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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We have moved the service that was tentatively planned for this Friday July 13th to Friday, September 21st 7PM-8:30PM in commemoration of th...

Friday, September 30, 2011

CHURCH WORK DAYHeld the first SATURDAY of each month
Join us please OCT 2nd beginning at 9AM
Will be at Trinity on Sunday October 2nd during our morning worship servies.
Please give the gift of life!

SUNDAY SERMON                       
 MATTHEW 21 33 46                     OCT 2 2011

“Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom”

While Jesus may have been speaking to the chief Priests and Pharisees, Matthew, whose Gospel we heard from this morning, was likely inviting a new audience to hear these words and take them to heart; To let its warning echo not in the minds of the Jewish religious elite, but rather in the minds of Christians, especially their leaders, who might become complacent as followers of Jesus.

“Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom”

 A dire warning indeed. Could these same words have Jesus speaking to us? Holding us accountable?

And all of us may fall into the routine of complacency, segmenting our lives into pieces, God’s stuff and our stuff, the holy and the common. We run the risk of allowing ourselves to do the holy calculus whose answer, we hope, gives God enough, produces the minimum required harvest of fruit to keep God happy so we can get on with our lives. We all run the risk of complacency and figuring out how much we owe God to keep God happy and our conscience less of a nag, happy to sleep away the days and eave us alone.

The issue is not one of works righteousness– of doing enough for God so that God will relent, forgive and gift us with grace. There is a temptation to read the story and the Gospel of Matthew that way. But let us, as we stand firm in our understanding of grace as God’s free gift in Christ Jesus, never to be earned or deserved or its deliverance to us assisted by our own actions; let us open the whole of our lives to the honest words of Jesus:

 Are we producing the fruit of the Kingdom? What are we doing with what God has entrusted to us?

 Are we producing the fruit of the Kingdom? What are we doing with what God has entrusted to us?

And let’s take the necessary step as we consider all that God has entrusted to us, of examining the most difficult of the three things that perhaps our parents told us we should never talk about in polite company: you know that list, don’t you? Politics, sex and money.

The most difficult: so which is it? Which one do congregations and pastors make unspoken and unwritten contracts about? Pastor, if you never talk about this subject we will never ask you to. Which is the most difficult? Shout it out now.

 Money. It has got to be money. Politics might get us fired up and all shouty. Sex might make us squirm and blush, but money – that will shut us right down. Which is probably why the Bible spends so much more time talking about money than sex or politics. So if we want to talk about discipleship we have to center that conversation in Scripture and if we center ourselves in scripture we have to face the Bible’s and Jesus’ concern about what we do with it.

 And before we go forward I invite you to take all of the baggage you may have accumulated from countless TV preachers and congregational pastors who have presented an uninformed, distorted or possibly self-serving view of the Gospel on this subject. We tune in those TV preachers, you know the ones that I am talking about, they want your money and parade person after person in front of the camera who give testimony that they gave all they had to this TV preacher and the very next day they won the Sweepstakes or got a job or received some previously unknown inheritance from a distant uncle. People watch this and they think: All the church cares about is money money money. And those TV preachers and a few misinformed pastors give folks the excuse to shut themselves down any time money comes up in conversation from the pulpit. Well, the scriptures do not give that permission, so let’s all lay our baggage aside and see what happens – being a Christian is risky business after all.

Diving into the gospel, we have these tenants who make a contract to lease the vineyard from the landowner. The deal goes something like this – we will work your vineyard and make your wine and give you a fixed amount based upon the harvest as our lease payment. It’s a win-win. If the tenants produce well, both the owner of the vineyard and the tenants succeed. But these particular tenants fancy themselves shrewd business people. They want it all. When the owner sends people to collect his share of the wine, the rent if you will, the tenants harass them, hurt them and even kill them. And they do this to two different groups. Then they see the landowner’s son coming. They figure that the landowner must be dead since it is his son and not the man himself, so they figure if they murder the son they can just take it all –squatter’s rights, who’s to know? And that is exactly what they do. Murder the son. But before they get to uncork the cork on the champagne to celebrate their ingenuity they find out that the joke is on them, so to speak, because the landowner is not dead and he is coming to hold them accountable for all that they did. They weren’t satisfied in being tenants, they wanted it all. They wanted the owner’s property to be their property.

