June Edition 2010
Georgetown Lutheran Church
1556 Wisconsin Avenue NW ~~ Washington, DC 20007
Rev. Phillip Gaines, Pastor
Kay Swift, Parish Administrator
Pat Henry, Music Director
Efaveur Timothee, Sexton
Church Web Site: georgetownlutheran.com
Church Office Hours:
Kay Swift, Parish Administrator, is in the office
Summer Worship: 10:00a.m.
Parents, a children’s bulletin and canvas bags containing crayons and soft toys are available for the children to enjoy during the worship service. A nursery is available for those children who require it.
COUNCIL RETREATS TO MAR-LU-RIDGE
On March 27, the GLC Council and other interested members of the congregation spent the day at Mar-Lu Ridge Camp discussing the very interesting results of the congregational survey in which GLC was a participant many months back. The survey was very extensive, interviewing thousands of worshipers, and analyzing their responses to questions in ten areas that have been shown to be common in congregations that are thriving and growing. We learned how GLC’s answers compared both to other small congregations (fewer than 100 members) but also to all of the ELCA congregations that participated in the survey. As a result, we gained a better understanding of GLC’s strengths and areas that we might want to focus on for improvement. All this information will become the basis of a proposed 12-month strategic plan that will be unveiled to the Council and then the congregation at large by the strategic growth committee early next Fall. Because the plan will be based on useable information revealed by the survey, there is every reason to think that it will offer GLC a roadmap to making our congregation as strong as possible, and a resource to all its members as well as the outside world. If anyone has an interest in knowing more, they should feel free to contact any of the members of the strategic growth committee, including Kay Swift, John Juilfs, Chris Traugott (sp?), Connie Baker and Karen Sawyer…..otherwise, stay tuned!
From Your President
I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe Memorial Day! It has been a very busy and exciting time here at GLC! The Church Council has been working very hard over the winter on a number of projects. Last fall we participated in one of the largest and most comprehensive Congregational Survey’s in recent memory. The results of that survey are back and have a lot of exciting information for us here at GLC to help us understand some of our strengths and weaknesses! Karen Sawyer has been very instrumental in organizing a group of members who have been working very hard to interpret the information and how it can help us as a congregation to grow as well as to help us understand what we can do to reach individuals who do not attend any Church to bring them the fantastic news of God’s Love, Grace and Forgiveness that we hear about every Sunday! The Council had a retreat this winter about the findings, and more information will be forthcoming!
The Council has decided that it is time for an audit of our finances. Dane Cooper is working very hard to convene a group of individuals to work closely together to audit our books to ensure that we are following all necessary financial practices, etc. I assume this is going to take a number of months to collect and review all the information. The ELCA has an Audit tool already in place and we will be following their recommendations. As soon as the Audit is complete, we will give the congregation a complete report.
There is a lot of very exciting news regarding the upkeep and improvements to our building. Valentine Garcia, Kay Swift and a number of members have been working very hard on the grounds of the Church. If you have not taken a moment to look at all the gardens, I invite you to walk around the building and see all the exciting new gardens that continue to appear! Last month there was a Georgetown Garden Tour, which we were not officially a part of, but we had an open house on the same day, and everyone enjoyed the gardens as well as tours of the Church. It was a very exciting day! Rumor has it that we may officially be on the garden tour next year since so many people in Georgetown have been talking about the gardens. While you are looking at the gardens, you may notice all the damage that was done to our roof and gutters from the blizzards over the winter. Work will begin soon to repair and replace all damage done! The great news about this is the fact that all but $1000.00 is covered by our insurance! There has been extensive painting completed inside and out as well as a lot of preventative maintenance to ensure that this wonderful house of worship will be here for generations to come!
In the coming months you will be hearing more about the fact that we will make the final payment on the organ! In fact, by the time you read this, the final payment may have been made!
Our Children’s and Adult Sunday school continues to grow thanks to a number of committed individuals! What an exciting time to be a part of GLC!
Over time, you will be hearing more about a number of these various projects and events, if you are approached to help, I hope you will consider helping in some way. As you are already aware, we will be having one service during the summer at 10 am. I hope when you are in town that you will take the time to join us in worship!
