Monday, January 26, 2009

The link to sermons

Here's the link to the sermons by week preached at UALC. I don't visit the website frequently, and don't find it intuitive, so I'm providing the link. You can listen or download. It's not each sermon--some services have the same speaker/topic more than once, so if there are 2 X-alt or 2 traditional, you'll find just one recording. Also the list now includes Preacher's Notebook, which is the preparation for the sermon, not Sunday School. I think it really helps focus on what is heard on Sunday (I attend on Thursday, so I have some time to think about it.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Lutheran pastor in Iraq

"We as Christians do not need to water down or make more manageable the one true faith of the one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, which we proclaim and confess. As we confess this faith clearly and confess this faith often, the Holy Spirit will use that means of salvation, the properly preached Word and the rightly administered Sacraments, to do his miraculous work on the hearts of the hearers. This is not abstract theologizing; it becomes concrete when we faithfully put it into practice. An example is to be found in this region of Iraq, which used to be known as Assyria.

Ever since Christianity arrived here in the second century AD, the Church has had a presence, in spite of the many and tumultuous power struggles over this piece of land. In recent decades, there has been an increase of violence here against our fellow saints in Christ. Their churches have been bombed and vandalized; their lives have been threatened and even taken from them, yet they have not stopped gathering for the Supper. Neither have they ceased in their outreach to their neighbors by word and deed.

So markedly different is their existence from ours that it bears investigation. These men and women do not concern themselves with proving their right to exist, nor with proving the success of their message. Instead, they concern themselves with matters far more profound: gathering as a body of Christ in a world that despises such gatherings and faithfully reaching out in word and deed to their pagan neighbors. Here’s an evangelism program that has its roots in the Early Church, by word and action proclaiming, in a hostile environment, Christ crucified. Here they are concerned only with fidelity to the One who has called them by the Gospel, enlightened them with his gifts, sanctified and kept them in the one true faith. Whenever we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we are praying for these brothers and sisters in the faith, for the kingdom of God has come and is still coming in the midst of the upheaval in the Iraqi nation—as surely as it is coming in our less turbulent locales! How comforting for us and for them to know the timelessness of this message and its efficacious power, the blessed hope of the resurrection!" Preaching to the troops, Mark Nuckols, senior pastor, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Austin, Texas (U.S. Army Reserve brigade chaplain, deployed to northern Iraq from October 2004 to October 2005)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Bill Mackenbach

Bill Mackenbach and I were in the nursing home ministry together at our church and recently he has been in a nursing home himself. This morning my husband found out at church that he died last night while in prayer with our senior pastor. What an exit for the Lord's servant! He truly was a man of God. I got to know him first in the Stephen's Ministry (something the church had back in the 80s) when I was visiting a wife, and he the husband; also their 3 children were about the same ages as ours, so we felt a bond there too. He was one of the most jolly, loving, funny guys I've ever had the pleasure to know. There will be laughter in heaven today!

Update from Daily Standard: He was born Jan. 25, 1935, in St. Marys, to Fred J. and Mabel Tangeman Mackenbach. He was married for over 51 years to Gretchen Larsh, who survives.

Other survivors are two sons, J. Eric (Kari Ann) and Kenneth Judd, all of Columbus; a daughter, Lara Ann Mackenbach (Jeffrey Raymond) Froling, Columbus; a brother, Frederick William, Palos Verdes, Calif.; two brothers-in-law, Stephen (June) Larsh, and David (Janis) Larsh; a sister-in-law, Sandra Larsh; and two grandchildren.
He was founder/owner of Mackenbach & Associates, Upper Arlington, for over 38 years, a member of Upper Arlington Lutheran Church, and its Alpha program and Bible study group, the Columbus Alzheimer's Association Board and several other professional organizations. He was a 1953 graduate of St. Marys Memorial High School and a 1957 graduate of the Ohio State University, Columbus, and its Delta Tau Delta fraternity and O.S.U. President's Club. He recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the fraternity for his commitment of excellence to the organization.
Celebration of Life services are 3 p.m. Saturday at the church, the Rev. Paul Ulring officiating. Private burial is at a later date.

Contributions can be made to the Memorial Fund of the church or the ALS Association (Lou Gehrig's disease).

Friday, January 16, 2009

The next mission field--Europe

School closings with a bit of Lutheran history

While watching the screen crawl for school closings today (4 below zero in Columbus, wind chill much lower, minus 25), I noticed Beautiful Savior Lutheran School. I don't have school age kids, but our exercise class doesn't meet when UA schools are closed. So I plugged into their website, but was disappointed to see it is in Cincinnati, not Columbus. I also noticed the church was Evangelical Lutheran Church, not Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Not being up on my Lutheran synods (although a member since 1976), I did a brief google search, and found:
    The Evangelical Lutheran Church or ELC was formed in 1917 as the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America (NLCA). The NLCA was formed by merger of the Hauge Synod (est. 1876), the Norwegian Synod (est. 1853), and the United Norwegian Lutheran Church of America (est. 1890). The Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church, commonly called the Norwegian Synod, was founded in February 1853 in Iowa. ...
    The NLCA changed its name to become the Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELC) in 1946. In 1960, the ELC joined with other Lutheran churches to form the now-defunct American Lutheran Church. This coalescence of Lutheran churches continued into recent times, with the ALC joining others to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in 1988. American Lutheran Church logo The American Lutheran Church (ALC) was a Christian Protestant denomination in the United States that existed from 1960 to 1987. ...
So, technically they are part of the same synod as my church, UALC, part of the ELCA, but I'm guessing they are more conservative. Any thoughts from anyone who know the history better than I?

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Kenyan priest serves American congregation

This is a real heart warmer! Don't miss the story about The Rev. Chrispin Oneko who was so inspired by the American missionary who came to his village when he was a child, that he became a priest, first in Kenya, then Jamaica, and eventually Kentucky. Link.