ELCA Petition: “For Such a Time As This”
A Joint Call to Prayer, Fasting, and Advocacy
We are coming together as leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and The Episcopal Church to oppose deep cuts to programs that are vital to hungry people struggling with poverty. We make this call in anticipation of the May 21 Global Day of Prayer to End Famine. We highlight the importance of foreign assistance and humanitarian relief as members of the World Council of Churches.
We also make a call to pray, fast and advocate not just on May 21, but throughout the 115th Congress. At the invitation of Bread for the World, we join with ecumenical partners and pledge to lead our congregations and ministries in fasting, prayer and advocacy, recognizing the need to engage our hearts, bodies and communities together to combat poverty. As the call to prayer articulates:
We fast to fortify our advocacy in solidarity with families who are struggling with hunger. We fast to be in solidarity with neighbors who suffer famine, who have been displaced, and who are vulnerable to conflict and climate change. We fast with immigrants who are trying to make a better future for their families and now face the risk of deportation. We fast in solidarity with families on SNAP, who often run out of food by the last week of the month.
Domestically, Americans throughout the country are struggling with poverty, and many government funded programs allow them to care for and feed their families. As we look overseas, we must acknowledge that foreign assistance and humanitarian relief can help address regions confronting famine and food insecurity, including South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Lake Chad Basin. We will challenge proposals to eliminate or defund proven anti-poverty programs, at home and abroad.
The story of Esther provides encouragement for our fasting, prayer and advocacy. Esther, a Jew, was the wife of the Persian king. When plans were made to slaughter all the Jews in the empire, Esther’s cousin Mordechai pleaded with her to go to the king and use her voice to advocate for them, even though this might place her life in danger. He urged her not to remain silent, as she may have been sent “for such a time as this.” Esther asked people to fast and pray with her for three days to fortify her advocacy before the king, resulting in saving the lives of her people.
God’s intention is the flourishing of all people, and we are called to participate in God’s loving purpose by standing with our neighbors who struggle with poverty and hunger. Following the Circle of Protection ecumenical fast in 2011 to fortify the faith community in opposing cuts to vital anti-poverty programs, we may have also have been prepared “for such a time as this.” We commit ourselves to and invite our members to one day of fasting every month to undergird our efforts to convince our members of Congress to protect poverty-focused programs.
The Most Reverend Michael B. Curry, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
What We've been up to:
St. Paul Lutheran's Discernment Process
(Click on the underlined to review the attached file.)
Dear Member of the St. Paul community:
There was a request at Sunday's meeting for electronic copies of documents relating to our discernment process to date. Here is a Overview of St. Paul Lutheran's Discernment Process, with attached documents.
The council started in August of 2015 by creating our Transformation Profile.
The synod used this document, plus interviews over the weekend of Sept 18th with community members and St Paul members to create the Final Report--Congregational Ministry Review (CMR) and Summary of the CMR.
Since the CMR, the council has been working through the steps recommended by the synod for facilitating communication, problem solving, and consensus.
Step 1—Story“We are being called to transform—why is this happening now?”
Step2—Interests “What is essential about St Paul that needs to be preserved in our upcoming transformation?”
Completed at the January Gathering Meetings AND phone calls by council to all congregation members. (see attached document Results for ‘What is Essential About St Paul” from the January Gathering Meetings.)
Step 3—Options“What is God calling us to do?”
Completed through 30 days of intentional prayer during LENT the results of which were collected at the April Gathering Meetings. We sang the prayers heard during our services—Listen God is Calling. (see Prayers Grouped for Worship, and Possible Paths Forward Collected from April Gathering Meetings.)
Step 4—Evaluation “How well does each possibility create a sustainable model of being church that is consistent with and faithful to God’s call?”
