Notes-N-News

That evening his disciples came and said to him, “This is an isolated place and it’s getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said to them, “There’s no need to send them away. You give them something to eat.” They replied, “We have nothing here except five loaves of bread and two fish.” – Matthew 14:15-17

Don’t you get the impression that the disciples tell Jesus boldly, “We have nothing here!” and then continue, under their breath, “ . . . (except five loaves of bread and two fish)”? That’s how the story reads to me, anyway. It might be that they’re being a bit stingy. They packed their lunches, and it’s not their fault that no one else was responsible enough to do the same.

But I think it’s more likely that they are simply overwhelmed by the immensity of the need. We’ll find out in a few verses that the crowds number somewhere between 5,004 and, say, 25,000. That’s more than the entire population of Hood River, even on a weekend in the summer. We have some idea of the magnitude of resources it takes FISH Food Bank to help feed only those people in our area suffering food insecurity. If all it took was five loaves of bread and two fish, we wouldn’t be building a 5,600 square foot facility on our campus for food outreach. It seems completely reasonable that, in face of such great need, the disciples would feel that their meager resources wouldn’t do any good. Better to leave it to someone else.

That is often our natural response in face of overwhelming need. Whether it is hunger, violence, disease, climate, poverty, or something else, we often find ourselves feeling as if there is nothing we can do. We are too small, too insignificant. What difference could we possibly make, anyway?

Like those disciples, we often underestimate two things. First, we underestimate the resources that we actually have. We have an attitude of scarcity that leads us to hold onto what we have, thinking that it is far too little for us, and certainly not enough to share. But we do have resources, skills, time, energy, money, that can be used to confront the world’s greatest needs.

Second, we underestimate the power of God to multiply our efforts. Sometimes all it takes is one person to offer up themselves and what little they have, and then God is able to inspire others to join in, to open doors that were previously closed, to make a miracle.

No one thought four years ago that FISH would be able to raise over $1 million to build a new food bank. But a few people started anyway, with what little they had. And now look what God has brought to fruition! If God can do that, if God can feed the multitudes with five loaves and two fish, what other amazing things can God do through us and what little we have?

Yours in Christ,

+Pastor David


 

Notes-N-News

++        Women’s Spirituality meets this Saturday Aug 2nd at 9am in the church office.

++        Faith In Action meeting is Mon Aug 4th at 10:15 in the Fellowship Hall.

++        WELCA Yard Sale Saturday Aug 9th from 8am to 1pm. There is a sign-up sheet in the Narthex for volunteers to organize, price, and sell, etc. Items may be dropped off from 9 to 11 Mon 4th to Fri 8th at the church. Items may be left outside the church front door if those times don’t work for you. Call Kathy Terry 541-386-2308 or Marlene Lahti 541-386-1568 with any questions.

++        Pastor David King’s Installation will be Sunday August 10th at 2:00pm. There will be an ice cream social following.

++        The Celebration Service is looking for people who would be willing to share special music during the rest of summer. Also, if you have a green thumb and know how to graft, please contact Linda Boris.

++        SPRC committee meets Sunday August 24th at 11:30 with Pastor David attending.

++        Current choir members and anyone interested in joining choir, are invited to attend a potluck supper at Morning Song Acres on Thurs August 28th at 6pm.

++        FISH Food Bank duty is Monday Aug 18th; Wed 20th; and Fri 22nd.

 

Blessings!

Jennifer Fowler

Office Manager

Notes-N-News

Good Day! We’re blessed to have this rain to help keep any forest fires away, but hope you are all warm and dry.

++           Attention all you master gardeners, orchardists, or anyone with a green thumb:  the Celebration worship service is looking for someone who knows how to graft. If this describes you, please contact Linda Boris.

++           Our August Women’s Spiritual Group will be on August 2 (Saturday) at 9:00am in the church office building. We have also received our 2015 Mt. Angel Retreat dates. The retreat will be the weekend of March 6 (2015). Beth and Pamela have volunteered to lead the retreat! (Thank you Beth and Pamela!!) More details to come.       –Carol Kyger

++           From Billie Stevens of the FISH Food Bank –  Concert in the Park  The Oregon Good Sam Club is inviting everyone to enjoy a fun afternoon and all it costs is a non-perishable food item.  The food they are collecting will all go to FISH. Free Watermelon; Alcohol-free Event.

Kerry Williams & The Huckleberry Pickers Singing Group

When: August 2, 2014      Time: 2:00 to 4:00 PM
Where:  Hood River County Fairgrounds (park area by front entry area)
Admission: Donation of Non-perishable Food Items
Bring: Lawn Chairs

++        Sign-ups for the Aug 9th annual church yard sale will be in the Narthex.

++        THANK YOU Michael Hustman for sanding down the raised/warped boards on the office deck. Now we don’t have to worry as much about where we are stepping!

