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...

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Meditation on This Sunday's Narrative Lectionary

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The Narrative Lectionary readings for Sunday, March 3, 2013:

Luke 15:1-32

optional reading: Psalm 119:167-176 or 119:176

Lost sheep (1 of 99), lost coin (1 of 10), and lost son (1 of 2): these parables might be some of the most famous parables, especially the parable of the Prodigal Son. Let's consider what Christ is trying to teach us about the quality of being lost and the quality of being found.

Some will preach the parable of the Prodigal Son as being about repentence, but when we look at it as part of a series of parables, it's less clear that repentence is the point. After all, the coin doesn't have to do anything to be found; it just sits there. The sheep might repent, but if you've ever tried to wrangle sheep, you know that repentence is not a sheeply quality. And that Prodigal Son: is he really sorrowful about his actions? If he hadn't descended to such a state of poverty, would he have had his epiphany?

We could look at these parables as tales of precious resources lost and then found. The first two parables revolve around an economic resource: a sheep and a coin. In some ways, the metaphor might be lost on modern readers. I've heard more than one reader talk about how ridiculous it is to get so excited over a lost coin.

But imagine a modern spin: the person who loses 1/3 of a retirement portfolio, but it is restored before the golden years descend. Or perhaps the person who was facing foreclosure, but home values rebound and the mortgage can be refinanced. Rescued from desperate economic circumstances, would we not rejoice?

The parable of the Prodigal Son is more familiar, but in our familiarity, we lose some of the point. The man really has two lost sons, the one who goes off to squander his fortune and the one who stays behind to behave correctly. We see his grudging behavior at the end of the story; had he been this resentful all along? We don't know whether the elder son changes his mind and joins the party. The story ends with the father explaining his joy.

We understand the joy of children returned to us, but I've wondered about what happens next. Has the second son really learned a lesson? Does he destroy the family business? Can the elder son work through his pain? Does the father wake in the middle of the night and worry?

We know that God rejoices when we return, even as God must know that we will disappoint again. We know that if we're lost, God will look under every shadow for us. We know that God will go to great lengths to rescue us, even taking on human form and suffering crucifixion.

Many of us will never experience that feeling of being completely lost and then redeemed. These parables have a lesson for us too. We could be grateful that we've never been in the pig pen, considering eating food too horrible for human consumption. The Parable of the Prodigal Son makes clear that if we can't exercise gratitude and joy, we're just as lost as the starving guy who eyes the swine food.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A letter from Christine Leon-Laurent
(the daughter of Forrest and Elaine Fritz)
***Please note copies of the Registration Flier will be available in the narthex and office***
"I want to share with all of you about a 5k fundraiser that I am organizing for Child Abuse Awareness Month on Saturday, April 6th.   As you all may or may not know I had been a Guardian ad Litem for a few years. A Guardian ad Litem is an advocate in the court system for victims of abuse and neglect. The voice for the victims. I have always been committed to making a difference and empowering victims of abuse.
I immediately realized upon completing the Landmark Forum that Landmark is the most empowering program I have ever encountered and it is why I am so passionate about it. I see if the whole world communicated and participated in life in the way we are trained and developed in Landmark Education there would be no violence of abuse. It just would not happen. I have witnessed and been a part of people completing the past where they were abused. or people reaching out and making right when they were the abusers. It empowers people in whatever they are up to and allows them to be their fullest expression of themselves. To be the really big people they really are without constraints.
But I am also now involved with the non profit organization LiFE Abundantly Free which is a part of the Christian Coalition Against Domestic Abuse. The entire board is composed of therapists and counselors who are committed to providing services to all victims of domestic violence, child abuse, and elderly abuse. They also provide therapy to the abusers to break the cycle. I wanted to be able to contribute and make a difference in their ministry but am not a therapist.. I will leave that to them. I saw the best way I could impact the people they are reaching out to would be to raise funds for their organization. Hence the 5k.
So I would love it if my family could be a part of the event in whatever way you see that you would like to contribute. Walking or running in the event. Volunteering during the event. Helping in the planning in advance. Or just being there to support it and celebrate it as a family. Whatever way you see you would want to participate.
I love you all and look forward to seeing you hopefully at the 5k."
 Christine Leon-Laurent

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wed. starting at 6:30 pm
Thurs. starting at 9:30 am
Fri starting at 9:30 am
SATURDAY clean up starts at 2 pm ....we need all the help we can get.

