Workshops with Pastor

Interested in how and why we worship the way we do? Pastor Nelson will be leading occasional after-worship workshops in the sanctuary for those who are curious and have questions about our liturgical history (including what words like ‘liturgical’ even mean!). First gathering will be during coffee hour on May 11th, to consider the ways our Mothers set the table for family meals and host graciously, as we train worship leaders also for the role of assisting minister. Plan on fifteen to twenty minutes for this first workshop and bring your questions for this and future conversations!

Pastor will also be starting up two Bible studies in the month of May for any and all who are interested. Tuesday afternoons from 1-2pm at Ralph’s Pretty Good Cafe there will be a preview of the coming Sunday texts. Wednesday evenings from 6-7pm in the church basement there will be a topical study, beginning with a 4-week series on Justification. Studies will begin May 13th.

Posted in Goings-on at CoE

Easter Schedule 2014

Have you checked out the Facebook page lately? Very informative. Easter Schedule is posted there.

Posted in Easter, Goings-on at CoE

Maundy Thursday-from Pastor


That’s a fancy word. That’s a fancy church word. It’s from the Latin and basically translated means three days. That’s the time we’re entering on Thursday with our 7pm Maundy Thursday service (another fun church word – ‘Maundy’ means ‘mandate,’ as in command to love one another), and it reaches all the way through to Saturday when the sun goes down (which is basically Sunday). It means that from Thursday night’s worship service all the way through Good Friday (7pm Jazz liturgy with St James) up to Saturday night’s Vigil (this year we’ll celebrate that at 7pm with St James), is all one liturgy, spread out. It’s a great big story telling weekend, a gathering up of salvation history into intense time of reflection and remembering. When I was in college, we always had Holy Week off, but since I worked in the chapel every year, it was more like switching from full-time student to full-time living in the chapel so we could clean and prepare and worship and set up for the next worship and so on. I loved it!

I know we don’t all have time off work for this three-day extended rite, and corralling the kids for so much time isn’t easy, either, but maybe even in the usual daily grind you’ll be able to tell that this week is very strange. In some places, the organ and other instruments for worship aren’t used between the end of Thursday’s Eucharist and the beginning of Saturday’s Eucharist. They’re silenced, shut off, like the moment of silence we give to honor the dead, only much longer. Some parishes lock their buildings between Good Friday’s liturgy and the start of the Vigil, as though it were a tomb, and then the only light they use is from a candle lit at sundown Saturday, which comes from a bonfire and is passed among the worshipers for the gathering and telling of up to a dozen stories and prophecies from the First Testament. It’s like getting together in a cave, secret and silent, and then when the resurrection is announced from the altar with the great “This is the Feast!” hymn, the lights all come on in a blaze of glory… and in some places, that vigil of storytelling lasts all the way from sundown to sunup, so that resurrection hymn comes with the sunrise after a whole night of waiting.

What are some of your favorite memories and practices around this great three days of worship? Do you remember the sound of a book being closed loudly? Of candles going out? Of prayer vigils in silence and dark? The smell of lilies on Sunday? Switching from minor keys to major keys in the music? It’s been a long 40 days since Ash Wednesday, and even though we got snow one last (hopefully) time, the promise of Spring and new life is holding on. May God bless your celebrations and awaken you to new resurrections this season!

Posted in Easter

Sunday school

The stories this week are pretty great, too. 
Ezekiel's valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37:1-14) and the raising of Lazarus (John 11:1-45). 

You can make rattles like the sound of the dry bones, or have the kids wrap each other up with toilet paper like Lazarus. 
Lots of possibilities! 
From Pastor 
[photo found on web by Deb - too gruesome? feedback requested.]Image
Posted in Sunday School | Tagged

Pastor and Music

I love singing. I love our new hymnal. I was so excited to be in college when we were putting the ELW together, and to have a great music program at seminary to learn all those fantastic hymns. I forgot which ones I knew best before and which ones I had a hard time learning by the time I graduated. In fact, at my Ordination I picked hymns from the green LBW that I grew up with, and while they had beautiful texts I wasn’t 100% familiar with their melodies even then!

I invite you to help me out when it comes to planning our worship life together. About once a month, Cate and I meet after worship on a Sunday to read the upcoming lessons and gather our thoughts and choose music, but it can be more than just the two of us in that conversation. In fact, crafting worship together can be part of the way we do Bible study, especially if we’ve got a group that will look at the weekly texts. What do you think? I’m just brainstorming here, so I’ll have extra pages in Sunday’s bulletin this week for folks to write down a few of their favorite hymns for us to use in worship so I don’t get carried away with the new stuff. Again. I’d like to hear from as many of y’all as possible and maybe you can help me figure out how to better keep track of this, too.

Even after two months it can still be overwhelming getting used to each other and figuring out life together. I am so glad God called us together, and I love being your pastor. Let’s keep getting to know each other and see what God is up to among us!

