WORSHIP WITH US!
8:30AM, 9:45AM in the hall, or 11AM

Location:
7150 Pines Blvd
Pembroke Pines, FL 33024
The SE corner of Pines Blvd and 72nd Ave
Across the street from Broward college South Campus lake
(954) 989-1903
tlcppines@gmail.com


Join Us For Worship!

Join Us For Worship!
Sundays at 8:30AM, 9:45AM, and 11AM

Saturday, June 27, 2009




SERMON FOR SUNDAY

Mark 5:21-43
21When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. 22Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet 23and begged him repeatedly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.”
24So he went with him. And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. 25Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. 26She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. 27She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” 29Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” 31And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, ‘Who touched me?’” 32He looked all around to see who had done it. 33But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. 34He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
35While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” 36But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. 38When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39When he had entered, he said to them, “Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha cum,” which means, “Little girl, get up!” 42And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. 43He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.


***
Mark 5:21-43
It was some year: The Social Security Act was signed into law. My Fair Lady won 8 Academy Awards. Combat troops are sent to Vietnam. Martin Luther King Junior leads civil rights marches from Selma. FIU is founded. Bob Dylan goes electric at the Newport Jazz Festival. LBJ signs the Voting Rights Act into Law. The Beatles perform the first stadium rock concert in the history of Rock and Roll. India and Pakistan go to war. Freedom flights from Cuba begin. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is shown on television for the first time.

Coincidentally, on the 5th of June of that year, in a hospital in Nassau County, New York, I was born. Of course, my birth didn’t make the front page or even the list of important events of 1965 or unimportant events of 1965 or even trivial events of 1965. I’m sure that it mattered to my mother and father and my older sister who now had to share the spotlight, but compared to Bob Dylan plugging in his guitar for the first time, to the world that year it was barely a footnote, if that.

At first glance, our Gospel today is also one of coincidence.
In the same year that Jairus, the leader of a local synagogue and thus an important man, became a father, welcoming a brand new daughter into the world, an anonymous woman began to bleed. One family celebrates, while in another, a woman finds herself an outcast.

In those days blood was to be avoided at all costs, lest one touch it and become ritually unclean and unable to worship or give sacrifice. So this particular woman, made unclean by her own bleeding, would be avoided by everyone. To be unclean has nothing to do with being dirty. It described the situation of being separated from God and others. Having leprosy could do it. And touching blood. And touching a corpse and a host of other things. And being “unclean” could also be passed on by touch – If I was unclean, say, I had a skin disease (hypothetically here) and you shook my hand you would be declared “unclean” just like me – and not be able to be among people or come before God.
Ever felt left out of an activity – not invited to a party – imagine 12 years’ worth of hearing that the invitation is in the mail. Or folks figuring that you wouldn’t be interested – that whatever they were doing wouldn’t be you scene. Didn’t want to make you feel – you know – awkward.

So why not keep it a secret, this bleeding? Well, perhaps you know what it is like to live in a small town. Everybody knows everybody’s business. Someone would have noticed her illness or seen the flow of blood or flow of doctors heading into her house. No way to keep such a condition a secret. Like a leper, people would keep their distance and point her out to others. No hugs, no kisses, no caresses, no embraces…for 12 years. Bleeding and seemingly incurable, she likely just tried to disappear to avoid the stigma, the finger-pointing, the gossip, the stares, the people who would cross to the other side of the street to stay away from her.

A mere coincidence that in the same year that Jairus’ wife gave birth to a daughter, an anonymous woman began to bleed and hide from the world.
Perhaps. Perhaps.

As Jairus and his wife watched their daughter grow and become a young woman, this other woman, nameless and bleeding, watched her own savings evaporate as doctor after doctor attempt to heal her and only leave her worse off than before and eventually broke. When her money runs out there is no one to help her. I am sure some of you know the sting of countless doctors and evaporating finances. Maybe you know what it is like to be broke. Desperate. Frustrated beyond all belief. That was this woman.

Now we must enter into the present of today’s Gospel. As Jairus pleads repeatedly with Jesus to heal his 12 year daughter, someone else’s daughter needs healing too. But no one is there for her. And so she hides among the crowd, while Jairus pleads again and again – we can imagine the cries: “Jesus, help my daughter. Heal my daughter. Jesus please, she is but a child of 12. Help her. Heal her. She is dying. Please.” And Jesus agrees to go with him in order to lay his hands upon his very sick little girl. To place his healing touch upon her and make her well.