Years ago when we were having a congregational conversation on being good stewards of what God has entrusted to us, a man came up to me and said: “Pastor, I don’t know what you are talking about being a steward of what God has entrusted to me.” It’s not God’s stuff, it is my stuff. I worked. I earned it. It’s mine.”

It’s not God’s stuff, it is my stuff. I worked. I earned it. It’s mine.

If we want to produce fruit for the Kingdom through the stewardship of all that God has entrusted to us we must first be willing to acknowledge that what we have is God’s. From God for us to steward. To care for. To use in appropriate ways to honor and glorify God. It doesn’t matter what our income is, our bottom line, our net worth, great or meager. Al we have comes from God and we are call to be accountable to God for what we do with God’s resources.

There is this cool moment in the Old Testament, in 1st Chronicles, King David of Israel is coming to the end of his time and the Kingdom is passing to his son, Solomon. He charges Solomon to build the Temple for the Lord. And because his son Solomon is young and inexperienced, David collects up all that will be needed, the building materials and supplies. And then David says this:

But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to make this freewill offering? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you….O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own. I know, my God, that you search the heart, and take pleasure in uprightness; in the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you.

For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you….O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own.

All that we have comes from God and God has entrusted all of it for us to stewards, to care for, to use in appropriate ways to honor and glorify God. To produce that good fruit for the Kingdom. The workers in today’s parable found that this trust only got in the way of personal profit and sought ways to make it all their own.

 Is all that we have God’s or is it ours?

If we fail to answer that question to ourselves today we may find ourselves answering it before God some day and giving account of how we lived our answer. Will it be written in the Kingdom fruit that we have produced, the lives our resources have impacted, the way that we have used our means to upbuild the Kingdom through every relationship, every action, every act of generosity knowing and living with the understanding that all we have comes from God? Or will we offer to God, some different story, written with other goals in mind?


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Please join us!!!!!

Sunday School continues this and every Sunday at 9:30 AM.
Bring your friends! Sunday School is for all ages!

Middle School Students will learn about Luther’s Catechism in our Confirmation Class.
High School Students and Young Adults will discuss Christian responses to real life situations.
Preschool and Elementary age students will be studying the same scripture that will be preached on at worship: Matthew 21:33-46. This continues Jesus' conversation with the chief Priests and Pharisees who had questioned the authority of Jesus. Jesus tells them a parable (a story) about a landowner who builds a vineyard and a winepress (like the one pictured above) and leases it to tenants who selfishly try to keep everything for themselves, even resorting to murder to do so.

Pastor Keith says:
God has entrusted so much to us - and how have we responded? Is everything we have ours and we give a portion to God out of our abundance or is everything God's for us to steward which includes setting aside a portion for the shared work that we participate in as a faith community, a church?

Adults will tackle the same text more in depth with Pastor Keith in Adult Class.

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The readings for Sunday, October 2, 2011:

First Reading: Isaiah 5:1-7

First Reading (Semi-cont.): Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20

Psalm: Psalm 80:7-14 (Psalm 80:7-15 NRSV)

Psalm (Semi-cont.): Psalm 19

Second Reading: Philippians 3:4b-14

Gospel: Matthew 21:33-46

Today's Gospel contains a parable that clearly tells the story of Christ, in the vineyard owner's son, who is killed by the tenants. I suspect that when modern readers, many of whom own property, read this lesson, they identify with the vineyard owner far more than they do with the tenants. But what would happen if we thought about ourselves as the tenants?

Notice how the tenants are so stuck in their self-destructive ways that they can't change. Now, as we settle into the season of autumn, as we race towards the end of the liturgical year, it might be useful to do some self-evaluation. What are our habits that get in the way of us living as the people of God? By now, you might despair to realize that these are the same patterns you've wrestled with before. But take heart. As you continue to attempt to make changes and go astray, each time you try to get back to a more wholesome way of living, it should take less time to make the necessary adjustments.

The Gospels that we've been reading give us reassurance that we can go astray, and God will still welcome us back. Now all this talk of going astray may not be the most useful image for us. Many of us have grown up in churches that berated us with talk of sin and tried to make us change by making us feel ashamed. We live in a toxic culture that tells us that we're not doing enough, not earning enough, not buying the right stuff. Many of us spend our days with voices in our head telling us those same messages. Who wants to come to church to hear the same thing? We've tried, we've failed, we know, we get it.

