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

Sunday, February 27, 2011

FAMILY GAME NIGHT!
SATURDAY, MARCH 05TH

Free fun for the all ages!!!
NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!!
LIGHT REFRESHMENTS & FELLOWSHIP AT 6:00 PM




FOLLOWED BY BUNCO GAMES AT 7:00 PM


REFLECTING ON OUR FAITH

“Reflecting on Our Faith” is a sampled collection of reflections left and written by worshippers at Trinity Lutheran, Pembroke Pines, on their Sunday morning worship slips based upon their experiences during the previous week. We share a sampling of these in our weekly BLOG and elsewhere to encourage others in their walk with God; however, names and other information referenced in the reflections are abbreviated or deleted altogether in order to maintain anonymity.


1. Where have you seen God working this week?
At the death of a very good friend
God showed me how to educate and inspire a group whose assistance I need with a major project.
Improvement in friend’s healing.
In my family this week.



2. Where Did God use someone else to bless you this week (whether they knew it or not)?
At the rummage sale
A community leader, Pastor and a teacher wrote a letter of recommendation for my daughter.
Watching Janean work with our Young Person’s choir.
Answered prayer for easy dental surgery.
God used my granddaughter to bless her mother and me this week and to remind us that God is in charge.

3. Where did God use you to bless someone else this week?
At the death of a very good friend.
I nominated someone for an award.
Time spent with good friends.
God used me to bless a friend who needed some guidance this week about God taking care of her needs.

HOW HAS TRINITY HELPED SUSTAIN YOU IN YOUR FOLLOWING OF CHRIST IN THE WORLD?
It led me to use a Bible passage as the focus for a special letter, honoring my neighbor’s birthday.
NEW MEMBERS
The next opportunity to join Trinty as either a member or associate memeber is this coming Sunday March 6th. Please RSVP by WEDNESDAY by contacting the office
SPECIAL MUSIC
Trinity's Choir to sing the prelude to
our ASH WEDNESDAY SERVICE
Wednesday March 9th from 7PM to 7:25PM
in the sanctuary
SERMON on 1 COR 4:1-5
“Servants of Christ and Stewards of God's Mysteries.”


I want you to repeat after me:
When I got baptized [when I got baptized]
I got a job [I got a job]

When I got baptized, [When I got baptized]
I got a job [I got a job]

Good. Now I didn’t make that up – someone much smarter than me did. But I like it. And it is true. Which is even better.

When I got baptized [when I got baptized]
I got a job [I got a job]

Now, let’s talk about that job – shall we?

Can we…you know…talk?

Do you know what that job is?

Now when I was baptized, my job, I am sure, was to be the cutest baby ever.

If you were baptized as a baby, isn’t that a universal truth – you can take to the bank:

Your job – is to be the cutest baby ever.

But if the stories are true – and I have no reason to believe that they are not – the job I actually did as a baby involved crying 24/7 - crying so much, in fact, that two things actually happened. One, I made my mother so sleep deprived that she left the plastic bottle sterilizing on a pot of boiling water on the stove and all of the water boiled away and the bottle began to melt in the pan and began to catch fire. Then my mother woke up decided that having a lot of kids after me might be a bit of a reach, if not flat out dangerous. The second thing that happened after all of that crying was that at 18 months of age I cried myself into a hernia that required surgery. And I am sure that the anticipate size of our family continued to shrink. There was exactly one more sibling and she took four years to come along, plenty of time for my parents to forget how I wasn’t the cutest baby ever, but perhaps the one that cried the most.

When I got baptized, I got a job, but the job that I did was to cry and cry and cry and that my friends is not the job God gave me to do. There is nothing cute about baby bottles catching fire or surgical scars on an 18 month old.

Now let’s be honest, God has bigger and bolder plans than giving us the job of being cute – even though that’s what babies are , aren’t they? God has bigger and bolder plans for the likes of you and me.

Right there in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, God puts a name on what we already know:

When I got baptized [when I got baptized]

I got a job [I got a job]

You ready? Here it is: Servants of Christ and Stewards of God's Mysteries

That is so cool that I want to say it again: A Servant of Christ and Steward of God's Mysteries

Now let me ask you something. We got some teachers here? Do you think that any two teachers teach exactly alike?