So, what do you think went through the older woman’s mind at that moment?
And she hides among the crowd, stretching her ear to hear what is being said.
Maybe she thinks this: “He’s going to heal that little girl. He’s going to go right up to her and place his healing hands upon her and make her well. Her daddy is important and rich and influential and I am just a poor nobody who no one would dare touch. I am unclean. He is going to take one look at me and one step towards me and raise those precious hands of his, those healing hands, then someone is going to shout out the horrible truth: “That woman is unclean!” That’s what they’ll shout. Someone will. And then Jesus will turn and keep walking.”
Can we even imagine the fear coursing through her? Of being seen. Of being rejected. Left there in the middle of the road while the rest of the people stream by at a safe distance, like a wave parting around her. What went through her mind, do you think? 12 years of hiding; of hearing “unclean!” Of never ever being well. Of believing perhaps, that God has forgotten her since she is not allowed to approach God at synagogue or temple. In this crowd, on this day, no one would cry out for her. No one would plead on her behalf. No one would throw themselves down at Jesus’ feet for her sake. To make matters worse, as a woman alone, culture dictated that she could not approach a man in public.
How great the fear must have been – to see one’s only hope and to risk making that hope unclean in order to be healed.

But fear would not rule this day. Faith moved her to action. Slowly, carefully – you can see it right? – She sneaks up behind him. “If I just touch his cloak,” she tells herself, “I will be healed.” It would be just like touching him, but he won’t know. It’s just his cloak, after all. Just his cloak flapping in the breeze, trailing behind him as he and Jairus and the crowd head off to Jairus’ house.

And then it happened – she reaches out – touches his cloak – and healing comes – instantly. She knows it – feels it. It is done. 12 years of pain and suffering and being an outcast – all now in the past – with a future of promise unfolding.

Her faith has overcome her fear and Jesus wants her and everyone around them at that moment and everyone who will hear this story for centuries and millennia to come to understand this.

Look at what Jesus says and doesn’t say. He says that her faith healed her. He doesn’t say that she had enough faith to be healed. Faith isn’t quantified that way. If that was the case, then I am sure that the daughter of friends of mine would get to celebrate her 21st birthday rather than dying of cancer this past year. It wasn’t about having enough faith to be healed: what a terrible thought that would be! It is about her faith: trusting that Jesus is who he says he is – the very Son of God. That is why her faith can overcome her fear – because her faith leads her to cling to Jesus, to place her complete trust in him now matter what the circumstances.

That is why it is no coincidence that this story and the story of the healing of Jairus’ daughter are paired together. Look what his faith must overcome for the sake of his daughter. He must seek out Jesus despite Jesus’ mixed reputation – he has already healed on the Sabbath – a no-no for those who profess the true Jewish faith. His faith must overcome the news of his daughter’s death. That should be it –right? Death, as they say, is forever. He was too late – if he had only set out to find Jesus faster – the guilt must have been enormous! Then Jesus suggest she is only sleeping and all of the people – the mourners, the guests, the relatives, they laugh at his only hope. Laugh in Jesus face. How would you faith handle that – having everyone, everyone, laugh at the very notion that Jesus sees what we fail to see. “Just believe,” Jesus says. Have faith. Trust me. Let you heart cling to me beyond all reason, as your one and only hope.
And Jairus does just that.

Fear and faith battle within us, don’t they?
Fear tries to drive a wedge between us and our only true hope, our Savior and Lord.
Luther says that that to which our heart clings in our god.
Will it be our fear? Or our Savior whom our faith longs for and loves?
When we recognize fear present in our life, will we, live the suffering woman in today’s Gospel, reach out in faith for Jesus? Will we, like Jairus, trust in our Lord and Savior despite impossible circumstance? Despite everyone we know laughing and disbelieving?
Will we allow fear to rule in our hearts or will we, in faith, cling to Jesus and find the healing that we truly need? Amen.

Friday, June 26, 2009


THIS SUNDAY
immediately following
WORSHIP
"Blessing
of
Memorial
Garden
Stones"
All stones
to be blessed!
Saturday morning we will be sprucing up around the gardens - mulching, planting, weeding, sweating, the usual!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The readings for Sunday, June 28, 2009:

First Reading: Lamentations 3:22-33

First Reading (Semi-cont.): 2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27

First Reading (Alt.): Wisdom of Solomon 1:13-15; 2:23-24

Psalm: Psalm 30

Psalm (Semi-cont.): Psalm 130

Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 8:7-15

Gospel: Mark 5:21-43

Notice how rooted in physicality is our Gospel for Sunday. We've got a bleeding woman and a dying girl. At the end of the Gospel, Jesus orders food for the no longer dead girl. The Gospel practically oozes on the page.