The danger is that we might quit trying to live the life that God envisions for us. God doesn't want us to live the way we've been living. Many of us might agree--we don't want to be living these lives.

So take a different approach. What would a healthier life look like? What would a God-centered life look like? How would it feel?

We'll probably each have different answers to those questions. For some of us, a God-centered life would mean that we could let go of our anger; we could quit judging everyone and accept them with love. For some of us, a God-centered life would mean we could quit trying to fill the holes in our hearts with other substitutes that don't quite work: food, alcohol, sex, drugs, approval, exercise, work. For some of us, a God-centered life means that we don't order our lives around the quest for money, but instead we work for justice.

But again, as we focus on the end result we'd like to achieve, we must be careful not to get overwhelmed. It's a bit like starting a diet, when you know you have 50 pounds to lose. But if you make changes and stay with them consistently, and you keep orienting your choices towards that thinner person you'd like to be, in a year or two, you'll be amazed at the transformation.

So, start small. Take time to pray. Take time to read things that make you feel hopeful, instead of despairing. Take time to really listen to people, instead of trying to get done with that commitment so that you can rush on to the next one. Breathe deeply. Say thank you.

When you go astray, or when you feel your gifts have been trampled, take heart. Read the lessons again and think about the natural order of horticulture. The land must be cleared occasionally so that new growth can take place. God continues to call to us to work for the vision of the redeemed creation that God gives us.

Remember that God promises that no matter how far away you are from that vision, God will meet you more than half-way. If you're feeling like a rejected stone, remember that God has great plans for you. You can become the cornerstone that supports a building that you weren't even able to envision at an earlier point in your life.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

In order to maximize the use of the choir space and provide our choir and instrumentalists enough chairs to meet current and future need we have selected a wonderful well-built chair that should last us for many decades and be comfortable enough for all who desire to to sing/play and enjoy sharing their gifts through music to participate.

We have only $655 left to raise to meet our goal for the purchase of choir chairs - Please consider making a special gift for a whole or towards a whole chair - a whole chair costs $70 with shipping
Checks should be made out to "Trinity" with a note that the donation is for chir chairs.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Just a friendly reminder, we will be serving dinner to the hungry at First Lutheran Church next Wednesday, October 5th. Please drop off any unprepared donations in the designated box located in Monson-Mueller Hall by this Sunday, October 2nd. All perishables should be placed in the white refrigerator in Monson-Mueller hall as well.
Your continued support of this ministry is greatly appreciated.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

SATURDAY OCTOBER 1st at 4PM in Charter Hall
Come one, Come All!
(And bring a friend or two!!!)
SEPT 25th Sermon is now online!
See Sermon Box at the top of  this BLOG or at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQnpKGum9hY
Sunday school starts off with a YUM!

Friday, September 23, 2011

You are invited to travel back in time to the 40’s to board the “LAST TRAIN FROM PARIS.”  (feel free to dress in that time period).  This special journey will take place in CHARTER HALL on FRI, OCT 14th starting at 6:30pm.  DON’T BE LATE!!!

This is a DINNER MURDER MYSTERY TRAIN RIDE so come along to enjoy a dinner and mystery show.  See if you can guess who did it!  Watch carefully for the clues as you will be intrigued and will want to analyze every clue to solve the mystery yourself! 

Since this is a catered affair, no tickets will be sold at the door.  Tickets will be $17.00 per person.  Hors d’oeuvres of cheese, crackers and wine will start the evening at 6:30pm.  Followed by Dinner which will include a masterly prepared roasted chicken, gourmet mashed potatoes, green beans almandine, traditional French bread, melt in your mouth cream puffs, internationally brewed coffee, and European standard black tea.  A glass of wine may be purchased for $2.00. 

 Tickets go on sale SEPT 18th.  Please see Earline or SAM for tickets.  Proceeds to benefit WELCA.
We will be reflecting each week on the same text that both our Preschool-5th graders are studying and that Pastor Keith is preaching on during worship. If you desire to look ahead or see what you missed here is the link to our primary resource (besides, the Bible, of course!)


