Affirmation of Welcome
Reformation, a congregation of Christ's Church, welcomes everyone to join with us in a journey of faith. We are committed to providing worship, programs, ministries and pastoral care to all, regardless of religious background, age, color, ability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic status, or national origin. Everyone is welcome in this place, where the love of God is the foundation of all that we say and do!
March 2020
The Reporter
Reformation Lutheran Church
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Pastor's Perspective

On January 31, Bill Eiwen, Carolotta Stackhouse, and I attended a  Stewardship Symposium at the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. With Jodie Hodge joining the Stewardship Team, I am excited to have a four-person  Team starting this new year. Some reflections from the symposium:
  • Mammon is a living thing, it is wealth personified.
  • If we cease to speak about it in the pulpit, we capitulate to its power.
  • Jesus defines us as being above mammon, not under its power.
  • Stewardship as a program becomes the tomb of good intentions.
  • Time and talent become multiple choice rather than a two handled response to God.
  • Preaching about money and giving has to be consistent with the gospel.
  • The message of Jesus sets us free from mammon.
  • When we give we participate in God's acting work.
  • How do we work to ingrain this into the church's DNA?
  • Relationship building is the key to healthy stewardship.
  • Small groups are of great importance to building healthy groups.[1] 
What I really like about the
Stewardship Symposium was that it focused on building relationships. For me, that is what healthy stewardship and thus what healthy congregational giving is about. It is not about budget alone, it's not about finances alone, it's about seeing the consistency of Jesus' gospel in the relational aspect of the ministries of the church, and supporting them.
I've had some colleagues ask why Reformation distributed "Glitter Ashes" this year for Ash Wednesday. What came to mind for me was first biblical.
-Deuteronomy 1:10 "The LORD your God has multiplied you, so that today you are as numerous as the
 stars of heaven."
-John 3:16 "For God so loved the *cosmos that he gave his only Son..." [*actual Greek]
 
When I think of the cosmic reference to the children of God, I think of the sparkling stars in the midst of the dark cosmos, and how each sparkle represents each of us, ALL of us. As the glitter sparkles against the darkness of the ashes, I think of the inclusive promise given to Abraham, and the broadness of God ' s cosmic love proclaimed by Jesus. So, we too proclaimed through Glitter Ashes, we are ALL God ' s children, and all are blessed with the promise of the cross, whether Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female, straight or gay, bi or trans, queer or questioning; for all of us are one in Christ Jesus.

We will again have our Wednesday midweek Holden Evening Prayer Services during Lent. Then we will celebrate Holy Week with our Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services all at 7:00 PM. For Easter there will be our 7:00 AM morning Sunrise Service at the Earlewood Park Amphitheater and then our Traditional Easter service along with a breakfast and Easter Egg hunt. 

Again, this Good Friday, we have an opportunity to serve others in a very spiritual way. Christ Central Ministries will again be holding "Good Food, Good Feet, Good Friday." If you'd like to be a part of this ministry through one of the various roles needing to be filled, please contact Wendell Gulledge.

At this year's Synod Assembly, Reformation Lutheran; Trinity Lutheran, Greenville; Shepherd of the Sea, Garden City, and hopefully Epiphany, Rock Hill, will be hosting a Discipleship Experience on "Back to the Future In Acts: a biblical base for being a Reconciling In Christ Congregation". We will need members to volunteer in hosting and hospitality. The date to save will be May 15 from 3:45-5:45 p.m.

Come join us as our ministries continue to evolve and expand here at Reformation. Come and help us shape ongoing and new ministries at Reformation. Come, let us share our visions together.

Peace,
Pastor Tim
Prayers of the Church
Sick and Homebound : Tracy Hamiter; Katie Westbrook; Dot Perry; Christine White; Barbara Prosser; Connie Pool; Bobbie Black, Beth Mayer,  Emmy Reeves; Landon Derrick; James Dekle; Paul Swing; Tim Quinlan (father of Colleen Clark); and H.B. Eleazer.
 
Christian Sympathy:
To Jim Prater at the death of his uncle, John Frazier. Mr. Frazier was 100 years old. He passed away on Wednesday, February 12. The family and friends celebrated his life on Saturday, February 22 in Newberry, South Carolina. 

