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

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


Join Us For Worship!

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

Featured Post

Advent Meditation on Joseph

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

Saturday, March 31, 2012

HELP NEEDED THIS COMING WEEK
[Six Things that need doing]

If you can assist with any of these activities, please email Pastor Keith drpk@earthlink.net

1. PALM SUNDAY: Immediately after the 10:45AM Service we will be moving the extra pew in the back of the sanctuary into Charter Hall  (and free to a good home - if you can handle a 19 foot pew)

2. NO LATER THAN THURSDAY: Mulching in the lines on the Prayer Labyrinth - the mulch is stacked up outside behind the office. Just need to add mulch to the Labyrinth "lines" already in place in order to thicken them up. Can do on your own schedule.

3. WEDNESDAY: 9AM - We will "Garden up" the gardens to the left and right of the front doors in order to get them ready for Easter Sunday. Plants and Mulch will be provided.

4. SATURDAY APRIL 7th  - Decorating the Sanctuary for Easter - we will be hanging paper cranes in the "trees" behind the altar, putting out the Easter Lilies, putting out flowers and more. Beginning at 9AM.

5. EASTER SUNDAY  APRIL 8th - Setting up for the Easter Egg Hunt. 9AM at the Playground (EGG HUNT TAKES PLACE AT 10:30AM following the 9:30AM Family Service.

6. EASTER SUNDAY APR 8th - Helping with clean up from the Easter Breakfast   (10AM)
SHED "RAISING!"



old shed.



EASTER EGG HUNT
Easter Sunday April 8th at 10:30AM
(following the 9:30AM Family Service)
Meet outside at the back of Charter Hall.

Friday, March 30, 2012

YOGA
Yoga continues at Trinity in the Sanctuary each Thursday April 12th through May 31st 9:30AM until 11AM for $5.
Clothing Attire:
Casual, comfortable clothing
Yoga mat or Beach towel
Bottle of Water

Thursday, March 29, 2012

SPECIAL EASTER PROJECT
Looking for 20 or so  L'EGGs type pantyhose containers for a special Easter project at Trinity -  anyone? Would need them by WED APR 4th - please let Pastor Keith know.
SUMMARY OF COOL STUFF
So...in summary here are a dozen things to think about:
1. Orders for Easter Lily Dedications are due Sunday $10 each.
2. Tickets for the Easter Breakfast on sale - see Ferdi or Fritz
3. Please bring in your food for the Feeding of the Hungry if you signed up by this Sunday and placed it on the table on the left side of the hall or in the nearby fridge of ot needs refrigerating.
4. There is also a box on that same table for the Easter Breakfast food donations. PLEASE LABEL WHAT YOUR FOOD IS FOR!
5. A sign up list for the April 29th International Food Fest is being passed around on Sundays - see the note in below on fridgenotes or in the bulletin for more info. 
6. Like to fold paper? Why not make some origami cranes to help fill the "Lenten Trees" (see previous post down below)
7. Butterfly Garden Work Day this SAT any time after 8AM - plus help mulch the Prayer Labyrinth same time.
8. Pick up your pre-ordered chocolate Easter eggs from Earline on Sunday. And thanks!
9. VBS registration forms are in the narthex.
10. Palm Sunday this Sunday!!!!!! 8AM and 10:45AM
11. Maundy Thursday April 5th noon and 7:30PM
12. Good Friday noon and 7:30PM services with self-guided Stations of the Cross from noon to 3PM.
BONUS: Have you marked your calendars for the Women's Spring Tea (MAY 8th) or MOTHER DAUGHTER BANQUET (MAY 11th) and how about the JUSTICE SERVICE APRIL 22nd? The BOLD Justice ACTION at the War Memorial Auditorium Thursday April 26th? Our AUTISM AWARENESS SERVICE and monthly Healing Serive on April 29th? The MOTHERS DAY SERVICE May 13th? The BLESSING OF THE GRADUATES Service on MAY 20th? And Pentecost-Confirmation is on SUN MAY 27th at 10AM (one service that day). Whew!!!!!!
And new members will be received Sun April 22nd as well. 'Cause we just like to have more people affirm their baptism and help remind us why we do what we do and whose we are (Christ's!)

Multi-Cultural Fest

We already have over 30 families planning to share their favorite dishes, representing several different countries during our Multi-Cultural/International Fest on Sunday, April 29th. Just a friendly reminder that everyone who brings a dish to share will receive a free Trinity passport (ticket). Your ticket will allow you to sample the different food and participate in various crafts. Those who prefer to simply purchase a ticket may do so beginning Sunday, April 15th for a nominal charge of $4 per person/$12 per family.