Monday, February 25, 2013


Woman, behold your son: behold your mother
(John 19:26-27).
The Word of Relationship

The bond between mother and son,
no greater mystery,
written or read,
we stand on the outside observing the subtlety of fathomless glances,
smiles without names,
measuring, taking photographs, building memories,puzzling,
taking no step closer than where our feet are planted,
for there the road ends;
We, the outsiders to their love.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

At http://sevenlastwordsforlent.blogspot.com/
Woman, behold your son: behold your mother
(John 19:26-27).
The Word of Relationship.
Photos? Reflections?
What would you like to share this week

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise
(Luke 23:43).
(photo courtesy of Pastor Keith)

Keep the sticks and pebbles,
but what to leave behind?
The rummage sale of our life, moving day,
the ultimate downsizing, right-sizing, death.
Death, life.
Sifting through the memories,
Tossing some here and there,
The trash can overflowing.
Gentle with some, others confetti upon the floor,
turning the toilet into post-modern art:
The teasing, being small with big feet.
All those mistakes. Playing with matches.
Sneaking coffee. Every lie.
Wondering about the number of bags we get to take for free.
Having loved, loved deeply, loved passionately,
touches and softness ,
Joy, the warmth of hands held,
Long walks and postcard sunsets
Meals, kisses, breaths.
Do they have those baggage carts
In Paradise?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Meditation on This Sunday's Narrative Lectionary

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The readings for Sunday, February 24, 2013:

Luke 13:1-9, 31-35

optional reading: Psalm 122 or 122:6

I don't have much history with sermons that implore us to repent. I grew up as a good Lutheran girl and learned that God has already forgiven me. I struggled with the concept of grace; if I'm already forgiven, why should I be good?

I don't want to wrestle with that particular question this morning. Whole fields of Philosophy and Literature and Psychology and Sociology can give us a wide variety of answers. No, I want to think about this issue of turning around and returning, verbs which are at the root of the word "repent."

In many passages, Jesus implores his listeners to leave the path that they're on and to choose activities that will lead to new life. The prophets that come before and after Jesus have trumpeted a similar message. The end of the Narrative Lectionary reading for this week shows that Jesus knows that his listeners will not pay him attention any more than they did the prophets of old.

But Jesus is clear: repent we must. Jesus didn't come to earth to get us into Heaven after we die. Jesus came to earth to show us how to live so that we create the Kingdom of God right here on earth now.

Those of us who cling to the concept of grace like to think that we have plenty of time. Sure, we'll take care of our neighbor. But first, we've got some movies to watch. We'll help feed the poor--right after we get back from our vacation. We've got a grueling work schedule, so maybe we can just arrange for our credit card to automatically send money to Lutheran World Relief.

It might help us to think about that fig tree that gets a reprieve. The fig tree doesn't get an indefinite amount of time to bear fruit.

I'm not about to suggest that God will chop us down and send us to the flames of hell. Frankly, God doesn't have to do that. We marinate in the bad choices that we've made, and that's punishment enough.

But the parable of the fig tree suggests ways out of our barrenness. We could think of pruning. What in our lives needs to be pruned so that we can bear good fruit? We could start with a bad habit or two keeping us from the life God wants us to have and build from there.

Or think of fertilizer. What would enrich the soil of our lives? More prayer, more inspiring reading, stopping each day to take a real break for a meal together: the list is endless. Choose one and begin to enrich the soil in which you're planted.

