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...

Saturday, March 30, 2013

MAR 31st at Trinity Lutheran Church, Pembroke Pines, FL 

6:30AM Outdoor Sunrise Candlelight Service 
- w/ Holy Communion (In the Butterfly Garden)

7:30AM to 10AM Easter Morning Breakfast
- $3.50 per person/max $12 per family

9:30AM Family Service with Communion
- A Family Friendly, highly interactive, Cross-Generational service in which together we will tell the greatest story ever!

10:45AM Children’s Easter Egg Hunt
- Meet in front of Charter Hall

11AM Easter Cantata Service with Holy Communion
- a festive Easter service featuring the Trinity Worship Choir, Trinity Hand Chimes, a sermon by Pastor Keith, the singing of the Hallelujah Chorus, and more

Thursday, March 28, 2013

for Holy Week
by Pastor Keith

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Meditation for Easter Sunday

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The Narrative Lectionary readings for Sunday, March 31, 2013:

Luke 24:1-16

Optional reading: Psalm 118:17, 21-24 or 118:22

Our Lenten journey comes to an end with our arrival at Easter. But what do we do if our mood has not caught up? How do we celebrate Easter when we still have the taste of ashes in our mouth?

You may find the words of the men in the glowing clothes resonating: “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” Maybe you feel somewhat tomb-bound yourself. Maybe you’ve resisted, but you still find yourself having a morose March, full of melancholy, a spring of sadness instead of new growth. You see the snow falling across the country, winter invading a new season, and you can relate.

It’s good to remember that the miracle of Easter involves actions done to Jesus, that old definition of passion.

Part of my Lenten discipline has been to read my way through Show Me the Way: Readings for Each Day of Lent by Henri J. M. Nouwen, and he has this interesting discussion of the passion of Christ and its relevance for us: “It is important for me to realize that Jesus fulfills his mission not by what he does, but by what is done to him. Just as with everyone else, most of my life is determined by what is done to me and thus is passion. And because most of my life is passion, things being done to me, only small parts of my life are determined by what I think, say, or do. I am inclined to protest against this and to want all to be action, originated by me. But the truth is that my passion is a much greater part of my life than my action” (p. 125, originally part of The Road to Daybreak).

If resurrection can come out of passion, then maybe I can shift my attitude towards the passions that I suffer. God can take something most horrific and turn it into redemption. And happily, my moroseness is not caused by anything horrible.

In some ways, that’s what makes melancholy difficult. It’s easy to understand why I feel Ash Wednesday intruding on my Easter during years when I’ve watched loved ones struggle with disease, in years when hurricanes have ravaged the landscape, in years of job loss. It’s harder to understand my emotional landscape when I can’t point to much that’s specific that’s making me blue.

If we've heard the Easter story and the Holy Week stories again and again, we tend to forget the miraculous nature of them. Or maybe we’re just subdued, too shy or scared to run out of our gardens to tell everyone else what we've seen, what we know.

Now is a good time to remember the promise of Easter: death will not have the final word. Even if we’re feeling beaten down by sorrow, like the women who came to the tomb to dress the body, we have the promise given to them too. We are not the dead. We will not live forever in the tomb.

Remember we are a Resurrection People. Commit yourself to new life. Celebrate the miracles.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


 SUN APRIL 7th at 12:16PM
 ALL OF THOSE INTERESTING IN VOLUNTEERING FOR VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL IN ANY CAPACITY ARE INVITED TO PLEASE ATTEND. There will be an opportunity to sign up for the various openings and review the cool stuff already in the works for VBS.
 Director is Tina Hines.
Vacation Bible School will take place at Trinity Lutheran, Monday June 24th through Friday June 28th in the evenings

Monday, March 25, 2013

MAR 29th at Trinity Lutheran Church, Pembroke Pines, FL
Traditional Tenebrae Service of Readings and Shadows with Procession and Adoration of the Cross

