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John Johns

John Johns

Thursday, 18 January 2018 09:47

A Gift and Legacy

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To most who meet him now, Davis Conrad is a typical 95-year-old man living at Bethany Lutheran Village in Dayton. For hundreds of people who worshiped with him, attended a concert at his church, or sang under his direction, he is a master of his trade; a member of an almost-lost generation of musicians who produced legendary music programs during a golden era of corporate worship. At Hope Lutheran Church, his retirement after decades of faithful service - coupled with changes to the surrounding neighborhood - led to the end of a once-storied music tradition.

It has been more than twenty years since he left. Through some Dayton friends I discovered that Hope was ready to part with its music library – hundreds of pieces of music that were sung joyfully on Sundays, Christmas, Easter, feast days, clergy installations, and bishop celebrations, including several that were commissioned especially for their esteemed choir. A gift to Lord of Life, if we would take it.

As I shared the news with some of our own choir members, I discovered connections to Hope Church that I never would have expected – Pastor Ed Williams spent a great deal of time at Hope when he was on the Synod staff; Pastor Bill Funk, who has been singing with us for two years, was an associate pastor at Hope for three years.

When I arrived to pick up the music, the secretary looked at my car and said, “you might have to make a few trips in that.” She wasn’t kidding. Seven filing cabinets, each with four drawers, full from front to back and a desk filled with music. What an amazing gift. Mr. Conrad’s notes on his copy of each piece – a lifetime of study, planning, practice, and teaching; a legacy from which to build.

I managed to empty six of the filing cabinets and the desk in one trip. I was so excited to bring it all home; I filled every nook and cranny. As I’ve gone through it all, I’m humbled to piece together the rich history contained among the pages. I’m sad there are so few people at Hope to share in that history, but it will live on through our own worship and offerings.

It will take me many weeks to sort through all of our new music. Once I have, I’ll invite anyone who would like to join us for a “sing through” – I’ll pick out some of my favorites and we’ll sing through them just to hear them for ourselves. Mark your calendars for Tuesday, April 10 at 7 pm!

With gratitude,

John

Tuesday, 09 January 2018 13:51

2016-2017 Youth Magazine

Tuesday, 09 January 2018 13:09

2016-2017 Ministry Magazine

Tuesday, 09 January 2018 12:47

2017-2018 Ministry Magazine

Monday, 08 January 2018 10:53

Lord of Life Next Steps

Lord of Life has asked Horizons Stewardship to conduct a Potential and Possibility Study in anticipation of a spring capital campaign. As you may know, over the last few years, our leadership has been prayerfully exploring priorities for renovating our existing worship and learning spaces, updating infrastructure, and paying down our debt as a way of positioning us for long-term ministry and mission. 

Read About Our Plan

Our Ministry Strategist from Horizon Stewardship, Craig Miller, surveyed the congregation to explore the possibilities of furthering our worship, hospitality, and outreach ministries.  Craig will compile these results and share them with the congregation in a few weeks.

Thank you for your work and continuing prayers on behalf of your church.

Peace.

Lowell

Thursday, 04 January 2018 16:46

Lord of Life Next Steps

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Happy New Year!

Lord of Life has asked Horizons Stewardship to conduct a Potential and Possibility Study in anticipation of a spring capital campaign. As you may know, over the last few years, our leadership has been prayerfully exploring priorities for renovating our existing worship and learning spaces, updating infrastructure, and paying down our debt as a way of positioning us for long-term ministry and mission. Because of your love and support of our church, the leadership team is requesting your counsel as we consider the potential of furthering our worship, hospitality, and outreach ministries.

The plan is to create a new chapel space and expand the current narthex, resolve drainage issues and upgrade lighting in the parking lot, install a fire protection system throughout the building, and eliminate our existing mortgage debt. The anticipated total cost for the chapel, narthex expansion, parking lot, fire protection, and retirement of our mortgage debt is 1.1-1.2 million dollars. Please see the colorful pages here for many more details.

Read About Our Plan

We believe that “God is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine, according to God's power at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20).

After looking at the attachment, please take a few minutes to complete the online survey here.

Take the Survey

Our Ministry Strategist from Horizon Stewardship, Craig Miller, has organized the questions to take no longer than fifteen minutes. Your advice and counsel as part of this important process is vital to our success. Your responses will be confidential. Horizons Stewardship will compile the data and share the overall results with Lord of Life.

Please note: If your spouse/partner also is receiving this email and link, please collaborate for your survey. We are looking for one response per household. Also, Survey Monkey will perform server maintenance on Friday, January 5, 2018, beginning at 5:00 pm PT for approximately 12 hours. During this time, you won't be able to access our website or take surveys. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes.

Thank you for your work and continuing prayers on behalf of your church.

Peace.

Lowell

next steps picture short text

Lord of Life Next Steps
Survey Results Meeting
Saturday, February 3
10 am

Thank you to all who responded to our Next Steps survey. 88 households shared hopes and dreams about where we are heading. Craig Miller of Horizons Stewardship is compiling the responses and will meet with us on Saturday, February 3 at 10 am to share the results and help us plan for the future. Don’t miss it!

