Elim Extra for Sunday June 16, 2024

Pastor’s Reflection

This weekend I decided to watch some of my ministry colleagues’ services online – you know, as you do – and I was horrified when one of them started pulling questions out of an “Ask Your Minister Anything” box and answering them on the spot! Talk about putting my premeditated question-based sermon series to shame. 

While I was impressed with my colleague’s courage and quick wits, what was most valuable was hearing unfiltered questions from a wide range of people in the same faith community. The concerns that keep people up at night vary widely from person to person, it turns out. (So do the bones people have to pick with their minister.) What I want to hear about – and what I think YOU should hear about – might be quite different from what’s actually on your mind! 

Perhaps while I was addressing domestic violence and LGBTQ Pride during the past two weeks, you were feeling like these topics weren’t quite for you. Thank you for taking the time to listen to what your neighbor needed to hear. This Sunday, we will entertain another question from one of our members that I think has broader appeal – “How can we be blessed to be a blessing?”

Please join us!

with love, Pr. Chelsea

p.s. Thank you for celebrating my one-year anniversary at Elim! I did not expect that and was very touched. I love being with all of you!

Upcoming Events:

June 16 – Father’s Day Outdoor Coffee Hour

June 22 – My Hometown Ogden yard work at Elim 9-11

June 23 – Church Becoming meeting

June 30 – Worship Team meeting

Elim Extra for Sunday June 9, 2024

Pastor’s Reflection

 

We have begun our “Why Do You Ask” summer sermon series at church. Jesus answered only three of the 307 questions he was asked! Instead he asked lots of his own questions. I’m giving space in the pulpit to address whatever questions you bring to me, and I have room for a few more if there are any sermon topics you’d like to hear.

 

Now, at first I thought this would be a fun and easy summer project. But now that I’m getting your deep questions, I think I might have bitten off more than I can chew!

 

But we don’t have to bring a full answer to our big questions, settling them for all time. Preaching is not a one and done. Rather, we feel our way into a few truths that meet the needs of the moment, and let the rest of the mystery continue to unfold. Like the poet Rilke said:

 

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

 

with love, Pr. Chelsea

 

Upcoming events:

June 16 – Father’s Day – outdoor coffee hour.

June 22 – My Hometown Ogden yard work.

June 23 – Church becoming meeting.

July 7 – Outdoor worship at Monroe Park with First Presbyterian Church; Elim will be closed.

Elim Extra for Sunday May 26, 2024

Pastor’s Reflection
Last Sunday we heard the scripture being proclaimed in seven languages simultaneously! Eight, if you count baby talk. Who knew we had that many different language readers at Elim? Thank you Dave Thomas for organizing this wonderful Pentecost experiment.
This coming Sunday, we will still have our red paraments up for Holy Trinity Sunday. Normally they should be white, but I want to emphasize how important the Holy Spirit is in the doctrine of the Trinity. Because of the Holy Spirit, the relationship of love between the Father and Son is not a closed two-way relationship, but something we are included in because the Holy Spirit lives in us.
Council will be meeting this Sunday and has been guiding quite a few wonderful repairs around our building. We have a new door and repaired bathroom plumbing, and in the next few weeks we will have new electrical lines in our kitchen and….duh duh duh…..our new furnace is coming! Just in time for some much appreciated summer AC.
Happy Memorial Day weekend, safety to those who are traveling, and for the rest of you, hope to see you at church
with love, Pr. Chelsea

Elim Extra for Sunday May 19, 2024

Pastor’s Reflection

My friend the Rev. Martha Moler, a retired Presbyterian minister who was born in Ogden, baptized at Trinity Presbyterian, and currently lives in Salt Lake, will be joining us on Sunday May 19th to help me lead our Pentecost service. Don’t forget to wear red! And after the service, please stick around downstairs to hear exciting stories of recent international mission in four Middle Eastern countries, from Pastor Angel of the People’s Church.

We have something exciting coming up on Wednesday, May 22nd at 5:30 PM. A lively dialogue between jazz and worship, with music to uplift your soul. Presenting: Ogden Jazz Vespers, a “Wind and Fire” Pentecost concert at Elim Lutheran Church. Bring a friend, date, or treat yourself to an evening of spiritual improvisation, live jazz, and contemplation in Elim’s beautiful sanctuary, featuring the Tracy Quartet. A proud member and musician in the Ogden community, Daniel Tracy is coordinator of Jazz at the Station and director of instrumental music at Ben Lomond High School. This event has free admission and light refreshments will be served. A free-will offering will be taken to support future Jazz Vespers at Elim Lutheran Church, located at 575 23rd St. Questions? Call (801) 394-5543.

