First United Lutheran Church

First United Lutheran Church

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We invite y'all to join us for worship on facebook this morning at 10:30 at Central Lutheran! https://www.facebook.com/CentralLutheranDallas/ Hope you are all doing well! Stay safe!
Please join us! Easter Vigil begins at 7:30 pm (central time). The bulletin is available on our website at www.centrallutheran.org/bulletins Click on Easter Vigil. Join us for this special service! All are welcome!
We invite y'all to join with us on facebook for a Wed evening prayers and devotional time at 7:00pm: https://www.facebook.com/pg/CentralLutheranDallas/posts/?ref=page_internal Hope to "see" you there! Stay safe!
Romans 8:38 (modified!) Nothing can separate us from the Love of God! Neither death nor life.... nor Covid-19! We invite you to join us for on-line worship. Come "join" us in worship at 10:30 on Facebook! (Wed evening at 7pm, too!). The bulletin for this morning can be found here: http://www.centrallutheran.org/pastors-voice/
Y'all are invited to join us in supporting this important neighborhood ministry! Tickets are available at the church office M-F, 8am-noon or before and after our 10:30 worship service. Contact the office or PM us here and we can hold them at the door for you! $10 per ticket

Since 1923. We are centrally located on Mockingbird Lane in Dallas, TX. We hold services every Sunday at 10:30 am. Visitors are welcome.

From the Pastor: June 19th or Juneteenth comes as a reminder of the last formal freeing of enslaved people after the Civil War in 1865, when Union troops landed in Galveston with the announcement that the war and slavery in the United States had ended.

Long a celebration among Texas African Americans, the celebration has gained nationwide interest, especially this year in light of the recent protests over police brutality. Here in the Northern Texas – Northern Lousiana Synod, we can join together whatever our race to celebrate the freedom God brings. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America encourages us to reflect on this history and the ongoing challenges it brings, plus encourages us to pray today (and in the future!) for change.

From the Pastor: God’s wisdom does not merely offer some magical words or a pie-in-the-sky hope, but addresses the needs and triumphs of this time, of right now. Thus, God desires and equips real people to connect with others. So, we can sorrow and struggle with the protesters and the pandemic sufferers, as well as celebrate with recent graduates and those who recover. This kind of perspective allows us and pushes us to consider all persons as equal before God and equal in God’s concern. Thus we can watch the news reports and respond in prayer or action. And we can turn to God in our own worries and struggles, seeking strength and change as well as the community of faith which includes us.
So we need not throw up our hands in frustration or even fear, rather we fold our hands in prayer; we use our hands to reach out to those we can assist; we use our fingers to type messages of support or dial phone numbers to do the same. And we can know that wherever we find ourselves, God has arrived there before us to remain with us and to call others to our side to support us.

From the Pastor: On June 17, 2015, Clementa C. Pinckney, DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lee Lance, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel Lee Simmons, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and Myra Thompson were murdered by a self-professed white supremacist while they were gathered for Bible study and prayer at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (often referred to as Mother Emanuel) in Charleston, South Carolina.

A resolution to commemorate June 17 as a day of repentance for the martyrdom of the Emanuel Nine was adopted by the Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on August 8, 2019. We join other congregations of the ELCA in reaffirming our commitment to repent of the sins of racism and white supremacy which continue to plague this church, in venerating the martyrdom of the Emanuel Nine, and in marking this day of penitence with study and prayer.

From the Pastor: Jesus came and lived justice and kindness, but not in some sloppy “anything goes” sort of way. Rather, Jesus brought love into sharper focus for all to see; Jesus made it clear that love achieved these things, not just through hard work and checking all the proper boxes. You want to see justice; see Jesus. You want to see kindness; see Jesus. Jesus did not parade around his equality with God, but acted in service and now sets the stage for us. We act kindly towards our loved ones and immediate neighbors we can see, then we act kindly towards the world, towards our global neighbors, who need to see hope and care at work in the world. We represent a Savior, not a divine judge. Since that rings true for our lives, it shapes how we act in the world with care and kindness, but also with justice and fairness. Dare we follow Jesus to achieve justice and kindness through love and care?

Let us pray: May we indeed see the path of justice, kindness, and humility and then strike out to follow it. May your Spirit open our eyes, raise our vision, and equip us to follow. Inspire us truly by the example of Jesus. Amen.

From the Pastor: Once again Ephesians offers us a powerful promise and reminder: Christians live by hope. We hope in the resurrection, the power of forgiveness, and the ability of God to use us. Christians act in hope. We hope over and over again that indeed Christ Jesus “has broken down the dividing wall, the hostility between us.” Such hope stirs our relationships at tense times with loved ones and neighbors. Such hope moves us in times of conflicts local and global. Such hope sends us to prayer when communication breaks down between us and others. Others may seek advantage and domination. We can live in hope.

This week opens to challenge us once again to believe in hope, to live in hope, to act in hope as the children of God can risk to do. As we emerge from a weekend of another killing of a black man by a white police officer and move to the remembrance of the Emmanuel 9 on Wednesday (stay tuned for more details) and the celebration of Juneteenth on Friday, may we followers of Christ Jesus indeed look for a crumbling wall of hostility and hopeful days ahead.

