February 26, 2020
In her book Wild Hope: Stories for Lent from the Vanishing, Gayle Boss writes "The purpose of Lent has always been to startle us awake to the true state of our hearts and the world we've made. Which wakes an aching, wild hope that something new might be born of the ruin." During Lent 2020, we open our hearts to our sibling creatures on this planet. We revel in the beauty of other species. We grieve the many losses that come through environmental degradation, climate change, and insatiable human appetites. We gather strength to make the changes each of us must embrace, individually and collectively, to heal the wounded whole. We dare to hope for a resurrection future in which all life will flourish.
The series continues weekly on Sundays. Lunchtime discussions will also occur at the church on March 8 and 22. While supplies last, books are available for purchase at the church. Also online. (If you purchase from Amazon, please use smile.amazon.com and consider selecting Gethsemane Lutheran Church as your charitable organization for their donation.
February 26, 2020
On this Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent, we ask together: where can our hearts be found? Pastor Kari Lipke gives a message on readings from Joel 2: 12-13 and Matthew 6: 19-21. The book used to guide us through this season of Lent is Wild Hope: Stories for Lent from the Vanishing by Gayle Boss. The book (and it's illustrations by David Klein) is full of ache and beauty, assisting us to confront the many losses of climate change, and to recognize flickers of hope that allow us to imagine a future.
"We are not (in the gospel text) advised to forgo earthly treasures and to store up heavenly treasures because life on and of the earth doesn't matter but precisely because life on and of the earth does so much matter."
February 23, 2020
Pastor Joanne Engquist gives a message for this last Sunday in Epiphany, on the reading from Matthew 6: 25-33.
"Worry, while it can be put in the center of our life, is not rightly there. Trust. Trust is what Jesus wants us to have at the center - not belief, not doctrine, not a sure sense of everything being scripted just the way it's supposed to be but trust that the one who is in charge - this heavenly parent who cares for us more than we can possibly imagine - that this one will provide what we need."
February 16, 2020
We rejoice this 6th Sunday after Epiphany in baptism as well as affirmation of baptism, as we welcome those joining our community in church membership. Pastor Kari Lipke gives this message on the reading - Matthew 5: 43-48 - and on the recent news that our sanctuary guest Jose was denied bond from the detention center in Tacoma. Keep up with Jose's story here.
"Friends, I know it's not as easy as praying one prayer - this charge we have from Jesus to love our enemies. And I know that there are some people in each of our lives for whom we cannot yet pray and for whom we might not ever be able to pray. But I pray this day that each of us may make a start today when and how we are able - and then continue tomorrow too and the day after that - as together we practice our way to wholeness."
February 9, 2020
Guest preacher Nathan Michael Black joins us on this 5th Sunday after Epiphany, preaching on the readings of 1 Corinthians 2: 1-12 and Matthew 5: 13-20.
"1 candle power is equal to about 12 lumens - 12 lumens is enough light to light about 12 square feet around you. Will you be the light of the world in the 12 feet around you? Will you act justly and love mercy and walk humbly with God in the 12 feet around you?"
February 2, 2020
On this 4th Sunday after Epiphany, Pastor Joanne Engquist gives the message on readings from Micah 6: 1-8 and Matthew 5: 1-12.
"You may seek power but I am blessing all human vulnerability. This Jesus whom we follow cried at the tomb of his friend, turned the other cheek, even forgave those who hung him on a cross. This Jesus was God's beatitude. God's blessing to the weak in a world that only admires the strong."
January 26, 2020
Pr. Kari Lipke gives the message on this 3rd Sunday after Epiphany, with readings from Isaiah 9: 1-4 and Matthew 4: 12-13, 17-23.
"Perhaps the main thing I have learned about baptismal vocation in all that time, is the same wisdom that Matthew imparts to us this morning in the gospel text: that there is more than a linguistic connection between the words vocation and provocation. That our vocation as Christians, in fact, is to be provocative. We are called as Christians to call out - to challenge injustice, brutality, systems of oppression wherever we find them, in whatever age we live, in whatever disguise we have donned."
January 19, 2020
Pastor Joanne Engquist gives our message on this 2nd Sunday after Epiphany. Readings for today are from Isaiah 49: 1-7 and John 1: 35-42.
"The question of what we are looking for maybe is not so much a wondering about our hopes and our intentions; perhaps when Jesus asks, 'What are you looking for,' it's to invite us more deeply into the story itself. To help us behold what is before us. To invite us to think not just what it is that interests us, but to consider where God is made known. The call to have a look is more than idle chatter. The call is to see - to really open up to what is before us."
January 12, 2020
Today we celebrate the baptism of Jesus, on this first Sunday after Epiphany. Pr. Kari Lipke gives our message today, with readings from Isaiah 42: 1-9 and Matthew 3: 13-17.
"We need a God who knows what it is to be human: to live, to love, to screw up, to triumph and yes, to suffer and to die. The God who, out of compassion, steeps Godself in these human experiences is the God who can help with compassion: the God who can help with compassion our oh-so-human selves as we deal with many challenges and difficulties in our lives. And we sure do need that help."
January 5, 2020
Steven Coles, guest preacher, studied at Duke Divinity and joins us this morning for some thoughts on the gospel, John 1, and additional reading Sirach 24: 1-9. His blog also features a written version of the sermon and can be found at https://steventcoles.wordpress.com/
"This is the longing of the people that are hearing John's words. They don't want a story - they want flesh and blood. They want change; they want to step back through the threshold of their homes and see how things once were. They want their memories to become the same flesh and blood they once were. But the reader does not know what John is fully doing. John is turning over every memory, every word into their hearts in hopes that Jesus becomes flesh for them once again."