In the Sanctuary at 8:30AM and 11AM -
a blended service of traditional and contemporary elements with communion

In the hall at 9:45AM
scripture, prayer, and creative response with communion

Worship each Sunday @ 8:30AM, 9:45AM, and 11AM

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Our Many Gendered God

This week at Trinity Lutheran, we'll be thinking about issues of gender and the ways we still need to transform our society.  I've b...

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday July 31st Sermon is now posted
"So that All May Grow as His Disiples"

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Most Recent Sunday Sermon is now up on the BLOG. Sermons are archived on youtube at pastorkeith2011
Each August, as teachers and school staff are preparing to report for the beginning of the new school year we offer prayers of blessing for them and small tokens of appreciation for all that they do to nurture our children, youth and young adults (and even older adults who have returned to further their education). Please join us to pray for teachers and staff and invite those you know!
Stop! Wait! Don’t discard those items! Our next rummage sale will be held, Saturday, August 27th . Please place any donations in the designated place in Monson-Mueller hall. All proceeds will help support the youth during the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering. Please contact Jean Myers at
BMyers613@bellsouth.net or (954) 962-5376 with any questions.

(formerly Advent Lutheran Church)
Will be Celebrating its 60th Year in Existence
Sunday, September 18, 2011
4:00 pm Special Service
Followed by Dinner
Please join us!
RSVP would be appreciated but not necessary
call Laurel Marc-Charles at 786-375-1202
The Memorial Service for Flip (Nelson) Lechner will be held at Trinity on Sunday August 7th at noon. Between the 10AM worship service and the memorial service there will be a potluck luncheon. The sign up list for the luncheon will be available this Sunday or by contacting SAM in the office.

HEALTHY COFFEE HOURThis Sunday after 10AM Healing Service we will be having our Green and Healthy Coffee Hour.
Please Join us!
Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The readings for July 31, 2011

Isaiah 55:1-5
Psalm 145:8-9, 15-22 (Psalm 145: 8-9, 14-21 NRSV)
You open wide your hand and satisfy the needs of every living creature. (Ps. 145:17)
Romans 9:1-5
Matthew 14:13-21

The story in the Gospel lesson is familiar; indeed, a version appears in each Gospel (which may mean it’s more likely to be a factual reporting, or it may mean that each Gospel writer realized the significance and implications of the story and couldn’t bear to leave it out). Jesus preaches to the multitudes, who grow hungry. Jesus commands the disciples to feed them, and they protest that they only have five loaves and two fish. But miraculously, not only are the thousands of people fed, but the disciples gather basket after basket of leftovers.

Christian approaches to this story are varied. One of the most common uses this story as a way to teach the importance of sharing—share the scarce resources and magically, everyone has enough (probably the emphasis of many a stewardship campaign). Some theologians reflect on the nature of hunger, which seems particularly relevant when coupled with the verse from Isaiah: “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?” (Isaiah 56: 2). Should we hunger for bread? From the springboard of this story, we could ponder the mystery of the Eucharist, remind ourselves that “without Jesus, we go hungry, and with Jesus, there is more than enough” (Marcus Borg develops a much more intense discussion of the differences of each version of the loaves and fishes story in his book, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, but he starts from this simple metaphorical place).

I find the approach of the disciples one of the more interesting angles of this story. Jesus commands them to feed everyone, and they protest that they can’t, that they don’t have enough food. They’ve followed Jesus for some time and they’ve seen him perform many miracles, including making dead people come back to life. But their first response is that they can’t possibly do what Jesus expects (and what all of us, as followers, are commanded to do—to care for each other).

I think this story tells us an important lesson about the human resistance to the miraculous. We limit God, and our fellow humans, by our inability to dream big visions. We assume that we’ll always have hungry people, oppressed nations, and what can we do—we only have so much and it will only stretch so far. But we forget how much is possible—how much we have already seen with our own eyes.

For example, imagine we could time travel back to the year 1985 (only 20 years ago). Imagine that we told the people of that time that in a few short years, the Berlin Wall would come down. Not only that, but Nelson Mandela would be released from prison (and free elections would follow five years later). Not only that, the Soviet Union would soon be no more.

