ELCA National Gathering in Houston. The youth (and I) from Hope were very busy. We arrived at the University of Houston on June 22nd. While Isabella was at her volunteer leader training on the 23rd, Serafina and I spent the day at the Houston Zoo. On Sunday MYLE registration and orientation began. MYLE (Multi-cultural Youth Leadership Experience) is an ELCA- sponsored event that is held prior to the Gathering. The vast majority of the MYLE leadership is young people of color.
While at MYLE the kids experienced worship, classes, and a service day that explored their life and faith experiences as youth of color personally in the church and in the community. During worship songs were from different cultures and sung in different languages by a worship band whose members span the globe. Classes addressed topics particular to the experience of our youth of color such as bridging their heritage with their current context and how to respond to racism. Our service learning activity was assisting folks in a shelter with an art project. As we were staying in UH (University of Houston) our lodging was in the Dorms. I was fortunate to have a room of my own, though I shared the suite bath and shower with a father and son from Puerto Rico. We chatted some and I was astounded to learn that they were still suffering there. They still had no power or water. In fact, the only reason they were at MYLE and the Gathering was that the ELCA arranged for scholarships. They stated pointedly that their land was and is devastated.
After MYLE, we left the UH for the Gathering. Even though MYLE and the Gathering are in the same city, they use different facilities. After checking in, while Isabella finished up her duties as a Volunteer Leader, Serafina and I visited the Buffalo Soldier Museum. It was a very moving experience to learn that, despite constant discrimination, the
African American service members’ contributions to this country were and are of the highest caliber.
I cannot think of a way to describe the evening worship at the Gathering. It was completely different then MYLE. MYLE is an intimate, varied, multicultural and highly creative worship experience. The Gathering was as MYLE with the added experience, for this old guy, of being overwhelming. I am again amazed that 30,000 high school kids can be so well behaved. To be sure, there were some bumps, and yet, none that would cause one to complain!
Thursday afternoon was our Synod Day. This meant that the morning was ours and those of us that had been at MYLE needed some time to recover. Our Synod afternoon was spent in worship, games, and listening to speakers, such as Bp Eaton and Bp Mark. The next day was spent in our service learning. No one knew what they were be doing until we were loaded on our bus heading to our site. We were tasked with picking up litter on a golf course that is soon to be converted into a Botanical Garden. It was hot! Our last day was at the interactive center where all were welcome to explore their faith in the greater context of the world.
Needless to say, we were all tired by Saturday evening. Those of us that attended MYLE were even more so. The Gathering concluded on Sunday morning with a worship service. All of the evening services were powerful experiences. The speakers were varied and compelling, the music also. We heard from kids who were transgender, adults who’d struggled with self harm and young people recovering from alcohol and drug addiction. Each couched their experiences within their faith and shared how their faith sustained them and well as gave them the courage to share their struggles with others.
I hope to be able to attend Gatherings in the future.
Hello Hope Members,
We just finished the Special Congregational Meeting to approve Constitutional amendments and elect Preschool Board members.
I want to congratulate us for taking this vital step toward a more vibrant time in Hope’s Ministry.
We will confirm School Board members at a
second vote at the Annual meeting in January. We move forward now in unified efforts through God’s abundant strength. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. All we have to do is say “yes” to his invitation. We are God’s
Hands and Feet on earth.
We have special music and pick your favorite hymns going on in August. Please consider sharing your talents and favorites for the list.
August 19th we have an upcoming Pie Auction/ Social, as well as our Wed. August 22nd WOW BBQ. Bring a side dish or just come enjoy. Please think about bringing a pie to auction or share. August 26th we have potluck during refreshments. I invite you to bring an easy side to share with all.
We have Kick off Sunday September 16th along with Council Meeting at 11 AM. We are all at Church on Sunday mornings. How can we help one Sunday a month? Sign up to be one of the many hands that makes less work. We all (females and males) can usher, bring refreshments, and sign up to clean up the kitchen one week every 3 months. Let’s be of help to each other to bring a new Spirit of energy into the Church, as well as our awesome welcoming hospitality. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us!
Upcoming on Sunday, September 9thwe will have God’s Work, Our Hands Sunday. I invite all of you to come gather for prayer in Knutsen Hall, and help get hygiene bags ready for those in need. Please bring something (toothbrush, toothpaste, etc,) if you can. We will then close with prayer and have our fellowship refreshment time following putting the bags together in Knutsen Hall. Many hands make less work. This is one way we can truly make a difference on Sunday Morning. Those wanting to participate at the Hygiene Cafe, please speak to Pr. Jim.
God, we ask that you would keep each of us in your care for good health, and strength to continue to be your Hands and Feet to our world. Be with all those in need, pain, loss or grief, the lonely, hungry, and tired. Help us to be a vibrant beacon of your Word and faith, O God. Watch over our young ones as they continue with school and life journeys. Be with those who put their lives in harm’s way to keep our world safe.
