Outdoor Worship and Social Time in the Parsonage and Church Yards
On Sunday, May 9, food will be collected for AFAC between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. Outdoor Worship begins at 12:15. Join us on the Potomac Street side of the church.
Congregational Conversation for Input: Vision Statements for Mission
At the annual congregational meeting in January, Pastor Linman presented his proposed statements of vision to guide ministry and mission at Resurrection Lutheran Church. Subsequently, the Congregation Council at its annual retreat engaged the vision statements and suggested editorial revisions such that the statements begin to articulate a shared vision for mission and ministry. Now the membership of the congregation beyond its elected leaders is invited to offer their input into these statements to nurture a still wider embrace of shared vision. Toward that end, members are invited to two occasions for conversation about these vision statements. The first occasion will take place in person, outdoors after worship (about 12:30) on Sunday, May 16. We will gather on the parsonage deck and patio for this conversation for up to an hour so that those gathered have a chance to offer their thoughts. A second occasion will take place via Zoom on Wednesday, May 19 at 7:00 pm. Watch for a link to the current vision statements document in coming announcements, along with a link for the Zoom for the May 19 session.
Ascension Day Evening Prayer via Zoom
Join us via Zoom on Thursday, May 13 at 6:30 pm for a service of Evening Prayer for the Ascension of Our Lord. A link for Zoom participation as well as a link to the bulletin for the liturgy will be included in next week’s Midweek Message – please watch for that and plan to attend on May 13.
Worship on the Vigil of Pentecost and Baptism of Axel Hedberg
Join us at the parsonage deck and patio at 5:00 pm on Saturday, May 22 for worship on the Vigil of Pentecost which will include the baptism of Axel Hedberg, infant son of Lars and Angel Hedberg.
Holy Communion Outdoors on the Day of Pentecost
Thanks be to God. After a hiatus of over a year, we will return to the celebration of Holy Communion again commencing on the Day of Pentecost, May 23, 2021 at a liturgy which will feature all of the lectionary readings and more communal singing. The starting time for this service will soon be determined and will appear in subsequent announcements. Taking place on the parsonage side of the church, the parsonage deck will serve as a chancel, the fence separating the parsonage and church yards will function as an altar rail. The church yard surrounding our garden will be the nave, the place of assembly. Communion will be offered in both kinds employing our usual baked bread and then wine being poured from a special chalice into receptacles which you will need to bring from home for Covid safety purposes. Watch for further instructions about our more complete outdoor worship services and instructions about receiving Holy Communion in a coming Midweek Message from Pastor Linman. But please plan to attend on Pentecost Sunday for this joyous return to the fullness of Christ’s presence in both Word and Sacrament.
Faith Formation Calendar
Click below for the most current Faith Formation Calendar for youth and all others drawn to this resource:
Simply Giving Month
Resurrection usually designates each May as “Simply Giving Month” as a reminder to continue to support the church’s ministries and operations while they’re away on summer vacations. Those plans look a little different this May, of course – but it’s still critically important to continue our offerings to sustain Resurrection’s activities and outreach as we deal with the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Our congregation continues to be generous in its financial support for the church, but our giving is about $20,000 less than it was at this point last year – and the need for us to continue to help the church provide assistance to our neighbors in need has never been greater.
A New Worship Supplement – All Creation Sings
Our church engages in ministry and mission in a rapidly changing world. Our principal book of worship, Evangelical Lutheran Worship, was published in 2006. Both church and world have changed quite a lot in the past fifteen years. The church’s liturgical and musical resources are ever evolving. A single worship book is something like a snapshot of a point in time. Thus, there is always need for additional resources to reflect the church’s current context and theological commitments. All Creation Sings, purchased by Resurrection Church with memorial funds and a generous anonymous gift, is a new book of worship published by our church which serves to accompany and complement Evangelical Lutheran Worship. All Creation Sings includes two additional settings of Holy Communion, a Service of Word and Prayer, other prayers, thanksgivings and laments, and nearly 200 additional songs and hymns for the assembly. Members of the Worship and Music Committee are familiarizing themselves with the materials in this new supplemental book and will be planning ways to introduce its contents to the congregation in coming weeks and months.
