St Francis Times

Our Vision:
A Beacon of Christ's Light for Justice in the World and a vital Church of the local community.

Weekly News from St. Francis Lutheran Church
July 24, 2011

Festival of Maary Magdalene, Apostle

PreacherPr Robin Ressler TBD
Presiding MinisterPr Robin Ressler TBD
Assisting MinisterGrant Burger Open
SacristanSamuel Aller Samuel Aller
CruciferPaul JohnsonSteve Lawson
LectorLeona Lee Iris Vaughan
OrganistDr. David Schofield Dr. David Schofield
Ushers / Greeters4th Sunday Usher Team 5th Sunday Usher Team
Coffee Hour HostWomen of St. FrancisLeona Lee & Kirsten Havrehed
CountersGrant Burger & Steve LawsonAdam Maass & Tom Metz
Flowers Today’s altar flowers are given to the glory of God from Nancy Record Open

Podcasts of services are available at

We remember in prayer


To improve our ministry to those members of the congregation remembered in prayer, we are indicating those who would be open to a visit (v) phone call (p) and/or card (c). Contact the church office for further information.

  • Sarah Wells and her family on the passing of her father on June 24th
  • Nancy Mortensen, mother of Lawrence Mortensen, hospitalized
  • Nancy Burns, recovering from rotator cuff surgery (c, emails)
  • the father of Rob Zampetti, under going biopsy surgery
  • Glenda Lisk
  • Nancy Johnson, aunt of Paul Johnson
  • Aileen Flood
  • Diane DeLange (cv)
  • Bob Douglas
  • Jack Kling (c)
  • Richard Copperud (c)
  • Bill Hunter (p,v)
  • Bobette James (mother of Robert James)
  • George James
  • Donald Stine
  • Joycelyn Williams
  • Coribel H. Addy, mother of Bryan Addy
  • Jonaven,19 months old and hospitalized for cancer
  • Chris Marckmann, brother of Brandee Marckmann
  • Sylvia Beckerley, stepmother of Scott Beckerley,
  • Sophie Barron, mother of James Barron
  • Grace, mother of Dan Jones
  • Bob of New York
  • our shut-ins
  • Parents who have lost children
  • Those who use our facilities, especially our Seniors, and those attending the 12-step programs here, and the Friends of St. Francis Childcare Center. We pray for their continued health, happiness and success.

Those serving in the world:

  • The Rev. Megan Rohrer, Missionary to the Homeless of SF through The Welcome Ministry;
  • The Rev. Pieter Oberholzer and his partner, Fanie Zondagh, and the staff at Inclusive and Affirming Ministries (IAM) in South Africa, serving LGBT people and allies;
  • Catharine Coon and the Hope Alive Project in Uganda.


We welcome Pr. Robin Ressler, our guest preacher and presider today.

Worship Notes

Today’s second reading comes from the non-canonical Gospel of Mary. This Gospel exists only in three fragments, which were discovered in three locations in Egypt in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Our text comes from the first discovered, and longest, fragment, sometimes called the Berlin Codex. It was written in Coptic, a language still used liturgically by Egyptian Christians today.

While the Berlin Codex is believed by scholars to have been made in the fifth century, they think that it was a translation from Greek, the language of the other two extant fragments, which are older. It is believed that the Gospel of Mary was authored in the second century.

While some people believe that the Gospel of Mary was deliberately excluded from the canon, it is also possible that this Gospel, like others that have been discovered in the past century or so, was not in wide enough circulation to have been a candidate.

The content of the Gospel of Mary complements the Biblical picture of Mary Magdalene as Apostle and as Apostle to the Apostles.

Pr. Robin Ressler

Out of the Office

The church office will be closed from Thursday July 21st through Monday July 25th. Dave Walda is taking a few days off.

Worship participant sign up

The Worship Participant sign up sheets are on the Parish Hall bulletin board. Please take a moment to volunteer for one of the open slots.

Coffee hour hosts are especially needed. The food need not be extravagant. Cookies are sufficient. The host is responsible for putting out the coffee cups, napkins, etc. and clean up afterward. Cups, milk/cream, sugar, plates and napkins are provided.

Contact Paul Johnson for more information.

Senior Center News

This Wednesday's program features a birthday tribute to Doris Day, hosted by Wes Winters, with a CBS TV musical special starring Tim Conway, Rich Little and John Denver.

The St. Francis Senior Center is sustained by the generosity of those who give of their money, time and caring hearts. We are grateful for all who contribute in making this place special! If you are able, we ask a financial donation to assist us in the cost of lunch and our staff. Our minimum donation for lunch is still only $2.00. If you can put in more from time to time, we ask you to do so. We appreciate your support. Of course, all seniors are welcome here - and no one is turned away for lack of finances. We thank you.

From Sylvia Braselmann

Dear Friends,

As some of you know, I am singing with the San Francisco Choral Society, and we have a spectacular concert coming up, on August 26 and 27, in Davies Symphony Hall.

We are performing Felix Mendelssohn's "Elijah", an epic, dramatic oratorio about the life and times of the prophet Elijah. Joining our 200 voices will be another 80 voices of the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir, and the leading American baritone Rod Gilfrey as Elijah, as well as other soloists and a 40-piece orchestra, resulting in a truly dynamic musical experience.

Elijah was a devout and righteous man who, at great personal cost, challenged evil, railed against false gods and spoke of the power of God and the coming of the Messiah.  From the 9th century BC, Elijah figures in major religious texts in Christianity, Judaism and Islam and in folklore. In short, it's a great story and well told musically. In fact, it has all the trappings of a good drama: from raising a widow's son from the dead, confronting the followers of Baal, a drought and miraculous return of rain, the conflict with King Ahab and Queen Jezebel, and the ascension of Elijah into heaven on a fiery chariot.

“Elijah” is Mendelssohn's most popular work, full of great choruses and arias – all sung in English! (Of course, I have the famous choruses jumping around in my head in German … but I’ll manage … and am excited about actually performing in Davis Symphony Hall and not just sitting in the audience:)

I would really like seeing many of you there – we are well into our rehearsals, and it’s going to be great! I can get you tickets (saving you the service charge), so let me know if you’d like to come. Of course you can also buy tickets at the door, or on the City Box Office website.

Readings for Next Week

Isaiah 55: 1-5, Come to the Feast
Romans 9: 1-5, The Gifts given to Israel by God
Matthew 13: 13-21, Seeing and Perceiving

Did You Know?


The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has interdependent leadership through 10,000-plus congregations, 65 synods, and one churchwide organization. The congregations, synods and the churchwide organization work together, under the guidance of the Churchwide Assembly and Church Council, to ensure a strong foundation of leadership that enables faithful proclamation of the gospel and expressive worship, community involvement, open dialogue and a culture of support for our nearly five million members. The Church Council serves as the legislative authority between the Churchwide Assembly, which are held every two years. The Synods, at their Assemblies elect representatives to represent the Synod at the Churchwide Assembly.

The churchwide organization, ELCA, has a Presiding Bishop, elected to as six-year term. The current Presiding Bishop is the Rev. Mark S. Hanson. The ELCA is also supported by the Office of the Secretary, Office of the Treasurer, as well as other boards and staff.

St. Francis is a member of the Sierra Pacific Synod (, with the Rev. Mark Holmerud as it’s Bishop. The Sierra Pacific Synod’s geographical territory is northern California and northern Nevada. The synod territory is divided into 6 districts, with several conferences in each district. St. Francis is in District C, and part of the San Francisco Conference. Pr. Susan Strouse is the Dean of the Conference. There are two other conferences in this district, East Bay, and Southern Alameda.

The Synod operates under it’s own set of governing documents, but in line with the policy of the churchwide organization The Sierra Pacific Synod also has a Council, which has responsibility for the legislative authority between the annual Synod Assembly. Elaine Whitney serves on the Synod Council, elected at the Assembly in last May.


The Social Statement on Human Sexuality, 213 - 134, 61%, a wide-ranging document discussing all aspects of sexuality in the context of Canadian society. Go to to read the document.

