Outdoor Worship on Sunday, January 17
Weather permitting, join us outdoors (with facial covering and maintaining strict physical distance) on this Second Sunday of Christmas, January 17th at 12:15 on the Potomac Street side of the church for a brief service of worship in conjunction of the food collection for AFAC. This brief service includes an order for confession and forgiveness, a reading and reflection, prayers of intercession, the Lord’s Prayer and a blessing. This has become an important way that we can safely gather as church during the pandemic.
Reading the Letter of James in Light of Luther
A New Bible Study Starts January 11
Calling for Additional Worship Leaders
Important Information on RELC's Annual Meeting
January 24, 2021 at 11:00am
Hello Resurrection Member,
We are looking forward to our Congregational Meeting Sunday, January 24 at 11:00 AM. As this is our first digital congregational meeting, we wanted to share some helpful information so all runs smoothly.
This Congregational Meeting will be hosted via Zoom webinar. Zoom webinars differ from Zoom meetings in a few important ways—including how you join, what you see, and how you may participate or ask questions.
- You will need to register in advance to receive the link to join the online congregational meeting. Each member should register individually and use a separate device to log into the meeting, if possible.
- During the meeting, you will see only the staff/council members presenting rather than a gallery of everyone who attends.
- Everyone will be muted upon entry to the meeting. You can raise your hand in order to be unmuted by the host/panelist to ask a question live. You will not have the ability to unmute yourself - only the hosts can do this for you.
Prior to the meeting, please review the proposed changes to the model constitution: Amendments to the Model Constitution for Congregations 2019
Additional details, including registration information to follow.
Council Recruitment - There's Still Time to Put Your Name in the Ring
The Council is hopeful that members of the congregation will want to serve on the Council. These are challenging times for RELC and churches in general, but an exciting time to help shape our worship for the future. RELC has many talented people and the Council could benefit from those talents.
Current Status of Fiscal Year 2020 Budget and Stewardship
RELC has a general surplus year-to-date (YTD) of approximately $25,000, thanks to very strong December giving. However, we’re still slightly behind last year in the number of pledges and the level of intent which includes seven pledges from families who didn’t provide one last year. YTD total giving trend (2019-2020) is negative by approximately $32,000. RELC will be able to meet 100% of benevolence budget, although we will fall short of budgeted amounts to reserve funds.
Sharing Your Giving Plans
Haven’t let Resurrection know yet how you plan to support its worship and programs? There’s still time. Please consider joining the 42 individuals and families, as of Jan. 4, who shared their intention to provide the resources the church needs for its 2021 budget. Together with 16 members whose automatic contributions will continue through the “Simply Giving” program, the total of 58 pledges is just three behind last year – and five families who pledged and contributed last year have yet to offer their intentions. The pledged offerings we’ve received thus far would only cover a little more than 50 percent of the 2021 budget our Congregation Council is proposing – it’s important for the church to know how you and your family intend to help with Resurrection’s programs. Please submit your giving intent form at one of our outdoor Sunday services, mail it to the church office, or use the online giving intent form.
2021 Offering Envelopes
Yes – although we aren’t meeting in-person each week for worship services, your weekly offering envelopes for 2021 are here! They will be available for you to pick up at our Jan. 17 socially-distant outdoor service – please come and get yours!
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: the family of Don Hanson; Lee Hanson; Linnea, Bob and Olivia Hoppe; Barb Jensen; Charlotte Boeck; Gretchen Zeltner; Lynn Kiewel; John Beston; Frank Fuelling; Phillip Swingler; Michael Chaffier; Maria Liwski; Grant Aldonis; Angie; Kyler; Debbie; Kat.
Opportunity for Bible Study, Lectio Divina, and Supportive Conversation
Join us for about an hour every other Thursday morning at 11:00 am on Zoom for Bible Study, lectio divina and conversation about the upcoming Sunday’s Gospel reading. Pastor Linman leads these occasions. Spending time with our appointed Gospel readings promises to enrich the experience of Sunday Home Worship. The next such occasion is Thursday, January 21.
On the alternating Thursdays, this group gathers for fellowship, checking in and supporting each other, as well as spending time discussing the reflection questions from the previous Sunday sermon.
Community Organizations Thank Us for Our Support
- We recently received letters of thanks from the following organizations which RELC supports financially with the leadership of our Social Ministry Committee:
- Arlington Food Assistance Center
- A-Span (addressing homelessness in Arlington)
- United Lutheran Seminary
- Alliance for Housing Solutions
- National Capital Treatment and Recovery (Patient Assistance Fund)
- Culpepper Garden (senior affordable housing)
- New Hope Housing (addressing homelessness)
- Mar-Lu-Ridge Conference and Educational Center
- N Street Village (support for women in recovery)
- Just Neighbors (immigration legal services)
Provided is a Home Faith Formation Calendar, updated each week with the following week’s recorded content. For those who couldn’t tune in live, see those resources available to you now. Check out too suggestive home activities, lectionary readings, and resources for racial justice for all ages.
