Our response to COVID-19

Newsletter, Pastor, Worship
Further changes will be announced in worship or on Facebook, via email, and in the newsletter.   Dear friends, I'm going to get right to the point and list how we are responding to the threat of COVID-19. You should know by now from other sources that this is a very contagious virus. It is important for you to stay diligent in keeping your distance from others, washing your hands (for 20 seconds! try singing Happy Birthday twice or Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing), avoid touching your face, stay away from those who are sick, and stay home if you are sick, among other actions. Especially if you fall in the vulnerable population of older adults (elderly and those over 60!) and those with chronic medical conditions such as heart…
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The sacredness of holy communion

Communion, Deacon, Newsletter
Most Sundays, after serving communion to the congregation, Pastor Kirsten and I serve one another.  This is an intentional theological statement.  We are servants of Christ and, by our calling, we are your servants.  Servants are fed last.  I find this part of the service to be very sacred.  As we “clean up” after the meal, the final act is to put the pall (the cloth covering) over the bread and wine.  I can’t tell you why, but when the cloth hangs in the air for just a moment before being caught by the assisting minister, it is a very spiritual moment for me.  Maybe I feel the fluttering of the wind of the Spirit at that instant.  Maybe it marks the end of a deeply meaningful meal.  I’m not…
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Graciousness in our Language

Deacon, Discipleship, Faith, Grace, Newsletter, Welcoming
Part of my morning routine is to read a daily devotion from Father Richard Rohr.  One devotion in particular, featuring excepts from Howard Thurman, has stuck with me.  Thurman was an African-American author, philosopher, theologian, educator, and civil rights leader. As a prominent religious figure, he played a leading role in many social justice movements and organizations of the twentieth century. What I found most enlightening amid the very thought provoking writing, was a footnote.  It read: A note on language from Thurman’s editors: “We realize that inclusive language is noticeably absent in Howard Thurman’s writings. As gifted and prophetic as he was, Thurman was also a product of his times, and inclusive language was not a part of the social consciousness. Regardless of language, the substance of Thurman’s work…
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Thoughts from the Pastor – VBS

Newsletter, Pastor
This past week a bunch of our kids were over at Kennewick First Lutheran for Day Camp run by three counselors from Lutherhaven. I got to be over there regularly, checking in and helping to make sure things were running smoothly. From what I can tell, all kids of every age had a great time! They learned new songs, played games and created crafts, and explored what it means to be God's masterpiece, created in the image of God. I am grateful for this opportunity for our kids, and for our youth and adults as well. There are many that deserve our thanks for investing in our kids this past week! One thing that excites me about our day camp is that it is a wider-church event! There were at…
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Friendly vs. Welcoming

Deacon, Newsletter, Welcoming
Did you know that there is a difference between being a Friendly Congregation and a Welcoming Congregation? For some, it might just be semantics but others will point out the difference. Almost every congregation is friendly. Friendly is sharing feelings with those you already know. It is pretty easy to be warm and accepting to the people you already know or with whom you have some connection. If you look, act, dress, and speak like me, it is easier to be friendly. Our Guiding Principles do not state that we strive to be a friendly congregation. They state that we will be an Inviting Community, Welcoming Everyone. Welcome goes beyond opening up to those we know or who share a lot of similarities. Welcome is sharing hospitality with a stranger…
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