Any parents? Any chance that we could hope to find any two sets of parents that parent exactly alike? No. probably not.

We may all have the same job: Servants of Christ and Stewards of God's Mysteries, but chances are that we are each going to serve and steward differently. Do you believe that? We are going to serve and steward differently. And that’s part of God’s wonderful way of shaping and forming, of creating and shepherding God’s people. We all have the same basic job, but we go about using our individual gifts, in many different ways.

Now the people in the church at Corinth, the ones who went to the church that Paul addresses his letter to the Corinthians to – those people – they had some problems. Some issues that they had to face. These folks were not exactly the poster children for a healthy community. They were a very gifted people, but among other things they loved to judge. Their pride got in the way and they loved to judge – figure out who was the better Christian – who had the most gifts for serving Jesus – the coolest gifts. My gifts are greater than your gifts. Oh, yea, I can speak in tongues – Oh yea, well I can interpret tongues. OH YEA! Well I have more gifts than Paul and he is an apostle – beat that. And so on and so forth.

Paul reminds them – look you all have the most important job in the world. You are Servants of Christ and Stewards of God's Mysteries. You might approach that job differently, but you are not to judge one another. Not to take actions to rip apart a community rather than to build it up. Communities are hard things to build and shape and form – and judgment and pride and so many other things can tear it apart, tear it up. Paul warms them that they have a job and that God has high expectations for them, For you. For me. Very high expectations. Servants of Christ and Stewards of God's Mysteries – that’s what we are.

So as a community for whom God has given each of us individually and all of us collectively this profound and holy job – as a community for whom God has expressed the highest of expectations – let us ask Luther’s age old question: “What does this mean?” If we are not supposed to be tearing the community down through judgment and a thousand other things that bring pain and grief and sorrow, then what should we be doing for this task? Well, if we ain’t tearing down, we ought to be building up. Building up one another and building up ourselves – engaging in faith practices that draw us deeper into relationship with God. As much as folks mis-use the term “spirituality” these days – that’s what it is about – about drawing into a deeper and more meaningful relationship with God.

Lent is coming, a season of the church year when many people find themselves particularly open into drawing themselves into a deeper and more meaningful relationship with God. We will help one another by inviting each other to take one a discipline for the season. We will be a more prayerful community. We will be an even more supportive community. A more spiritual community. God has high expectations for us. Please join me in prayer….

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

GAME NIGHT
GAME NIGHT RETURNS....SATURDAY MARCH 5TH

IT'S FUN, IT'S EASY AND IT'S FREE!!!
LIGHT REFRESHMENTS BEGINNING AT 6:00 PM
FOLLOWED BY BUNCO GAMES AT 7:00 PM
DID YOU KNOW

Our HS+ (high school and college age) class meets every Sunday at 9:30 am in the far east side of Monson-Mueller hall? The HS+ Class is intended for high school and college teens who aren't quite ready to make that jump into the adult class but desire a discussion based setting. If you think this class is for you, please feel free to join us. NO Commitment, NO RSVP, NO Prep, NO Test
Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott


The readings for Sunday, February 27, 2011:

First Reading: Isaiah 49:8-16a

Psalm: Psalm 131

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 4:1-5

Gospel: Matthew 6:24-34

Last week’s Gospel was likely to have readers dismiss Jesus as a idealistic pacifist as some sort—even if you see the Gospel of turning the other cheek as a resistance text, as I do, Jesus still comes across as not understanding the realities of life. Last week’s Gospel might have moved some of us to want to discuss just war theory with Jesus.

This week’s Gospel is even worse. This week’s Gospel likely makes many of us want to shake Jesus. I imagine saying, “Don’t you understand? We need money to survive. We need to worry about the future because our government certainly isn’t. We don’t know what the future will bring and the only way we’ll feel safe is if we have pots of money. Preferably buried in the back yard, given the state of my investment portfolio lately.”

And Jesus would likely smile and say, “My point exactly.”

I’ve heard many a preacher talk about this text and the text where Jesus tells us to give away all we own. People will tie themselves into knots trying to explain how Jesus didn’t really mean what he said. Of course, we don’t have to give away everything, just our excess. Of course Jesus doesn’t mean that we can’t accumulate wealth—of course we can—how else will we have enough excess to give away?

