Thursday, September 17, 2015

Say Cheese!

Join us for a few picture days at Grace.  Everyone who comes to get their picture taken will get a free print and a collection of photos of our congregation will be hung in Brotherhood Hall and celebrate not only our members, but also the families of the Grace Infant Care Center.
Photo Days:

(please come to at least one, this is an important evangelism project)
  • Tuesday, September 22nd (5-7pm) 
  • Sunday, Sept 27th (11:30am-1:30pm)
  • Sunday, Oct 4th (11:30am-1:30pm)
If you are traveling during the picture days listed above, Pastor Megan will work with you to attend a picture day at one of the other SF CARES activities, so we can get everyone up on the wall. 

Pastor Megan will also be using the photos in future projects to invite new members to join our church so please plan to attend at least one of the picture days!  

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Greek Bible Saints Paintings: Altar Art

Pastor Megan painted some more icons for our altar.  Here is who's who of the saints on the right hand side (or the Greek Testament side).
Pastor's icon guide for the altar panels.  The characters are in chronological order from the top to the bottom.  Click on this or any of the other pictures on this page to see them in a larger version.

In the center column:
Prophetess Anna  (icon to the left) is considered by some to be the last of the line of prophets.  Anna is the person who finds young Jesus in the temple when he gets lost.  Either an 84 year old widow or an woman who was at least 105, who had been a widow for 84 years. Regardless, Anna was a faithful Jewish woman who regularly prayed and fasted.

Martha and Mary (icon to the right) are the sisters of Lazaras.  Martha (on the left) is depicted as following the traditional roles of woman and fulfilling the hospitality laws when Jesus comes to visit.  Martah is depicted in traditional garb to symbolize her rule following nature.  Mary (on the right) has her hair down, to remind us of the story where she is said to be washing Jesus' feet and anointing him for burial.

Zacchaeus was a short man who couldn't see Jesus over the crowd, so he climbed up into a tree.  It's also possible that Zacchaeus was in the tree because as a tax collector, he would have been despised by most people in his community.  Jesus tells him to come down from the tree and Jesus went with him to his house.  Order a signed wood print.

The Naked Guy is perhaps one of the most faithful characters in the Gospel of Mark.  It is possible that this is the rich younger ruler whom Jesus tells to sell all of his possessions.  The naked guy becomes naked when the soldiers come to take away Jesus and someone grabs the cloth he was wearing as he ran away.  In the tomb after Jesus is resurrected, a young man in a white cloth is there to tell the women that Jesus already left.  Did the naked man get there first?

Thecla was a woman who heard the teachings of Paul and decided to follow him.  Thecla's mother did not like the vow of celibacy that Paul was asking people to take and betrothed Thecla for marriage.  When Thecla refused, her mother had her burned at the stake, but she did not burn.  Thecla leaves her family, cuts her hair and dresses as a boy.  She follows Paul as his ministry continues.

In the right column:
The Samaritan Woman at the Well  (icon to the left) is a women of scandalous background.  Having been married several times, she is currently living with a man that she is not married to.  When she meets Jesus at the well she tells him about the Messiah who is going to bring living water.  Painted with a curvy, but aged figure, this icon is painted to highlight the reason approaching a sultry stranger would have been noticed by the neighbors.

Legion (icon to the right) an allegory predicting the defeat of the Roman army, Legion is a story in Mark's gospel of an individuals with mental health issues getting help from Jesus.This icon depicts Legion tied up and finger prints on his body, to make it look like there are demons trying to claw their way out of his body.  This icon is a reminder that God is with individuals who struggle with mental health issues.  Order a signed wood print.

Lazarus (icon to the left) is the brother of Mary and Martha and a friend of Jesus.  Some wonder if he is the beloved disciple mentioned in the Gospel of John.  Lazarus is painted to look like a cross between a mummy and a zombie to remind us of the time Jesus raised him from the dead.  Lazarus is the only saint to have two halos, because he died twice.  Order a signed wood print.

The Bleeding Woman (icon to the right)is known for reaching out and touching the hem of Jesus' cloak.  After doctors are unable to solve her problem, the bleeding woman ends 30 years of bleeding by taking her health into her own hands.  The bleeding woman is the only saint is turned to face Jesus.  Order a signed wood print.

Titus (icon on the left) was a companion of Paul who raised money for the poor.  Rising to the rank of Bishop,

Priscilla and Aquila (icon on the right) A couple that traveled with Paul, Priscilla is known as one of the first preachers and teachers of the Gospel and is the only known female writer of a book of the Bible (Hebrews).  Aquila is said to have been made a Bishop by Paul.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Grace Film Festival: July Official Selections

Here is the list of official selections and screening times for films showing on July 25th.  All films will screen at Grace Lutheran, 3201 Ulloa St, San Francisco, CA.

Saturday, July 25, 2015 6-8pm

Love in the City (4:20) Emanuele Michetti - USA
In a big city where everything moves too fast and everyone is too busy, there is no time to relax. How can relationships evolve?

3:00 PM (13:41) hongyi cao-USA
This is a story about two young lovers who want to get married three months after their first sight. It is supposed to be a sweet beginning of love. However, after they live together, they have some conflicts. They turn to find help from a psychologist. An interesting story begins.​

On Flying Water (2:06) Dominique Monfery - France
This film is a metaphore of life, with drops born at dawn and dying at sunrise. the drops are personalized, a visual metaphor of human and animal's life. they all fight, die, win, etc. but they are treated as animals or any other characters.