Notice too how we've got a variety of people--all they have in common is their fierce belief and their willingness to do whatever it takes for healing. They will ignore all the years of ill health. They will ignore their rational voices that say that one man can't bring health. Even when they're surrounded by naysayers, they believe. They will ignore death, so powerful is their hope.

And how odd that the Gospel ends with Jesus telling them to say nothing. Of course, this is the Gospel of Mark, where Jesus often tells people not to tell what they've seen. Why does he do that? Does he know the human impulse to tell things they've been told not to tell? Is Jesus scared of attracting the wrong kind of attention too early? Does Jesus know what he's doing? The Gospel of Mark is the one where Jesus seems least to resemble the great and glorious Savior whom so many of us would swear that we know. He's secretive in Mark, and mean to his mom, and he often acts like he's making it all up as he goes along. By the time we get to the Gospel of John, which was probably written last of the four, Jesus has changed radically. But I digress.

Notice that in this passage Jesus focuses his attention on some of the most outcast of his society: a little girl and a bleeding woman. If you've studied the Old Testament, you understand how outcast a woman who never stopped bleeding would be. Ancient purity codes were quite strict about body fluids, particularly when they came from women. And a female child would have also been seen as expendable, at least in the larger society. Yet Jesus doesn't withhold his power from them, even if they're not important to the larger society.

This Gospel echoes the story we heard last week. Here is Jesus again, talking to his disciples about their fears. Here is Jesus, doing what should be impossible for humans to do. Last week he's controlling nature. This week, we seem him controlling the human body. We even see him overcome death.

These stories make me think about my own faith, particularly during these hot, hazy days of summer, when it seems impossible to get off the couch. What would inspire me to go to Jesus in a similar way? I try to imagine Jesus saying to me "Daughter, your faith has made you well." I think of all the ways that my faith can--and does--fall short.

This Gospel is instructive, in that it shows what it might take to get our attention focused on what's important. If my little nephew lay dying, I would move Heaven and Earth to find a cure. If I had a disease that no one could cure, I might be moved to try things my rational brain wouldn't accept. Over and over again, in many a disease narrative, we hear people tell us that their disease redirected their attention and turned out to be a strange blessing.

I'm always wary of this approach--I don't want to glorify suffering and disease. I don't mean to imply that the sick ones are lucky, and the healthy ones are ill. But with this Gospel, it wouldn't hurt to take a look at our own faith lives. Where is God trying to get our attention? How strong is our faith? What would it take to make us yearn for Christ, to search so fervently for our Savior?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Meditation on This Week's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The Readings for Sunday, June 21, 2009:

First Reading: Job 38:1-11

First Reading (Semi-cont.): 1 Samuel 17:[1a, 4-11, 19-23] 32-49

First Reading (Alt.): 1 Samuel 17:57--18:5, 10-16 (Semi-continuous)

Psalm: Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32

Psalm (Semi-cont.): Psalm 9:9-20

Psalm (Alt.): Psalm 133 (Semi-continuous)

Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 6:1-13

Gospel: Mark 4:35-41

We live in storm-tossed times. Even those of us who have managed to hold onto our jobs worry about what the next year will bring. Those institutions who have managed to plug the holes in their leaky boats must think about what they'll do when the stimulus money runs out. And of course, many of us might be feeling more alone than we've ever felt before, no matter what our financial luck happens to be.

Maybe we can relate to those disciples in this week's Gospel. The boat is taking on water. We're sinking. We'll die out here in the middle of this lake. It was bad back there with the crowds, but we don't want to perish this way. And so, like the disciples, we call out: "Where are you God? Don't you care about us, Jesus?"

Look at the response of Jesus in this passage. Many theologians have noted that he doesn't mock them for their fears. Their fears are real and valid. But he asks them why they're letting their fears get the best of them. It's as if he's saying, "I'm right here. I'm with you. Have you forgotten what is possible when I'm in your boat?"

And then, he calms the storm. You can look at this part of the passage in many ways. The traditional way is to see this as an example of the authority of Jesus. He has dominion over the seas and the storm. The natural world bows to his commands.

You can also see the storm as metaphorical. When we're having trouble, we often use storm imagery to describe our state, just as I did in the first paragraph. Jesus is there to calm the storm.

