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, August 31, 2012

No Church Yard Workday or Butterfly Garden Work Day Day Tomorrow - Enjoy your Holiday!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The readings for Sunday, September 2, 2012:

Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9

Psalm 15

LORD, who may dwell in your tabernacle? (Ps. 15:1)

James 1:17-27

Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

In this week's Gospel, we find Jesus in trouble with the Pharisees for having followers who didn't follow the purity codes. Those of us not familiar with purity codes, but all too familiar with the viciousness of modern microbes, might read the passage from Mark and say, "Yick. They didn't wash their hands. The Pharisees are right to be appalled."

Go back, way back, into the Old Testament and read Leviticus with its rigid commands about the actions of believers, right down to the way they would store and cook food. Now imagine these restrictions taken to an even greater extreme, and you've got the purity codes of Jesus' day. It's amazing that anyone could follow them. And it's important to remember that although we think of Pharisees as hypocrites largely because of their interactions with Jesus, this could not be further from the truth. They were very sincere and committed to what they believed, far more committed than most of their contemporaries.

And it's vitally important to remember that their motivations for keeping strict standards were very good. In The Secret Message of Jesus, Brian D. McLaren notes that the Pharisees hoped that their own purity would prompt God to send the Messiah to liberate them, specifically to liberate them from Roman oppression. Therefore it's understandable that they would try to recruit others to this cause, and that they would grow frustrated with people who couldn't meet their own requirements--the actions of those people polluted the whole population, thus resulting in more alienation from God.

Before we get too snooty about those Pharisees, before we feel too superior to them, it's important to look at our own time. The Episcopal/Anglican church is very close to schism over the issue of homosexuality, and many people wonder if the Lutherans aren’t very far behind. Many of our most divisive fights within the Christian faith grow out of disagreements about behavior, not about belief. And even if you manage to avoid the larger fights about homosexuality, abortion and the like, you're likely to become engaged in fights about the right kind of music to use in a service, the proper amount of times to offer Communion, whether or not to collect donations at the covered dish potluck dinner. Anyone who has done any kind of church work probably recognizes the Pharisees in Mark's Gospel. Again, I stress it is important to recognize our own inner Pharisee. No one is blameless here.

Jesus is never shy about calling people on their wrong-hearted behavior. He quotes Isaiah, "'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.' You leave the commandment of God and hold fast the tradition of men" (Mark 7: 6-8). Again, we might think about how we give God lip service--but would a person who didn't know us at all be able to identify us as a Christian? We might say the right things, attest to the proper creeds, attend church on Sunday, feel quite self-righteous about how we are better than the rest of the scummy population--but someone observing our actions, would they know we follow Christ?

Jesus boils down all the teachings of the Torah into two commandments: love God and love your neighbor. How well are we following those commandments?

Jesus came to show us a new way--and he gave us powerful examples of how to live. In this Gospel, we see him practicing his essential table ministry, breaking bread with the outcast and unclean. In our current age, we tend to underestimate the power of these actions. But the larger institutions understood--and eventually, Jesus will be crucified, in part because of his threat to the dominant power systems. This behavior, this community building, is still a threat to the dominant culture--one reason we're all so stressed is that we seldom slow down enough to eat. One reason that we have trouble holding our families together is that we don't eat together.

Imagine how our culture would change if we insisted on taking an hour for each meal break. What would happen if we talked to each other during those hours? How would our world change if we invited others to share our food?

Jesus understood how arguments over right and righteous behavior can tear a community to shreds. Jesus also showed us how to knit our communities together. We should follow his behavior and argue about behavior less, eat together in fellowship more often.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Worship Sunday continues our Fall Schedule
8AM    Traditional Worship in the Sanctuary
9AM    High School and College Age (HS+) meets in the Youth area of the hall.
10AM  “Worship Together”  - Intentionally inter-generational and participatory; a blend        of Sunday school, Family faith formation, and worship. Meets in the hall.
11AM  A blend of contemporary and traditional music and liturgy
*All services include weekly communion.


1st FRI of every month 7PM beginning SEPT 7th – at Crispers in the Target Plaza on the corner of University and Stirling Road. Food from the menu available for those who desire to eat. We will be meeting in the community room of the restaurant. No Biblical knowledge required. Friends encouraged! With Pastor Keith.