Six Ad Hoc committees met from July (see Committee Charge and Behavioral Covenant) to October to analyze groups of possible paths forward. These committees submitted written answers to the attached set of questions to council on Oct 10th. (See Ad Hoc Committee for Inreach Report.pdf, Ad Hoc Committee for Sharing the Building Report.pdf, Ad Hoc Committee on Disposal of the Building Report.pdf, Ad Hoc Committee on Expanding the Building Report.pdf, Ad Hoc Outreach Report, Ad Hoc Revenue Generator report) The council then reviewed the reports and asked a set of extending/clarifying questions of each committee. (See Ad Hoc Committee Questions--Disposal.docx, Ad Hoc Committee Questions--Expanding.docx, Ad Hoc Committee Questions--Generating.docx, Ad Hoc Committee Questions--Inreach.docx, Ad Hoc Committee Questions--Outreach.docx, Ad Hoc Committee Questions--Sharing.docx). Responses were submitted on November 12th. (See Ad Hoc Report of Expanding the Facility Addendum.pdf, Final Report of Sharing Ad Hoc Committee with answers to questions, Report of Ad Hoc Committee on Disposal of the Building Report with Addendum, Responses from Outreach and Inreach to additional questions.pdf, Ad Hoc (Generating Revenue) Response to Council Questions-1.pdf). The council and members of the congregation met Saturday morning, November 12th to hear oral reports from the six Ad Hoc committees, then the council retreated that afternoon to assess and discern path(s) forward for St. Paul Lutheran. These recommendations were finalized at the council meeting on November 15th. (See Recommendations from Council as to path(s) forward for St. Paul). These recommendations will be presented to the congregation at the December 4th Congregational Meeting
St Paul, as community of faith in Christ, will know it has reached consensus when the congregation decides upon a path forward and each member can honestly say:
- That the congregation has listened and understands my hopes and concerns,
- That I understand the congregation’s hopes and concerns, and
- That I will support the decision the congregation is making whether or not I prefer the decision, because it was arrived at openly and fairly, and it is the best path forward for St Paul at this time.
Anticipated timeline—Presentation of viable ideas to congregation in December 2016, with a special congregational meeting in Feb 2017 to come to consensus, as defined above.
Step 6—Implementation—Calendar year 2017
St. Paul Lutheran Church Behavioral Covenant
As people of St. Paul Lutheran Church we believe that all people are children of God, created in God’s image as sisters and brothers of Jesus. We desire to live Christ-like lives in community with one another and value this community as a safe place. We are called to engage with one another in life-giving, supportive ways. We value civility, respect for all people, and the infinite diversity of life stories and ideas they embody.
In order to live that which we value, we agree, in all of our communications, to:
- See the child of God in each person;
- Work together for the common good;
- Openly and honestly share our views with each other, especially when we disagree;
- Take personal responsibility to ensure that each person has the opportunity to speak;
- Listen to one another without interruption or judgment;
- Honor the decision that may arise out of a difficult decision-making process;
- Talk directly with a person with whom we have a conflict;
- Assume they have the best of intentions;
- Respect confidentiality; and
- Actively practice forgiveness.
Adopted, as presented, by the St. Paul Lutheran Church Council on September 18, 2012.
St. Paul offers a single service, the Celebration of Holy Communion, at 9:30 a.m. Coffee Fellowship before and after worship. Sunday School and Adult Education begin at 10:45.
St. Paul offers Celebration of Holy Communion every Sunday. St. Paul's organist, Beverly Pettit, accompanies worship on the large 38-rank organ, a smaller 4-rank organ, and/or the grand piano. In addition, the St. Paul Chancel Choir, under the direction of Music Director Seth Hartwell, helps lead worship each week during the school year.
All who believe are welcome to the Lord’s table at St. Paul. If you require gluten free bread or grape juice rather than wine, simply indicate this to the server during distribution. If health concerns give you reason to avoid the wine/grape juice or bread, remember that the Christian Church has always taught that Christ is fully present in either element alone; therefore you may receive the sacrament and its benefits in either the bread or the wine/grape juice. Those not communing are welcome to come forward for a blessing.
St. Paul offers additional services, on a seasonal basis, throughout the year. Advent is marked with mid-week services, as is Lent. Christmas Eve is celebrated in two services, one at 5 p.m. and the other at 9 p.m.
You may choose from two services (mid-day or evening) on Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday. St. Paul celebrates Easter Vigil with a Saturday evening service, and offers a 10:00 a.m. Easter Sunday services. Contact us closer to those dates for precise service times.
Thank you for Celebrating our
125th Anniversary with us!
The 125th Anniversary celebration was great fun. Dinner at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center was delicious. Diana Mullen created a slide show that ran with the Senior Choirs CD music in the background. She did such a great job. We had several speakers who were members of the congregation along with Bishop Jim Goniaand Pastor Holman. Each one talked about what makes St. Paul special. Several letters were read from those who sent their best wishes to St. Paul. Sunday we had the celebration service with Bishop Gonia as guest preacher. Many visitors from the community came to congratulate the congregation for 125 years.
The 125th Anniversary booklet which contains a timeline of the church's history was fun and interesting to create. We are a very active congregation and I was only able to scratch the surface of all the things we do and have done. Several people who helped with dates and events and I know I missed a lot! AnnaMarie Padilla, our office manager, was instrumental in getting the booklet and dinner program formatted and printed. Thank you AnnaMarie!
There were so many people involved in making this a grand celebration. All I can say is "Thank You". I wish to give the 125th Anniversary committee a very special thanks for all their work this past year. The committee members were: Jo Browning, Jan Krakow, Pat Montague, Matt Pettersen and Nancy Jenkins.