For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels or rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:39)
Removing all items from the Education Building in preparation for the remodeling has given me and some others a chance to inspect things that haven’t been looked at by human eyes in forty years or more. Deep in the dark closets and cabinets we found Sunday school material from CPH still sealed in the original mailing box postmarked “1968.” Copies of church constitutions and bylaws from all the LCMS churches in the Portland area, still in their unopened envelopes dated 2000; boxes upon boxes of Bible studies from the 1970s, 80s, 90s, and so on; cassette tapes, VHS tapes of all kinds, outdated stuff that was never used, or maybe used once. There is a surprising amount that’s still usable however, and we’re keeping it. We’re also keeping the historical items found here and there—things that are directly attached to the history of St. Paul Lutheran Church. It’s been fun to look over some of these things such as photographs, commemorative plates and cups, German language Bibles, catechisms, and old church directories.
It’s the church directories from decades past I like the most because there are people listed who I know today. It reminds me that God is faithful to his people, and in response to his great love, his people are faithful to Him and each other. I think it goes well with the theme of Concordia University Portland’s academic year: “Nothing Can Separate Us from God’s Love.” How is all this related? Well, the Concordia University String Ensemble is coming to St. Paul on Sunday, October 11th. The 8 member ensemble under the direction of Prof. Casey Bozell is looking forward to sharing music in worship with us, as well as sharing the wonderful things God is doing at C.U. Portland. The worship services will be the same at both 8:30 and 10:45 AM. Campus pastor Bo Baumeister will preach on this theme based on Romans 8:39. During the service, the voice of Paul and three other voices will be spoken by members of the Concordia ensemble. The ensemble will lead us in three hymns from The Lutheran Service Book: “Baptized Into Your Name Most Holy”, “How Wide the Love of Christ”, and “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.” A special bulletin insert will contain information about Concordia University, the Lutheran Church Extension Fund, and giving envelopes. If you would like to make a free-will offering to support Concordia’s educational music ministry, you can use the special envelope and hand it to a Concordia Foundation representative at the door when you depart. I encourage you to stay though because there will be a Bible study downstairs in the church basement between services with pastor Baumeister. A display will also be downstairs highlighting some of C.U. Portland’s ministry. Enjoy! And may God bless your worship.