Notice, too, that just because we're believers, that doesn't mean that we will never experience storms. We will, and we will likely be afraid. But Jesus assures us that even though we might feel alone, we are not alone. The storms will come, and storms will go. But God is always there, with us, in our boats.

Saturday, June 13, 2009



PASTOR KEITH is
OFF TO COSTA RICA

Pastor Keith will be away
on vacation SUN JUNE 14
through SUNDAY JUNE 21st


as Piper and he
will be celebrating
their 20th wedding anniversary.
He will be unable to return calls
made to his cell phone and
will not be checking email.


Emergencies can be handled
by calling SAM in the office or
Ron McCoy or Earline LaCroix.

DON"T FORGET


June 14th is our VBS Worship

June 21st is our DADS and GRADS Blessing Sunday.

Fathers and those who have graduated this year
from Kindergarten through GRAD School
are invited to be present for this special service.

Friday, June 12, 2009

VBS DAY FIVE





Pies were thrown for reaching our Mission Goal!







A LITTLE FOOT WASHING!















VBS DAY FIVE THEME:
"SEEK"






THANK YOU ANGELLA AND STAFF
FOR AN AWESOME WEEK!






VBS CLOSING WORSHIP
SUNDAY JUNE 14th at 10AM

MARK YOUR CALENDAR!

4th of July ICE CREAM SOCIAL
Sign ups are on your worship Slip
Come eat some ice cream and watch the City of Pembroke Pines 4th of July Fireworks from the safety of our back parking lot!

PROTECTING "OUR" Burrowing Owls
The colony right behind Charter Hall is blessed with four baby owls, plus the mom and dad owl.
In Florida, these owls are listed as a "species of special concern" with only 3,000-10,000 birds believed to be left in the state. Harassing the birds or the nests (empty or occupied) is strictly forbidden and can result in law enforcement action. New signs courtesy of the US Fish and Wildlife Service will soon be going up near the nests as reminders that these nesting sites should be left alone and observed from a safe distance. If folks observe friend or stranger disobeying these signs, they should ask those involved to please keep their distance. The more we educate people, the safer things will be for our "guests."

YOUTH CAR WASH and LUNCH

June 28th following worship

to support our youth's participation in this July's ELCA National Youth Gathering
THRIVENT FINANCIAL FOR LUTHERANS will be providing matching funds up to the first $300 raised!

MEMORIAL GARDENS TO BE BLESSED

Following morning Worship June 28th
Please Join Us!
This event will include all gardens currently in use that make up our Butterfly Memorial Garden.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

VBS Keeps Growing - more new faces today!


We will Miss Amanda!
Good luck with the Teaching gig!






Lots of helpers with the songs today!




VBS DAY FOUR





"TELL"





Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Taking the VBS Praise up a Notch!





Hand motions rule!


Proving the laws of physics





VBS DAY THREE WAS AWESOME!



Weekly Gospel Meditation

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The readings for Sunday, June 14, 2009:

First Reading: Ezekiel 17:22-24

First Reading (Semi-cont.): 1 Samuel 15:34--16:13

Psalm: Psalm 92:1-4, 11-14 (Psalm 92:1-4, 12-15 NRSV)

Psalm (Semi-cont.): Psalm 20

Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:6-10 [11-13] 14-17

Gospel: Mark 4:26-34

This week we return to those parables of potential held in tiny packages. We return to parables that remind us of what can happen when a speck of a seed is buried in the dirt and left alone. We return to parables that remind us that much happens beneath the surfaces and behind the scenes while we sleep peacefully.

We live in a culture that demands instant gratification. Many of us find it hard to read a book. I'm hearing more and more people confess that they can't even read a magazine article--their attention spans are just that fried. We live in a culture where, if it doesn't happen immediately, people don't stick around to see what happens.

I suspect that we're not living in a culture that's new in this respect. When I look at the parables of Jesus, I suspect that he was fighting a similar battle. People probably came up to him and said, "How can God be good if there's so much injustice in the world? Why does God allow that?" People probably say that to you, too.

I often use a parable of my own; in my own short life, I've seen the Kingdom of God break through in glorious and unexpected ways. The other day, I was looking through photo albums. I didn't find the pictures of my Confirmation day that I was looking for, but I did find a picture of an old college friend, back in 1986, who was wearing a shirt that demanded "Free Nelson Mandela."