To Richie Wiggers at the death of his mother,  Marzelle Richardson Wiggers, on Saturday, February 22.  
From Council President
Hold on to your hats!  The Wind of the Spirit was whistling through the February Council meeting as we considered how Gods people of Reformation can establish new ways to each out to our community.  Jim Prater will be leading a team working to develop a multi-faceted approach to support homeless LGBTQIA youth. Maria Ashburn and the Service Team have exciting suggestions from local schools on how we can make a difference for their students.  We're continuing to expand our support of The Family Shelter, and we have exciting inter-denomination plans for Ash Wednesday.  Want to help us make a difference?  See a need in our community you think we could address?  Talk to Pastor Tim, me, or any Council member or Convener - and join us in being moved by the Spirit!
 
Ginny Eiwen, Council President
Money  
big-bills-money.jpg
How were you taught to talk about money - or not talk about it as may be the case? I grew up in a home where money was not discussed. Maybe you grew up in the same kind of household. For many, money is not a proper topic for polite conversation.

In the church, we have to talk about money, because money and stewardship are part of the same conversation. Stewardship involves how we care for all the resources that we have in life - our time, our personal talents and our dollars, and how we use them. Perhaps that is why it's difficult to talk about stewardship in the church - it simply isn't a polite topic. In fact, we often use the word stewardship to avoid actually mentioning the word money at all when it comes to the ministry of the congregation. That is a huge mistake because it is unfaithful to Jesus' message. Did you know that in the Gospels, for every conversation Jesus has about faith, he mentions money or property five times? Five times! You may recall Jesus' statement in the Gospel of Matthew - "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Or said another way, people give money to support what they believe in.

We are talking about money now because we have avoided that conversation in the recent past and the reality is that when you don't ask you don't receive. At the recent stewardship conference which Pastor Tim, Carlotta Stackhouse and I attended, we learned just how important it is to talk about money and to boldly ask for it to support what you believe in. Do you believe in the ministry we are doing at Reformation? Then we ask you to support it by giving regularly and generously. In the coming months we'll talk about what generosity may look like in our giving to our church, followed by subsequent articles on what we hope to accomplish now and in the future through that support.
 
Bill Eiwen
Congregation Council Meeting Highlights
 
From the 02/16/20 Congregation Council Meeting

1. Devotions were inspired by Where Goodness Still Grows by Amy Peterson, which will be our devotional guide throughout the year.   

2. Congregational Vitality Retreat Report was shared. Impressions of the very fruitful retreat were offered for reflection. 

3. The Mission, Vision and Core Values components of the Strategic Plan (drafted at the Council Retreat) were formalized by approval of the Council without revision. They are: 
Mission: Including all to experience and share God's love 
Vision: A diverse community working together for God's justice 
Core Values: All are: Welcomed, Inspired, Empowered, and Accepted in Christ 

4. The Ministry candidates for the Community Engagement Grant were discussed. Council approved the Executive Committee recommendation for a new Ministry to support LGBTQIA+ homeless youth. The Council President will appoint a team to submit the application for the SC Synod Community Engagement Grant.    

5. Council Liaisons to Committees were confirmed and additional Liaisons assigned. Remaining open liaison position is Children's Education. Remaining open Convener position is Stewardship. 

6. Glitter Ashes will become a part of Ash Wednesday ashes offered in the community in three locations - North Main in the morning, Campus around noon and at Reformation in the evening. 

7. Council adopted a Consent Agenda concept, to address action items only within the Council meeting time. 

8. Executive Committee recommends a reduction of Council seats from (12) to (9); Council will not seek to fill vacant seat left by Brad Crain's resignation.

9. Council to study new use for the Annex building, to be vacated end of March by First Steps.
Save the Dates
July 27- August 2, 2020 New dates this year
Annual Beach Retreat
Isle of Palms, SC

Come and experience spiritual renewal, Bible studies, fun activities, great food. Come for the entire week or just a few days. Cost is $90 per room per night and $10 per day for food - (10 and under - free for food). More details coming soon!
Member Directory
New Membership Directory for Reformation Church is now available. If your family needs additional copies, check with the church office. If you would like a color copy, make your request with a $10 donation to the church and contact Dot Jeffcoat or the church office.
Why are you Lutheran?  How do we approach differences in beliefs among the many faiths and denominations?
 
