At the Congregational Retreat
On May 21, we read an article by UCC pastor, Rev. Cameron Trimble, who observed in her experience as a pilot that, when a flyer holds too tightly to the controls, the aircraft actually is less stable. She also noted that, when faced with turbulence, the experienced pilot would “fly loose” and would adjust after being blown off course. Her article concluded that, as the church faces turbulent times today, we would be wise to “fly loose” and be willing to readjust along the way.
I opened the Retreat with a reading from Acts 2 about Peter’s response to the crowd’s reaction to the disciples speaking in tongues and he cited the prophecy from Joel about the young prophesying and having visions and the elders dreaming dreams. Then, I asked us to use this Retreat to prophesy, vision, and dream.
The discussion began with the retreat participants being asked to name some of turbulence facing our church and our neighbors. We identified several items, among them: the homeless, trash, hunger, vandalism, loneliness and isolation, mental distress, and many other concerns. We do live in turbulent times and will need to “fly loose” and not hold too tightly onto the past to fly through this storm. We can no longer be the church of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s because the turbulence we’re facing today is very different that the church of those times.
The major part of the Retreat was an attempt to answer the Questions raised in the Oregon Synod’s guide for “Congregations in Transition”: Who Are We?; Who Are Our Neighbors?; What Is God Calling Us to Do?
Who Are We? I asked the Retreat to answer this question that the ELCA Presiding Bishop, Elizabeth Eaton, asked in a video, “What would our neighbors say we are?” Some of the responses were: St. Tim is a refuge for the homeless (two perspectives: positive from the homeless, negative from property owners); I didn’t know there was a church here; it’s nice looking building on Powell; it’s the place where you host an Easter jubilee and a Hallowe’en Trunk or Treat; it’s a place where those “holier than thou” Christians meet; and several more observations.
Who Are Our Neighbors? We described a varied and diverse neighborhood: multicultural, multigenerational, multiethnic; single parents; seniors living alone; neighborhood businesses, schools, and faith communities; and more.
What Does God Want Us to Do? The remainder of the time was spent “Brainstorming.” I was encouraged by the energy and creativity exhibited by everyone. A few of the ideas that emerged were: A full food pantry; Visits with our neighbors; Neighborhood cleanup;
Bible studies, Small groups to foster friendships and trust; Recovery groups, including Sinners Anonymous; Concert/Performance venue; Community Garden; Explore ways to maximize use of Hospitality House; and many, many more ideas (Please see the Handout on the Retreat in the Narthex on Sunday.).
WHAT’S NEXT? I was pleasantly surprised when I asked if the Group wanted to meet again to “flesh out” the ideas for ministry that God was calling us to do, the Group almost unanimously voted to meet again in July. Other congregations I’ve been with would have either tabled it forever or would have “panned” it off to the Church Council. It’s pretty clear that St. Timothy is blessed with people who want to fly into the turbulence and “fly loose” and excited to see where God is taking us.
Pastor Yukio Hamada
Thoughts from your leadership:
We have established Pastor Hamada as our Term Pastor and are moving forward to planning our future as we complete our transition planning. We planned a congregational retreat for May 21st to dream about our future. Council will discuss possible focuses on June 13th. A congregational meeting will be held in July.
Our property committee is very busy working on the furnace and much more. The changes to Powell have a positive outcome already since our building is more visible. We passed a motion to complete the floor in the office area and stair way with our anonymous donation and if funds available chairs for the basement.
The evangelism committee is busy working on planning for Trunk or Treat in October and Community event the end of July.
Fifth Sunday for Lutheran Community Services—The council wanted to help immigrants and LCSNW is a very fine regional service agency.
Plans should begin developing on God’s Work, Our Hands for this fall soon.
Blessings to all, Sherry
We continue trying to keep up with the needs of our community. Food from Portland Food Project (PFP) has been depleted, so off we go shopping. Thanks to those who pick up items here and there. Gladys’ idea to ask family for the gift of food for special occasions (Mother’s Day) is a great idea. Trips to Winco, Costco, Franz bakery, Dollar Tree all appreciated. Reimbursement is available. Next PFP is on June 10th. Karen O. and Ray will do the pick-up. Volunteers needed to put food away at about 12:30pm at St. Tim.
Please continue to bring clothes and egg cartons. I delivered 69 pounds of clothes in May.
We still support them monthly.
We supported women on Mother’s Day with goodies and carnations and blood pressures checks. We plan involvement with Relay for Life for American Cancer Society. Sherry has registered as team captain and all members and supporters can register at relay for life of Portland. Need help, see Sherry. We want to encourage all who are available to attend the Relay for Life Pickles Baseball game on July 23rd at 6 pm located at 92nd and Holgate. There is also a planned Lumanaria event to honor cancer survivors and remember those we have lost on 29th at about 9 pm at the Tilikum bridge. We have a number of members, family members, and friends with cancer. Come and donate. Treasure auction will be coming soon.
June’s Fourth Friday Luncheon Moved to Fifth Friday in accord with Pastor’s Schedule
Meet this Rhodie!
Saturday, June 3rd, 9-12. Bring a wheel barrow and a shovel! Help spread mulch along the east side of the sanctuary.
Remembering a Faithful Servant
A memorial service for Clyde Dunbar will be held during coffee hour on June 4th. Come and share memories!
Synod Assembly Report
May 20th via Zoom
I was one of our 3 representatives. The session began with a welcome and included presentations by Bishop (Eaton) our USA Bishop and Amy Reumann from her office and Oregon Synod, Bishop Laurie. All gave affirming information about the work being done nationally and locally. Some bring tears to your eyes. Our Synod Treasurer gave a thorough over view of what our benevolence to the national office does and the grants received back to be used locally. The budget reflects an increase of a COLA for salaries and remains the same as 2023 for 2024. We elected new leadership and thanked those leaving as well as Pastors serving 25+ years. Business ended early and concluded with worship led by a multitude of Pastors and others. The technology worked well. All will be able to see it on-line if interested.
St. Timothy Lutheran Church Council and Pastor Hamada have been in discussion with Bishop Laurie regarding a more “permanent” term limited call to Pastor Hamada for one year with the possibility of renewal. After hearing from members, a special Congregational Meeting Sunday, April 23 11:15 am voted unanimously to invite Pastor Yukio Hamada to a term call as pastor at Saint Timothy Lutheran Church with a contract to begin May 1, 2023 and end April 30, 2024.
Pastor’s hours are Wednesday, 10-2, Friday 10-2 and Sunday 9-2, preaching, teaching, presiding, pastoral caring, praying, leading, encouraging, baptizing, confirming, marrying, memorializing, communing, shepherding, evaluating needs, outreaching to the community, and researching possible future calls. With approval of the congregation, the pastor and the bishop, the term call may be extended year by year.
It is well.
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.
Pastor Yukio Hamada
Feb 22, 2022