Aloha, All! As I begin my ministry as the Interim Pastor for St. Timothy Lutheran Church, it seems appropriate for me to tell you a little bit about myself and my wife, Marilyn. We just moved from Hawaii after a ten-year ministry at Prince of Peace Lutheran in Waikiki. When we began, the church was worshiping in a hotel banquet room with a worshiping congregation of about 15 members and, according to some of the members, on the verge of closing down. But, apparently God had other plans for Prince of Peace because, after a series of “miracles,” the congregation was able to purchase their own worship space and to pay off their mortgage in four and a half years. But, because both our daughter and son’s families had relocated to Lake Oswego and our six grandchildren are here, Marilyn and I decided it was time for us to be closer to them.
Marilyn and I met at Prince of Peace back in the early ’70s but didn’t date at that time. We both left Hawaii in the summer of 1973. Marilyn went to work in Germany at the military base in Heidelberg while I left Hawaii for Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. In 1976 Marilyn returned to the U.S. to attend Lutheran Bible Institute in Seattle while I was doing my internship in Japan. When our time for those opportunities ended, we both returned to Hawaii in the summer of 1977; Marilyn as the Parish Worker at Prince of Peace, me as an assistant chaplain at Punahou School, the private school started by the Congregational missionaries in 1841. That’s when we started dating and got married in August 1978 and moved to St. Paul, MN, for me to finish my seminary work. Our daughter, Mariko, was born in July 1979. I got my first call to Wellington Park Lutheran in Milwaukee where our son, Stephen (Mits), was born in June 1981.
In 1986 I wanted Mariko and Mits to experience the educational opportunities at Punahou School. And, after their first year, we decided that I would teach math while they attended Punahou. I left the active clergy roster during that time. After they graduated from college in 2004, I began the work of being reinstated. I was finally reinstated in 2010 and was called back into parish ministry in 2011 when the pastor at Prince of Peace was not able to continue after a serious stroke. We happily served there for ten years until we agreed that we needed to spend time with our grandchildren.
Prior to our meeting, Marilyn had moved to Hawaii from Ohio, where she had grown up and started working at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton. I’m a southern Californian who grew up in San Diego County. I graduated from Whittier College in 1961 and taught high school math in Bishop, CA, and San Francisco before moving to Hawaii to teach at Punahou.
Despite my age, I am still excited about the ministry and both Marilyn and I are elated that God has led us to St. Timothy. But, because I am the Interim Pastor, I am not called to lead you into God’s future; my call is to walk with you and to guide you through the process to envision God’s future for St. Timothy and to help St. Tim’s to find God’s pastor who will walk with you in this exciting new chapter.
What are your pandemic guidelines for Sunday gatherings?
To safely hold worship services, the Oregon Health Authority has mandated all people continue to wear a mask at all times. We frequently wash hands with soap and water and respect the needs of others in regards to feeling safe from infection. Due to COVID guidelines, we are advised to not shake hands or hug during the Sharing of Peace. Instead, we invite you to stand and wave, virtually hug, or make the peace sign.
Each Sunday, please take an individual Holy Communion set located at the church entrance.
During Communion you will be invited to remove the clear plastic film covering the wafer. Be careful that you only remove the clear plastic film on the very top. To do so, pull the hard plastic down to separate the clear plastic film from the foil. After you have partaken of the body of Christ, you will be invited to remove the purple foil covering the grape juice. A paper bowl is located at the end of your pew for your trash.
We review safety measures regularly in keeping with leaders from the Oregon Lutheran Synod, the State of Oregon and the City of Portland in Multnomah county via the Oregon Health Authority. We expect these guidelines will serve us through February, 2022.
Lead me, guide me along the way, for if you lead me I cannot stray.
Does this verse say something significant about God’s perfect will for our lives?
“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.”
Isn’t that odd how this worked out (or was God in the center of it)?The next time someone says they would like to find God’s perfect will for their lives, just send them to the center of His Word. So when things get tough always remember. Faith doesn’t get you around trouble. It gets you through it.
This comes from something I have come to hear and come across along the way and has come to make plenty of sense. Take each day one day at a time…..that is that God gives you one coin to spend each day, and you have to spend that whole coin each day, you can’t save the change until tomorrow, and can’t bring any left over in from the day before.
Yesterday— Is Yesterday….you can’t bring anything from it.
Today— Is today and that is the coin you get to spend and what you get and you must spend it all you can’t keep any of it all must be spent that day.
Tomorrow — Is Tomorrow and you get a new coin that day, but can’t bring any change in from the previous day into it.
So concentrate on working on each day one at a time and giving your life to God for He is always there for you no matter what.
The Fantastic, Stupendous, Hyped-To-TheMax Super Bowl of Football will be held on February 3rd. Well, guess what! We can have a Lovely, Thoughtful, Sharing, Exciting, Life-Affirming Souper Bowl at St. Timothy! Bring your donations of canned and packaged soups and ramens and canned fruit to St. Tim on February 3rd. Soup will be a point for your team and fruit will subtract a point from your opponent.
This organization was the recipient of our fifth Sunday as well. Donations of toys, games, and family items were delivered for the annual holiday store for families who would not be able to provide Christmas gifts to their children without the store. I volunteered at the store for two afternoons. The recipients are delighted with the opportunity to shop. Thanks so much to all the donors.
An epiphany is…”a realization; an opening; a portal to the Divine; growing up; a magic moment that impacts you and changes you forever and you can remember it as vividly as you experienced it; a moment that changes the lens through which you view your life; our soul scratching around our head and giving us a signal to guide our lives with; a moment of descending light, open knowledge, and choice; a drastic shift in energy and change of perspective that happens in the form of a moment of clarity; something that gives you the strength to take a different direction or move forward and opens up everything; a sense of wonderment; a clarifying direction; and, that moment where you know your life is never going to be the same.” (Ballard, Elise. 2011, January 25. How Do You, We, I Define Epiphany, Exactly? PsychologyToday.com). These were the definitions of epiphany given to psychologist Elise Ballard by people that she interviewed on the subject. I appreciate all these answers but I especially like the last one: that moment where you know your life is never going to be the same. I think that gets at the heart of what Epiphany truly is. Epiphany was the moment when those who witnessed Jesus’ birth realized their lives would never again be the same. Epiphany is the moment in which we realize that because of Jesus our lives will never be the same again. Epiphany is the day in the church year that we celebrate the wise men traveling from the east to honor the newborn king. Imagine how their lives were forever changed as they traveled a great distance to honor a small baby, the savior of the world. Did they come with great expectations? Did they leave in awe of the humble origins of this newborn king? Did they have an inkling of what Jesus meant for them and the world? Imagine how the lives of the shepherds were forever changed when angels came to them in the fields heralding good news of a savior born into the world. Did they doubt what they had seen and heard? Did they rush to see the newborn king, leaving behind their flocks? Did they stand in wonder of the promised messiah? Did they leave pondering the revelation that God had not forgotten them? Epiphany means manifestation and on Epiphany we celebrate the physical manifestation of Jesus to the gentiles. It is a celebration of God coming into the world to be with us in tangible ways. It is the end of Christmas and the beginning of our realization that our lives will never be the same again because of a baby born into the world. The season of Epiphany begins with Epiphany Sunday on January 6th as we remember the journey the wise men made to see the newborn king. The season of Epiphany ends on Ash Wednesday, March 6th. Throughout the season of Epiphany we wonder at the multitude of ways Jesus is made manifest in our lives and the truth that because of Jesus our lives will never be the same again.