Daily Bible Readings Week of December 10, 2017

  • Sunday: Ezekiel 37:1-14, Ezekiel: Valley of Dry Bones
  • Monday: Ezekiel 1:1-14, The Vision of the Chariot
  • Tuesday: Ezekiel 1:15-28, The Vision of the Chariot
  • Wednesday: Ezekiel 2:1 – 3:11, The Vision of the Scroll
  • Thursday: Ezekiel 40:1-19, The Vision of the New Temple
  • Friday: Ezekiel 40:20-37, The Vision of the New Temple
  • Saturday: Ezekiel 40:38-47, The Vision of the New Temple

Wild West part 2

I wrote about the Wild West right here, if you’re so inclined to read it.

This sort of stuff just rides with me every day, like it or not. I think about relationships with the community and how we are connected or not connected to the reality of our own community. I don’t think we live into our true calling of being church without thinking about how we are connected (or not connected) to our community.

Last Sunday we celebrated the work God has been doing through us this past year at our annual Riverpalooza. It was a great Sunday of worship and hearing just how God has been working through our community. Our community is growing, our giving is growing, our “going out” is growing, our discipleship groups are growing.
What IS God up to? A lot.
The bells continue to toll that the church is dying. And just in case you missed it, at the heart of our faith is death and resurrection. Our identity as Christians is dependent upon the fact that Jesus Christ died and rose again, promising to us that we too die and are raised to new life. Again and again.  So while many are lamenting the “death of the church” I think there is good news in this tolling bell. There is new life.
New life! Will you show up at Laundry Love for a few hours once a month and risk meeting strangers and just, you know, being there?
New life! Will you learn about the new HOMES (Housing Options in McLeod for Emergency Shelter) and support it?
New life! Will you participate in the life of River of Hope in a discipleship group or a Bible study?
New life! Will you engage in daily scripture reading and prayer to stay connected with the story of God’s love for you and the world?
New life! Will you dare to find God up to all kinds of stuff in your daily life and in the community of Hutchinson?
This is being Church. Showing up to give and receive love.  Sure, maybe the church is dying, but the new life that is emerging is a whole different thing. It’s not resuscitation, it’s resurrection!

The Wild West

“It’s the wild west – who knows how this will go?” Another pastor I met this past week said this in passing after another day of presentations around the state of the Church. Not his church or my church but the Christian Church in North America. In a nutshell, the church is in trouble.

[Read more…]

Lent Goal: $1000 to Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

Click Lent 2017 – LIRS to see what River of Hope is up to during Lent. Will you help us reach the $1000 goal to support the work of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service?

As Christians, our calling is to love God and love the neighbor. This season of Lent, join River of Hope in showing love for the most vulnerable in the world.  You can read more about Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service efforts here.

[Read more…]

Dirty Laundry? We’ve got just the thing…

https://www.facebook.com/notes/river-of-hope-lutheran-elca-hutchinson-mn/laundry-love/1313082728710613?notif_t=notify_me_page&notif_id=1475078416952154

Riverpalooza in the rear view mirror (objects are closer than they appear)

Just in case you missed all the fun on November 20, we brought stories to share about what God has being doing with River of Hope and where God is leading us. [Read more…]

wait + watch = hope

I don’t know how you’re feeling today, post-election, but my sense of hope I have in God through Jesus Christ has been tested today. Bodies are at stake when it comes to policies and life lived together in these United States. Some bodies are more at risk in the coming 4 years: bodies with darker skin; female bodies; bodies with parts that work in different ways from the accepted norm; bodies that have escaped war-torn countries and landed here; bodies that love bodies of the same gender.

[Read more…]

Won’t you be…my neighbor?

Read the neighborly post here:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/river-of-hope-lutheran-elca-hutchinson-mn/who-is-our-neighbor/1347712251914327

All Saints’ Sunday – October 30, 2016

This coming Sunday we will recognize all the Saints (realizing that in the Lutheran tradition, we are all considered, simultaneously sinner/saint (100%) of both (seriously). So it’s not a day of remembering Mother Theresa but, instead, your grandpa and your co-worker and your classmate as well as David Bowie and Prince too.

So, bring a picture of your loved one or something they made or loved to put on display during worship. We’ll have a time for you to write a prayer and light candles in memory of all those we know and love who have died.3682_img_0430

For those of you playing along at home, you might see that All Saints’ Sunday is recognized November 6 this year. However, because we recognize Confirmation (affirmation of baptism) on the 6th, All Saints’ sort of gets a back seat, so we did a little switch-a-roo.

God’s Work, Our Hands Sunday, September 11, 2016

dayofservice_banner.ashxRiver of Hope’s purpose statement begins with these 3 words: We. Go. Out. (The dramatic periods are not behind each of the 3 words in our purpose statement. But dramatic here, no?) It’s in our DNA to be people who are sent out to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world in all kinds of ways.
On Sunday, September 11, we’re incorporating this “we go out” into our worship service, a church-wide celebration of our freedom in Christ to serve the neighbor. See more information here: http://www.elca.org/dayofservice?_g…
First, we’ll gather for worship per usual. We’ll sing a few songs and hymns. Then we’re going to bless people. We’ve invited first responders from the Hutchinson community to be part of worship that morning. So ER workers and EMTs and the Hutchinson PD. In light of the September 11th anniversary, we will surround them with our gratitude and pray God’s continued blessings upon their work to protect and serve the most vulnerable people at their worst.
Which, when you think about it for even a moment, is what we’re called to do as Christians. To first respond to those who are neglected or forgotten or in their greatest need. And we do this because God first responded to us.
So then, after this blessing, we’ll be fed from Christ’s table and then go and respond to the world in the form of service projects in and around the Hutchinson community.
Keep your eyes peeled for service projects to be involved with that will cap off your Sunday worship service. It’s going to be a good day to be reminded how we respond to the unconditional love given to us through Jesus Christ!