Our Worship Matters Series begins next week! This five-session introductory course has been developed to help participants grow into a richer understanding of the foundations of Lutheran worship. With a focus on the principle gathering around word and sacrament, this course explores the foundational questions of why we gather, how we encounter God in worship, and how that encounter shapes our response in both our communities and our world. Topics include the Church Year, the Lectionary, Holy Baptism, Holy Communion, Corporate Prayer, Worship and Culture, and more.
The same lesson will be held twice a week, beginning with the Thursday meeting. Feel free to come to either session and alternate between groups!
Thursdays at 6:30PM: April 18, 25, May 2, 9, 16
Sundays at 5:00PM: April 21, 28, May 5, 19
There will be no meeting on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 12.
The Sunday group will have its fourth session on Saturday, May 11, at 5:00PM.
Sessions will be held either in the Sanctuary/Lorenz Chapel at church or in participant homes. If you would be interested in hosting a session in your home, please contact Jennifer Doerr.
Potluck food and drinks will be offered. Please look for the sign-up sheets in the sanctuary.
Bottlecap Cross by Mark Hill
On the 2057 anniversary of Julius Caesar’s assassination and two weeks before the commemoration of Jesus’ execution, artists from a variety of religious and cultural backgrounds have been invited to take over the sanctuary of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church with art that explores who we kill today.
The opening reception 7pm, March 15th with light refreshments and live music by:
Spark and Echo
Spanish Flamenco Music by Silvio Solis
RSVP for the reception on Facebook
Art will be available for viewing:
Saturday (3/16) and Sunday (3/17) 1:30-4:30pm
Monday (3/18) – Wednesday (3/19) 3pm – 7pm
Featuring paintings, sculptures, installations, photography by:
Students from El Puente
Students from Parsons
Miguel A. Hernandez
OSA's Sunday School, with the help of family and friends, has raised $600 to purchase farm animals, seeds, and fish through the ELCA's Good Gifts catalog!
Congratulations and thank you to all!
Many thanks to Jim Noyes for making this available to all!
Happy Christmas to you all – not from New York, but a little village of about 450 near Banbury in Oxfordshire, quite a change from Bennett Avenue where far more lived in the apartment building across the street!
Dear People of God
In December – which in our faith communities we call Advent – we prepare with joy (and sometimes with trepidation) to celebrate the Christ-Mass, the birth of Jesus. We prepare in many ways: some by heading to the stores to buy, buy and buy until exhausted; some by planning a trip home to family; some by bringing out the heirloom crèche and decorations; and some by quietly reflecting upon hopes for themselves, family, friends, and the world.
Amidst this preparation comes the Word of scripture that in a manner so common and yet so unique the Word of Hope, the Word of Joy, the Word of Family, the Word of Life has come and is even now in the world. Jesus, born of Mary, discloses to the world that the Word has flesh and blood and through flesh and blood the world will know the depth and breadth of love. The Word reveals to us and in us what we always have been and shows us how to live fully into our potential as children of God, born of God. God redeems what God takes on. Even more radical: what God takes on becomes part of God.
This Advent practice being a part of God: in your frantic shopping smile at your fellow bargain hunters and cashiers; buy an extra gift for Toys 4 Tots or the food pantry at Emmaus House; when traveling home give everyone you know a greeting and hug of great warmth – they are family; when setting up that crèche, whether heirloom or newly purchased, do so by bringing to mind what each piece represents; and when sitting quietly meditate upon how the Word brings life and meaning and joy and hope to your every moment.
We are children of God. God – truth, love, justice, mercy – comes alive through us! May our Advent journey bless us as we gather on Sundays at 11:00 AM or Thursdays at 7:00 PM for worshipping our Lord. Pausing in Advent to intentionally love God, we gain a deeper understanding of the majesty, mercy, and mystery of God.
Dear People of God
I keep trying to put some words of wisdom on paper, but my thoughts are all jumbled. Coming back to NYC from a lovely cruise to Bermuda, my wife and I (along with millions in the tri-state area and beyond) had our lives turned upside down with SuperStorm Sandy. We’re more fortunate than most of our neighbors as we never lost electricity. Even now as I’m writing I hear Mayor Blumberg providing another update on recovery/repair operations: Alleluia! It seems as subways are returning on a limited basis. Nature’s power has jumbled our life and it will take a long time (much like with the 2008-9 Great Recession) to put the pieces back together. Nevertheless, as we sang on Reformation Sunday, we have the eternal Word:
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth be moved,
and though the mountains shake in the depths of the sea;
though its waters rage and foam,
and though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
Then the coming election adds to my jumbled thoughts. Although we’re spared endless ads in this “non-battle ground” city we know this is an important election. There is a cultural tension between communal support and individual initiative. Sadly it seems our choice this time is between the two when it should be a celebration of both. Our lives need creative, energetic individuals providing solutions to our problems and goals for our nation. And we need to work together to implement them. We must have both private and public sectors.
On November 1 we remember the saints of the church. All Saints Day celebrates the baptized people of God, living and dead, who make up the body of Christ. Many saints are individuals whose lives are an example for being God’s Hands doing God’s Work. And many saints gathered others into communities to have an immense impact for good and holy life in God’s creation. We memorialize both private and public saints
As we are pulled forward by our God into the work set for us may we celebrate the gifts each of us have been given and exercise them for the well-being of God’s creation. Some of us are gifted to lead, motivate or guide others in our communal journey. Some of us are gifted with skills that sustain our community in worship and service: we sing, we bake bread for our Lord’s Meal, we tend the garden that brings delight to our neighbors, we visit the sick. Growing as a disciple of our Lord – being pulled forward by God – means we give away our gifts so others experience the joy of receiving.
In November our Lord’s disciples gathered around his Word and Meal at Our Saviour’s Atonement are invited to fill out and return to church a Commitment Card indicating their support of his ministry through OSA in the year ahead. During this time of pastoral transition your financial support is vitally important. Please consider growing your giving by one percent of your income. Gathering each disciple’s gifts into communal ministry will enable OSA to provide a strong foundation for new ministry with your next pastor.
Sovereign of the universe, your first covenant of mercy was with every living creature. When your beloved Son came among us, the waters of the river welcomed him, the heavens opened to greet his arrival, the animals of the wilderness drew near as his companions. With all the world's people, may we who are washed into new life through baptism seek the way of your new creation, the way of justice and care, mercy and peace, being your hands doing your work; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen. (ELW)
In the Name of our Lord
Pr. Bill Eggers, Coverage Pastor