It’s definitely not too late to join in the fun and share some of your favorite crafts and/or food recipes. In order to give us an idea of what country you will be representing, we ask that you kindly add your name to the sign up list being circulated on Sunday.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

PALM SUNDAY
Sunday April 1st
8AM Traditional Entrance with Palms then reading of the Passion Gospel
10:45AM Dramatic Presentation of the Passion Gospel "Cry of the Whole Congregation"
palm branches and palm crosses and communion at all services!
(thanks to Kymora for the picture!)

EASTER LILIES
Easter Lily Dedication Deadline is this Sunday April 1st.
$10 per dedication. Envelopes are in the Sunday bulletin or call SAM at the Office this week.
Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott


The readings for Sunday, April 1, 2012:


First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-9a

Psalm: Psalm 31:9-16

Second Reading: Philippians 2:5-11

Gospel: Mark 14:1--15:47

Gospel (Alt.): Mark 15:1-39 [40-47]


Palm Sunday has become a busy Sunday. Somewhere in the past twenty years, we've gone from hearing just the story of Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem to hearing the whole Passion story--on Palm Sunday many Christians leave the church with Jesus dead and buried. It's downright disconcerting to those of us who return to church for the rest of Holy Week--we hear the same stories on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. It makes for a long, Sunday Gospel reading--and reinforces one of the paradoxes of the Passion story: how can people shout acclaim for Jesus in one day, and within the week demand his Crucifixion? Maybe it's good to hear the whole sad story in one long sitting, good to be reminded of the fickleness of the crowd.

It's one of the central questions of Christian life: how can we celebrate Palm Sunday, knowing the goriness of Good Friday to come? How can we celebrate Easter with the taste of ashes still in our mouth?

I find myself still in an Ash Wednesday frame of mind. Perhaps you do too. It's been a tough year for many of us. We’ve suffered job loss or house loss. If we’ve kept our jobs, we’ve said goodbye to colleagues. In any year, some of us lose loved ones in any number of ways. Because we are mammals that think and know, we are always aware that there will be horrors yet to come. We live in a culture that seems to prefer crucifixion to redemption.

Palm Sunday offers us some serious reminders. If we put our faith in the world, we're doomed. If we get our glory from the acclaim of the secular world, we'll find ourselves rejected sooner, rather than later.

Palm Sunday also reminds us of the cyclical nature of the world we live in. The palms we wave this morning traditionally would be burned to make the ashes that will be smudged on our foreheads in 10 months for Ash Wednesday. The baby that brings joy at Christmas will suffer the most horrible death--and then rise from the dead. The sadnesses we suffer will be mitigated by tomorrow's joy. Tomorrow's joy will lead to future sadness. That's the truth of the broken world we live in. Depending on where we are in the cycle, we may find that knowledge either a comfort or fear inducing.

It's at times like these where the scriptures offer comforts that the world cannot. Look at the message from Isaiah: "The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him that is weary. . . . For the Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been confounded; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame; he who vindicates me is near" (Isaiah 50, first part of verse 4, verse 7, and first part of verse 8).

God promises resurrection. We don't just hope for resurrection. God promises resurrection.

God calls us to live like the redeemed people that we are. Turn your face to the light. Turn away from the dark. Commit to redemption. Commit to new life. With a peaceful mind, wait for the resurrection that God has promised to you.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

GARDEN HELP NEEDED!
Pastor Keith was diagnosed with an inflamed rotator cuff injury and needs need to lay off the rake and shovel for a bit - - so we will need some extra hands in the butterfly garden Saturday March 31st and Saturday April 7th. People start arriving as early as 8AM - by come when you can. Done by lunch.Thanks!
MOTHER DAUGHTER BANQUET!
Trinity's Annual Mother-Daughter Banquet "Mayday Celebration" will take place on Friday, May 11th at 6:30PM in Trinity's Charter Hall. Cost is $12.00 for adults and older children; 10 and under $6.00; children under 3 free. Menu includes Chicken Francese with lemon sauce, Mixed veggies, yellow rice, salad, rolls, strawberry cake. Coffee, tea, and Punch. Tickets will go on sale soon - see Earline LaCroix for more information
ORIGAMI CRANES NEEDED!
Our bare Lenten "Trees" behind the altar need to experience an Easter transformation!
The return of the Cranes, each spring make them symbolic of the Resurrection.

We want to invite you to make colored paper origami cranes to help us decorate the tree branches. There is a basket in the narthex in which you can place completed ones. We would need them by Good Friday March 6th.

Making an origami crane.
You can used colored printer paper.
http://youtu.be/FSijU52XJ7w

Ever in Christ
Pastor Keith
Blessing of Graduates!
Sunday May 20th - At the regular 8AM and 10:45AM Services at TRINITY LUTHERAN.
Trinity's Annual Blessing of the Graduates for all high school, college, and other vocational/professional program students. If you have a graduate (or you... are a graduate) for the Fall 2011-Summer 2012 term - please share with us your name and school/program. We will lift you up in prayer on this day, recognize you personally if you are present, and stuff you with cake afterwards

Women's Spring Tea!
Save the Date! Tuesday May 8th 2012 at 7:30PM.
All women are invited to join us for the traditional May Spring Tea hosted by the Trinity Women (WELCA) ladies group. For more information, please contact Earline LaCroix or the church office.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


REFLECTING ON OUR FAITH

Based upon your experiences this past week. We share a sampling of these in our weekly BLOG to encourage others in their walk with God; they are edited to maintain anonymity.

