December Message from Pastor Gretchen

December 18th, 2013

  “Our Advent Public Work”


Last month I put out a challenge in my sermon for our church to engage in a public work project: to create a place where anyone from the community could anonymously write down their prayer requests, and we would lift them up during our time of prayer in worship. How would this happen? By putting up a chalkboard on the outside of our 747 building with the words “Please pray for______” leaving room for people to complete the sentence. The idea is a spin off from a similar public work project begun by artist Candy Chang, inviting people to reflect upon one thing they wanted to do before they die (check out her TED talk at


Inspired by her work, Luther Seminary professor David Lose blogged that our liturgy, usually described as “the work of the people,” might also be described as “the work for the people.” Meaning that what we do in worship is not only for those of us inside the church building, but also for those outside our walls. Hence my challenge-which some of you took me up on! Under the leadership of Kirt & Joni Stanford and Lisa Argenziano, with the assistance of several others, our chalkboard wall is now almost ready (final prep is Sat Dec 7th at 1pm if you want to help).


This time of the year around the holidays can often be a hard time for those who feel fearful, alone or sad. What better time than Advent, when all of us wait with expectation and longing, to stand in hope and encouragement with our neighbors?


May our public work of prayer during this holy season be a witness to the coming light of Christ, the light that shines in the darkness and the darkness does not overcome it.


Advent/Christmas blessings,

Pastor Gretchen Bingea