SEPT 9th        Confirmation  - Sundays at 9AM beginning SEPT 9th with Mrs. LaCroix
SEPT 9th        “BACK TO CHURCH” SUNDAY with Potluck (Potluck begins at 12:15PM)
SEPT 9th        College Cookie Packup
SEPT 11th      Tuesday Morning Bible Study re-commences at 8:30AM
Tuesday Morning Crafts at 9:30AM
WELCA  Potluck at 6:30PM followed by Program

(Only in the designated area in the left side of Charter Hall. No Mattresses)
CAN I HELP? Sign up list for donations for the lunch, for baked goods and  for helpers for the set up and sale coming soon.



Monday, August 27, 2012

FALL WORSHIP   *Important*
Something old, something new, something borrowed...


Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
 come into his presence with singing.
Know that the LORD is God.
 It is he that made us, and we are his;
 we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
 and his courts with praise.
 Give thanks to him, bless his name.
For the LORD is good;
 his steadfast love endures forever,
 and his faithfulness to all generations
- PSALM 100

 Our fall worship times (8AM, 10AM, 11AM) began on August 19th, but our worship liturgy (the stuff we do together for worship) will take on its fall form on Sunday September 9th.

The 8AM Service


A Familiar Worship Setting:
We will go back to using the traditional Holy Communion Setting One from the Lutheran Book of Worship (It is also in included in the new Evangelical Lutheran Worship Hymnal) on September 9th. It will be printed out in the bulletin in its entirety for ease of use.

We have begun collecting hymns that folks would like to be sung - and giving away some old green LBW hymnals given to us from another church for folks to look up their favorite hymns at their convenience and add them to the list.


The Narrative Lectionary:
Our readings previously came from the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) and included up to three readings on a Sunday. Beginning September 9th we will begin using the Narrative Lectionary which uses a single reading each Sunday.

"The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. On the Sundays from September through May each year the texts follow the sweep of the biblical story, from Creation through the early Christian church. Texts were selected that lead well to the proclamation of what God is doing. The stories tell of hope and disappointment, suffering and redemption. In all these varied contexts, we find God dealing with the complexities of human life. Stories from the gospels differ each year, avoiding repetition and highlighting what is distinctive about each gospel’s telling of the story of Jesus.

The Church Year helped to shape the flow of the narrative lectionary. Old Testament readings move through the story of God’s dealings with Israel and culminate in Advent with the prophets who speak of longing and hope. Readings from the gospels fit the movement from Christmas and Epiphany to the Transfiguration, Ash Wednesday, Holy Week and Easter. Selections from the book of Acts and Paul’s letters trace the outward movement of the resurrection message, culminating on Pentecost with readings focusing on the Spirit."

You can find out more about the Narrative Lectionary at http://www.workingpreacher.org/narrative_faq.aspx

Well, pretty much everything is new here...

It is for families, youth, singles, adults, grandparents, well, everybody. It is not, however, like the worship that most people have grown up with and we do not apologize for that. We have worked with the experts at Faith Inkubators (http://www.faithink.com) to design a new service that is a blend of Communion Worship (highly interactive, creative and participatory), Family Faith Formation (equipping families for building up and passing on the faith), and Sundays school (teaching the core stories of the Bible, the Lord's Prayer, and so on). This service uses both large group and small group formats, lots of singing, sharing, prayer, drama, art, opening up the Bible, American Sign Languge and more!  It also takes full advantage of the video and sound system in Charter Hall.

 Is anything more important than passing on the faith to our children and our children's children? This service has been developed with that goal at its very heart. The children never just sit there and parents get to show their children how important it is to worship and connect the biblical stories of faith to their life. Perhaps most important of all we equip and model the Faith Five (http://www.faithink.com/Inkubators/f5.asp) way of families spending five minutes a day to share their highs and lows, read scripture, connect the scripture with their highs and lows from the week, pray for one another and offer a blessing for one another.
This service replaces traditional Sunday school for those in the 6th grade and under. Confirmation with Mrs. LaCroix (6th-8th grade) continues on September 9th at 9AM and our High School and Young Adult Class (HS+ Class) is ongoing in the Youth area of Charter Hall also at 9AM.


