Showing posts with label Update. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Update. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 20

Reconciler Update

We are coming to the end of the Season of Easter, summer is nearly upon us, and a week from this Sunday we will celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost, the birthday of the church, the feast that reminds us that the Spirit of God came and filled the church and continues to fill us and empowers us as members of Christ's body. As such Pentecost seems to be a fitting place to begin to see how things have gone and see where the Spirit may be leading us, and is doing in our midst. When Tripp Hudgins and David Gortner gathered people including myself to see if God was in the idea of an ecumenical church start one of the questions was is the Spirit of God in this and how is the Spirit moving. We set out to start Reconciler because the consensus of all those gathered was that the vision was of the Spirit. One of the areas of learning for us early on was being attentive to the ways in which the Spirit moved with and in and around circumstances. We are at another stage where discernment of this is necessary.

Here is some of my reflections on direction the Spirit may be moving us in light of our circumstances. I still feel that some form of team ministry with pastors of other denominations is still part of what God is about at Reconciler. Especially since it seems that denominational structures and identities are currently not flexible enough, perhaps for good reason, to accommodate full affiliation in all three denominations at once. So, any connection to structures outside ourselves may continue to need to happen through the clergy. However, it may also mean re-conceiving how such a team works and may not mean having all three pastors equally involved in the day to day pastoring of the church. Also, we have kind of kept the Community of the Holy Trinity as a somewhat silent partner in the work of Reconciler. However, Holy Trinity is what has allowed Kate and I to continue to be part of Reconciler, and the community has provided space for meetings and potlucks and worship space. Currently, Holy Trinity and Reconciler pray in the same space. as we move forward it seems that it is time to in the least describe to ourselves and others what the relationship between community and congregation exist. In part it seems that the community provides the support and continuity that at least right now the congregation on its own could not provide. I am considering presenting to my denomination that it seek to acknowledge my work as Prior of the Community of the Holy Trinity that includes being pastor of Church of Jesus Christ, Reconciler. A closer and more explicit relationship has advantages for Reconciler as the community may take more ownership of what is happening at Reconciler and we at Reconciler can also take some ownership of what is happening with the community. These are some of my current thoughts on how God may be leading, but like when we began and and each juncture in our short life as a congregation discerning the movement of the Spirit is prayerfully considering and planning together and seeing how these things play out as we seek to faithfully follow Christ.

Tuesday, May 12

Visit this Sunday by Associate Superintendent of the Central Confernece of the ECC‏

A Reminder that this Sunday May 17th Rev. Jolene Bergstrom Carlson, Associate Superintendent of the Central Conference (for you Episcopal types kind of like an associate bishop, but not) will be with us and presiding at Table. A reception will be held following the service for us to meet Jolene. Since being sent to take part in starting Reconciler by then Conference Superintendent Rev. Herb Freedholm, Jolene has been our regular connection to the Covenant and Conference support to me as we have tried to figure out how to keep connections with the three denominations and as we have watched what God has done at Reconciler often very different from what we had planned or thought. Jolene also when we started Reconciler came and installed me as the Covenant Pastor of Reconciler.
So come and worship with us this Sunday and meet Jolenne.

Tuesday, May 5

Reconciler Update

We continue to be in a time of transition and change that we began last year when we began to question the necessity of the committee structure as a means to be church together. This has lead to a streamlining of our council and the creation of more fluid forms of being together and working together as a church community. As we have made these changes and have found other challenges to our original vision conversation with the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago and the Central Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church has picked up again. We find ourselves in a good place to continue the conversation of continued relationship with the three denominations even as we are without an Episcopal Priest and have put on hold our search for an American Baptist pastor.
A week ago today I met with the Rev. Cannon Scott Hayashi, Canon to the Ordinary of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago (A Canon is a person who may be lay or ordained who serves on a Bishop’s staff or a cathedral. The Canon to the Ordinary is a person whose ministry is directly answerable to the bishop and who can function as a sort of chief of staff). We had a lively and helpful discussion about Reconciler and the possibilities of a continuing relationship with the Diocese. In the coming months as we reflect together on who we are as a congregation and how we wish to continue to be an ecumenical congregation Rev. Canon Hayashi's thoughts and reflections will be helpful. Though in our conversation it was made very clear that the way I and the founding pastors had conceived of affiliation with the three denominations a little over four years ago is not a possibility. So, as we live into some of the changes of the past year and decide how we want to move forward these changes I think our in line with what the three denominations we have been in conversation with about affiliation will be able to accept and may lead us to a more creative way of connection with Christians of various traditions outside our small congregation.
Also, Rev. Jolene Bergstorm Calrson is planning to visit us and Preside at Table on May 17th. Jolene has attempted to visit us several times in the past year and a half and has ended up have various scheduling conflicts that prevented the visit. The Central Conference remains supportive of Reconciler and we will have an opportunity to meet Jolene and let her get to know us a little better in a couple of weeks.
So in this season of Easter there is life but like when the disciples encountered the living Risen Jesus of Nazareth it is also life that at least I was not expecting. But then Resurrection life is like that, I suppose.
Announcements:
Rev. Jolene Bergstrom Carlson, Associate Superintendent of the Central Conference of the ECC will be visiting us and presiding at Table Sunday May 17th.

This Wednesday May 6th members of Reconciler are providing the meal for the Community meal with Immanuel Lutheran Church. Come and join us at 6 pm.
Following the meal The Community of the Holy Trinity* is leading a Vespers service using Taize music at 7 PM. Holy Trinity will lead the 7 pm Evening prayer service at Immanuel service the months of May and June.

You are invited by The Community of the Holy Trinity*to an Ascension Vespers with Holy Communion on Thursday, May 21st at 7 pm in the side Chapel of Immanuel Lutheran Church.

Our Next Council meeting will be a week from this Thursday, May 14th. 7:30 pm, all are encouraged to attend. Remember if you show up you are a member of council.

* The Community of the Holy Trinity is an intentional community that was founded by Rev. Larry Kamphausen and Kate Setzer Kamphausen in 2003 and another couple. Larry is both the Prior of the community as well as Pastor of Reconciler. While currently only Kate and Larry are both members of Reconciler and of Holy Trinity, over the past 4 years Reconciler and Holy Trinity have shared members from time to time. Holy Trinity has been a partner in ministry with Reconciler in various ways including providing space for our meetings and early on, before Reconciler and Holy Trinity moved to the Immanuel church campus, Reconciler used the community's chapel for its worship space. Currently both Holy Trinity and Reconciler use Immanuel's chapel for their worship space.

Wednesday, April 15

The Season of Easter

"Alleluia, Christ is Risen. The Lord is Risen indeed, Alleluia."