But what if Jesus was serious? What if we can really only have one master? Who will we choose: God, our families, our careers, our significant others, our houses, our pets? Who/what owns us?

And what about that part of the Gospel that tells us not to worry? Seriously, Jesus? Stop worrying? I’m more likely to give away all I own than to stop worrying.

Jesus would likely be silent, waiting for me to think through all the implications.

How much time do we spend in any given day worrying? How much time do we spend fretting about events that might never happen? Is worry our master? Does fretfulness give us an essential identity?

We can’t control as much as we wish we could. It’s an essential fact of life, and we all react to that fact differently. Some of us become super laid-back. Some of us become control freaks.

Jesus calls us on this behavior. We’re not in charge. In the words of John the Baptist, we are not the Messiah. Besides, worrying never bought us an extra day of life. In short, worrying doesn’t solve anything.

I think about my own life, about all the fretting I’ve done, only to be blindsided by something I never saw coming. You’d think I’d learn my lesson and give up worrying. But instead I fret ever more fiercely.

If I’m honest, this command to stop worrying might be the hardest for me. Other people have trouble with forgiveness or with generosity. The thought of giving up fretting makes me very anxious.

I remember a commercial for an anti-anxiety drug that said, “It’s you, only without all the anxiety,” a thought which immediately plunged me into anxiety. Who would I be without my fretting?

A woman with considerably more time freed up.

So, what do we do with all the free time we suddenly have if we give up worrying and fretting? Well, we’ll have plenty of time to help those around us. We’ll have plenty of time to focus on relationships that matter. We’ll have plenty of time to build our relationship with God.

In this gospel, we see once again the radical message of Jesus. Dr. Alyce M. McKenzie sums up the passage this way: “In this short passage alone, I am being pushed to give up one of my most cherished occupations, worry, in favor of trusting God for the basics of daily life. I am being pushed to consider that my other loyalties are in conflict with my loyalty to God (6:24). Jesus' teachings are digging tools that undercut the foundation of my house. My priority, my life's project has been to build a comfortable present and a secure future for me and my family. Jesus wants to undermine it and eventually, to replace it with radical, risky trust in God and the mission of seeking God first, confident that other matters will fall in place. If I give up a preoccupation with anxiety and security, it would seem like I would have time and energy for seeing to the needs of others around me. These teachings take something away to free me for something more. In that sense they are just the beginning.” (see her whole exegesis on this week’s Gospel here).
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ


As you may recall we did major and much needed renovations to the parsonage during the summer of 2008. However, as we noted at that time, we were unable to compete two projects due to lack of funds and have delayed them until now. The first is the replacement of the thirty plus year old air conditioner at the parsonage which is literally being held together with duct tape and rust. Not only is the current AC at risk for falling from the sky, but the savings from using a more efficient unit should recover a significant amount of its cost over its life. Estimates for the AC replacement are in the neighborhood of $5,000 and we have negotiated with APEX Air to pay approximately half down and the balance monthly over time.

The second project is to replace the fence which is suffering from advanced rot and storm damage going back to Hurricane Wilma in 2005. At the moment, bungee cord and playground equipment are holding some of the fence up and numerous posts have rotted and snapped at their bases. Due to current city code we will be required to hire a certified fence contractor for this job. We are still acquiring estimates for the fence replacement, but hope to have some solid proposals soon.



We will have a special envelope towards these unbudgeted expenses for the next several Sundays in order to raise funds for these projects and invite your generosity in order to bring them to fruition.
FEEDING THE HUNGRY
Thanks to everyone for their generous support to help feed the hungry at First Lutheran. We will be serving dinner next Wednesday, March 02nd. We would greatly appreciate it if you would kindly bring your donations by Sunday, February 27th and place them in the box located in Monson-Mueller hall. Please place all persihables in the gold refrigerator.

Thank you.

Monday, February 21, 2011

LENTEN DISCIPLINE FAIR
AND AN EARLY FAT TUESDAY BEIGNET-FEST!