Where Have You Seen God Working This Week?
Each and Every Day!
At a local Saturday morning Bible Study.
Opening a door to a friend who needed hope!
In my Trinity Church Family.

How Did God use Your Lenten Discipline To Be A blessing To You This Week?
It motivated me to try to be a better person.
Eating healthy and reading the Bible.
By educating me on Jesus’ last days on earth; humbling me and making me aware of this story.

Was Your Lenten Discipline A blessing To Others This Week?
Hopefully!
I got to share God’s blessings and my Christian faith with others.
Speaking to others about scripture (Mark’s Gospel)
It helped me educate others during Bible Study.

How has Trinity Helped To Sustain You In Your Following of Christ In The World
Trinity is always a blessing to me!
By doing volunteer work at the church and attending Bible Study class.  
By caring and loving me and my family like we are all truly related.
WHO IS YOUR GOD?
Sunday's sermon on audio via youtube. Touches on relationship between Good Friday, the gods we may be tempted to worship and Trayvon Martin
.http://youtu.be/c7w--cVwhm8
 
DESCRIBING TRINITY A "Wordle" based upon the accumlated one-word descriptions of Trinity collected from our worship slips through March 18, 2012
COME HELP IN THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN!
Getting it ready for Easter Morning!
Saturday March 31st 8AM until....

Saturday, March 24, 2012


TO WHAT DOES YOUR HEART CLING?
LENT 5 Sermon
“The Friday of Holy Week According to Mark”
March 25, 2012

So I am sitting in the small waiting room of a local tinting business, getting the much bubbled rear window tint replaced on the back window of our car when the owner brings up the issue of the death of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed 17 year old who died this week after being shot once in the chest.  An update is playing on the news in the waiting room.  The reporter reporting that the man who shot Trayvon apparently on a citizen’s crimewatch patrol, had been told by the 9-1-1 operator to not pursue. That the police were on the way. Well, most of us know the relevant undisputed facts. The young man on crime watch, acting alone and of his own accord, did pursue. And in the end Trayvon was dead. Several new parallel investigations are underway to get at the truth as best they can.  There is understandable outrage over the circumstances that would lead to the loss of such a young life as well as the initial handling of the investigation.   

We cannot place ourselves in the heads or hearts of those involved  - nor is it helpful to speculate on motivations of the specificity of facts yet unknown. And in this country we try people in courts of law. Which is how it should be in this case. But while we wait for the results of these investigations and tempers simmer and flare up, while the talk shows and the news shows and the newspapers and the radio people do their jobs, some admirable, some not so much, we Christians have a voce to bring to the conversation. There are some things we can say.  This terrible tragedy does invite reflection of a most personal and uncomfortable kind when cast into the light of Good Friday in the Gospel of Mark, the day into which our Gospel now leads us.

Good Friday. Jesus hanging there on the cross. Mark’s Gospel telling time by his suffering. Dawn, 9AM, noon, 3 PM, Evening. Luther says that to which our heart clings is our God. When we cling to something, we hold on tight. With the last ounce of our strength. We place our hope, our trust, our future, our very lives in the care of that to which we cling. What are we clinging to in our lives this day? If what our heart clings to is our god, then what god is it?   Is it the god of fear? The god of power? The god of self? The false gods of this world revel in such possibilities. Delight in them, rubbing their hands and smiling with glee.

To what does our heart cling?  Clutching to the very last? Digging in. Every beat placing its hope in that to which it clings. To what does our heart cling? Who is our God?

Did you hear how the people who derided Jesus worshiped such gods as power and fear and hate?

“You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!" "He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down from the cross now, so that we may see and believe."

The mocked. They spat. They ridiculed. They taunted.

Whatever their hearts were clinging to that day, they could not comprehend a God for whom strength is made perfect in weakness, one whose coronation begins with humiliation. Whose calculus is defined by the last being first and the first being last.

Do we grasp the silence? Jesus had not spoken since his sham of a trial. But now hanging on the cross he utters one final phrase: Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Jesus here quoting from Psalm 22, its opening words. But Psalm 22 takes an interesting turn not long after. The voice of lament gives way to a voice of trust. A voice of hope. A vice of unshakable promise:

Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them.
To you they cried, and were saved; in you they trusted, and were not put to shame

 And later still the psalmist declares:

For dominion belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations.