Let us pray: Lord, where walls exist between races, within families, and along other dividing lines, give us hope, equip us with hope, and move us to share hope with those around us and around the world. Amen.

vimeo.com

Complete Worship Service June 14, 2020

Join us for worship on this 2nd Sunday after Pentecost!
https://vimeo.com/428479907

This is "Complete Worship Service June 14, 2020" by First United Lutheran Church on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

From the Pastor: In the 8th chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus speaks about his identity and the rejection of his witness in the world. By verse 46, John gets to the point that prejudice, power, and prejudgment rather than acceptance, care, and equality work against Jesus. And despite his call to his heavenly Father, we know how those in power thought they could resolve the Jesus challenge on Good Friday. Prejudice, power, and prejudgment worked against George Floyd in those final 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Those in power rejected his call of “I can’t breathe” and his desperate appeal to his mother. Floyd was not the Savior, but his death has once again raised the question of equality in our nation and our world. The death of George Floyd, the words of Christ– will they help us to believe in the message of the Christian faith, believe in a faith that includes all, that welcomes all, that forgives and receives all, that speaks truth to challenge prejudice, power, and prejudgment?

From the Pastor: For the third time this week, we turn to Ephesians and its encouraging words. In addition to some ultimate resting place, we people of faith have a gift that allows us to experience this life more fully. That phrase “eyes of the heart” reminds us of more than superficial feelings or some kind of magic power. Rather this phrase offers us a picture of insight, of seeing deeper meaning, rather than a surface hearing. When faith moves us to see beyond the obvious, we begin to understand the pain of others, the pain-infliction that some words and actions can have, the unspoken burdens folks carry, as well as the possibilities of friendship among a gathered group. We can also review our own lives for the impact we can have on others, as well as what influence others have had or will have. We can therefore hope for more for our city, nation, and world; we can hope for more for ourselves. Such riches God gives!

vimeo.com

Special Music: We Can't Breathe

From the Pastor: Our very own church musician Garth Baker-Fletcher composed and performed an original song “We Can’t Breathe” inspired by the Black Lives Matter rallies and the tragic death of George Floyd. We so appreciate his sharing this powerful composition. https://vimeo.com/428509215

This is "Special Music: We Can't Breathe" by First United Lutheran Church on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

From the Pastor: This letter of Ephesians continues to offer us encouragement in these days. Paul and his community extended the Christian faith beyond the first territory of the Jews into the land of modern day Turkey and then first steps into Europe in Greece. We people of faith continue to experience Jesus Christ who knows no boundaries, who constantly expands beyond our expectations. And despite the distance, the new people, and the new challenges, this same Lord Jesus Christ moves us all by the same love demonstrated at Christmas, offered during his ministry we hear of in the Gospels, shown on the cross, and proclaimed from the Easter open tomb by the resurrected Jesus. That same love now gives us assurance whatever we face, then unites us, however we see ourselves, however we seem to others. We, the beloved of God, now pick up the tasks of the disciples, Paul, and his community as committed to unity, peace, and love for the world!

First United Lutheran Church's cover photo

From the Pastor: Bible words sometimes can seem a bit too churchy for many people. And on protest signs they may not have the catchiness of some simpler messages or slogans, but, hey, this is actually what people on the street are talking about right now. The exact difficulties addressed by the recent protests may indeed use catchier phrases, but long ago the early Christians knew that a core problem between people, between authorities and people, revolved around these very issues.

How many of the problems addressed in protests against the police, and really against racism, could be ended or at least reduced drastically if we could all remember these words and live like this– no prejudgment of others or lashing out (bitterness). no excessive force (wrath), no unnecessary escalation of force (anger), no finding a way to justify inappropriate actions (wrangling), or lying about what happened before and during an encounter (slander), no prejudging / no prejudice (malice) before you even know all the details of a situation or a person. These words could help us to love our neighbor more clearly and more truthfully, to live into the ongoing reform God’s Sprit works within us.

From the Pastor: People of faith can speak for community needs– the faith community’s needs of caring for one another in worship, learning, and support; and we can remember the needs of the broader community as well. Jesus challenged us to care about and even to love “the neighbor” when too many focused only on people like themselves. We still can see the easy temptation to care for our own, to support our own. Now, however, and so so many times, the Spirit moves us to care beyond the easy identification of those who deserve our love, instead moving us to see that larger community, that neighbor who does not merely reside next door, but around the block, throughout the city, across the nation, beyond this continent. Now indeed brings an invitation for caring Christian people to bring peace, love, and faith again!

From the Pastor: Christians know well this honoring and suffering reality. People of faith honored Jesus during his triumphal Palm Sunday entry. That same Jesus suffered ultimately on the cross, while a few of those who previously honored him experienced their own suffering during his time on the cross. Then came Easter when the revelation of human experience clarified–- we suffer together; we honor together. God honored our lives, our hopes, and our futures by the promise of the resurrection, an eternal resurrection as well as the times we now experience small resurrections of joys and hopes throughout life.