Communion Practice

On all Sundays except Healing Sundays and some special high-attendance Festival Sundays (Christmas Eve and Easter, for example), we will be returning to communing at the front altar rail (not the side rails). Those for whom the steps may be problematic may opt to be communed at their pews by just alerting an usher.
The Lord Have Mercy Liturgy

The Lord Have Mercy Liturgy  (http://www.lordhavemercyliturgy.com/) was written by two ELCA pastors and provides an accessible, playable, singable, flexible liturgy that is simultaneously traditional, yet has a folksy contemporary feel to it. The Trinity Worship choir led by Jacob Smitter, our organist, Barbara Gilson, and our worship instrumentalists will all help lead us in this beautiful service.

The service time
What we called the “10:45AM Service” (and long ago was the “10:30AM Service”) will continue at its summer time of 11AM. Changes in the liturgy have shortened the service  so it should continue to end at the same time as it did when it began at 10:45AM.

 Use of the Narrative Lectionary
See the description above at the 8AM Service.

As a reminder:
Confirmation with Mrs. LaCroix (6th-8th grade) re-commences on September 9th at 9AM and our High School and Young Adult Class (HS+ Class) is ongoing in the Youth area of Charter Hall also at 9AM.

Because of worship service commitments Pastor Keith will be unable to lead Bible Study Sunday mornings – but we are looking at some options.
For now there are three opportunities already in place:

(1)  Tuesday morning 8:30AM with Earline LaCroix beginning September 11th

(2)  Wednesday evening 6PM Prayer and Praise with Earline LaCroix

(3)  Second Tuesday of the Month Ladies Bible Study at 7:30PM beginning September 11th

(4)  First Fridays 7PM Bible Study with Pastor Keith at Crispers (the corner of University and Stirling Road) beginning Friday September 7th.  

Saturday, August 25, 2012

 Sermon August 26, 2012
on Joshua 24:1–2a, 14–18

Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel; and they presented themselves before God.  2And Joshua said to all the people,  14Now therefore revere the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.  15Now if you are unwilling to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
Amen, right? AMEN!

As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
God makes choices.
We make choices.

As we learn in the gospel of John, the 15th Chapter , In Jesus, God first chooses us:
Jesus tells us quite plainly:  You did not choose me but I chose you.

You did not choose me, I chose you.

Now in our story from Joshua, the people of Israel had seen the power of God at work in their lives. God had led their parents and grandparents out of Egypt, out of slavery and bondage, smiting Pharaoh with ten plagues, destroying Pharaoh’s mighty army when all appeared lost. When the people of Israel were hungry God sent them bread. When they were thirsty God led them to water. God led the people of Israel as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. God was with them through it all. And when they arrived at the doorstep of the Promised Land, God went before them, giving them victory over their enemies. Even the walls of mighty Jericho fell. It was all God’s doing.

God had chosen them and even when their choices to live into their relationship with God were poor choices, bad choices, head-scatchingly bad choices, God stayed with them.

And now just prior to our reading today, the people had settled in the land, one tribe here and another there. And then Joshua gathered them all together for some final thoughts. Some final instructions. A final demand and warning.
Now therefore revere the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.  15Now if you are unwilling to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

Now, Joshua doesn’t say that Israel’s previously bad choices and God’s forgiveness of those bad choices means that the relationship between the people and God can be taken lightly. That their relationship isn’t all that important or serious. Far from it!

Joshua doesn’t say that it is fine, OK, no problem at all to just pay lip service to God. Keep the relationship skin-deep. Keep it  convenient. To just follow God only when it is easy, simple or doesn’t bring us any difficulty. Or cost us anything . No. Joshua does not say such things.

Choose this day whom you will serve.

Look, God has acted for us, chosen us in Christ Jesus, declared us to be God’s people. We cannot be ignorant of the actions of God for us. We cannot live our lives in such a way that we pretend to be ignorant of God’s actions for us. In choosing us. Forgiving us. Declaring us God’s people. Redeeming us.  We simply cannot, even though we could. Even though we can and probably do. More than we  would like to admit.

Choose this day whom you will serve.