Pumpkin off-load is Saturday, Oct. 15th @ 12:00. Many hands needed - plus if you know a youth who needs service hours for school this is an excellent opportunity! The patch will run from Oct. 15th through Oct. 31st from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. with morning, afternoon and early evening shifts available. All monies go to support our Christian Education programs. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED - PLEASE SIGN UP ON THE SIGN UP LIST DURING WORSHIP OR CONTACT KATHY VELEZ AT KATHRYN4301@ATT.NET (954) 478-4395 OR NANCY BERGER ATBERGERC1@BELLSOUTH.NET (954) 649-5205
Sunday School starts this Sunday, September 25th!
 Come at 9AM for a home cooked breakfast in Charter Hall and meet your teachers at 9:30 AM.
 Bring your friends! Sunday School is for all ages!
Middle School Students will learn about Luther’s Catechism in our Confirmation Class.
 High School Students will discuss Christian responses to real life situations.
 Preschool and Elementary age students will be studying the same scripture that will be preached on at worship: Matthew 21:23-32. This is a story about a time when the Chief Priests questioned the authority of Jesus. What does it mean to “have authority”? Who do you have authority over? Who has authority over you?
Adults wil ltackle the same text more in depth with Pastor Keith in Adult Class.
Find out the answers to these questions and more – this Sunday!
GIVING OPPORTUNITY!To maximize space in the choir lift for our growing choir we will shortly be removing the choir pews and replacing them with sturdy and beautiful chairs designed for use by choirs. These chairs will allow us to maximize flexibility in our arranging of the singers and add more chairs for more singers and musicians.  At the same time they are beautiful pieces of furniture that will complement our worship space. Each chair costs $70 (including shipping). The choir has already pledged to purchase 17 of these chairs and we are inviting folks in the congregation to join in the gift by purchasing either a whole chair or giving a donation towards the cost. 10 more chairs will be needed in total. Honor a loved one or Give glory to God for the gift of music! Donations should be made out ot "Trinity Lutheran Church" with a memo that the gift is for/towards a choir chair. Thank you!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The readings for Sunday, September 25, 2011:

First Reading: Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32

First Reading (Semi-cont.): Exodus 17:1-7

Psalm: Psalm 25:1-8 (Psalm 25:1-9 NRSV)

Psalm (Semi-cont.): Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16

Second Reading: Philippians 2:1-13

Gospel: Matthew 21:23-32

This Sunday's Gospel continues to explore the notion of fidelity and fairness. In the parable that ends the Gospel lesson, we might ask ourselves which of the two sons most represents us. Of course, neither one is a flattering picture.

We like to believe that we are people of our word. We say that we will do something, and we actually do it. But neither of the sons is that type of person.

One son says he won't go work, but he starts to feel bad, and so he reports to work. The other son agrees to go to work, but never shows up. Our parents would not encourage either type of behavior. And yet, how typical of humans are these two behavior types.

The lesson of this Gospel is clear: we get credit for our actions, not for our speech. This idea may fly in the face of what we believe to be good Lutheran theology. What about the idea of grace? Many of us were taught that we're such dreadful humans that there's nothing we could do to justify the gift of salvation. God swoops in and redeems us, even though we're fairly hopeless people. That was the message I got from many a church event, Lutheran and otherwise.

But as a grown up, going back to revisit these passages, I'm amazed at how often God requires more of us than just saying we believe in Christ, more than just accepting Christ as our saviour, more than just having faith. In the words of Luther, faith should move our feet. In the words of James, faith without works is dead.

It's important to strive to be people who can be counted on, people whose actions match our words. Hypocrites have probably done more damage to Christianity than many other disasters that have beset the Church. Our goal each and every day is to be the light of the world, the yeast that makes the bread rise, the radiance that allows people to see God at work in the world.

