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

Featured Post

Advent Meditation on Joseph

The reading for Sunday, December 17, 2017: Matthew 1:18-25 This Sunday we read about an angel appearing to Joseph in a dream. We've no...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

REFLECTING ON OUR FAITH


1. Where have you seen God working this week?
At the AA Meeting
Between me and my husband
At Women of Faith
Making my Dad feel better.

2. Where Did God use someone else to bless you this week (whether they knew it or not?)
At a Bible Study
The ladies who attended the Women of Faith Weekend with me
My husband took care of my son allowing me to praise God and do important work for the Lord
Martin Luther blessed us all through his teachings, strength and fortitude.
Trinity’s pumpkin patch volunteers.
B. for her love and caring during my husband’s hospitalization and all of the love and prayers for recovery.

3. Where did God use you to bless someone else this week?
At Trinity
The women who attended the Women of Faith Weekend with me
My husband fixed something for a friend.
I talked with someone who is having a hard time and promised to pray for her healing.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

REFORMATION 2010

Joihn 8: A Meditation on Grace

We love grace (and we should)
Pouring down upon us like rain.
Soaking us. Drenching us.
Rolling down our cheeks, covering our eyes, filling our mouth
with refreshment.
We children open wide and let the droplets of grace play upon our tongue.
It falls, cascading,
washing us clean, renewing us.
So much it pours, puddling at our feet.
We jump. We splash. We play.
It covers us and we rejoice in the soaking.
We love the way that grace falls upon us like rain!

Jesus says, “you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free”

Consider: The grace that sets us free.
The gift. God’s gift.
You and I, never good enough to be so deserving,
it comes to us anyway.
We don't have to reach for it.
We can't.
Can't say words to invoke it or conjure it.
Complete a checklist - jump through hoops - finish the book - take a test. Earn it as a grade or extra credit.
No.

Never good enough for God’s grace, you and I.
Yet, with eyes to see - there it is in our very hands!
Placed there by God in and through Christ Jesus.
As pure gift.
The grace of God.
There it is for us, in us, placed there by God’s action, God’s love, God’s desire.
We do nothing for this grace.
It is given to us -
Not because we've been extra-special good.
Or darn it, God owes us.
Or we think we have been good enough, better than most,
Better than many anyway, some, a few,
and that should count for something
to God, shouldn't it? Shouldn’t it?
Shouldn’t what we do, have done, all of those good works count for our standing before God,
our merit for this grace?
Count more than those others who do far less, love far less, commit evil upon evil? Or at least less good than us?
Shouldn’t it?
But it doesn't.
Hear that?
It doesn’t.
Not where grace is concerned.
God’s pure gift.

Paul teaches, declares, reminds:
“For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
We fall short!
Who would have thought!
You and I falling short.

Oh, God may smile
Rejoice at our humility of action
How we see Christ in the most unlikely people,
right?
The ones who can't help us back,
who may not be grateful,
who may not be cute or pretty or handsome.
Oh, God may smile,
as we peel away the hours like dollar bills
listening, patiently
holding hands, patting shoulders, eye’s warm and welcoming,
listening,
listening and not advising, not judging, not solving,
just being, patiently being.
God may smile at our Christ-likeness and humble servant hood, but loves us none the more for it.
(Nor none the less, of course.)

God in Christ Jesus has shown the depth of love that God bears for the likes of you and me.
What more love can there be than Christ, sent and given, betrayed and broken, dead and buried and risen and exalted and reigning forever and ever and ever.
For you and me
For the world.
For those we love and fail to love.
For those we love and cannot imagine loving, Ever imagine.
There is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, says Paul.

We love grace (and we should)
that falls like rain, like the gift of a sudden shower
in a parched and thirsty land.
The grace that brings life, brings freedom
like plants flowering bursting forth in celebration
rains gifting new life.
But sin comes like a withering heat
Dry, desiccating, mummifying.
All around us, in us and through us.
We are free, we croak,
but the sin/heat chokes. We choose to save ourselves
perhaps scrambling, racing blindly
leaving others in our own choking dust
Seeing the water, just ahead, the mirage of salvation.
We run farther, faster, looking back to keep ahead so that others do not beat us there,
find the waters, drink their fill and leave us nothing.
There it is!
Bit the mirage of grace, it's all mud. It sucks at our feet
making us prisoners.

