August 2015 Newsletter

July 31st, 2015

Dear disciples of Jesus at American Lutheran,

Teach your children well…..” goes the refrain from a popular Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song years ago. But the sentiment goes back much all the way to the Old Testament with God’s instructions to the Israelites, “Teach [these words of mine] to your children, talking about them when you are home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise” (Deut.11:19).

Passing on the Christian faith from generation to generation is at the heart of the life and work of the church. Parents make promises to their children in baptism to teach them the essential truths about God. And the congregation in turn makes the promise to partner with parents in nurturing their child’s spiritual growth.

Looking at the month ahead, I was reminded of all the different ways we partner together to guide our young people in faith and life:

  • During worship on Aug. 2nd we will present baby blankets knit by members of our church to the newly baptized, as a tangible sign of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.
  •  On Aug. 9th we will hear and see how those attending the ELCA National Youth Gathering in July were transformed through inspiring worship and acts of service with the people of Detroit.
  • “Blessing of the Backpacks” on Aug. 16th will remind our students that God is with them in their classrooms as they learn and grow throughout the year.
  • Our young families will gather once again on Aug 23rd to deepen relationships and support one another in raising their children in the Christian faith.
  • Middle and high school youth will begin a new year of Confirmation and Youth group with parents and mentors at the Welcome Back Potluck on Aug. 30th.
  • The Burbank Children’s Theatre Company will provide wholesome entertainment for all ages with their second production, “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.”

What a gift we give not only to our children, but also to one another when we work together to see God’s presence alive through home, church, community and culture.

May we continue to teach our children well, so they will see all of life as under the care, blessing, and direction of our gracious God.

Pastor Gretchen

Child of God

Don’t Lose Hope

July 23rd, 2015

Dear Disciples of Jesus at American Lutheran,

Life is full of ups and downs. And when we find ourselves feeling discouraged and disappointed for whatever reason, it can test our faith as we wonder if God even cares. Yet Paul reminds us that no matter what happens we do not lose hope because Christ is our hope:We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies” (2 Corinthians 4:8-10).

This Sunday we begin a 5-part series, “A Heart for Reconciliation,” based on Paul’s 2nd letter to the church in Corinth. As we delve more deeply into this New Testament book, may our hearts be opened in love to God and our neighbor.

See you in church,

Pastor Gretchen

The Hard Truth

July 14th, 2015

Dear disciples of American Lutheran,

Few of us want to hear a hard truth, and perhaps fewer of us want to be the ones called to deliver one.

Yet sometimes God calls us to do just that. We are sent from worship each week to proclaim God’s in-breaking reign to all the powers that profess to rule this world.

Through us, God speaks words of peace, love, and faithfulness that challenge the world’sviolence, hatred, and treachery.

Your Servant in Christ,

Pastor Gretchen