Meditations in word, music, and reflection upon the “Seven L...ast Words” of Jesus from the cross concluding with the Procession and Adoration of the Cross. Traditional Candle extinguising after each reading. Trinity Choir, soloists, and congregation hymns

 MAR 28th
Trinity Lutheran Church, Pembroke Pines, FL

Traditional Maundy Thursday with hand/foot washing and Holy Communion

7:30PM Meditations in word, music, and action upon Jesus’ commandment to love. Service concludes with Holy Communion and the Stripping of the Altar


6:30AM Outdoor Sunrise Candlelight Service
- w/ Holy Communion (In the Butterfly Garden)

7:30AM to 10AM Easter Morning Breakfast
- $3.50 per person/max $12 per family

9:30AM Family Service with Communion
- A Family Friendly, highly interactive, Cross-Generational service in which together we will tell the greatest story ever!
10:45AM Children’s Easter Egg Hunt
- Meet in front of Charter Hall

11AM Easter Cantata Service with Holy Communion
- a festive Easter service featuring the Trinity Worship Choir, Trinity Hand Chimes, a sermon by Pastor Keith, the singing of the Hallelujah Chorus, and more!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Piper and I enjoyed working in the Trinity Butterfly Garden this morning, but we are still looking for people who could spare or an hour or so this week to mulch (we supply), plant a few more plants (we supply), or weed. Please let me know so that I can plan accordingly.
Pastor Keith 


6:30AM Outdoor Sunrise Candlelight Service
-      w/ Holy Communion (In the Butterfly Garden)
7:30AM to 10AM Easter Morning Breakfast
- $3.50 per person/max $12 per family

9:30AM Family Service with Communion
-      A Family Friendly, highly interactive, Cross-Generational service in which together we will tell the greatest story ever!

10:45AM       Children’s Easter Egg Hunt
-      Meet in front of Charter Hall

11AM     Easter Cantata Service with Holy Communion
a  festive Easter service featuring the Trinity Worship Choir, Trinity Hand Chimes, a sermon by Pastor Keith, the singing of the Hallelujah Chorus, and more! 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

The Narrative Lectionary readings for March 24, 2013:

Luke 19:29-44

Optional Reading: Psalm 118:19-23 or 118:20

If you didn't already know the story of Jesus inside and out, you might wonder if today's lessons are an early April Fool's joke. Here is the Incarnation of God, and look how the people treat God. We get the whole Passion Week story in today's readings. It's tempting to drift off, especially for those of us who will return to church on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. But stay awake. Pay attention. Try to hear it again, as if for the first time.

Jesus continues to teach the same lesson as he has been teaching his whole life: it is better to serve. If we weren't familiar with the story, we might wonder at its strangeness. We make ourselves better by humbling ourselves? We might hear the echo of other Gospels: Jesus washing the feet of the disciples, Jesus riding through Jerusalem on a donkey. Jesus has sent out the disciples with nothing--and they want for nothing. There's a lesson here for our possession-crazed culture. Empty yourself, so you can find what's essential.

One of my favorite images of Jesus is this scene of him praying that the cup be lifted from him. How often have I prayed that same prayer? How often have I learned what I needed to learn when the cup was not lifted? It is this scene that shows Jesus at his most human--that yearning to avoid great suffering.

Here we see Jesus moving through varying ruling branches of his society: the church, the government, the masses of people. One day they're on your side, the next day they're not. Things haven't really changed all that much, have they? Here, too, Jesus makes it clear what following him will mean for our earthly life. Marcus Borg calls Jesus "what can be seen of God in a human life" (Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary, page 7). In other words, Jesus shows us our highest potential as humans, what we can strive for, what we can reasonably expect to accomplish in our own lives--and it won't necessarily be greatness in the way that earthly life defines greatness: who gets to sit at which position of power and authority. According to this way of thinking, we can't let ourselves off the hook by saying, "Oh, but Jesus was divine, so what was expected of him would be different than what would be expected of me."

