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Weekly Update


September 24, 2015


St. Paul is a congregation of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and is Reconciling in Christ.
From the Vicar's Desk
Pope Francis smiling

Holy Envy

            This week, I have experienced what Krister Stendahl coined as “Holy Envy” – the ability to recognize elements in another religious tradition that you admire and wish could, in some way, be reflected in your own religious tradition. I’ve seen pope emoji pop up on twitter, I’ve imagined his simple black leather shoes hitting the concrete as he walks to shake President Obama’s hand, and I’ve been captivated by the crowds who fill the streets with a great devotion just to get a glimpse of him zooming around in a little modest Fiat. And while I’ve been enchanted by the Pope’s visit this week, I know that this isn’t the case for everyone. Some of my dear friends, and even many in our community at St. Paul, have complicated, messy, love-hate relationships with the Catholic church.  It is important to recognize the entire spectrum of emotions that Pope Francis’ visit may stir up. 
            The Pope’s trip has made me re-visit the document put out by the Lutheran World Federation entitled, “From Conflict to Communion.” It is quite lengthy, but buried deep down (88 pages in) after a thorough discussion of our shared history and the individual gifts and wrongdoings of both Lutherans and Catholics, you’ll find this ecumenical imperative:  “Lutherans and Catholics must let themselves continuously be transformed by the encounter with the other and by the mutual witness of faith.”  For Lutherans, especially for those of us on the East Coast, it seems like a week that could – or perhaps, should - be ripe with encounter and conversation with our Catholic neighbors, co-workers, and classmates.
           I know for me, I’m particularly intrigued by how this visit is in many ways unlike past papal visits as Pope Francis is spending a significant amount of time with people who are usually pushed out of the public eye. It seems as if the Pope is taking the words we heard in last week’s Gospel incredibly seriously, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me." He has done this by visiting a prison in Philadelphia, Catholic Charities in D.C., and a school in Harlem. The reformist spirit of Pope Francis’ papacy reflects many of the values of the Lutheran Reformation. In particular, his emphasis on climate change, income inequality, and poverty closely aligns with the ELCA’s goals for advocacy. The Pope’s visit has inspired me to pick up my phone and reconnect with several of the young and powerful Catholic women whom I became friends with during my time at divinity school. Hearing their stories of how they live out their vocations and sharing in our mutual frustration for the denial of women in leadership in the Catholic church, has given me much gratitude and energy for not only their work, but my own work. 
            While there is time and space to recognize our differences and critique problematic aspects of this visit, I think it is important to also ask ourselves, “How might our encounter with the Pope and our Catholic sisters and brothers (even if simply from social media or t.v.) transform us this week?” Continually, in our desire to transform, how might we - the people of St. Paul - live out our faith this week?
Vicar Alissa
Capital Campaign Interviews

Here's what you need to know as we get ready for the interviews and focus groups.

If you have been invited to an interview, please sign up here.

If you would like to participate in a focus group, please sign up here.

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 13
Serving in Worship and Fellowship

Deacon: TBD
Altar Guild:  Marie Breitenbach, Taryn Walsh
Children’s Church: Dinesh Rego
Coffee:  Lyssa Bayne, Jessica Kinner
Lector: Mike Morse
Tellers: Peter Hedlund, Aurelio Ramirez
Ushers: Sue French, Melissa Brown, Colton Brown, Mark Olson

 Pastor Goodman

Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16
Psalm 19:7-14
James 5:13-20
Mark 9:38-50
St. Paul Adult Forum spelled in Scrabble tiles
Join us each Sunday at 9:30 am for Adult Forum as we learn, wonder, and grow in faith together through a variety of different formats and topics. 

September 27, Susan Lee will lead us in Lectio Divina, a slow, contemplative praying and reading of the Scriptures. 

On October 4, Rev. Renee Liabraaten will facilitate a focus group concerning the Capital Campaign.  
one mug with dark beer and one with light beer cheersing each other with beer mugs of their own.  Faith and brews with wired word.
Did you miss the opportunity to join Faith and Brews this week?  Join us next week for Faith and Brews at 7:30pm on Wednesday, September 30We'll gather at Waxy's at 94 Hartwell Ave. Lexington, MA

This week's headline is
Researchers Delve Into Relationship Between Worry and Regret

Faith and Brews is an opportunity to gather midweek for some fellowship and conversation about current events and our faith.  We'll be using the Wired Word to facilitate our conversation.  Each week Wired Word puts together material for faith based conversation and reflection on the week's current events in the news. 

If you have questions contact Megan by email.