The people we encountered would not believe us. The people of 1985 would have been convinced that Nelson Mandela would die in his South African prison and that his nation would disintegrate into civil war. The people of 1985 would have been convinced that the Soviet Union would always be a part of the geopolitical landscape, and that there would always be a literal wall that separated east from west.

To talk about how these miracles happened would take a much larger space than I have here, but it’s important to remember that one reason is that ordinary people dreamed of something different. For example, in numerous interviews that I’ve heard, Desmond Tutu, gives credit for the fall of apartheid to the governments, institutions, and individuals who fought for divestment from a corrupt regime. And even when the call for divestment was not successful, those calls started an important conversation.

Desmond Tutu also always gives credit to the Christians (and other believers) throughout the world who prayed for a peaceful way out of an insolvable situation. Even if you didn’t own a Kruggerand (a popular way for people to invest in gold—gold that came from South Africa), you could participate in the process of mercy and justice.

And don’t let my emphasis on political miracles keep us from remembering the other miracles that surround us: health restored, friendships (and other relationships) repaired, the student who suddenly understands an impossible subject, the hungry fed, the homeless who find shelter.

I know that for every miracle, someone has suffered the pain of loss (the cancer that didn’t go into remission, the job loss that leads to other losses or a weather catastrophe—for every South Africa, there are a dozen Darfurs).

But we are called to keep our eyes towards a different reality. The Kingdom of Heaven is not just after death, Jesus declares. It is among us, here and now. And we can be a part of that glorious creation.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

1- in His wonderful creation - watching a full moon rise at the beach
2- at Trinity in the reading of the Gospel
3- diamond fell out of ring and everyone said I would not find it, but having faith and prayer... it was found
4- a trauma patient had positive signs of improvement
5- in my daughter's continued healing following surgery

1- to provide many needed rides
2- Calvary Chapel in celebrating recovery group meeting
3- God gave me a friend that taught me to be nice to a stranger
4- two friends were scared when I was away- I hadn't told them
5- a Dr took me aside at work to say I was doing a good job
6- friendly visitors came for an enjoyable afternoon
7- through a friend who saw that I got my daily prayer book and bulletin
8- my dear husband and his wit

1- to encourage a new believer and provide biblical references
2- coffee hour at Calvary Chapel praying for my recovery brother
3- I was able to help a friend with rides and childcare
4- on a peaceful and harmony family cruise
5- in preparing snacks and meals to support my daughter's healing
6- an unplanned visit to play with the grandbabies

1- in many ways
2- the sermon always speaks to me and is what I need to hear for that week, in simple terms
3- by being more spiritual with the Lord and feeling His presence
4- knowing I am home when I walk through the door at Trinity
5- by giving me hope
6- Trinity has helped me nurture a relationship with God through sermons, education and living examples of living a christian life
Thank you for your recent gift to ELCA Disaster Response--U.S. flooding. With your gift, our church will lend a hand where help is needed.
When disaster strikes, ELCA Disaster Response is prepared to care. In the United States and Caribbean, ELCA Disaster Response is known for its skill and expertise in providing spiritual and emotional care, case advocacy services for disaster survivors who have lost their homes or jobs, and volunteer coordination. When disaster strikes outside the geographic bounds of the ELCA, we work in partnership with churches around the world through Action by Churches Together (ACT) to provide emergency food, water, health care, shelter and offer long-term support to help people rebuild lives and livelihoods.
Your gift helps our church respond with compassion to communities facing crisis after disaster. Thank you for offering this generous gift to bring help and hope to neighbors in need.
In Christ’s service,
The Rev. Kevin A. Massey, Director
ELCA Domestic Disaster Response

Thursday, July 21, 2011

1- celebrating anniversary and birthday
2- at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital
3- God working within my family as we start our new beginning
4- work
5- in many ways!!
6- in my daughter's continued healing following surgery
7- getting a check that I didn't expect to receive
8- friends and family always there
9- home