Join us at 9:30AM Sunday March 6th for a chance to sign up to take on a special Lenten discipline for the season of Lent and to munch on a Beignet or two. Beignets are puffy fried dough French “doughnuts” usually associated with New Orleans and Mardi Gras and covered in powdered sugar. Pastor Keith will be frying up batches throughout the Sunday school hour for our pre “Fat Tuesday” celebration. While you enjoy the Beignets and coffee, why not check out the information on some ways in which you can take on a spiritual discipline for Lent? Most people associate Lent with giving something up, while others use the seasons (which is the time between ASH WEDNESDAY and EASTER) to take on a practice that draws them deeper into relationship with God and strengthens their faith. We will have tables set up with some of our ministry leaders there to offer suggestions and support for you from the ministries they lead. At each table there will also be commitment cards to assist you in “declaring” your Lenten discipline and to request support or share fellowship, if you desire, for your Lenten journey. There will also be a table with devotional and spiritual books, handouts with daily Bible readings, and more! Our Faith Reflection Questions on the back of our worship slip will change for the season of Lent to invite reflection on your Lenten experience.
REFLECTING ON OUR FAITH

“Reflecting on Our Faith” is a sampled collection of reflections left and written by worshippers at Trinity Lutheran, Pembroke Pines, on their Sunday morning worship slips based upon their experiences during the previous week. We share a sampling of these in our weekly BLOG and elsewhere to encourage others in their walk with God; however, names and other information referenced in the reflections are abbreviated or deleted altogether in order to maintain anonymity.

1. Where have you seen God working this week?
In my daughter’s blessing of wisdom
At Trinity Lutheran Church
In opening the doors of opportunity and putting someone in our path who has the answers we need.
By celebrating my wife’s birthday together with so many other Christians

2. Where Did God use someone else to bless you this week (whether they knew it or not)?
People took care of my dogs so I could go visit my daughters
At Calvary Chapel’s “Let’s Celebrate Recovery”
A woman at my daughter’s school took a special interest in her future.
I was able to bring some comfort to a patient’s family during a stressful rehab process.
By being able to participate in my wife’s birthday celebration come from far away.
A friend who cared to listen when I needed to talk.
In helping my friend who fell and received stitches in her leg

3. Where did God use you to bless someone else this week?
I went to protect and comfort a friend who was in trouble
At Feeding the Homeless at First Lutheran
I made time for a friendly chat with an elderly neighbor.

HOW HAS TRINITY HELPED SUSTAIN YOU IN YOUR FOLLOWING OF CHRIST IN THE WORLD?
Today’s Word spoke to me and my situation.
By increasing my faith and where my sins are forgiven
Through the weekly Bible study class.
Positive outlook and kindness instead of sarcasm.
By opening our charter hall for my wife’s birthday celebration.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

GAME NIGHT RETURNS
SATURDAY MARCH 5TH


IT'S FUN, IT'S EASY AND IT'S FREE!!!
LIGHT REFRESHMENTS BEGINNING AT 6:00 PM
FOLLOWED BY BUNCO GAMES AT 7:00 PM
No experience necessary!! No fitness required!!

A fun night for friends of all ages!!
SUMMER WORSHIP SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED
Pentecost Sunday (JUNE 12th) Trinity's Sunday worship will move to its summer schedule with a single service at 10AM. On that Sunday we will celebrate the confirmation of eight young men and women - the largest class in a number of years. The summer single service schedule will remain in place until early-mid September.
Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott


The readings for Sunday, February 20, 2011:

First Reading: Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18

Psalm: Psalm 119:33-40

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23

Gospel: Matthew 5:38-48


Turn the other cheek. Give up your coat and your shirt. Walk the second mile. This Sunday we get to texts which have been so misunderstood through the centuries that it’s hard to remember what Jesus was really saying. Jesus was NOT saying to let your abuser batter you day in and day out. Jesus was not instructing us to let evil steamroll right over us. Jesus was not even calling us to pacifism, a stoic acceptance of brutality that will buy us a better condo in Heaven for enduring hell on earth.

No, these are resistance texts. Yes, resistance texts.

These are texts that show us how to resist evil in such a way that evil elements will not turn around and destroy us. Likewise, these are texts that show us how to resist evil in such a way that we don’t become the evil that we are resisting.

It’s important to remember that the culture of Jesus was a vastly different culture. It was a culture based on honor. It was a culture based on social hierarchy. It was also a culture ruled by Romans who were not going to tolerate social unrest, Romans who would not hesitate to slaughter dissenters.