We are free we declare, but we are not.
More stuck than before.
Stuck in the mud we tripped into the unseen
up to our waists, our elbows, our mouth.
We were mistaken,
seeing only the mirage of our own desire.
Praying others stop for us out of mercy,
pity, forgiveness, kindness, out of grace,
the gift that embraces poor wretches like you and me.
We pray for others to forgive us and pause in their own thirst,
pause awhile to tug and pull and help us along, help us to see what is real and what is not.
What is of God and what is not.

We love grace (and we should)
seeking the Word
that gives it its depth, its width, its breadth, its height,
its movement, its path, its journey, its home.
To set our own heart by its course
to fix our eyes on its fullness
to fill our spirit with its breath,
its fire, its kiss.

Hear the words of Jesus:
“If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples;
and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
We are free, free to love, to serve, to hope, to dance, to sing, to shout, to wonder, to celebrate, to pray,
to honor, to embrace the righteousness of being children of God.

Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me,
I once was lost but now am found. Was blind, but now I see.
Amazing Grace, that gift of God, the one that sets me free,
Upon the cross in victory won, in pure humility.
Amen.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

THE GREAT MARTIN LUTHER QUIZ

In honor of Reformation Day
(Remember to wear RED on Sunday!)
Question 1: When was Martin Luther born? 1483, 1460, 1506, 1501

Question 2: What was his father's profession or trade? Shoemaker, Lawyer, Miner, Doctor

Question 3: What field of study did Luther's father want him to enter? Medicine, Theology, Philosophy, Law

Question 4: In 1505, Luther suddenly decided to become a monk. A number of reasons for this decision are given by different scholars. Which of the following is NOT one of them?

A. He saw a vision of the virgin Mary

B. He was frightened by lightning and made a vow

C. He wanted to escape his brutal home and school life

D. His friend was killed in an assassination

Question 5: How many theses did Luther supposedly nail to the door of the Wittenberg Church?Answer: _________(Numeral)

Question 6: One of Luther's criticisms of the church was the sale of indulgences.
True/False

Question 7: How did the church respond to Luther's teachings?

A. He was excommunicated

B. His books were publicly burned

C. He was declared an outlaw

D. All of these


Question 8: Luther married Katharina von Bora in 1525. What was unusual about his bride?

A. She was a noblewoman marrying a commoner

B. She was a former nun

C. She was sixteen years older than Luther

D. She was divorced

Question 9: Luther's translation of the Bible into German (completed in 1534) was not the first one. Which of these was an earlier translation?

Wenceslas Bible, Einheitsuebersetzung Bible, Schlachter Bible, Elbersfelder Bible

Question 10: What were the terms of the Peace of Augsburg?

A. All people in a region voted on their preferred religion

B. Northern Germany became Protestant while southern Germany remained Catholic

C. The ruler had no say in his subjects' religious practices

D. The ruler of a region determined its religion
BUTTERFLY GARDENING TIME!
Preparing the gardens for ALL SAINTS SUNDAY!
SATURDAY OCTOBER 30th at 10AM
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 6th at 11:30AM
Bring your gardening clothes and tools! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

TRINITY'S REFORMATION
COVER DESIGNS
Thanks to all of our Young Artists!









Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The readings for Sunday, October 31, 2010:

First Reading: Jeremiah 31:31-34

Psalm: Psalm 46

Second Reading: Romans 3:19-28

Gospel: John 8:31-36

Today's Gospel promises that we shall know the truth and the truth shall set us free. For some of us, this comes as welcome news, perhaps even as we feel a bit doubtful. After all, the Gospel doesn't tell us how we'll know the truth: will we just recognize it? Will consensus dictate what the truth is? If a majority of people believe, is that how we'll know we're in the campsite of truth?

The Gospel doesn't tell us those details. The Gospel writer John was more mystical than practical. But it's interesting to think about the issue of truth as we approach Reformation Sunday.

Think about how many of our spiritual ancestors were in a minority, before they were in a majority. If we're looking for majority rule to tell us whether or not we're looking at the truth, we will miss a lot of the truth.

Think of Martin Luther (or rent the film, Luther) and what he was up against. The Catholic church had a stranglehold on the spiritual life of Europe when Luther came along and suggested that they'd gotten off track. He didn't intend to start a new branch of Christianity. But his life shows what might happen when we start pointing out the truth. We might overturn a whole social order and begin several hundred years of new denominations. If I wanted to, I could spread many of the most exciting social movements of the twentieth century (for example, the movement to secure human rights for everyone) to the ideas that Luther put into motion. Or think about the worldwide push towards literacy. Luther might not have envisioned the changes he put into motion when he translated the Bible into common German, but he understood the importance of enlarged access. Where would we be if we still had scriptures in a language that we couldn't understand? Will we know the truth if it's in a language that's foreign to us?