1- many dear family members and long time prayer partners came from far away
2- everywhere
3- work - new boss
4- using my mother to remind me it could be worse so move on!
5- home
6- all the medical help my husband received at home and in the hospital
7- being welcomed after being absent for awhile from church
8- medical professionals providing clear advise and directions
9- my neighbor

1- wife at our anniversary
2- on the phone and in the community
3- as a caregiver for our neighbor while her daughter was away
4- work: co-worker
5- to bless friends that needed words of encouragement and prayers
6- being able to help my husband in a wheelchair
7- spending time with a lonely neighbor

1- opened up the Charter Hall for us
2- by reminding me of God's grace
3- faith /peace
4- by letting me know they are available makes it easy to do this transition
5- thinking of all the pain He suffered for us
6- getting emails with the weekly readings and news
7- being so welcome when we returned after an absence
8- through education, examples and reminders about Christian principles

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Meditation on This Week's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The readings for Sunday, July 24, 2011:

First Reading: 1 Kings 3:5-12

First Reading (Semi-cont.): Genesis 29:15-28

Psalm: Psalm 119:129-136

Psalm (Semi-cont.): Psalm 105:1-11, 45b

Psalm (Alt.): Psalm 128 (Psalm 128 (Semi-continuous) NRSV)

Second Reading: Romans 8:26-39

Gospel: Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

Today we have a series of interesting parables which Jesus uses to explain the Kingdom of Heaven. I don't think that Jesus is explaining the afterlife, the way that many of us might assume when we hear the word "Heaven." Instead, Matthew uses that word as shorthand for a concept that's closer to "life as God intended." Of course, I'm grossly simplifying, but instead of doing an in-depth exploration of the word "Heaven," let's look at the images Jesus uses.

Note the smallness, the almost invisibility, of the first two images (verses 31-33): mustard seeds and yeast. There are two elements which are interesting. One is that these small grains left alone will transform themselves into something bigger--and in the case of yeast, will transform the surrounding elements too. Leave flour alone, and it won't change much in terms of volume. Even if it gets buggy, the bag won't explode. But add yeast and water and a bit of sweetness and leave the bowl in a warm place for a few hours--when you return to the bowl, the dough might be overflowing. Likewise with a seed. Plant it in the earth, add some water, and leave it alone--if you're lucky, you get a shrub or a tree. If we go out looking for the kingdom to be a big, glorious thing, we might miss the Kingdom.

Many people simply don't register the presence of God because they're looking for the wrong thing. They're looking for something huge and powerful. For example, think about the Jews of Jesus' time. They didn't want spiritual salvation. When they talked about a savior, they wanted someone who would kick the Romans out of their homeland. They missed the miracle of Jesus because they looked for the wrong sign.

The next set of metaphors (verses 44-46) talks about the preciousness of the Kingdom and also a bit about the effort required to find it. The treasure/pearl doesn't just fall into the men's laps--they're out looking.

We live in a culture that doesn't want to put in a lot of work. If you don't believe me, watch the claims that advertisers make: I can lose weight by eating a cookie, I can make by working just 15 minutes a day, I can get a college degree without leaving my house. I love talking to my colleagues and collecting their strange student stories. One of my colleagues had a student stomp out in a huff when she realized she'd have to write essays. Keep in mind, my colleague teaches an English Composition class. Did the student think they'd be creating macaroni collages?

And then I start to wonder why this student imagines that she can go to college and not have to work. Where does she get that message? Of course, the culture in which she lives beams that to her all the time.

Likewise, Kingdom living requires some effort on our part. God wants to meet us, but we have to go forward towards God. We have to look for the right signs, and we have to make some effort. That effort might be regular prayer, spiritual reading, going to church, turning ourselves into caring people, giving more of our money away.