Jesus shows us how to live in this world, how to resist evil without being destroyed by evil. If you want to read the best text on this idea, I recommend Walter Wink’s Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination. It is one of the best books of theology I’ve ever read, and I’ve read a lot of theology.

Let’s focus on the turning of the other cheek, since this passage is so well known. Notice that Jesus gives specific cheeks in specific order. That’s a detail lost on us, but it wouldn’t have been lost on the people who heard Jesus’ instructions. Walter Wink explains:

“Imagine if I were your assailant and I were to strike a blow with my right fist at your face, which cheek would it land on? It would be the left. It is the wrong cheek in terms of the text we are looking at. Jesus says, 'If anyone strikes you on the right cheek...' I could hit you on the right cheek if I used a left hook, but that would be impossible in Semitic society because the left hand was used only for unclean tasks. You couldn't even gesture with your left hand in public. The only way I could hit you on the right cheek would be with the back of the hand.

Now the back of the hand is not a blow intended to injure. It is a symbolic blow. It is intended to put you back where you belong. It is always from a position of power or superiority. The back of the hand was given by a master to a slave or by a husband to a wife or by a parent to a child or a Roman to a Jew in that period. What Jesus is saying is in effect, 'When someone tries to humiliate you and put you down, back into your social location which is inferior to that person, and turn your other cheek.'

Now in the process of turning in that direction, if you turned your head to the right, I could no longer backhand you. Your nose is now in the way. Furthermore, you can't backhand someone twice. It's like telling a joke a second time. If it doesn't work the first time, it has failed. By turning the other cheek, you are defiantly saying to the master, 'I refuse to be humiliated by you any longer. I am a human being just like you. I am a child of God. You can't put me down even if you have me killed.' This is clearly no way to avoid trouble. The master might have you flogged within an inch of your life, but he will never be able to assert that you have no dignity.”

Wink explains the other elements of the Gospel resistance readings here. It’s a great way to introduce yourself to his work, especially for those of us who aren’t up to reading his multi-volume works on resisting the various powers at work in this world.

For those of you who would sneer at the idea of resistance working in our evil, evil world, I would say that nonviolent resistance can bring mighty social change—most recently in Egypt. It was breathtaking to watch the forces of resistance bring down a dictator. I’m not na├»ve; I know that Egypt isn’t home free yet. But I add this successful resistance to the list I always keep in my head, the list that shows that we don’t need violence to bring about social change.

Walter Wink, writing in 1993, concludes by saying, “In 1989 alone, there were thirteen nations that underwent non-violent revolutions. All of them successful except one, China. That year 1.7 billion people were engaged in national non-violent revolutions. That is a third of humanity. If you throw in all of the other non-violent revolutions in all the other nations in this century [the 20th], you get the astonishing figure of 3.34 billion people involved in non-violent revolutions. That is two-thirds of the human race. No one can ever again say that non-violence doesn't work. It has been working like crazy. It is time the Christian churches got involved in this revolution because what is happening in the world is that the world itself is discovering the truth of Jesus' teaching, and here we come in the church, bringing up the rear.”

Maybe we are not up for the task of resistance, which can be scary and can lead us to unexpected places. At the very least, we can pray. We can pray for those people who are doing the heavy lifting of resistance. We can pray for those who are transforming their societies for good, whether they live in our country or on the other side of the planet. We can pray for the softening of the hearts of the hard ones. We can pray that we have the wisdom to recognize evil when we see it. We can pray that we have the courage to resist evil in whatever forms it comes to us.

Monday, February 14, 2011

REFLECTING ON OUR FAITH

“Reflecting on Our Faith” is a sampled collection of reflections left and written by worshippers at Trinity Lutheran, Pembroke Pines, on their Sunday morning worship slips based upon their experiences during the previous week. We share a sampling of these in our weekly BLOG and elsewhere to encourage others in their walk with God; however, names and other information referenced in the reflections are abbreviated or deleted altogether in order to maintain anonymity.

1. Where have you seen God working this week?
God helped my aunt through her first week of chemo.
While working in the butterfly garden.
In reflecting upon the 28 years of constant blessing from the moment that I met my wife
In answered prayers – God getting us through 6 very hard weeks.
God is helping us cope and heal.
I’ve seen God work in my family’s faith – thanks be to God!
When I needed a lift to church, A dear friend gave me one.