Most of all God, unify us with your Holy Spirit, fill us with vibrant energy to do your Will in our world that needs to know and feel your presence so much. Fill us with your Spirit of peace.
Blessings and peace,
The Rebecca Circle will resume their fall gatherings on Monday, September 10th, as the first Monday is Labor Day.
Put the date on your calendars and plan to attend. All women are invited!
Saturday, August 11th
Men: Put Saturday, August 11, at 8:00 am on your calendars for the next Men’s Breakfast get together. The group meets ate Sara’s Kitchen in Santa Clara.
Enjoy a delicious breakfast and some great fellowship.
Sunday, August 19th
Get ready for that very special event: “The Pie Social” - August 19th! This tasty treat Sunday is a fun and delicious time for everyone!
Mouth-watering pies of all shapes, flavors and wonderful tastes will be auctioned.
BUT we need your help in furnishing these delicious pies! Watch for signups! Bring a pie or two — either homemade or store bought.
We will be selling slices of wonderful pie along with some cold, scrumptous ice cream (complimntary) for $1.00. Then get ready for the fun of the auction!
If you bring homemade pies, please also share your recipe (if it isn’t a secret)!
Proceeds will benefit Sacred Heart Community Services’ Housing Assistance Program.
DON’T MISS IT!
6 - 8 pm
Our second Hope BBQ of the summer will be on Wed., August 22, from
6 - 8 pm.
Don’t let the summer pass you by without coming to this fun evening of good food and some good old- fashioned fellowship.
Hope will supplying
the meat -
how about sharing a salad, side dish or a dessert (optional)?
See you there!!
God Speed & Farewell to David
It was with sad and heavy hearts that we bid farewell and Godspeed to our Director of Music, David Chaidez! David will be relocating in Miami, FL His last Sunday at Hope was July 29th.
David has been with Hope since 2004 and his talent has enriched and enhanced our worship services. Our Hope Chancel Choir each Sunday under David’s direction brings a musical dimension that inspires and enraptures God’s blessings to everyone.
His beautiful singing voice will be missed. It has been a musical treat to hear his solos and his active rendition s of our church music.
FAREWELL, DAVID, THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR GOD-GIVEN TALENT WITH US! WE PRAY GOD’S BLESSINGS ON YOU AND YOUR FUTURE PATH!
Pr. Adisa Armand
National Caribbean American Heritage Month was celebrated in June. The heritage month was first observed in 2006, after being unanimously adopted by the House of Representatives on June 27, 2005 in H. Con. Res. 71, sponsored by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, recognizing the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history and culture of the United States.
On June 5, 2006, George W. Bush issued a presidential proclamation declaring that June be annually recognized as National Caribbean American Heritage Month to celebrate the contributions of Caribbean Americans (both naturalized and US citizens by birth) in the United States. Since the declaration, the White House has issued an annual proclamation recognizing June as National Caribbean-American Heritage Month.
We congratulate Pr. Adisa Armand who received the Community Award on June 10, 2018, from the local Caribbean American Heritage Organization.
This award was given to Pr. Adisa for “her love for all God’s children, her zest in living abundantly and joyfully, helping others to see their value and gifts, thereby motivating people to do their best with a “Yes I can” attitude. This is what gives her the energy to wake up every day with a sense of gratitude and purpose for living in God’s grace. “
There are two open flower dates in August. If you would like to donate flowers for either of these Sundays, please sign up on the Flower Chart in the narthex:
Sunday, August 5
Sunday, August 12
Cost of the flowers is $32.00. You may take the flowers home following the service.
Other open flower dates for the rest of the year:
October 21 & 28
We thank Fujii Florist for the beautiful flowers each Sunday. Their flowers are always so lovely.
A Letter from ELCA Bishop:
Thus says the Lord: Act with justice and righteousness, and deliver from
the hand of the oppressor anyone who has been robbed. And do no wrong
or violence to the alien, the orphan, and the widow ... (Jeremiah 22:3).
I am dismayed by the Supreme Court's recent decision concerning the president's authority to restrict travel into the United States. It applies to travelers from certain countries based on those countries' inability to provide information necessary for immigration vetting. Strong vetting procedures have already been authorized by Congress and reviews of applications for possible links to terrorism are also in place. Therefore, restricting all travelers from certain countries simply because they are citizens of those countries is deeply troubling. In the past, we have seen the sometimes horrific effects of excluding and marginalizing (or worse) whole classes of people based on their ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender identity or other characteristics.
Our social statement, "For Peace in God's World," provides theological guidance for the church to respond by offering wise words of caution:
Citizens need to give careful attention to how we in the United States perceive our national interest and interpret our national identity, since what states do depends in large measure on their views of their own interests and identity. Sin's power often makes itself felt in arrogant and self-righteous views of national identity, and in narrow, short-term, and absolute views of national interest.
