Happening Now Blog

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Pastor's Wednesday Message

I enjoy visiting Eugene, Oregon, so I'm glad our Synod Assembly was held there this past weekend. We gathered at the Valley River Inn, by the Willamette.  Late Saturday afternoon I went for a walk along the river with its soaring eagles, its swift waters sparkling in the sun, verdant greenery adorning the banks.  I felt glad to be alive and privileged to witness the beauty of God's creation.

Most of my time, though, was indoors attending to Assembly business.  We did some good work in thoughtful discussion of five resolutions put before the Assembly.  I'll note them here; see my article in the May newsletter for a fuller account. We passed resolutions on the following topics:
  • Encouraging members to take action to limit global warming and to protect the environment; 
  • Authorizing congregations to send an additional voting member to Synod Assembly if it is a youth member, a person of color, or a person who identifies as LGBTQIA; 
  • Authorizing Synod Council and staff to provide educational materials to congregations about bringing a universal, publicly funded (single­payer) healthcare system to Oregon and asking congregations to encourage their members to work toward the creation of such a system;
  • Resolving that the Oregon Synod declare itself a "Sanctuary Synod" ready to protect refugees and undocumented persons from arrest and deportation;  
  • Authorizing a new format for Synod Assembly in 2018: we will have a one ­day business meeting of voting members (instead of the usual long weekend), supplemented by 4­5 regional gatherings on a different date for education, mission planning, and worship.
All these issues deserve lively discussion.  Here, though, I want to comment on the final point about the 2018 Synod Assembly.

The proposal responded to concerns about the high cost of a long weekend at a venue like the Valley River Inn.  A one day meeting would minimize costs; and the regional gatherings could include a wider spectrum of church members.  Those are important values.  Yet many people spoke of their concern that this change would damage the community generated by gathering a diverse bunch of folks from all across the state over a long weekend.  It becomes a sort of family reunion where you meet new relatives, reconnect, renew old relationships.  And it allows for a ministry of reconciliation.  As one woman said, we can get mad at each other discussing resolutions but gain sympathetic understanding during dinner or over a glass of beer.  We chose to experiment in 2018.  But we will carefully assess the cost of lost community compared to any benefits the new format may yield.  In the end, the Church is all about being a global Community of Saints gathered by the Holy Spirit and acting locally through our unique, lovely, and sometimes crazy congregations. And this is priceless.


Adult Education for Sunday May 8
Pastor Brian will do a presentation on the 2016 Synod Assembly between worship services this Sunday, May 8.  We'll review and discuss the five resolutions passed by the Assembly; and talk about how SOV can send voting members to the 2017 Assembly.

Lessons for Sunday, May 8th
Acts 16:16-34
Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21
John 17:20-26


Wednesday  9:00 - 1:00 p KOK Preschool/Chapel
                   10:00 a  Bible Study
Thursday    9:00 - 1:00 p KOK Preschool
                   6:00 p Men's Night at Reedville Cafe

Friday       9:00 - 12:00 p KOK Preschool
                 1:00 - 9:00 p Palmeter Piano Studio

Saturday  9:30 - 11:30 a SOV Choir Rehearsal
                10:00 - 12:00 p KOK Family Day
                 2:00 - 4:00 p Baby Shower for Subash and Monica and baby girl Adlyn

Sunday     8:30 & 11:00 a Worship Services

KOK Spring Family Day
Saturday, May 7th
10:00 - 12:00 pm

Registration for the coming school year is in full swing. We will be hosting a "Spring Family Day" for currently enrolled and families who are interested in experiencing our school.  If you or someone you know has a preschooler, come enjoy a morning of play, art and a special snack. Contact our director, Hannah Benedict, with any questions by email kokpreschool@gmail.com or by calling the school 503-645-0236.

Baby Shower for Adlyn newborn daughter of Subash and Monica
Saturday, May 7th
2:00 - 4:00 pm
All are invited (men, women, families). Cake and beverage will be served.

Next Scrip Order
May 15th