October 1, 2010
From the Rector’s Desk
For about two days this week I headed ‘north by northwest’ to visit a new area of work in the Anglican Mission where one of our Redeemer ‘missionary’ families is current involved. Arnada Abbey is located in the downtown area of Vancouver, Washington, just across the Columbia River from Portland Oregon. The ‘abbey’ is a house that is being re-worked into apartments and a worship space that will serve as the center of local outreach ministry, in an area of coffee shops, tattoo parlors and a store that sells gifts tinged with eastern religions. Thom and Emily Blair, who were active at Church of the Redeemer during their time at Trinity, have returned home to Vancouver to raise their family and serve as God leads. Thom is serving as worship leader and assistant to Dave Knudtson, pastor of the Abbey, who is beginning work with the AMiA following a number of years of pastoral ministry with the Vineyard. The Abbey is part of ‘Churches for the Sake of Others’, a movement along the west coast led by Bishop Todd Hunter, that also includes a new community in Portland, and other cities such as Seattle, Boise and Los Angeles.
On Monday night I was privileged to lead a service of thanksgiving for the life of Thom and Emily’s daughter, Beatrix, and to celebrate Eucharist. I’m always invigorated by stepping into a place with new energy that is full of risk and possibility. That’s certainly the situation at the abbey, where the people are simply seeking to follow God and open up new ministry in Jesus’ name in a part of the country that is the least ‘churched’. As they begin they have risked much on the call of God, and the work will only move forward as God is faithful. This is not something they can do on their own or through their own resources or cleverness. In many ways they don’t know what they don’t know, but that’s why they take the risk, and why it is a beautiful work of grace. It was a needed reminder for me that we too often get to a place where we think we have it figured out, or that we aren’t still risking it all every day. But we are, and its vital for us to see what God continues to call us to at Redeemer. Each day is fresh surrender, every Sunday a new gathering of worship and joy and anticipation, and without the power of the Holy Spirit it cannot bear fruit.
Let us remember this work in the northwest, but also others who have gone out from Redeemer to plant new churches, serve in ministry or other endeavors. They continue to look to us in many ways as a mother, to offer encouragement, prayer and faithfulness to the Gospel by way of example.
Read more on the abbey:
The Rev. Jay L. Greener, Rector
Church of the Redeemer
We’re just three weekends away from our annual event of support for Sonrise School on October 23rd, and a service of confirmation with Bishop John Rucyahana on Sunday the 24th. Please make table requests soon so we can get an early count, and invite guests to attend.
— a good response
— a VISA for a student from Sonrise that we have invited to attend
— safe travels for all involved
— significant financial support for the school
— those preparing for confirmation
Next Wednesday evening we will begin a new monthly ministry of healing and reconciliation for all in need of wholeness. Join with us at 7pm at the EC Church in Highland Park for a time of worship, confession, Holy Communion, and healing. If you know those seeking healing and wholeness bring them with you as we pray for the renewing work of the Spirit in our lives. We’ll then gather the first Wednesday of each month for a service of healing and new beginning as we walk with the Healer.
Through the Water
Last Sunday we had the joy of baptizing two people into Christ’s body. Katharine Battaglia and Frank Truong were baptized in the witness of family and friends, and the people of God here at Redeemer. We celebrate with them as we journey together. Katharine offers the following reflection:
I have come to believe that within every human there is a subconscious longing for Christ. At my grade school, Christian Heritage Academy, we called it a “God-sized hole”. This God sized hole is meant for the one presence that can fill it, God himself. I had the wonderful blessing of growing up in the church. And, I remember the day I first saw God. As a child, when I came into worship after Sunday school, I would always look around at the adults as I came in. They were always praising the LORD. They were raising their hands in reflection, dancing with Christ’s joy, and singing their prayers to Him. Now, at that time I didn’t recognize this. I just knew; I felt like they had “something”. I had no idea what it was, but I knew I wanted it. Then, I found it not long after. It is Jesus, his presence, and his Spirit . Between then and now, it has been an ongoing journey, struggle, and blessing to becoming best friends with Jesus. And, now I have come to the point in my life where I feel like we are exchanging something. Like in the 5th grade when the two part necklaces that say best on one and friend on the other were HUGE… Jesus is giving me his friendship, his relationship. And I, in return, am giving him my best.
Beginning Sunday, October 17th and continuing through Sunday, November 14th Church of the Redeemer is sponsoring an all winter clothing drive (including outerwear) for our neighbors in need. Love INC (In the name of Christ), a Christian ministry whose mission is to mobilize the Church to transform the lives of communities and individuals in the name of Christ, will be overseeing the distribution of these gently used items in cooperation with Village Church of Gurnee. Prayerfully consider donating "gently used, clean" winter clothing as well as winter coats, hats, scarves, gloves and the like for all ages. Items can be placed in two marked boxes located in the foyer. If you have any questions, please contact Dan Babarik at dblaw7 [at] gmail.com or 847.360.3300 or 847.244.3236.
For the last two years, especially, we have been praying about and talking about making and growing disciples. Slowly but deliberately we have been strengthening our approach in this vital area, and COR@9 is one of the important responses to that need. This fall it returns with some very specific and focused teaching/conversation to help us all as disciples of Jesus.
Beginning October 31st COR@9 will offer a series on Spiritual Gifts, taught by Dr. Dana Harris. This will invite all of us to discover the richness of spiritual gifting in the church, through engagement with scripture and discussion, rather than inventories.
Then during Advent we’ll explore Spiritual Practices that will help us to deepen our journey of faith, as we engage the prayer book tradition, lectio divina, Gratitude and the Sabbath.
New to Redeemer?
If you’re new to the Redeemer scene, that’s great. You are not alone. We want you to feel welcomed and invited to a place where you feel you truly belong. To help that journey, we have a couple of things to place on your calendar:
— Newcomer’s Lunch, following worship on October 10th. Come meet others who are also new, and hear from our leadership.
— Discover Redeemer, over a light lunch for four Sundays beginning Oct. 31st. Come and learn more about our story, the things we believe and practice, and the vision that God is releasing here.
Thank you for your sacrificial giving that supports the various ministries God has called us to. As we move into October we begin to look at the end of the year and the need to finish well, and in the ‘black’. We’ll be sharing details of this on Sunday, so thank you for your prayers and your generous giving of tithes and offerings.
Offering last week: $6,399
Average amount needed each week: $6,700
— October 2, Ride for Refuge (and Rwanda) – it's not too late to contribute!
— Wednesday, October 6, Healing Prayer Service
— Saturday, October 9, Growing Leaders Gathering??
— Sunday, October 10, Newcomers Lunch
— Saturday, October 16 – Parents' Night Out (Kids' Journey to Rwanda)
??— October 23, our Sonrise Benefit
— October 24, Worship and Confirmations with Bishop John Rucyahana ??
— October 31, COR@9 resumes with teaching on Spiritual Gifts
— October 31, Discover Redeemer, during lunch
Please pray for . . .
— our mission to call people to Jesus
— our staff retreat Friday night and Saturday
— the Sonrise Benefit for a strong and generous response
— needs for healing and provision in our community