Monthly Archives: April 2018

Beer and Hymns – This Sunday! Come join in this joyous experience and help your neighbor at the same time!

This Sunday, April 22, retired Lutheran Pastor Dan Bollerud presents 2018’s first “Beer and Hymns” in Anchorage.  A wonderfully social and spiritual event, it has raised $63,000 over the past four-years. These funds have gone to Lutheran Social Services of Alaska (LSSA), which provides a panoply of services to Alaskans. Most importantly, LSSA’s Food Pantry supplies thousands of Alaskans with needed nutrition.

Pastor Dan hopes this Sunday’s event will raise over $7,000 to push the four-year total over $70,000.  There is incredible comradeship in singing hymns, dining together, and experiencing the joys of Christian fellowship. Jamie Berge’s masterful piano playing, along with Pastor Dan’s rich baritone, compel enthusiastic  audience participation.  Oh, by the way, these hymns are not sung mournfully as some local churches often do, but with an up-tempo spirit and richness they rightfully deserve.  There is intense competition among those present to request their favorite hymns.  Everyone is accommodated.

Mo’s O’Brady’s Restaurant in the Huffman Business Park next to Carr’s Huffman is hosting this Beer and Hymns once again.  There is no admission.  An LSSA representative will be present to accept donations via check, cash or a card reader, and to answer your questions about their services. At the last Beer and Hymns, over $11,000 was raised in the two-hour event.  I plan on being there as well.  If you’d like to discuss issues regarding local churches, seek me out. The event starts at 6 p.m. and concludes promptly at 8 p.m.  Spiritual highs are no-charge. My hat is off to the generosity of local Christians of virtually every faith who support this awesome event!


Easter 2018 – He is Risen! Rejoice!

Easter 2018 is almost over. Of course, Easter week, according to N.T. Wright, below,  “ought to be an eight-day festival” and so believe I.  The power of the passion story is magnified by its retelling by children.  I urge you to click on this link to watch a short video of two children telling the story of Holy Week and the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

At Easter time, I love to perennially share the beautiful N.T. Wright quote from his book “Surprised by Hope” for it inspires a true re-examination of the way we celebrate Easter.

“Easter week itself ought not to be the time when all the clergy sigh with relief and go on holiday,” Wright says, “It ought to be an eight-day festival, with champagne served after morning prayer or even before, with lots of alleluias and extra hymns and spectacular anthems. Is it any wonder people find it hard to believe in the resurrection of Jesus if we don’t throw our hats in the air? Is it any wonder we find it hard to live the resurrection if we don’t do it exuberantly in our liturgies? Is it any wonder the world doesn’t take much notice if Easter is celebrated as simply the one-day happy ending tacked on to forty days of fasting and gloom?”

Finally, I conclude with theologian Walter Brueggemann’s Easter poem.

An Easter Prayer
“…On our own, we conclude:
that there is not enough to go around
we are going to run short

of money
of love
of grades
of publications
of sex
of beer
of members
of years
of life

we should seize the day…
seize the goods…
seize our neighbor’s goods
because there is not enough to go around
and in the midst of our perceived deficit;

You come
You come giving bread in the wilderness
You come giving children at the 11th hour
You come giving homes to the exiles
You come giving futures to the shut-down
You come giving Easter joy to the dead
You come … fleshed … in Jesus

And we watch while
the blind receive their sight
the lame walk
the lepers are cleansed
the deaf hear
the dead are raised
the poor dance and sing.

We watch … and we take

food we did not grow and
life we did not invent and
future that is gift and gift and gift and
families and neighbors who sustain us
when we do not deserve it.

It dawns on us, late rather than soon, that
You give food in due season
you open your hand
and satisfy the desire of every living thing.

By your giving,
break our cycles of imagined scarcity
override our presumed deficits
quiet our anxieties of lack
transform our perceptual field to see
the abundance…mercy upon mercy
blessing upon blessing.

Sink your generosity deep into our lives

that your much-ness may expose our false lack
that endlessly receiving, we may endlessly give,

so that the world may be made Easter new,
without greedy lack, but only wonder
without coercive need, but only love
without destructive greed, but only praise
without aggression and evasiveness…
all things Easter new…

all around us, toward us and by us
all things Easter new.

Finish your creation…
in wonder, love and praise. Amen.”

I wish you joyous Easter greetings, HE IS RISEN!