Despite the wound of forsakenness in his soul, the psalmist will not cede to the false gods of this world any power, any dominion, any hope. The psalmist has done the calculus and found that despite the weight of evidence of total abandonment that the God of all creation, the God of the Universe, the Lord of All, reigns with power and dominion and might over all forces that might oppose. And further, that this is nothing new. That it has always been this way. And we know that it will be made perfect in and though Christ on the cross.

For those who listen to the gods of this world, whose hearts cling to fear or power or  hate, the calculus looks different: A young black man wearing a hoodie is a danger. People of color become reasons to check the locks on our cars, to worry about the safety of our neighborhoods, to worry about the values of our home if they choose to move next door or down the block or around the corner. Reasons to move away to a new town where everyone will be more like us and less like them and we can feel safe and that is OK to allow such thinking, such fear, such tenacious racist thinking to become the last branch to which our hearts will cling for dear life, become our gods and hold sway in our lives.

While the wheels of justice need now to turn and turn and turn to bring some measure of healing to deeply wounded families and a deeply wounded world in the death of this young man, we, ourselves, need to take responsibility for our patterns of speech and action and for our acquiescence to a culture that breeds such false gods as those of power for self and fear and hate.

Good Friday, in the hours of darkness over the land. When hope has all but been extinguished and every last person left mocks his suffering and even God appears to be absent, the cross on which Jesus is nailed beckons us close and whispers: to what does your heart cling? Who is your God?   Who is you God?

Amen.

Friday, March 23, 2012

PALM SUNDAY THROUGH EASTER SERVICES
ALL WELCOME!

PALM SUNDAY APRIL 1st
8AM               
Holy Communion with Procession of Palms and the Reading of the Passion Gospel

10:45AM       
Holy Communion with “The Cry of the Whole Congregation” A Dramatic Presentation of Christ’s Passion

HOLY WEEK
APRIL 5th       MAUNDY THURSDAY
NOON                       
Holy Communion Service with Washing of Feet or Hands
7:30PM                     
Dramatic Presentation with Holy Communion, Foot/Hand Washing, and the Stripping of the Altar.
APRIL 6th      

GOOD FRIDAY
NOON:                      
Service of Tenebrae with Adoration of the Cross

NOON to 3PM          
Self-Guided Stations of the Cross at the Prayer Labyrinth

7:30PM                  
Service of Tenebrae and Adoration of the Cross with Trinity’s Worship Choir providing vocal and instrumental support

APRIL 8th       EASTER SUNDAY
6:30AM                     
Outdoor Sunrise with Candle Lighting and Holy Communion

9:30AM   
Easter Morning Family Service with Holy Communion

11AM                         
Cantata Service of Holy Communion
(EASTER BREAKFAST 7:30AM to 10AM)

APRIL 15th    SUNDAY AFTER EASTER          
8AM SERVICE  Sunday After Easter with Holy Communion
10:45AM SERVICE  Cantata Service of Holy Communion (reprise)
COUCHES NEEDED
The "Youth Room" over in Charter Hall at Trinity could use an upgrade in the couch department - a few of the hand-me-downs are showing their age - anyone upgrading at home  and have a couch in good shape that they are willing to donate?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The lectionary readings for March 25 dovetail nicely with Pastor's plans to preach on Mark 15, which tells of the Crucifixion of Jesus:

Jeremiah 31:31-34

Psalm 51:1-13 (Psalm 51:1-12 NRSV)

or Psalm 119:9-16

Hebrews 5:5-10

John 12:20-33


This verse is my favorite of the lectionary Gospel for this week: "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit" (verse 24). I have a rather Disneyfied vision of a seed who desperately resists change, who wants life to continue as normal. "Let me have the familiar. Don't force me to change."

But that seed doesn't see that it lives alone in the dark, damp earth. It thinks life is fine, because it has never known anything else. It thinks life is fine, because it doesn't have a vision of anything else. How can it? It lives all alone in the dark, damp earth.

Only by letting go (however painful that might be) of its current life, will that little seed find itself transformed. That seed, in its current form, must die, so that it can be reborn into a much more glorious life. That seed, once it lets go, once it faces death, will break through into a life of sunshine. That seed, once it lets go, will find much company. It will bear fruit, which means it has fulfilled its biological imperative--it has gotten its genes into the next generation.

The most obvious way of interpreting this passage is to see it as being about death and Heaven. Eventually, we die and break out of our existential loneliness by joining our loved ones in Heaven.

But perhaps this passage gives us a deeper insight.

Certainly, we see a vision of Christ, who is troubled (according to traditional interpretation) by his impending death. That seed represents Christ's death as well as our own. If Christ had just lived quietly into old age, preaching and teaching, it's a pretty safe bet that you and I wouldn't be Christians. It is only by Jesus' death and rebirth that Christianity can flourish.

