living by heart

• February 14th, 2018

On this Ash Wednesday evening, we've heard the ancient call to "rend our hearts and not our clothing." Our liturgy explored the invitation to lent as we begin to fast from falsehood, deepen our prayer, and give generously of all that we have to offer. Pr Kari Lipke invited us to reflect on how we are broken open, but not destroyed. Amid the news of another school shooting, we took another way in which we recognize the fragility and dearness of life. May God have mercy and may we be full of heart (courageous) in the face of all violence.

 

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this glass is broken

• February 14th, 2018

On this Ash Wednesday, we gathered at noontime with an invitation to "come and find the quiet center in the crowded life we lead" (Shirley Erena Murray's lovely hymn). In her homily, Pr Kari Lipke challenged us to think about brokenness in a new way, connecting the day's word about our mortality with a new depth of treasuring life. Have a listen and know you are dear.

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imperfections embraced

• February 11th, 2018

On this Sunday, we proclaimed the story of Jesus' invitation to Matthew to get up from his tax collector's table and follow. In the wake of that, we're told about all the "chatter" of people who disapprove. Pr Joanne Engquist invites us to think on how that happens in our lives, too. She asks us to notice how Jesus is not distracted by the critique and how much he loves to be with the imperfect ones like us. This image helps us think of who we are as church, people in life together with and for each other even as Jesus was.

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Are we healers too?

• February 4th, 2018

Rick Pribbernow from Open Door Ministries preaches on Mark 1:29-39.  Jesus heals Simon's mother-in-law, but what about us?  Can we be healers as well?

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Who do we listen to?

• January 28th, 2018

Mark 1:21-28 Deuteronomy 18:15-20

Preaching on Reconciling in Christ Sunday, pastoral intern Erik Thone asks the question "Who do we listen to?" and asserts our need to hear historically marginalized voices over and against the voices of privilege (like his own) that have controlled Christian theology throughout most of the church's history.

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call and response

• January 21st, 2018

Pr Joanne Engquist talks about call and response. She invites us to think about the calls in scripture (Jonah to the people of Ninevah and Jesus to fisherfolk who become disciples). And she wants us to think about the calls we hear and how we respond. Are we overwhelmed with all kinds of reasons we "can't" respond? And how do we hear the calls themselves? What and whom do we follow? What might our responses look like as we seek to offer ourselves to make a difference in the world? Have a listen, and think how you might hear a call and also respond yourself.

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vi reflections

• January 20th, 2018

On Saturday, January 20, people gathered at Gethsemane Lutheran Church to celebrate the life of Violette Mae Bloom Carlson. All present were graced by these stories remembering her remarkable life. Have a listen, and give thanks for Vi.

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vi homily

• January 20th, 2018

On January 20, many gathered to give thanks for the life of a long-time member of Gethsemane, Vi Carlson. Here, Pr Joanne Engquist reflects on her life and the gospel of God's love that marked her remarkable 103 years of living.

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sitting with it, then getting to work

• January 14th, 2018

On this Sunday preceding the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we wrestle with words from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue that demean people based on their national origin (and, by extension, their skin color). Preachers shake their heads at the convergence of that reality with the assigned reading for the weekend wherein a would-be disciple laughs at the origins of Jesus and wonders aloud, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"

For her part, Pr Joanne Engquist asks us to sit with the truths of all these words. And she challenges us to listen to ourselves--to both our inner voices and those things we utter aloud. Let us wonder about our own times of silence, times of leaving racism (and so many other issues) unchallenged. It's important that we sit with this. As Roxane Gay presses in a NYT op-ed, "Instead of trying to get past this moment, "we should sit with it, wrap ourselves in the sorrow, distress, and humiliation." Then, we need to fulfill our vocation and in Dr King's words, "transform the deep gloom of the old age into the exuberant gladness of the new."

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You are God’s child, beloved, with you God is well pleased

• January 7th, 2018

Mark 4:1-11

Is there anything more human (even divine?) than our desire for belonging, affection, and affirmation?  Pastoral Intern Erik Thone poses the question and the answer God gives at Jesus' baptism.

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