Advent – Faith 5 Style

So as Advent begins we here at St. Luke are beginning something new – the Narrative Lectionary.  This lectionary is a four year pattern that begins in September and ends in May/June and goes from Genesis, through the birth, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus, through the life of the early church.  So for Advent I want us to dig deeper into the texts for this new lectionary.  Each week we will have a preaching text and another text (when a gospel is the preaching text, the other text is a Psalm and when a non-gospel is the preaching text the other text is a gospel) – and for Faith 5 I want to encourage us to go deeper into the stories of the preaching texts – because, well, that’s the point of the Narrative Lectionary. The texts are typically longer, so choose what works for your family within each story.


So here are the texts:

11/27 – 12/3 – Daniel 3:1, 8-30 (Week of Advent 1)

12/4- 12/10 – Ezekiel 37:1-14 (Week of Advent 2)

12/11 –  12/17 – Isaiah 55:1-11 (Week of Advent 3)

12/18 – 12/24 – John 1:1-18 (Week of Advent 4)

12/25 – 12/31 – Luke 2:1-20 (Christmas)

Please be in conversation with me about how these are working for you.  Things can only change when we hear from you!


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September 18 – November 26th

With the Whole Church – Lectionary Readings for Faith 5

I want you to explore the lectionary readings (the pattern of readings that many in the Christian church throughout the world use in worship) for this round of Faith 5.  So they are below.  Some weeks the focus will be the Old Testament, others the Gospel, and still others the Epistle. For families with younger children, please feel free to focus on one verse or a couple, rather than the fullness of the reading.  No matter what, engage God’s word!

Week beginning…(Wednesday – Tuesday)

  • September 18 – Amos 8:4-7giving11
  • September 25 – Luke 10:17-20
  • October 2 – Luke 17:5-10
  • October 9 – Luke 17:11-19
  • October 16 – Genesis 32:22-31
  • October 23 – Romans 3:19-28
  • October 30 – Ephesians 1:11-23
  • November 6 – Job 19:23-27a
  • November 13 – Malachi 4:1-2a
  • November 20 – Luke 23:33-43

We will begin an Advent focused set of readings on November 27th.

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9 Week Bible Plan Begins July 3 – Focus on Freedom

ImageWe are in the midst of summer – with the warmest days predicted today and tomorrow (so far).  Next week we will celebrate the Fourth of July, so I thought it only natural that our Faith 5 texts focus on freedom.  Below are the Faith 5 texts for July 3 – September 3.  Most of the weeks the focus is on a single verse, although there are a handful with two or three verses.  The other piece this time is that for the first and the last week of this series we use the same passage – so we end where we begin.


Week of July 3 – Galatians 5:1

Week of July 10 – Galatians 5:13

Week of July 17 – John 8:31-32

Week of July 24 – Romans 8:1-2

Week of July 31 – Psalm 25:15

Week of August 7 – Isaiah 61:1

Week of August 14 – Isaiah 58:6-7

Week of August 21 – Romans 8:15

Week of August 28 – Galatians 5:1

I would love to hear how it is going for you and your family.  I would love pictures of you all gathering.  Questions…struggles….aha’s…joys! Share so that others can learn and grow from you.

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Seven Week Bible Plan – Begins May 15

Sorry for the delay in posting.  Here is the next SEVEN week Bible Plan.  This will take you into the very beginning of July.  Please note that this plan it taken from the lectionary readings (the readings that are done in worship each Sunday) for the Sunday of the week.  Having your children in worship to hear these texts will also reinforce the conversations you are having at home.

May 15 – 21 – John 14:15

May 22 – 28 – Romans 5:5

May 29- June 4 – Psalm 96:1-2

June 5 – 11 – 1 Kings 17:8-16

June 12-18 – Luke 7:50 (or read the full story)

June 19-25 – Galatians 3:27-29

June  26 – July 2 – Galatians 5:13

Next round we will focus on the theme of FREEDOM in Christ.  That will begin on July 3 and I will make certain that the texts are posted at least a week prior to the start of the new round.

