Welcome to Christ Lutheran e-news, a weekly electronic newsletter which highlights programs and activities of our congregation. Feel free to .



Our denomination, the ELCA, holds a churchwide assembly triennially - to worship, vote on matters of governance and policy, and be church together for the sake of the world.  This past week's churchwide assembly was full of important votes and actions, including:
  • Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton was reelected for a second six-year term on the first ballot.
  • A declaration of apology to our siblings of African descent, which was received by the African Descent Lutheran Association with thanks and a call for accountability and living into the words shared.
  • Approved resolution declaring the ELCA is a "sanctuary church body," encouraging participation in the ELCA AMMPARO initiative for migrant children, discernment of care for our immigrant neighbors in our context, and the promise of forthcoming resources for this work.
  • Approved support for the World Council of Church's Thursdays in Black, awareness movement for a world without rape and violence. 
  • Voted to commemorate June 17 as a day of repentance, in honor and remembrance of the martyrdom of the Emanuel 9.
  • Approved a declaration for inter-religious commitment, reaffirming ecumenical and interfaith partnerships.
  • Approved the recommendations from a strategic taskforce which has been studying how to work toward authentic diversity in our church.
  • Approved memorials: affirming but not "endorsing" the Poor People's Campaign, care for immigrants and refugees, and other statements.
  • Adopted a new social statement, "Faith, Sexism, and Justice: a Lutheran Call to Action," and its implementing resolutions. 
  • Deacon Sue Rothmeyer was elected Churchwide Secretary, a full-time position which acts as executive administrator and leader on all constitutional matters and interpretation.
  • Constitutional change for Deacons (rostered ministers of word and service) to be ordained, from the previous practice of consecration.
  • Celebrated the milestones of 50 years of women's ordination, 40 years since the first woman of color was ordained, and 10 years since full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ clergy.           


What does it mean to be a "sanctuary church body"?
 
There is confusion and misinformation in the media coverage of the vote taken last week at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly. Clarification on this matter is needed.
 
Primarily, the Assembly vote encourages congregations and synods to support the work of AMMPARO, an ELCA program that supports migrant children by commiting to
a)    Welcome and minister to migrants
b)    Physically accompany migrants
c)    Pray for justice for migrants
d)    Advocate for public policy regarding immigration issues
 
This past spring the Congregation Council voted for Christ Lutheran Church to become a "welcoming congregation" in partnership with other Lutheran congregations through AMMPARO.
 
In May Pastor Bourret and Rolf Larson spent a week in El Paso as part of a New England Synod delegation assisting in services to migrants on the border. This past week CLC and St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Harwich, hosted the Rev. Rose Mary Sánchez-Gúzman, the pastor of Iglesia Luterana Cristo Rey, who leads the El Paso immersion trips.
 
Soon, we hope, CLC will be on its way to purchasing a 16-passenger minibus to support immersion groups, after-school ministry, and summer programming for kids at Cristo Rey. Watch for opportunities to contribute!
 
Each congregation is different and will choose to do different things as we have done here in Natick. This Assembly vote makes a public statement that our whole church will stand with migrants to work for just immigration policies.
 
The resolution also asked the ELCA to provide resources for churches for this work and to prepare a report on what it means to be a sanctuary church body for the 2022 Churchwide Assembly.
Music Notes
Tom Berryman, Music Director
Anne and Bob Weaver will be musical leaders for our service on Sunday, August 18. For the Prelude, Anne will play excerpts from Ernest Bloch's "Suite Modale" (1958) for flute and piano. Click below to view of performance of "Suite Modale."

 
Sabrina Hu Flute Bloch Suite Modale
Sabrina Hu Flute Bloch Suite Modale

Bob serves as Cantor and also performs two Psalm settings: Psalm 51, "God be merciful to me" written by Bob with William Pasch for the Offertory Music and, during Communion, his own setting of Psalm 36, "Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens" with Anne joining on the flute. We are so pleased to have this very musical couple making such a significant contribution this Sunday.


Adult Formation
Please forward to Pr. Bourret any thoughts as to topics/Bible studies/books you're interested in pursuing once the Adult Forum resumes in September.
Bible Study
There will be no Bible Study this week, August 15, or next, August 22.  Bible study resumes Thursday, Aug. 29,  at 9:45 a.m.
Call to Action

TAKE ACTION IN SUPPORT OF REFUGEES!

The Federal administration is considering reducing refugee admissions to zero for the coming fiscal year.  Send a letter to your representatives asking that we continue to resettle refugees fleeing violence, war, and religious persecution, as we have since 1939. 

Tips for Writing Letters to Members of Congress
Source: Congressional Management Foundation

  1. Make a specific 'ask'.
  2. Keep it short (7-10 sentences is fine).
  3. Personalize your letter.
  4. Connect your message to a larger group (i.e., Lutherans or LIRS).
  5. Engage in other advocacy efforts beyond a letter (town hall meetings, social media, in-
    district meetings). 



Septemberfest Brunch, Sept. 15. Sign up to set up, cook up, or clean up for this back-to- church Sunday.  Fill out the card in your Sunday bulletin.
              
Looking Ahead
 
Financial Planning 101 Workshop, Monday, August 19, 7-9 pm.
 Presenter, Deborah Bloomberg, former educator at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston will use a fun interactive approach to setting realistic goals, staying within a budget, taming debit card use and establishing saving strategies. A small gift and pizza
will be offered at the end of the evening. Invite friends and neighbors. The event is free. RSVP to Jeff Kinney, Celeste Larson, George Hall, Russell Pollard, and Pr. Bourett.
                                           
On Sunday, August 18 , we celebrate the tenth Sunday after Pentecost ,  9:30 a.m. worship.  The Rev. Amanda
Gerken-Nelson preaching and presiding.
READINGS FOR THIS WEEK - Tenth Sunday After Pentecost
August 18, 2019  

The word of God is a refining fire. Jesus is the great divide in human history. He invites our undivided attention and devotion. Today, in the assembly, we are surrounded by "so great a cloud of witnesses." In the word and in the holy communion we are invited yet again to look to Jesus, "the pioneer and perfecter of our faith."

            First Reading                           Psalm                     Second Reading                     Gospel
              Jer 23:23-29                            Ps 82                       Heb 11:29-12:2                  Luke 12:49-56
Sing For Joy
Enhance your understanding of the weekly scripture readings by listening to Sing For Joy http://www.stolaf.edu/singforjoy/ from St. Olaf College.  The Sing For Joy radio program, produced by St. Olaf College , has a simple mission: to explore the weekly themes of Christian worship by providing the best in sacred choral music and thoughtful commentary. The musical performances eloquently "do the talking," while the concise remarks from host Pastor Bruce Benson illuminate the meaning of the texts.
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