 Luther tells us that to which our heart clings is our god.
Whatever we choose to serve with the whole of our lives.
That is our god.
What we choose to honor with the whole of our lives.
Invest most deeply in with the whole of our lives.
When it all comes down to it: That’s really our god.

Joshua would not have taken this pivotal moment in the history of Israel to demand that the people of Israel choose what god they would serve – the One True God or the gods of their ancestors or the gods of the people of the land – Joshua would not have taken this pivotal moment if Joshua did not know or at least suspect that once they had settled down in the land that they would forget all that God had done for them.

Live as if God had done nothing to bring them to their present reality.
Live for the now, keeping the past in the past.
Live thinking only of themselves.
Live believing that all that had been accomplished and is being accomplished in their lives was a result of their own effort, their own power, their own work.
Live by making themselves god or money their god or invent cute little bobble head-looking gods that nod yes every time they wanted to do something and not worry about the effect, the impact, the faithfulness of those actions.
Live and fail to concern themselves with justice, or the poor or the powerless.

Joshua would not have taken this pivotal moment in the history of the people of Israel if he did not suspect that the people could forget about all that God had done in their lives.
Forget to be thankful and to live thankful lives.
Forget God’s call to live righteously, justly, and faithfully.

Now therefore revere the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.  15Now if you are unwilling to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.

 God in Christ Jesus chose us.
And we have our own choices to make.
Will we choose to serve God with the whole of our lives, our heart, mind and soul?
Serving the Lord isn’t some vague idea that we give our assent to and then go on with living our lives any darn way we please - It is a way of being in the world that witnesses to an observant and curious people the God to which our heart clings.  

God in Christ Jesus chose us.
And we have our own choices to make.
Will we and our households choose to serve the Lord?



IF THERE IS ANY CHANGE TO THIS PLAN DUE TO SOME RADICAL CHANGE IN TS ISAAC WE WILL LEAVE A MESSAGE ON THE ANSWERING MACHING (954) 989-1903 AND POST ON FB And you can always call Pastor Keith on his cell. He will be at church regardless.
It will be windy.
It wil be wet and rainy.

So be safe.
Watch the weather conditions and be safe.
Be prepared.
8AM, 10AM, 11AM
The Rite of Healing at 8 and 11AM

Thursday, August 23, 2012

8AM   Traditional Worship in the Sanctuary

10AM             “Worship Together”  - Intentionally inter-generational and participatory; a blend of Sunday school, Family faith formation, and worship. Meets in the hall.

11AM A blend of contemporary and traditional music and liturgy
*All services include weekly communion.

Because we love any excuse to worship God, praise Jesus, throw a potluck and hang out with lots of people we truly care about....
8AM Traditional Worship in the Sanctuary
10AM “Worship Together” - Intentionally inter-generational and participatory; a blend of Sunday school, Family faith formation, and worship. Meets in the hall.
11AM A blend of contemporary and traditional music and liturgy
*All services include weekly communion.
Freinds not only welcome, but desired, expected and loved!

A special "BACK TO CHURCH" Potluck meal will follow at 12:15PM in the hall so we can eat, hang out, chat, tell stories, laugh, and admire the pictures on one another's cell phones and such.

6th-8th graders are invited to join Mrs. LaCroix for the kickoff for confirmation at 9AM in the hall.
All High School and College-age young people are invited to join Faith Lombardo for the HS+ class at 9AM in the Youth Area of the hall.

Also at the potluck....(because it is not just about us)

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The readings for August 26, 2012:

Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18

Psalm 34:15-22

The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous. (Ps. 34:15)

Ephesians 6:10-20

John 6:56-69

In some ways, the Gospel readings get more difficult with each passing Sunday this August. They're difficult in part because they seem so repetitive: another week, another set of verses on flesh and bread and feasting on what actually nourishes us. You might find yourself protesting, "O.K., O.K., I get it."

They're also difficult because some of these verses have been used and misused in a variety of ways. Consider this passage: "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father" (verse 65).

Throughout the centuries, Christians have interpreted this verse as meaning that Christianity is the only way to salvation. At its worst, this verse has been used to justify massacres and empire building, a way to de-humanize those who don't believe the way we do. What does Jesus mean for us to do with this verse?