The good news of today's Gospel, and many of the others that we read throughout our 3 year lectionary cycle, is that even when we fall short, God will still love us. If we've said we'd do the work, and we fail to do it, we have other days when we can show up. God will still welcome us. The world is full of darkness, waiting for our light.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Please Join Us!
Sunday September 25th
8AM and 10:45AM
9AM Sunday School Breakfast
9:30AM Sunday School begins
PreK - 5th Grade (right side of Charter Hall)
6th-8th Grade Confirmation (left side of Charter)
HS+ High School and Young Adult (far left side of Charter)
Adult (immediate left side of Charter)

10AM Choir Rehearsal

PUMPKIN PATCH 10/15-10/31
1st        Blessing of the Animals 4PM
2nd        BLOOD DRIVE 8:30-1pm
8th        9AM Butterfly Gardening Day
9th        Trinity 51st Anniversary
11th      WELCA/Men’s Meeting 7:30PM
15th      PUMPKINS ARRIVE noon offload
23rd      NBCAM Service Healing Services/healthy coffee hour
30th      Reformation Worship
30th      New Members Received During Worship
Trinity Fall 2011 Hand Chime Schedule

October 23 - 12:15 PM - Hand Chime Rehearsal
October 30 - 11:45 AM - Hand Chimes play Service Prelude

November 13, 12:15 PM - Hand chime Rehearsal
November 20, 12:15 PM - Hand Chime Rehearsal
November 23, 7:30 PM - Hand Chimes play at Thanksgiving Eve service

December 11, 12:15 PM - Hand Chime Rehearsal
December 18, 12:15 PM - Hand Chime Rehearsal
December 24, 7:30 PM - Hand Chimes play at Christmas Eve Service


There will be a simple meal available beginning just before 6PM.Those who desire to attend the Prayer and Praise are welcome to eat and then move over to the sanctuary.  Around 6:30PM (folks may certainly continue eating) presenter will begin Bread Baking demonstration. At 7:15PM or so we will close with group Lectio Divina (prayerful reading of Scripture)  and wrap up by 7:45PM.  All Classes are FREE.  

OCT OBER 12th – Oatmeal Wheat and Five Grain Bread (Both have been served at communion and enjoyed in many homes) . Simple.
NOVEMBER  9th – Harvest Bread (or what to do with leftover yams or Sweet potatoes) 

DECEMBER 14th -  Holiday Breads!
JANUARY  11th - Cinnamon rolls and Cinnamon Bread

FEBRUARY 8th  -  Learning to Make Beignets for Fat Tuesday
MARCH  14th – Scones and Irish Soda Bread for St Patrick’s Day! 

APRIL 11th – Challah (Or how to put your braiding skill to use)!
MAY  16th – Foccacia (A Taste of Italy!)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday September 18th Sermon is now posted on the BLOG, Trinity FB page and on youtube (pastorkeith2011)

Friday, September 16, 2011

SAT 2PM Celebration of Life Service for Bob Hocke at Trinity
SUN: A single service at 10AM followed by our annual MINISTRY FAIR during coffee hour.
At the Ministry Fair...
You can register for Sunday School or Confirmation of the HS+ (High School and Young Adult) or Adult  Classes.
You can sign up for the monthly mid-week bread making classes or join the Worship choir or Young Persons Choir or HandChimes.
You can volunteer to make prayer shawls or join WELCA (the women's group) or the Men's Group.
You can sign up to work in the Butterfly Garden or feed the hungy or help with our sheltering of the homeless
You can offcie you skills and gifts in service to the church and its needs or be a part of or healthy coffee hour or volunteer to help with the Pumpkin Patch.
Want to hear more about Wednesday Night Prayer and Praise or Via de Cristo or the Care and Concern Team?
It is never to early to celebrate the Vacation Bible School that was in 2011 or help plan for 2012 or volunteer to cut the grass or find out what the Faith Writers are all about or our Justice Ministry, too!
And much much more!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The readings for Sunday, September 18, 2011:

First Reading: Jonah 3:10--4:11

First Reading (Semi-cont.): Exodus 16:2-15

Psalm: Psalm 145:1-8

Psalm (Semi-cont.): Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45

Second Reading: Philippians 1:21-30

Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16

I've often thought that these parables that use work metaphors are less useful to those of us toiling in the 21st century--and I've wondered how the contemporaries of Jesus would hear this parable.

Outrage is the classic response to the idea that the workers who toiled all day getting the same wages as those who show up one hour before quitting time. We howl, "But that's not fair."

Some preachers will use this Gospel as an excuse to preach on the classic idea that life isn't fair. Maybe they'll remind us that we're fortunate that life isn't fair (how often do we pray for justice, when what we really long for is mercy?) or maybe they'll give us a real soul-sapper of a sermon about the grinding nature of life. Or maybe congregations will hear about the idea of grace being extended to us all, no matter how long it takes us to acknowledge it.