The Adult Sunday School class will continue using the book Honoring Our Neighbor's Faith: A Lutheran Perspective on Faith Traditions in America
, Revised Edition to look at selected Christian and non-Christian traditions active today in the United States.  We will explore up to 32 faith traditions that represent a wide spectrum of beliefs or stand out due to their size or public profile in America.  We'll look at their key teachings, worship patterns and practices, how each is governed and how they compare with the Lutheran tradition.  This is an excellent chance to learn more about other traditions and about the Lutheran Church as well.  Please speak with Sarah Trani, Ginny Eiwen, or Dot Jeffcoat to learn more about the class and getting a copy of the book, or join us on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. in the Parlor to learn more. 
Treasurer's Report  February 2020
Contributions needed to cover actual expenses in January
$20,847.10
Contributions actually received in January 2020
$15,770.00
Operating deficit for January, 2019 
-$ 5,077.10
Operating deficit from 2019
-$28,849.83
2020 year to date operating deficit
-$5,077.10
Total operating deficit as of January 31, 2020
-$33,926.93
Celebrations
March Birthdays
March 1, Randy Evans
March 5, Emmie Reeves
March 6, Adele Scaccia
March 7, Charles Joye
March 10, Donna Marie Pearson
March 14, John Adam Baylor
March 16, Jane Derriso
March 16, Gloria Preslar
March 17, Tiffany Caruso Smith
March 19, Denise Derriso
March 20, Richard Hood
March 21, Raymond Cook
March 26, Chuck Archie
March 27, Shirley Derriso
March 28, Perrine Hernandez
March 31, Jennifer L. Barwick
March Anniversaries
March 14, Jeff Harrell & Doug Onley 





Could You Supply a Dish for Dinner?
Reformation members and friends meet together and support homeless families in the Midlands by bringing dinner to and eating with about 35 Family Shelter residents each month.  We provide dinner on the third Saturday of each month, and have a very flexible process:
  • Early each month, interested volunteers are emailed the suggested menu and can indicate dishes they would like to prepare. 
  • Volunteers meet at the Family Shelter (at 2411 Two Notch Road, Columbia) by 5:30 p.m. on our Saturdays with their ready-to-serve (purchased or home-made) dishes, serve at 6:00 p.m., eat with residents, clean up the kitchen, and are usually done before 7:30 p.m..

The upcoming meal schedule is:  CLICK HERE

We have learned from Shelter residents how tenuous our living situation can be, and how encouraged and sustained those working to get back on their feet are by our meals and visits. 
The Family Shelter provides emergency shelter for up to 90 days for up to 17 families at a time.   While at the Shelter, families:
  • Participate in weekly Case Management meetings and Parent Education classes
  • Agree to adhere to shelter rules and guidelines which include weekly chore assignments
  • All children living at Family Shelter attend school or are enrolled in daycare if they are not school age. 
The Family Shelter is part of the continuum of care provided by Homeless No More. Homeless No More also offers Transitional Housing at St. Lawrence Place, a 30-home community offering support services, life skills training and up to two years of housing for families experiencing homelessness, and Live Oak Place provides affordable housing to at-risk families, helping them bridge the gap from transitional housing to independent living. 

To volunteer for a meal, or for more information, please contact Ginny Eiwen
Midweek Lenten Services
Weekly Holden Evening Prayer services during Lent will begin Wednesday, March 4, 2020.  During the 40 days (not counting Sundays) of Lent, Christians prepare for the Savior's journey to the cross. Holden Evening Prayer is a beautiful, contemporary service that was written by Marty Haugen in 1985-86 while at Holden Village, a Lutheran retreat center in Washington state. This is a beautiful and meditative weekly service which includes music, singing, prayer and scripture during Lent. 
 
7:00 Worship - Holden Evening Prayer. End by 7:30 p.m.

