Grace and peace to you my family in Christ,
Our bible lesson this week is Matthew 25: 14- 30, known as The Parable of the Talents. I would love to have you read it a few times before you come to church.
It can be kind of a scary story because the person who is given the one talent gets it taken away and then he is thrown into the darkness, where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Yikes.
But there is an important lesson in this parable about God’s abundant grace and Jesus’ encouragement to trust in Him. Maybe the landowner in this parable is not as harsh as the guy with the one talent thinks he is. Maybe there is some joy that we are missing.
I am excited to introduce someone this weekend who is an amazing example of this for us. She is somebody who we are partnering with for Gifts of Hope and I believe her story will encourage you.
See you in church this weekend!
Gifts of Hope 2023 Lifts Up Global Ministries:
ELCA World Hunger & The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania: Homes for Widows
About God’s Global Barnyard
The one thing that remains constant with our annual Gifts of Hope is including ELCA World Hunger, and specifically, God’s Global Barnyard!
We love this ministry so much and have personally witnessed how effective this ministry is in fighting hunger.
This year we have seven gift options from which to choose: $10 for ten chicks; $20 for a honeybee hive; $30 for a piglet; $250 for a fish community; $500 for a cow; $715 for a Family Farm; or a general gift to ELCA World Hunger.
With that last gift, you need to know about a portion of that money, about 30%, stays here in the U.S. to fight hunger as well.
Mary Wennes and Pastor Steve serve on our synod hunger team and make recommendations of what ministries receive those funds here.
The gifts to God’s Global Barnyard are especially popular with our children and grandchildren. Let them decide where to send your gifts! And you all will find much joy in “giving” a barnyard animal or fish!
About the Lutheran Church in Tanzania
This weekend, as Pastor Tim preaches on Jesus’ parable of the talents, we will also learn from the talents of a certain lay woman evangelist in Meru, Tanzania. Her name in English means “Blessed,” in Swahili, it is Ndeningwambora. She has been in ministry in Meru, Tanzania for over 40 years, mother of four daughters, and a widow since 2005. We were introduced to her by her daughter Naomi Mbise, a recent grad at Cal Lutheran, and a friend of ours these past four years.
Now we seek to be in partnership, prayer, and support with the Lutheran church in Tanzania for Blessed’s vision of providing ten homes for ten widows and their families. They tell us that widows are too often abandoned by the community. Imagine this: the cost of each home is $2,500. Houses, though small, can also provide a place to generate income for family needs. One widow helped by Blessed used space in her home as a shop to sell sundry items to the community. The income she earned paid for school fees for her child. Just think what a difference your gifts will make to these families in Meru, Tanzania, these friends in Christ there! We’ll also provide them with goats for food and income, training for work skills, and Bibles for spiritual growth. We believe the Holy Spirit is calling us to this partnership in ministry.
GOH Week 1:
Making Lasting Connections
After the first weekend of GOH, the word that comes to my mind is CONNECTIONS. I’m grateful for the connections that have been made to develop the relationships with Harbor House and Friends of Fieldworkers. Truly, the gifts to these organizations are GIFTS OF HOPE!
I’m grateful for the CONNECTIONS that brought Joan Connor and her daughter to the adult class to show and share with Denise Cortez about their desire to make more personal toiletry kits for Harbor House clients.
All these CONNECTIONS remind me that each piece of this fabric of hope and giving fills people’s hearts with goodness and joy!
Thanks to all for showing kindness so generously. Once you choose HOPE, anything is possible!
Adult Ed This Sunday:
Special guests from Tanzania and New York will join us via Zoom for the special Adult Ed Class Sunday, November 19 at 10:30 AM.
This Sunday, Nov. 19, we will learn from Naomi Mbise (grad of Cal Lutheran and now an ELCA intern at the United Nations) and her mother Blessed (in Meru, Tanzania!) about the work of the ELCT (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania) and specifically how they are caring for widows and their families.
We will join them via Zoom for the Adult Ed Class at 10:30 AM, just like we did last year with the Lutheran Church in Egypt and the year before, the Lutheran church in Madagascar!
Baptism this Weekend
Chase Daniel Johanson
Supporting Families. Growing Futures. Changing Lives.
Imagine this: A coffee farmer meets a Lutheran pastor from Wisconsin on the slopes of Mount Meru in Tanzania. The coffee farmer had a question for the pastor: “We grow coffee. You drink coffee. Would you buy your coffee from us?”
The pastor’s response: “Yes.”
This exchange of just a few words grew into a partnership between the Greater Milwaukee Synod of the ELCA, the Diocese of Meru of the ELCT and the Mt. Meru Specialty Coffee Growers Association. More than two decades later, the Mt. Meru Coffee Project, a Fair Trade Federation member, is going strong & growing. And we’re joining the ranks of MMCP Ambassadors.
We drink coffee. We buy coffee. We’re a Fair Trade Congregation. We’re excited to find new ways to support and grow the vision and values of Fair Trade: Justice for People & Planet. And we do so enjoy sharing with others how the powerful combination of faith and fair trade can change the lives of many.
Mt. Meru Coffee Project Coffee will be available for purchase through Ascension’s Gifts of Hope and Fair Trade Ministries. (Ask any Gifts of Hope or Fair Trade Ministry Team member for details.) We’ll be enjoying it on the patio. And we’ll connect with leaders of the Mt. Meru Coffee Project in an upcoming Adult Ed Class. MMCP: Supporting Families. Growing Futures. Changing Lives.
Join Us As We Hit the Road!
No passport required — just join us!
We’re taking the road to support Fair Trade artisans around the globe by way of Pasadena. We’re planning a little trip to the Ten Thousand Villages Fair Trade Store & the John August Swanson Studio in Pasadena on December 1. We’ll learn about Fair Trade artisans & their wonderful Fair Trade handcrafts at Ten Thousand Villages. Of course, we’ll do some Fair Trade shopping too!
We’ll also pay a visit to the John August Swanson Studio in Pasadena. As both locations are small, space is limited to 12. Sign-ups on a first -response basis. Send an email to us at if you are interested in joining us on this road trip and/or if you have questions. There will be a $10-15 per person charge to help cover transportation costs as our other funding opportunity didn’t work out. The decision to proceed or cancel will be made on November 20 based on the number of sign-ups received by that date.
SWAVELY MEALS: An account has been set up on behalf of Peter Swavely (recently in a car accident) at takethemameal.com so people can sign up to bring him meals. His code is 6540.
A HELPING PLACE FOR THOSE MOURNING: Our GriefShare group meets from 1 – 2:30 PM Thursdays, except for holy days and holidays. It is a good resource for those who are grieving, and people are welcome to start it any Thursday. Find out more HERE
Save the date: Dec. 9
That’s when the Hawaiian dance group, Ka Mele Wai ‘O Ke Anuenue, returns to add a beautiful dimension to Saturday night worship. (Nancy Lee is a member, you may recall.)
After the Dec. 9 service, there will be a special performance in Founders Hall, complete with “Aloha Santa.”
We happen to know that Pastor Tim has spent some time of late in…hula class.
Are these things connected? You’ll have to see for yourself.
Offerings & Attendance
Support Ascension Lutheran School
For 60 years, we have been dedicated to providing academic excellence through our Christ-centered teachings. Donate today and help support expenses for our continued success with our TK-8 program.
Visit our Annual Fund page or contact Principal Rich Gregory at or 805.496.2419 for more info.
Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18
Psalm 90:1-8 [9-11], 12
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
Book Club Notes
The Ascension Book Club meets the 3rd Thursday of the month at 1:30 in the Bethlehem Room, in the office building. The group chooses books based on members’ interest and discussion is led by one of the members. Books vary from popular novels to nonfiction. Please feel free to join us–we are a friendly group.
Nov 16 “A City of Promise” by Beverly Swerling
Dec 15. “Christmas by the Book” by Anne Marie Ryan
In November we will choose books for the next few months. We are open to suggestions. Books should be available by Libby, local library, Amazon or thriftbooks.
“Come to the Waters” Advent Retreat
Saturday, December 2, 8:30 to 11:30 AM @ North Hollywood First United Methodist Church — Led by Pastor Chamie
The theme for this mini retreat is “Keep It Simple.” This is a perfect way to center yourself early in the season. In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we can too often get overwhelmed. So on this mini retreat, you will find time to breathe deep and find some quiet space. We will explore practices that help us simplify life, simplify the season, simplify our minds, and simplify our expectations. When we keep it simple, we find that we can make more room for Jesus.
Note that this is the next mini retreat offered at NoHo First UMC with Pastor Chamie. Several others are coming in 2024.
We pray that you may once again meet the Risen Christ through the Word and Sacrament ministry, and through the fellowship of this family of faith.
If you do not have a church home, we would like to invite you to worship with our Ascension family again.
All people who are baptized and believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are welcome to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion.
May God bless you in your worship!
Pastors Tim Delkeskamp, Julie McCain, and Steve Herder