We might also think about how that seed could represent our current lives. What part of your life do you need to let die, so that you can be transformed into something glorious? Past visions of Christianity stressed the glories we could look forward to in the afterlife, yet Christ comes to live with us to show us how we can live now, how we can make the Kingdom manifest on earth now.

We spend much of our lives in the dark, damp earth--and that earth can be a metaphor for many things--what imprisons us? Is it our tendency towards anger? despair? Does the dark stand for the substances we abuse? Does the dirt represent the behaviors that keep us from fulfilling our true potential as Christians?

Before you plunge into sadness about all the ways you've fallen short, take heart. Remember that the dirt is also a nourishing medium. Seeds won't grow without dirt. All that dirt has gone a long way to protecting you for that time when you're ready to bloom.

God's vision for us is not one that keeps us muffled and buried and alone in the mud. All we have to do is to die.

That sounds so harsh. And yet, it is what is required of us. Much of our New Testament stresses that fact. Being a Christian requires that our old life dies. Otherwise, we won't flower and flourish like we should.

In keeping with the seed metaphor, perhaps I should have said, all we have to do is shuck off the husk of our former lives. All we have to do is to have the faith to face transformation.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

SUNDAY SERMON
Sunday March 18th Sermon is now up on youtube:
http://youtu.be/VhqNobd8WMk
DESCRIBING TRINITY
 A "Wordle" based upon the accumlated one-word descriptions of Trinity collected from our worship slips through March 18, 2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012

LIGHTNESS AND DARKNESS PHOTOS
One of my favorites from our trip this past week. Just remember that for our project in the church entrance (narthex) for Easter we are looking for photos that fit the theme: "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." We would desire the digital file, not a printed photo, though if you have one we could scan it for you. Photos/files should be your orginal work and be sent to Pastor Keith (me) by March 25th.
March 15, 2012

ELCA releases draft social statement on criminal justice
     CHICAGO (ELCA) - The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is addressing issues in the U.S. criminal justice system. The perspective of an ELCA task force on the topic is featured in the "Draft Social Statement on Criminal Justice" released to ELCA members and to the public March 15. While commending positive aspects of the system, the draft conveys some dissatisfaction with many areas about the criminal justice system that urgently need reform.
"The task force was formed in response to concerns expressed from ELCA synods about the alarmingly high incarceration rates in the United States," said Cynthia Osborne, chair of the ELCA task force charged with developing the social statement.
She said the United States ranks among the top two or three countries in the world in percentage of people under control of a criminal justice system -- one out of 31 adults and, for people of color, as high as one out of 11.
"These concerns, an increasing societal doubt about the effectiveness of our national incarceration strategies in reducing crime and its harms to individuals, families and communities, compel our church to address the need for change and to ask, 'What should this church have to say about crime, its harm and justice in this country,'" said Osborne, adding that the need for change must not be understood simply in the abstract.
"We are also compelled to ask, 'What can people of faith, specifically ELCA members, do in ministry to actively participate in creating and guarding a system that is just, balanced and effective in responding to those who do harm and to those harmed?'" she said.
While the ELCA affirms the fundamental principles of the U.S.
criminal justice system, such as due process of law and the presumption of legal innocence, the draft also recognizes serious deficiencies - overly harsh sentencing and persistent inequalities based on race and class.
The draft statement calls ELCA members to ministry and compassion through four practices: hearing the cries of those affected, accompaniment, hospitality and advocacy. It asks members of this church to recommit themselves to visiting the prisoner; correct the flawed criminal justice system; participate in God's work with hands and hearts and to hear the cries of people affected.
The draft social statement has a prologue and four primary sections titled "Justice"; "Yearning for ever-fuller justice"; "Wise responses of love"; and "Paths to greater justice." As a draft, the statement also includes a response form designed for the 10,000 congregations of the ELCA to share feedback.
The task force has invited the ELCA's 4.2 million members to contribute responses to its work.
Responses to the draft from ELCA congregations are due Oct. 31. The task force will review responses and use that as feedback to prepare a proposed social statement with implementing resolutions for the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly to possibly consider as a formal statement on behalf of this church.
ELCA social statements are teaching documents that assist members in forming judgments on social issues. They set policy for this church and guide its advocacy and work as a public church.
The 2007 ELCA Churchwide Assembly authorized the development of a social statement on criminal justice. The task force has been studying the issues and providing resource material for members since 2008.
The draft statement is available at http://www.ELCA.org/What-We-Believe/Social-Issues/Social-Statements-in-Process/Criminal-Justice.aspx
Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

Pastor will be preaching on Mark 14: 12-72.  It's the first part of the Passion Story that we'll be hearing again during Holy Week.  We'll hear about the Last Supper and the wait in the garden and the trial.

It's a nice complement to the lectionary readings for this Sunday:

First Reading: Numbers 21:4-9


Psalm: Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22

Second Reading: Ephesians 2:1-10

Gospel: John 3:14-21

It's interesting to think about which parts of these stories speak most to us.  Are we people who seek comfort in the Eucharist, the sacrament that comes out of the Last Supper?  What do we do with the cross that will be coming?

