Pastor’s Piece: Taking our voices outside
An early morning walk in my neighborhood brought me near a toddler who was babbling and giggling at the top of his lungs. He apparently was thrilled with his proclamation. Beside him was his trusted adult. In the early morning sunlight, this child was making himself known.
We, too, in the church have much to proclaim. Outside our church buildings, we may add our voices to a communal voice for positive change and health for the sake of all in creation. Some examples:
Our voice for the sake of the earth: The “Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice” social statement, adopted years back (1993) expresses our enduring call to pursue justice for creation.
Our voice in the Holy Land: For more than 65 years, Lutherans through the work of the Lutheran World Federation have continued to operate projects related to health, education and humanitarian aid in the occupied Palestinian territories.(Points 3 through 6 are the result of actions taken at the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly.)
Our voice in the workplace: Our communal voice calls out patriarchy and sexism as sins and calls us to work against gender-based violence, workplace discrimination and economic inequality.
Our voice in ordained ministry: Sets the tone for the celebration in 2020 of the 50th anniversary of the ordination of women in the Lutheran church.
Our voice against racism: Condemns white supremacy, calling all ELCA congregations to actions of justice.
Our voice with the vulnerable: Affirms the ELCA’s long-standing commitment to migrants and refugees and declares the ELCA a sanctuary church body.
Our voice of solidarity: Celebrates with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, which since 1939 has welcomed the most vulnerable refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants to our communities with open hearts.
Outside the walls of our church buildings, we seek to bring full voice to the song,
“Listen, you nations of the world.
Listen to the Word of the Lord.
Announce it from coast to coast.
Declare it to distant islands.”
(The refrain from Canticle 14, penned by John W. Arthur in The Lutheran Book of Worship.)
Pastor Rebecca Aardahl
Sunday, October 6
Ascension’s Church Council Vice President Doug Cook will lead a forum on Sunday, October 6, from 10:45–11:45 a.m. on the ELCA-sponsored organizations that assist with immigration and border issues. Part of his presentation will highlight how individuals can contribute to those organizations.
Sundays, October 12, 20, 17
Pastor Rebecca will lead a three-session series on “Being Lutheran: What does this mean?” from 10:45–11:45 a.m. on Sundays, October 12, 20 and 27. The forums are designed for new and veteran members as well as visitors to the congregation.
Wednesday, October 16, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Friday, October 18, 6–9 p.m. “Planet Earth” movie
Tuesday, October 22, 5:30–7:30 p.m. (makeup session for students who missed a prior class)
All sessions will be held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 218 E. 19th St.
Our varied schedule is prompted by the full and varied schedules of our families. In concert with St. Paul’s Pastor Alison George, Pastor Rebecca seeks to be responsive in making relevant our theme of “Who Is the Neighbor?”; that question is central throughout Luther’s Small Catechism. Scripture and the catechism are our sources.
Parents of confirm and should have access to the Google forms so that their child is able to submit his/her work online. Also, families should receive the 24-hour-in-advance email reminder of class location and date. If any are not accessing these or receiving reminders, please call Mandy at the church office so that we’re all able to fully participate.
Youth plan trip to Haunted Corn Maze
Ascension youth should save the date for their annual trip to the Haunted Corn Maze at the Fritzler Farm Park in LaSalle, Colorado. The group will travel to the park for a haunted evening on Saturday, October 19. Watch the worship bulletin and your emails for details about time and pricing. Contact Nichole Morris at 719-321-7038 for more information.
Family Promise to have two October events
Family Promise will have two events in October. On October 11, the organization’s director will speak at Thrivent’s free “Live Generously” banquet at 5:30 p.m. at the Red Lion Hotel. For more information, contact Dan Dorsch at 778-3076 or [email protected] Then on Saturday, October 19, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Berean Church, the Family Promise volunteers will host their annual Family Fun Day. “Simple, old-fashioned family interactive games and a light meal are offered,” said Margie Sewell, Ascension’s Family Promise coordinator. “It is free, which attending families seem to appreciate, and it is fun to volunteer for. Let me know if you’re interested.” Her contact information is 631-1815. The next shared rotation with St. Paul’s will be November 17–24.
WELCA to study ‘ache of grief’ Oct. 15
Women of the ELCA (WELCA) will continue its “No Hard Feelings” study on Tuesday, October 15, at 9:30 a.m. in the upper fellowship fall. This session called “The ache of grief” is based upon Psalms 77, 25 and 126. For information, contact Shirley Toppenberg at 634-4946.
Pantry focuses on cereal, peanut butter
If you ever wonder what to purchase for Ascension’s Free Little Pantry, we are trying a new approach during the next months. “We plan on having a ‘feature’ item or items for each month,” Rich Moler said. “This does not mean we want only those items, but we are just highlighting the featured item for that month.” In October, we will feature breakfast cereal, boxed or oatmeal, and peanut butter.” Other nonperishable foods and toiletry items are still needed. Rick said there is no doubt we are “filling a need in our neighborhood as it is almost always empty on a daily basis.” Monthly featured items will be announced in the newsletter and worship bulletin. Related to that food collection, Ascension continues to be the “green beans and corn congregation” for Needs Inc. Your generous donations are needed and much appreciated for both these outreach efforts.
Mutual Ministry Committee re-forms
A new Mutual Ministry Committee has formed and met September 24 to support Pastor Rebecca Aardahl. Members include Kari Chandler, convener; Janelle Thompson, David Talley, Peggy Leland and Jeff Rude. The congregation may bring concerns and comments to any committee member in order to foster good communication and to improve the ministry. The next meeting is planned for early December. The committee listens to both pastor and congregational members so that there can be a clarification of expectations and open communication. The committee can identify early warning signs of misunderstandings and take action to diffuse certain problem situations before they get out of hand; can serve as a group with whom the pastor can test new ideas and share confidential matters, and can plan strategies to improve the skills of the pastor or help develop plans within the congregation to solve problems.
Live Generously Week October 7–11
Thrivent Financial will celebrate its Live Generously Week October 7–11 with several events each day at restaurants and coffeehouses to raise awareness and funds for organizations such as Safehouse, COMEA, Day of Giving, Climb Wyoming, MS Society, Community Action, Wyoming Breast Cancer Initiative, Library Foundation and groups helping students. The week ends with a free banquet at 5:30 p.m. October 11 at Red Lion. Contact Dan Dorsch at 778-3076 or [email protected].
COMEA volunteers needed October 27
Volunteers from the congregation are needed for the COMEA meal preparation on Sunday, October 27. Six to eight cooks/servers are needed to prepare and serve the dinner. Food preparation starts at 2 p.m. and continues until 5:20 when the dinner is placed in vehicles for transport to COMEA. Serving takes place from 6–7 p.m., then back to the church to finish cleanup and unload utensils. A sign-up sheet is available in the narthex. For information, contact RC Reiman.