Hope to see you there!

with love,

Pr. Chelsea

Elim Extra for Sunday May 12, 2024

Pastor’s Reflection

 

Thank you for welcoming Rev. Gordon Young to Elim’s pulpit this Sunday while I’m in California for my grandmother’s memorial. While I’m looking forward to celebrating Mother’s Day with four generations of Kinley women, my desire for a pampered “Mom Spa Day” has evaporated since immersing myself in relaxing metaphors this Easter season. To deepen like roots, unwind like a road, flow like a river, settle like sand, bloom like a palm tree, soften like clouds, loosen like fire…it all sounds nice, but what I really want is to get back out there! 

 

I seem to have caught the Pentecost bug early, when Jesus called the disciples beyond a time of recovery and into action. There is so much ministry coming up at Elim to get excited about! 

 

Still, there are “readiness factors” we must cultivate to be ready for new projects. When Jesus left on a cloud during the Ascension, he reminded the disciples to stay together, meeting together and reaching out for more teachers, guides and partners. As we attempt to put old things together in new ways, we will need both the wisdom of our past and new ideas from Spirit. May the wisdom of Hebrews 10 ground us for a new season of ministry after Pentecost. 

 

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for the One who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:23-25)

 

with love, Pr. Chelsea

 

Announcements:

–This Sunday is Mother’s Day.

–Bev and Paul have graciously accepted nominations to join the church council, yay!

–On May 19th, don’t forget to wear red for Pentecost, and come downstairs after worship to hear Pastor Angel share about his recent mission trip to the Middle East.

–Please invite a friend to Elim for Jazz Vespers on Wednesday May 22nd at 5:30 pm.

–Don’t forget to send me questions I can address from the pulpit as new sermon topics for this summer. Thank you!

Elim Extra for Sunday May 5, 2024

Pastor’s Reflection

 

Craig and Lucille reported from the Rocky Mountain Synod assembly that we have elected a new bishop, the Rev. Meghan Johnston Aelabouni! Bishop Meghan will begin on August 1st. She is a member of our synod who previously led Trinity Lutheran Church in Fort Collins, CO, and was recently an ELCA missionary serving in leadership and pastoral roles in Palestine and Israel. She has a doctorate in religion with 18 years experience in ordained ministry, and is a committed advocate for peace and justice. We look forward to welcoming her, even as we thank Bishop Jim for his many years of amazing service!

 

Bible study resumes on Sunday before worship, when we will pick up 2 Corinthians together. You know when Paul writes you a second letter that you are experiencing some real problems, so we have much to learn from this early Christian community! This text contains some of my favorite jewels in scripture, including treasure in jars of clay (4:7), becoming a new creation (5:16-17), the ministry of reconciliation (5:18-20), the cheerful giver (9:6-7), and Paul’s thorn in the flesh (12:7-10). Its main theme is that when we are weak, God is strong. Please join us!

 

Finally, mark your calendars on May 22 at 5:30 p.m. for a lively dialogue between jazz and worship, with music to uplift your soul! The Elim worship team is organizing the first annual Ogden Jazz Vespers, a “Wind and Fire” Pentecost concert at Elim Lutheran Church. Bring a friend, date, or treat yourself to an evening of spiritual improvisation, live jazz, and contemplation in Elim’s beautiful sanctuary, featuring the Tracy Quartet. A proud member and musician in the Ogden community, Daniel Tracy is organizer of Jazz at the Station and director of instrumental music at Ben Lomond High School. This event has free admission and light refreshments will be served. A free-will offering will be taken to support future Jazz Vespers at Elim. Please spread the word and invite your friends!

 

We are heading into another busy and exciting time at Elim. During our Easter “Grounded in Love” series, I have been preaching every Sunday with Ephesians 3:16-21 on my lips, so I will leave you with this prayer:

 

May God grant for us to be strengthened in our inner beings with power through his Spirit, and may Christ dwell in our hearts through faith, as we are being rooted and grounded in love. May we have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that we may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

 

with love, Pr. Chelsea

 

Upcoming Events: 

May 5 – Worship team meeting 

May 12 – Rev. Gordon Young preaches, Mothers Day 

May 19 – Church Becoming meeting, Pentecost 

May 22 – Jazz Vespers at 5:30 p.m. 

May 26 – Council Meeting, Trinity Sunday 

June 16 – Fathers Day 

June 30 – Church Becoming meeting 

Elim Extra for Sunday April 7, 2024

Pastor’s Reflection

 

I was really touched by how many people came out for our Good Friday service at Elim. It’s not exactly a cheerful time. The journey of taking up life again, from Good Friday to Easter, is a really big experience to hold. Thank goodness we have the whole Easter season to unpack it. And thank goodness Jesus holds our hand, when we make an attempt to come close to him and feel what he felt.

 

I am thinking about our next season of worship as “A Retreat at the Elim Oasis.” After all our hard work during Lent, we deserve a little R&R and lots of TLC, don’t you think? Ephesians 3:17 provides our mandate – “being rooted and grounded in love.” Don’t we all need an opportunity to ground and center ourselves? What if we were to eagerly embrace the Easter season like a spa day, opening our arms and letting down our defenses?