Think of a revolution closer to our own time. One of the biggest spiritual stories of the twentieth century has to be the rise of the Pentecostal movement, which we can trace back to Azusa Street in Los Angeles in the early part of the twentieth century. Even those of us outside of the movement can admire the ways in which Pentecostal ideas have enriched all of us believers (the idea that there are different gifts of the spirit, for example; even if my gift is not speaking in tongues, I might have a different gift to offer, one that is equally valuable; the trick is to know my gift and commit to it). Even those of us who are fearful of the spread of Pentecostal and Evangelical ideas have to admit that our siblings in those churches understand mission in ways that many of the rest of us don't.

Those of us who feel like we're part of a dying tradition would do well to remember that even times of death can lead to times of renewal. We may be planting seeds. Those seeds might grow into plants that we can't even visualize right now.

We're in a time of tremendous renewal, even if we find ourselves part of a mainline tradition that seems determined to ignore these developments. Google the words Emergent Church and see what you find; many Christian groups who wouldn't have even spoken to each other in the 1950's are rethinking ways to do church and working on social justice movements together. Research the New Monasticism to see the ways that people are radically committing to the life of faith.

Consider the Internet, and how the Internet is revolutionizing our faith lives. We can tithe or redistribute our wealth much more easily with the Internet as a tool. We can read or listen to stories of faith to inspire us. We can go to sites to pray the Daily Office.

Will we one day look back and realize that the Internet fueled a Reformation in our own time, just as the printing press helped to speed Martin Luther's Reformation? We can't know. And again, the Gospel should echo in our ears, as we spend more and more time in virtual communities and less time with actual humans: we will know the truth (but one suspects we'll only know the truth if we're on the lookout for it). And what a promise: the truth shall set us free.

Monday, October 25, 2010

ADULT AND
POST CONFIRMATION YOUTH
Sunday school class
October 31, 2010


"Exploring What It Means
to be Lutheran"

Led by Pastor Keith
Left side of Charter Hall at 9:30AM This Sunday! All Welcome!
  • How do Lutherans interpret the Bible?
  • Law and Gospel
  • Sola Scriptura
  • Means of Grace
  • Theology of the Cross
  • Saint and Sinner
  • Christian Vocation
  • Justification by grace through faith for Christ’s sake
REFLECTING ON OUR FAITH
1. Where have you seen God working this week?
By choosing the best situation for my daughter with a real estate agent in Orlando
People getting pumpkins for sale
Was ill and God healed me – feeling much better now.
In the power of prayer which quickened healing.
Memorial Hospital

2. Where Did God use someone else to bless you this week (whether they knew it or not?)?
The moving men who helped and those who had recommendations  with a storage facility
A doctor and nurse who worked late to help my son
Someone bringing me some German specialties .
In a glowing smile of one of my very special students when she sees me.
At a Bible study

3. Where did God use you to bless someone else this week?
Neighbors in Casselberry
Visiting a friend in the hospital
Praying for friends in need.
Sharing my belief in what God is asking me to do even though it is not necessarily my human will  - helped someone understand better.
At Memorial Hospital
Praying for a friend
THE PATCH IS GOING GREAT!!!!!



PLEASE EMAIL SAM IN THE OFFICE
IF YOU CAN FILL ANY OF THESE SLOTS OR EVEN JUST A PORTION OF A SLOT:

TUE 10/26
12:45-3:30PM
3:15-6:00PM

SAT 10/30
10:00-1:00PM
12:45-3:30PM
3:15-6:00PM

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott


The readings for Sunday, October 24, 2010:

First Reading: Jeremiah 14:7-10, 19-22

First Reading (Semi-cont.): Joel 2:23-32

First Reading (Alt.): Sirach 35:12-17

Psalm: Psalm 84:1-6 (Psalm 84:1-7 NRSV)

Psalm (Semi-cont.): Psalm 65

Second Reading: 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18

Gospel: Luke 18:9-14

We are so accustomed to seeing the Pharisee as the model for what we are not supposed to do and be spiritually that it's hard to see the Pharisee as Jesus might have intended him to function as a character. Go back to read the text again, and ask yourself how often you've been that Pharisee. It's easy to feel a sense of superiority at the good and righteous deeds we do. We might say, "I go to church every Sunday, even though I struggle with some of the directions the church seems to be heading. I give 10% of my income to the church, and I even contribute to other charities if they seem worthy. I give my old clothes to Veteran's groups. I try to remember to pray several times a day. Even when it's not Lent, I undertake spiritual tasks that others don't. I fast once a week, even though my church mates only fast on Good Friday. I work in a soup kitchen and a food bank. I try to be a model of Christ's light at work."