The best ways to contact Pastor Linman
Week of Baptism of Our Lord
Dear Friends in Christ:
With our Annual Congregational Meeting soon upon us, we will elect new members of our Congregation Council. Then a newly configured Council will elect from its ranks a new Council President. The Nominating Committee of Council members going off Council has struggled to surface a sufficient number of willing nominees to replace them. Perhaps it’s the pandemic in which all of our routines are upended, but the challenge of finding new leaders for our Council is of concern to me.
Vital, robust congregations have a large team of active and effective lay leaders. Despite the pandemic inhibiting my full view of the congregation as a whole, it is abundantly clear to me that Resurrection Church is blessed to have a large number of gifted leaders. We have members who are leaders in their own professions who can then bring these gifts to bear on our congregational life. But it is also clear to me that our members are busy professionals who are stretched thin by their responsibilities at work and at home. It is also true that many of our congregational leaders have been at their stations in our life together sometimes for decades. And many of them are tired and may long for fresh faces to step up to the plate.
I’ve been around the block enough times in the church in my own various capacities to know that what we face as a congregation is common among most congregations these days. In fact, I was involved in a consulting process with one of the largest and most vibrant congregations in the Pittsburgh area, the cream of our congregational crop – and the refrain I heard even there was that “the same few people end up doing most of the work most of the time!”
I’ve also been around the block enough to know that church-related business meetings can tend to be wearisome. Notably, there were the faculty meetings when I was a seminary professor. I used to quip that I loved dearly each of my faculty colleagues, but put us together in the same room and the whole was less than the sum of its parts. Then there were the synod staff meetings – which sometimes ran all day – when I was a Bishop’s Assistant. We inevitably surrendered our time and energy to the most difficult congregations and pastors who probably did not require that degree and extent of our attention.
You all likely have similar meeting experiences at work and with other organizations to which you belong. Why on earth would you want to volunteer to have the same kind of wearisome experiences at church business meetings when you long for church to be a place of oasis from all of that “business as usual”?
Dear members of God’s family at Resurrection Church,
On this festival of the Baptism of our Lord, today’s readings invite us to see how the Spirit present at Jesus’ baptism was also active in the beginning at the creation and is with us also even today. If you are able, join the congregation with your own worship at home at 10am EST 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 EST on Sunday, January 10, on our YouTube channel and will be available below:
Worship material for January 10, 2021
- Home Worship Bulletin for January 10, 2021
- Children's Bulletin for January 10, 2021
- The transcript of Pastor Linman's sermon
The following have been posted to YouTube; here is the YouTube Playlist for January 10, 2021:
Baptism of Our Lord, Mark 1:4-11
January 10, 2021
The holy gospel according to Mark. Glory to you, O Lord.
4John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7He proclaimed, “After me the one who is more powerful than I is coming; the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
9In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
As we begin a new year, it is fitting perhaps that we have as our first reading for today the first verses of the Bible which commence with the very familiar words, “In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth…” (Genesis 1:1).
But then listen again to the first half of verse 2, “the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep.” Sometimes I wonder if we’ve gotten to that point again in our sad, sorry world.
Formless void and darkness. It feels that way sometimes when I read, hear and see the news. What a list. A variant of the coronavirus that is more contagious seems to be sweeping the globe. The roll out of vaccinations is going much slower than anticipated and needed. Institutions and organizations reveal their incapacity to deal meaningfully with our crises. I sometimes refer to our current circumstances as a world as the age of the great unraveling when so many institutions and traditions and norms and alliances are breaking apart. Formless void and darkness indeed.
Moreover, since we have the first part of the creation story as a first reading, it’s natural to be drawn to contemplate the condition of our whole earth, our ecosystem itself, the loving object of God’s creation in the beginning.
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
In challenging times such as these, we’re all more aware of the need for God’s love in our lives and the importance of sharing with others. Please help us to build a culture of generosity by sharing your giving intention on Pledge Sunday, November 15. You can return your statement of giving intent at our outdoor worship service, mail it to the church office, or complete the online giving intent form. And you can ensure your intent by enrolling in our “Simply Giving” automatic funds transfer program. Thank you for generously enabling Resurrection to be a light to the community in dark times.
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.