While certain things have changed over the years, observing Lent as a time of contemplation, repentance, prayer, almsgiving, and faith has not. This year we are encouraging the congregation to put faith into action and to “Lent” a hand during this holy season. How can you use your hands to be a blessing to others? Perhaps you could volunteer in a soup kitchen, perform a random act of kindness like making a meal for a new mom, or shoveling an elderly neighbor’s driveway, or sending a handmade card to someone. The list of things you can do to “Lent” a hand is endless.
Our Mid-Week Worship Wednesday at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM Beginning with Ash Wednesday and Weekly Throughout Lent
The PHLC Youth Group program had a great turnout during fall and winter 2023, and we’re so excited to keep the group going into the new year! We even had some of our youth members help move furniture for a PHLC family (the Vandervorts) on the Feast of Epiphany (Jan. 6)! The youth group will now meet roughly every other week at Andrew and Samantha Aulner’s house (7749 Davis Cir) from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., beginning on Sunday, January 14. A dinner and/or snacks will always be provided, and parents are also encouraged to contribute food if they feel so inclined. Guest students are always welcome to attend! This semester, we will be focusing on “Knowing What You Believe and How to Defend It.” We intend to cover the basics of Christian apologetics, how to interact with other worldviews, and everything in between. Our tentative schedule is below.
Advent, the season leading up to Christmas, is a time of anticipation, reflection, and preparation in the Christian liturgical calendar. It is a period marked by spiritual introspection and the joyous expectation of the birth of Jesus Christ. One of the integral elements that enhance the Advent experience is the distinctive music that fills churches during this time.
Over the course of the Advent and Christmas Seasons and ending with Epiphany Sunday, we will be decorating our Sanctuary Christmas Tree with Chrismons. The word “Chrismon” is a combination of the words “Christ” and “monogram.” The word Chrismon has been adopted to refer to Christmas tree ornaments that have been developed to display symbols of Christ and the Christian faith. There are hundreds of Chrismons, but we will be highlighting twelve:
As we approach Reformation Sunday, it is the perfect time to reflect on our love for music, just as Martin Luther frequently did.
Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.
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There are five Sundays this month. The last Sunday in October is traditionally the day in Lutheran churches that we celebrate the Reformation. Often during our celebrations on Reformation Sunday, we refer to the three "Solas," a Latin word meaning "alone." "Sola Scriptura" - Scripture Alone. "Sola Gratia" - Grace Alone. "Sola Fide" - Faith Alone. But there are two other "Solas" used later in the Reformation. "Solus Christus"- Christ Alone, and "Soli Deo Gloria" - to the Glory of God Alone. These make five to contemplate during each week of this month.
We are off to a great start with fall music at Pacific Hills! The organ concert featuring Simon Pick was fantastic and had a wonderful selection of music! We had a decent attendance with 43 attendees.Our music ensembles started this last weekend and resumed seamlessly. We are looking for additional members to join the choir and the bell choir, no previous experience is required, just a great attitude! The choir generally meets at 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. on Sunday mornings, and the bell choir meets 11:45 a.m. to approximately 12:30 p.m. on Sundays. If you are interested in joining, or even just trying one of the ensembles, feel free to show up at one of the rehearsals, we would be glad to have you!
As I write this Messenger article, it’s another anniversary of 9/11, a horrific day in our nation’s history. Many of us remember where we were and what we were doing. I had just started my first Call as the new Associate Pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church. I woke up to a day of joy, that quickly turned to sadness. Many today were not even born, or were very young when the towers fell and countless lives were lost; but for those of us who remember, we remember the dust and the smoke, the despair, and the grief. We remember that sense of vulnerability and shock. We remember the numbness that overwhelmed us as we watched our screens for hours and hours, waiting for an explanation and understanding that never came. We remember the heroes, those who rushed to help, who guided the wounded down innumerable flights of stairs, who rose to overwhelm those who held death in their hands. We remember the hours and the days of binding wounds and healing hurts, giving comfort, drying tears. We remember words of support and compassion from nations far and wide.
Please join us for our first concert in our 2023-2024 Concert Series at Pacific Hills! This concert will feature the Simon Pick, Organist from Church of the Assumption in Saint Paul, MN. The concert will be September 10, 2023 at 3:00PM. This event is free-will offering and open to the public, so be sure to share this event with others throughout the Omaha/Council Bluffs communities! There are printed posters available in the church office and on Sunday mornings that you can share at your workplace, coffee shops, schools, etc.
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