Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

we went to Stacey's parents house for Thanksgiving. In the picture is my wife and 3 kids, Stacey's parents and Stacey brother and his his wife. It was a good time of relaxing and visiting and of course, a little food.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Future ...

Bonhoeffer once said:

The essence of optimism is that it takes no account of the present, but it is a source of inspiration, of vitality and hope where others have resigned; it enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not to abandon it to his enemy.

We have a fantastic vision and mission at CTS. I am looking forward to us serving and working together to make the dreams that we have a reality. There may be individuals who are down and upset about how the vote went and that we remain in the ELCA. However, be optimistic. Look forward to the future. Let what god has called us to be in our community be an inspiration. We are able to keep our head up and march forward. This church will be a place that will help people grow in Christ. This will be a place where people fall in love with God our creator. This place will also be a beacon, a place where people will serve our God.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Remaining in the ELCA

Today was our vote. We had 395 adults who signed in to vote. To leave the ELCA, we needed to have a 66.7% vote. Which meant that we had to have 268 votes to leave.

171 voted to stay in the ELCA
224 voted to leave the ELCA

Thus, we remain an ELCA church.

The vote is now over. Hopefully, we can rally together and reach out to one another. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. As a church, we have a wonderful vision/mission and we need each one of us to carry it out.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

So Much .....

Life is definitely not settling down. It has been crazy.

Here are a few things things on the burner:

Church Vote

On Sunday, we will be having our church vote. Overall, it has been quiet at the church about the vote. We will be taking a look at whether we will stay in the ELCA or the NALC. I have no clue which direction the vote will go. It seems to depend on who you talk to. At times, I think that we will definitely stay in the ELCA. Then at times, I go; the votes will be there for us to begin the process to make the switch.


Stacey and me have finished up all of our foster care classes and I have taken one of two adoption classes. Stacey was unable to take it due to illness. So, she will need to do a make up. Yesterday, I had a meeting with caseworkers to see about where we are in the process. I am still trying to keep some of it quiet. When more details come out, I will then share. One of the key components is the home-study. Our homestudy was done 3 weeks ago, but they are still waiting for some documentations and they thought that they were waiting for some of the references to come back. However, they were in; they were "misplaced". our caseworker said she is approving the study. Thus, her supervisor needs to sign off and it needs to be turned into the home-finders unit.


Ministry is going well. It is very busy with Roots, Crosstrainers and Oasis. after 4 months, I believe that i am settling in with the students and adults leaders. I am looking forward to the journey ahead. There is some hesistancy as the vote looms and I am not sure if there will be some who leave depending on the vote; that is kind of an odd feeling.


The kids have adjusted greatly and are doing fantastic in school. The fall sports are complete and the winter sports are under-away. The boys are playing basketball. Bethany is taking a sports break but has connected up with a Brownie 9Girl Scout) troop.

More later ....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Congregational Meeting # 2

Congregational Meeting # 2 is in the "books". The meeting last night took a different tone. As a staff person, I am trying to be careful with putting my thoughts out there; in time, they will come. We, as a church, have 10 days till we vote on the direction that we as a church will go. Will we remain an ELCA church or will we change denominations and go to the NALC. November 21st, has the potential to be a day when the church "implodes". However, I also think that it is an opportunity for us to be unified that we are a church and that we want people to Know God, Love God and Serve God.

If you are from CTS reading, may you feel a sense of peace as you wrestle with this issue. I know that there are quite a few that want to stay in the ELCA and I know there are many that believe we have no option but to leave the ELCA and join the NALC. Then, there are a number of you who are really confused on why we are even voting.

May God be with us and may be live out the words in the book of James. May we be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Renteria Say No to Party

From Yahoo News ...

Because of all his big league heroics and huge moments in the Fall Classic, Edgar Renteria(notes) has long been considered a hero in his home country of Colombia.
But on Tuesday, the World Series MVP showed why the adulation is deserved past his exploits on the field.

Given the chance to be welcomed back to the city of Barranquilla MacArthur style, Renteria instead asked that any planned parties or parades be nixed.

The reason for the shortstop's request was simple: His hometown — an industrial port city in northern Colombia — has been ravaged by recent floods and Renteria prefers that all available money go toward helping the estimated 900,000 people who have been left homeless.

The shortstop made his request about the tribute from Miami on Tuesday. He is expected to arrive Thursday in Barranquilla, where his family lives.

Renteria says there are "more important things back home" and that it's critical to tend to the needs of those left homeless by the recent flooding.

Good on Renteria being in tune with the suffering going on in northern Colombia. After hitting that big three-run homer last week to help lift the San Francisco Giants to their first World Series title, Renteria could have opted for the hero's welcome. His chances for such an ovation (and calls from Hugo Chavez), after all, may be running out after the Giants' declined his contract option for 2011.

Instead, he used his platform as a way to draw more attention to and raise more money for what's going on in Barranquilla and other Colombian cities. Excellent move, Edgar.

Church Meetings

Last night was our first church meeting and we will be having another one tonight. I did not count, but I would say that there was 250 - 300 adults at the meeting. The meeting was very civil and I was very happy to see that.

There were two-main segments that night. The first segment dealt with the difference of the ELCA and the NALC. The reason for these two comparison is that this is where we will "land". We will either be an NALC church or an ELCA church. The decision for these two options came after the "fact-finding-team" seek'd out numerous options.

The next segment was a theological discussion that the pastors led on the difference of the ELCA and the NALC.