2. Where Did God use someone else to bless you this week (whether they knew it or not)?
God used strangers at work to help me feel like I am doing a good job by thanking me.
Men’s Bible Study.
A friend helped us without being asked.
God used my daughter to bless me this week.
A friend who provided hospitality and a meal to us.

3. Where did God use you to bless someone else this week?
I was able to help a friend when she needed it.
In the Butterfly Garden.
My weekly reunion prayer partner back from mission trip to Jamaica.
Through prayer shawls and stuffed animal delivered to help a child with surgery.
Watching the couples renew their wedding vows was inspiring
I am keeping an eye on a neighbor’s house while they are out of town for a funeral.
God used me to make someone laugh even though I didn’t realize it.
Hospital visits, home visits and phone calls to lend support.

HOW HAS TRINITY HELPED SUSTAIN YOU
IN YOUR FOLLOWING OF CHRIST IN THE WORLD?
I have more strength to draw on when I need it. I shared a favorite Bible verse Matthew 28:20.
By increasing my understanding of our faith and by providing good Christian role models.
The adult Sunday school class on “How Lutherans Interpret the Bible” has me thonkong and reading the Bible more.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

BIBLE IMPROV
The grand finale of HOLY MOSES! - a 30 minute romp through 40 years in the Desert will take place Sunday FEB 20th at 9:30AM. This Sunday during the 9:30 hour there will be Young Persons Choir rehearsal and the sale of "I Love You" special gifts in support of Trintiy's Justice Ministry Network. Ron McCoy's class on Lutheran Biblical Interpretation and Confirmaiton and the High School class will also be held as normal.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

HOST FAMILIES NEEDED
Christ Lutheran Church, Fort Lauderdale has asked for our assistance:
Christ Lutheran Church is blessed to be hosting the Valparaiso University Chorale Concert on Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 7:00 PM. We hope that you and members of your congregation will be able to join us for this exciting evening of music and fellowship.


The concert will be offered to the South Florida community free of charge, though donations will be accepted.

Christ Lutheran is seeking assistance in finding Host Families for the students. Host Families will take two or more students home with them after the concert at about 8:45 PM. In the morning, Host Families will provide breakfast and return the students to Christ Lutheran Church between 8:00 and 9:00 AM.
If you are moved to help us host by becoming a Host Family, please contact:
Nancy Reierson, Concert Contact
NReierso@bellsouth.net
Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott


The readings for Sunday, February 13, 2011:

First Reading: Deuteronomy 30:15-20

First Reading (Alt.): Sirach 15:15-20

Psalm: Psalm 119:1-8

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 3:1-9

Gospel: Matthew 5:21-37


Last Sunday, Pastor Amsalu Geleta of St. Mark's Lutheran Church (Springfield, Virginia) told us that Jesus gives us new nametags: light and salt. Last week's Gospel looks easy in the light of this week's Gospel. Light of the world, salt of the earth: check. We know how to do that: feed the poor, be kind to everyone we meet, clothe the ragged, make sure that the oppressed are taken care of. Not easy, to be sure, but easy compared to this week's Gospel.

This week, Jesus tells us that our inner landscape must match our outer actions. Righteous actions aren't good enough. We must work for purity of heart and brain too.

Everyone I know seems to be wrestling with the same question: how can we live a life of integrity, a life that's in synch with our values? The Gospel gives us some fairly serious instruction along these same lines, as Jesus directs us to be sure that our insides and our outsides match. Apparently our current struggles with living a life that's in balance are not new to our time.

We all know what happens if our lives get out of synch. We become hypocrites, and most of us would say we don't want that. I could make the argument that the hypocrisy of Christians do more to hurt our Gospel mission than anything else. If you know any non-believers and you ask them why they don't believe, they won't often bring up the fact that belief in God requires a faith beyond their senses, a faith beyond what is scientifically proveable. No, most non-believers will bring up the hypocrisy of Christians, from the smaller hypocrisies, like the Christian who pretends to be a friend to your face but spreads ugly rumors about you, to the huge hypocrisies, like all the sexual predators employed by the Church through the ages. How can they believe in the God of those types of people?