But the end of this week's Gospel assures us that the effort will pay off. We don't want to be in the furnace where men weep and gnash their teeth. For those of you who read the end of the Gospel as a metaphor of Hell after death, you might be right. But I would argue that life is terribly hellish right here and now for people who aren't doing transformational work.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Trinity's thoughts and prayers continue to be with Lola and the children as RJ enters the Kingdom Triumphant

We would like to share the visitation and funeral information for
Regis Joseph (RJ) Miller

May 22, 1940 - July 15, 2011


Tuesday, July 19, 2011 | 5:00pm - 8:00pm

Forest Lawn Funeral Home

2401 Southwest 64th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317 | (954) 792-9360

Funeral Service

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 | 7:00pm - 8:00pm

Forest Lawn Funeral Home

2401 Southwest 64th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317 | (954) 792-9360

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The lessons for Sunday, July 17, 2011:

First Reading: Isaiah 44:6-8

First Reading (Semi-cont.): Genesis 28:10-19a

First Reading (Alt.): Wisdom of Solomon 12:13, 16-19

Psalm: Psalm 86:11-17

Psalm (Semi-cont.): Psalm 139: 1-11, 22-23 (Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24 NRSV)

Second Reading: Romans 8:12-25

Gospel: Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

Again this week we have agricultural metaphors--what an intriguing scenario, to have an enemy that sneaks into your fields to sow weeds, instead of just destroying the field outright. And what an interesting response of the owner: to let the wheat and the weeds grow, to separate the useful from the useless later, once the growing is done and the reaping finished.

The traditional response to this Gospel sees this story as a metaphor about Judgement Day. My problem with that metaphor is that weeds don't turn into wheat, and I don't like the implications of that. The parable comes much too close to advocating predestination for my Lutheran sensibilities to be happy with this interpretation.

Luckily, humans aren't solely weeds or wheat. I know that there are some weeks where I'm more of a weed than anything that is of agricultural use. And I'm the pesky kind of weed; I'm not the kind of weed that grows quietly alone; I impede the spiritual progress of others, strangling and choking and making life miserable. I console myself by telling myself that we all have those days or weeks or seasons where our weedy natures take over.

But I can’t take too much consolation. These summer Gospel readings remind us that we don’t get to sleep in the soil forever. We don't get to loll around in our wheatfield, hoping that we're one of the chosen ones and not one of the weeds. At some point, the wheat will be separated from the weeds.

Let us return to the idea of sowing and seeds, a useful metaphor in so many ways. How can we sow seeds now that will blossom into good gardens later? There are as many ways to do this as there are vegetables in the garden right now in many parts of the country.

Maybe we could pray more. Maybe we could resolve to be cheerful, no matter what the day brings. Maybe we could give one or two percent more of our income away. Maybe we could remember to say “please” and “thank you.”

Our basic task is to reflect God's light into a world that dims each day. How can you best do that?

If you feel disheartened, like your weedy self is too firmly rooted, remember those who have gone before you. One of Christianity's most successful evangelists, Paul, was killing Christians before he converted. If God found a use for Paul, God can use your seedling talents too.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

1- bringing rain to the state of Florida
2- working with Mom giving back her will to live!
3- prayers answered

1- at Pembroke Hospital this past week
2- giving me the test results I prayed for
3- in two people: one giving me hope and the other saying to think better and God will handle it
4- being brought to church though the person couldn't attend
5- my grandbabies

1- at Calvary Chapel celebrate recovery
2- to pray for several friends who are healing and going through tough times
3- making a deposit into a friend's account
4- calling people on their birthdays
5- a listening ear to my daughter-in-law
Sisters and Brothers,
It is with a heavy heart that I tell you of the passing of Flip Nelson Lechner. Flip entered the Church Triumphant the evening of July 4th. Once Pastor Keith returns from vacation we will then plan a memorial service. Flip has been a member of Trinity since Jan 5, 1986 and served in many capacities. The last "hat" she wore was volunteering in the Office putting the bulletins together. She made sure all wedding and funeral bulletins were perfectly straights! She will be missed.

Don't forget, while Pastor Keith and family are on vacation through July 16th, for emergencies, please contact Earline (home) 954-472-5182 or (cell) 954-650-5744 or my (cell) 305-978-2324 or (home) 305-681-4725. The Office is open TUES, WED, THURS from 11-5pm

Here are two notes from other members of the congregation. Blessings and hugs, SAM

Dear Trinity family,
Please accept our heartfelt gratitude for the Christian love and support with which you have surrounded us in recent weeks. We are humbled by your prayers, words of encouragement, calls, cards, text messages, visits, VBS materials, and other acts of kindness. They lifted our spirits at a difficult time.