I look forward to seeing you all soon!
INNOCENCE IS PRICELESS
One Sunday morning, the pastor noticed little Alex standing in the foyer
of the church staring up at a large plaque. It was covered with names and
small American flags mounted on either side of it.
The six-year old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the pastor walked up, stood beside the little boy, and said quietly, 'Good morning Alex.'
Good morning Pastor, he replied, still focused on the plaque.
Pastor, what is this? The pastor said, Well son, it is a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service.
Soberly, they just stood together, staring at the large plaque. Finally, little Alex's voice, barely audible and trembling with fear, asked... "Which service...the 8:00 or the 10:30?"
Another Debt Paid
At the June Council meeting, Treasurer John Juilfs reported that the organ loan had been paid in full. After 15 years of monthly payments to Wachovia Bank, a $100,000 bank loan had been met.
Meeting this incredible challenge should give us cause for some pride. The generosity of current and past members, not to mention thousands of Friends of GLC, enabled us to pay off the loan that gave us the opportunity to purchase our Baroque-style tracker organ.
For the past 15 years, the fine musicians who have played this organ have provided music for over 1000 worship and non-worship events. To celebrate the retirement of this debt, the Worship and Music Committee have begun plans for a re-dedication of the organ.
Your Tithes and Offerings
Once a year the congregational members of GLC plus a few Friends of GLC gather to review the budget for the upcoming year. Unfortunately, many of our members never attend that meeting. It is unfortunate for many reasons, but one of note is that unless you attend the meeting, it is difficult to know the council spends your how tithes and offerings. For that reason, the council thought it would be a good idea to use the medium to educate all on just how money is spent at GLC. As we approach the summer months of vacation travel, please remember that we must pay our bills in June, July, August and September, just as we do the rest of the year. For example, each month we pay:
$7763 for salaries and housing expenses (four employees)
$2350 for utilities
$530 toward the Kitchen Loan
That’s a total of $10,643.
Add quarterly and semi-annual payments for insurance and synod benevolence to that and you have a monthly average budget of over $12,000.
Many of your will remember times when GLC was in a serious financial crisis. Thanks be to God those days are behind us. Truly, your gifts during these difficult economic times have made a big difference in GLC’s financial security.
As you plan for vacations and other out-of-town trips during the summer months, please include a financial gift to GLC as part of your vacation budget planning. Mail your check to the church: 1556 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007. Thank you.
OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES
On the first day of school, a first-grader handed his teacher a note from his mother. The note read, "The opinions expressed by this child are not necessarily those of his parents."
A woman was trying hard to get the ketchup out of the jar. During her struggle, the phone rang so she asked her 4-year-old daughter to answer the phone. "Mommy can't come to the phone to talk to you right now. She's hitting the bottle."
A little girl had just finished her first week of school. "I'm just wasting my time," she said to her
mother. "I can't read, I can't write, and they won't let me talk!"
We Pray For…
Delores and Larry Lentz
Alex Dye (a friend of Al McCall – Pastor G’s nephew)
J.T. Taylor, deployed to Afghanistan
Jason Rosenberg upon the death of his father
Hands Across Sand Draws Attention to Vulnerable Creation
The synod's Creation Care Team alerts us to "Hands Across the Sand," a movement and observance on Sat., June 26. People are joining hands along beaches, rivers, churches and wherever else for a moment of silence and prayer as a statement of solidarity and stewardship of God's creation - particularly the protection of our waters, wildlife and lands. The Rev. Kendall Summers, Our Savior’s-Temple Hills, will lead prayer during an event in Annapolis, Md., starting at 3:30 p.m. at the City Dock, and she offers her home in Eastport as a home base to those attending.
• In addition to participants, youth and adult volunteers are needed for the Annapolis event. Contact Pr. Summers at 410-991-0293 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
• Consider holding a "Hands Across the Sands" event at your church, nearby waterway or other local venue. "Join hands for a moment of prayer... thanking God for creation, seeking forgiveness and joining in the commission of stewardship of the earth," suggests Pr. Summers.