Eric Worringer's Ordination

The New England Synod announces the ordination of Eric Randall Worringer, who has been called to serve as pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

You are invited to Worship with Eucharist on:

Saturday, October 17th, 4:00pm

Saint Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church
929 Concord Turnpike
Arlington, MA 01840

Bishop Jim Hazelwood of the New England Synod will preach and preside, Mark and Sarah Huber will be the musicians of the day.

Clergy and other Religious Leaders are invited to process with vestments appropriate to their tradition. The color of the day is red.

A reception will follow.

Parking is available at the Church, and on side streets nearby.

Arlington is a nearby suburb to Boston, and is easily accessible from nearby hotels and Boston Logan.

CYF Corner
Things are happening! 

Education Hour registration
Sunday School registration papers are available!  You can find links to pdf forms below or you can find them in the entryway of the sanctuary.  If you have questions about what is available during this hour on Sunday mornings, please chat with Megan

We have gatherings for all ages! 
Godly Play 1 - Pre-K and Kindergarteners
Godly Play 2 - 1st and 2nd graders
Spark - 3rd, 4th and 5th graders
Bible GPS - Middle School
Confirmation - 8th and 9th grade. 

Registration form for one child.
Registration form for multiple children.
Oikoumene prayer icon
In solidarity with our ecumenical partners, the World Council of Churches invites us to pray for specific countries each week. This week we pray for Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine. You can find the year-long prayer cycle online at  

Weekly Schedule Bright Sunset
Sunday, 9/27
     Education Hour

Tuesday 9/29
     Intern Committee Meeting

Wednesday 9/30
     Faith and Brews @ Waxy's

Thursday 10/1
     Choir Rehearsal

Social Ministry Corner
Help Students in South Sudan
Students from Wunlang in South Sudan showing school work

The St. Paul congregation was at the center of a resettlement of refugee minors from Sudan called "the lost boys” in 2001. We partnered with Lutheran Social Services to set up a group home in the former parsonage and a few families in the church welcomed these new immigrants. A non-profit in the Boston area, Village help for South Sudan, continued the work with relief and rebuilding efforts in South Sudan.
Through Village Help for South Sudan, St. Paul has had a long standing relationship with the village of Wunlang. In partnership with this non-profit, St. Paul has helped to fund the building of a school, community center, and medical center. In the past, we have provided funding for sewing machines and training in order for villagers to become tailors and sew school uniforms using local materials. In addition, the mid-wife kits assembled in June were sent to Wunlang for two years. In the past year, St. Paul has helped buy food for the school because of food shortages in the area. The village has grown because of its improvements and successes but the need is always great.
Education is the key to helping the village continue to move forward. Economic and family needs make it difficult for many children to attend school. Providing uniforms and food at the school encourages families to send their children and school attendance increases. The social ministry committee wants to help with this effort by providing the money to buy the material for the uniforms. The uniforms will be made in the village with fabric purchased locally. Our goal is to raise enough money for 543 uniforms at a cost of $10 per uniform. This amount would provide a uniform for each child attending the Wunlang school.
The fund raising runs from September 20th to October 4th. In addition, we are asking children to help raise money to buy supplies such as pencils and notebooks for the village children. We encourage children to think about what school supplies they need and what they could help a Sudanese child obtain. Children can give any amount, from pennies to dollars.
Studnets from Wunland in South Sudan outside school building
Music Notes
SING on Sunday mornings at St. Paul!
Birds singing in a line with subtitle Add Your Voice

We will be hosting a pick-up choir rehearsal for ALL members of the congregation on the last Sunday of every month at 9:30am in the choir loft. If you’ve ever wanted to sing for Sunday worship and just can’t make the evening rehearsal, this is your chance!
ALL are welcome regardless of experience. Music will be available ahead of time for those who prefer to prepare in advance. Many of you join us each year for the singing of the Hallelujah Chorus at Easter - we are so excited to expand that experience to include one Sunday each month during the program year. We’re planning to sing a wide variety of easy-to-learn pieces, so please join us! Email Kira ( with any questions.
Sunday, September 27           9:30a rehearsal, anthem at 10:30a service
Sunday, October 25               9:30a rehearsal, anthem at 10:30a service
Sunday, November 29           9:30a rehearsal, anthem at 10:30a service
Sunday, December 27           9:30a rehearsal, anthem at 10:30a service

Sunday, January 31               9:30a rehearsal, anthem at 10:30a service
Sunday, February 28              9:30a rehearsal, anthem at 10:30a service
Sunday, March 27                  9:30a rehearsal, anthem at 10:30a service
Sunday, April 24                     9:30a rehearsal, anthem at 10:30a service
Sunday, May 29                     9:30a rehearsal, anthem at 10:30a service
Copyright © 2015 St. Paul Lutheran Church, All rights reserved.

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