This week at Mt. Carmel...
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Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church

1701 Fredericks Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
(805) 544-2133

Sunday Services:
8:45am Traditional 
11:00am Contemporary

Office Hours: 8:30am - 3:00pm weekdays
 As many of you know and as I reported in my sermon a couple of weeks ago, the famous last words of the church are reputed to be:  "We've never done it that way before!"  And we laugh knowingly, for we've all run into one version of that old saw or another as we've encountered resistance to the new thing we feel deeply God is trying to bring into being in our midst.
        In our Gospel reading for the Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany (which we won't read this year due to an early Lent), we hear the peculiar story of folks letting a paralyzed man down on his mat through a hole they've made in the roof tiles of a house in order to put him front and center before Jesus who was preaching to a crowd inside the house.  Jesus heals the man but flummoxes the crowd by  declaring to the man, "Your sins are forgiven."  This is enough for the religious authorities to accuse Jesus of blasphemy for who but God can forgive sins?  But Jesus simply tells the man, "I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home."  The man does just that to the amazement of all who, Mark says, glorified God while exclaiming, "We have never seen anything like this!" (Mark 2:2-5).  I propose that we make these the authentically "new" seven last words of the church, a fresh and spontaneous outburst , astonishment and delight, magnifying God like Mary before us, for the wondrous and surprising thing God in Christ has accomplished in our midst.  "We've never done it that way before" is the tired old religious response of those who think they've seen it all, that there's nothing new under the sun, which is an act of bad faith and  blase irresponsible worship."  Let "We have never seen anything like this!" mark the response of the church to the everyday miracles God is working in our midst.

John Rollefson
Pastors' Contact Info:
Pastor Valerie
Office Hours: Tuesdays (11am-1pm) and Thursdays (12:30-3:00pm)

Pastor Dan
Council Minutes
We are sad to announce that our friend Bryan Gingg has passed. The family has asked for no calls or food at this time, but to keep them in your prayers as they mourn the loss. A celebration of life will be planned for springtime.
The Pastors Carlson are currently on family leave after the birth of their son. Please contact the office for any inquiries while they are away, including pastoral care. Thank you!
Hop aboard the Meal Train!!

Pastors Carlson have their hands with Cora and Baby Boy.  Let’s help them out by crossing one stress off of their list: dinner.  If you can help by making a meal one day (or several), please email Shannon Babcock at and she will send you the link to sign up to bring a meal.  All the information you will need will be on the Meal Train site.  If you know of someone who’d like to help but does not have internet access, please have them call Shannon at (805) 602-1759 and she will plug them in!  
Thank you!!
Beginning the Year in Mutual Ministry
From Your Mutual Ministry Team:

I’ve been doing some soul searching this week after reading this scripture from Romans entitled, “Marks of the True Christian”. “Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to the strangers.  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peacefully with all…do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:9-21
It’s pretty overwhelming, right? I found myself falling short on every line. How about you? Will you join me this week in praying, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”  Psalm 139:23, 24      Jean Senter
Here Now—Devotion book for Lent

The  devotion book for Lent, YOU ARE THE WAY, published by Augsburg-Fortress, and featuring the “I Am” sayings of Jesus each day during Lent are available for purchase in the Narthex.  Individual books are $4.00, Large Print are $7.00—make checks to Mt Carmel Lutheran Church.  The devotion books can be used for individual study, Small Group Cell discussions and will be the basis for Adult Forums. For 2018,  Lent begins on February 14, Ash Wednesday, and ends on Easter Sunday, April 1.
The CAT Task Force has completed their work and has written a report of their findings and recommendations.  You can access the full report at here.  Please submit your comments, questions, and concerns in writing to Alex Bell, our Parish Administrator at  Alex will forward them to the Task Force who will use them to plan an information session during a yet to be determined date.
Mt. Carmel is hosting this important education series beginning
January 7– open to the public- featuring dynamic national speakers, local leaders and coalitions focused on understanding and working towards solutions for the issues of immigration and refugees. Come and be part of the solution! You are welcome to attend any and all presentations. Website:

January 28, there will be different speakers at each session.
10-11am  Recipients and basic information
12:30-1:30pm Coalition leaders and pastors
People's Kitchen provides A Hot Meal Everyday To Whoever Wants it And Offers it With Justice and Love. Mt. Carmel provides that meal one day each month and individual volunteers provide a part of the meal three time a year.  We will kick off our new People's Kitchen 2018-19 schedule in March.  Please let Laura Krueger know, by January 19,  if you'd like to be added to the schedule and what you'd like to provide (main dish or salad (12 hearty servings), canned fruit (2 large cans) or milk (2 gallons)). Also let Laura know if you need to drop off the schedule or if you'd like to provide a different part of the meal.  Thank you for your faithful service to this ministry. ph or txt: 805-458-6012; email:
Volunteer Opportunities!
We are in need of some fresh faces to fill Sunday volunteer positions. If you would like to commit to once a month or as a back-up, please email or call the office at 805-544-2133 or Here are the duties that we need help with:
First Service Greeters
Second Service Greeters
Second Service Communion Assistants

We are also looking for more coffee servers to join on Sundays. Both services are open for more volunteers. Please contact Carol Harvey for more information at or 805-481-2418.
There will be no Sunday School this Sunday 28th.

Sunday, Jan. 28The Welcome the Dream series comes to an end this Sunday. Panel and local action/coalitions. There will be different speakers at each session.
Two sessions:
10-11am  Recipients and basic information
12:30-1:30pm Coalition leaders and pastors

Next Sunday, February 4th, will be a discussion of ideas and suggestions for CAT Ministry.


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Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church · 1701 Fredericks St. · San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 · USA

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