And we enter this world’s pain and threats, knowing that others will surround us in our times of trial and hurt–- by prayers and by walking alongside both literally in protest or going through a challenge with us by offering advice and insights as well as simple comfort and care. So we honor those rejoicing and we look for the suffering we can accompany and honor as well. Together.

From the Pastor: I have this poster / mini-standee in my office to remind me that we all have our Days-– Days when everything seems to go wrong and we want to cry or scream or both. At the same time, we will know Days of great joy such as birthdays or the baptism of a newborn, or a wedding, or a success on the job, or a wonderful experience for a friend or family member; Days we want to relive; Days we would just as soon go back to bed and start again tomorrow; Days that mark triumphs; Days that seek to judge us over and over again for mistakes; Days that seem merely repetitious; Days that stand out– lifetime memories. We may want to mark special Days, a Day when God seemed particularly close, yet God promises to go with us through them all. Every one of those Days has gotten us to this point in life. In every one of those, God’s hand works for our good in gifting us with what we need to move forward, in forgiving our missteps, in holding us up to make it to tomorrow, in giving us the treasure of memory. We can rejoice this Day and all the Days because God has made them possible for us and ultimately they all lead up to a life full of God’s presence and promise.

Let us pray: Lord, it is one of those Days. Grace us with your presence. Set our feet our right paths. Forgive our wrongs. Help us hold on to the joys. Inspire us to enrich the Days of others. In Christ’s loving grace we pray. Amen.

From the Pastor: God’s power can work exactly here in this social change in process. We can find hope in the numbers of people calling for fairness and justice. We can witness so much love for those who have known loss. We can encourage love for our country’s ability to respond and change. We can witness love in the many recent attempts to create bridges between protesters and order-enforcers. Disciplined protests and disciplined maintenance of order in communities can join together in creating the change that begs to blossom. People of faith in these United States offer a wonderful witness by our confidence in the powers of love and self-discipline. We who know well the power of confession and forgiveness and of love for the neighbor can continue to share these gifts in hopes of bringing change out of chaos and justice for situations that need to change; we can witness to the promise of life out of pain and loss.

Let us pray. Powerful Pentecost Spirit, bring confidence into our lives so that we can see God’s power at work in the world around us as well as in the worries around us. Continue to inspire each one of us as an agent of love to care for the hurting and to work on changing the world around us. Increase our self-discipline so that we turn regularly to you in prayer and act vigilantly in care. In the name of the Holy Trinity, Amen.

First United Lutheran Church's cover photo

From the Pastor: Our Pentecost bandana First United collage has started to develop into a wonderful illustration of our First United family and the care we have for one another – in coronavirus times and otherwise. Families of faith such as this illustrate the wonderful inclusion of the diverse people by God. Depending on history and location of the building, we may not always illustrate all the diversity possible, but we can see people from across the world even in our pictures: one-time refugees, adoptees, native-born local Dallasites, transplants from across the nation, so many occupational and personal pursuits, different configurations of family-- all children of God, inspired children of God, united children of God ready for worship together and witness within our community! Stay healthy. Pray for one another and our hurting world. Work united for inclusion and care for all people!

First United Lutheran Church's cover photo

From the Pastor: Parents and family members work at instilling confidence in children as they take first steps, learn to go outside alone, ride a bicycle, drive a car, and then things can get scary. Okay, they can be scary long before that. As people of faith, we add our hopes for growth in experiencing life, making faith an integral part of life, and sharing the life of faith in action in the world. And that too can be scary.

Jesus himself would have found himself often suspect for criminal mischief had he appeared on America’s streets. (In fact, what he said brought charges of criminal mischief in his own day!) We who have inherited faith from the Middle East, bordering Africa and Asia as well as Europe, share a universal faith and therefore we share a universal mission to support actions which give confidence to everyone, no matter their color, national origin, gender, or sexual orientation. We continue to work for all things moving confidently forward for everyone to know and live the Gospel until the day of Jesus Christ.

From the Pastor: We need God’s help as the coronavirus plague continues, as unemployment grows, as death stalks the streets not just from recognizable criminals, but those expected to protect and defend, as charges from high offices and the streets counter one another. We look exactly for help, for calm waters, and for a quieting of the roar and tumult. Just as the darkness of the night breaks slowly to gray before full daylight, we can look for God’s strong presence during these times, look for evidence that people can change their bias, can restore peace, can recover from the virus. And we can consider if now is the time for us to take our place alongside God, working to change the events shaking our friends and neighbors, challenge the influence of people trying to roar over the sound of legitimate protest, and counter the actions by some foaming up to cover the truth. We can act because no matter the changes to the earth around us, God comes purposefully for us.

Let us pray: Lord lead us by your presence. Alone we falter, yet we look to you to prevail in our lives as well as in our culture. Let us hear and live your Word, in Jesus Christ, Amen.

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Videos (show all)

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Luther Gallery at First United in Dallas

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6202 E Mockingbird Ln
Dallas, TX
75214-2619
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