Like ancient people, we kill the prophets of God in all sorts of ways. We like to think that we'd have recognized Jesus had he appeared to us, but would we? Now is a good time to tend the fig tree lives so that we can truly repent and choose the way of Jesus.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


The synod is flying me to Tampa in the morning for a meeting of the Synod Council and Synod Council Executive Committe (I am a member of both) which is overseeing the planning of the upcoming bishop's election here in the Florida-Bahamas Synod that will be taking place in just a couple of months. As such I will not be able to attend the fundraiser, though I will be well represented by Piper and Christian and two pans of stuffed shells.

Please receive my thanks for the awesome job and incredibly generosity that I have been blessed to witness these past months to assist Sam and Dan in moving their life forward.

Trinity has been and remains a faith community with an incredible capacity to embody the faith with an effusive spirit of grace.

You folks are amazing!

Ever in Christ
Pastor Keith

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Are you a Thrivent Financial for Lutherans member who has yet
to designate their Thrivent Choice dollars? Consider Designating Trinity Lutheran Church, Pembroke Pines! https://www.thrivent.com/thriventchoice/

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise
(Luke 23:43).

SUNDAY'S SERMON on LUKE 10:25-37  The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Let’s talk about life. Your life, my life, the life of Christians.
But as we do, let’s not be abstract about it, all warm and fuzzy.
Instead, let’s dig deeper, shall we?
And as we go deeper, let us shape our conversation around a single idea:
The key teachings that guide and inform the way we read the Bible and live the Christian life.

The key teachings that guide and inform the way we read the Bible and live the Christian life.

As Christians who seek to listen to Jesus, we find in Scripture, according to Jesus, two things that get us to the heart of the matter:  
The first of these two things has itself two parts: Love the Lord Your God with all of your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself.

Love God and love neighbor.

And the second is commanded by Jesus near the very end of his ministry, during his last time of teaching on what we call Maundy Thursday, surrounded by his disciples:
Love one another as I have loved you.
Love one another as I have loved you.

Two key teachings to guide and inform our reading of Scripture and our following of Jesus in the world, our discipleship, our life. Oh, I am sure we could come up with others, but which of them receive the same importance, the same priority, the same emphasis as spoken by and lived out by Jesus? None.

Two key teachings: The inseparable and intertwined love of God and neighbor and that love refined and defined by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Now onto the text, from the Gospel of Luke, the man, the expert in the Law who tested Jesus, let’s consider his question:

Who, exactly, is my neighbor?
Who exactly is my neighbor?

It would not be unusual in Jesus’ day for one to answer that question in terms of one’s immediate and extended family. All fitting in a nice, neat circle. Easy to tell who is in and who is outside the circle.  Neighbor and not neighbor. Two simple categories of people.

Jesus, it appears, anticipates this. The idea that people would typically answer the question that way – who is and is not my neighbor. Who is inside and who is outside the circle.  Sorting people this way.

So Jesus tells a parable, a story, to invite the man to see the world as God sees it.

And I imagine we understand the importance of this: to see the world as God sees it.

So as we dive into the story of the “Good Samaritan” and we may recall that Jesus has just tried to visit the Samaritans but they rejected his visit – snubbed him and in the process angering James and John, those impetuous disciples, who asked for permission to rain fire from heaven down upon those thankless Samaritans.
Jesus instead rebuked them, the disciples that is, not the Samaritans.
Nonetheless, Samaritans find their way into Jesus’ parable, and surprise, surprise, as the hero!

Now the Samaritans were despised by Jews for the Samaritans were a mix of people who failed to worship God in the correct way, at the correct place.  In the parable a guy was beaten, robbed and left for dead. A priest walks by and fearing contamination (for there were Jewish laws that forbade touching a dead body or touching blood). Then a Levite, another religious servant of God, walks by giving the wounded man a wide berth, again fearing the same laws.  Finally, a Samaritan is walking along. One of those despised Samaritans. And he tends to the man’s wounds and takes him to an inn where he pays for his care and even offers to pay for future care, whatever is needed.  For him, one supposes, the command to love, to love God made manifest in love for neighbor overwhelms any other law, worry or concern.