As an English major and a Composition teacher, I immediately hone in on the speech of the Pharisee and the tax collector, the subject and the verb. The Pharisee is the subject in the sentence structure and the actor of each sentence: I _____ (fill in the verb). The tax collector asks God to be the subject of the sentence and the actor. What are we to make of this?

Some theologians would say that Jesus tells us that only God can deliver salvation. We can take on as many spiritual tasks as we like and do them all superbly, but it won't be enough. Some theologians would tell us that Jesus is reminding us of the value of humility. The Pharisee might be more spiritually pure, but since he lacks humility, he fails on some essential level.

Many theologians would comment on the human trait to draw lines of in groups and out groups, just as the Pharisee has done. As humans, we seem incapable of just accepting people. We want to change their behavior or their lifestyle or their beliefs. We compare ourselves to others, so that we can make ourselves feel better.

Jesus reminds us again and again of the futility of this action. The only way to salvation is to pray as the tax collector does: "God, be merciful to me a sinner." Notice the simplicity of the prayer. If we could only pray one prayer, this would be the one. And a good second prayer would be one of thanks, thanks for all the way God showers us with blessings.

Jesus is clear about the dangers of exalting ourselves. In our current time, he might have spoken at greater length about the danger of humility turning into false humility. He might have preached to our inner adolescents, who might have protested and wondered why we should change our behavior at all, if it doesn't lead to God's favor. He might have told us that we do the things we do as Christians not to act our way to salvation, since that can't happen, but because we choose actions which will lead to enriched lives for ourselves and others.

It would be an interesting experiment to pray the prayer of the tax collector on a daily basis and to see how our lives changed. What a simple spiritual task. What a change of trajectory might be in store if we actually prayed it.
TRINITY
PUMPKIN PATCH



WEEK TWO
SHIFT OPENINGS

Our pumpkin patch is well underway and we are selling more and more pumpkins everyday.

Why sit back and be an armchair quarterback?

It takes several volunteers to keep the patch open everyday. Get Involved!! Come out meet new people!! A perfect opportunity for retirees. There's no labor involved as the pumpkins sell themselves. All you have to do is sit back, relax and watch the fun unfold.


Please contact Nancy Berger at (954) 649-5205 OR Kathy Velez at (954) 478-4395 if you can spare a little time to help.

SAT 10/23
12:45-3:30PM
3:15-6:00PM

MON 10/25
12:45-3:30PM
3:15-6:00PM
5:30-7:00PM

TUE 10/26
12:45-3:30PM
3:15-6:00PM

WED 10/27
12:45-3:30PM
3:15-6:00PM

THU 10/28
12:45-3:30PM
3:15-6:00PM

FRI 10/29
12:45-3:30PM
3:15-6:00PM
5:30-7:00PM

SAT 10/30
10:00-1:00PM
12:45-3:30PM
3:15-6:00PM

THANKS!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

REFLECTING ON OUR FAITH



1. Where have you seen God working this week?
In Senior Centers, hospitals, funeral homes, churches, hair salons & nursing homes

In the innocence and carefree style of children

God kept Hurricane Paula from causing much destruction

In people’s prayers for Jose being answered

During our Breast Cancer Service in the healing that they survivors experienced

2. Where Did God use someone else to bless you this week (whether they knew it or not?)


At Memorial Hospital, Pembroke

Meeting the 3 day Walk fundraising goal

My 95 year old neighbor

Our neighbors offered to help us with a problem we had.

Time with Family.

In those who responded to my call for prayer

Our friends and neighbors showed support for our daughter at a recent event.

3. Where did God use you to bless someone else this week?
At work.

Visits to my neighbor

Called someone who was going to have eye surgery like mine to encourage her and pray for her.

By stepping in when my assistance was needed.

