Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Columbia City Church of Hope

When we went to the Women of the ELCA Triennial Gathering last month in Spokane, WA, there wasn't time to make an appearance in Seattle. Had there been, we would have loved to have visited Columbia City Church of Hope, our newest Reconciling in Christ Congregation.

logo courtesy of columbiacityhope.org


A church start in Seattle, WA, Columbia City Church of Hope began regular Sunday services this past Easter. They made their statement of welcome, a short and sweet,
People of all ages, races, gender identities and sexual orientations, cultures, and classes are welcome.  Come as you are!

official on July 17th. Should you wish to visit (and we certainly hope you do), you can look forward to meditative time spent in their labyrinth, semi-regular potlucks in the homes of church members, yoga retreats - the next is on Saturday, September 24, 2011. 9:30am-12:30pm - and Sunday worship at 10:30am featuring a mix of styles.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Coming up...

On September 23rd through 26th, 2011 there will be a Lutherans Concerned Retreat at Holden Village in Washington State. Rev. Brian Brandt and Rev. Robyn Hartwig from EcoFaith Recovery will be hosting the retreat entitled "Healing the Planet, Healing our Lives."
On the registration site the retreat is described as:

Photo credit: Holden Village LGBT Retreat
This retreat will be an opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered Christians and friends to gather as a community to explore the renewing and transformative power of God’s grace. While reformation and daily renewal are central to the Lutheran tradition, how do these things apply to us today? How do we live out our faith in a time of war, global warming and economic crisis? How do we nurture life-giving communities of faith when society does not fully embrace our loving relationships nor the gifts of sexual minority people called to ordained ministry? What do we do now that the ELCA has changed its policies? How then do we live in that new space? What does God call me to do? How do I live my life in a way which is consistent with my faith and values?   
It is hoped that each of us will come away with a grace-filled and life-giving understanding of what it means to be a person of faith in these very challenging and rapidly changing times. The retreat is hosted by Lutherans Concerned North America and is open to all who seek spiritual growth, healing and community.
Registration is now open, but a late fee will be charged if you register after Sept. 11, 2012.

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In other news, the Metro Washington, DC chapter has an event coming up:

Please join us on Friday evening, September 23, for the LC/MWDC (Lutherans Concerned/Metro Washington DC) Chapter banquet!

We are pleased and honored to announce that our guest speaker will be Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, retired Anglican bishop in Uganda. The ministry he leads, the St. Paul's Reconciliation and Equality Centre in Kampala, has been the lone voice for reason and Christian reconciliation in a country where many—including many religious leaders—advocate that homosexuality (or even befriending those thought to be GLBT) should be a capital offense. The bishop himself has been the target of death threats and condemnations.

Photo credit: Integrity USA
During his US visit, Bishop Senyonjo will also visit Union Seminary (NYC) to participate in a consultation for religious and secular leaders concerned with the exportation of homophobia to Uganda and other parts of Africa. He is being honored with Union's distinguished Alumni Award.

A silent auction will be held to benefit SMYAL (Sexual Minority Youth Action League), the St. Paul's Foundation for International Reconciliation (the US-based organization which supports the Bishop's work in Uganda), and LC/MWDC (that's us!!)

The host Reconciling in Christ congregation is again the Lutheran Church of the Reformation (212 E Capitol St NE). The social hour starts at 6:30 pm; the banquet follows at 7:30. Dress is business casual.

Tickets are $25 (basic) and $40 (patron). Please RSVP soon to Philip Moeller at international [at] lcna.org.


If you have an LC/NA related event coming up, let us know and we'll post it here!

Living Lutheran Videos

Good morning from St. Paul, Minnesota!
While we've posted copiously about the 2011 ELCA Churchwide Assembly on our website and sent out many all member emails with updates on our time there, we didn't update the blog much. To make up for that, here are a number of insightful videos we saw while in Orlando.

The ELCA held a video contest this year under the theme of "What Does It Mean To Live Lutheran?" Many individuals and congregations sent in their entries and showed a wonderful mix of worship, community, ministry, work and play that defines their own Lutheran lives. The following videos were created by RIC congregations and shown at Churchwide Assembly.


"St. John's - A Place Of Love And Justice" was submitted by St. John's Lutheran Church in Atlanta, GA.


"How The Youth Of Holy Trinity Live Lutheran" was submitted by Holy Trinity Lutheran Church of Elgin, IL with the note, "These are the opportunities that the youth of Holy Trinity have to live Lutheran. The music used in the video is "Freedom Come" by Faithland, found at www.godlychristianmusic.com."



Of ther video, "Rising From The Ashes," St. Paulus Lutheran Church of San Fransisco says, "The Welcome Ministry created a living church out of the ashes and rubble of St. Paulus Lutheran Church, which burned down in the 1990s. The Free Farm, which was constructed from the bricks of the old church, materials diverted from the landfill and recycled compost from local restaurants and Christmas trees, has produced 3,200 pounds of produce, which have been given away to neighbors."


Luther Place Memorial Church of Washington DC explains, "Our congregation is Luther Place Memorial Church in Washington, D.C., and this is how we live Lutheran. We are transformed by grace, radical welcome, loving service, challenging injustice, courageous action, Christ, prayerful reflection and creativity. We are being transformed!"

We are blessed by the incredible works these congregations do together.

EDIT: Lutheran Mission of Seguin has a video! You'll hear more about them from us quite soon.


If you saw another RIC congregation's video and would like us to share it, please let us know.

Monday, August 8, 2011

New Welcome in Chicago

If you find yourself looking for a church home in Chicago, IL, be sure to visit Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood. Our newest Reconciling in Christ congregation, Bethlehem Evangelical passed an affirmation of Welcome in June. Bethlehem Evangelical was formed in 1997 by the consolidation of two Lutheran churches and meets for traditional worship at 9:30am during the summer and 8:30 and 10:30 am during the school year.

Bethlehem participates in the Share the Harvest program to provide produce to those who need it. Volunteers grow food in the church's vegetable garden and at home, last year donating 600 lbs! Their ministries go beyond their garden and include participation in Bread for the World, Bridge to Success (donating clothing and accesories to women seeking employment), Chicago Uptown Ministry, and many more.

We're blessed by the welcoming work that Bethlehem Evangelical engages in every day. Welcome to you all!