Wondering Questions

WONDERING...
Real questions from real people to learn more about faith!

Questions are asked by people of all ages, children through adult. Read Pastor Trudy’s thoughtful answers.

Membership in a congregation means different things to different people, so everyone goes at their own pace when deciding how to participate in the life of a congregation. You can worship, attend small groups and Bible studies, go on mission trips, bring funeral luncheon items without being a member…you get the idea. You can pretty much do everything. So why become a member?  To me becoming a member is a visible and tangible way to say you are on board with the mission of GLC to live a generous life in Christ…that this is a place you want to continue to grow in your faith and be supported and support others in following Jesus. But, whether you are a member or not, I am grateful for all the ways you make GLC such a special place.  Thank you!

May 19, 2022

This question from one of our adult confirmation students is probably one that a lot of us share.  It’s interesting to me especially because it was prompted by a sermon that someone named ‘controversial’ and another named ‘comforting’ and both meant their comment in a positive way.  That means bold is in the eye of the beholder, but my guess is if YOU are asking this question, you probably are being called to stretch in some way.  Pay close attention and pray to see the opportunities God will invite you to explore your faith!  

May 12, 2022

I’ll be honest, the idea of God as a ‘puppetmaster’, controlling every movement, has never been a helpful image for me. I think instead of accompaniment—God’s presence with us. It is hard for us to imagine being able to know and care about every human being on earth. In fact, I can only understand it with my own human brain, but I know that I carry my children with me wherever I go. I am aware of things happening in their lives. Sometimes one of them needs more attention but I like to think they all know they could call anytime and I would help in whatever way I could. I think about God like this, exponentially.   

May 5, 2022

They are different!  They were written for different reasons and to communities dealing with different challenges. When I read Scripture, I use a number of different ‘lenses’.  For instance, using the historical/critical method  allows me to ponder the original context of the writers.  Who were the key players in the world at that time?  What do we know about daily life?  Another lens is my ‘faith’ lens.  What do the stories say about God that is true in every context?  Where does it push me to accept the fullness of the power of what Jesus did?  Then I can pull threads forward into our lives…and almost always both Old and New Testament offer encouragement about who God is, why Jesus is so important and what tangible things I can do today.  

April 26, 2022

This question was asked by one of the students confirmed last fall and I’ve been thinking about it ever since!  And also paying attention to what Jesus does.  Jesus teaches, but doesn’t shout at people until they agree with Him. He counsels His apostles to turn the other cheek, to shake the dust off of their feet, and to keep moving forward.  Our culture values winning and persuading, but it seems Jesus has another approach. When we find ourselves in a disagreement about what Jesus says, maybe it is enough to say, ‘I don’t read it that way.’  And then keep going forward to share Jesus’ message of love and hope.

April 19, 2022

What great questions from our confirmation students! They are anticipating the Gospel lessons of the next two weeks as we see Jesus appearing to His disciples to strengthen their trust and prepare them for their work in sharing the Good News. We learn that He did have nail marks in His hands…and Thomas gets to touch them! Would you touch the holes in his hands or are you okay trusting without seeing?

 

April 12, 2022

Our theme for Lent has been, Wake Up!  When we wake up in the morning, we probably have some kind of a routine—even if it is not an official to-do list. So what happens when we wake up from all that has happened two years into the pandemic? Many people are coming back to worship and Sunday school—that is a great place to start—with a worship routine.  This is a no guilt, no shame, no judgment zone.  Please don’t come back with apologies, but with an open heart— ready to let God love you through the stories of Jesus. If you’ve already been doing that, be watching for chances to go a little deeper; small groups or adult confirmation or set a simple goal of greeting one person you don’t know each week.  You can always reach out to me to chat over coffee or a walk by the river—we’ll see if we can figure out what God’s stirring up in you.

April 5, 2022

Palm/Passion Sunday is the day we commemorate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  We receive palm branches which symbolize victory and peace.  As Jesus rides a donkey or colt the people spread things in the road as a sign of his kingship.  In John’s gospel, palm branches are named, in Matthew and Mark it is cloaks and branches from plants near the road, in Luke it is only cloaks.  Still, we will wave palm branches and then take them home to remind us of Jesus’ kingship and peace in our homes.  Then we shift to the passion narrative from the Gospel of Luke.  Communion and music will highlight a telling of the story. 

Maundy Thursday— Maundy comes from the word ‘mandatum’ or mandate.  The service pivots on two mandates; washing each other’s feet (serving) and Holy Communion.   Washing feet is always a challenge in worship settings and our discomfort can distract from Jesus’ act in doing it.  This season, we have the additional discomfort of being close to each other after two years of distancing.  Therefore we will spend extended time in confession and receive individual absolution.  The gift of receiving words of forgiveness spoken directly to you can be deeply meaningful, especially when followed by a celebration of the Lord’s supper.  We finish the service by removing all paraments and decoration in the sanctuary and leaving in silence. 

Good Friday—we enter a darkened sanctuary in silence and hear several voices reading the Passion according to John’s Gospel while candles are snuffed out one at a time.  As we approach the crucifixion, the large wooden cross takes center place.  We remain in darkness and leave in silence.

Easter Vigil—we gather around the new fire outside and proceed into the church where we hear stories of God’s saving love from the Old Testament.  We remember our baptism and then, with organ fanfare, become the first to celebrate the good news of the resurrection.  

March 29, 2022

Evening prayer is one of the prescribed times of worship Christians are invited to each day.  The components are the same, but set to different tunes or spoken or chanted.  Holden Evening Prayer is a setting of evening prayer written in 1985-86 by Marty Haugen when he was the musician in residence at Holden Village, a retreat center/camp in Chelan, Washington.  The setting spread throughout the Lutheran universe where it was used, especially on Lenten Wednesdays.  Holden Village musicians continue to generate new settings of a variety of services, as worship is part of the daily routine, but this one continues to hold a special place for us as we gather for evening worship for Lent at GLC each year.  Church groups do regularly plan trips to Holden Village for time of recreation and renewal…maybe you’d like to help organize one for GLC?  

 

March 22, 2022 

How does God view animals differently from people?  This question came from one of the students confirmed last fall.   Animals are part of creation and God loves creation, so it is safe to say that God loves animals.  We know that in creation, everything was created in balance and purposefully- so yes, even the animals and bugs we don’t appreciate have a purpose.  Jesus uses animal metaphors like sheep and goats and foxes and chickens to help us understand the Kingdom He is ushering in and in my experience, animals can become for us powerful reminders of God’s love and care.

March 17, 2022

This question was from one of our students confirmed last fall and one that I think many people have.  As far as I can tell, doubts are a pretty important part of us growing in our faith.  Jesus shows us this by walking the disciples through their doubts over and over again and though he may seem frustrated sometimes, he never stops answering them or inviting them to follow.  In a world and a time in the world when a lot seems impossible to understand, our doubts can help us ask the questions that will grow our faith.  Jesus never stops answering- I pray that I can receive what he has to say.