October: Reformation 500

During October, we have several opportunities to consider the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Here is a short list of what we are doing:

  • On October 9th at 7:00 p.m., Jonathan Rundman, a Finnish-American folk/rock composer and musician, will be offering a Hurricane Relief concert at St. Paul. Jonathan has performed at St. Paul in the past, and he was recently featured in a short video produced by the ELCA Refo500 team. We had scheduled the concert well in advance of the hurricanes that devastated areas along the Gulf Coast, the Caribbean, and Puerto Rico. Now with the need so great, Jonathan has kindly agreed to change the focus of his concert to benefit hurricane relief.
  • On Sundays in October, during worship, we’ll be singing pieces composed by Martin Luther, especially his hymn settings for the parts of the service. Last Sunday, for example, we sang “Out of the Depths” for our confessional prayer. This Sunday, we’ll sing a Luther “Kyrie.”
  • Five members of the congregation are designing a history of our church starting in the 16th century to the present time which they will present on Reformation Sunday.
  • On October 15th, 6;00 p.m. we’ll be holding a special Ecumenical Evensong at in the sanctuary, with two other churches, St. John’s Episcopal Church and Annisquam Village Church to mark the Reformation 500th anniversary, singing the Vespers setting from the Lutheran Book of Worship, and choral pieces Mendolssohn’s “Grant Peace We Pray,” and  Schulz-Widmar’s “Fairest Lord Jesus.”
  • During October on Wednesday evenings, I am teaching a class called the Four Pillars of Lutheranism, on key Reformation insights with which we still reckon. We’ll also be looking at Declaration on the Way, to see how far we have come since October, 1517.
  • On October 29th, Reformation Sunday, we’ll have a special morning of worship, and a gathering after church during Fellowship Hour to mark the occasion.
  • Our Stewardship theme this year is taken from the notion of a Reformation garden. We are calling it: Abundant Garden: Beloved Community. Each week, we’ll honor the Lutheran insight of the “priesthood of all believers,” in the garden of our beloved community.

We hope you will come to any and all of these occasions. It’s only once every 500 years! Come and learn about who we are, where we have been, and where we hope to go.

 

“All The Verses” Stewardship Theme for 2016

On Sunday, October 16th, we were blessed to hear the preaching of Laurie Jamieson, one of our gifted lay preachers at St. Paul Lutheran Church. Laurie is also our very gifted Stewardship Director, inspiring us each year to consider the blessings of this church and our ministry together. Each year, when we open our Stewardship season, as we’ve come to call it, Laurie has focused on a particular theme to stir our hearts, our faith and our generosity. This year, she tells the story of what it means to be a church that sings “all the verses,” to be a people of faith who embrace the whole of life, all of it. She says: “All the verses, all the people, all the faith, all the time.” Her sermon is included here, as she gave it, and the text is may also be found on the Stewardship page.

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