Background

Lord of Life asked Horizons Stewardship to conduct a Potential and Possibility Study in anticipation of a spring capital campaign. As you may know, over the last few years, our leadership has been prayerfully exploring priorities for renovating our existing worship and learning spaces, updating infrastructure, and paying down our debt as a way of positioning us for long-term ministry and mission.

Read About Our Plan

Our Ministry Strategist from Horizon Stewardship, Craig Miller, surveyed the congregation to explore the possibilities of furthering our worship, hospitality, and outreach ministries. 

Thank you for your work and continuing prayers on behalf of your church.

Thursday, 21 December 2017 12:55

Silent Night, Holy Night

Christmas Eve Candle Lighting

It is my favorite moment in Christmas worship in every church I’ve gone to. The lights dim, the music starts, everyone gets quiet, and the fire from the Christ candle on the Advent wreath spreads through the church as we pass the flame from candle to candle. Silent Night ...

It was another kind of silence that brought this beloved hymn to life. In 1818 at a chapel near Salzburg, Austria, Christmas preparations were underway when organist Franz Gruber found that the organ had failed and wouldn’t work for Christmas. A young priest, Joseph Mohr, had written some lyrics a couple years earlier and asked Gruber to set them to a tune they could sing easily with guitar accompaniment to replace the organ.

People liked it, but they mostly forgot about it. When the organ was repaired several years later, the organ builder found the music laying with the organ pipes, had it published, and it was a hit!

We are full of expectations during the Christmas season. The perfect gifts. Perfect family time. Perfect music. We’ve spent the entire season of Advent working and waiting for everything to come together, for the wrapping to come off, for school to let out, and to finally light that fifth candle on the Advent wreath so we can share the light of Christmas with each other. Silent Night ... What a testament to the promise of Christmas that even when things don’t go according to plan, we still receive the gift of God’s love.

Celebrate Christmas with us this Sunday at 6, 8, and 11 pm – each of the services will include communion, candle-lighting, and a weepy music director trying to make his way through his favorite song ...

Thursday, 16 November 2017 14:24

Space to Be Holy

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In the Orthodox Church, icons (paintings of saints, often on gold backgrounds) are considered a window into the beauty of the kingdom of God. Craftspeople spend decades perfecting their art, learning to make pigments out of natural materials and techniques so their creations last for centuries. They dedicate their talent so the rest of us can step away from our ordinary lives and experience a glimpse of something sacred.

To sanctify something means to set it aside; to make it holy. We give it extra effort, we respect it, we don’t rush it. Sacred art – stained glass windows, fabric vestments on the altar, candles, flowers, statues, church buildings, and so many other offerings crafted by talented artists – draws our attention to scripture, prayer, and worship. We walk into a sacred space with sacred objects and we are inspired to see, hear, and act like the Christians we are called to be.

God is all around us all the time – in nature, at home, at work, in worship. We don’t need anything else to bring us closer to God. But symbols, artwork, and sacred spaces serve as reminders to step out of the secular nature of our lives and be holy. We set aside this space, along with a portion of our time, talents, and treasures, to be sacred.

As we move into the Advent season we'll have extra opportunities at Lord of Life to worship and enjoy our own sacred spaces; and to further lift them up as we decorate for the Christmas season. Watch the schedule for our Advent Adventure midweek worship, Pageant, Blue Christmas, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day worship opportunities.

Thursday, 12 October 2017 13:37

Discovering Common Ground Through Worship

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Singing, praying, learning, fellowship, and service – these are all things that bring us together each week within our community at Lord of Life. There shouldn’t be any surprise that the same things could bring together people from other communities, too. Our first REFORM event with Roman Catholics and Lutherans from West Chester and Mason exceeded our expectations of how powerful the experience would be.

We began with a worship moment led by musicians from St. Max, Christ the King, and Lord of Life (the next event will include leadership from St. John’s as well). Through common words and common songs, we infused the evening with a joyful prayer that continued into our conversations. We heard from Lutheran and Catholic clergy from St. Susannah Catholic (Mason), Prince of Peace Lutheran (Loveland), and Zion Lutheran (Middletown) who presented different views, but we heard even more common views. We listened to a biblical message that defined us all as part of the same vine. The same body. One faith, one hope, and one baptism.

I found myself at a table made up of Catholics from various parishes. We asked questions and discussed among ourselves how we each came to the body of Christ and what that means to us. About half the table had been born into the Catholic church. But one young woman shared how she found the church through an ecumenical sports team. An older gentleman started going to Methodist Sunday school after his mother died when he was nine, and then converted to Catholicism after years of seeing the positive impact the church had on his wife. We all had stories about how we saw people’s faith overflow in their actions.

The thread that kept weaving its way to the top was: “We need to do more of this.” We need to find ways to maintain the natural bond we have through Christ and the Spirit. We need to worship together and talk together and serve together. Our connection to each other is too powerful to let ourselves be kept apart.

As the clock forced the evening to a close, we put notes on a door describing how we wanted to move forward in our relationships. More combined worship. More dialogues. More learning. More outreach opportunities together. Singing, praying, learning, fellowship, and service.

Even though the next two REFORM events are self-contained – they are three separate events rather than one continued event, I suspect we’ll see some of the same faces coming again and again because we are so inspired to move forward as one body. Come be a part of the conversation on October 19 at 7 pm at Christ the King or October 21 at 10 am at St. Max.

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