Meals provided by:
  • March 4, Worship and Education Committees
  • March 11, Outreach and Stewardship Committees
  • March 18, Service and Finance Committees
  • March 25, Fellowship Committee
  • April 1, Church Council
Holy Week
Services at 7:00 p.m.
  • April 9, Maundy Thursday
  • April 10, Good Friday Solemn Reproaches
  • April 11, Saturday Easter Vigil
April 12, Easter Sunday
  • 7:00 a.m. Sunrise Service
  • 9:00 a.m. Easter Breakfast
  • 9:30 a.m. Easter Egg Hunt (Shirley Derriso and Maria Ashburn)
  • 10:00 a.m. Easter Worship
Worship Participants
Understanding the Blessings and Joy of Being a Reconciling in Christ Congregation 
Reformation will serve as a site location for the South Carolina Synod Assembly's Discipleship Session on Friday, May 15. The group will gather from 3:45 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. and participate in small groups and bible study activities and discuss what it means to be a Reconciling in Christ Congregation.
 
Trinity Lutheran Church of Greenville, SC and Shephard of the Sea Lutheran Church of Garden City, SC will co-host the event with Reformation. The study and fellowship will be held in the parlor, conference room and fellowship hall of Reformation. Reformation volunteers are needed to help share with providing light refreshments and to greet visitors. See Pastor Tim for details or contact the church office with questions.
Sunday Fellowship Refreshment Volunteers
March 1: Marie and Patrick Ashburn
March 8: Michelle Couri
March 22: O'Briant family
March 29: Luncheon instead of refreshments

Have you signed up for a date to bring refreshments?
Children's Worship Needs You!
We have successfully maintained Children's Worship since launching it in the summer and are in need of volunteers to continue to offer this program each Sunday. Please consider lending your talents and time on an occasional Sunday. A lesson plan and activity will be provided - all you need to do is show up and have fun interacting with the children. Our goal is to have two volunteers per Sunday. Email Sabra Custer at  shsaprn@gmail.com  or text/call at 803-315-6519 if you have questions or to ask about available Sundays.
Mustard Seed Thoughts
Loving ALL - Countering the Religious Right That is so Religiously Wrong!
 
LGBTQNation ~ "Florida Republicans sneak in 4 anti-LGBTQ bills just hours before filing deadline. Tennessee passed a bill to allow adoption agencies to ban gay and lesbian parents. There are 226 anti-LGBTQ bills like these being considered in state legislatures throughout the country, and one organization in particular is responsible for many of the bills. "
 
This is why I'm a strong ally for LGBTQIA+ individuals' rights. In the last few decades, when the "religious right" uses words, phrases, or titles like Freedom For All, they are misnomers. They really mean Freedom for only "people of faith" like them.
 
This is where the title Mustard Seed becomes so relevant. When Jesus told the story about the kingdom and compared it to a mustard seed and subsequent shrub, he was comparing the church, the gathered, the ecclesia to an intrusive, and in some Palestinian communities, illegal plant. Why was it illegal? Well, for one reason as was already mentioned previously, it was intrusive, but it was also very pervasive and could dominate a garden very quickly, and it was very persistent and very hard to get rid of. Jesus was telling his disciples and thus us, that when it comes to seeking and giving voice to justice or righteousness, that's what the church should be.
 
Right now, with what is happening across this country in so many states, the church must return to being a mustard seed for justice. Many of the bills mentioned above, target LGBTQIA+ youth, especially trans youth. When you add this to the growing number of homeless and "couch surfing" LGBTQIA+ youth, the church must become not just be the mustard seed in speaking out for justice, but we must be willing to act for justice. Yes, we must be willing to speak out against such unjust legislation, but we must also be willing to take action in living out righteousness for those vulnerable. That's why I'm so excited about some recent decisions by our executive committee and church council.
 
After some prayerful discussion, we are looking into ways we can serve these vulnerable youth. We are looking to begin by possibly serving monthly meals to establish relationships in a safe environment, to assure the youth there are those who accept them for who they are. We can move on to establishing temporary emergency housing for youth at high risk, and eventually, possibly using our Annex building for a larger scale emergency housing facility. This is the long term hope that we cannot do alone, but we begin by reaching out to churches, agencies, and corporations that are LGBTQIA+ friendly.
 
Come, be Mustard Seeds. Come support the Mustard Shrub known as Reformation. Come, together let us be a loving counter to the religious right. Like the mustard seed, let us be intrusive, pervasive, and persistent for justice and righteousness for ALL!
 
Pastor Tim
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