Do we flagellate ourselves with this story?  Some traditions would tell  us, again and again, that it's because of our wretched, sinful selves that Jesus had to go through all of his trials and tortures. 

But it's easy to get lost in self-loathing.  It's easy to tell ourselves that Jesus, perfect Jesus, had to go through much for our redemption, and we're not worth it, and we're not even able to keep up with our Lenten disciplines, and . . . once we're in that downward spiral, who knows where we'll land.

We shouldn't lose sight of the Gospel message that lies behind the Passion Week story, the Gospel message so neatly summarized in John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."


Today, let us focus on the Good News that reminds us that God doesn't enter the world to condemn us--many pop culture preachers forget that. But almost every verse of our Gospels reminds us that God comes to us out of love, not judgment. God comes, not to cast us into darkness. Most of us spend many hours dwelling in darkness. God comes to lead us into the light.
 
Our world is desperately in need of the light that Christians can provide. We live in a world of rampant Capitalism, which is doing a wide range of harm. The world needs our message of something that is more vital, something that is more important than making money and buying more stuff. We can be the lighthouses that lead people to safer shores.

Monday, March 12, 2012

BUTTERFLY GARDEN
Next BIG Butterfly Garden Work Day is Saturday March 31st please join us when you can - we will be there between 8AM and noon

REFLECTING ON OUR FAITH
Based upon your experiences this past week. We share a sampling of these in our weekly BLOG to encourage others in their walk with God; they are edited to maintain anonymity.
Where Have You Seen God Working This Week?
In a friend who is going through tough times
In a friend to whom God gave courage to leave work early as he was exhausted.
At Trinity and upon confessing my sins
When I was part of the many people who came to help in the Butterfly garden.
How Did God use Your Lenten Discipline To Be A blessing To You This Week?
My kids reminding me what is so truly valuable.
A friend took me shopping.
At my AA meetings when we close in prayer
Being able to talk to my friend about something that is troubling me.

Was Your Lenten Discipline A blessing To Others This Week?
Tending to someone who needed care.
At home while studying the word of the Lord.
God gave me guidance to support my mom as she gets older.
How has Trinity Helped To Sustain You In Your Following of Christ In The World
The music lifts my soul
A positive boost in the daily “negative” world in which we live
By attending Bible Study.
I now have god present in my daily life and want to spread the word.
DESCRIBING TRINITY
A "Wordle" based upon the accumlated one-word descriptions of Trinity collected from our worship slips through March 11, 2012

Saturday, March 10, 2012

PASTOR KEITH'S SERMON
Some thoughts towards tomorrow's sermon
(disclaimer - this may or may not be what I preach as the Spirit moves me)
MARK 14 SERMON
WEDNESDAY OF HOLY WEEK ACCORDING TO MARK
PART THREE OF OUR FIVE PART WALK THROUGH HOLY WEEK IN THE GOSPEL OF MARK
A tale of two people and a group: the woman and the man and a whole bunch of men. The man named Judas, the woman, nameless, the group filled with people named Andrew and Simon called Peter and then there’s that Bartholomew and the rest. The woman and Judas each have made a decision that fits into plans much greater than themselves, but they do not realize yet the roles that they will play in the events unfolding that week. Judas and the woman, one is a disciple, the other seemingly a stranger, yet the stranger proves to be the ideal disciple and the disciple called Judas acts worse than a stranger: He betrays Jesus. While the rest of disciples, we just don’t know. Were they among the group that scolded her for wasting the ointment? Scripture does not say. They lamenting over the loss of money to help the poor. The best translation of Jesus’ response that I have heard being you will always be among the poor. That being the disciple’s mission: To be out on the margins with the most vulnerable, the voiceless, the hungry, the thirsty, the naked.

The best disciple is the most unexpected. The one from the margins. A woman. The one without a name. She is the disciple par excellence, the one to be imitated, because she alone of the group of people present that day understands where Jesus is going and what must be done to follow him. Her actions suggest that she at some level understands who Jesus truly is. Jesus is heading for the cross, the way of betrayal, the way of suffering and the way of death. And so she anoints him with perfume, preparing, as Jesus interprets her actions, for his burial. Not his coronation as King. But his burial.

Some argue that the greatest question waiting to be answered in the Gospel of Mark is simply this: Who is Jesus?

The disciples, time and time again, answer this question one of two ways:
First, they admit to have no idea. No notion. Like the time that they are on a boat being battered by strong winds. They ask if Jesus cares that they are perishing and Jesus rebukes the storm then asks: “Have you still no faith?” Their response: Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him? They have no idea who Jesus is.
Second: Sometimes they assume that he is the expected Messiah.

