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You’ll find that Lutheran worship is often very similar to Catholic mass. The Lutheran church is part of the “liturgical tradition.”

Join us for Sundary Worship:
8:00, 9:30, 11:00am

Holy Spirit Lutheran Church is located on the corner of 100th Ave and 124th Street.

For Your Kids

Rainbow Kids (Preschool) available during 9:30am service

K - 5 available during the 9:30am and 11am services

Time 4 Tweens (6th Grade) available during 9:30am service

Breakfast Club (Jr & Sr High) available during 11am service

So Many Issues, Our Blog Can't Keep Up

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The other day, I saw a photo of the sign at Luther Memorial Church in Seattle. “So many issues, our sign can’t keep up,” it said. The post of that photo went viral.

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I suppose it caught on because it summarizes how many of us feel these days: so many issues, we can’t keep up. Hurricanes batter our fellow citizens in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and the islands. Fires ravage so much of the west, including beloved national parks and thousands of homes. An earthquake in Mexico. Political upheaval in the other Washington (and a fair amount of it in this one too). The looming end of DACA, putting the immigration status of many young people into doubt.

 

Paul asks in Romans, “what then are we to say about these things?” He goes on to say, “If God is for us, who is against us? Who will separate us from the love of Christ? In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us.” (Romans 8:31-39) But it can be awfully hard to feel like ‘conquerors’ in the midst of chaos. And what would it mean to be a conqueror, anyway?

 

In Genesis, the story of creation shows us a God who hovers over chaos and brings it into order. God organizes things: the sky goes here, and the land goes over there, and we need some animals here, and some fish there, and a few humans right here. The chaos in creation is also possibility. It is the primordial soup from which life is waiting to emerge. God is not afraid to wade right into the chaos because that’s where life will come from.

 

Easy for God – not so easy for us. But still, there is an invitation for us in that story, and courage to be gained from the words of Paul. Is there something we can do in the chaos? Yes. Do we need to allow the rhetoric of fear to invade our hearts? No. Can we do everything? Certainly not. But can we do something? You bet.

 

So, what then are we to say – and do – about these things? Here are a few ideas.

  • Pray. Prayer and action are bound together in the Christian life. Starting with prayer can keep us open to new possibilities; ground our hearts and minds in grace and hope; silence us for long enough to hear a new possibility or voice; remind us that we are not in this life or work alone.
  • Give. In times of disaster, the thing most needed is money. Not blankets or clothing or stuff, but money. Check out charities to see how much of your donation will be used in direct aid, although don’t be afraid of a little overhead; those organizations need good staff to make everything work. We always trust the work of Lutheran Disaster Response, which works closely with local authorities and community groups and sticks around for the long haul.
  • Advocate. It’s no accident that Jesus describes the Holy Spirit as an ‘advocate’ – the one who goes with us, gives us courage, speaks through us and even for us. We participate in the work of the Spirit when we advocate with and for others. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services has a ton of resources to help you learn about immigration, DACA, refugee resettlement, and how you can speak up. Our ELCA Presiding Bishop, Elizabeth Eaton, reminds us: “As Lutheran Christians, we regard the family as an indispensable social institution and stand firmly against policies that cause the separation of families.”
  • Learn. Don’t know much about DACA? Curious about how climate change is impacting the severity of storms now and in the future? Seek out different voices. Read something you don’t agree with and start to articulate your position clearly. Ask. Talk with someone. Join the Climate Team at Holy Spirit. Peruse our outstanding library for some great books about white privilege and the continuing burden of racism in our nation. Come to the Lutheran Peace Fellowship monthly gatherings.
  • Practice Peace. Recently, the chapter of Lutheran Peace Fellowship meeting at Holy Spirit began a practice called, ‘How to be a bridge in a world full of walls.’ Try these steps in your own life:
    • Pause and Center. Find your center in God’s grace. Release your hurts and fears.
    • Listen actively first. Genuinely and actively listen to the other person.
    • Inquire. Ask questions. Seek the other person’s truth. Find their humanity.
    • Speak. Share your own truth with kindness.
    • Keep it open. Be easygoing. Leave room for silence. As appropriate, use humor.
    • Tone of voice and body language. Picture the voice and expression of someone who likes and respects you deeply. Emulate that.
  • Be You. In spite of everything above, there are also times when we have to take a break. Sometimes we are not ready to speak. Sometimes we are too worn out to advocate. Sometimes it is not safe for us to be bold. Respect that reality for yourself and for others. Things change. Your time to speak may be someone else’s turn to be quiet. And sometimes it’s most important to listen.

 

How else do you handle these times? What else is bringing you life?

 

Pastor Katy

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