As 2020 ends, the solar system has decided to provide us with a cosmic Christmas miracle that has not been witnessed in nearly 800 years. On Dec. 21 (aka the December solstice), Jupiter and Saturn will align so closely in the night sky that they will almost appear to collide from our vantage point here on Earth, creating a radiant point of light often referred to as the “Star of Bethlehem” or the “Christmas Star.” You would have to go all the way back to just before dawn on March 4, 1226, to see a closer alignment between these objects visible in the night sky.
Did you know that St. Nicholas, the man who is behind Santa Claus in Western culture, dates to the third century? Every December 6 is remembered as St. Nicholas Day in cities all over the world, with the largest celebrations taking place in Europe. Images of St. Nicholas vary considerably, but none of them look much like the red-cheeked, white-bearded old man seen everywhere in our society today.
The original saint was a Greek born in the late third century, around 280 A.D. He became bishop of Myra, a small Roman town in modern Turkey. Nicholas was neither fat nor jolly but developed a reputation as a fiery, wiry, and defiant defender of church doctrine during the Great Persecution in 303, when Bibles were burned, and priests were made to renounce Christianity or face execution.
Pacific Hills Lutheran Church held it's annual Rake & Run this past Sunday 11/22/2020. It was a beautiful fall afternoon to help our neighbors with their yardwork. This year's event had a small but mighty group of workers. We found and helped our neighbors who had recently moved into the neighborhood. Thank you to everyone that helped!
Change, change, change! That seems to be the routine of this year! One of the big changes Pacific Hills has gone through is adding the option for online streaming of the services! This is a wonderful benefit for those home-bound and a great opportunity for outreach! What does this new option mean for music?
One of the biggest concerns with music is copyright. One small mistake can cost a fortune. So, what are some of the rules we need to consider? Well firstly, copyright only lasts 70 years. In the grand scheme, this is a short time period; however, that is a large chunk of most of our lives. To further complicate it, a copyright can be renewed on a piece music if a new arrangement or addition is made, but only for that arrangement/addition, the original will be out of copyright – but then you have to find one that is still available for purchase or print!
Pacific Hills Lutheran Church will hold its annual Rally Day on Sunday, September 13, 2020, during the Sunday School Hour, 9:00 – 10:00 am. We’ll kick off fall programming and educational programs, share faith milestones, and enjoy an outside, socially-distanced breakfast.
If you or your children are not regularly in the Word, now is the time to rededicate yourself and your family. Get your kids involved with our online Sunday school. Join us for Sunday morning adult Bible study, or a study throughout the week. More info below.
As I write this article today I am reminded of Neil Armstrong’s historic moon landing which took place 51 years ago, July 20, 1969. In the hours before Neil Armstrong took the first steps on the moon, he decided what his first momentous words, to be broadcast back to Earth and around the world, should be: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” Then, in the excitement of the moment, he messed up his line. Armstrong plead indistinct diction, although listening live and to the recordings all these years later, it’s impossible not to hear him saying, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Hear the difference? The indefinite article, a, contrasted his small step, the small step of a single man, with the giant accomplishment of the lunar landing for all mankind. As it came out, the point was a little less clear.
ST. PETER AND ST. PAUL both have Feast Days in the Church Year commemorating events in their lives (Confession of St. Peter on January 18 and Conversion of St. Paul on January 25). Yet even more significant is their joint Feast Day on June 29.
One of the oldest of the festivals commemorating the lives of two saints, it was widely celebrated by the fourth century, but some scholars date it to 258 AD. Some traditions hold that they were both martyred on June 29 in 67 AD. More likely, it was on June 29, 258 AD that their remains were moved to the catacombs which established this feast.
Pacific Hills welcomes organist Zach Hastings as Director of Music on July 1, 2020. He will be directing music and choir for the congregation’s traditional Lutheran Liturgy worship services and seasonal offerings. Zach will be playing the newly-renovated Schantz pipe organ, one of two like it in the Omaha area.
Zach is a native of Ankeny, Iowa, and served for seven years at congregations in Iowa and Minnesota, as a director of worship and music and as a bell choir director. He holds a 2016 Bachelor of Arts in Music degree from Iowa State University, where he studied organ performance. He currently serves on the Central Iowa American Guild of Organists (AGO) Executive Committee, and on the American Guild of Organists Young Organists (AGOYO) National Board.
Our Lenten Midweek Catechetical Sermon Series - The Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments in the Shadow of the Cross and the Empty Tomb
During this season of reflection and repentance, we will take a close look at the Ten Commandments our Lord has given to us. Not only do these commandments of our Father guide our behavior, but, most importantly, they remind us of our deep need for the redemption our Father’s Son, Jesus Christ, has come to bring by His death and resurrection.
Even though you may be safe at home this Easter, Jesus still died and rose again for you! You can print these pages and color them to remind you of His great Love for you, every single day. Bring them to church when we meet again, and share them with your friends!
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