But the poet in me immediately searches for a new way to frame this parable. What if, instead of toiling in the vineyard, we're invited to a party? Those of us who come early get to drink more wine, eat more goodies, and engage in more hours of intense conversation. We get to spend more quality time with our host. Those who come later will still get to drink wine, eat goodies, converse, and have quality time. The wine won't have soured, the goodies won't have molded, the conversation won't have dwindled, the host won't be tired and wishing that everyone would just go home. The party will still be intensely wonderful. But those who come late won't have as much time to enjoy it.

God does call us to toil in the vineyard. But toil is the wrong word, or at least, in our world, it has negative connotations that can't be easily overcome.

Don't think of it as the kind of work you had to do in that soul-deadening job with that boss who delighted in tormenting you. It's not that kind of work. It's also not the kind of work where it's OK to just show up and keep the seat warm, wondering when it will be time to return home, to the place you'd rather be (which would be Heaven, in this metaphor, I suppose).

Instead, God's work is like that enriching job, the one where you were challenged, but not overwhelmed. God's work engages you on every level and you look up at the end of the work day, amazed at how time has passed and how involved you have become. At the end of God's work day, you're amazed at all you've been able to accomplish.

God calls us to partnership in an amazing creative endeavour. We're called to transform the world, to help reclaim the world for God's vision. In Surprised by Hope, Bishop N. T. Wright reminds us, "But what we can and must do in the present, if we are obedient to the gospel, if we are following Jesus, and if we are indwelt, energized, and directed by the Spirit, is to build for the kingdom. This brings us back to 1 Corinthians 15;58 once more: what you do in the Lord is not in vain. You are not oiling the wheels of a machine that's about to roll over a cliff" (208).

The ways that we can do this Kingdom work are varied, from helping the poor, to enjoying a good meal, to writing a poem, to consoling a friend, to playing with your dog, to painting . . . the list is as long as there are humans in the world. Wright assures us that "God gloriously honors all kinds of ways of announcing the good news" (226).

Do the kind of creating that involves you on many levels, that makes you lose your sense of time, that leaves you unmoored in your wonder at the beauty of creation. That's the work that God calls us to do.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The celebration of life service for Bob Hocke (brother of Steve Hocke) will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church on Saturday September 17th 2011 at 2PM. Following the service,  people are invited back the Hocke residence. Directions will be provided at the service.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Canned vegetables, Spaghetti, spaghetti sauce, canned tuna, cereal, rice, mac and cheese, Chef Boy-R-Dee, Canned Viennese Sausage, Ramen Noodles, Instant Potatoes (small boxes or bags), Soups, Peanut Butter, Jelly.

Food may be left in the narthex.
Thank you!
Audio of today's Sepember 11th sermon is now post at the top of the BLOG page or may also be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQfq1dcBF-o
Have you seen those cool T shirts that the youth have been sporting each Sunday?
Youth designed Trinity T shirts for all! Children,  Youth and Adults!
Order deadline this Sunday  - $10 each.
Place orders with Nancy Berger or Piper Spencer.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

For those who signed up for food for feeding the hungry people at 1st Lutheran on Wednesday September 14th - please bring your food Sunday and place it in the White Fridge in Monson-Mueller Hall the (left side of Charter Hall). Thanks!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The readings for Sunday, Sept.11, 2011:

First Reading: Genesis 50:15-21

First Reading (Semi-cont.): Exodus 14:19-31

Psalm: Psalm 103:[1-7] 8-13

Psalm (Semi-cont.): Psalm 114

Psalm (Alt.): Exodus 15:1b-11, 20-21 (Semi-continuous)

Second Reading: Romans 14:1-12

Gospel: Matthew 18:21-35

The Gospel for today, at least the first part, is probably familiar to most of us. Peter is looking for the magic number of times that he must forgive--and you can tell he's annoyed, ready to cut off the person who has offended him, but he'll forgive seven times--and you know that he's probably already forgiven that person eight times. Jesus tells him he must forgive seventy times seven.

I remember in fifth grade Sunday school class where we studied this passage. We immediately got to work on the math. And if you were an obsessive child, like I had a tendency to be, you started keeping a list of how many times you had forgiven your sister.