And Jesus finishes by asking the expert in the law a simple question: Which of these three proved to be a neighbor to the man attacked by the robbers?
The one (notice that the law expert does not say the Samaritan, he just can’t say it, can’t let that world roll off of his tongue) the one, he says, who showed him mercy.

This, my friends, completely messes up the circle of who is in and who is out.
See now he can’t so easily separate people by neighbor and not neighbor.
Because now a neighbor is one who shows mercy.
It is about action, what one does. How one loves God by loving neighbor, the two loves intertwined.

“Go and do likewise” Jesus says.
Go and be a neighbor.
Don’t worry about who is and isn’t your neighbor – just go be a neighbor.
The circle then gets so big that it breaks, falls apart Becomes useless. Disappears.

When we love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind and our neighbor as ourselves, when we define that love by the love the Jesus shows us, when those become the key teachings that guide our life, inform our way of being and living in the world, imagine what becomes possible for us. How it will change us, truly change us and the way that we relate to one another and every other in the world.  How much more richly and deeply people will encounter the crucified and risen Christ in our words, our actions, our relationships.  And likewise, we experience Christ in the other through such encounters.

But this comes at a cost. Can you see it?

When we love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind and our neighbor as ourselves, when we define that love by the love the Jesus showed us, when those become the key teachings that guide our life, inform our way of being and living in the world, this means that other scripture, other teachings while important, are not as important, cannot occupy the same place. All Scripture is not of equal importance and when for example we believe that our love of God as expressed by following a particular passage of scripture gets in the way of our loving of our neighbor  that should grab our attention and shout at us that something is wrong. Seriously wrong.

Our loving of our Lord takes shape in our love of neighbor.

We no longer have permission to grab a piece of scripture that suits us and our cause and use it in such a way that fails to love neighbor.  Yet Christians are guilty of this all the time and our Christian witness in the world suffers because of it. Suffers deeply.

When we love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind and our neighbor as ourselves, when we define that love by the love the Jesus shows us, when those become the key teachings that guide our life, inform our way of being and living in the world, imagine what becomes possible for us.  Amen.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Meditation on this Sunday's Narrative Lectionary

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The Narrative Lectionary readings for Sunday, February 16, 2013:

Luke 10:25-42

Optional reading: Psalm 15 or 15:1

Many of us are probably familiar with both stories that are presented in today's Narrative Lectionary: the parable of the Good Samaritan who stops to help the brutalized traveler after religious authorities have refused to help and the story of the two sisters, Mary and Martha, one of whom sits with Jesus and the other who bustles around the house doing chores and resenting the fact that no one helps.

Yes, we've read them separately many times, but how different to read them together!

I read the story of the Good Samaritan in many ways, but the one I come back to most regularly sees it as a lesson about the importance of our actions matching our mouths. Which of the characters in the story of the beaten and robbed traveler shows love to the neighbor? The one who stopped to help. At first read, it's a story that seems clearly to instruct us to show love by our actions, not by yakking about how much we love the world.

But then comes the story of Mary and Martha. It's hard not to sympathize with Martha, the sister who understands the importance of getting the daily chores done--and there's a guest, who must be fed! She hustles and bustles and grows increasingly resentful of all these people who ARE NOT HELPING.

Based on our reading of the Good Samaritan, we might expect Jesus to tell Mary to help her sister. But instead, Jesus gives us an opposite instruction: it is good to sit with Jesus.

Should we see the pairing of these stories as instruction about which work is important and which is not? Are we being instructed on the true nature of hospitality?

Most of us will never be faced with such extreme choices, but we like to think that we would behave appropriately. But as we think about our daily lives, we see how often we take the safe path.