It is now the Season of Easter. In the Church year we have 40 days of fasting in Lent, as we prepare for and contemplate the way of the Cross, followed by 50 days of celebrating and contemplating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. We may not all be at this place of rejoicing and experiencing resurrection during this particular season of Easter, but we celebrate not based on our circumstances but based on what God has done. And we celebrate in hope that we will all know and can know now the power of Resurrection in our lives, even in the midst of grief and death and continued struggle. The reality of Easter, of Christ's Resurrection from the Dead, is our hope when things continue to seem dark. So, it is also important in this festive season of Easter to remember our passage through the three Days, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. We need to keep together the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. One is not more crucial than the other. We don't get at the truth by emphasizing one and ignoring the other. The death and Resurrection of Christ is one act of God, to transform the world and bring an end to sin death and all injustice and unrighteousness. The death and Resurrection of Jesus then aren't primarily about human experience, but about God's acts to return all things to God, that all may be found in the source of all life and who is life and light itself.

May this season of Easter be full of God's joy and peace.

Wednesday, March 11

Reconciler Update

My hope for all of us this Lent is that we may find our faith renewed and find ourselves growing in the love of God. Yet, I am aware that even in my own spiritual life that Lent can have an opposite effect. I can feel burdened by a fast or other discipline I have undertaken. If I break the fast or am inconsistent in keeping to a discipline I can feel like Lent was awash. This is a temptation of Lent and of the spiritual disciplines in general. An other temptation can be to be quite proud of our being able to keep our fast or other discipline through out Lent. I think there are in these temptations a positive and negative impulses. In the positive both can be born out of a desire to follow in the way of Christ perfectly, For we know as our closing hymn on Sunday says "Forty Days and forty night thou was fasting in the wild; forty day and forty nights tempted, and yet undefiled." (#150 Hymnal 1982, Episcopal Church). We want to be "undefiled", yet this desire turns into a work that we feel we must do. We then become burdened and either stumble under this burden or become prideful that we have carried this burden.

So Lent can become quite distressing and especially so, as our Lenten discipline brings to light sins or failings we have and we then encounter them in stark relief, which is suited to a time of repentance and self-examination. However, if we have succumbed thus seeing Lent as a time of Spiritual accomplishment and perfection, finding our dark selves rising to the surface can lead to confusion and distress. The closing hymn from this past Sunday offers us the solution to these attitudes: "Then if Satan on us press, Jesus, Savior, hear our call! Victor in the wilderness, grant we may not faint or fall!" We are not the victors in this wilderness, nor is it upon our own resources that we are to rely in Lent or the Spiritual life, but upon Christ who is the Victor and who has fulfilled the Law and all the requirements of the Spiritual life. If we are to find ourselves perfected it is in reliance on and faith in Christ. We are to rely on Christs strength having faith that Christ has already overcome and is victorious.

So in a sense Lent is nothing special, in our life of faith. What applies to Lent always applies. We keep Lent because it can help us refocus and return to our call and to that reliance on Christ, which is our faith. We undertake these disciplines and we fast, we take this time to focus intently on our Spiritual life and our selves so that we may open ourselves ever more to the tranforming power of the Resurrection. We enter a desert and intensify our struggles with ourselves and sin and temptation, not to make ourselves perfect but to be perfected by God, as we are formed ever more into the image of Christ. A subtle distinction but one essential for a Holy Lent and for our entire spiritual journey in this life.

Thursday, February 26

Lent

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. In my sermons in the season after the Epiphany I have been encouraging us to reflect on the meaning of being disciples of Jesus Christ. The accounts of the apostles and disciples in the Gospels I believe are encouraging. The Apostles, who eventually would go out proclaiming that in Jesus Christ God had come and lived in our midst and had begun the transformation of the world and died for this message, in Gospels aren't so bold, and not so sure of themselves. They don't always understand Jesus and often misunderstand very direct things Jesus tells them. At times we all are very much like the disciples in the Gospels. We are on a journey from Glory to Glory, we have encountered Christ and have felt the transformation of that encounter but we aren't always sure we are living into that work of transformation nor are we always sure how to go about it.
Lent in part exists because we need a time to be reminded of certain things. So we come to Ash Wednesday and we repent. We acknowledge the ways we have not lived up to the call of discipleship. We acknowledge that we have been here before and are forgetful. We come to Ash Wednesday and we walk in the desert of Lent with Jesus to be reminded, and to grown in our understanding of the life of faith. We come again to learn what it means to be a Christian, and to meet God and be renewed and refreshed. This is the strange logic of Christian faith in passing through the desert one is refreshed and renewed, passing through death we find life, in letting go of our hard fought and won identities we find our true selves in Christ. None of this is simply a one time thing and then done. We begin at first faith and baptism and we return to this place again and again, hopefully always going deeper finding that our grip on ourselves is less tight, that our sins (no less great) are smaller hidden things we had never noticed before. This is sanctification the realm in which we open ourselves up to grace fully confident of our relationship to God in Jesus Christ. As we journey together this Lent towards the Cross and Resurrection, my hope is that we can begin to share with each other our experiences, struggles and triumphs in this life of discipleship. This it the stuff of our faith, in Lent a time of repentance, desert, fasting, and self-denial we find the power of the Gospel.

Wednesday, February 18

Preparing for Lent

Lent is approaching. As we prepare to enter Lent this Sunday we reflect on the Transfiguration of Christ in the midst of his earthly ministry. This lent we will have the opportunity to come together and share with each other each week Lent about our spiritual life what helps us in our relationship with God and following Jesus, but also our struggles. Christian faith is not meant to be a solo activity. Also, these are times to reflect on why we take time to fast (give things up) or take on certain spiritual disciplines for Lent. Many of us do not come from traditions that keep Lent, some of us do. What about Lent makes sense? What questions do you have about the keeping of Lent.
To prime the pump let me briefly put forward some thoughts about Lent: Lent is a time of preparation and self-examination. Lent is a Journey to the Cross and then to the Resurrection. The church year brings us back again and again to this central and crucial aspect of our faith that Jesus died upon a cross, was buried and rose again. Our actions as followers of Christ should be motivated from this center of our faith. Our sense of justice, our works of mercy and advocacy, what we do from day to day all should be informed by this great mystery of our faith. Yet, we are also continually learning what this means for ourselves and for the church as a whole, we will never stop being able to appropriate in new ways this great mystery, Lent offers us a time to return and re-appropriate this mystery of our faith into our lives both as individuals but also as a body of believers. What ever you decide to do for lent or not do, may this Lent allow you a time to re-appropriate the central mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is Risen Christ will come again.
In Christ,
Larry

Thursday, January 29

Update

In the past few weeks we have been looking at call and discipleship and observed the Week of prayer for Christian Unity. We began an ended the week with additions to our usual liturgy and adapting the Lima liturgy to our regular Reconciler liturgy. I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the connection between our worship of the last few weeks, ecumenism and discipleship. Our liturgical worship and especially the liturgies we have been using the past few weeks, subordinate individual expression of faith and worship to something else. This subordination of individual response or expression can run counter to many images of discipleship and living faith as usually found in American contexts. In general in American Christianity tends to see discipleship as an individual endeavor. Discipleship is primarily about my relationship to Jesus, and only secondarily about the kingdom of God or being a member of the body of Christ. I see our lectionary texts for the Season after Epiphany as challenging this American conception of discipleship. Or at least the confluence of these texts asks us to make a major corrective in our understanding of the relationship between our life of faith and our individuality.