Monday, October 18, 2010


SUNDAY SCHOOL HALLOWEEN PARTY



Friday, October 22 at 7PM in Charter Hall.
All welcome! Bring Friends!
Games, prizes, and family fun!
Please bring a bag of wrapped candy to share.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

At Trinity Lutheran, Pembroke Pines,
‎1400 small to huge pumpkins arrived late this afternoon! Plus hundreds of wee little ones! Patch open daily from 10AM to 7PM. Groups welcome! Volunteers still appreciated!


Friday, October 15, 2010

GOOD INFORMATION FROM YOUR
HEALTH AND WELLNESS TEAM
Basi Perkins, Chair

How to Visit Someone in a Hospital

BY SCOTT MORRIS

Physicians and health care professionals often become so used to walking into and around hospitals that we forget that most people are frightened at some level with the experience of being in a hospital. Over the last few years, I have had several hospital stays due to orthopedic problems and I can assure you that the experience of being a patient is far different from that of being the physician.

Based on my experience, I offer ten suggestions for visiting people in the hospital and for showing support for family members:

1.First, do not try and pretend like a hospital stay is not a big deal. It is a big deal for anyone, so let the person know you will have them in your thoughts and prayers before they are admitted.

2.Unless you are very close to the person, there is no need to feel you must visit the person while they are actually in the hospital. Your support will be more appreciated once they are home. However, if you do go to the hospital, make your visit short while you are actually talking to the patient. Being in the hospital is exhausting.

3.Offering to help the caregiver who is sitting with the patient can be of great help. Give the person time to go home and change clothes or go to dinner. Do not sit and talk for long periods of time. Bring something to read and be quiet. Your presence can be a comfort but rarely is your conversation.

4.Avoid gossiping about the patient’s progress. This is not your job. Let the family say what they want to be known.

5.Let the patient know you are praying for them and then actually offer up your prayers.

6.Send hand-written cards to the patient. Reading a note from you can be as much comfort as your presence.

7.On the day of surgery, make sure someone waits with the family while the patient is in the operating room. No one should have to wait alone.

8.Offer to run errands if the patient will be in the hospital more than a couple of days.

9.People need more care from their friends after they get home from the hospital than they do while in the hospital. When someone is improving is when your presence will be most appreciated.

10.If the patient receives a crushing diagnosis, do not be afraid to talk about it. Pretending that cancer isn’t present does not help someone recover. Most people want to talk about the problem at some level.

Remember that recovery from an illness takes time and that people have good days and bad days during the experience. If a person is in pain and does not want to talk one day, it does not mean that they will not be more receptive a few days later. Many people are embarrassed to be seen when they are at their worst so give them another chance as they improve. Rarely are visits, when someone is sick, not appreciated. In fact, these are often when lifelong memories are forged.
©2008-2010 Church Health Center. All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

PLEASE NOTE!!!!!!



PUMPKIN PATCH OFFLOAD HAS BEEN MOVED TO SUNDAY OCTOBER 17th at 5:30PM

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

REMINDER:
FUNERAL SERVICE PLANNING WORKSHOP
 THIS SUNDAY at 9:30AM
In the left side of Trinity's fellowship hall
led by Pastor Keith
TRINITY PUMPKIN PATCH
WEEK ONE SHIFT OPENINGS
VERY EASY if you have not done it before.

**High School Service Hours for those who need them!**
Anyone that could give ANY TIME can e-mail me directly at kvelez@thebluezone.net

SAT 10/16

3:15-6:00PM

SUN 10/17
3:00-5:30PM

MON 10/18
12:45-3:30PM

TUE 10/19
12:45-3:30PM

WED 10/20
12:45-3:30PM

3:15-6:00PM
5:30-7:00PM

THU 10/21
12:45-3:30PM
3:15-6:00PM

FRI 10/22
12:45-3:30PM
3:15-6:00PM
WORSHIP IN COMMEMORATION OF NATIONAL BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH THIS SUNDAY OCTOBER 17th at 8AM and 10:45AM
AT TRINITY LUTHERAN, PEMBROKE PINES
7150 Pines Blvd Pembroke Pines
(954) 989-1903

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott


The Readings for Sunday, October 17, 2010:

First Reading: Genesis 32:22-31

First Reading (Semi-cont.): Jeremiah 31:27-34

Psalm: Psalm 121

Psalm (Semi-cont.): Psalm 119:97-104

Second Reading: 2 Timothy 3:14--4:5

Gospel: Luke 18:1-8


For many years, this Gospel lesson troubled me. I tend to approach Jesus' parables as teaching us something about the nature of God, so I always look for the character that is supposed to resemble God. In this parable, of course, I immediately assume that the Judge is the God stand-in. But what does that say about the nature of God? Do we really worship a God that is so distracted that he'll only respond if we beat the door down several times?

