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Our thanks to this year's Lenten Artist Sharon Kessinger. Since arriving in Utah, Sharon taught art for 16 years in middle and upper schools at The Waterford School in Sandy. She then taught 4 year old pre-school at Rowland Hall for 6 years, retiring this past June. The Lent panels she is painting for Mt. Tabor's sanctuary represent the spirit of rebirth and renewal. The first panel depicts the seed of birth or re-creation, the second the awakening or emerging growth, and the last the tree of life. The small details of the tree represent the blessings we receive and the gifts we give to others. The panels are greatly inspired by the work of Gustav Klimt, a 19th century Austrian artist, who is one of her favorites.
Tabor's Faith and Science Roundtable meets at the University of Utah Monday April 29th at 11:30am in Room 208 (please note the temporary change) in the Research Admin Bldg. Our guest speaker is Dr. John Carey who will lead our discussion of the topic "The Evolution of Beauty and Altruism." Can human nature evolve into a more compassionate and generous state of being?
Border Reflections Part 1: Who is coming and why?
This last weekend I was on the Border with our congregations and ministries in El Paso and Las Cruces who are providing welcome and assistance to refugees seeking asylum. On Saturday Pastor Matt Barnhouse and I spent time at Peace Lutheran in Las Cruces before joining volunteers from Border Servant Corps in receiving a group of 48 refugees. We also made a visit to Trinity Lutheran in Las Cruces, and on Saturday evening I joined volunteers at Iglesia Luterana Cristo Rey in El Paso for dinner with several refugee families. Here’s some of what I saw, heard, learned and experienced.
Who is coming and why?
Those currently seeking asylum at the border in El Paso are primarily from three Central American countries: Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Refugees from these three nations tell similar stories of chronic violence, political insecurity and a culture of extortion by gangs and drug-related cartels. Daily life is marked by fear and uncertainty combined with a lack of access to basic needs. Most of those arriving at this time are families, including at least one parent and child.
While at dinner at Cristo Rey on Saturday evening, I listened as two families bravely shared their stories of constant harassment and extortion that made life in their home countries of Honduras and Guatemala exceedingly dangerous and made any hope of stability for their families impossible. They shared elements of the difficult and costly journey, including the challenge of their time in detention after finally arriving in the United States. They were deeply grateful for the welcome, the care and the simple human dignity offered to them once they arrived at Cristo Rey.
Are those coming refugees or asylum seekers?
The answer is: a bit of both.
Read full reflection
The journey of making our 2019 ministry intiatives began October 14. Our Stewardship for All Seasons team is Jean Stephenson, Bruce Palenski, Mallory deForest, Stephanie Wilson and Pr. David. In October we learned more about the potenial of a Mount Tabor App and the VOA Homeless Youth Resource Center. A hygiene kit service project was completed on Sunday October 21 for Homeless Youth Resource Center. Maud's Cafe, an 8-12 week employment training program for the youth at the Center, catered our fellowship after worship that day. And on Sunday November 11th, we were invited to share our Statements of Intent to express our generosity. Thank you Tabor for helping our congregation find these new ways to live God's love for others!
We as the Rocky Mountain Synod, ELCA invite all into the fullness of God’s love. This invitation is inclusive of people of every race, national origin, immigration status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, physical or mental ability, sex, or station in life. We pledge to use our differences as gifts for our work together.