In Christ,

Pastor Nelson

Posted in General, Music/Videos

Pastor’s Sermons

Just wanted to make sure you all knew that Rev. Angela Nelson’s sermons are posted on her blog:

Pastor’s e-mail address is:

Posted in General

2014 Synod Assembly – vote for bishop

Please take time to read the following attached message from the synod in regards to the upcoming Synod Assembly.  We are allowed to send Pastor Nelson and a male and a female  as voting members.  All costs are covered by Christ our Emmanuel (which is included in our yearly budget).  Any questions, please feel free to talk to any Council member and let us know if you are interested in attending.  Gary and I attended last year along with Pastor Bob.  This year there is an important vote for the election of Bishop.

Posted for Linda
Registration is now open for Synod Assembly which will be held at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center!

Join us as we explore how through the waters of baptism our lives are defined by the metaphor of being poured out in love and service to the world. This year’s Assembly will run Sunday, June 1 through Tuesday, June 3.

Online registration is now open through the synod website. Paper registration forms are available on the website or by calling the Synod office at (315) 446-2502.

Registrations postmarked or completed online by April 30th will receive a $10.00 early registration discount on the $95.00 registration fee only (not meals). With changes in the website there is a new system for the online registration. Please PRINT AND CALCULATE the amount owed BEFORE hitting submit at the bottom of the registration page. Please see registration materials for how to handle this on paper registrations. Your registration is not complete until payment has been received. Pre-registration ends on Sunday, May 25, 2014. After that registrations will only be taken at the assembly registration desk.

The Radisson Hotel Rochester Riverside will again provide our hotel accommodations. The room rate is $106 per night. Deadline to book at the hotel is May 15th. You must call to book your room reservation and ask for the Synod Assembly rate. HOTEL RESERVATIONS MUST BE MADE DIRECTLY THROUGH THE HOTEL AND ARE NOT INCLUDED IN YOUR REGISTRATION FEE. Rochester is always busy in early June, so hotel rooms will be at a premium. After May 15th, the Radisson may not honor our special assembly room rate.

Who should come to assembly? All our welcome! Our synod constitution allows that the voting membership of the Synod Assembly shall be composed of at least 60% lay persons as elected by congregations. Additionally, all ordained members under call on the roster of our synod who are in attendance at Synod Assembly shall be voting members; and all associates in ministry, deaconesses, and diaconal ministers, under call on the official roster of this synod shall have both voice and vote as lay voting members of the Assembly. Per synod continuing resolution SC/R6.04.A01, it is also the goal of our synod that 10% of the membership of synod assemblies be persons of color or persons whose primary language is other than English. Additionally, bylaw SB/L6.04.B01 specifies a goal of at least 10% of the voting members of the Assembly being youth and young adults. Be sure to choose “Is this person in high school?”. This information is critical for us to calculate the number of high school students participating in Lutheran Youth Organization activities at assembly and to determine if we reach the goal of 10% of our voting members being youth and young adults. Visitors, retirees and other guests are always welcome to join us. Child care will be offered.

Attendees will have opportunities: to hear our ELCA Churchwide representative,The Rev. Wm. Chris Boerger; participate in synod business decisions including the bishop’s election and electing our vice president and treasurer; walk together in service; attend workshops on outreach and mission; explore Mission Faire and much more. The Reverends Joanne Stewart and Allie Leitzel will lead us in Bible study.

Music:Synod Assembly Music Director, Thatcher Lyman, invites vocalists and instrumentalists to be in touch with him to participate in music for this year’s assembly. In addition to Monday evening’s Eucharist Worship there will be opportunities throughout assembly for music to enrich our worship and plenary sessions. Please email Thatcher at with your interest, instrument of choice and/or your interest in joining the choir.

High School aged Youth will be under the direct supervision of Youth @Synod Assembly staff throughout the assembly. They may sit with their congregation or at the youth table as they choose, but they will be required to check in with Youth @Synod Assembly staff at certain times. Youth may participate as pages, sing in the choir, or do any other scheduled activity, as long as we know where they are. Any high school youth who is staying overnight must room with the other high school aged youth, no matter what their age. This is in keeping with our synod’s Safe Church policy. [Remember: DO NOT reserve a room for the youth; we will do that as registrations come in. DO add $26.50 to the cost of registration for each night the youth will stay in the hotel. (Example if your youth is staying Sunday and Monday evening please add $53.00 to your payment)]

Service Project:At our Synod Assembly in June, there will be a designated drop off area by the registration desk for all aluminum can tabs that are collected by congregations. At the conclusion of the Assembly, the can tabs will be taken to a recycler in the Rochester area. The monies realized from the can tabs will be divided equally between Cherish All Children and Disaster Relief for the area in West Seneca that was flooded by Buffalo Creek.

Would you like to volunteer at Assembly? The Synod Assembly Planning Team is looking for some additional volunteers to help out at Synod Assembly, June 1 – 3, 2014 in Rochester. Volunteer opportunities include: pages, IT/AV team, and the registration table. Volunteers will need to register for assembly as a guest and purchase any meals they wish to eat. To learn more please contact either Denise Ballou, Synod Assembly Planning Team Chair,, or Patsy Glista, Assistant to the Bishop for Operations,

Posted in Goings-on at CoE, Synod/Cluster