I had unwittingly proven Jesus' point. Peter asks a stupid, juvenile question, and Jesus gives him an answer to let him know how petty he has been. By now, we should all know that Jesus didn't come to give us a new set of legalisms to follow.

Jesus then gives us a parable about the nature of forgiveness. Most of us will need more forgiveness throughout our lives than we really deserve. We are like indentured servants who can never hope to pay off our debt, but we're miraculously forgiven.

Most of us, happily, will never experience indentured servitude in the traditional sense. But in our past years of financial collapse, many of us have discovered a different kind of indebtedness. Many of us owe more on our houses than they will ever be worth again. Many of us owe more on our credit cards than we can ever repay, and we likely don’t even remember what we bought. Because of the lousy job situation throughout the country, many of us are chained to jobs that no longer satisfy. Think of how wonderful it would be if someone came in and relieved us of those debts. Think of forgiveness the same way.

Our task--and it sometimes seems more monumental than paying off a huge financial debt--is to extend that quality of forgiveness and mercy to others.

Who needs your forgiveness? Have you told those people that they're forgiven? Do they know it by your loving actions? To whom do you need to repent? What's keeping you from doing it?

And now, for the part that might be even harder for many of us—have you forgiven yourself? I've gotten fairly talented at forgiving my loved ones, but I'm still not good at forgiving myself. I'm still angry and annoyed when the struggles I thought were past me resurface. I'm still hard on myself for my shortcomings, even as I acknowledge that my shortcomings could be worse.

Fortunately, God has a higher opinion of me than I do of myself. God is willing to forgive me for my shortcomings--even as I fall short again and again.

This Sunday also marks the tenth anniversary of the attacks of 2001. It’s also the twenty-eighth anniversary of the coup which brought Pinochet to power in Chile, an event which ushered in almost 17 years of brutality against the citizens of that country. It’s the anniversary of some of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit the U.S.: Inniki in 1992, from which Kauai has only just recovered, and Carla in 1961. We may not think of these events when we think about the issue of forgiveness, but they lurk there, in the background or the foreground.

How can we possibly be expected to forgive those who have harmed us so deeply, those who have ripped away so much of what we cherished, who we cherished? Sometimes gently, sometimes forcefully, Jesus reminds us that we must forgive.

And if our capacity to forgive isn’t at 70 times 7 yet, let’s pray for an expanded ability to forgive. Let us also remember to pray for our enemies, both the personal ones and the political ones, the inner voices that berate us, the outer voices that shrilly defeat all peace initiatives, all the enemies who would undo us.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Pumpkin off-load is Saturday, Oct. 15th @ 12:00. Many hands needed - plus if you know a youth who needs service hours for school this is an excellent opportunity! The patch will run from Oct. 15th through Oct. 31st from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. with morning, afternoon and early evening shifts available. All monies go to support our Christian Education and Youth programs. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED - PLEASE SIGN UP ON THE SIGN UP LIST DURING WORSHIP OR CONTACT KATHY VELEZ AT KATHRYN4301@ATT.NET (954) 478-4395 OR NANCY BERGER ATBERGERC1@BELLSOUTH.NET (954) 649-5205
Final call for anyone attending college, either locally or away.
THIS SUNDAY during coffee hour we will be boxing up the cookies for mailing or local delivery.
If you volunteered to bring in cookies for this event - just drop them off at the table in the left side of Charter Hall - there will be a sign. Donations to offset the cost of shipping are also welcome.
(please contact Pastor Keith or SAM for any additions/deletions to this list ASAP)

Elizabeth Lombardo
Salvatore Lombardo
Rajiv McCoy
Dinesh McCoy
Megan Miller
Laura Masana
Jessie Stone
Anthony Giordano
Christian Spencer
Aaron Malave
Racquel Malave
The Hockes
Basi Perkins

Trinity's Private Sarah Brombacher has just completed basic training! Now she is off to AIT - and has appreciated all of the kind and thoughtful notes that folks have been sending. Her new address is 
Pvt Sarah Brombacher 
Papa Company 266th QM BN
1st Platoon
901 13th Street
Fort Lee, VA 23801

Letters appreciated - but no food. It is not permitted.