Fight for social justice could renew struggling churches
Central Lutheran's Pastor Jeff Hackler was recently featured in an article by the Alaska Dispatch News.
Click here to read the article.
Sample Prayer for those fasting and praying for Alaska's health situation this week:
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, hallowed be your name. You made all people in your image, which means each of us shows the world something about who you are. Forgive us for how we scorn those we disagree with. Help us to speak and act based on how much we matter to you, rather than all the other motives that tempt us. Help us to treat even our enemies as we'd want you to treat us in our moments of greatest brokenness and need.
Your kingdom come. You say that your disciples will be known by our love. You call us to put others' interests ahead of our own. Forgive us for the many ways we put ourselves and our interests first. Forgive the ways we seek human kingdoms while claiming to seek yours. Help us to seek first your kingdom and your righteousness, no matter what it costs us. Help us to decrease so that you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, may increase within us.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. You call us to seek the welfare of the place where we live. Would you show us what each one of us must do to seek the welfare of those in Anchorage? How do we seek the well-being of our health-care workers? How do we seek the good of those in poor health? How do we seek the flourishing of our leaders, both those we support and disagree with? How do we seek the flourishing of our neighbors, both those we like and distrust? Show us what love looks like. Help us accept the cross you call us to. Give our leaders wisdom in the very difficult decisions they face. Help us to faithfully pray for them.
Give us today our daily bread. None of us knows if we will live to consume the things we think we need tomorrow. Each of our lives depends on countless sacrifices by others, past, present and future. Forgive the ways we worry and hoard and presume on others' sacrifices to keep us alive. Forgive the ways we accept inequality that gives us more than we need, while others suffer immensely. Help us obey when you call us to sacrifice so that others in our city and state can live as well as we ourselves want to be able to. Help us to receive your provision — from food and breath, to leaders and rules — with gratitude and humility. Show us where we need to ask for something more or different, whether for our own sake or that of others.
Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. You call us to address our own sin before we confront other people. You even tell us to assume we have the worse sin and obstruction of our sight! This is so hard to do. We so often assume you've forgiven us a very short list of sins compared to the library others commit. Forgive our pride, self-righteousness and hardheartedness. Forgive our insistence that it's others who must change first, rather than us. Help us to forgive those who wrong us, both intentionally and without realizing it. Help us to turn their debts over to you. Help us to grasp more of the incredible mercy you've shown to us and live as people forgiven a very great debt.
Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil. Lord, have mercy on your church in Anchorage and throughout Alaska, the U.S. and the world. Christ, have mercy on Anchorage. Lord, have mercy on Alaska. Christ, have mercy on our health care workers. Lord, have mercy on our first responders. Christ, have mercy on our school teachers. Lord, have mercy on our essential workers. Lord, have mercy on our villages. Christ, have mercy on our cities. Lord, have mercy on our prison system. Christ, have mercy on our leaders. Lord, have mercy on us. Help your church become the unified, single bride you intend. Show us where we need to yield our freedom for the sake of others and where we need to ask others to yield to us. Show us where deliverance depends on us and help us to wait for what only you can provide.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours. May your kingdom come in Anchorage, in Alaska and in your church here. The psalmist said the hearts of kings are like streams of water in your hands. Would you bring our hearts into alignment with your will — for our families, Bible studies, communities and churches, as well our leaders, city, state and country. Would you glorify your name in us and help us submit to you, whatever you ask us to do.
Fill us with your joy and help us to wait on you with patience and trust in your goodness. Christians past risked their very lives to show your love to their cities during the plague. Help us to answer where you call us to costly service that others may see and come to know you through us. Amen.
Our worship and study schedule:
† Join us in-person or via zoom link for 9:30 am Sunday worship services. In our facility, unvaccinated people should wear masks (and we have masks to offer you upon request) and all visitors to Central are asked to maintain distance between household groups, to wash or sanitize their hands often during their visit, and to be gracious to those still needing to protect their health. Most small groups, rental group meetings, studies, and shared meals are resuming, with the above health protection stipulations.
The Anchorage Farmers Market is at Central on Saturdays. Join us between 9 am and 2 pm for plant starts, compost tea, freshly baked bread, salad greens and fresh vegetables. Our hospitality booth will return on August 7 and we will welcome your donation of cookies and bars and such (individually wrapped by the donor or a volunteer) or your time to welcoming folks.
Wanted: donations of shelf-stable foods like pre-packaged trail mix, granola bars, dried fruits, meal bars, jerky, packets of tuna, canned meats and bottled water for the church office to have on hand for hungry neighbors. It’s a blessing to be able to offer two or three items to a hungry person along with the directions to the Food Pantry. Also welcome, donations of canned and boxed foods that we can pass on to the Lutheran Social Services of Alaska Food Pantry.
Summer brings opportunities for fun:
Join us Mondays to cheer on our Softball Team,
join friends on Tuesdays for walks and hikes,
and come play pickle ball on Wednesday evenings.
We'll have a potluck lunch on Sunday, August 1, following worship, to celebrate with Intern Ollie as he completes his internship that day.
Local Organizing Ministry: Want to make a difference in your community? Along with Anchorage Faith & Action Congregations Together AFACT, Central folks and Pastor Jeff, listens to our congregation and Fairview neighbors, builds relationships, and develops leaders. Through these relationships, we identify issues and work to effect change in ourselves and in the public sphere. Contact Pastor Jeff to find out how you can get involved. We meet every other Tuesday and the current focus is to get to know our Fairview neighbors and our homeless neighbors and see how we can grow relationships with them.
Our planned group travel tour of Israel and Palestine will be rescheduled for 2022.
Central Seniors/Golden Opportunities: Wednesday coffee klatsches will resume at 9 am at Kaladi Brothers Coffee on Brayton Drive in the near future. Gatherings are currently happening via Zoom link.
Our Helping Hands Coat Closet is newly cleaned and organized, and every item of donated clothing has been washed and sorted. This closet, near the main entry to the Church, is stocked with extra coats and other items that can be given to visitors and shelter guests in need of a warm and clean layer. We welcome freshly laundered donations of wearable items in a variety of sizes. Needed now: blankets or sleeping bags, men's sweat pants and track pants.
The Lutheran Social Services of Alaska (LSSA) Food Pantry welcomes your donation of canned meats, chili, soup, canned fruit, dried potato mixes, tuna and peanut butter, and more, and your donation of time if you're able to help prepare food boxes for clients.
Email Updates: Keep up with the latest news by to the office to be added to our email list.
Note: Your email will not be used for any marketing purposes other than Central’s events and notices.