No, Jesus came to show us how to live a life for which we yearn. And how do we do that? By serving others. By sacrifice, perhaps the ultimate sacrifice of our lives, but certainly of our time and our treasure.

Sacrifice. It's such a grim sounding word. And yet, think of the times when you've felt most at peace, most like you were fulfilling your destiny. Those were probably some times of sacrifice. We finish an academic degree, which requires much sacrifice of time and money, and we get an incredible amount of joy. We weather tough times in our personal relationships. Any long-term relationship demands some sacrifice of ourselves. We can't always put ourselves first and expect people to stick around for that.

I've met (or read the books of) people who have made even deeper sacrifices, people who have formed intentional communities to better serve the poor and outcast. Those communities have made a deep and lasting impression on me, so much so that I spend a great deal of time yearning to return, wondering if I, too, could make that commitment. Those communities, like Sojourners in Washington, DC, or Jubilee Partners in Comer, GA, seem filled with peace and purpose. One senses God's presence there, in a way that one doesn't ordinarily in regular life, like, say, when stuck in rush hour traffic. These people in intentional Christian communities seem to be living a life most like Christ's. And though they may lack for things that our Capitalist culture tells us we NEED to have, like the latest electronic gizmos or speedy Internet access or health insurance or meat on the table for every meal, they seem to have found a way to fill the yearnings that many of us feel in our souls.

When we feel these yearnings for something more, many of us turn to food or exercise of Internet wanderings or alcohol. What would happen if we turned towards God?

Soon Easter will be just a hazy dream, and we'll have to return to life in ordinary time. We'll have forgotten about the story of Christ's passion and returned to focus on our own passions. But Christ calls us out of ourselves, to focus on the suffering of others. Paradoxically, here is where we will find our deepest joy, by serving others.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


We had our 20,000th page view on Pastor Keith's Fridgenotes this evening!

We need to bake a cake!  
THE PARSONAGE PHONE NUMBER 954 981 7174 will no longer work after SUN MARCH 24th.
Please contact Pastor Keith on his cell phone instead. That number is available in the office and on the office answering machine.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Word of Reunion

Father, Into your hands I commit my spirit
Luke 23:46

(photo by Pastor Keith)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Do you have a picture or reflection that you would like to add to
The Seven Last Words Week Six

 THE SIXTH WORD The Word of Reunion
Father, into your hands I commit my spirit
(Luke 23:46)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pastor Keith's sermon today  -
Whose eyes do you see others through?


Friday, March 15, 2013

Sunday 8AM and 11AM
Prayers, laying on of hands, anointing.
Pleas join us!

Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed;
... save me, and I shall be saved;
for you are my praise.
Jeremiah 17:14

Thursday, March 14, 2013

BOLD Justice Nehemiah Action THIS Monday Night

Here we are just 4 days away from standing BOLD for justice this Monday night.  This is our chance to give a few hours of our time to show elementary school students who can't read that we haven't forgotten about them.  That we want them to be all that God has intended for them to be.  And to show our unemployed brothers and sisters that we support them and are urging our county commissioners to open more jobs to them.  Please let us know if you need a ride.  And please consider bringing others with you.  Remember the more people we have in attendance, the more our elected officials will listen to us.  Thank you for supporting this important ministry!

The Nehemiah Action Assembly
Monday, March 18, 2013
7:30pm (registration begins at 6:45pm)
Dillard High School Gymnasium
2501 NW 11th Street, Ft Lauderdale, FL  33311
Enter the parking lot off of 27th Ave

"You shall not pervert the justice due to your poor in their lawsuits." - Exodus 23:6

Meditation on This Week's Narrative Lectionary

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The Narrative Lectionary readings for Sunday, March 17, 2013:

Luke 18:31-19:10

Optional Reading: Psalm 84:1-4, 10-12 or 84:10

Last week's reading presented the rich man who was blind in so many ways that Lazarus was not. This week's readings also revolve around blind people.

