Love Everyone, always
March 29, 2022
Good afternoon brothers and sisters in Christ!
If you were in 2013 you might remember that something really neat happened….Do you remember our Christmas Eve service that year? That year, we had embarked on a process of renovation that was to have been completed by September, then November, then Christmas…. Delays in construction and permitting meant that our sanctuary wasn’t going to be ready for our Christmas season at all. So we began to consider our options. We were worshiping weekly in the Lighthouse (formerly Swanson Hall), and so we thought of holding 4 or 5 services on Christmas Eve to accommodate our regular Christmas Eve worshiping community. That daunting possibility likely would have been our lot, had it not been for the response to a question I posed to a friend. Rabbi David Castiglione was at that time a fairly new leader at Temple Adat Shalom. When I explained our plight to him, without hesitation, he offered their space for our worship service. Thanks to the openness of that community, we gathered together for what was one of our most memorable Christmas Eve celebrations.
This year, we have an opportunity to exercise that same sort of gracious hospitality. Two or three weeks ago, a man came to the door of the church office, just as I was locking up. He told me that his son had been a former student in our preschool and he had a question he would like to ask me now. I said sure.
He started by explaining the situation of his community. He is a member of a Shiite Muslim congregation in San Diego, whose mosque was sold out from under them. They had been renting a building for some time, but the proprietor sold it in December. They are looking for a place of their own to purchase, but so far with no luck. But now, after all this time, the holy days of Ramadan is upon them, and they have no place to pray. He asked if there were any space, any room, any building of any sort that they could use during Ramadan. I immediately remembered the speed with which Rabbi David once responded to me. I promised I would look into it right away. And so I took the proposition to Dorcas (the keeper of the church calendar), and then to the Church Council. Dorcas showed that it was logistically possible to host this group, and the council approved!
So, brothers and sisters in Christ, we have the privilege to host a community of faith on our campus from April 1–May 2. Dorcas has scheduled them to have times in a variety of places on campus where there will be no conflict with any church meetings or gatherings, or any of the external groups currently using the facility.
I thought it might be useful to offer you a few notes on the religion, so that you understand who they are, and what they are doing. Please note that what I am going to share should not be understood as a set of rules, but suggestions based on my knowledge of the religion and its practices.
First: words. “Islam” is the name of the religion. The Arabic word from which it comes, means peace or surrender to God. “Islamic” is an adjective that modifies non-human nouns. We can refer to Islamic art or Islamic architecture, but must not be used to refer to a person. “Muslim” is the word used to refer to a follower of the Islamic faith.
Just like the Christian faith, with a multiplicity of denominations, there are several different types of Islamic belief systems within the religion. The largest is called Sunni. Sunnis account for 84 to 90% of all Muslims around the world. The second largest group is Shia. Shiites make up 10 to 16% of all Muslims, and there are several other much smaller groups. Of the 7 billion people in the world, 1.6 billion are Muslim (22% of the world’s population). Indonesia, Pakistan and India are home to the majority of the world’s Muslim population, but Islam is found in every country of the world.
The split between Sunnis and Shias began at the death of the prophet Muhammad. One group, (which later came to be know as Shiites) felt that Muhammad’s successor should be someone in his bloodline, while the other group (Sunnis) were comfortable choosing a successor from among the pious who were committed to following the customs and traditions established by the prophet. It might be said that this original separation occurred, not as a function of doctrinal disagreement, but rather over political leadership.
The group of folks that we have the privilege of hosting are largely from India, and are truly delightful people. Though they are well acquainted with Western culture and practice, we would honor them and help them to feel most comfortable among us, if we strive to have the most cultural sensitivity we can.