Implicit in the Gospel's sense of being a follower of Jesus, a disciple, is that while our individuality is respected it is not the primary focus of a life of discipleship. Discipleship forms our individuality into something better and it does it by emphasizing community, and by calling us to be conformed to the Mind of Christ. If we move our sense of being a Christian and following Christ away from a focus on our individual beliefs, feelings, doubts etc., and realize that the life of faith is seeing all of our individuality being formed by God in Christ into Christ and being built into the the temple of God the Church then ecumenism simply takes on the tinge of discipleship. Also, our worship on Sundays becomes less about whether or not I can come and feel certain feelings or express certain things about myself and my faith and more about being formed and molded and built into something as the person I am. All of this is meant to happen with others who also are also followers and disciples of Jesus.

This formation is not only supposed to happen to us individually but corporately and across space and time. In some sense we might say this is what Church is the site where this happens. If we are cut off from those who are disciples of Jesus either in space or time we then lack something in our discipleship and following of Jesus. This is the place of ecumenism in our lives of discipleship and following Jesus. So, our worship our actions, our vision as a congregation, our lives in the world with friends family and coworkers are also a piece, not because I can individually make it all fit together but because I with others am seeking after Christ and we together can be formed by our worship and fellowship together, which then allows us to go out into the world and witness to the presence and absence of the Kingdom of God in the world. But we are hindered in this ability to witness as long as we are separated from other disciples who can help us be formed together as the Body of Christ.

Announcements:
We are continuing to meet together as a congregation to share and reflect and plan as we take stock of various changes and seek to move into this coming year together. Our next gathering will be February 9 6:30 PM at Beth, Jorge and Hank's house 5419 North Glenwood Ave, Apt. 3. A light supper will be provided. If you would like to augment the soup and bread feel free to bring something to share. Please RSVP to Beth Wetmore by friday February 6th. E-mail her at emwetmore@yahoo.com or call her at 773-275-1918.

Sunday February 15th Bishop Jeffrey Lee of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago will be visiting us for worship. There will be a time to meet him after the service.

Wednesday Evenings on the Immanuel Campus:
Community meal 6 pm. Following the meal at 7 pm there is a prayer service. For January and February it will be a service of Lectio Devina (prayerful reading and discussion of Scripture for the coming Sunday) During Lent there will be a sung Vespers service.

Wednesday, January 14

Next week is the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity, or the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The week of prayer begins this Sunday January 18th The feast of St. Peter and ends on Sunday the 25th the Feast of St Paul. The theme for this years observance is from Ezekiel 37:15-19, 22-24a “That they may become one in your hand”. I encourage us to take the time to pray for Christian Unity in our daily prayers and to meditate on the Ezekiel passage over the course of the week. As a congregation with an ecumenical vision and actuality although in the past we have failed to give a great deal of emphasis to this but I believe that this could be an important aspect of living out our vision. A way to remind ourselves why we gather each Sunday as those from a variety of denominational backgrounds and journeys. Reminding ourselves why we join in regular worship with Immanuel Lutheran Church and St Elias Christian Church. We do these things because we are seeking and praying for the unity of the Church

This years theme and resource materials were prepared by Christians in Korea, who not only face the divisions between Christians but the division between North and South Korea, and the loss and hostility on both sides that has remained since the Korean War. Christians in Korea see the prayer for Christian unity to not stop only at creed or denominational divisions but the political and ideological divisions as well as of wealth and class. I encourage each of us during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity to also take time to reflect how Reconciler can deepen its ecumenical calling and reflect on what Christian unity may mean for us. We too in this country and this city of Chicago face various divisions that are also divisions between Christians: race, ethnicity, class etc. In this week we are praying for reconciliation and seeking to repent of all ways we praying for forgiveness for the scandal of our disunity and our inability to be ambassadors of reconciliation in the world. What paths of personal and ecclesial conversion must we take to arrive at full communion in Christ?

If you would like a guide for your prayers and mediation over the week the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute has resources that can be going here . The Graymoor Institutes website also has an explanation of the theme of this years Week of Prayer for Christian Unity as well as a brief history of the Week of Payer. Do take the time to read some of this.

Announcements:
Tomorrow, Thursday January 15 we have a congregational meeting at the Nidge, 7:30 pm. If you consider Reconciler your church home or attend Reconciler on a some what regular basis, you are encouraged to come and join in reflecting on how God is at work and leading Reconciler.

This Sunday, January 18th begins the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

We now have childcare and a Children's Sunday School program during our 5 pm service. Spread the word!

Wednesday Evenings on the Immanuel Campus:
Community meal 6 pm members of Immanuel, the Community of the Holy Trinity and Reconciler join with the youth who take part in Immanuel's after school program for a meal together.
Following the meal at 7 pm there is a prayer service. For January and February it will be a service of Lectio Devina (prayerful reading and discussion of Scripture for the coming Sunday) During Lent there will be a sung Vespers service.

Friday, July 11

Last night we had a good time at the Swanson's for a BBQ potluck supper. We watched the video put out Churches Supporting Churches the organization North Shore Baptist Church is working with as it joins in a partnership with a church, New Home Baptist Church in the 9th Ward of New Orleans. Following the video we had a good discussion, and those of us present concluded it was a good thing to continue to explore.

Some points were raised in the discussion that I think were separate from Churches Supporting Churches and the possibility of partnering with North Shore. What follows is what I was hearing about our identity and what we want to be involved with, the order of this list is has no meaning in terms of importance or logical sequence. What do we have the energy and resources to do as a small congregation? Do we know what we want to do? What are we about? As an ecumenical congregation are there points of theology or stances of other congregations or churches that would prevent us from partnering or working with them? Does our character as an Ecumenical congregation effect what we do and how we do it. How many people from our small congregation need to be involved in something for us to claim we are committed to it as a congregation? What are our current involvement and commitments and how does that limit or determine what we should do. Should we take on at this point in time new commitments/projects?