"My hope is that while we are all angry and hurt," said Pr. Summers of reaction to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, "that we hear the voice of God calling us to work for the good and to help shine light of hope and a way of movement toward better environmental care through the darkness." The mission of "Hands Across the Sand" includes opposition to offshore oil drilling and championing clean energy and renewables. Learn more about the movement at http://www.handsacrossthesand.org or call Pr. Summers at 410-991-0293.
Apply for Free Safe Families Training
ELCA congregations are invited to apply for a no-cost, three-day "Lutheran Advocates for Safe Families" training session. It is designed for congregations interested in making our churches and communities safer places for families by ending domestic violence. Locations are forthcoming, but dates are determined: Mon, Sept. 13-Wed., Sept. 15 or Thu. Oct. 7-Sat., Oct. 9. Some financial assistance for travel and lodging is available upon acceptance to the training. Contact Susan Hayes of the Lutheran Community Foundation if interested ASAP, as the originally posted application deadline just passed (June 15). The ELCA Justice for Women program has collaborated with and supported the work by connecting the Lutheran Community Foundation with ELCA congregations and providing Lutheran-specific resources to accompany the faith-based training materials. See http://www.thelcf.org/safe_families_training for details, and contact Ms. Hayes at email@example.com.
Spiritual Direction Training at WTU
Interest in Spiritual Direction has increased in the last several years. The Washington Theological Union (WTU), a Roman Catholic seminary in Washington, D.C., is responding to this need with an 18 credit, two-year program to prepare those individuals who feel called to the ministry to become a spiritual director. The program can be taken in its entirety or in separate courses that seem most appropriate for those already trained in theology. This certificate program assists persons to affirm the call and supervises them in the responsible exercise of this gift. If you would like a brochure with more details or specific course, information, please contact Carol L. Ries, SNJM at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-541-5220.
Theological Discovery for Synod Youth Nurtured
A day for theological discovery for youth in 9th and 10th grades will be held Sat., Oct. 23 from 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at Emmanuel Lutheran in Bethesda, Md. The Metro D.C. Synod Youth Ministry Team has partnered with Theological Education with Youth to offer this event, "Troubling the Water." Up to five youth and one adult per congregation are invited; fee is $20/youth participant. See flyer or contact Barbara Harner, email@example.com or 240-354-1999 for details. EXTRAS
Inspirational Conference at Roanoke
"Power in the Spirit," an inspirational conference held each summer at Roanoke College in Salem, VA, would be held July 8-10. The theme is "Shaped by the Master's Hands." Keynoter is the Rev. Susan Briehl, musician is Dr. Marty Haugen, and Bible leader is Dr. Diane Jacobson. An extensive workshop list and registration are available on the extensive brochure in "Extras." The conference is an opportunity for rostered leaders and lay people to gather in fellowship, laughter, and learning and worship as all work to discern God's call to service. More information is available at http://www.vasynod.org. EXTRAS
Luther hostels through ALOA
Forthcoming Luther hostels through the Association of Lutheran Older Adults (ALOA) are planned for summer months.
• July 14-18, music-themed event co-sponsored with Lutheran Summer Music at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa; and
• Aug.28-Sept. 3, featuring bible study with Dr. Richard Bimler and the Rev. Walter Schoedel, at Camp Arcadia, Arcadia, Michigan.
Learn more from http://www.aloaserves.org.
Senior High Servant Trip in July Chi Rho, the synod's annual week-long servant
event trip to Neon, Kentucky for senior high youth (those completing grades
9-12 in 2010) is coming on July 11-17. Youth may participate as individuals
or as part of a small congregational group. Adults are also needed to serve,
and congregations sending four or more youth are asked to also send an adult.
Find an information letter, flyer and registration forms at http://metrodc.youthgroupstuff.com/.
Rethinking Stewardship Workshop
The ELCA is among the co-sponsors of "Rethinking Stewardship: Our Culture, Our Theology, Our Practices," a workshop reframing how American Christians think about stewardship. It will be held on July 19-21 at St. Andrew Lutheran in Eden Prairie, Minn. Review the keynote speakers and conversation areas, including rethinking culture, theology, practices and stewardship, at http://www.luthersem.edu/rethinking.