Of course, we didn't expect that would happen. We expected that Nelson Mandela would die in jail and that the country would erupt in flames and bloodshed at any moment. We attended rallies and prayer vigils, but we didn't really expect peaceful social change.

Nonetheless, a few short years after I took that snapshot of my friend, Nelson Mandela walked out of jail. And a few years after that, he was elected president of South Africa. I continue to shake my head and wonder at my lack of faith. I continue to pray for God's kingdom to break through here on earth, and I'm still often surprised when it does.

In his recent book, Tell It Slant: A conversation on the language of Jesus in his stories and prayers, Eugene H. Peterson, says, "Still, when it comes to doing something about what is wrong in the world, Jesus is best known for his fondness for the minute, the invisible, the quiet, the slow--yeast, salt, seeds, light" (page 70). Some of my non-faithful friends snort and say, "What's the use?"

Peterson points out that "Waiting provides the time and space for others to get in on salvation. Waiting calls a time-out, puts us on the sidelines for a while so that we don't interfere with essential kingdom-of-God operations that we don't even know are going on. Not-doing involves a means of detaching my ego, my still immature understanding of the way God works comprehensively but without forcing his way, without coercion" (page 95).

Once again, these parables remind us that God's way is not the way of the world. But God's way can lead to a world transformed: floured leavened into bread, seeds grown into orchards, a community where everyone has enough and not a single person goes to bed hungry or lonely.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

VBS DAY TWO PICS





VBS ROCKS!!!





















VBS: FULL SPEED AHEAD!








AFFINITY GROUP
OPPORTUNITIES
BEGIN TO GROW
1. Sing for shut-ins and nursing homes
2. Walking Group
3. Faith and Writing
4. Debt Busters
5. Creative Music and Jammin'
What NEW group would you like to be a part of and add to our growing list?
email Pastor Keith or write it on your worship slip Sunday mornings.
Remember the Rule of 3 plus ONE.
An Affinity Group has three or more people who commit to meeting at least three times over a period of three months (July-September) and will include Scripture, prayer and fellowship in their time together.
AND...will invite at least one person not associated with Trinity to participate.
Sign ups will commence on SUNDAY June 28th.
Between now and then let's BUILD OUR LIST OF POSSIBLE GROUPS!

Monday, June 08, 2009


VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL IS HERE!
JUNE 8th through the 13th
6PM Dinner
6:30PM Opening
JUNE 21st DADS AND GRADS SUNDAY
All grads from Elementary through Grad School will be honored.
Those present will received special prayers of blessing and commendation.

A father will share on how faith has guided him in his role as father and all fathers will received special prayers as well.

For grad certificates and for the bulletin we need their full names and school ASAP.
If you have not put their names on your worship slip or emailed SAM in the office we do not know about your graduate.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

AFFINITY GROUPS Creation and Sign Up Period has Commenced!
What is an Affinity Group?

Just follow the “Rule of Three PLUS ONE!”
Affinity Groups are a group of three or more people that share a similar interest led by a convener – someone who provides leadership. For example: a group might want to read a book together or visit parks or the beach or gather as a group of singles or seniors or parents of teens or moms with babies. It could be a group that wants to work out together or walk together or who likes fishing or creative writing or walking labyrinths or knitting prayer shawls or Bible study or intercessory prayer or cooking a meal together. It is limited by your imagination and interests.

The group agrees to meet a minimum of three times during July-September. When they meet they will include these three things: Scripture, prayer and fellowship. During the three months they will seek to include at least ONE person not currently associated with Trinity.
AFFINITY GROUPS
Just remember: THREE + ONE
Where you meet, when you meet, and how often you meet is up to you!

***Just remember to include the SPF factor in your time together***
SPF = (Scripture + Prayer+- Fellowship)

So how will these groups get started?
POST any ideas for a group that you desire to lead/convene by commenting on this POST.
We'll add them to the growing list here, on our Facebook site and on the worship slip.
After giving people some time to think about what has been offered, everyone will then be free to sign up for the group in which they are most interested. Sign-ups will continue through the end of June. Conveners will attend one of several opportunities with Pastor Keith for prayer and to discuss any needed resources, logistics, questions and so forth. Conveners will be introduced and receive a prayer of blessing on Sunday worship June 28th

Friday, June 05, 2009

Thursday, June 04, 2009


CONFIRMATION!
Congrats and Blessings to
Marc, Michael, Thomas,
Elizabeth, Maya, and Joanna!
A FULL PLATE ON SATURDAY AND SUNDAY!
SAT June 6th
Workday at 9AM

