February 2023 Monthly Grapevine Newsletter
Updated: Mar 22
Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, ELCA
12513 SE Mill Plain Boulevard Vancouver, WA 98684
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Pastor’s Ponderings –
Have you ever felt as if you are looking into a black hole as you prepare to write or speak on something? Sometimes it can feel that way to me when it’s time to write a newsletter article. It can be hard to know what is relevant, interesting, or useful to you. Rather than once again just taking a stab in the dark, I thought I’d ask – what are the questions or wonderings you have? What type of “articles” are beneficial to you and/or the life of this congregation? Please weigh in – these are not rhetorical questions.
Also, what type of study or other faith development activities have value to you? I imagine that these sorts of activities might be covered in a one time event – say as a Saturday retreat, or as a time-limited series, or over a longer period of time such as might happen with an in depth Bible study. Please share ideas. (Sometimes I am told that people want things to be “like they were,” but it’s not clear what that means, let alone whether the people who led the activities are around and willing to provide the same sort of leadership now.)
Over my years here, I have asked you about “meeting up” to get to know each other (at your homes/backyards, over a beverage somewhere, or via zoom) and some of you took me up on that — or initiated the idea of a backyard gathering, that I then “stole”. For those of you who didn’t respond with invitation, or take me up to set a date when asked directly, I have assumed that such personal connection isn’t comfortable (especially when a couple of younger people regularly participating in worship but “new” to BSLC stopped participating after I asked them out for coffee and conversation). If I have misinterpreted or if things have progressed enough that you are more comfortable with gathering. Please let me know – and I mean that. Really.
And if there are people you visit and are willing to take me to visit, that’s another opportunity for us to connect!
I am aware that this is not the first time you have seen me ask for input, ideas, feedback, or the like. One person’s comment came to me through another person, that she only wants to come to worship and that’s it. That may very well represent what many of you feel. It would be helpful to know that as well so I don't keep trying to come up with ideas for connecting folks or stimulating spiritual growth and instead end up overwhelming people’s level of interest.
Not knowing what people expect or want is what generates a sense of looking into a black hole when trying to decide what to write or what to offer in an attempt to engage or nurture the interests of more people. What matters for this faith community to be and do? What might enrich your faith journey, and your connection in the people of God?
Enough on that – if you’ve hung in there until now, I’m impressed! A few things to catch up on: As most of you know, Jill H began working in the office at the first of the year. Thank you to those who have extended to her a word of welcome. Having someone with familiarity of our congregation and with the peculiarities of church office work take on the role so long filled by Mariellen, is a real gift to me and to the congregation. There is still necessary onboarding work underway, and there is so much less needed than would have been required in other circumstances. Among other things that will help in this transition time, we ask that you update any information that you know is out of date – including those who should be on the prayer list, who should be getting hard copies of the newsletter, and other places communication might fall through cracks in the transition.
Blessings as we continue on in ministry together. Pastor Jean
Notice of a Special Meeting for Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church on February 12, 2023 after worship to vote on the following:
After worship on February 12, beginning between 11:15-11:30, voting members (baptized & confirmed active members) of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church are asked to participate in a special meeting to vote on three items as follows:
1) update of BSLC’s constitution with the required portions of the 2022 ELCA Model Constitution for Congregations.
Rational: all ELCA congregations have certain portions of their constitution which are required to be the same in their wording. We will update other portions of the constitution to align with those portions of the constitution which have flexibility in wording and emphasis between this time and our regular annual meeting in the fall. The timing of this vote is in order to allow adoption of an amendment to permit zoom participation and vote in legally called meetings of the congregation where a vote is called for.
2) adoption of the recommended amendment to allow voting by those participating in the meeting via Zoom, who qualify as voting members
Rational: Washington state statutes allowed Zoom and other virtual options for voting during the gathering restrictions during the height of COVID, pre-vaccination availabilities. In 2022 the statutes were changed to only allow virtual voting if permission to do so was incorporated into institutions’ constitutions. This amendment will allow resumption of a practice we observed in 2020 & 2021 by including this provision in our constitution.
3) next step response to the land use proposal received from Prestige Development. Vote for one of the following four options.
Not in support of any change in our land use at this time
Need more time to discern before even talking about land use
Need to explore other possibilities for land stewardship before deciding
Ready to move to the next step (step 3) with Prestige Development to further explore the possibility of selling land for development of senior affordable housing
Rational: input from the congregation has indicated a range of preferred next step options. This vote will provide important input for how we move forward with our decision making process.
Draft BSLC Core Value Statements – inviting feedback
Please reflect upon the following draft core value statements and see how they “fit” Beautiful Savior. Please provide feedback and possible modifications to (email@example.com). Once your input is received and modifications are made, we will more intentionally live with them for several months, before voting to adopt them at the annual meeting.