 

Blessings!
Jennifer Fowler
Office Manager

FISH Food Bank Groundbreaking

We will be breaking ground for the long-planned-for FISH Food Bank, Monday, July 21st, at 4:30 pm. The FISH program was started by Gorge Ecumenical Ministries (GEM). The new building will be right here on the campus of Asbury Our Redeemer and will help to serve needy persons throughout Hood River County. Thank you to all those who donated their time, energy, and money to make this project a reality!

Future FISH Food Bank

Call for Peace from Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton (ELCA)

Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton (ELCA)

Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton has called for all ELCA congregations to observe a minute of silence in prayer for peace in the Holy Land. Read her letter here. You can also learn more about the Israel-Palestine crisis in a new resource from the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society: Working for a Just and Lasting Peace in Israel and Palestine.

News-N-Notes

We know that the whole creation is groaning together and suffering labor pains up until now. And it’s not only the creation. We ourselves who have the Spirit as the first crop of the harvest also groan inside as we wait to be adopted and for our bodies to be set free. –Romans 8:22-23

In the short space of these two verses, Paul uses two different images of parenthood. First, Paul speaks about the creation groaning in labor pains. It is struggling to give birth to God’s new reality. In this new reality, which Paul thinks is coming very soon, the world is no longer subject to the powers of death and decay. The creation itself achieves the status currently held by “the children of God,” that is, freedom from slavery to sin and death. It is a struggle in the here and now, but all creation, not just humans, will be saved from death.

Second, Paul makes clear that God’s human children are children of adoption. What is significant about adoption is that it does not happen by accident; adoption is always a conscious choice. If God is adopting us as children, then we know that God has chosen us as children.

In the Roman world, adoption was typically a contract between two adult males for the purpose of inheritance. If a prominent man did not have a male heir, or thought his heir was unsuitable, he could adopt someone—usually an adult—to be his heir. For example, Julius Caesar adopted his biological nephew, Octavian, the future Emperor Augustus.

The fact that God chooses us for adoption, means that God chooses us to be heirs of the divine inheritance: immortality. It also means that we have been chosen to be God’s agents in the world. It is our duty and our joy to be about God’s business on this planet. Being a child of God is both a grace and a responsibility.

Yours in Christ,

+Pastor David


++ Meetings: Mon 21st  5pm – Staff/Parish, Tues 22nd  6pm  – Financial committee

++ Newsletter items are due by Wed 23rd.

++  Books for the fall retreat book study, The Noticer, are in! You may get yours from Kris White. Cost is $8.75 . (Scholarships are available for books and the retreat. Contact Jennifer in the office).

++ UMCOR items may still be donated for disaster relief kits. See the newsletter or the bulletin announcements for a complete list.

++ Annual church yard sale is Sat August 9th. A sign- up sheet will be in the Narthex for those wanting to volunteer.

++ Card Class meets Sunday 20th at 1:15 in the Fellowship Hall.

++ Food on the 4th is Sunday 27th.

 

Pastor David and family have moved into the parsonage.

May their new home be filled with laughter and joy,
be a place where love abounds,
be a place of refuge and safety,
and be where they can experience God’s magnificent grace.

Notes-N-News

Those with Ears to Hear

One of Jesus’ favorite ways to teach was through parables—short, fictional stories used to make people think. The thing that makes parables so enduring is that they can never be fully figured out. They seem to defy explanation. The same person can hear the same parable many times in a lifetime and come up with a different meaning each time. And each one of those different meanings can be correct. Parables have the power to help us make meaning across the broad range of our experience. That’s part of the reason Jesus so frequently says, “Those with ears to hear had better listen,” after he speaks a parable. They are meant to be wrestled with. They are meant to be heard new each time, to be interpreted fresh in each situation.

The gospel writers were sometimes uncomfortable with the ambiguity created by Jesus’ parables. They wanted to settle in on established, orthodox meanings for Jesus’ sayings, so they inserted explanations after the parable so people wouldn’t be quite so confused. We just need to be careful not to forget that parables never have just one meaning. Even if we know one way to interpret Jesus’ words, we still need to listen again and again with ears to hear what the Spirit is guiding us to learn today, in this time, in this place. This month, as we read several of the parables of Jesus in worship, I encourage you to listen with ears to hear. Perhaps these words, that you may have heard many times before, will say something new to you, will reach you in just the way that God needs to reach you, in this place, at this moment.

+Pastor David


++ Church Yard Sale will be on Saturday, August 9th. Be thinking about any items around your home, attic, garage or basement that you would like to pass on. No adult clothes please.

++ UMCOR Health Kits: items still needed are hand towels (not kitchen), large combs, nail files (metal), fingernail clippers, and money donations to help with shipping.

++ This is the last Sunday to get your donations to Martha Hoskins for the American Cancer Society, in time for Relay For Life.

 ++ All women are welcome to the Women of the ELCA Bible study, meeting July 22nd at 2pm.

++ Women’s Spirituality meets Sat, July 12th at 9am in the Fellowship Hall. All women are welcome.

++ The construction trailer for FISH is here! Please keep an eye out for future news concerning parking and other updates!