Monthly Archives: October 2017

Beer and Hymns – Fun and Successful!!!

Pastor Dan Bollerud leading and Jamie Berge playing piano at Beer and Hymns

Last Sunday night featured fellowship, conversation, tasty food, and wonderful hymn singing. Oh, and the best part, over $11,000 was raised in two hours by this cheerful crowd of Christians from multiple churches and denominations.  The proceeds of the fundraising went to Lutheran Social Services of Alaska (LSSA) whose executive director, Alan Budahl, made the round of tables with an iPad collecting donations of those present.  Alan mentioned how great the need was at this time and how helpful these contributions were in meeting that need.

It was a capacity crowd in Mo’s O’Brady’s restaurant. Empty seats were in short supply as the evening progressed. Pastor Dan Bollerud led the singing using a new song-sheet compilation of hymns old and new.  Jamie kept up the tempo at the piano, while John filled in with guitar and harmonica.  I feel like a broken record when I say it just keeps getting better and better, but it’s true. Trust me, you won’t hear hymn singing like this in most churches.

Pastor Dan told me the next Beer and Hymns will likely be in the spring, and many of us can’t wait. While many local evangelicals concentrate on getting people saved and baptized, our friends the Lutherans fill our community with love, grace, and a social gospel which reaches out to the poor and those in hunger. Thank you Lutherans for this expression of love for the Other.

Chris Thompson
churchvisits.com

2017 Wieland Hunger Print Now Available!

“Lord of the Dance” 2017 Hunger Print

There are a number of exciting projects individual churches or their members sponsor. Last year, I was excited to discover the Hunger prints by Marianne Wieland, local Alaskan artist. Now in its 38th year, it has provided approximately $300,000 to help combat world hunger.

My ADN column on this project is at http://www.churchvisits.com/2016/09/for-nearly-40-years-an-anchorage-artist-with-the-help-of-her-church-has-used-her-work-to-fight-world-hunger/. Each year Marianne donates art materials, her studio’s equipment, while her volunteers, working under her direction, donate their time to help her produce copies of this limited edition print.

Marianne shared her inspiration for this years’ print. “Pastor Mark began the inspiration with the comment that in the village, there was nothing more enjoyed than to have song and dance in the worship service,” she said. “Development of the image began with the soapstone carving of a native dancer presented to me by Bishop Shelly at the Wasilla Council meeting last year,” she continued, noting “The title came when Jan Whitefield sang Lord of the Dance at our Christmas service.” Wieland gave appropriate production credit to her team by identifying them as “dedicated and talented volunteers: Margie Paulson, Linda Bender, Marilyn Martinson, JoAnne Mueller and Karen Voris.”

“The print, Lord Of the Dance, is offered with the hope,” artist Wieland concludes, “that it will bring to the viewer the joyful spirit of the village Christians.”

Inspiration for 2017 Hunger Print

Bishop Shelley Wickstrom of the Alaska Synod of the ELCA, offering additional background on the soapstone carving that provided Marianne’s inspiration of this years’ print, said “The synod gives a soapstone carving by Eric Tepton III to our honorees and keynote presenters.  In delightful serendipity, this soapstone dancer has the pose that Marianne used in a print “Women of Joy” that she made for the Alaska Synodical Women’s Organization in the 90’s.”

 

The 2017 hunger print is limited to approximately 250 individually signed and numbered prints. Each print comes shrink-wrapped on mat board and makes an ideal gift. You may order your print directly from Gloria Dei Lutheran using the attached order form.  The beauty of this project is that 100% of the price of the print goes directly to address world hunger. 2017 Hunger Print Order Form

Thank you for your vision and hard work Marianne!  It’s an inspiration to me and many others.

Ready to Sing Hymns? Beer and Hymns Coming on Sunday – 10/8/17

One of my favorite events, Beer and Hymns, is coming back, this Sunday, October 8. It benefits Lutheran Social Services of Alaska (LSSA). It’s held at Mo’s O’Brady’s Restaurant in the Carr’s Huffman Business Plaza. Google Map  Things get rolling promptly at 6 p.m. so be sure to arrive early to grab a table and seat; they go fast!

Pastor Dan Bollerud, retired pastor of Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church, leads the singing with his marvelous baritone voice. Jamie Berge, pianist extraordinaire, will tickle the ivories in a delightful manner. I hear John Klapproth will play along with guitar & harmonica. Attendees choose from over 60 hymns in a special hymnbook. It’s all about requests!

Lutheran Social Services of Alaska provides a variety of services to Alaska families including a local food pantry. Alan Budahl, LSSA executive director will be on hand to answer questions regarding their activities, and accept your donation. No fees charged for this wonderful event, and attendees end up donating a respectable sum of money between 6 and 8 p.m. Recent Beer and Hymns events have seen $7,000-$10,000 donated during this brief time.  I find it very interesting how singing praises opens the purse strings.  Meeting new friends and greeting old friends is a key part of the charm of this worthy get-together.

Pastor Dan usually asks for a roll call of the various churches represented. I’m continue to be amazed by the great diversity of faiths there. It’s common to hear Catholic, Episcopal, Pentecostal, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches, to name a few, chiming in to register their faith community.

If your heart needs an uplift, I urge you give this event a try. A few people are put off by the juxtaposition of beer and hymns., Martin Luther is famously quoted as saying, “It is better to think of church in the ale-house than to think of the ale-house in church.”  Mo also has plenty of non-alcoholic beverages, and O’Brady’s tasty dinner entrees.  I’ll be there and would love to meet you if you choose to come.

Chris Thompson
churchvisits@gmail.com