Also, should you wish to experience some of the new music in All Creation Sings, Trinity Lutheran Church in Worcester, MA recently hosted a hymn festival featuring some of the hymns and songs in All Creation Sings.
Monday Evening Bible Study on Themes of Justice in the Bible
Resurrection Lutheran Weekday Preschool - Accepting Applications for 2021-2022 school year!
Kindly pass this word along to friends, family members, neighbors, co-workers and others you know who may have children who would benefit from enrolling in our Preschool!
Caroline Furnace Updates
Caroline Furnace is planning to open this summer for campers of all ages. Governor Northam’s staff is working with overnight summer camps in Virginia so that they will have every opportunity to be open this summer. Traditional summer camp sessions are available for kids from those entering first grade through high school. Family Camp opportunities are available each weekend.
2020 was a rough year for all of our outdoor ministries, but Caroline Furnace has made it through and is positioned to thrive this year and beyond. Click here to see the Caroline Furnace Annual Report.
Calling for Additional Worship Leaders
For Your Prayers at Home
In addition to our usual prayers of intercession in our home worship, we encourage your prayers throughout the week for the following: Joana Plerpa; Jeanne Broyhill; Effice Stallsmith; Maggie Mount; Joan Carr; Lee Hanson; Malcolm Stark; Norm Olsen; Barb Jensen; Charlotte Boeck; Lynn Kiewel; John Beston; Phillip Swingler; Michael Chaffier and family; Maria Liwski; Tucker Dean; Lisa.
Arlington County Covid-19 Response
Click here for the latest updates on our county’s pandemic response as well as official and current information concerning vaccinations.
The best ways to contact Pastor Linman
Week of the Fifth Sunday of Easter
Dear Christian Friends:
Christ is risen. Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!
We recently celebrated Good Shepherd Sunday, which inspired some musing on my part on the current state of seeking to shepherd, as pastor, the flock that is Resurrection Lutheran Church.
A year ago this month I took up residence in the parsonage, making my move from Phoenix and New York. I recall wondering then if I could find a convincing, helpful parable about a shepherd for whom the whole flock is scattered. There are such biblical stories about scattered sheep, and then there’s the parable about the shepherd leaving the 99 to seek the one lost sheep. What about the flock that is fully scattered, quarantined as individuals and families in their own homes throughout the area? How can one seek to shepherd a congregation that does not congregate in person?
That was then, and this is now. Which is to say, while we are not yet worshiping indoors, we are in fact now congregating in person every Sunday outdoors for worship and conversation and to give expression to our social ministry with those in need in collecting from members food items twice a month for distribution through AFAC. Sunday in these respects and in limited measure has become Sunday again, that is, the Lord’s Day that features the worshipful assembling of God’s people in person, in our case currently outdoors. This warms a pastor’s heart. Thanks be to God!
And shepherding initiatives as pastor also include the weekly sermon (video and text) and these midweek messages and our Zoom Bible studies, Evening Prayer during Advent, Lent and on festivals also via Zoom, virtual administrative meetings, care-giving via phone calls, emails, visits in person, and more. All such activities and the conversations that happen amidst them constellate to make for the work of a shepherd, a pastor. Thanks be to God.
At this point in our life together, I have a sense that solid pastoral relationships are building with the core of active members of the congregation. This number seems to be around one-hundred people and some more. But our membership records suggest that Resurrection Church has more than four-hundred persons on the books. Which is to say, there are still many members of the flock who have not yet congregated again, and that is a matter of concern to me. I have listed about one hundred additional persons named in our directories who have not been present for any of our in-person or Zoom gatherings.