I think these are good questions to ask and to together find some answers. I encourage us all to be thinking about these things and talking about these things with each other. To facilitate this I'd like to take a moment describe what we have done we are doing and point us to our vision documents that tell us who we are and would like to be. While our vision documents were written before most of you came they in the least have lead us to where we are at now and should help us get clear on who we are and what we are about. Our vision statements (http://christreconciler.blogspot.com/2006/02/church-of-jesus-christ-reconciler.html, http://christreconciler.blogspot.com/2006/02/our-vision.html , if you'd like hard copies of these let the pastoral team know.) put our Ecumenical character and our worship as the central and main characteristic of Reconciler. In this we are seeking to witness to the broad historic faith of the whole Church as well as living in three particular traditions of the Faith. This does not exclude being involved in various types of advocacy, or relief and charity, or actively seeking to redress injustices, but it does place these things in context of worship that reflects and proclaims the faith once delivered tot he saints in our time. This I think is reflected in what we do. Our most consistent activity is our worship on Sundays, and our joint worship services with Immanuel and St. Elias. From the stand point of our vision statements the work of the social Action committee or the church council (and all else we do) should come out of our worship together around word and table.

Over time We have been involved in various things. The social action committee has attempted various things: encouraged members to volunteer with the Centro Romero here in Edgewatter which some of us did for a time, and few may still do on occasion. We had a drive for kitchen utensils for Sarah's circle in which we partnered with North Shore Baptist Church and Community Church of Wilmette, we took part in the Jubilee USA grassroots conference and took part in some of their writing campaigns to congressional representatives seeking to expand debt relief. We had a Christian formation series with Immanuel on Interfaith relations with Islam and Judaism. We have had bible studies on various topics. We have had a panel discussion on Fair Trade. We have had booths at two Chicago Summer neighborhood festivals. Through are pastoral team we are members of Edgewater Religious Community Association, which supports and advises a food pantry, Care for Real, and Eppworth Homeless shelter for men. Also through the pastoral team we were present with Immanuel at the Organization of the Northeast conference and a prayer vigil to urge Alderwoman Mary Ann Smith to take seriously the community proposal for Senn High school. We have a yearly congregational retreat. We have occasional gatherings either planed by individual or by the church council for fellowship together; potlucks, breakfasts, going for supper after church.

I think the above list if not exhaustive give us a good idea of where our energies have gone and do go. In writing all that down there is a sense that this is a large variety of things without an obvious specific central idea guiding it. Unless the multiplicity genuinely reflects our desire to have our life together focused on our worship seeking to come from our worship to proclaim the faith as an ecumenical and diverse congregation this diversity may be misplaced. There are advantages and disadvantages to this variety of activity: As an ecumenical congregation we can engage a variety of organizations and causes across various distinctions and divisions, seek live out our life ecumenically working with an ecumenical organization like ECRA and its related organizations. Our members can be involved in a variety of things and we can say that these are things that Reconciler is about. The disadvantage is that it can have a lack of focus and it may be difficult to see how these various things fit into our ecumenical character and the centrality of our worship. Also, in the above there may be to much reliance on our Sunday evening gathering for worship and we may want to ask ourselves if we need more than just a yearly retreat as a congregation to help us deepen our faith and help us make the connection between our worship and how we are going out and living out and proclaiming our faith in deed and word. We may need to give some attention of our spiritual lives together that can help us grow together and deepen our engagement with our worship.

My hope is that this can stimulate some discussion amongst ourselves and help us get clear about who we are and what we want to be about (given our vision as it stand it could be multiple things that only a few of us are involved in supported by all of us, or we could choose to focus ourselves for a time). I hope as we come together on Sundays, or at festivals or social gatherings over the next couple of months that we would attempt to think together about these things and be able to come to the church council with questions or suggestions and gain clarity about who we are as a congregation and how we want to continue to grow in Christ and our faith and life together.

Announcements:
Our Council meets next Thursday July 17th 7:30 PM at the 'Nidge. All are welcome to attend and bring things to discuss.

This Sunday July 13th we are at the Clark Street Festival, see the sign up sheet that has been sent around or talk with Daniel or Kate about signing up to staff the booth. We will have our regular service at 5 PM and be leaving the Festival in time for church that evening.

Jorge Sanchez is preaching this Sunday July 13th.

August 23rd and 24th we will have a booth at the Glenwood Arts Festival in Rogers Park. We are looking for artists of all media to contribute. Talk with Larry about showing your art. Talk with Daniel and Kate about staffing the booth when we get closer to the festival.

Pastors vacations: Larry will be taking a week vacation between July 21 and 27. Laura will on a weekend trip the weekend of July 20 th and then be away on vacation from August 24th through August 30th.

We are planning a panel discussion on homelessness on September 11th. Talk with Jeremy or attend the next meeting of the Social Action Committee if you are interested in helping planning the panel.

In Christ,
Larry

The Pastoral Team

Friday, June 27

Reconciler Update

Summer is fully upon us. The Clark Street Festival will soon be here, the first of two Chicago neighborhood festivals in which we plan to have a booth. And we are planning another panel discussion for September. We are seeing ourselves grow in being a congregation. As Laura has pointed out we are beginning to live into the ministry of Reconciler as the work of all of us, as was shown in the panel discussion on Fair Trade. However, along with consciousness raising and outreach we need to attend to relationships, both those that already exist within our congregation and those we may form with whom God sends us as we reach out to those around us. This is perhaps the more difficult task than planning events and programs or becoming politically active as individuals and as a congregation. We can inadvertently hurt and break relationships in the process of doing things even the right things, unless we believe that particular human relationships and exhibiting love in those relationships is as important, possibly more important, than what we do. First it should form us and propels us to grow in love for each other and for people in particular. The love we have from God is the basis of what we do, both as a church and as individuals. God sent The Son, Jesus Christ, out of love not just for humanity in some abstraction or generality but in all our particularity. Being able to love each other and others in the world in their particularity is always the most difficult task for the church, because it stretches us beyond our human capacities. This goal leads us to a reliance upon God, as the source of our love and as that which binds our relationships together. So, yes let us do and plan, but may we be attentive that what is done is done out of love of God with love attention to the particular people we already know and will meet as we follow God's leading as a congregation.

Announcements:
Laura our priest and her family are moving as construction begins in earnest on their home. There is a packing party this Saturday.

The Pulse:Africa is this Saturday June 28th at the 1 Pm at the Brixon Ivy Community Center Theater 2 blocks east of Wrigley feild on Addison. Featuring Watoto Children's Choir from Uganda and the Labco Dance Company of Pitsburg. 1 PM, $10.00.

Melissa Browning is preaching again this Sunday, June 29th.