PASSED, 204 - 133, 61%, the following motion on the unity of the church: As a confessional Lutheran Church which bases its life and teaching on the Scriptures, the ecumenical creeds and the confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada affirms with the confessors at Augsburg in 1530 that "it is enough for the unity of the church to agree concerning the teaching of the gospel and the administration of the sacraments" (AC VII).

We affirm that the church ought not be divided because of disagreement over moral issues, no matter how distressing such disagreement might be. We believe that any attempt to divide the church because of disagreements over morals, polity or liturgy is an unacceptable confusion of law and gospel, which will lead inevitably to a distortion of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We encourage ELCIC members, congregations, synods and churches who share our commitment to the Scriptures, creeds and confessions and who disagree with one another over issues of morals, polity (including standards for ordination or consecration) and/or liturgy to remain in dialogue and unity with one another and maintain unity in the gospel and the sacraments as St. Paul recommends in I Corinthians 1:10-17. We encourage all Lutherans to work for and nurture the unity of the confessional witness to the Gospels which is essential to the Lutheran tradition. We ask those persons, congregations, synods and/or churches who are in disagreement to refrain from actions that will divide the body of Christ.

PASSED, 192 - 132, 59%, the following motion on blessing/the conduct of marriage ceremonies for committed same-gender relationships by clergy of the ELCIC: It is the policy of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada that rostered ministers may, according to the dictates of their consciences as informed by the Gospels, the Scriptures, the ecumenical creeds and the confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, preside at or bless legal marriages according to the laws of the province within which they serve. All rostered ministers in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada are encouraged to exercise due diligence in preparing couples for marriage. All rostered ministers serving congregations are encouraged at all times to conduct their ministry in consultation with the lay leaders in the congregation and with sensitivity to the culture within which the congregation serves.

PASSED, 205 - 114, 64%, the following motion on ordination/consecration of ministers onto the roster of the ELCIC:
It is the policy of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada that sexual orientation is not in itself a factor which disqualifies a candidate for rostered ministry or a rostered minister seeking a call. Candidates and rostered ministers are in all cases expected to adhere to the qualifications and standards as set out in the constitution and bylaws of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and of the synod within which they serve. Synods and congregations are expected to evaluate candidates for ordination or consecration and rostered ministers for call in accordance with a conscience informed by the Gospels, the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions.

Happy Birthday

  • July 29 Jeffrey Tripp

  • FYI

    The San Francisco Marathon will be running during the morning of July 31st. The route goes east on Haight Street, turning south on Buchanan, then to Guerrero. Auto traffic can be delayed from 7 AM through approximately 12 PM. For a complete map of the route go to

    Neighborhood Street Work

    The Metropolitan Transit Agency (MUNI) and City of San Francisco have started an improvement project, upgrading the streetcar service on Church and Duboce streets. The first phase is replacement of sewer lines. Sewer work has already begun on Duboce, and will eventually occur on our block of Church Street. Such sewer work will have an impact during the week days and possibly on the weekends if curb parking is blocked off due to these improvements.

    After the sewer work, the MUNI phase will begin, expected to last for an extended time while track rails, pedestrian islands and other improvements are made on Duboce and Church Streets.

    San Francisco Night Ministry Cabaret

    Safeway parking permits are available in the back of the church. The permits allow parking for Sunday services ONLY.

    St. Francis Lutheran Church

    A Place for Gathering: Memory, Presence and Promise
    152 Church Street, San Francisco, CA 94114-1111

    (415) 621-2635 FAX (415) 621-8819

    Contact us:

    Directions to St. Francis: Ext 21
    Worship Service schedule: Ext 20
    Dave Walda, Senior Parish Administrator: Ext 10
    Clifton King, Sexton
    Rob Byrne, Congregation President
    Janet Thuesen, Treasurer

    Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Friday
    General Email: St.FrancisSF - at -

    Dr. David Schofield
    David Walda, Senior Parish Administrator:

    Deadline for Times material is Wednesday at 2 p.m. Every effort will be made to accommodate all submissions according to space availability.

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