We thank God for Elizabeth's successful surgery and for our wonderful Trinity family. Your actions exemplified Trinity's mission statement and helped us feel His loving presence in our time of need. May the Lord Bless you all.
Kathy, Harry and Elizabeth Furey

Stop! Wait! Don't discard those items! Our next rummage sale will be held on SAT, AUG 27th. Please place any donations in the designated place in Monson-Mueller hall (left side). All proceeds will help support the youth during the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering. Please contact Jean Myers at BMyers613@bellsouth.net or 954-962-5376 with any question.
Thanks, Nancy Berger

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The readings for Sunday, July 10, 2011:

First Reading: Isaiah 55:10-13

First Reading (Semi-cont.): Genesis 25:19-34

Psalm: Psalm 65:[1-8] 9-14 (Psalm 65:[1-8] 9-13 NRSV)

Psalm (Semi-cont.): Psalm 119:105-112

Second Reading: Romans 8:1-11

Gospel: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

This Gospel returns us to one of my favorite metaphors: the seed. When I first read this Gospel lesson as a child, I read it as an indictment of the seeds. Clearly some were just bad or worthless. Now, as an adult, I see this Gospel as being primarily about the ground. We've all got lots of potential, but some of us just aren't in the right kind of ground to flourish.

Unlike seeds, we can move. I'm not necessarily talking about a literal move, although the idea of moving to be near a church that nourishes you doesn't strike me as absurd, the way it once did. Many of us move for much more stupid reasons.

Unfortunately, given the state of the housing market, many of us are as rooted as plants need to be. However, there are still many things we can do to enrich the soil in which we find ourselves. Some of these ideas won't be new to you. But some of them might be. Look at my ideas, and see if you might be willing to try something to nourish your soul.

The first thing we should all do is take a long, hard look at the people with whom we spend time. Are these people who are bringing out our best traits? Or do we have negative friends, people who encourage us to gossip, to tear others down, to be angry or sour? Perhaps it's time to expand our network of friends.

Think about your daily schedule. What activities leave you feeling icky? For example, many of us start our days by watching the local news. What would happen if you turned off the news and read a chapter of the Bible? You'd probably leave the house feeling calmer. I know that you'll tell me you only watch the news to get the weather and the traffic. Well, there are better ways to get that information. The local news carries such horrific stories and our bodies can't handle that stress.

Likewise, what do you listen to in the car? Does it soothe you or drive your heart rate through the ceiling? Invest in something that calms you (a CD, a podcast, a tape). Get something that reminds you of who you're supposed to be. I've noticed that when I'm listening to Godspell, I'm less likely to curse my fellow drivers, and the lyrics stay with me through the day (and since they're Biblically based lyrics, I'm happy to have them in my brain).

Think about your charitable activities. Just as we tithe money, we should tithe time. You'll feel better if you can do more for others. Even if you don't like the populations we usually think of when we think of charity, you can find someone who needs you. Read books to elementary school kids. Or, if you don't want to deal with humans, go to a food bank and sort food. Or call charitable agencies and offer to do free data inputting.

And don't forget that humans have a need for retreat. Build mini-retreats into your day (find some green space and go there to pray; read something inspiring, if you can't leave your desk; find web sites with inspiring material and visit; close the door to your families, don't answer the phone, and practice deep breathing). And think about a longer retreat. Summer camp isn't just for kids any more. And if you can't go during summer, many church camps have year-round programming, often at very affordable prices. Or go to a monastery, which often will just ask for an offering.

And know that there are times in your life where your heart won't be fertile soil. But if gardening teaches us anything, it's that soil can be redeemed--and if you want to keep on with this metaphor: what redeems soil? Poop! Lots and lots of poop! So give thanks for all the poop that falls into your life and pray that it transforms the soil of your heart. The redemption process goes faster if you participate. And teeny changes can lead to incredible rewards. Here, in the dog days of summer, think about one change you can make and commit to a weekly practice until the weather cools off.