After both segments there was a time for questions and answers. I thought that the questions were good and the answers were well received. As I mentioned earlier, I appreciated the fact that there were folks with diverse opinions that it was not an "angry" mob mentality.

It is my hope and dream that we will be able to sit/worship/work together and continue to reach out to those who need to hear the gospel of Christ.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Meet Me Under The Bridge

Proverbs 19:17 (NIV), He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.

We (CTS students)had the opportunity to serve yesterday at the Meet Me Under the Bridge Ministry. we enjoyed our time down there as we served food, sorted some clothes, sang a few songs and connected with those who are often "invisible".

MMUTB is going to be a ministry that we will connect with on a monthly basis. The next time that we will connect with them will be Dec. 12th. Then, beginning in January, we will go down there and serve on the 3rd Sunday of each month.

This past week, we went down and "served" the food. The up-coming times, we will also be getting food donated, cooking and taking it down. Here are a few pics to give you an idea of what we did (trying to respect those whom we served).

The Organization

View From Parking Lot

Singing Outside The Garage

Preparing To Serve

Folks Enjoying A Meal

Friday, November 05, 2010

Ornaments with A Cause

A young boy decides to make Christmas ornaments and the proceeds go to help a homeless/poverty mission organization. Awesome. Below is a little info on the family and then below that, there are two links. The first link is a link to the ornaments for sale and the second one will be a link to the mission it is supporting:

Greetings from the Carlson family. Eric, Kristy, Brandon & Aidan live in Omaha, Nebraska. Brandon is in 3rd grade at Ezra Millard Elementary and Aidan attends preschool at Hamilton Heights Child Development Center.

Our family likes to participate in a service project each year during the holiday season. We started making Lego ornaments for our extended family and thought they were so unique it would be a good idea to sell them to raise money for charity. Each member has a job (or two) in order to make and sell Lego ornaments. Brandon is the manager, spokesman, and master builder. He also tracks inventory, orders, and profits. This year his class is helping by sponsoring a drive to collect items needed for the Hope Totes.

Kristy is responsible for product development, ordering, and super glue administration. Eric runs the shipping department and motivates the master builder. Last but certainly not least is Aidan (age 4) who is able to help for the first time. He sorts colors in different containers and can build the big presents--but only after he creates a unique structure of his own.

This year the proceeds will be used to purchase items for Kid-Friendly Hope Totes full of shampoo, toothbrushes, tooth paste, and other personal items kids need to stay healthy. Typically the only items available are adult-size. We believe these children should have access to products made specifically to suit their needs!

Ornaments For Charity
Ministry It Helps

Philosophy of Ministry

Here is the "philosophy" of ministry that we will be using within our student ministry at Christ The Savior. The philosophy of ministry is "our tool" to help us (as a student ministry) reach the mission of our church: Reaching people to know, love and serve Christ.

We realize that each student is at a different stage in their life and there are different ministries that will help us reach out to people so they will know Christ, Love Christ and then go out and serve Christ.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Bishop Hanson: It Gets Better

Bishop Hanson speaks about the recent deaths/murders on individuals who were gay or perceived as being gay.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Halloween 2010

Here are a few photos of the kids from Halloween 2010. These are at the church and house for the Trunk Or Treat night on Oct. 30th:



Bethany at my Trunk




All 3 of Them

The Vote ....

It is election time but this post/blog is not about the up-coming elections. Instead, it is about me to briefly mark down on my blog that we as a church (Christ the Savior) will be having a vote in the near future (20 days to be exact).

We are going to vote on whether we should leave the ELCA and join the newly formed NALC or wether we should remain in the ELCA.

Before, I came (back in January), the church did vote on the social statement and "rejected" it and wanted to remain with the more "conservative" point-of-view.

That vote was a "simple" vote and the majority of the church agreed with.

I did not think that the decision to leave the ELCA or stay with the ELCA was going to be a big issue (in all honestly). I thought it would be more focused on this is what we are about as a church/congregation and not which denomination we are apart of.

The vision/mission of CTS is what brought me here.

Our Mission
Reaching people to know, love and serve Christ.

Our Vision
It is the vision of Christ the Savior Lutheran Church to be AWAKENed, united and growing in Christ

A lways serve
Worship Christ
A bundantly give
K now scripture
E ncourage other and
N ever cease praying

However, I am hearing that many believe that this vote is going to be ugly and I have heard many say that this vote is going to be "catastrophic". To that, my heart breaks and I cry out.

I, as an individual, am one that leans to more of unity. I understand that many say that is not impossible with such a different interpretation of scripture.

It is my hope and prayer (which ever way the vote goes) that in the end, people will be unified. They will look around and see that this is a church/place that they love and that we can be unified and strive for the "end in the mind" which is our mission and vision and the theological difference that we have do not effect the 9 items in the mission or vision. Hopefully, we can have a large umbrella instead of small umbrella's.

Yesterday, we did a class on the Apostle Creed and how "creeds" can unify us. That is my wish and dream; that we can be unified because I believe that we do believe in the creed:

I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth: and in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord: who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary: suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell: The third day he rose again from the dead: He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty: from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead: I believe in the Holy Ghost: I believe in the holy catholic church: the communion of saints: for the forgiveness of sins: the resurrection of the body: and the life everlasting. Amen.

So, on the 9th and 10th we will have congregation meetings and then we will vote on the 21st. The vote on the 21st is not going to be the end-all. There will be more that occur after that - maybe more on that later.

As a church, I hope that we can follow James advice: quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger.