ASU and Luke AFB Team Up for Heat Respite!

A wonderful group of primarily active duty service men and women from Luke AFB and some students from ASU visited us at Heat Respite today. The Commander of Luke AFB arrived shortly after 9am and stayed 2 1/2 hours, putting himself and his leadership team to work.  What began as a "small" group of about 25, turned into 60-70 volunteers! 

The team cleaned up storerooms, cleaned up the surrounding neighborhood, helped with the Heat Respite program at the registration desk and in the kitchen... It's amazing what the group accomplished all over the property!  

The group from ASU is the Next Generation Service Corp (NGSC) through the Public Service Academy in the College of Public Service & Community Solutions (COPSCS).  "The NGSC is a four-year leadership development program (with a two-year transfer track) where students study their chosen major, engage in practical elements of leadership, learn cross-sector collaboration and take internships each summer working on real issues in the public, private and nonprofit sectors all while pursuing their own chosen social mission.  NGSC students train directly with ROTC cadets and midshipmen in leadership exercises and field training exercises.  This is a recognition that civilian service and military service are really just two sides of the same coin; both make us stronger as a nation." The group from Luke was here for their #LukeServiceBlitz program.  For more information on the combination of the two groups, visit https://psa.asu.edu/next-generation-service-corps

 From Left to Right: Brett Hunt, Exec Dir of the Public Service Academy at COPSCS/ASU; Kim Davidson, Heat Respite Coordinator; Brigadier General Brook Leonard, Commander of the 56th Fighter Win/LukeAFB, Anita Le, NGSC/ASU; and Lt. Col Rhett Hierlmeier, Dir of Ops for the 56th Operations Group/Luke AFB. 

From Left to Right: Brett Hunt, Exec Dir of the Public Service Academy at COPSCS/ASU; Kim Davidson, Heat Respite Coordinator; Brigadier General Brook Leonard, Commander of the 56th Fighter Win/LukeAFB, Anita Le, NGSC/ASU; and Lt. Col Rhett Hierlmeier, Dir of Ops for the 56th Operations Group/Luke AFB. 

Sermon: June 11, 2017

Sermon: June 11, 2017

In 381 of the common era, approximately 300 years after Jesus lived, died, was raised, and ascended, church leaders gathered for the Council of Constantinople.  The council was called by Theodosius I, the Holy Roman Emperor, in the city of Constantinople, a city now called Istanbul in the present-day nation of Turkey.  This was the second time the Roman emperor had convened church leaders to debate the core beliefs of Christianity.  The first time had been in 325 in Nicea where they wrote the first version of the Nicene Creed.  In 381 at the Council of Constantinople, the leaders of the church formulated the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, the doctrine which states that Christians believe in one God in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each equally and fully God.  The output of the council was the Nicene Creed in basically its present form.  From the first council in 325 to the second council in 381, the major item up for debate was whether the Holy Spirit was equally God in relation to both God the Creator and Jesus.  

Are you still awake?  Have I bored you completely?  

Sermon: 5/21/2017

Sermon: 5/21/2017

The first time I ever felt alone, I was eight years old. For the whole of my remembered life, my family had lived in Greenbush, Minnesota, and a month before the dreaded alone date, my parents sat me down—along with my sister—and told us that we would be moving to a town called Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, three hours away. While my sister graciously accepted this news, I told my parents through tears that it was fine that they were moving but that I would be staying in Greenbush. Moving day came, December 26, and lots of people from church came to help pack up the moving van. After avoiding the moving van and pretending that I wouldn’t be moving, I finally succumbed to reality and got in the van.

Sermon: April 23, 2017

Sermon: April 23, 2017

ELCA pastor Heidi Neumark in her brilliant book Breathing Spaces describes her 19 years of ministry at Transfiguration Lutheran Church in the South Bronx. Just as has happened in many cities, the neighborhood around Transfiguration Lutheran had transitioned from one socio economic status to another, from one ethnic and racial composition to another, from dealing with certain social problems to others in the years before and during Pastor Heidi’s time at Transfiguration, namely 1984 through 2003.

Sermon: Good Friday, April 14, 2017

Sermon: Good Friday, April 14, 2017

In the swirling mass of Good Friday images: crown of thorns, blood, nails

In the chaotic movement from Pilate’s headquarters to the Place of the Skull to the new tomb in which no one had ever been laid

In the cacophony of “Crucify him” and “Hail, King of the Jews”

In the barren emptiness of “I am thirsty” and “It is finished”

It is difficult to know how to make sense of this day.

Sermon: April 2, 2017

Sermon: April 2, 2017

Lazarus is the brother of Mary and Martha.  When he becomes ill, his sisters send for Jesus, but Jesus delays his trip to Bethany for the express purpose of revealing God’s glory.  Before Jesus arrives in Bethany, Lazarus dies.  Mary and Martha are angry with Jesus.  “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died!” they say.  But Jesus declares, “I am the resurrection and the life.  Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.”  Clearly, Jesus plans to raise Lazarus from the dead.  

He waits until there can be no mistake, waits until Lazarus has been dead four days, waits so that no one can erroneously claim Jesus’ actions are merely a healing.  Jesus makes sure that everyone sees Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead by the power of God.

Still, Jesus begins to weep.

Sermon: March 26, 2017

Sermon: March 26, 2017

I’m going to start by telling you something that might be shocking.  I dislike how many Christians do evangelism.  

At its Greek root, the word evangelism simply denotes the practice of sharing the gospel.  While that practice is certainly something we want to do, we want to share the gospel, the details about how we share the gospel are important, at least to me.  

Just as people of other religions do, many Christians believe that we have a corner on the market of truth.  Right?

Sermon: March 19, 2017

Sermon: March 19, 2017

By the power of God, the Israelites had escaped slavery in Egypt, successfully crossed the Red Sea, fled from the Egyptian army, and found refuge in the wilderness and even manna each morning laying on the ground like dew to feed them.  They didn’t know it at the time, but they would wander in the wilderness for forty years while they searched for the promised land.  They would soon receive the Ten Commandments and a host of other laws.  

In the meantime, the people were thirsty.  The wilderness into which they had been spewed was much like our own desert landscape here in Arizona: dry, harsh, prickly, sandy, home to a plethora of insects and reptiles.