And if you ask the non-churched why they don't go to church, they will almost always bring up hypocrisy. And if I hadn't started going back to school, I'd have mentioned that too. I think back to when I was a self-righteous 19 year old, angry, angry, ANGRY about the cost of the church building, the offering collected in heavy, gold offering plates and being used to pay the light bill. I wanted to be part of a church like Luther Place, in downtown D.C., a church that transformed itself into a homeless shelter for women every night, a church that operated a variety of services for the dispossessed.

I think back to the favor that the pastor of that church did for me. I told him that I wanted to switch churches, that I wanted to drive past my suburban church and become a member of his church, a church that so clearly was doing what Jesus wanted it to do.

He studied me. He asked me which church I was a member of, and I told him that I went to St. Mark's, in Springfield, Virginia.

He said, "You know, we wouldn't be able to run any of the programs that we run without the financial help that they give us." And then, in that precise moment, my perspective shifted. I started to move away from being a self-righteous, know-it-all 19 year old towards being someone who sees life as more complex. And thus, I entered into what I suspect will be a lifelong measurement: am I living the life that Christ calls me to live? If I'm to be light and salt and to begin living the life of God's Kingdom right here and right now, what does that look like? How can I make my inner attitude match my outer actions?

Jesus wants us to be more than surface Christians. It's easy to go to church service each week, to sing the hymns, to hug each other. It's harder to live our Christian values the rest of the week. Go back and reread all of what Jesus tells us to do, both in this Gospel and throughout the Gospel texts. Can we really live like that? We're called to forgive each other more times than we think we can. We're called to make peace with our neighbors before we head to church. We're called to give away our money to those who have less than we do. The world watches to see how we live our lives.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

BOLD Justice Valentine's Day Fundraiser THIS Sunday
Are you looking for that special something for that special someone?
All kinds of yummy goodies will be for sale after both services this Sunday. Create a perfect gift for the one you love while supporting an important ministry.

All proceeds will benefit Trinity's BOLD Justice Ministry. This year's issue is Education, with emphasis on Graduation Rates.

Monday, February 07, 2011

REFLECTING ON OUR FAITH

“Reflecting on Our Faith” is a sampled collection of reflections left and written by worshippers at Trinity Lutheran, Pembroke Pines, on their Sunday morning worship slips based upon their experiences during the previous week. We share a sampling of these in our weekly BLOG and elsewhere to encourage others in their walk with God; however, names and other information referenced in the reflections are abbreviated or deleted altogether in order to maintain anonymity.

Where have you seen God working this week?
Feeding the hungry.
Working on the church lawn, etc.
Testing in schools saw a teacher giving special love and care to a child in need.
God at work keeping people safe while they deal with the snowstorm
At my physical therapy.
In the opportunity to celebrate my husband’s 41st birthday!
At the support given to Breast Cancer survivors at a recent conference.
My friend who graciously serves the vets she cares for
The music at the VDC Celebration Saturday Evening
In the love and concern for Candy
By being bold enough to speak and allow the Spirit to give testimony.
God brought out some new people to church today.
In our parent company’s CEO who inspires us and others!
I’ve seen God working in my family.
In blessing me financially when I had absolutely no money.

Where Did God use someone else to bless you this week (whether they knew it or not)?
The internet.
I received many calls, cards and luncheons for my birthday.
God sent a stranger to say a kind word when I needed it.
At Bible study.
The friend who takes me to and from church
Heard a message about Sarah and Abraham and Hagar that taught me about waiting upon the Lord.
Our Sunday morning Bible study leader and the other participants who shared their thoughts
In our parent company’s CEO whose sharing and encouraging inspires us and others, even though he does not see God’s hand in it.
God used my granddaughter to bless me this week .
A doctor who gave me great news on my progress.

Where did God use you to bless someone else this week?
Feeding the hungry.
Working on the church lawn, etc.
I try to help my 96 year old neighbor as much as possible.
God provided me the skills and ability to help people on the job.
At Trinity.
God gave me the strength to carry out the wishes of a loved one under difficult circumstances.
In making a hot meal for a friend who usually only has sandwiches to eat.
In the faith conversations I had with an elderly man in the hospital.
Real Estate Transactions.
Provided my mom with a ride to buy my father a large print crossword puzzle book.
In blessing a mother and her son this week in sharing fellowship together.