Being a pastor, a shepherd, is deeply part of my personal, spiritual, and vocational identity, and pastors long to engage the flock. Not being able to connect with the fullness of the flock that is Resurrection Church disquiets me, unsettles me. So it is that I have been seeking the “lost sheep.” This effort centers on and is organized by reaching out to members on the anniversaries of their baptisms. This initiative has been quite revealing, resulting in some good conversations that allow me to better know both individuals and families. But it has also been true that when I call some of the phone numbers available to me, not infrequently I find that the numbers are no longer in service. Likewise, many emails bounce back indicating that we don’t have the most recent contact information for many. Moreover, some phone messages and emails are met with no reply at all.
All of this leaves me wondering about the nature and extent of our congregational flock. Who really constitutes this fold at this point? How many of the people I don’t yet know will return once we are worshiping in person in doors again? How best can I and we go about reaching out to the folks whom we know but who have not yet been present at our various pandemic-restricted events in person and online?
Toward generating creative responses to these questions and concerns, the Outreach and Membership Support Committee and I are convening a group to brainstorm about how to proceed in identifying whom we know to be missing in our gatherings and seeking the most up to date and preferred contact information.
In the meantime, you also can greatly assist in this effort by letting me know now members you are wondering about who have not been present in one way or another since the pandemic began. Kindly reach out to me so that I can reach out to them!
Finally, and most significantly, may Christ, the Good Shepherd, lead and guide us in faithfully tending the flock entrusted to us for the sake of our mission in and for the world.
Prayerfully, under the shepherding care of Christ,
Pastor Jonathan Linman
Dear members of God’s family at Resurrection Church,
Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed, Alleluia! Today’s readings draw our attention to the sacred, life-giving realities of Christ abiding with us and we with Christ. If you are able, join the congregation with your own worship at home at 10am EDT on Sunday or otherwise engage our home worship resources in ways appropriate to your circumstances.
A pre-recorded worship service, complete with readings, Pastor Linman's sermon, prayers, and music will broadcast at 10am EDT on Sunday, May 2, on our YouTube channel and will be available below:
Worship material for May 2, 2021
- Home Worship Bulletin for May 2, 2021
- Children's Bulletin for May 2, 2021
- The transcript of Pastor Linman's sermon
The following have been posted to YouTube; here is the YouTube Playlist for May 2, 2021:
Fifth Sunday of Easter, May 2, 2021
The holy gospel according to John. Glory to you, O Lord.
[Jesus said:] 1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 2My Father removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit my Father prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”
The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
If we took the time to read again this passage from John’s Gospel, engaging it slowly, savoring it, what words would stand out and continue to echo, reverberating in our minds and hearts?
Surely one such word is ‘abide.’ Listen again to Jesus’ words reported in John: “Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me…. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5)
The word, ‘abide,’ appears 8 times in this brief passage, clearly an important word in John.
Abide. What does it mean? If we allow our minds free play, other related words appear on our mental horizons which help reveal the meanings of abide – to remain, wait, delay, dwell, remain behind, survive, expect, to suffer, stay, continue, endure, last, pause, reside, sojourn, stand firm. And more perhaps.
Abide is an Old English word. And the New Testament Greek word also has many the senses of the words I just listed.
What’s striking to me is just how countercultural it is to abide. Abiding involves slowing down, staying in one place for a while.
Our fast-paced, multi-tasking contemporary world and its routines seem to demand the exact opposite of abiding.
We are today beckoned to live like humming birds in almost constant motion, flitting from one thing to the next.
Scholars and pundits and we in our common experience are beginning to become increasingly aware of the toll our multi-tasking busyness is taking on our mental and physical well-being.
Ms. Angie has a new message for the children of RELC. Click below to view:
Dear Friends in Christ:
On Wednesday morning, the day of Epiphany, I recorded and uploaded my sermon for this coming Sunday, the Baptism of Our Lord. Then Wednesday afternoon happened. What a difference a few hours can make in what I might address in a sermon! Nonetheless, my sermon for Baptism of Our Lord has a relevant and important gospel message for the particularities of our time in the life of the world. Thus, I offer this special message to you concerning the events that occurred on the afternoon of the festival of Epiphany. Consider this message an anticipatory addendum to my Sunday sermon, or even an additional sermon in and of itself.