We expect expressions of our nation's identity to build on the best of our traditions, to respect others' identity, and to open up paths for mutual understanding. For the sake of a greater good or for reasons of conscience, citizens may need to oppose a prevailing understanding or practice of national identity and interest.
With this court decision, we are again reaching a point where the assertion of "national security" by the executive branch of government results in the rejection of all other considerations in national policy discussions. Our social statement also reminds us: "In bondage to sin, we fall captive to fear." Jesus taught us to love one another. The social statement calls us to "a dynamic vision of difference in unity."
In a time ... when an idolatrous allegiance to one's own community endangers our oneness, we must voice with clarity the powerful vision of difference in unity. This vision calls us to engage differences, not to ignore or fear them. The hope for earthly peace challenges people to strengthen their own particular communities in ways that promote respect and appreciation for people in other communities, for all share a common humanity.
Let us recall that all people are created in God's image and, therefore, rather than have suspicion be our assumption, let us attribute to them honor and respect as God does.
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
FAITH; A living, daring confidence in God’s grace.
When Lutherans talk about faith, we are talking about the relationship God’s Holy Spirit creates with us. It’s a relationship where God’s promise of steadfast love and mercy in Jesus opens us to a life of bold trust in God and joyful, generous service to everyone we know and meet in daily life.
Martin Luther was exuberant when he described the freedom of “a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that believers would stake their lives on it a thousand times.” He once wrote, “Oh, it is a living, busy, active, mighty thing, this faith. It is impossible for it not to be doing good things unceasingly.”
Faith convictions expressed as statements of belief flow from this confident trust in God. ELCA Lutherans share in the faith expressed in the Apostles’, Nicene and Athanasian Creeds, in the Lutheran confessional writings (collected as the Book of Concord), and in the ELCA Confession of Faith.
At the same time faith does not close our minds to the world and our hearts to others. We continue to listen to the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. We listen to the witness of others and we watch for the ways God is active in the world around us. Faith opens a place for engaging others in conversation, for seeking the truth, for asking questions and speaking love in word and deed.
Faith is a full life, liberated for a living, daring confidence in God’s grace. —ELCA Faith Statement
The symbols of Pentecost are wind, fire and a dove.
The first symbol - wind - is taken from the noise the apostles heard as the Spirit descended upon them
After the wind, flames appeared and rested upon the heads of each of the apostles (Acts 2:3).
A dove serves as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. There is no mention of a dove in Acts, but we associate a dove with the Holy Spirit because of the story about Jesus' baptism:
"After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove coming upon him" (Matthew 3:16).
We will be in the season of Pentecost until Christ the King Sunday on November 25th.
When you are the neediest,
God is the most sufficient.
When you are completely helpless,
God is most able.
When you feel totally dependent,
God is absolutely dependable.
When you are the weakest,
God is the most able.
When you are the most alone, God is intimately present.
When you feel you are the least,
God is the greatest!
When you feel the most useless,
God is preparing you.
When it is darkest,
God is the only Light you need.
When you feel the least secure,
God is your Rock and Fortress.
When you are the most humble, God is most gracious.
When you say that you cannot,
remember that God can!
Take God On Vacation With You!
The summer months are upon us and we must consider that God does not go on vacation but is always present and loves us!
A vacation is often called a get-away. Of course God doesn’t go on vacation to “get away” from his cherished creation, leaving his creatures entirely to their own devices to survive and thrive. His only “vacation” was his seventh-day ”rest” after his great feat of creation!
We teach our kids that God is everywhere, sees everything, and never leaves us. Well, that is except when we are on our family vacation. After all, this is a time to relax and enjoy a stress-free week when all we have to do is think about fun and games. It's easy to slack on reading the Bible or going to an out-of-town church on a lazy Sunday morning.
If you want to teach your kids about faith and believing, you as a parent must be a shining example for your children. They will then carry on the attitude that God should infiltrate every part of their lives, no matter where they are.
You can have a blast on your family vacation. You can also have more peace of mind knowing that God is with you, even when you hit the waves or make that great putt-putt shot. The truth is God is “there” on the golf course and at the beach; God is always working. Part of God’s job is taking care of you wherever you go. Let God know you appreciate it.
To Our Volunteers
V is for the Very special people that you are
O is for the Overwhelming support you offer others when they need help
L is for the Little things you do that make mean so much
U is for the Unspoken words that you give to make someone’s day
N is for the Need you fill when others aren't able
T is for the Time you give of yourselves on top of your own busy schedules
E is for the Energy you give to make things a success
E is for the Endless concern that you give to all
R is for the Responsibility you take on & never complain
S is for the Smiles you bring to around you by just being you
Associate Director, Mt Cross _____________________________________________________________________________Ministri______________________________________________________________________________es