Peter testifies that Jesus is the only way. It's one of those moments that endears Peter to later believers. He can be so obtuse (like later in the story, when he'll cut off a soldier's ear and then go on to deny knowing Jesus); and yet, he gives Jesus full support in other places. Peter's story gives solace to believers who aren't always consistent. God uses this inconsistent man to form a huge Christian community. How could we become more like Peter, more consistent over the course of our faith journeys?

We've spent the last month hearing about the importance of both physical and spiritual nourishment. As school starts, as the political campaign season goes into full swing, as the peak of hurricane season heads our way, it’s good to be reminded of the importance of nourishing both ourselves and others.

Maybe it’s time to recommit to the good nourishment patterns that we know will keep us healthier. Go to the last of the farmer’s markets and buy those glorious fruits and vegetables. Bake a batch of bread or muffins. Watch the bread rise and remind yourself of the larger Christian task of being leaven in the loaf of society.

Think of ways that you can nourish yourself spiritually so that you can be that leaven. Can you add some additional reading to your day? How about some extra prayer time?

You say you have no time? Stop watching the news: a spiritual practice that will benefit in all sorts of ways. Spend as much time in prayer as you do on Facebook. Listen to your favorite spiritual music as you go through the day’s tasks.

The world groans more and more each day. We must fortify ourselves to face the task of repairing the world. Our month of bread readings reminds us of the ways to do that. As delicious as our home-baked loaves of bread are, Jesus reminds us of the source of our true nourishment.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The readings for Sunday, August 19, 2012:

Proverbs 9:1-6

Psalm 34:9-14

Those who seek the LORD lack nothing that is good. (Ps. 34:10)

Ephesians 5:15-20

John 6:51-58

In this Sunday's Gospel, we see Jesus confounding his listeners; the more he talks, the more confused they become (and a bit revulsed by the idea of eating human flesh and drinking human blood; let's not underestimate the strangeness of Jesus' message).

We shouldn't fault the people of Jesus' time. After all, Communion can be a divisive issue even in our own time. Churches differ in how often they celebrate Communion, and denominations differ widely in what they think the Eucharist means.

I remember an incident from my own past during my first year of college. My friend, Melanie, and I had returned from a retreat where we’d had a special communion experience. We stood in a circle and communed each other. Before, I’d only had the traditional Eucharist: bread and wine given out by a church official. On retreat, it felt special to have my fellow Christians hand me the elements, which I in turn gave to the next person. Isn’t this what Martin Luther meant by the priesthood of all believers? More importantly, isn’t this what Jesus had in mind when he gave instructions during the Last Supper?

Melanie and I volunteered to be in charge of the Wednesday night campus service after we returned, and we arrived armed with bread and a jug of wine (back in 1983, when the drinking age was still 18). We didn’t create anything new; we just recycled one of the services we had experienced during the week-end retreat. All went well until we started communion. Several outraged students left.

Our campus pastor sometimes attended our Wednesday night group, but that night was one of the nights that he didn’t. We passed bread and wine that had not been consecrated by an ordained clergy member; we had said the words of consecration before we passed around the elements, but none of us had gone to seminary, or even graduated from college. Since many of the members of our group were not traditional Lutherans, this oversight slipped the notice of many of group members. Even though I am descended from a long line of Lutherans, several of whom were ministers, even though I had gone through years of Sunday School, First Communion, and Confirmation classes, I somehow didn’t get the message that communion without a minister in charge was taboo. At the very least, as our campus minister gently told me, a minister needs to have blessed the elements.

Well, this is how we learn; it became a teaching moment, and luckily my fellow college students, easily offended, were also quick to forgive. But this incident gave me insight into how this sacrament can become so divisive.

Of course, Jesus didn't intend for the sacrament to become divisive (at least not to his believers). On the contrary, Communion is designed to unite us--that's why most churches offer the sacrament as a communal practice. Unlike prayer, which is easily done in private and often silently, the Eucharist should solidify us and nourish us as a group, much the way that family meals together nourish us not only as individuals, but also as a family.

Of course, we can't leave it there. Communion should also transform us to do the work of God on earth. The surrounding lessons tell us of virtues we should strive to manifest in our lives. Our goal is to be leaven to this loaf of a world, to be the light of Christ in the world.