The safe path takes us away from the bleeding stranger. The safe path has us doing our household chores instead of paying close attention to God. Jesus came to show us that we should leave the safe path.

The life of Jesus also warns us that by leaving the safe path, we may end up broken and bleeding ourselves. But Jesus shows us that redemption can come from this kind of suffering.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

by Pastor Keith
New posts almost daily
This week: Forgiveness
In photos, verse, anmd video

How have you experienced forgiveness in your life?
How does forgiving someone unbind you, set you free, change you?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

7AM Brief Service of Imposition of Ashes
Noon Imposition of Ashes with Holy Communion
6PM-7:30PM Pancecake Supper $3.50 per person/MAX $12 per family
7PM Pre-Service Music by the Trinity Worship Choir
7:30PM Imposition of Ashes with Holy Communion, Readings, Choir, Strings, and Soloists

Just so folks are clear - we would LOVE to have you actively participate in this Lenten reflection opportunity. As couples, families or with your friends take the "Word" for the week and use its corresponding scripture in your "Faith Five" time by sharing your highs and lows for the week, reading the scripture, seeking connections between your highs and lows and the text, praying for each other and offering a simple blessing for the coming days. Or individually or with others focus on the "Word" for the week and take a photo that captures the essence of it or journal your thoughts or create a 2D or 3D art project that does the same. Whatever you are willing to share with me, share away. Post it, email it, bring your creations into for us to display. If you are private, use your reflections privately  - it is all good!

The Schedule:
Week of FEB 11th  Father forgive them, for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34).
Week of FEB 18th Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43).

Week of FEB 25th Woman, behold your son: behold your mother (John 19:26-27).

Week of MAR 4th My God, My God, why have you forsaken me (Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34).

Week of MAR 11th  I thirst (John 19:28).

Week of MAR 18th  It is finished (John 19:30).

 Week of MAR 25th  Father, into your hands I commit my spirit (Luke 23:46).

Extra Opportunity:
Maundy Thursday MAR 28th
Love one another as I have loved you  (John 13:34)

Easter MAR 31st
I have seen the Lord! (John 20:18)
Throughout Lent I have taken on for my own discipline to reflect in words and through photography the seven last words (or sayings) of Jesus from the cross. If you want to join me for the journey, here is the link. The first post on forgiveness is up a day early. http://sevenlastwordsforlent.blogspot.com/

I also invite you to connect your own thoughts and photos with the "Seven Last Words," and if you are willing to share these with me I hope to use them in various ways for Holy Week and Easter.
Pastor Keith

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Here is the recipe that was used for making the beignets today
(since folks were asking)
1 package active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (100 to 115 degrees F)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
7 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
Oil for deep frying
Confectioners' sugar for dusting (or
burying, depending on taste)
Put the warm water into a large bowl, then sprinkle in the yeast and a couple teaspoons of the sugar and stir until thoroughly dissolved. Let proof for 10 minutes.
Add the rest of the sugar, salt, eggs, and evaporated milk. Gradually stir in 4 cups of the flour and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and thoroughly blended. Beat in the shortening, then add the remaining flour, about 1/3 cup at a time, beating it in with a spoon until it becomes too stiff to stir, then working in the rest with your hands. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight in a greased bowl.
Roll the dough out onto a floured board or marble pastry surface to a thickness of 1/8 inch, then cut it into rectangles 2 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches with a sharp knife.
Heat the oil in a deep fryer to 360 degrees F. Fry the beignets about 3 or 4 at a time until they are puffed out and golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per batch. Turn them over in the oil with tongs once or twice to get them evenly brown, since they rise to the surface of the oil as soon as they begin to puff out. Drain each batch, place on a platter lined with several layers of paper towels, and keep warm in a 200 degrees F oven until they're all done.
Serve 3 beignets per person, sprinkling heavily with powdered sugar, and serve hot with cafe au lait.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Justice Ministry Valentine's Fundraiser THIS Sunday

