June 2015 Tidings VOLUME 55 NUMBER 6
WE ARE JOYFULLY GATHERED TOGETHER BY GOD’S GRACIOUS LOVE IN JESUS CHRIST TO WORSHIP HIM, TO GROW IN FAITH AND TO PROCLAIM JESUS BY WORD AND SERVICE.
The Mission of Jesus
Peter and the apostles answered, “It’s necessary to obey God rather than men. The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, the One you killed by hanging him on a cross. God set him high at his side, Prince and Savior, to give Israel the gift of a changed life and sins forgiven. And we are witnesses to these things. The Holy Spirit, whom God gives to those who obey him, corroborates every detail.” – Acts 5.29-32 The Message by Eugene Peterson
A speaker at a recent conference made the comment that an important decision was made at the first recorded assembly of believers which we hear about in Acts chapter 15. The church of Jesus Christ, according to the Spirit’s direction in those days, was not going to be only one, holy, cosmic (universal, catholic) but apostolic. In other words, instead of just letting people in the world be whatever they were born into a belief system and circumstances to be, the truth about Jesus being raised from the dead was so compelling they were called to share it. Jesus as Lord of all commissioned them to go and spread the good news about Him for all the world. Thus, the church was by definition and new creation- apostolic (literally, “sent ones”). All followers of Jesus are sent into the world to tell the good news of Jesus which means repentance and forgiveness and new life for all who know it is “for them.”
We need to keep being reminded by the Word of God and the Spirit about who the church is called to be. In the mission of Jesus, good news is the first order of our proclamation. Good works naturally follow. But as we hear just before the recorded text above, Peter and the apostles were being told by those of the old order before Christ not to teach or speak the good news. In fact, they were jailed for doing it.
So what did that apostolic bunch do? Did they just say, “Well, I guess they have a point. We’d better stop telling anyone about Jesus. People are okay with never hearing that truth.” Their response was, “We must obey God rather than men [human beings]. We believe Jesus is raised from the dead and he has commissioned and sent us to tell it to everyone.”
The church today is apostolic by very definition of God’s call in Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. We are called, gathered, enlightened and sanctified according to Martin Luther and the reformers sense of what the church is as the new creation. But we have realized of recent that we also have to add what Luther forgot to say in that list. We the church in the mission of Jesus are called, gathered, enlightened in the Gospel and sanctified but also “sent” in Jesus’ name to a world in need of hearing the good news brought by Jesus in the flesh, crucified and risen from the dead (The Evangelizing Church, p. 64)
There is call here to obey God in Jesus and for the church to speak, risk beyond what culture wants to dictate and be the church which possesses the one truth that can truly set people free from sin. It is the “foolishness of our proclamation” by which God saves humans, not by our human wisdom or good efforts or anything else (1 Corinthians 1:21). The compassionate heart and service that accompanies such words does not replace speaking up about the Jesus we know to be God’s Son and His Love.
We can be encouraged that we have been called, gathered, enlightened, sanctified and sent out as those first naïve disciples were. The church’s call and identity is to be apostolic. “Admissibility to the faith is the ecumenical birthright of [hu]mankind, never to be superseded or curtailed” (Kenneth Cragg).
As a church in Vancouver, Washington, we could take a lesson from this first apostolic bunch who knew Jesus as Lord and dared to speak good news to others. As a church this next year, we hope to be looking for ways to be encouraged and provoked to think of the love of Christ as those first disciples understood the call. As something that has to be shared for the love of Christ for all.
It is going to be a growing, fun, challenging year of engagement with those near and far, local and global.
And “the Holy Spirit will corroborate every detail” of truth as we engage God’s world with good news!
Meet Mike Haas, our Congregation President
Mike Haas has been elected by our congregation to be President. Mike is a native of this area, growing up in Vancouver. At 18 he joined the Navy and moved east to Virginia where he met his wife Nancy–actually meeting in an ELCA congregation! Mike spent 25 years in Virginia, serving the Navy, marrying his sweetheart, getting his degree in electrical engineering and raising his family–two children, David and Anja.
The Haas family moved here in the summer of 2013 because of a job opportunity and to be closer to Mike’s family. His hobbies include operating amateur radio, woodworking, and anything that gives him time with his family (camping, exploring the Northwest, games, dogs).
From the moment the Haas family stepped foot into Trinity, they have been participating in full in the programs and ministries of this congregation. We certainly look forward to Mike’s wisdom and energy and gifts as he joins the leadership of our congregation!
Thanks to the following for service to Trinity this year:
Completing Foundation Committee service : Jim Hoeffner
Completing Council service: Tim Gordon, Marilyn Hale and Rich Hyatt
Tammy Eshom, Secretary
Fred Johnson, President
Celebrate Your Birthday with your Trinity Family!
Please sign up for a coffee hour after the Sunday Worship service during your birthday month. The sign up sheet is posted near the Chapel in the Narthex. If you have questions, Carol Jensen at 256-3496.
If you would like to be added to the Birthday List or if there needs to be a correction to your date of birth, please contact the church office at 695-1221. Thank you.