It is probably helpful to note that men and women in Muslim cultures often don’t greet each other in public if they are not from the same family. Men will also avoid eye contact with women to whom they are not related. This should be seen as a sign of respect and not interpreted as in any way disrespectful. Generally, women address women first, and usually address men only in the presence of a woman. Similarly, men address men, and address women typically only in the presence of a husband, father or brother. Generally, women greet women, and men greet men, unless they are related, or alternatively are in the presence of their spouse or other family member. Men will shake hands with men, and women with women, but generally, men and women being introduced will not touch each other.
All of this being said, it is important to note, that our guests are residents and citizens of this country. They are used to many standard American cultural forms and practices. They will certainly be warmly receptive to any respectful greeting and welcome that we can offer them.
If you have any questions, please don’t be afraid to ask. And above all else, enjoy the company of these friends! Please make them feel at home!
Grace & Peace,
Responding to the Ukrainian Crisis There are a number of ways to support those affected by the crisis in Ukraine. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, www.lirs.org/ukraine-crisis, lists ways to be involved from a distance. Monetary donations specifically for Ukraine can be donated online by going to the ELCA at www.elca.org/Our-Work/Relief-and-Development/Lutheran-Disaster-Response/Our-Impact/Eastern-Europe-Crisis-Response Donations by check can be given to Incarnation Lutheran Church with “LDR – Eastern Europe Crisis” in the memo line. Continue to pray for a peaceful resolution to this crisis.
Incarnation Lenten Challenge: WE Are the Church - Serve in Love (video)
We are about halfway through Lent and hopefully you are thinking about what to participate in for this year's Lenten Challenge. It can be something ongoing or a one time event. There are many committees, groups or events that need your assistance. Please pick one and contact the chairperson to find out how YOU CAN SERVE IN LOVE! WE Are the Church (that’s us the laity) and we are called to serve.
Here's the video from Sunday, March 13th in case you missed it or want to watch it again.
If you haven't already contacted a chairperson, please click on the link, fill out the form, and click submit. Your name and contact info will be passed onto the chairperson of the committee(s) or group(s) you chose.
Sunday School will not meet on April 3rd, 10th, and 17th.
Class will resume April 24th.
Clothing Drive Thanks to all who helped with the "Service after Service" clothing driver this past Sunday. We sorted through many bags and boxes and ended up providing 14 bags of clothing to Bridge of Hope San Diego for distribution to families in transition and refugee families being resettled in the area. We also provided 8 bags of men's clothing to TACO for the homeless in downtown. Remember that this was not a "one-time" activity; we will continue to collect good, clean clothing throughout the coming months.
The next "Service after Service" sorting day will be Sunday April 3 at 10:30. Mention this program to friends and neighbors as they start spring cleaning; call the church office if you need help delivering the clothing to church. New socks are also welcome and needed.
REX Club is Back!
All 1st-5th grade students are invited to join the fun on Sunday, March 6 from 6:30-7:30pm. Monthly meetings are held in the Lighthouse for an hour of activities and a Bible lesson. Mrs. Nancee Prast will lead the fun. Youth volunteer help is welcome. REX Club will also meet on April 3 and May 1.
Mexico House Build Mission - Saturday, April 2nd
Our mission work in Mexico continues with a new home for the Hernandez Gutierrez family, parents and three daughters aged 4 to 16. The family's message to ILC: "A good home would take away a lot of worries. It would give us stability and the peace of mind of providing for my daughters. We thank you in advance, it is good that there are people like you who have the good heart to help families in need. If you make our house for us, we will take care of it as much as we take care of our children. The Lord thanks you with Joy."
If you are interested in joining the build team please contact Jake Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Items for the family: An online list to sign-ups for household donations can be found by clicking here: Mexico House Build Donations
We also need to raise $7,500 to fund the materials for the home. Please mark checks or online donations with "Mexico House Build".
Palm Branches Needed! We need around 30 of those big palm branches! We also need fan palm branches and those palms with the wispy branches. Please drop them at the church on Friday, April 8. If you need someone to help transport those big palm branches, please contact the church office or us at email@example.com. We will decorate on Saturday, April 9 at 9:00am. We could always use your help. It’s so much more fun (and quicker) with a big group. Don’t forget to wear gloves and bring a pair of gardening shears if you have them.