Now some might think: cool, Jesus is the Messiah, so they have that going for them, don’t they? Full credit, for that answer, right? But the truth is they misunderstand this, too. Because in Jesus’ day the typically expected Messiah was a King like David, you know the guy who slew Goliath and united the 12 tribes of Israel and establish the Kingdom of Israel by driving away or defeating all of the enemies its enemies. So when Jesus comes on the stage after the Romans have ruled over much of that world including Israel for nearly 100 years, the expected Messiah’s job was to drive away the Romans and re-establish the Kingdom of Israel, a King just like David. A warrior-King, mighty and holy and righteous. You with me? And the disciples that we meet in Mark’s gospel seem to be taken with the idea that this is the kind of Messiah that Jesus is going to turn out to be.

We see this in Peter’s confession. Who do the people say that I am, asks Jesus, and Peter says, The Messiah. But the question is, which messiah. Well, Jesus tells the disciples not to tell anyone that he is the Messiah – Jesus knows that he is heading to the cross and if the people are stuck on this notion that Jesus is this warrior-King Messiah - it follows that the Romans are going to crash this party way too soon. So Jesus immediately begins to teach the disciples about what kind of Messiah he is by telling them about his impending suffering and death and rising again. And this sets Peter off immediately Peter begins to rebuke Jesus – rebuke him, telling Jesus that surely not – obviously Jesus forgot to read the Manual that comes with being a Messiah, the Messiah. What does Jesus say? Get behind me Satan, “for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” The human idea of a Messiah, not God’s idea. Not who Jesus is.

The disciples are stuck with the wrong notion over what kind of Messiah Jesus is each time that Jesus talks about his coming suffering , death and resurrection. One time right after Jesus talks about it [Second Passion Prediction] – they do not understand and are afraid to ask. And the very next thing - they argue who is the greatest. Jesus response? Teaching the first will be last and last-first.

Then after the Third Passion prediction - the very next thing – James and John ask Jesus “Teacher – we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you” What they want is to sit at his left and right hand side in your glory. This request causes anger to flare up among the disciples. Again Jesus teaches first-last and last-first
Each time that Jesus talks about his impending betrayal, suffering, death and resurrection, the disciples respond in a manner that is consistent with this idea of the Warrior-King Messiah that the people are so looking forward to – the one that they expect. But God, in and through Christ Jesus, has a much bigger plan, a much great and deeper and unexpected understanding of what it means to be the Messiah.

The woman who so extravagantly pours the perfumed oil on Jesus’ noggin’ seems to know who Jesus is – the Messiah who is about to humbly give himself away. And that’s what we are called to do. There’s this idea that when folks come to church they want to be handed a menu of the services offered – this ministry and that and what you will do for me and my family. There’s this idea that people shop around looking for the church that offers the most extensive menu or their favorite thing on the menu every as often as possible.

Rather than inviting people to come in and have a seat and peruse the menu, Jesus invites his followers to give themselves away. This woman, she gives herself away by giving out of her means, giving in love, preparing Jesus for his impending burial. As soon as Jesus honors this, Judas leaves to betray him. One wonders if confronted by a Messiah who calls us all to give ourselves away - if that was just too much for Judas. That wasn’t what he signed up for. Maybe all of those times that Jesus told him that in God’s Kingdom the first shall be last and the last shall be first, that the light finally clicked on and Judas realized that everything that he assumed about Jesus was wrong. We’ll just never know.

But what we do know is that Jesus calls us to deny ourselves and pick our cross and follow him and that to serve him is to become a servant of all, to give ourselves away. That invitation will never leave us, will never let us go, never let us take an easier path, never stop confronting us. And would we really want it to? Would we? Would we prefer a life without the cross, without the call, a life for ourselves, rather than for Jesus?

AMEN!

Friday, March 09, 2012

Justice Ministry Network Meeting Sunday March 11th @ 12:15pm

Come join us for a quick lunch meeting after second service this Sunday. We are building our network to turn out people who care about education and unemployment to this year's Nehemiah Action. Our congregation is going to stand up for justice with 24 other congregations in Broward county on April 26th. Our numbers are what gets the attention of community leaders. You can help make a difference just by showing up.
NEW PHOTO PROJECT
So - for our project in the church entrance (narthex) for Easter we are looking for photos that fit the theme: "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." We would desire the digital file, not a printed photo, though if you have one we could scan it for you. Photos/files should be your orginal work and be sent to Pastor Keith (me) by March 25th.
IN THE GARDEN
Another load of plants have been placed for planting in the Trinity Butterfly Garden. More mulch should be there by SAT morning ready to fill the beds. With the rain, a few weeds dare to show themselves. Stop by the garden and help yourselves to the relaxing work of gardening!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