Thursday July 10th we are having a potluck supper at Will and Chrissy's house 3106 W Carmen Ave at 7 PM.
It will be a time to hang out together and briefly hear about our opportunity to partner with North Shore Baptist Church as they have been connected with a church in the lower 9th Ward of New Orleans through the organization Churches Supporting Churches.

Sunday July 13th we are at the Clark Street Festival, see the sign up sheet that has been sent around or talk with Daniel or Kate about signing up to staff the booth. We will have our regular service at 5 PM and be leaving the Festival in time for church that evening.

August 23rd and 24th we will have a booth at the Glenwood Arts Festival in Rogers Park. We are looking for artists of all media to contribute. Talk with Larry about showing your art. Talk with Daniel and Kate about staffing the booth when we get closer to the festival.

Pastors vacations: Larry will be taking a week vacation between July 21 and 27. Laura will on a weekend tripp the weekend of July 20 th and then be away on vacation from August 24th through August 30th.

We are planning a panel discussion on homelessness on September 11th. Talk with Jeremy or attend the next meeting of the Social Action Committee if you are interested in helping plan this event.

In Christ,
Larry

The Pastoral Team

The Church of Jesus Christ, Reconciler

Friday, May 16

Reconciler Update

This Sunday we celebrate God's self-revelation as Trinity. Trinity Sunday Marks our moving into the Season after Pentecost or Ordinary Time. We have walked through once again the seasons and feasts that mark God's saving acts in Jesus Christ, that make possible our return to the relationship and relationships God created us to have and which apart from God and Christ we cannot achieve. This relationship is to enter the communion and relation of the Holy Trinity. Having Celebrated the feasts of the Gospel, and spent time in fasting and reflection and repentance we now move into a time of living out the Gospel. As we journey through the long season of Ordinary time we are called to live out life in communion with God who is a community of three persons and to allow ourselves to be brought into that community ever more in our daily lives, and our innermost attitudes. The Scriptures we will hear over this long season will address this aspect of the life of faith, and what it means to be a follower and disciple of Christ and member of the church, Christ's body. The season is green, symbol of growth and abundant eternal life which we have and are offered in Jesus Christ. May we find ways to grow and deepen our knowledge of the Love of God who is a community of three persons, Father Son and Holy Spirit.

Announcements:
This Sunday Jorge Sanchez will be preaching again.

The council met this week and decided to have a week of response to the recent tragdies in Burma and China. There are two ways the council is encouraging us as a congregation to respond as a people of faith. First we will have a week for prayer and fasting. We encourage each of us to choose one day to spend in fasting and prayer for the softening of the hearts of the Military leaders of Burma who are preventing aid to come into the country and allocated to the people in need and to simply lift up in prayer all those who are suffering from such great loss in both countries. Second we are collecting means for contributing financially through Episcopal, Covenant and Baptist channels. You will be receiving information about how to make contributions through each denominations aid agencies.

The Search committee will be meeting this week Wednesday the 21st at the 'Nidge, 7:30 PM.

The search committee recommended and the Council agreed to consider a candidate for an interim Baptist Pastor. The search committee is focusing interviewing and presenting this candidate who will be considered in the coming month. More information will follow soon.

Thursday June 5th our Social Action Committee is sponsoring a panel discussion on Fair trade from 7-9PM in Immanuel Lutheran Church's Sanctuary.

We are preparing to take part in two neighborhood summer Festivals. The first is the Clark Street Festival Sunday July 13th, the second is August 23rd and 24th at the Glenwood Arts Festival. Soon you will be receiving communication about helping staff the Clark Street Festival and for setting up and taking down. If you'd like have your art in the booth for the Glenwood Arts Festive please talk with Larry.

In Christ,
Larry

Friday, April 11

Reconciler Update

We are now three weeks into the Season of Easter. For some this may be a difficult juxtaposition. We as the church are celebrating the Resurrection of Christ. We are singing joyous songs and talk about the joy and triumph of the Resurrection. Yet it maybe that some of us are still stuck in circumstances of life more in keeping with Holy Week or Good Friday. We are often still struggling with what we were struggling before Easter. Life and the church year don't always agree. We may not feel like rejoicing. This uncomfortable juxtaposition though is itself part of the journey of faith, it is part and parcel of the experience of the church. We rejoice at the Resurrection but are left with seeing Christ and having him disappear from view. We have the signs of God's presence but God as often as not seems distant or absent. The Resurrection has occurred but we wait the final consummation of the work begun in Jesus Christ. We celebrate the victory of Christ over Sin Death and the Devil, and yet we see the continued signs of those three things at work in the world. Our joy, our Easter joy then does not come from the circumstances of the world and our life. This is the difference between joy and happiness. We can easily confuse the two especially in a country that has lifted up the pursuit of happiness as a great good that should be unimpeded. But our happiness depends on circumstances. Joy is not dependent on circumstances.

As we hear the stories of the Resurection and the beginning of the church the circumstances remain largely unchanged for the Apostles and Jesus' followers: the leaders of the Jewish people did not come around and admit Jesus to be the Messiah, the persecution that the disciples feared did come. The Resurrection did not convince the powers to step aside and accept Jesus Christ, and embrace the Kingdom of God as the way things are. No, the logic of violence and death, remained entrenched. So then what good is Jesus' resurrection? What comfort is there in Easter and the proclamation of Christ risen? Our comfort is that violence, death, the powers of the world, the politicians (religious and secular) do not have the last word. And our hope is not in politics, wars, and the ways of the World. The Resurection of Christ is the sign that all these things have been judged as wanting, and that there is another word, God's Word. Suffering now has meaning if it is joined with and identified with Christ's sufferings, if it is seen as part of the redemption of the entire cosmos. If things seem unchanged it is because God desires to draw all things into this other Word, this other way. By death Christ beat down death, that is God overcomes the world not by conquering it but by passing through its evil and overturning the world's verdict about what is real and true.

So yes, God is slow, and at times the Resurrection seems to have no effect on us or the world. And yet, we are signs of its effect. Through faith in Christ our suffering can become our joy, as we see God transforming us and the world in the midst of its and our own failings. Through faith in Christ our struggles and sufferings can add to and fulfill Christ's own sufferings, as we join ourselves to the redemptive work of God in Jesus Christ. So we may not always be happy or free of pain, but we can know that God is with us in and through our suffering and hardship. We can know that God is one who is acquainted with grief because of the incarnation, and God in Jesus Christ has overcome the world and all its suffering and hardship. Our suffering is not and will not be the last word, but the Resurrected Christ is the last word, because Jesus is God's Word. Easter Celebration and joy are to communicate to us that we are to rest in this last word and hope in the Resurrection as the sign that God is truly making all things new.