If we see the judge as the God character, we might use this parable to help us understand how God intervenes in a universe that God designed around the structures of free will. Think about your beliefs about how God operates in the world. We're back to some of those timeless questions: why does God allow pain and suffering if God is all powerful? One approach says that God gives us free will, and along with free will comes the decision to make bad choices. God is like a parent, who can't really control us, the adolescent children.

And yet, many theologians would argue that God is allowed to intervene in a universe designed to incorporate free will. The catch? God must be asked to intervene. And that's where we come in. We don't have to sit back and assume that God has the ultimate plan and design. No. In fact, this parable might teach us that our role is that of the widow. We are to demand justice for a ravaged world. If at first, we don't get it, we demand again and again, until righteousness is restored (if you're in the mood for reading more on this subject, check out the work of Walter Wink, especially Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination).

I'm still not comfortable with this view of the world or of God. Does that mean that the suffering in Darfur might have ended years ago, if enough of us had been praying? Does God turn away from injustice until enough people are outraged? Surely not.

Here, too, we bump into our beliefs about God and divine limits. Is God all powerful? Could God just point a finger and make people stop hurting each other? Where does evil come into the equation?

I'm not sure I believe in an all-powerful all the time God. I think God will be all powerful in the end and justice and mercy will be restored: the widow will have enough money, the poor will have food and shelter, lions and lambs will lie down together. I fervently pray for the restoration of creation (but I doubt it will happen in my lifetime). But I no longer rule out the very real power of evil, and it's clear to me that evil sometimes overpowers righteousness. My hope is that evil will not prevail in the end, but I also know that sometimes, I must work towards justice, without ever seeing results.

We are like the people who built cathedrals. We all have a role to play in restoring God's creation. We probably won't be alive to see its full glory; at least, we probably won't be alive in the bodies we have now. But we have a larger vision, and God requires us to do our part. Much of that role that we play is to cry out for justice. Will our cries be answered? Yes, eventually. Will we be around to feel good about the restoration of justice? Maybe. Even if we're not, that's not the point.

Think about how many people have been slaughtered as they advocated for the oppressed: famous people, like Stephen Biko or Archbishop Romero or Martin Luther King, as well as names we'll never know. They died before they got to see the full fruits of their labor, but the groundwork that they laid was vital for bending the arc of history towards justice (to use Martin Luther King's beautiful language). It's important to remember that sometimes when we advocate for justice, we might pay supreme sacrifices.

But the parable promises a positive outcome. Go back to the first verse: "And he told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart." That's the lesson of the parable.

This morning, as I thought about this parable and my response to it, I thought, isn't it interesting that I first see God in this parable as the male, corrupt judge? Maybe God in this story is the widow. How would this change our view of God, our view of religion, if we saw God as the more helpless characters in Scripture, as opposed to an authority figure?

It's a scarier view of God, to be sure. Most of us, if we're honest, would say that we prefer God the smiter to God the helpless widow. Even viewing God as a parent allows us to abdicate some responsibility. But as we read the Gospel with adult understanding, it's clear that God gives us a lot of power and responsibility. How will we use that power?

This parable teaches us that we're to cry out for justice day and night. If you're having trouble praying, turn your attention towards the people who are suffering in this world. Pray for Darfur. Pray for the people, whomever they might be this week, who are suffering from a natural disaster. Pray for those throughout the world who are thrown in jail to rot. Pray for the poor, beleaguered planet as it swelters beneath a merciless sun.

If the stones can cry out for justice (a line from a different Gospel), so can you. And you can take comfort from the fact that God cries out for justice right along beside you.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

TRINITY'S 50TH ANNIVERSARY EXTRAVAGANZA AT TROPICAL ACRES PART III






MORE PICTURES FROM TRINITY'S 50TH ANNIVERSARY EXTRAVAGANZA AT TROPICAL ACRES RESTAURANT!






SOME PHOTOS FROM TRINITY'S 50TH ANNIVERSARY DINNER EXTAVAGANZA!
MORE ON TRINITY LUTHERAN PEMBROKE PINES FACEBOOK SITE




REFLECTING ON OUR FAITH


1. Where have you seen God working this week?
Healing difficult relationships
Friends helping me when my car broke done
Helping me deal with a situation that I was not expecting
In my family this week.