PHOTOS NEEDED
Last year we build a creative photo display on the theme of "The Cross" for the church narthex (entrance). This year the theme is "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it!" Folks are encouraged to submit digital files of original photos (you took them) to Pastor Keith (me) by Sunday March 25th. Since we will be printing out a number of the photos  - the higher the resolution, the more likely we can use it in printed format. However, we may be able it incorporate your lower resolution photo in a different way, so if you have a good one don't hesitate to submit it. Send all photos to drpk@earthlink.net
PREPARING FOR SUNDAY
This Sunday we will be continuing our Lenten Sunday series that examines the story that we think we know, but probably don't - the days of Holy Week according to the Gospel of Mark. The question to prepare for this Sunday: Who in Scripture represents the ideal disciple? We'll examine Mark's answer - who is yours?
Meditation on This Week's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The lectionary readings for Sunday, March 11, 2012:

Exodus 20:1-17
Psalm 19
The commandment of the LORD gives light to the eyes. (Ps. 19:8)
1 Corinthians 1:18-25
John 2:13-22

Pastor will be preaching on:

Mark 14:1-11

Pastor’s Gospel and the lectionary Gospel intersect in interesting ways. This week's lectionary Gospel lesson has the familiar story of Jesus throwing the moneychangers out of the temple. Mark 14: 1-11 shows the woman anointing the feet of Jesus with expensive oil. The man who has just thrown moneychangers out of the temple, in part for exploiting the poor, rebukes his disciples when they argue that the better use of the ointment would have been to sell it and use the money to help the poor.

What would Jesus have us to do with our money?

For many of us, that is one of the essential questions of the Gospel. In fact, much of the Bible gives us economics lessons. We like to think that the Bible is a book with a moral code to impart, and that’s true—although the moral code in one part of the Bible is contradicted by the moral code in a different part. It’s by no means as cut and dried as some national figures would have us believe.

Likewise, Jesus gives us many lessons about our money, and some of them are contradictory. Am I to sell everything I own to follow Jesus? Am I to give my money to the poor and the widows? Should I give 10% to the Church? More than that?

What’s a believer to do?

As we listen to these Gospels, we might ask ourselves what Jesus wants from us. Are we to sell our buildings, our properties, to divest in order that we might have more money to give to charity? We'd transform ourselves back to the first century church--small bands of people who met in living rooms and shared meals together (not a metaphorical Eucharistic meal, but a real one, with a whole loaf of bread and bottle of wine and other foods). Some groups of Christians are experimenting with this calling--many of them see themselves as the Emergent Church, and their movement may indeed be the next reformation. Soon on my reading list is Diana Butler Bass’ latest book, Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening; will she be talking about church buildings or the institution or any group of people who calls themselves a church?

Do these Gospels tell us to get rid of our stewardship drives and our money raising adventures? Do they tell us that we shouldn't buy or sell things on church property? What does this mean? No more rummage sales? My grandmother would have said that’s what it means. No support of our local Scout groups, our local schools? Would Christ have said that?

Christ calls us to consciousness. Being part of a religion that has become a societal institution has inherent danger: temple tax, indulgences, stewardship campaigns--these are tools that religion has used to hurt people, and in worse case scenarios to exclude the poor and extort money from everyone else (money used not to help advance the cause of the Kingdom, but to support a lifestyle of a privileged few).

Christ calls us again and again to consider who we serve. Is money a tool or is it our master? Are we storing up treasures for ourselves on earth or in heaven? How can we use money to glorify God?  How can we use money to help creation become all that God envisions for it?  These are questions not just for the institutional church, but also important ones for us to consider as individuals.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

DON'T FORGET TO
SPRING AHEAD THIS WEEKEND!

PALM SUNDAY APRIL 1st

8AM               
Holy Communion with Procession of Palms and the Reading of the Passion Gospel

10:45AM       
Holy Communion with “The Cry of the Whole Congregation” A Dramatic Presentation of Christ’s Passion

HOLY WEEK
APRIL 5th       MAUNDY THURSDAY
NOON                       
Holy Communion Service with Washing of Feet or Hands

7:30PM                     
Dramatic Presentation with Holy Communion, Foot/Hand Washing, and the Stripping of the Altar.

APRIL 6th       GOOD FRIDAY
NOON:                      
Service of Tenebrae with Adoration of the Cross

NOON to 3PM          
Self-Guided Stations of the Cross at the Prayer Labyrinth

7:30PM                   
Service of Tenebrae and Adoration of the Cross with Trinity’s Worship Choir providing vocal and instrumental support
APRIL 8th       EASTER SUNDAY
6:30AM                     
Outdoor Sunrise with Candle Lighting and Holy Communion

9:30AM    
Easter Morning Family Service with Holy Communion
11AM                         
Cantata Service of Holy Communion

(EASTER BREAKFAST 7:30AM to 10AM)

APRIL 15th    SUNDAY AFTER EASTER          
8AM SERVICE  Sunday After Easter with Holy Communion
10:45AM SERVICE  Cantata Service of Holy Communion (reprise)