A popular saying is actually from the prophet Hosea: “For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.” (Hosea 8:7a) Words that form speech are carried on the winds from our lungs. Words matter. Words do things; they have enormous power. Words can generate storms. Here’s how the writer of the letter of James (the study of which is the focus of a new congregational Bible Study) says it: “5So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! 6And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, 8but no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. 10From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so.” (James 3:5-10)
Consider the power of a word, the N word, and the social taboo against uttering it. In that word is cruel power to degrade and dehumanize, so much so that people of good will guard against giving voice to this word.
Some might say words are just words. What’s the harm in speaking our minds without editing our speech and choosing our words carefully? Well, we saw the power of words and of speech and their ill effects in visceral, raw, violent display on Wednesday afternoon on Capitol Hill, when mobs of people, incited by speech from various leaders and on various media, stormed the Capitol building and put a temporary stop to other forms of speech that focused on the peaceful transfer of power, a hallmark of democracy. It was an astonishing and dangerous display, the bitter fruit of months and years of forms of speech that glorified grievance, anger, fear, racism, and more, all forms of speech that serve to destroy, desecrate, to tear down, to end in the ways of chaos and death. Words that deal in desecration and death carry spirits, energies of powers and principalities that are sourced in darkness and evil, in diabolical spirits of deception and false accusation.
But, thanks be to God, that’s not the whole story. Words also serve to create, build up, to nurture life. The first reading for this coming Sunday consists of the first verses of the first creation story in the book of Genesis where “the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep” (Genesis 1:2a). A “wind from God swept over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2b). This wind carried the voice of God, the word from God: “‘Let there be light;’ and there was light.” (Genesis 1:3) Once again, words made things happen. In this case, divine words brought light where there was only darkness, order where there was a void of chaos, and ultimately the beautiful created world we inhabit. Such words were full of the creative, life-giving energies of God, that is to say, the Spirit of God.
That same Spirit was active when Jesus was baptized by John in the River Jordan, the gospel reading for this Sunday from Mark. The Spirit there, “descending like a dove on [Jesus]” spoke a word from God: “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:10b-11) As at the creation, this word from God served to proclaim and embody and give full expression to sacrality, love, relationship, good pleasure and ultimately the world’s salvation, its healing balm in Jesus Christ, the word of God made flesh.
Again, words matter. They have consequences. Words can serve to deal in death. They can serve to give and to nurture life. Words can tear down. They can build up. Spiritual energies are carried in words and in speech. Those spiritual energies can be demonic. They can be divine. Words resulting in ideas and policies ultimately give shape to realities all around us, realities that can degrade, and realities that make for well-being.
What are we to do in response to what unfolded on Wednesday afternoon on Capitol Hill? The forces of darkness at work there are not going away. Those forces have been around for centuries, but until more recently these energies inhabited more the fringes of society. Now, it’s as if these forces have been unleashed much more in the mainstream of public speech and popular media. Time will tell the extent to which the forces unleashed on Wednesday will persist and spread or retreat back into shadowy corners. So, again, what are we called upon to do and how are we to respond? As individuals? As disciples of Christ? As a congregation? As a nation? It may be too early to tell and to name concrete, specific actions. Let us be in conversation and communal discernment about the emergent particulars.
But in the meantime, there is some clarity. I believe that we are called upon to use our words and speech to name and call out language that emanates from dark and diabolical places, and to do so boldly and publicly. Too many people of good will have been passive and silent for too long, having the effect of appeasing those whose speech runs roughshod over norms of civility, giving the language of violence free reign that results in deeds of violence.