SUN June 7th
Walk with us at 7:30AM
Worship with Baptism 10AM
Semi-Annual Cong Meeting 11:15AM
(With Pizza!)
>Celebrations of Ministry
>Affinity Groups
>Capital Repair Update

Don't Forget to add your GRADS
to the worship slip for DADS AND GRADS
to be celebrated on Father's Day, SUN June 21st
A Night for Marty
Marty Potter Fundraiser
FRI June 5th at 6:30PM
Elks Lodge
7190 Davie Road Extension, Hollywood
(Servers at 5:30PM)
Folks this is where we live out a big part of our mission:
Live by loving and Care by Serving!
Thank you to all in advance -
especially those on the planning team and the set up team
To name names would be to miss folks -
but know that you do great work!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Meditation on This Week's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The readings for Sunday, June 7, 2009:

First Reading: Isaiah 6:1-8

Psalm: Psalm 29

Second Reading: Romans 8:12-17

Gospel: John 3:1-17

Ah, Holy Trinity Sunday. It's interesting to look at various denominations to see how each one handles the idea of the Trinity. Some Christians are certainly more Trinitarian than others. I know that the idea of a Triune God is a huge stumbling block for many people.

As a child, this concept didn't bother me much. It seemed obvious that humans had many different sides, so why shouldn't God? As I got older, the idea of God being able to split those selves into various incarnations seemed a cool trick, but why shouldn't God be able to do that? I'd like to do that, but I don't want those other responsibilities that come with divinity. I'm working to be happy to let God be God, to let the mystery of the Trinity not even enter my consciousness.

Lately, as I've been thinking about community, I return to the idea of the Trinity--we worship a communal God who desires to be in community with us. I've always liked the symbolism of a braid, and Trinity Sunday seems a good time to return to that symbol. In a braid, each strand can stand alone--but what a more intriguing shape they make when woven together.

We might look again at the story of Nicodemus, a man who was a serious scholar. Jesus tells him, and us, that we must be born anew. We might look at our place in the braid of the Kingdom and wonder how we might be born anew. We are not that far from Pentecost. We should be listening for the Spirit.

I love verse 8, which says, "The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit." My rational mind rebels. My rational brain demands that we make a plan, a plan for each day, a 5 year plan, a 10 year plan. My rational brain makes lists and wakes me up at 3:00 in the morning with worries.

I like the mystical promise of the Spirit. We do not have to know what we are doing; we do not need a plan--we just need to be open to the movement of the Spirit, a task which is not as easy as it might sound. God invites us to be part of the work of creating the Kingdom, right here and right now. But Christ tells us that we need to be born anew.

The evangelical movements have done a lot with John 3:16, which may be one of the most famous Bible verses. Many evangelicals can tell you the exact day and time that they were born again. However, many of us find this model lacking. Being born again is not a one-step process, when we invite Jesus into our hearts and we're done. Most of us need to be born again each day, day after day.

Now is the time for a different approach to this effort of being born again. We could greet each day, asking our Triune God to help us be born anew to be braided into community and Kingdom building. We could end each day by thanking our creator for the ways that we've been shaped that day.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Running, Walking, and Training

Over breakfast on Sunday, some of us talked about training for marathons and smaller races to run. In The New York Times, this morning, I found this article which talks about taking walking breaks during runs. This practice bestows many benefits: it enables many different types of people to enjoy the sport (the less fit, the older, the overweight, those who are prone to injuries), and it keeps more people injury free. Even seasoned runners can find their way to times that are their personal best.

For those committed to walking, doing the reverse might also be helpful. You might try brief bursts of jogging (a minute or two). This practice can help us keep up our walking speeds and can keep our walking interesting.

During our walk on Sunday, some of us talked about Jeff Galloway, one of the pioneers of running with walking breaks. He has a website here where you can get all sorts of information and link to his blog.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Lutheran leaders make response to Witchita shooting
Bishop Hanson's full statement is at
http://www.elca.org/Who-We-Are/Our-Three-Expressions/Churchwide-Organization/Communication-Services/News.aspx


SUMMER WORSHIP
SCHEDULE
BEGINS THIS SUNDAY
JUNE 7th

ONE SERVICE
at 10AM

SEMI-ANNUAL
CONGREGATIONAL
MEETING
at 11:15AM

Come munch some pizza
and help us plan our new
SUMMER AFFINITY GROUPS!