Thred.org Lutheran Hour Ministries' newest outreach ministry, called THRED, launched February 1st.
THRED is digital; its initial focal point is a Facebook page. People of all beliefs—or no beliefs—are invited and welcomed into discussions about thought-provoking topics.
"That's why LHM has called this outreach THRED," says project lead Andrew Fitzgerald. "When people participate in an online discussion, it's called a thread. The whole idea of THRED is for it to be a safe place for people to converse about things they care about. And while THRED unapologetically presents a Christian point of view, it also presents an environment that is open to all perspectives. "And," he adds, "we're seeing some surprising early reactions to it!"
The most striking example is the discussion generated by one of THRED's "Jesus Dialogues" videos, posted Feb. 9 on the Facebook page. The video depicts roundtable chats by people with both Christian and non-Christian points of view on the topic, "What did Jesus say about heaven?"
"Viewers engaged in a big way," says Fitzgerald. "The post has had more than 66,000 views; more than 200 people—and they're not just Christians—have shared it in their own Facebook feeds. And the more than seventy comments in the discussion thread reveal some of the wide range of ideas people have about heaven."
For anyone who has questions or who desires to dig a little deeper into issues such as relationships, community, culture, God & Christianity, and a host of other contemporary issues, THRED's website publishes short and long articles on life and faith themes. THRED also has a presence on YouTube, where the ministry's growing collection of videos—including the "Jesus Dialogues"—is based.
THRED has also recruited a team of ministry volunteers who can offer Christian perspectives in broad discussions—or in one-on-one conversations with participants who have specific questions.
"THRED is also designed to serve as a path, if you will," explains Fitzgerald. "Someone who engages with THRED's content can move through THRED into closer and closer community with thoughtful people of faith. We envision THRED bringing Christ to the nations—and the nations to the church in whole new ways."
Want to know more about THRED? Visit www.facebook.com/THRED (Don't forget to Like it!) and THRED.org.
A Rewarding Opportunity
Although we live in a time where we are probably the most connected of all people when we think of the internet and how easy it is to stay in touch, we are also probably the most isolated. We are connected with people across the world, but not with those who live around us. This problem is not only contained to the culture but is found within the Church as well, and in our own congregation! One of the places we see this most is in the connections and relationships between generations. In order to serve age-specific needs we often segregate, making it difficult to have connection between groups. This wasn’t always the case.
In the first century, in the Jewish community which Jesus grew up in, there was lots of contact between generations and families. When Jesus and His family went to Jerusalem to worship when He was a boy, He remained there in order to study with and dispute (!) the teachers (Luke 2:41-52). This was also the case in the early Church. St. Paul, in his first letter to Timothy encourages members of congregations to treat those older than them as parents and those younger as brothers and sisters (1 Timothy 5:1-2). All of this reinforces the idea that as members of the Body of Christ we are all family, not by the blood in our veins but by the Blood which redeemed us.
We have a great opportunity in our own congregation to show this love and respect to one another that many of you may not know about! We have in our congregation, members who you may not know very well as they can’t attend very often. These are our shut-ins. And we as a congregation are always looking for more of our members to visit with them - especially youth and young adults!
Both secular and church studies have shown the benefit to both parties when there is interaction between generations. Younger people get to learn from those who have had more life experience and have seen, done, and know more. At the same time older adults learn new perspectives by seeing how the younger generation sees and interacts with the world. From a faith based perspective, younger people get to see examples of the faith and be edified by witnessing this. Older adults get to be encouraged by seeing younger adults engaged with their faith.
Are you’re worried you won’t know what to do or how to do this? The good news is that it’s easy! Just be there, just listen. You can start by visiting just one person, maybe once a week. Over time it all becomes easier. If you contact one of the members of our Caring Ministry team, they will be able to suggest someone for you to visit with if you need! We all have room to learn and grow and a visit and a prayer can go a long way in that. I’ll end with these words of St. Paul that I referenced earlier, “Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father. Treat younger men like brothers, older women like mothers, younger women like sisters, in all purity.”
If you are interested in this, please contact any member of the Care Ministry team or get in touch with the church office or Pastor Curtis for more information.
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Prayerfully consider becoming a partner in 'forming servants for Jesus' sake.'
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The Lutheran Historical Institute is housed at the Alberta-British Columbia District office of Lutheran Church-Canada (LCC) on the campus of Concordia University College of Alberta. Records held at the Lutheran Historical Institute (LHI) begin around 1892 and include administrative records and photographs of the Synodical office of LCC, the Alberta-British Columbia District of LCC, the Central District of LCC, and a number of congregations, Concordia University College of Alberta, Concordia Lutheran Seminary Edmonton, Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, Lutheran Layman’s League, Lutheran Association of Missionary Pilots, personal papers of officers, professors, pastors and laypersons. The Special Collections library consists of books, periodicals and various publications relating to the history of Lutheranism in North America dating from the 1500’s. The holdings also include a number of artifacts and audiovisual materials.
To encourage discovery of the foundations of the Lutheran faith in Canada, the Lutheran Historical Institute serves the Lutheran Church-Canada, its congregations, institutions and communities by:
The purpose of the Lutheran Historical Institute is to foster the study of Lutheranism in Canada, provide a Canadian perspective to Lutheran studies in North American and world Lutheranism and to bring LHI into the mainstream of academic life at Concordia University of Alberta and Concordia Lutheran Seminary.
Please consider joining us and becoming a member. Your membership assists LHI in helping to preserve the past for better understanding of the present and for planning for the future.
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If you would like to join us in preserving this collection please contact us at 780 474-8156 for details.