We can attend to our language and the speech of others at home, in the workplace, in places of commerce, at school, on social media, and yes, in church, nurturing in our own speech and in calling out the speech of others, language that makes for life and sacredness, words that are dimensions of the fruit of the Holy Spirit, namely, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22b-23a)
Vigilant attention to the words we choose is no small thing. It can be hard work, especially when the unseemly spirits in us are inclined to lash out in kind at others whose speech demeans, degrades and desacralizes. Moreover, holding others accountable for their speech also is profoundly difficult and requires a great deal of courage. But it is a sacred calling to take seriously the power of language and its effects for good and for ill. For again, speech results in behavior, in actions, in realities that make for life and for death.
Who knows what the coming days, weeks, months, and years will bring and require of us? Again, time will tell. But we are not left alone in these days and in the sacred work to which we are called. The Word and the Spirit that were present at creation and which were present at the Baptism of Our Lord are also present with us to this very day, at our own baptisms, in our own study of and engagement with sacred words of scripture, in words of forgiveness, in our holy conversations with each other. The Word from God, the Spirit of God, give shape and expression to the words we are beckoned to choose, and to the loving, life-giving speech we are compelled to offer for the sake of the world and its healing. In short, God in Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit is with us, leading us all the way in our holy calling for such a time as this, come what may.
God in Christ help us, our nation, and our world,
Pastor Jonathan Linman
Dear Friends in Christ:
I want to let you all know that we just received confirmation that my son's surgery is indeed scheduled to take place tomorrow, Good Friday. This will be major surgery to correct the vascular malformation in Nathan's brain that first caused his stroke. Thus, Nathan, his mother, and I covet your prayers for effective, uncomplicated outcomes to this procedure.
Needless to say, my observance of home worship during this Holy Week will focus on my keeping vigil at my son's side, even as I also intend to share with you in using our congregation's worship resources to mark these Three Days. With Nathan's surgery in mind, I created video files of all of my Holy Week and Easter sermons early, so they are all uploaded and ready to go.
I don't know how many days Nathan will be in the hospital—it all depends on how the surgery and his recovery go. While attending to my son is my first priority in the coming days, I also intend to engage in my pastoral responsibilities as well, keeping abreast of church-related emails and phone messages and also preparing sermons for the next Sundays in Easter.
Thanks in advance for your prayers for us, and may you all have blessed and holy Three Days during these most trying and unprecedented times in the life of our congregation and in the world.
Sent with my own prayer for all of you in our life together.....
In Jesus' name,
Pastor Jonathan Linman
Beginning March 22
- Consistent with State, county, and local closure of group events and activities, Resurrection Lutheran Church will cancel all worship services, Sunday School and other educational activities, and Coffee Hour indefinitely beginning Sunday, March 22.
The Stained Glass Windows in the Nave at Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church
Dr. Melvin S. Lange, pastor of Resurrection Lutheran Church from 1958 to 1971, prepared the theological material for the artist, Roy Calligan, of the Hunt Stained Glass Studios in Pittsburgh, PA. The meaning of each of the seventeen windows is indicated by a Bible verse. The theme begins with the window to the left of the lectern (when facing the altar) and proceeds around the nave toward the back, and then forward on the opposite side toward the last window to the right of the pulpit.
We are a church that strives to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8). We do justice by serving our community through our social outreach activities and through contributions of finances and member’s time to local programs, including, for example, Lutheran Social Services. We provide opportunities for a rich Christian education to our members and to the community. Many of our members are active in synod activities and in ecumenical activities with other Christians.
We love kindness in the Christian work we do, often quietly but resolutely, for our members and for the community. Benevolence has always been a priority for our church, and we are a significant donor both in our financial resources and, perhaps more importantly to us, our member’s time. We are active with food assistance programs in the Arlington area and to other social service organizations.
We strive to walk humbly with our God in our worship services. We take liturgy, prayer, and music very seriously in our church as a path through which our parishioners can experience the word and sacrament in their lives. Finally, we are excited about offering the sacrament of communion to our parishioners at every Sunday service and believe it is important that we continue to do so.