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Southminster Presbyterian Church
An inclusive, welcoming community of Christian faith.
July 2017 E-Newsletter
What is the E-newsletter?
Subscribers will now receive a digital version of our monthly newsletter. Don’t worry–if you like receiving the paper newsletter, we are still sending them out. We know many of you love getting them in the mail, and that’s great! But, we have had some feedback that an e-mailed version is perfect for some.
If your paper newsletter usually winds up in your recycling bin (we are not offended), please sign up HERE to opt-in to receive the online version only. You will no longer receive paper newsletters monthly, and you’ll be saving some paper and ink.
From the Office
It’s summer and I’ve been enjoying the dry side of Oregon. Almost a year has passed since I joined the staff last October. In this year, you all have expressed such compassion and patience for me to get my feet wet. John and I have a few changes for the upcoming year, and we think that it will make everyone’s church lives easier.
First of all, we are working diligently to create a working yearly calendar. Sometimes things get rocky with meetings overlapping, but my goal is to resolve this for the upcoming year. If you go to our webpage (southmin.org) and look at the calendar, you should see an entire year filled with meetings and events. Some of these are placeholder events, but we are encouraging all groups to submit their changes before our fall activities kick off. You’ll be able to see when the big events are for 2018 like the art show and women’s retreat.
With that said, I ask for everyone’s cooperation in consulting the calendar or myself before scheduling an event to ensure we have the space available. This includes time for set-up and clean-up. We have groups that meet here weekly, and my new policy is that we must have one month’s notice so we can give these groups ample time to make alternative arrangements. I know most of you have access to a computer at home, but I will also be keeping up with updating the hallway calendar. You can also call me with any scheduling requests or questions.
We are also looking into utilizing the website for other things like making access to choir or handbell music as simple as a click. Our music staff still has some brainstorming to do with this, but the ultimate goal is to make our website informative for not just new visitors, but a vital tool for our members.
I look forward to growing together with everyone in the coming year. The Southminster office is slowly becoming my own, merging the old ways with a few new ticks. As always, feel free to rely on me for anything, as I have relied on you all with this transition.
Southminster Life Events
Super Wednesday Schedule
Super Wednesdays are an inclusive group who gather for discussion and friendship. As we are finding through research, friendships and socialization are imperative for maintaining a strong mind as we age. However, it’s never too early to start! Everyone is welcome and encouraged to join in regardless of age. The broader the span, the healthier the perspective. The group atmosphere is warm and accepting and embraces sharing. There is time for serious thought as well as time for laughter and joy. Come have a cup of coffee or tea and join the shared camaraderie. You’ll be glad you did. There is no commitment, just drop in Room 7, at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesdays.
July 5 – movie day – Lion – Five year old Saroo gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of miles across India, away from home and family. Saroo must learn to survive alone in Kolkata, before ultimately being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty five years later, armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination, and a revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home.
July 12 – game day – come have fun and play games with a very non-competitive group. Room 7 all are welcome.
July 19 – Coffee and Conversation – Viva Village Presentation
July 26 – Newsletter folding. Conference room. Talk to Barbara if you are interested in joining this group
Come enjoy a summer evening on the banks of the Tualatin River at the home of Dave Pierce and Michael Hawkins beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 21. Please plan to carpool as parking is a problem. More information to come later.
Water 2 Wine – What’s Over the River?
You are not going over the river, we will be bringing the wines from the Vancouver area for us to sample. We thought that Oregon had a lot a wine makers but Washington has almost a third more (over 800 makers of wines). So we are going to pick out some good ones that are just across the state line for you to choose from. See what think. You will just need one glass for this tasting.
While we may learn a little more about wine, we think that the best part of the group is meeting fellow Southminsters in a relaxed social setting. Please RSVP to email@example.com to ensure that we have enough wine. We have a suggested donation of $10 per person to cover the cost of the wine. Hope you can join us.
Legacy Gifts for Southminster
As you may have seen, Southminster has a new initiative this year about legacy giving. I’ve been with this church for about 26-27 years now, and it is now my primary community beyond my family. Also, I’ve worked with the Foundation for ten or fifteen years and have been inspired by what the Foundation is able to do in the community, so I’m interested in supporting their work. I’ve given annually every year, but I’d never done any legacy gift planning. It seemed complicated, and I have trouble starting new projects.
But now I’ve made a legacy pledge-and the impetus came from elsewhere. This is my 50th college reunion year. The college I graduated from has one of the highest alumni giving rates in the country, so there’s a lot of peer pressure. The 50th year is when they hit you up for legacy giving. So this is the year I got organized, and found that it was actually quite simple after I’d eliminated all the options I didn’t need.
Southminster isn’t into peer pressure: no one needs to know what you do. But for me it is a good feeling that I can give to several organizations I value, that my gifts will be around after I’m gone, and that I can do it flexibly in ways that take my family’s needs into account. These aren’t huge gifts, but they will be part of my permanent legacy.
(You can find more information about our legacy giving program on our website here).
Worship Schedule (Subject to Spirit’s Adjustment)
John on study leave. Don and the youth come back from Spokane to lead worship.
Former Prophets Nebi-im (1 & 2 Samuel)
Theme: Creating the Mythical David
Former Prophets Nebi-im (1 & 2 Kings)
Theme: Kingdom to Exile
Latter Prophets Nebi-im Part 1, Major Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel
Theme: The Prophetic Imagination
Latter Prophets Nebi-im Part 2, Minor Prophets (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi)
Theme: Prophetic or Just Gross? The Necessity of Critical Reading
Sound Help Needed!