HOW HAS TRINITY HELPED SUSTAIN YOU IN YOUR FOLLOWING OF CHRIST IN THE WORLD?
1. By our teaching His Word.
2. So many ways: sermons, music, fellowship, etc.
3. Feeding the Homeless.
4. By providing constant love and support.
5. The choir music.
6. Hearing the Word.
7. By learning more in today’s Bible study.
8. Pastor’s sermons and availability.
9. Trinity being a place where people can use their talents and gifts and share in fellowship with other Christians.
10. Trinity has helped sustain me in the following of Christ by attending and fellowshipping together at church.
11. The sermons always speak to me personally.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

ANNUAL GIVING STATEMENTS
2010 Annual Giving Statements will be in the narthex in a small box in alphabetical order by their last names.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

SOUPER BOWL

of CARING


Our youth will hold soup pots at church doors on Souper Bowl of Caring Sunday, February 6, 2011 for your monetary contributions. In 2010, $10 million was collected by Souper Bowl of Caring participants all over the world for local charities. All of the money collected at Trinity will be used by our Youth for outreach to meet a local need. In the past this has included food for the hungry, Homeless Shelters and Youth Shelters. Please support the youth of our church in this effort to “love our neighbors” by dropping your dollar in the soup pot on February 6th.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

CHURCH COUNCIL ELECTION RESULTS
The following people were elected to council terms at the congregational meeting held Sunday January 30th 2011. They join current council members Kristin Berkey-Abbott, Denise Payne, Devika Jeboo, Ro Mileto and Pastor Keith to serve together as your 2011 Trinity Council.

Earline LaCroix - regular 3 year term
Reed Talbert – regular 3 year term
Mark A.J. Perkins – Regular one year term
Richard J Cannezzaro – Regular one year term
Elizabeth Furey - one year youth/young adult term
Marc Vega – one year youth/young adult term
Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott


The readings for Sunday, February 6, 2011

First Reading: Isaiah 58:1-9a [9b-12]

Psalm: Psalm 112:1-9 [10]

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 2:1-12 [13-16]

Gospel: Matthew 5:13-20


Every so often, I have a boss who wants us, the lower-level managers and the faculty, to create mission statements. Some years we’re creating mission statements for the school, and some years, we’re creating individual mission statements. The mission statements we come up with are usually useless collections of vague language that signifies nothing and makes no promises. Who teaches these management skills? I’m sure that some corporation somewhere in the years just after World War II had great success with this visioning process, but I’ve yet to see any group energized by it.

With the Gospel for this Sunday, we get our mission statement from Jesus. We are to be the salt of the earth, the light of the world. It’s an interesting time of the year to contemplate light. Tomorrow is Candlemas, both a pagan holiday and a Christian holiday that celebrates the presentation of Jesus at the temple. It’s grown into quite an interesting festival in Mexico, where people bring their baby Jesuses from the Christmas mangers into cathedrals for a blessing (go here for more details on that festival and all the ways that people dress up the baby Jesus for the event).

Maybe you read this passage, and you despair. Maybe you yearn for verses about dimly burning wicks and the assurance that God will not extinguish you for your lackluster burning.

Jesus tells us that we are to let our light shine, but he doesn't tell us how hard it will be some days. As a child, I always thought that once the light was lit, the hard part was over. I would just shine and shine and not hide my light under a bushel and not let Satan pfff it out (as that old song goes).

How do we keep our light from going out? I suspect it's in the various disciplines that we adopt to strengthen our spiritual lives: praying, reading the Bible, reading other spiritual literature, fasting, tithing, charitable giving, working for social justice, practicing gratitude, noticing the wonders of the world.

It's important to realize that we can't keep our lights lit if we see this activity as a weekly duty. I suspect that even a once-a-day duty isn't enough. We need to develop disciplines that reorient us throughout the day. We need to build in breaks throughout the day to attend to our wicks and lights.

It’s important to remember that we are often the only light of Jesus that many people will see throughout the week. How would our attitude and behavior change if we saw our lives through this prism? We are the instruments and tools that God uses to deliver God’s light into the world. How can we make ourselves better at the task?

Some of us think that we need to lead people to Jesus by talking to them about our faith. But our lives and our actions have already done all the talking before we ever open our mouths. Keep that in mind as you interact with people. Let your life do the shining. Be the salt that adds savor to everyone’s surroundings. Glorify God in this way.