Announcements-
The blog has been quiet for the past few months as Laura and Larry have acclimated to Tripp's absence. However, Laura has posted here last several sermons and Larry had a manuscript written for his last sermon this past Sunday. So, come visit the blog if you haven't in awhile or missed a recent Sunday service.

Laura and Larry are presenting a seminar with the Pastor Gabi Aelabouni of St Elias Christian Church and Pastor Monte Johnson of Immanuel Lutheran Church at the National Workshop on Christian Unity this Tuesday, April 15th. We are presenting on the joint work our three congregations are doing and what we hope for the ecumenical and multicultural relationships between the three congregations.

Our Monthly congregational council meeting is this Thursday, April 17th 7:30 PM at the 'Nidge. All are welcome to attend.

The next Social Action Committee meeting will be Monday April 21st. For details talk with Chrissy Swanson or Jeremy John.

Our summer outreach will again to be present at the Clark Street Festival and the Glenwood Arts festival. Look for more details in the coming month. If you are an artist (visual, music, fabric, etc.) talk with Larry about being part of our booth and the Glenwood Arts Festival(We plan to reserve a larger one than we had last year.)

Our Search Committee for our next Baptist pastor had its first meeting this past Wednesday its next meeting is schedules for Thursday April 24th.

Saturday, January 19

Reconciler Update

Our Annual meeting is coming up and Lent closely follows upon our annual meeting. The beginning of Lent, Ash Wednesday, is February 5th. Our Annual meeting is Sunday January 27th. The annual meeting of Reconciler is for any and all of us who attend Reconciler regularly and/or consider Reconciler to be one of your church homes. It is a time for us to gather and hear where we have come from in the past year and to make decisions of where we want to go and confirm together where the Spirit is leading us at this juncture. It is an important time for us as a worshiping community to reflect on who we are and see how we might continue to live into our call and vision as a congregation, for the coming year.

Lent also is a time for reflection and preparation. As we journey towards Holy Week and Easter we prepare for remembering the passion of Christ and his Resurrection. Part of this preparation or reflection is often to do some sort of fasting, either from food altogether on certain days during lent or from particular foods or activities for the entirety of Lent. Part of the point of fasting is to turn to God in prayer and meditation, and if one is fasting from a meal or meals on particular days to plan to give away the money one would have spent on that meal or activity or item of food during Lent. It is good to remember as we journey through Lent that this time of reflection is to be a time of renewal so that we may see and act more clearly with God in the world. Setting aside money to give away one would have spent on food or an activity one is fasting from can be a good reminder that our fasting meditation and prayer is to both transform us and the world. We stop and reflect because we can loose sight of why we do what we do, because we can get bogged down in the normal stresses of life and become absorbed in the small things that can consume our life. Thus lent is also a time of repentance and self-examination, where we are called to turn back from possible patterns of sin that may have crept into our lives over the past year.
Announcements:
Our Annual meeting is on Sunday January 27th beginning at 2 PM with a potluck in the 'Nidge, the at 3PM in Immanuel's parish hall we will begin our meeting. We will have our worship service at the normal time of 5PM following the meeting.

On January 27th we have the Rev. Doug Harris one of the pastors at North Shore Baptist Church ,presiding at communion.

This Sunday the Rev. Jolene Bergstrom-Carlson the Associate Superintendent of the Central Conference of the ECC will be worshiping with us.

In an effort to coordinating the care of the space Immanuel shares with us we are looking for people to coordinate with Immanuel's alter guild and Properties committee to help maintain this space and Immanuel's property. A couple of you have responded but if others are also interested please talk to Larry or Laura.

Immanuel is looking for members of Reconciler who would be willing to serve as ushers and greeters at our joint services on Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday Services. Talk to Larry if you would like to serve in this way at any of the above mentioned services.

Ash Wednesday February 6th we will be having a joint service with Immanuel and St Elias of the imposition of Ashes at 7 PM in the Sanctuary.

In Christ,
Larry

Friday, January 4

Weekly Update

Sunday is the Feast of Epiphany. We commemorate the coming of the Wise Men from the east to worship the Christ child. The following Sunday is the Sunday of the Baptism of the Lord, where we commemorate Christs Baptism in the Jordan by John the Baptist. the season after Epiphany concludes with Transfiguration Sunday the commemoration of Christs transfiguration on Mt Tabor where Elijah and Moses visit with him, witnessed by Peter James and John.

Liturgically we move from the celebration of the Birth of Christ to the meaning of the baby born in the manger and are lead to see that this child is the Word made flesh, God in human form. This is first witnessed to in that the Magi come and worship the Christ child.

This all reminds us that the celebration and joy of Christmas is not just about the coming of a baby, but that this baby was the gift of God with us, that this infant was born for us and to suffer with us. Thus we are already on our way to Lent and Holy Week. but we don't need to rush ahead, but to keep in mind the unity of the seasons of the Church year. They flow one into another, lifting up for a time different stories and themes of the Gospel, that we may ever continually enter more deeply into the mystery of God's saving Work and the coming Kingdom. As we celebrate Epiphany and the manifestation of Christ in the world, take time to reflect on Christ our light and life and how God is manifest in your life and those around you.

Announcements:
Professor Douglas Sharp of Northern Baptist Seminary will be our Baptist supply preacher on Sunday January 13th

The Rev. Doug Harris of North Shore Baptist Church, will be presiding at communion on Sunday January 27th.

The Rev. Jolene Bergstrom-Carlson, Associate Superintendent of the Central Conference in the Evangelical Covenant Church, will be our guest for worship on January 20th.

Our Annual Meeting is coming up on Sunday, January 27th. We plan to gather at 2:00 p.m. for a potluck and meeting, then will worship at 5:00. Please mark your calendar and plan to attend this important every-member meeting.

In Christ,
Larry

Friday, November 30

Reconciler Update

This Sunday is the 1st Sunday in Advent. Advent is a season of preparation for Christmas like Lent is a season of preparation for Easter. Advent means coming. We wait for the coming of Christ, we hear words from the prophets that speak of the coming of the messiah, and of John the Baptist preparing the way. We also hear of the final coming of Christ and the Kingdom of God. Advent then is a time of waiting on God's coming into our midst and remembering that God promised to come to humanity as God with us, Emmanuel.
Our hope is that in Advent even as December can be a busy and stressful time that we will be able to as individuals and a community sit and wait on God, to reflect on what God's coming has meant and can mean for us and the world. Take time in this season to wait on God, so we can find anew the awe that God came to us as one of us entering the world as each of us has as a baby. That we may gain a renewed and deepened understanding of the incarnation and what it tells us of God's character and love.