The Weeping Tree – A Service for Good Friday – April 15 at 7:00pm
Outside the city wall stands the weeping tree. In silence, she lifts her weary arms against the darkened sky. In her crooked and twisted arms she cradled Jesus. She was cut and fashioned by hatred and violence but became a tree of life for the world. Her arms are outstretched still. Join us for a service of meaningful narratives, scripture and choral meditations
NEW AT ILC…Drama Ministry
Feeling a little dramatic lately? Just love to be theatrical. Interested in gaining confidence in front of a group? Then join our new drama ministry group at ILC. We will explore now to share, uplift and encourage God’s Word. Interested? Contact Beckie Steller at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church office. All ages are welcome!
Oberammergau Passion Play 2022
Due to the war in Europe and the instability it is causing, we are sad to inform you that our planned trip to Germany this summer must be canceled. We regret having to cancel this trip very much indeed, but in the interest of safety, it is the wisest course. Thank you for your understanding.
WOW! The cost of groceries is skyrocketing!! Which has cost us a significant decline in food donations. If you are noticing this at the checkout imagine how it’s effecting those who are already food insecure. Feeding our neighbors in need is one of the most important things Jesus tells us to do! We can still do this, if each and every one of you brings a little. Just 3 or 4 cans each week from everybody will make a huge difference. There are often sales on canned meats, hearty soups, beans and vegetables. Let’s get back in the habit of bringing something every time we come to church. Food and hygiene products can be put in the food barrels in the narthex, or in the library, someone is in the front parking lot Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays between 9 and 11 or if you are not comfortable going out just yet, email me and I will pick it up from your front door. email@example.com Thank you for your never ending generosity!!
The Food Donation Team
The purpose of our prayer chain is to provide spiritual support and healing for church members and their families and friends. If you'd like to be a member of our prayer chain or if you would like to submit a prayer request, please notify the church office either by phone or email: 858-487-2225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Helping Girls At Le Foyer de l'Esperance
Our work with street girls continues in Cameroon with our partners at Le Foyer de l'Esperance. Pr. Luther will be in Cameroon from Nov 9th-22nd connecting with the nuns, Fr. Alfonso and our worker, Sophie Moke Metate. We will be sending funds for programming needs at Le Foyer and for tuition for trade school (such as beautician school). If you would like to donate, please put "Cameroon Girls" in the memo on a check or use this PayPal link. Thank you in advance for supporting this mission.
Women's Bible Study - Mondays at 7pm on Zoom
Do you enjoy thoughtful conversation and laughter? Come join us for the Women's Evening Bible Study every Monday at 7:00pm on Zoom. We discuss the scriptures from Sunday and share how to apply these teachings to our lives. Click on the Zoom link and check it out!
Meeting ID: 962 3668 0323
GODAMONG.US UPDATES NEEDED If you are the leader of, or are involved in, a group at ILC, we need updated information about your group for our website. Please send all updates to email@example.com
The 2021 wildfire and hurricane season continues to be devastating across the United States. Additionally, natural disasters across the globe demand our attention. You may send your gift to support wildfire, flooding and earthquake survivors. When sending a check to ILC please indicate which response you wish to support, and your check will be used in its entirety for that cause, through Lutheran Disaster Response.
Thrivent Action Teams If you already know how to apply online, this is a good time of the year to run a project. If you need more information please contact Jess Reimnitz, 858.345.0757 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Examples: Collecting food and clothes items for families in need; Assembling Thanksgiving boxes; Operation Christmas Child; Supporting Mission Trips; Sunday School projects. They provide seed money, so you can support causes important to you. Thrivent created a program to encourage its members to live lives of generosity. Are you a Thrivent member? If so, do you know you can apply for between $50-$250 dollars to help your church with a project?