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It matters…

Check out this blog: It matters…

You’ve heard me say it before, but it matters that your children are with you in worship.  I know it is not always an easy experience.  I know you sometimes feel your kids are being too distractive and everyone is looking at you.  I know you sometimes walk out of worship thinking, “I am not sure I really worshiped or was fed.”  All of this is true.  But I want you to hear it from me again – it is IMPORTANT that you bring your children to worship and we are St. Luke want to make it as easy, welcoming, and natural as it can be.  So let us know how we can help you and your family in this, because IT MATTERS!

Children in Worship

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So who’s up for a Sunday Night Treat – Rich Melheim in Tigard, OR – FREE FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

Join Pastor Kim and others from St. Luke for an all-family event on May 5 from 6:30-8:00pm at Calvin Presbyterian Church –  10445 SW Canterbury Lane Tigard, OR 97224.

Bring the kids, bring a pillow, and bring an open mind and heart as Rich entertains, teaches, and shares with you and your whole family the Faith 5 pattern.  Let Pastor Kim know if you are planning to go – there may be a fellowship gathering for dinner before!


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Two weeks left in this six week pattern

FamilyWell, we are about four weeks into a six week cycle of readings for the people and families of St. Luke who have committed to using the Faith 5 faith practice each evening, and there are a few questions that I have and I hope you can help me.

1. I do not have any idea of the number of people and families who are doing Faith 5.  SO, if you are doing FAITH 5 (or some modified version that is right for your family) please comment here and say yes, or drop me an email to let me know.

2. How’s it going?  What are some of your joys and surprises?  What are some of your struggles and challenges? (posting them in the comment section below will help the whole community learn and grow together)

3. Are there particular themes or topics you would like to explore in the next six week cycle of readings? (again, post them here so others can see your ideas and maybe stimulate more of their own)

4. Are there any stories or photos of your experience?  Thanks to the Ekstrum’s for sharing a recent photo of their time in Faith 5.  Who’s next?

5. Who is planning on joining me in going to hear Dr. Rich Melheim, the creator of Faith 5, in Tigard on May 11? (you can post here or email Pastor Kim)

Remember, you are never alone as you are growing in faith as a family.  Bringing your children to worship (no matter how noisy, fussy, or messy they may be) is part of our calling as parents and is a gift to the congregation – so come to worship.  Be surrounded by the larger family.  If there are specific needs or ideas you have, share them. I’m not a mind-reader and often (like the story of the changing tables, which if you don’t know you should ask me) things aren’t seen until someone says, “Hey….look!”

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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Family Photo – Faith 5 in Action

Family Photo - Faith 5 in Action

Thanks to the Ekstrum family for this pic!

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Boston Bombings – Faith 5

Deborah commented below, 

How are other people dealing with yesterday’s events in Boston? It really hit home for me – I knew people running yesterday. Plus, if I were to have run it, I would have finished close to that time. So during Faith 5 last night, I mentioned that as my low. My kids are young (6 and 3) and I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to expose them to something like that so young. I certainly didn’t want to create any fear in their lives, but I did a watered down version (some people got hurt because a bomb went off) and we prayed for those people who got hurt. But my son (the 6 year old) made a comment that God can’t help. I asked him later to elaborate and he told me that when we pray for things (ie God help dad’s finger feel better, dad’s finger still hurts). I tried explaining that God works in his own way and it may not be what we want it to be, but I’m not sure if he’s too young to understand that concept. Any advice?


Thanks Deborah for the question and for sharing your experience last week.  These are universal questions – why do bad things happen to good people?  if God is a loving God why do bad things happen? If we pray to God and ask for something in prayer why doesn’t God do it?

The issue of “theodicy” or an attempt to resolve the problem of evil in our world with the omniscient, all-loving, all-powerful God.  And there is no “one answer” that anyone can offer. These are questions that can’t be answered in a simple, cut-and-dry format.  But they are questions that are incredibly common and have some benefit in wrestling with.