Announcements:
This Sunday First Sunday of the Season of Advent, and is Reconciler's Third Anniversary. It was first Advent 2004 when we had our first official worship service at Chase Cafe in Roger's Park.

We still need people who will light the Advent candles on the second and Third Sundays of Advent.

Also on Sunday December 2 Eileen Crowley Assistant Professor at Catholic Theological Union the Artist in Residence this year at Immanuel will join us for worship and then after the service present to us her ideas of media art in worship and ways we can be involved in the creation of this media art for Easter Vigil.

We are working towards having child care during our worship services. Part of that process is having a Workshop on "Keeping God's People Safe." This Wednesday December 5th from 7:00 - 9:30 pm, Randall Warren, Pastoral Care officer in the Diocese of Chicago, will show us a DVD and lead us in conversation about how Reconciler can help protect children in our midst from sexual abuse. This is eye-opening and useful information for anyone, regardless of whether or not you have children/work with children. Also it is important that members of the council be present.

Sunday December 9th there is a brief congregational meeting to present and approve the slate of officers for our church council that will be up for election at our annual meeting at the end of January.

4th advent December 23 we will be having a joint worship service with Immanuel and St Elias, at St Elias' worship time of 1:30 PM. We will not worship at our normal time of 5 PM. We are invited to come to a brunch at 11:30 put on by Immanuel and a Christmas dinner organized by St Elias after the service. If you would be interested in helping out the preparation and organization of either meals let us know and we will get your name to the people in charge of organizing the meals.
In Christ,
Larry

Saturday, November 17

Reconciler Update

This Sunday, November 18th, we say goodbye to Tripp. Tripp will be missed. I have worked closely with Tripp for three and a half years, and part of me has trouble imagining what it will be like at Reconciler without him. Yet, one of the joys in our starting and pastoring this congregation has been to watch Reconciler act like a congregation and do things Tripp and I as pastors did not expect or anticipate. From very early on we attempted to foster and rejoiced in the ways Reconciler was separate from us as the founding pastors allowing ourselves to discover the congregations interpretation of the vision of Reconciler.

I mention this now to remind us that while God gave Tripp and David Gortner the vision of an ecumenical congregation, who we are now is not simply that vision. It has grown beyond any of those of us who thought through in prayer what the vision of this church start should be. We may miss Tripp and even find it difficult to know what it will be like without him but in a significant way much of the shape of Reconciler has little to do with just Tripp. All of us have been brought together by God. The desire of us pastors as we started this congregation was that it grow into a healthy viable congregation and as such that it could exist without one or both of us. Now that day came sooner for Tripp than either of us had anticipated, but I have seen this congregation grow in astounding ways. Our question as we began Reconciler was if and how God was in this, because we knew that if this congregation and its vision wasn't guided by the Spirit that it would have no chance of succeeding. And so in the end the pastor that really counts and will always count for us, and after all is the pastor of the universal church, still remains Jesus Christ our God and Shepherd. God, Father Son and Holy Spirit, has lead us this far, continues to guide us and remains our foundation, as we say goodbye to a friend, pastor, and founder.

Announcements:

Immanuel is seeking to include Reconciler more in its life as a church, two aspects of that are the altar guild and properties committee. Immanuel is inviting members of Reconciler to help the altar guild of Immanuel, and inviting anyone who might be handy to help the properties committee with maintenance of the church property. If you are interested in being apart of either of these let Laura or Larry know.

Sunday November 18th Tripp is preaching and we will have a farewell party for him after the service at the 'Nidge.

Bible Study: No meeting of the Bible study this week due to Thanksgiving. Our last session of our current series will Be Wednesday November 28th 7:30 PM at the 'Nidge.

Church Retreat: Materials for the retreat will be available on the back table in the chapel the next two Sundays, for you to look at before the retreat.

Church retreat is November 30 beginning at 7PM at the Cynacle Retreat center and all day Saturday December 1st.

The First Sunday of the Season of Advent is December 2nd, and is Reconciler's Third Anniversary. It was first Advent 2004 when we had our first official worship service.

Also on Sunday December 2 Eileen Crowley Assistant Professor at Catholic Theological Union the Artist in Residence this year at Immanuel will join us for worship and then after the service present to us her ideas of media art in worship and ways we can be involved in the creation of this media art for Easter Vigil.

4th advent December 23 we will be having a joint worship service with Immanuel and St Elias, at St Elias' worship time of 1:30 PM. We will not worship at our normal time of 5 PM. We are invited to come to a brunch at 11:30 put on by Immanuel and a Christmas dinner organized by St Elias after the service. If you would be interested in helping out the preparation and organization of either meals let us know and we will get your name to the people in charge of organizing the meals.
In Christ,
Larry

Sunday, October 7

Update

I would like to take the time for this weeks update to reflect some on the life of our small congregation. As a church we are not a program centered church but a church centered on our worship in the liturgy of the Word and Table every Sunday. In our three years it is out of our worship of God together that community has been formed and out of which we have acted in the world. It is my firm belief that gathering as the people of God each Sunday to praise God, hear God's word and receive Christ in bread and wine are foundational to the community we create as a congregation and the things we do in the world both individual and as a congregation.
I mention this (some of you have heard me say this before) again now because we are in transition in a number of areas:1) the most obvious is that we are in the process of saying goodbye to Tripp and will be looking for a new American Baptist pastor for our pastoral team. 2) in the past two months we have had a number of visitors some of whom are making Reconciler (or thinking about it) their church home. 3) We are working towards being hospitable to families with young children both by moving our worship time to 5PM but also by creating childcare during the service. 4) We have added to our pastoral team for a few months an Episcopal deacon. All of these are signs of our growth.

As we grow I hope we can keep our focus on why we come together and why we act in the world. Church is not simply another community, nor simply another organization to accomplish this or that. We come together to remember and to proclaim. We remember that God has acted in history to bring about the transformation of the world, ultimately through sending Jesus Christ to humanity. We proclaim that God is bringing about the transformation of the world through Jesus Christ and we share in that best by being joined with Christ.

Thus we are not focused on programs or what we do, we are focused on what God is doing both in our midst and in the world. We find that vision for what God is doing through worship that renews our minds and joins us with Christ. Community can be created anywhere around anything, organizations to help the poor or work for this or that cause can be created for multiple reasons and from a myriad of philosophical foundations. Church is about being united with what God is doing through the work of Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we come to know this and are given eyes to see the kingdom through our worship.

May God continue to bind us together and strengthen us for the work set before us, in Jesus Christ and by the power of the Spirit.

