Sunday, October 1, 2017
Today was a marathon of milestones.
Pastor Sudbrock preached on the 56th anniversary of his ordination as a pastor.
"I didn't create 'me.'" It was others. As I get older I think back to all the people who were go good to me in life. Now, I am called to give back to others." In his sermon on this special day, Pastor Sudbrock puts his own "accomplishments" into perspective, and focuses instead on owning and addressing the grim realities of white privilege. God loves all people unconditionally and equally, and God calls us to cry out and take action when that reality is not reflected in our society.
Listen to the full sermon below.
Pastor Sarah Brown baptized her own granddaughter.
Pastor Sarah Brown is a member of our congregation who happens to also be a pastor. Many years ago, it was another member of our church, Bill Ellis, who encouraged her to become a pastor. She doesn't often participate in a pastoral role in our congregation, but today she did, and in a very special way. Today she baptized Vivian Quinn Truitt-Brown, her granddaughter.
Quinn's family and godparents gathering around Sarah and Quinn at the baptismal font. In the silence between the practiced words of the Baptismal sacrament, you could feel how special this moment was for Sarah. In the words and water, you could feel God present and at work, affirming Quinn as God's own, blessed, forgiven, loved, called.
She couldn't stop smiling.
Our tradition after a Baptism is that the pastor "introduces" the baby to the congregation by parading them down the center aisle of the sanctuary. As she presented her baptized granddaughter to her faith community, the whole time Sarah was wearing one of the biggest smiles you've ever seen.
We celebrated the life of Alicia Papaleo.
Alicia Papaleo was a pillar of this church for decades and a life-long Puerto Rican Lutheran. She passed away at the age of 98 on August 24, after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.
Today we celebrated Alicia's life just the way she would want us to -- with worship.
Listen below to Pastor Gary's bilingual sermon about Alicia and today's Gospel text, followed by the congregation singing one of Alicia's favorite hymns.
To Alicia, remembered and loved by her friends here at Advent.
And finally, we officially installed Pastor Danielle as the senior pastor of our congregation.
Pastor Danielle has been serving as our senior pastor since May -- so why is this installation such a big deal? It's not just that pastors and church leaders from all over the city (and beyond) come to witness the beginning of this new era in Pastor Danielle's ministry and Advent's leadership. Dozens of Advent members came early to help prepare for the event. When the Chorale sang, you could hear more excitement and passion in their voices than perhaps ever. "People sing fuller when their hearts are full," Aaron (Chorale director) said afterward. When the service was over, you could see the joy lighting up everyone's faces -- a congregation moved by the present and giddy about the future.
This installation ceremoniously marked a new beginning for us, for this community, for Advent. Celebrating that together was incredibly special. The Holy Spirit has breathed a fresh breath of life into this congregation through Pastor Danielle, and throughout this congregation so many of us can viscerally feel this new life, vision, and conviction to do God's work in the world in bolder and bigger ways. Hallelujah, Advent! Now, let's get to work.