The Gospel of Jon (9:20) David Goehring - USA
On the heels of deciding to become a Christian, Jon and his girlfriend start having some trouble. Soon, Jon finds that this decision will affect his relationship with all his friends. He questions whether he can actually follow through with it, until he learns something that changes the way he views faith and gives him hope for the future.

A Map of the Heart (36:12) Muzhgan Rasul & Lisa Herndon - US
A Map Of My Heart, a documentary by Muzhgan Rasul & Lisa Herndon, is the story of Ayesha Akhtar, a 25-year-old Bengali American Muslim, who is torn between her traditional Bengali parents and her American boyfriend. To help find answers and to challenge the gender inequalities she believes are in her religion and culture, Ayesha starts a photography project The Burqa Project that she is keeping a big secret from her parents. She asks Muslim and non-Muslim men to wear a burqa for a day and photographs them as they go about their daily lives.  

Finding Gondal (52) Morgan RAUSCENT - France
A documentary about the Reverend Patrick Bronte and how a series of tragedies helped instill a love for the arts in his three remaining daughters; Charlotte, Emily and Anne.

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Pastor's Office: Grace Lutheran, San Francisco

Here are some cool things you should check out in Pastor Megan's office:

The succulent wall garden.
The great view
The stained glass from Germany
The collection of crosses from around the world
The singing bowls and trinkets
Diverse pictures of Jesus and the saints
The pastor who always invites you to stop by for a chat.

Grace Lutheran is welcome to all. We are a small Lutheran congregation with traditional worship and progressive preaching in San Francisco.  We have plenty of room for you to join us, in person or online at our 10:30am PST Sunday worship service.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Friday, June 26, 2015

Our Pastor is In the News Again

Reposted from the Argus Leader

Jill Callison, 11:18 a.m. CDT June 26, 2015

Within minutes of hearing that the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states, a Lutheran pastor sent out a tweet sympathizing with those who would be dismayed by the announcement.

", we celebrate while others weep. Justice comes in pieces. We yearn for more and our hearts are also with those who mourn," wrote the Rev. Megan Rohrer.

What makes her remarkable is that Rohrer might have been expected to do nothing but celebrate. After all, she is the first transgender pastor ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and stuck with her childhood denomination even when it was against church rules to be ordained. She was raised Lutheran in South Dakota, where she graduated from Lincoln High School and Augustana College.
In August 2009, however, the ELCA agreed to allow congregations to call pastor in "publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous same-gender relationships." Rohrer was officially ordained in 2010. In 2014 her wife and she traveled to Hawaii and were married.
As a pastor, her first response to the Supreme Court ruling was excitement "because weddings are fun to do," said Rohrer, who returned to South Dakota last weekend to officiate at a cousin's wedding. "I was particularly excited for friends in South Dakota who have long been waiting to be married."
Then she thought of the November day in 2008 when the United States elected Barack Obama as its first black president. That same day, California voters banned same-sex marriage. There was cheering in the streets for Obama's victory and tears of sadness for those who lost the chance to marry.
Rohrer also thought about the funerals that are taking place in Charleston, S.C., where nine black people were killed by a single gunman who has expressed racist views.
"A large part of our community is deeply mourning racial injustice at the same time Pride (events) is happening," Rohrer said. "What is victory for one group means the other group feels it lost something."
Her attitude, Rohrer said, is shaped by growing up in South Dakota, living in a small community where your best friend might hold polar-opposite political or social justice issues.
Rohrer said she happily will return to South Dakota to perform same-sex unions, although people who don't want to wait could travel to states where it is legal, including Iowa and California. She doubts that South Dakota will be able to perform such weddings for some time.
"In San Francisco they had pre-ordered marriage licenses that say 'spouse and spouse' not 'husband and wife,' " she said. "I imagine South Dakota probably didn't pre-order them."
Rohrer also expects legislation to be proposed that will attempt to chip away at the Supreme Court ruling and other roadblocks before same-sex weddings can start in South Dakota.
"We've seen it happen in other states that already passed it," she said. "I think you'll get there. It might take longer."

***Update: South Dakota has revised its marriage-license software making the wording gender neutral. Pennington County has issued a marriage license to two women.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pastor Bessey's First Day - August 6, 1978: From the Archives

Grace believes that the sacred stories in the Bible help shape our lives and faith, but God's work did not end on the last page of this text.  Our lives and stories are a continuation of these sacred stories.  Here are some of the photos and stories of those who have been a part of the community of saints at Grace Lutheran in San Francisco.

Click on images to make them larger.

We're in the process of making our history digital.  Know any of these individuals?  Help us identify the photos by emailing:


Marc Moreneo assisting

Pastor Bessey's first sermon

 Walter Harlman and Audrey Dolezal

Family Luncheon: September 23, 1979: From the Archive

Grace believes that the sacred stories in the Bible help shape our lives and faith, but God's work did not end on the last page of this text.  Our lives and stories are a continuation of these sacred stories.  Here are some of the photos and stories of those who have been a part of the community of saints at Grace Lutheran in San Francisco.

Click on images to make them larger.

We're in the process of making our history digital.  Know any of these individuals?  Help us identify the photos by emailing: