The most commonly asked question I receive since beginning my time with you is “What is it like leading a Lutheran congregation?” I am asked this by many Lutherans as well as United Methodist colleagues and friends. People are generally surprised when I say that we really have more in common than we think! Here are some things we share in common (the most important stuff first):
- Christian Faith – expressed in scripture, confessed in the creeds, and attested to in denominational traditions
- Sacraments – both the UMC and ELCA participate in the two Sacraments of Baptism and Communion.
- Grace Centered – both the UMC and ELCA theologies are grace centered and Christ centered.
- Ordination – interchangeability and reciprocity of all ordained ministers (subject to approval and invitation by the denominational body).
- Common Commitments – ELCA and UMC churches share a common commitment to evangelism, witness, service, and working together toward greater visible unity and structural cooperation.
- Church Councils – While they might call them different things, and be structured to the greater denomination differently, each church has a Church Council which sets the tone for the whole congregation.
There are some other things we share in common too, but for the most part, these are the big ones. Rather than division, theological distinctions and differences between United Methodists and Lutherans complement and enrich theological awareness and discourse. The Lutheran understanding of human incapacity and the United Methodist view of the transformative power of God’s grace inform and encourage greater clarity and discernment. In spite of different emphases, these are not church dividing issues, due to each tradition’s strong Trinitarian theology and confidence in the grace of God for our salvation.
You might hear some curious words pop out of my mouth every once in a while. Here is what might come out, and here is what they mean:
- Charge Conference – An annual congregational meeting where the council submits reports (including the Pastors salary for the upcoming calendar year) to the
- Episcopal Area – Specifically the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area (Alaska, Washington, Idaho, & Oregon) is the area to which Bishop Elaine Stanovsky oversees.
- Annual Conference – Specifically the Oregon Idaho Annual Conference is the geographic region where our congregation is located.
- District – Specifically the Cascadia District, which is a smaller region within the Annual Conference where our congregation is located.
- Prevenient Grace – In Wesleyan understanding, grace is not something we claim under our own power. It is, instead, a gift from God. Prevenient grace is grace that comes before we know even of God’s existence.
- Wesleyan Quadrilateral – John Wesley believed that we view our life of faith through 4 lenses (a quadrilateral) – scripture, reason, experience, and tradition. Scripture, of course, is always primary.
As you can see we have much more in common that we have different! I look forward to continuing to learn and grow in faith together!
~ Pastor Laura
Each Wednesday – 10/3, 10, 17, 24 Bible Study on the Book of Mark -6 pm @ TLC
The Gospel of Mark Bible Study
Bible Study on the Gospel of Mark continues through the end of this month on Monday’s at 10:30 a.m. at SUMC and Wednesday’s at 6:00 p.m. at TLC. Wednesday’s at TLC includes a rotating simple Soup Supper. Bring your favorite Bible translation! All are welcome!
10/5 – First Friday
10/6 – Sara Circle Rummage Sale @ SUMC –
10/7 – Methodist & Lutheran &/Faith 101
Curious about what it means to be a United Methodist, Lutheran or a faithful Christian? Monthly, our pastor holds an Inquiring Class on the first Sunday at 4:00 p.m. at her house. If you are new to the church, interested in church membership, or even have some questions about faith. This is a great way to meet Pastor Laura too!
10/13 – Council Retreat
10/14 – Council, 1 pm
10/19 – Game Night! 6 pm – Bring a snack and a game to share! 🙂
10/31 – Trunk or Treat! @SUMC – 4-6 pm
From Living Lutheran:
Servers For October:
Lay Leader – Norman English
Usher – Jill Lounsbury
Altar Guild – Betty Lam