Youth Ministry Certification Program in Gettysburg
The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (LTSG) offers a certification course designed to equip adults accompanying youth and families in the congregation. Registration deadline for the Youth Ministry Certification School is August 1. The Youth Ministry Certification School is spread over an eight-month period to make it more accessible to volunteers and part-time staff. Dates are August 19-22 (at Camp Nawakwa, Arnendtsville, and Pennsylvania), October 14-16, November 11-13, February 10-12, March 24-26 and April 28-30 (all at LTSG). Tuition is $2,250 including meals, lodging and materials. Scholarships often available. Learn more at http://www.ltsg.edu/programs/youthcert. EXTRAS
New Ideas for Youth/Family Ministry Topic of Synod Workshop
"Youth Ministry 101," a Saturday morning workshop hosted by the Metro D.C. Synod Youth Ministry Team, will be held on September 11 from 9:00 a.m.-noon at Emmanuel Lutheran in Vienna. Cost is $10/person; maximum of $30/congregation. Attendees will leave the event engaged in new relationships, equipped with knowledge about resources and opportunities, and empowered with new ideas for youth and family ministry in the coming year. Learn more from http://metrodc.youthgroupstuff.com/ or contact Barbara Harner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 240-354-1999. EXTRAS
Biblical Storytelling Workshop
A Biblical Storytelling Workshop led by Tracy Radosevic will be held at Christ Memorial Presbyterian in Columbia, Md. (www.cmpcusa.org) on Monday, September 27 from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. SOURCE Ecumenical Resource Center and the Christian Education Ministry Team of the Presbytery of Baltimore are partnering to present the event. Fee is $15, including lunch. Workshops on Biblical storytelling and multiple intelligences are offered. Register by September 13. EXTRAS
From your Pastor
Dear Friends in Christ:
I witnessed a strange sight a few days ago, at least from my point of view, it was strange. Turning onto 33rd Street from M Street, one could not help but notice long lines down M and another up 33rd. They met at the main entrance of Georgetown Cupcakes. Now I will be the first to admit that I have stood in line for many reasons: “The Scream Machine” roller coaster at Six Flags over Georgia; southern home cookin’ at the family reunion; and at the funeral home to pay my respects to a loved one’s family. For me, these are reasonable “stand in line” events. However, for the life of me, I had to scratch my head when someone told me that the cupcakes at this particular bakery were worth standing in line for.
That gave me an idea…if we advertised that Holy Communion featured “Georgetown Cupcakes” --- perhaps we too could see the line circle down Volta Place, onto 33rd, then Q, and finally the front doors of GLC on Wisconsin Avenue. Just think, people actually standing in line to get into a worship service at Georgetown Lutheran. Now THAT would be a strange, yet remarkable sight.
Remarkable sights are routine for us living in the DC area. Motorcades of powerful people pass by regularly; parades, protests, and inaugurations add to the excitement of DC living. I am in awe of the ease in which others use PDA’s, IPODS, IPADS, and other hand-held electronic devices. Even more remarkable, scientific research that enhances the quality of our lives.
As important as these remarkable events are – electronics and medicines still have no impact on our spiritual well-being. For that we must turn to the power—the remarkable power of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Our Triune God never abandons us. Unfortunately, we humans walk away from God all too often. I meet people regularly whose connections to God began to fade early in their lives. For reasons as numerous as there are people, spiritual belief succumbs to the overwhelming desire to “fend for ones self.” Even more remarkable – some of the same people whose faith in God has waned over the years – attend worship services at GLC – regularly.
They attend to listen to the words describing Christ’s actions. They sing hymns of laud and honor to God’s unconditional love. They engage in prayer asking God to lift burdens from their hearts. They receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion with a glimmer of hope that Jesus’ words may actually be true: “This cup is the new Covenant in my Blood, shed for all people for the forgiveness of sin.”
Jesus offers remarkable words performs remarkable events that can change our lives if only we will succumb to the power of God. Is it worth standing in line to receive such as gift? I dare say, much better that a cupcake.
Pastor Phillip Gaines