2. Where Did God use someone else to bless you this week (whether they knew it or not?)?
Ongoing blessings from neighbors, teachers, and co-workers
Our new neighbor coming to live next door.
Used a friend to encourage me this week.

3. Where did God use you to bless someone else this week?
I visited my parents who rarely get out anymore and did a few chores for them
Took a friend to keep her appointment.
God used me to insist a friend go to the emergency room due to chest pain and it possibly saved her life.
Gave a ride to a complete stranger
To encourage a friend and her son this week.

Friday, October 08, 2010

OLDER YOUTH AND ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL
FALL SCHEDULE


OCT 17 FUNERAL PLANNING WORKSHOP (DPK)
OCT 24 MEMORY DISORDERS 101 (Ron McCoy)
OCT 31 REFORMATION DAY – EXPLORING WHAT IT MEANS TO BE LUTHERAN (DPK)
NOV 7 The Gospel of Matthew – An Overview Part I (DPK)
NOV 14 The Gospel of Matthew - An Overview Part II (DPK)
NOV 21 An Introduction to Prayer Labyrinths (DPK)
NOV 28 A Gratitude Journal
DEC 5 Spiritual Journaling Beyond the Gratitude Journal (Kristin-Berkey Abbott)
DEC 12 The Spiritual Practice of Focused Bible Reading (Kristin-Berkey Abbott)
DEC 19 Meditation or Walking the Labyrinth (Kristin-Berkey Abbott)
BIBLE IMPROV FALL SCHEDULE THE EARLY SEASON



1. THE STORY OF CREATION: GENESIS 1 – 2:3 [SEPT 19th]


2. THE STORY OF ADAM AND EVE: GENESIS 2-3 [SEPT 26th]

3. THE STORY OF NOAH: GENESIS 6-9 SEPT [OCT 3rd]

4. THE STORY OF ABRAHAM GENESIS 12, 15, 18, 20-22 [OCT 17th]

5. THE STORY OF JACOB AND ESAU: GENESIS 25-36 [OCT 24th]


6. THE STORY OF JOSEPH: GENESIS 37-50 [OCT 31st]

7. THE STORY OF RUTH [NOV 7th]

8. THE STORY OF COOL WOMEN IN THE OT [NOV 14th]

CHRISTMAS PROGRAM REHEARSALS [NOV 28, DEC 5, 12, 19]



Wednesday, October 06, 2010

October 9, 2010


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Psalm 150
Praise the LORD!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty firmament!
2Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his surpassing greatness!
3Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
4Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
5Praise him with clanging cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6Let everything that breathes
praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD!


On this, the 50th Anniversary of the formal chartering of Trinity Lutheran Church Pembroke Pines as a congregation of evangelical Lutherans dedicated to the mission and ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we stand ever mindful of the saints who have gone before us, whose fervent faith, wisdom, passion, stubbornness, and willingness to roll up their sleeves and get to work have through the power and guiding of the Holy Spirit and with the blessing of almighty God brought us to this day.

Our past is full of stories of great challenge and an even greater faith willing to trust in God to see through each and every one. It is also full of a bold and vibrant witness to the newness of all that God in and through Christ Jesus is doing in our very midst. Even as God remains steadfast in the promise we have received in our Baptism, we remain steadfast in dedicating our lives to the living out of the holy commission that comes with being made a child of God. Even as Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, we are made new in our Baptism each and every day to face the ever-changing mission field in which our congregation still dwells and lives out its calling.

Today, we celebrate and give thanks. Today with an earnest humbleness we acknowledge that we have done nothing apart from what God has accomplished in us and through us. Today we ask forgiveness and forgive. Today we remember and renew. Today we shout and praise and pray and worship and encourage. For today is the day that the Lord has made, so let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Tomorrow is before us and so I leave you with Paul’s words to the church at Philippi:

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved….4Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

To God be the Glory! Amen!

Pastor Keith
Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The readings for Sunday, October 10, 2010:

First Reading: 2 Kings 5:1-3, 7-15c

First Reading (Semi-cont.): Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7

Psalm: Psalm 111

Psalm (Semi-cont.): Psalm 66:1-11 (Psalm 66:1-12 NRSV)

Second Reading: 2 Timothy 2:8-15

Gospel: Luke 17:11-19

It's always interesting to see what other theologians focus upon for each week's Gospel. This week, I'm surprised by how many scholars focus on the fact that Jesus sent the lepers off to the priests, and they were cured while they were on their way. Why didn't Jesus just heal them there? Did it have something to do with purity laws? Did it have something to do with the larger society needing to be part of receiving the previously outcast? Was Jesus trying to include the religious institutions of his day in his vision for the world? Apparently, these types of questions fascinate many theologians.

