Reminders for this week

Tuesday, August 25
Ministry Matters Meeting, 7:00 p.m., Hospitality Room

Friday, August 28
Soul Kitchen, 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Hospitality Room

Sunday, August 30
Holy Eucharist, 8:00 a.m. & 10:30 a.m., Church

August 2015 Monthly Newsletter

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August 2015 Monthly Newsletter…Aug 2015

Sermon from 8/16/2015

The Rev. Randy A. Knutson
Sunday, August 16, 2015
The Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost:  Proper 15
Listen to this…Sermon 2015 08 16 Pentecost XII RAK

Sermon August 9

Andee Zetterbaum
Sunday, August 9, 2015
The Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost: Proper 14
Listen to this…Sermon 2015 08 09 Pentecost XI AZ

Sermon from August 2, 2015

The Rev. Randy Knutson
Sunday, August 2, 2015
The Tenth Sunday after Pentecost:  Proper 13
Listen to this…Sermon 2015 08 02 Pentecost X RAK

Panis Angelicus. (one verse; sung)
(Translation: O Bread of heaven to mortals given,
Heavenly bread of angels held in early fare.)

It was some 40 years when as a high school singer, I had to work to prepare that solo by Cesar Franck for my first solo competition. I was new to being in chorus and new to this whole ‘singing thing’. I had to learn the notes, how the melody went. Then I had to memorize the words, these Latin words that I did not understand. I understood if I kept singing in choirs there would be other times I might be singing in Latin, so this was a good time to work on it individually. I even took Spanish that year (the closest thing the Mid-High had to a Latin class), so I could get used to pronouncing all those open vowel sounds. Then, ideally, next I could learn ‘what’ the words mean, so what when I would sing them, I could express the meaning of what ‘heavenly manna’ was. Of course I knew the story of the manna in the wilderness; I had gone to Sunday School at First Baptist Church a lot, heard and maybe even read the story in the Bible. But I could not truly understand why bread, just bread, could hold so much meaning for some. I had not yet formed what I later learned would be called a sacramental theology.
Fast forward a few years and, after my dad had died, I’m now in college at Pacific Lutheran University. My focus is really on music, choral music and singing in Latin has become something I can do quite well and it is enriching. So also is the early Sunday morning service at PLU, the only one I can attend while directing the choir at Westminster Presbyterian Church. After being away from going to church for several years, I was finding myself drawn to this simple service centered around singing, scripture, sermon, and the Eucharist; Bread and Wine. Through the teaching and preaching of the two campus pastors and my going to chapel services on week days at PLU I was developing a theology around this sacrament of bread and wine and beginning to understand why it can be at the heart of our worship. I began to learn why bread could be such an important part of spiritual life, of worship life, together, as a community.
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Sermon from July 26, 2015

The Rev. Randy Knutson
Sunday, July 26, 2015
The Ninth Sunday after Pentecost:  Proper 12
Listen to this…Sermon 2015 07 26 Pentecost IX RAK

“The eyes of all wait upon you, O Lord,
and you give them their food in due season.
You open wide your hand
and satisfy the needs of every living creature.” Ps. 145:16,17

We have a wonderful collection of texts today that speak to us about some central themes and especially about the Power of the Word of God… over Bread, over our food, over us.
First, I have to draw your attention to the fact that, for the next few weeks, we have left the Gospel of Mark and have passages instead from the Gospel of John; specifically Chapter 6. Now some find this chapter and repeated focus on Jesus as the Bread of Life challenging for its lack of changing themes. They also don’t like the constant return to parts of this popular part of John’s Gospel. But, as a newer preacher, I’m happy to have this opportunity to explore these pas-sages together and happy to say that Andee Zetterbaum will be preaching one Sunday, too, to bring in some new ideas. I’m also glad for this chance to preach on this chapter of John, because it speaks to our dependence on God for some of our basic needs and our need to learn to trust God for this same reason.
In both our Old Testament and Gospel readings, first Elijah and then Jesus are in situa-tions where they do not have enough food. They are presented with an impossible situation of too many people and not enough food and yet they trust in God and it works out. First, however, I have to point out something interesting: barley loaves! Now why is that? Both passages are making sure we understand this detail. This is not the bread we might normally think about, but barley loaves? Why, we don’t know, but we do know this. Barley as a grain, now and in Biblical times, was reserved for animal feed, cattle, and poor people. Barley loaves are not the A, B or C grade food we might be looking for, but what you must eat when that is what you can get or afford. Barley, unlike Wheat, was not highly prized and yet, over time, we have discovered that Barley, with its bran and in it’s wholeness is actually something we should eat now and then, even if we do not prefer its taste. Barley is also harvested earlier than wheat and Passover, mentioned in our Gospel, is usually around the time of the Barley harvest. So we may guess that these Barley loaves presented to Elijah, 20 in all, and to Jesus, 5 from a small boy, came from people with very limited means, but it was what they could offer. Yet God uses this gift to do remarkable things and we marvel at it still these many years later.

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Sermon from July 12

The Rev. Elaine H. Breckenridge
Sunday, July 12, 2015
The Seventh Sunday after Pentecost:  Proper 10
Listen to this…Sermon 2015 07 12 Pentecost VII EHB

Sermon from 7/5/2015

The Rev. Randy A. Knutson
Sunday, July 5, 2015
The Sixth Sunday after Pentecost:  Proper 9
Listen to this…Sermon 2015 07 05 Pentecost VI RAK

Am I a prophet? Are you a prophet? Can we be prophets?

The lessons today are about what it is to be a prophet and especially Jesus’ reception as one in his hometown. The passage from Ezekiel is part of the calling of this Old Testament prophet who was in exile in Babylon at the time. He was called upon to accuse and encourage the people of Israel in a far and distant land; in a place where there seemed to be no positive future ahead of them. What is a prophet?
In Seminary, as we studied and it came to prophets in the Old Testament and the books called prophets, we students had to try to pin down what we thought prophets were. We came up with a variety of answers, probably similar to what I would receive from you. One description I recently read was “wizened old men, thundering out God’s judgement upon an unrepentant and unreceptive people.” Boy does that sound Old Testament! It continues, “Prophecy, in that picture, is God’s message showing how current actions are against God’s will and predicting dire consequences. Sometimes the warning is accompanied by a promise of peace, prosperity and blessing if people will repent and return to God’s will.”
Well, that more or less sums up some of what we came up with in class. But there are two other things that are ‘impressions’ of prophets that I should bring up.

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Sermon from June 28, 2015

The Rev. Elaine H. Breckenridge
Sunday, June 28, 2015
The Fifth Sunday after Pentecost:  Proper 8
Listen to this…Sermon 2015 06 28 Pentecost V EHB

Sermon from June 21

The Rev. Elaine H. Breckenridge
Sunday, June 21, 2015
The Fourth Sunday after Pentecost:  Proper 7
Listen to this…Sermon 2015 06 21 Pentecost IV EHB