Again and again Jesus reminds us of the necessity of nourishing ourselves with him. Our ancestors ate manna, and they died. We can feast on the food that will bring us eternal life.

God calls us to do serious work. We must live as if the Kingdom of God has already taken over our world. To keep ourselves strong for that work we need to keep ourselves fed with good food: homemade bread and good wine, grilled fish, the words of the Bible, the words of writers who inspire us to transform both ourselves and the world, the images of people who inspire us to visions of a better world, music that can wind its way through our days, prayers that keep us connected to God, relationships that remind us that we are loved and cherished and worthy, and the sacrament of Holy Communion.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Funeral Service for


December 6, 1922 – August 7, 2012

Will take place at 11AM on Tuesday August 14, 2012
At Fred Hunters Funeral Home on Taft Street

Wordle "word cloud" based upon responses on worship slips in which people answered the question: "Describe Trinity Lutheran in a single word."

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The readings for Sunday, August 12, 2012:

1 Kings 19:4-8

Psalm 34:1-8

Taste and see that the LORD is good. (Ps. 34:8)

Ephesians 4:25—5:2

John 6:35, 41-51

There are times when I consider a career change; a career in college teaching no longer seems as secure as it once did.

But what to do next? I’ve thought of a variety of career paths, including hospice chaplain. That choice surprises those who know me best, since I have a fierce phobia of hospitals.

Lately, though, I feel like the Holy Spirit has been saying, “Yes, a hospice chaplain. I need you to do that right where you are.”

It’s been a tough few years for the people around me. Our school has had a series of lay-offs, which are tough even when our own jobs have been spared. I’ve had a friend lose her house to fire, and many friends who are facing health challenges of their own or of their family members. Hardly a week goes by without significant opportunities to minister.

Of course, living in this state of constant siege leaves me feeling a bit depleted and exhausted. There are weeks that I wish our church offered daily services. Some weeks, it seems like a small eternity until Sunday. Some weeks, I have a vision of a church with a drive-through window, where I could get an emergency Eucharist, some strength for the journey, and maybe a blessing.

Henri Nouwen spent much of his writing talking about Communion, trying to impress upon his readers how important it is. In Bread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith, he says, "The Eucharist is the sacrament by which we become one body. . . . It is becoming the living Lord, visibly present in the world" (reading for Oct. 13). In the reading for the next day, he says, "We who receive the Body of Christ become the living Christ." Nouwen argues for a mystical--yet very real--transformation: the wine and bread transform themselves into blood and body which then transforms us from ordinary sinful human into Christ.

We are hungry for that transformation, but like those people who followed Christ from shore to shore, hoping for a free meal, we often don't know what we hunger for. We want to do God's work in the world, but there's so much work to do, and we're so tired before we even get started.

Our Scriptures remind us in both the Old and New Testaments that God provides. God gives us both physical food and spiritual food. But we must be receptive. We must open our mouths. God won't chew for us.

There are days and weeks when what I do seems so insignificant. What are my words of comfort when a friend’s mother lies dying in the hospital? I solve one student’s problems, only to discover that 10 more have sprouted in its place. I can’t promise that members of my department won’t be laid off.

It’s good to return to the metaphor of bread. It’s good to think about small granules of yeast and to remember that without their activation, our dough would not be worth baking. It’s good to know that small acts can lead to great transformation further on.

It’s essential to remember that we are the leaven in this loaf that is the world. In the words of N. T. Wright: "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. Your are not restoring a great painting that's shortly going to be thrown on the fire" (Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church, page 208).

Monday, August 06, 2012

Beginning August 19th:
8AM in the Sanctuary
10AM "Worship Together" in Charter Hall
11AM in the Sanctuary

Blessing of school teachers and staff (for any and all!)
Sunday AUG 12th (10AM and 11AM)

Blessing of Backpacks!
Sunday AUG 19th 8AM, 10AM, 11AM

CUPCAKE-A-PALOOZA during coffee hours
Sunday AUG 19th
During Coffee Hours for 8AM, 10AM, 11AM services

AUG 19th 9AM- 9:40AM

1st Friday of every month 7PM beginning in SEPT
Location TBD

6th-8th Grades
Sundays at 9AM beginning SEPT 9th
Just Another Sunday At WORSHIP TOGETHER!
Sundays at 10AM in Charter Halll
"The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come." Matthew 22 (courtesy of some of our Worship Together participants!)