Announcements:
We have an Episcopal deacon for several Months, Rev. Beth Scriven, but many of you may be unaware of all a deacon may do in the Episcopal church. A deacon is an ordained clergy, some will remain deacons others are what are called transitional deacons, on the way to being ordained a priest. Priests were first ordained deacons before being ordained priests. Beth is a transitional deacon. What is a deacon? A deacon assists the priest and in line with the Greek meaning of deacon, "servant", is there to help direct a congregation/parish's ministry to the world. Part of the ministry of a deacon is to preach as well as assist the priest in the liturgy and at table. As for what this means for Reconciler Beth is a member of the pastoral team as ordained clergy person, she assists in the liturgy and will preach on occasion (her first time preaching with us will be October 14th), she also will serve as with the Social Action committee. If you would like to know more or have any questions about deacons or what Beth's presence with us the next several months means for Reconciler feel free to talk with Beth or Tripp Laura and Larry.

Saturday October 27th, 9 AM to Noon, there is a meeting with Eileen Crowley to begin planning elements of the Holy Week and Easter services. Immanuel is asking for our involvement in the planning of these services with Eileen Crowley the artist-in-residence this year with Immanuel. If you are interested please let one of the pastoral team know ASAP so we can let Immanuel know who is interested in being involved.

Sunday November 4th is All Saints Sunday. We will be worshiping with Immanuel and St Elias. Laura will be presiding and pastor Monte of Immanuel will be preaching. The service will be at 10:30 AM and we will not be worshiping at our regular time of 5:00 PM.

Our Bible Study series on Sabbath economics and money will begin October 17th. We are beginning with reading and discussing the book The Biblical Vision of Sabbath Economics, by Ched Myers. If plan to take part in the Bible Study and do not already have this book talk with Jeremy John.

Our all church leadership retreat is Friday November 30th and Saturday December 1st, at the Cenacle retreat center here in Chicago.

December 23rd we will be having a joint worship service with st Elias and Immanuel, at 1:30 PM, we will not be worshiping at our usual time of 5 PM.

In Christ,
Larry Kamphausen

Sunday, July 22

Reconciler Update

As we began the summer I encouraged us to see the connection between our reflection and action. I am thinking more about this especially when various aspects of reflection and interpretation such as meditation, theology etc. can be seen as at best getting in the way of action. Certainly we are called to act in the world, we are called to compassionate action and live out our lives justly and righteously (I say both though the way we tend to divide these terms into the political and the moral this division is not one we get from the Scriptures). Yet what we do, who we act needs to emerge out of relation and being. If we are called to be neighborly, it is because we are to find in ourselves through the Spirit of Christ being transformed and our hearts opened up to the triune life of God. It is my firm conviction that if we truly seek after God, and open ourselves up and meditate together on whatever is good and true, and through this renewing our minds so that we have the Mind of Christ, neighborly action in the world will follow. I do not believe the problem is Christians fully reflecting on the meaning of the Gospel and finding themselves in God but never acting, rather the problem is that Christians and churches have failed to truly be renewed. The problem is a putting the hand to the plow and then looking back and never allowing God to bring us out of the world into the abundant life. Yet , even for those who understand this is a constant struggle, and so we must both act and reflect, move between the two and reject that one prevents the other but we must all seek together the mind of Christ. I believe this means some of us may be more active in the world others of us more reflective and we need each other. This is being the Body of Christ with many members and differing functions, it is together finding ourselves in God, who then sends us transformed again and again into the World.

Announcements
In the fall our worship time will change to 5PM starting September 9th. The hope is that this change of time with providing childcare will make our congregation more welcoming for families with young children.

Shared Worship with Immanuel Lutheran Church -- Sunday morning 10:30 August 5. No worship service at Reconciler that evening. Come worship with us Sunday morning, as we seek to deepen our connection to the Immanuel and St. Elias congregations, on our common "Campus of Discipleship."

We will be at the Glenwood Arts Festival August 25 and 26th. The focus will be on art from our artists in the congregation . Talk with Chrissy and Larry about displaying your art at the festival. Chrissy will be also organizing the staffing of the booth.

Potluck Supper and Reading of the book of James at Charity and Jeremy’s house July 27th at 7:30 PM. RSVP to Jeremy. Also Invite your friends who might not come to our worship.

'Nidge North (AKA Tripp and Trish's house) Potlucks and Movie nights TBA.

Pastoral Care - The Pastoral Team will be divvying up pastoral care duties. Each pastor will be "on" for a month at a time. Laura is available to handle any and all pastoral care needs at Reconciler for the month of July.

In Christ,
Larry

Sunday, July 1

Update

Last year at this time we were in the midst of the call process for our Episcopal priest. Laura has now been with us as our Episcopal priest for six months. I find it beneficial to regularly stop in the midst of activity and see where we have been. It is easy to get caught up in the moment or in our projections into the future. In so doing it is easy to forget. Easy to forget God's provision for us both as individuals and as a congregation. It is easy to forget why we are called together as a people as members of Christ body, and as its particular manifestation in our small congregation. As we are present at some summer neighborhood festivals and as we continue to invite people to our worship and other events, let us remember that all we do as a congregation is intended to invite people into a place to receive the love of God, made known to us in Jesus Christ. We have been gathered together by that love and it is our life. Out of that deep reservoir of the love of God we offer to others this gift of God's love, which we have received through others who have offered us that love.

Announcements:
Denominational News– The American Baptist Churches have had their Biennial this weekend, and Tripp was in attendance. If you have any questions about the Biennial talk with Tripp. June 21-23the Evangelical Covenant Church had its Annual Meeting. At the Annual Meeting a paper on Human Sexuality was presented by the Board of Ordered ministry affirming and giving the theological grounding for the 1996 Annual Meeting Resolution on Human Sexuality. If you have questions about the Annual meeting or the 1996 resolution on Human Sexuality or the Boards report talk with Larry. Copies of the report can be made available to those who are interested.

Celebrate Clark Street Festival July 14 & 15: We need people to sign up to staff the booth.

Also we will be at the Glenwood Arts Festival August 25 and 26th. The focus will be on art from our artists in the congregation . Talk with Chrissy and Larry about displaying your art at the festival.
Potluck Supper and Reading of the book of James at Charity and Jeremy’s house July 27th at 7:30 PM. RSVP to Jeremy. Also Invite your friends who might not come to our worship.

'Nidge North (AKA Tripp and Trish's house) Potlucks and Movie nights TBA

Shared Worship with Immanuel Lutheran Church -- Sunday morning 10:30 August 5. No worship service at Reconciler that evening. Come worship with us Sunday morning, as we seek to deepen our connection to the Immanuel and St. Elias congregations, on our common "Campus of Discipleship."

The church council is considering a change in our worship time to 5PM starting September 9th. The hope is that this change of time with providing childcare will make our congregation more welcoming for families with young children. The council would like feedback from the congregation on this proposed change.

In Christ,
Larry