These questions don't interest me as much as what happens later. Ten lepers leave and only one comes back to say thank you. And the one who comes back to say thank you is a Samaritan, one of the lowest of the low in Jesus' society--the one you wouldn't expect to come back and say thank you. Notice that the 9 lepers weren't punished for their ingratitude. But Jesus does notice their ingratitude.

We've spent a lot of time wrestling with texts which offer us guidelines for discipleship which may seem close to impossible for modern people to follow: give away our wealth? Surely Jesus didn't mean that.

Today's Gospel gives us a task which should be easier. We need to practice gratitude. It seems like it should be such an easy thing, but some people find it easier to give away their money than to be grateful. We focus on the prayers that we perceive of as unanswered. We find ourselves obsessing over people who seem to receive better blessings than we do. We nurse our disappointments, our hurt, our anger. We are in spiritually dangerous territory when we do this.

If you can pray no other prayer, get into the habit of saying thank you. If you think you have nothing over which you'd like to offer thanks, think again. Do your body parts work as well as can be expected? Even if you're not in the best health, you can probably focus on something that's a blessing. I'd like to be naturally willow thin, but I never have been. I could spend a lot of time making myself miserable over that, or I could focus on my genetic predisposition for low blood cholesterol and low blood pressure and say a prayer of thanks. Once I saw Arthur Ashe on the Phil Donahue show, where he had appeared to talk about his recent diagnosis: he had AIDS. But he seemed so cheerful, and when asked about that, he said that he focused on what his body could do. He grinned and said, "I've never had a cavity." If only more of us could follow his large-spirited lead.

When you think about what's lacking in your life, you might focus on your lack of funds. But compared to the rest of the world, you've extremely wealthy. Want to know just how wealthy? Go to http://www.globalrichlist.com/ to see. Even if you're in the lower tiers of poverty in the US, you're still fairly well off compared to the rest of the world. You're still likely to have safe water and electricity and some sort of roof over your head--even a TV!

My friend Sue used to do a type of gratitude exercise with her children. When they saw a magnificent sunset or a field of flowers or a tree ablaze in autumnal leaves, they’d yell, “Great show God!” It could be a bit startling if you were the one driving the car and not expecting this outburst. Yet the spirit was infectious. Even today, when I see something beautiful in nature, I murmur, “Great show, God.”

The beautiful thing about cultivating a garden of gratitude is that it opens our hearts in a unique way. Being grateful can lead to those other spiritual disciplines that seem so hard taken out of context. We’re saying “Thank you” more often, which puts us in a space where prayer comes more naturally. We are aware of all the blessings that we have and we’re more inclined to share. Our hearts and our brains and our hands move in unison to work with God to create the kind of reality that God wants for each of us to experience.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am now an official ELCA blogger!


To read a post on what Lutheran spirituality means to me, go here.

To read my post on vocation, go here.

Monday, October 04, 2010

REFLECTING ON OUR FAITH


1. Where have you seen God working this week?
In recognizing how truly blessed my family is!
God gave me the courage to reach out to people in a time of need
Never stops!
In the lawn and gardening crew
My brother’s lung biopsy produced “good news” per the Cleveland Clinic – God is Good!
In me and my church family!
God brought us through a difficult week.

2. Where Did God use someone else to bless you this week (whether they knew it or not?)
People came to be with me in my time of need and prayed for me and lots of other people praying.
Many times.
In the awe-inspiring photography and words of Clyde Butcher connecting me to the spiritual nature of the natural world.
Through a friend.
Meeting someone who cared about my story and then prayed with me.

3. Where did God use you to bless someone else this week?
Over and over.
In being there.
To reach out in support to two friends this week.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

SUNDAY BLESSINGS!
THE BARTLETTS VISIT!

HAND CHIMES READY FOR OUR 50th ANNIVERSARY SERVICE!



MAYA REHEARSES WITH THE YOUNG PERSONS (YP) CHOIR

THREE GENERATIONS OF A TRINITY FAMILY! Carolyn, Nancy , Jeanne, and Alex

JANEAN AND THE YP CHOIR PREPARE FOR OUR 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION WORSHIP!