Saturday, August 04, 2012

SUNDAY AUG 5th at 12:15PM in Charter Hall

Final (simplified) Scoring criteria for chili, cornbread and dessert is in:
Chili: Aroma, color/appearance, taste (each category will score on a scale of 1-10 with the taste score doubled.

Cornbread/Desserts: Appearance, texture, taste (each category will score on a scale of 1-10 with the taste score doubled.)
10AM Worship Together Service
in Charter Hall
To learn the Bible story tomorrow during our "Worship Together" Service we will be doing "Freeze Frame Scenes" photos that we will then incorporate next Sunday as we spend two weeks on the Parable of the Wedding Banquet. There may be some simple costuming involved. Just saying.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Trinity Fall Worship Schedule Announced!

Beginning August 19th
(1) 8AM in the sanctuary

 (2) 10AM "Worship Together" service in Charter Hall
- this is our highly participatory inter-generational fusion of worship and learning that includes singing, signing, drama, art, Scripture, large and small group time and Holy Communion. It equips families to take faith nurture back home and spend a few minutes a day checking in on everyone's highs and lows, reading some scripture, connecting their life and God;s word, and offering prayers and blessings. This has replaced traditional Sunday school for those below 6th grade.
(3) 11AM Worship in the sanctuary
Confirmation for 6th-8th graders re-commences September 9th with Mrs. LaCroix.

The High School Plus class continues at 9AM (for now - time subject to change in the fall)

Beginning Friday September 7th 7PM - "First Fridays" Bible Study with optional inexpensive meal out in town. Location TBD. To continue the first Friday of every month. Led by Pastor Keith

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The readings for Sunday, August 5, 2012:

Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15

Psalm 78:23-29

The LORD rained down manna upon them to eat. (Ps. 78:24)

Ephesians 4:1-16

John 6:24-35

In this Gospel, we continue to see Jesus hounded by the crowds. They understand what Jesus offers: the miracle of food in an uncertain time. Jesus knows what they're up to. Jesus understands what they seek. But Jesus also knows that they need more than just a meal's worth of food.

At one point, the crowds ask him for a sign. I have a vision of Jesus sighing and wondering what more he can do. He’s multiplied food. He’s offered them parables and teachings. He’s healed the sick. What more do they want?

He also understands their deep hunger and yearning. They mention Moses, which leads me to believe that some of them miss the deep connection their ancestors had with God. Perhaps they thought it was easier in the desert, where they just went where God led them and ate the food God gave them. Perhaps they grow weary of the distractions of modern life, the diversions offered by Greek and Roman culture. They want to know where they can get some modern-day manna.

We might feel the same way.

Some of us might be willing to do rigorous tasks to get this spiritual nourishment, but Jesus reminds us that we simply need to turn to the bread that sustains us, rather than chasing after bread that cannot nourish. He says, "Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal" (John 6:27).

We might sigh heavily, thinking of our ever-multiplying to-do lists, the increasing tasks we must do simply to keep body and soul together. We might wonder how we can find time for one more obligation.

Again and again in the Bible, we see God, who simply wants to be with us. We don’t have to transform ourselves into spiritual superheroes. God will be content to watch the Olympics with us, to have fun with whatever creative play dates we’ve arranged with our children or our friends, to eat watermelon at picnics with us.

The Bible reminds us that God even wants to be with us during the not-so-fun times. When we’re stuck at work, eating microwave popcorn instead of dinner again, God wants to be there. When we’re trapped in traffic, God doesn’t mind commuting with us. When we’re so immersed in child rearing that we wonder if we’ll ever get to talk about adult topics again, God wants that experience too. When we’re feeling lost and lonely, God is willing to endure that too. When we don’t know how we’re going to put food on the table, God will help us sort that out.

The sustaining bread of life is right there, always ready, always fragrant and nourishing. The enduring food is ready to be shared, ready to be multiplied. The table is ready; come and eat.