When the questions are struggled with by children, it raises a whole other level of difficulty.  But our kids are often much more advanced in their thinking than we give them credit – so my first response is don’t “discount” the questions or statements that point to this struggle.  Like Deborah – ask your child to talk more about what they are struggling with. Ask them what they are feeling when they are asking these questions.  And then them know that these questions are okay to ask, and that it is okay to not have an answer.

The other piece I would note is that simply bringing up the difficult questions and struggles in conversation creates a space of strength and security.  Rich Melheim, the creator of Faith 5 calls this “the Voldemort Effect.”  He writes,

There is great power in being able to speak the name of your problems out loud. I call this the “Voldemort Effect,” after the evil beingin the Harry Potterseries by J. K. Rowling. No one dared speak hisname aloud except Harry.

“He who shall not be named” holds a mysterious and sinister
grip on everyone—a hidden power—until the Harry Potters of the
world decide, “We are not going to remain silent. We will not cower
as captives to fear. We are going to name that sucker out loud. We
are going to call him what he is and who he is so that we can deal
with the real problem, not the myth. We are going to draw him out
into the open, and then kill him together or together die trying!”
A strange and wonderful thing happens the moment you dare
speak the name of “he who shall not be named” aloud. A subtle but
significant power transfer begins. The moment the silence is broken, the power starts to drain away from its sinister source and move
in the direction of those who dare deal with it.

In that moment, if spoken aloud and shared within the confidence of a loving family or a trusted family of friends, the newly
transferred power begins to grow, strengthen and multiply. There,
in the hands and hearts of the people who love you and want the
best for you, a treasure trove of solutions, allies, creativity and untapped resources suddenly spring to the surface. The Rebel Alliance,
the Elves, the Hobbits, the students of Hogwarts and the Narnians
are emboldened as they suddenly see that they have a chance.
Okay, too many mixed “narraphors.” You get the point. As for
Lord Voldemort, let’s just say, “Leave him unnamed and he grows
each day; name him aloud and he shrinks away.”


The other note I would add is that there is a great power in talking about how God created us good and we turned from God.  The sin/evil that we do – to others, to ourselves, to the environment around us – is our own, and the ripple effects of those are felt by others.  God didn’t cause the bombings, or Dad’s sore finger, or the deaths in the explosion at the fertilizer plant in TX.  But God is there in the midst of the brokenness, in the midst of the violence, in the midst of the tears, in the midst of the pain.  God knows the pain we experience, as Jesus took on our human form and lived our lives.  He stubbed his toes, he was hurt by friends, he grieved the death of loved ones, and he was beaten and died a most brutal death on the cross.  This doesn’t take away the pain, the questions, the fear – but it does point to God’s promise to be with us in the darkest parts of our lives and to indeed rise out of the darkness in newness and life.

So let your kids and yourself know that it is okay to ask these questions or struggle with these elements of life and faith that don’t seem to connect.  Then create space to sit and wander in these questions together.  Pray about it together. Ask them what they feel.  Invite them to express their thoughts in drawings, in words, in song – or write a letter to God, or to the families who lost loved ones, or one of the folks recovering, or even a letter to the accused who sits in custody telling him that God loves him and that there are people who are praying that he comes to know his evil acts and repent of them.

You, as the parents, are the ones to determine how much and what to share with your kids – but invite them to talk.  Because if they’ve heard about this tragedy, they most likely have questions and simply having a safe space to share those will make the most difference.

Prayers surround you and all who engage these difficult parts of our lives and know that Pastor David and I are around to help.

~ Pastor Kim

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Rich Melheim, creator of Faith 5, to visit TIgard

Join Pastor Kim and others from St. Luke for an all-family event on May 5 from 6:30-8:00pm at Calvin Presbyterian Church –  10445 SW Canterbury Lane Tigard, OR 97224.

Bring the kids, bring a pillow, and bring an open mind and heart as Rich entertains, teaches, and shares with you and your whole family the Faith 5 pattern.  Let Pastor Kim know if you are planning to go – there may be a fellowship gathering for dinner before!



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