The sound team needs your help! Summer is always hard to find volunteers with vacations and other travel. No previous experience needed. Josh Townsley will train you and make sure you’re ready to go. Willing to help out? Contact Josh Townsley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503.547.9559. The following dates need volunteers:
Progressive Spirit & Beloved Community Podcasts
The main web page is www.progressivespirit.net. From there you can find many links to download podcasts such as iTunes. During June, interviews were posted with…
Stand Your Ground: America’s Love Affair With Lethal Self-Defense
Harvard Professor Caroline Light explores the development of the American right to self-defense and reveals how the original “duty to retreat” from threat was transformed into a selective right to kill. In her book, Stand Your Ground: A History of America’s Love Affair with Lethal Self-Defense, Professor Light traces white America’s attachment to racialized, lethal self-defense by unearthing its complex legal and social histories-from the original “castle laws” of the 1600s, which gave white men the right to protect their homes, to the brutal lynching of “criminal” Black bodies during the Jim Crow era and the radicalization of the NRA as it transitioned from a sporting organization to one of our country’s most powerful lobbying forces. Professor Light exposes a history hidden in plain sight, showing how violent self-defense has been legalized for the most privileged and used as a weapon against the most vulnerable.
Atheism and Christianity: Can We Talk?
Drew Bekius was a true believer. He prayed the “sinner’s prayer” when he was three and was immersed in evangelical Christianity, starting an award-winning ministry in his high school. He became a minister and a leader and he was skilled at the job.
But a few years ago, the edifice began to crack. He realized he no longer could believe the things he needed to believe in order to be a minister. Now he no longer holds belief in God or Jesus or the church. He is now a humanist coach and is the president of The Clergy Project. The Clergy Project is online community for former and active religious professionals who no longer hold supernatural beliefs. We discuss his journey and his new mission that he outlines in his book, The Rise and Fall of Faith: A God-to-Godless Story for Christians and Atheists.
The Rape of Eve: Newly Discovered Texts of Resistance (Celene Lillie)
The Nag Hammadi library discovered in 1945 has provided a number of alternative Christian texts. They were not included in the Bible. They have been dismissed by many orthodox Christians as Gnostic or even heresy. Yet new scholarship is discovering the complexity of these texts and the value they have for many today.
Dr. Celene Lillie discusses three of these texts in her book, The Rape of Eve: The Transformation of Roman ideology in Three Early Christian Retellings of Genesis. In each of these texts, “On the Origin of the World,” “The Reality of the Rulers,” and “The Secret Revelation of John,” Eve is portrayed as having been humiliated by the cosmic powers but experiences restoration. She sees these Nag Hammadi stories as affirmation of women’s value and wisdom and as myths of resistance to Roman imperial power and to Rome’s culture of rape and domination.
Change the World by Ending Human Trafficking
Justin Dillon is a former musician turned filmmaker and social entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of Made in A Free World, a platform that brings together consumers, organizations, and businesses to dismantle the 150 billion dollar business of human trafficking. His latest book is titled A Selfish Plan to Change the World: Finding Big Purpose in Big Problems. His message to all of us, Find Your Riot.
*All missioners meet at church at 9:00am for Music Practice w/ Jenn and worship preparations!
Wednesday, July 5 – Frisbee Game Night at Greenway Park (meet at the church at 6:00 p.m.) and make your own Ice-cream Sundaes!
DV8 and SNL San Juan Island Bike Trip – July 10-15
Wednesday, July 19 – Movie Night and Pizza in the Loft – 6-8 p.m.
Sponsored by Student Leaders T.B.D.
Family Camp @ Honeyman State Park! – July 16 – 23
Read the Bible Cover to Cover
Tobit, Judith, Esther (Greek), The Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach, Baruch, The Letter of Jeremiah, Azariah and the Three Jews, Susanna
These books did not make the canon of the Protestant Bible, but they are found in the sacred canons of other Christian traditions. These are the writings of Jewish people between the third century BCE and the first century CE. Many of these texts were written in Greek, some in Aramaic or Hebrew. Many respond to the Hellenization of the region since the conquest of Alexander the Great. While some of the writings incorporate Greek thought, much of it resists Hellenization and prizes faithful Jewish resistance.
The apocrypha includes some fun stories in the genre of historical romances:
Tobit is a found in the Roman Catholic canon. It is a fictional story that praises faithfulness and courage. Tobit gives us the concept of the guardian angel and provides a reason why young men may be frightened to death on their wedding night.
Judith is fiction in the form of history. Lest anyone doubt that women should be in combat, here is a how a brave, faithful, woman gets ahead.
In the Greek version of the Book of Daniel are three more stories not found in the Hebrew text. They are Azariah and the The Three Jews, Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon.
1)The Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Jews is what the three men pray to the Lord when they were tossed into the fiery furnace.
2) Susanna is the story of a woman who is wrongly accused. Thankfully Daniel comes to her rescue–just like Matlock.
3) Bel and the Dragon tells the story of how Daniel outwits the religious phonies, kills a dragon, and survives six days in a lion’s den.
The Greek version of Esther is the same story as the canonical Esther with some additions. These additions are pious, in that they contain explicit references to God not found in the Hebrew text.
In addition to fun stories, the Apocrypha contains wisdom literature:
The Wisdom of Solomon and Ecclesiasticus or The Wisdom of Jesus Son of Sirach is skillful literature. It is a blending of Greek and Hebrew thought. These two works as well as 2 Maccabbees 6-7 had a great influence on the theology of the early Christian church, including the doctrine of the immortality of the soul.
Baruch, named for the scribe of Jeremiah is really a praise for Wisdom and for Israel: “The woods and every fragrant tree have shaded Israel at God’s command.”
The Letter of Jeremiah
was supposedly written by Jeremiah to the captives in Babylon. It is really a scathing attack on non-Jews: “Like a scarecrow in a cucumber bed, which guards nothing, so are their gods of wood, overlaid with gold and silver.”