 

We will begin this Sunday with a truly tasty time of opening Elim’s scrapbooks after worship and sharing jewels from our past. Please plan on joining our Church Becoming meeting at 11 a.m. and reveling in our church’s deep roots.

 

with love, Pr. Chelsea

 

Thank you to everyone who made Easter worship and breakfast such a success. I especially appreciate your willingness to bring silk lilies instead of fresh ones to accommodate individuals with allergies.

 

Your prayers please: Jackie, Bonnie, Rosemary, Urusla, Kay, Gerri, Jean, Christy. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Elim Extra for Holy Week and Easter Sunday 2024

Pastor’s Reflection

 

Thanks to Pr. Rick for leading worship last Sunday! It was inspiring to see our little palm parade on Facebook. At my home church in Salt Lake I preached about the “2 P’s” of “people power” going up against the “2 P’s” of Pontius Pilate. Here in Weber County, we are also seeing an uprising of people power against another “2 P’s” – the Polluting Port planned for the Eastern shore of Great Salt Lake in Weber County. As Elim’s council knows, I wrote a letter to the editor of the Standard Examiner about the importance of keeping God’s wetlands wet, so we will see if that gets published.

 

It’s Holy Week and I’ve been thinking about what makes this regular work week holy. I think it’s because this week Jesus is alive for us in a special way through our remembrance of his story. Come relive the stories of Holy Thursday and Good Friday this Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Elim’s sanctuary. It’s such an amazing time to feel close to Jesus and all he did for us.

 

This Easter Sunday at 9 a.m. we will be having breakfast downstairs instead of Bible study. Folks are asked to bring pastries or fruit to share if you can, and Gloria and I are going to provide ham and hard boiled eggs. Breakfast will repeat after worship at 11:30 a.m. It will be a celebration!

 

Looking ahead, on April 7, we will be having a Church Becoming meeting after worship and doing a “Scrapbook of Memories” tour. For Bible study that morning at 9 a.m, I am going to lead an evaluation of our book Embracing God’s Future without Forgetting the Past. Our final book study meeting date will be April 14th led by Pr. Rick (the Zoom group will finish at a later time). Then, we will take the rest of April OFF from Bible study, before starting Second Corinthians in May.

 

In Christ’s holy love,

Pr. Chelsea

Elim Extra for Sunday March 24, 2024

Elim Extra

Pastor’s Reflection

A huge thanks to all who brought soup and goodies to church this Lent! It has been a delicious and nourishing time to be together.

This Sunday I will be at my home church, the Japanese Church of Christ (UCC) in downtown Salt Lake City. Pastor Rick will lead Bible study (Chapter 10) and our Palm Sunday celebration! Come early to get your palms and process in from the back of the church. Thank you Pastor Rick for leading us this week!

In Lenten worship, we have been praying every week for God to “renew a willing spirit within us” (Psalm 51). All church renewal begins with the renewing of our minds, as Paul speaks about beautifully in Romans 12. We must become willing to try new things and practice new skills. When we aren’t willing, God can help make us willing.

That’s why I’ve focused on tangible craft metaphors all throughout my Lenten preaching. As Lydia, the dealer of purple cloth in the New Testament, could tell us, becoming an expert craftsperson takes time. Whether it’s spinning, tying nets, curing wineskins, embroidering, or weaving, it all starts when we put our hands to work and see what God can do through us.

Joyful to be on the journey with you,

Pr. Chelsea

Holy Week schedule:

Good Friday Service 7:30 p.m.

Easter Worship 10 a.m.

Easter Sunday breakfast 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. – Please bring pastries or fruit to share.

Elim Extra for Sunday March 17, 2024

Pastor’s Reflection

Can you believe Easter is only 2.5 weeks away? We will practice a bit of time travel and hold a combined Maundy Thursday/Good Friday service, on Friday March 29th at 7:30 p.m.
We are also doing a little time travel this Sunday, March 17th, and using our bulletin from March 3rd, which we printed before the snow came. I will do a gospel telling to present this Sunday’s new gospel, but otherwise we will be using the same bulletin to wrap up our “Reweaving” Lenten series with a final installment called “Changing our Patterns.” After stretching our muscles, refreshing our nets, expanding our wineskins, and mending our ties, changing our patterns should be a cinch!
Just kidding… we all know that change is the hardest craft to master. This Sunday, please bring photos, clippings or memorabilia to decorate our Elim Historical Timeline in the fellowship hall. A lot has changed in 136 years!

with love,

Pr. Chelsea

Prayer request:

Please hold Kay Cook in your prayers.

Announcements:

–Easter breakfast will be served at 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Setup volunteers are needed! Requested potluck items include pastries or fruit.

–Council will meet after church this Sunday.

–Pr. Lisa Mensinger will be installed tonight at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, Wednesday March 13th at 7pm, and Pr. Bill Ledford will be installed at Prince of Peace in Logan this Saturday, March 16th at 4pm.