Grounded by scripture
Practicing inclusive faith
Creating authentic community
Sharing in generosity
Striving to make a difference
Following the example of Jesus
Time to Return to Two Times for Worship?
In the fall the question was asked when returning to two worship services “made sense” after the request to stay with one for a while longer was respected. If we are to do so still this program year, it makes sense to do so on either February 19 or 26th, when we are beyond most winter weather and as we move into Lent (Ash Wednesday is February 22 this year). A decision on the date will come through an e-blast; this is just a “heads up” that a decision is pending.
LOOKING TOWARD LENT
Speaking of Lent, we will observe Ash Wednesday in the evening at 7:00 and if there is interest, will also have a brief worship service at noon for those who want to “be ashed” over their lunch hour or before dark. Then we will have Lenten worship beginning on March 1 and Wednesdays following through March 29, probably at 6:30 (time is still pending). The Wednesday theme of the season is also still pending. Ideas?
Soup Supper a Possibility: Unless unexpected restrictions are raised, we could return to having a soup supper beginning at 5:45 if there is interest. Since Pastor Jean has not yet experienced “how we used to do things”, she’s going out on a limb to suggest that 4 (?) households sign up to provide soup, with others providing bread (ideally with at least one that is gluten free and one that is vegan) or salad. (In keeping with traditional Lenten practices, we won’t need dessert!) If this is “off the mark” for your expectations, please let PJ know.
2023 Mexico Mission
Once again, our mission to build houses in Mexico is going strong with your continued support. One of the ways the mission raises funds for the building materials for the homes is through Shred Days at our church. The first one for 2023 will be in the church parking lot February 4th 10 am - 1 pm. Thrivent has generously donated a grant of $250.00 toward the Shred Day Fundraiser, for which we are most thankful.
If you want to learn more about the mission or interested in going, the next meeting will be February 5th at 12 pm in the fellowship hall.
Sundays -- Worship 10:00 AM
Sunday School – 10:30 AM 2nd, 3rd, 4th, & 5th Sundays
Antiracism study – 3:00 PM on Zoom (link from PJ–see below)
Wednesdays – Bible Study 10:30 AM (by Zoom – ask PJ for link & the study guide firstname.lastname@example.org )
Jr. Choir 4:30 PM; Bell Choir 5:30 PM; Confirmation & Adult Choir 6:30 PM
Thursdays – Gather Bible Study 10:00 AM; 10:00-2:00 LWR quilting
3rd Sundays – Council Meeting 11:30 AM
3rd Thursdays – Peace & Justice 6:00 PM (sometimes by Zoom, other times in person, bring your own supper – see eblast prior to date for direction)
BSLC’s Winter Shelter:
The shelter is half way through its season and guests are grateful for the hospitality of our volunteers! The ministry provided by BSLC serving as a shelter is a blessing to the community– especially to those without shelter. Thank you all for your support.
To sign up to help with breakfast & the morning clean up, to help set up for dinner, serve the meal, clean up after, and be enriched as you get to know guests, or to bring a hot meal for 18-20 hungry guests please use this link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B0849A4A623A2FC1-bslc2
Lutheran World Relief -- Gifts of Hope!
You are invited to join in the work of LWR each Thursday, 10 AM - 2:30 PM. All are welcome. Come when you can, stay as long as you are able. Many thanks for your support, Your LWR Team
BIBLE & BOOK STUDY OPPORTUNITIES!
Anti Racism Study & Conversation Group – Sundays, 3:00 PM via Zoom
A new book to start in February will be chosen Jan. 29. After that decision, a start date will be set (generally there is a two week break between books so that ordering and initial reading may happen.) More information will be shared by e-last and Sunday announcements after the 29th. If you miss that, please ask Pastor Jean email@example.com. Interested but not on the email list? Request a link from PJ.
Wednesday Morning Zoom Bible Study 10:30 AM. The current focus is Matthew, using Living Way Bible Study materials. Request the link and/or study materials from firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thursday Gather Bible Study meets in person at BSLC, 10:00 AM. For more information contact Nancy K (contact information available through the church office)
Volunteers Needed - Please consider how you can help make BSLC run smoothly. Signup on Signup Genius to serve in support of worship. Then watch in future e-Blasts for information about each of the committees that have openings – waiting for you to fill. If you are interested learning more about the committees, teams, and ministry areas which have an active history at Beautiful Savior, right away, you may read about them in our bylaws. Thank you for considering where you will step up in active support of the ministries of Beautiful Savior. Find the bylaws here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/18T2gGShMBIOND1GNBebpPtuCgBzilIHDS-NQuxT4G-U/edit?usp=share_link