Advent/Christmas Events

Mount Calvary Pillars: Inclusivity

“For everyone born, a place at the table.” I have mentioned in a few sermons how thrilled I was to discover, when I first got to Mount Calvary, that this hymn seems to be a bit of the theme song here! It is sung, it is on t-shirts and hoodies and permeates the very fiber of this place. It makes great sense that is deep in the bones as it the very embodiment of the good news of Jesus Christ. It is an appropriate theme for a church who names Inclusivity as one of our four pillars.

As Pastor Brenda says, “The gospel ceases to be the gospel when it becomes exclusive.” And so. The opposite of exclusive is inclusive. Everybody is in. No exceptions. No “but what about those people?” For all of us have been “them” at some point. For when there is an “us” and “them” we are teetering on exclusive.

And yet. We are not monolithic. We do not all think the same. It is my best guess when you are worshipping at Mount Calvary, you are worshipping next to a Democrat! And you are worshipping next to a Republican! And absolutely next to folks who call themselves in-between. Inclusive means EVERYBODY. And everybody means everybody. And we are stronger, richer, greater and become the embodiment of the good news when we are DIVERSE in our inclusivity.

The last weekend of June we will be celebrating inclusivity at Mount Calvary. We do not simply tolerate everybody. We do not simply invite everybody. We do not simply welcome everybody. We CELEBRATE everyone. Because every single person on the PLANET is the embodiment of Genesis 1:27: For God created EVERYONE in the very image of God. Every, every, everyone. For far too long, our world and the church have done a pretty good job of separating and dividing people. Of deeming some not worthy. Enough. We are created in the very image of God. And together we become a bold, glorious, colorful, even messy kaleidoscope of wonder and grace and mercy and beauty beyond description!

So come one. Come all. Come to the table of grace and inclusivity. Where there is no them. Just us. All together.

With great love, Pastor Kyle

Compass Point CO 2022

There are so many great photos from our youth trip to Compass Point!

Dancing Lutherans

Written by Gaye Guyton

Although the term “dancing Lutherans” may normally be an oxymoron, today the seven of us were warmly included in two exuberant dancing circles. Worn dark hands clasped lighter hands drawing us into stomping, moving, joyful circles of welcome. In both the morning and the afternoon, we processed from village streets into a community meeting space wrapped in Malawian folk music accompanying the dancing. 

This was our introduction to two self-sustaining women’s groups. The first was a short walk away in Mgwayi. The women there were making bed nets until recently when their prices were undercut by Chinese imports. They are working on a new venture to launch a mobile restaurant— similar to a food truck — for people in the area who are such long hours that they don’t have time to prepare lunch. 

This afternoon, we met a group of widows in Mtsliza — young to middle-age — left penniless by the death of their husbands. Initially bereft, they retreated to their family homes until, as time went by, they came together for Bible study, prayer, and support. Realizing they had knowledge and skills, especially baking and sewing, they taught one another and now run a successful sewing business and dream of saving enough to purchase a freezer, rare in Malawi, to create frozen sweet treats to sell on hot days. 

And, always, always, there are children with big eyes and quick smiles, quietly observing or participating in the dancing and music wherever we go.


Written by Dick Shell

There is a lot of washing in the Bible. People are baptized and washed of their sins. Jesus’s blood washed us clean. And then there is the foot washing. People in the New Testament washed their feet whenever they entered a home. Mostly around Easter, we may practice that as a ceremony of humbleness and service. I was never really comfortable with that practice. But today, I washed about 150 pairs of hands.  The hands belonged to the children of Mtsiliza, Malawi. It was great. Symbolic and meaningful. I got wet and their hands got ready to put nourishing food in their hungry bodies. 

Greetings from Malawi

Written by Carolyn Shell

Today we visited a market and bought food for a family in Chilombo, a village community out in the country. Dick and I were assigned to help cook a meal for a woman with five beautiful children. We helped prepare the meal and then had time to visit with the village children. I had the pleasure to teach about 50 children the wonderful action song, “Hallelu,” which they loved. They got so excited they wanted to do some dancing games with me.  Then we started a tour of their area and I felt like the Pied Piper! Our guide, Ndaona, said there was a woman with a newborn baby and he pointed her out. He then astounded me by saying, “She wants you to name her baby. It would be good luck for the baby.” Wow,  what an honor! Dick and I agreed to call her “Sunshine.” The mother was pleased, and I was humbled. 

A Message from Pastor Aaron

Dear Mount Calvary Siblings and Friends,
My family and I are moving back to my home state of Michigan to be closer to our parents and relatives. I will be pursuing ministry opportunities there. My last day at Mount Calvary with be June 30, 2022.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do God’s ministry with you:

  To share God’s grace,
  To draw the circle of God’s inclusivity wider,
  To tell the story of God’s love for all, and
  To serve God’s people alongside you.
To each of our confirmation students, guides, mentors and parents: thank you for all our time, sharing God’s story and our own sacred stories together. You are a precious child of God and we love you very much! And to Confirband: thank you for all the music, singing, and joy! And to everyone I’ve gotten to worship with: thank you — your presence and participation is God creating new life in this place. And you all bring a light to my face!
God’s Spirit is moving at Mount Calvary. God has blessed this congregation with such generosity. Jesus’ love is being proclaimed through the words and deeds of pastors, staff, volunteers, leaders, and each person of this community. Though I will be heading to a different place, our common mission remains the same: to embrace, build up, and send out disciples of Christ.
I part with the words God gave our ancestor, Aaron the Priest, words that I hold dear and say from my soul:
May the Lord bless you and keep you,
May the Lord’s face shine upon you and be gracious to you,
May the Lord look upon you with favor,
        And give you peace.

Your brother in Christ,

Pastor Aaron

Courageous Conversations

Join the Mount Calvary R.A.C.E. team in courageous conversations around select episodes of “Seeing White,” a 14-episode podcast that explores how humans created race, how American slavery contributed to our current understanding of race, and the ways in which the subjectivity of whiteness influenced laws. 

Take time to listen to selected episodes (and the previous episodes if you so choose) and come ready to seek discernment through curiosity, questions, and conversation. We will take time to reflect on how the church was present, or not, in this history; what shifts we experience in our perspective, if any; and how we feel called to react. Come to any or all of the sessions.

Saturday, June 4, 6:15:  Made in America  Episode 3

Upcoming Events: July 17, 11:45am and August 10, 6:30pm