This Sunday after the second service, the Justice Ministry Team will be selling goodies for Valentine's Day.  These are yummy treats that make great Valentine's Day gifts for those you love.  We will be in the hall.  Come join us, support the work of justice and put a smile on your special someone's face.  Thanks for your support.
SUNDAY - IS FAT TUESDAY (early) Come out for a little Mardi Gras food and bead necklaces in the fellowship hall at 9:15AM and 12:15PM. Pastor Keith is frying up and sugaring some beignets. Heck, you could enjoy worship with four couples renewing their wedding vows, an adult baptism, the blessing of our Justice Ministry Team members and a sermon on something or other to do with a five syllable  churchy word: "Transfiguration" which promises to be fun and meaningful!

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Meditation on This Sunday's Narrative Lectionary

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The readings for Sunday, February 10, 2013:

Luke 9:28-45

optional text: Psalm 36:5-10 or 36:9

Here we are, the final Sunday before Lent begins. Transfiguration Sunday gives us a chance to wrestle with an essential question: who is this Christ? Why worship this guy?

Do we worship Christ because of his glory? The mystical elements of Transfiguration Sunday dazzle us and threaten to overshadow the rest of the story. What a magnificent tale! Moses and Elijah appear and along with Christ, they are transformed into glowing creatures. A voice booms down reminding us of Christ's chosen and elevated status.

It's easy to understand Peter's response: we'll stay on the mountain, we'll build booths! It's easy to understand why the disciples stay quiet about this mystical experience.

Jesus then heals a child; he's a success where his disciples have failed.

Do we worship God in the hopes of harnessing this kind of transfiguring power? It's easy to understand this impulse. But the rest of the lesson for today warns us against this impulse.

Jesus know that he's on a collision course with the powers that rule the world. The disciples argue about who is greatest, and Jesus reminds him of the nature of his ministry: to be least.

For those of us who worship Christ because we want transfiguration, it's important to remember what kind of transfiguration we're going to get. We're not likely to get worldly power because we're Christians--in fact, it will be just the opposite.

Will we get healing? Maybe. Will we be creatures that glow with an otherworldly light? Metaphorically. Can we charge admission and get rich from our spiritual beliefs? Go back and reread the Gospels, and see what Jesus has to say about wealth.

Ah, Transfiguration Sunday which leads us to Mardi Gras, a few last hurrahs before the serious season of Lent, that season of ash and penitence. Let us stay here in this glow. But let us not forget the path before us, the path that brings us off the mountain and into service.

Monday, February 04, 2013

The deadline is Wednesday morning to let us know :)

Saturday, February 02, 2013

"Today You will Be With Me in Paradise"
For the past several years we have done a photography project for Lent - invited folks to submit digital photographs, the higher the resolution the better,since we love to enlarge for printing. We have opened up the project to any and all who might be interested and will include your name with date of when it was taken and/or location, if known/provided. The deal is that they have to be your photo...s only, not taken by someone else. They need to be emailed to me at drpk@earthlink.net.

The theme this year is the "Seven last words of Jesus" - we need you to indicate which of the "Seven Last Words" - which are verses actually - with which you are associating your photo. They are listed below. Please reply to this post or msg me if you have any questions. Trying to take a photo that reflects one of these sayings or a series of photos that encompass many or all of them would be a cool Lenten discipline for individuals, couples, or families :)

Seven sayings
The seven sayings form part of a Christian meditation that is often used during Lent, Holy Week and Good Friday. The traditional order of the sayings is:
1. Father forgive them, for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34).
2. Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43).
3. Woman, behold your son: behold your mother (John 19:26-27).
4. My God, My God, why have you forsaken me, (Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34).
5. I thirst (John 19:28).
6. It is finished (John 19:30).
7. Father, into your hands I commit my spirit (Luke 23:46).
Thanks and blessings
Pastor Keith