Perhaps the most surprising blind people in today's readings are the twelve disciples. Can they really not understand the forces that Jesus has set into motion? A large part of me understands that they don't comprehend Christ's mission, but can they really not see that the actions of Jesus put him on a collision course with societal institutions?

After all, the Romans were not reserved at all when it came to punishing criminals. Likewise, the regional rulers chosen by Rome, men like Herod and Pilate, were brutal. Crucifixion was not uncommon--and other methods of capital punishment were a regular fact of life too. Life in a Roman outpost was harsh, especially for those groups that were lower on the social spectrum, as Christ and his followers were.

But the disciples cannot see. Are they willingly blind? Can they just not cope with what's coming, and thus they live in a delusional state?

Contrast the twelve to the one blind man, the man who can't see with his physical eyes. Nonetheless, he recognizes Jesus--and as a reward, he receives physical vision to go with his spiritual vision.

And then, there is Zacchaeus, the man who is so short that he cannot see Jesus, even though his eyes are working perfectly fine. So, he climbs up a tree to get some perspective.

In this story, we get to see Jesus act in ways that have set him on that collision course with the authorities. Time after time, Jesus turns away from the rich and the powerful, as he heals the sick (often in violation of the purity laws) and invites himself to dinner at the homes of the outcast and lowly.

Christ's acceptance changes Zacchaeus, so that he can see spiritually as well as physically. He vows to give half of his goods to the poor, and to all whom he had defrauded, he'll repay them four times over.

In a Sunday of stories that presents so many blind people, even those closest to Jesus, it's good to reflect on our own blindness. Do we really understand the mission of Jesus, or are we blind, just like the disciples? Are we willing to invite Christ into the center of our lives?

How big a tree will we climb if it means we can meet Jesus?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Join Dr. Rich and friends for an afternoon of exploring how the FAITH5™ can transform your church, one family at a time. In four hours Rich will give you step-by-step strategies to involve parents in family ministry from cradle to graduation. “We’re looking for people with a passion for redesigning family ministry into families DOING ministry,” says Rich. “Every week in every church and every night in every home.”

1:00 THE FAITH 5™: Rethinking Family Ministry as Families DOING Ministry Every Night in Every Home
2:30 Parenting, Family Development and the FAITH5™
3:00 Children’s Ministry and the FAITH5™
3:30 Youth Ministry and the FAITH5™
4:00 Cross+Gen Arts-Based Family Worship and the FAITH5™
4:45 Getting Started (without getting fired)

7:00 PM Family Comedy Event (Free for all!)

All parents AND kids in town are invited to this fun family event. It’ll be 1/2 stand-up comedy, 12% practical parenting advice, 3/4 sneaky parent recruitment and 100% just plain fun or your money back. (Oh yeah. It’s free.) It’ll also be the closest thing to a parenting altar call you’ll probably encounter. In the end, the majority of families in the room will commit to investing a few minutes every night for the next six weeks in these simple family faith encounters. (PS: Bring a pillow for the pillow fight following the event and learn about the neurology, psychology, sociology and theology of combining exercise and fun with the FAITH5™ for maximum results.)

Trinity Lutheran church is located at 7150 Pines Blvd - the corner of Pines Blvd and 72nd Ave due east of the Broward College South Campus and one mile West of the Florida Turnpike. (954) 989 1903.

Register at www.faith5.org

Monday, March 11, 2013


Faith seems 
so easy for some, 
you know the ones, 
joyous, at peace, aglow.
One wonders 
if they have as much peace in their soul 
as on their brows, smooth, relaxed,
or in their easy laugh.
Would they tell me their secret?
Share that chapter of their lives when it all came together
for them.

I thirst, 
find a sip here and there, 
the desert air drying my bones that long to live
and live and live,
uneasy, often fearful that the waters
may evaporate, muddied shallow pools,
cracking earth, gone. 

I thirst,
and Christ breaks through
and my heart and my soul
beat with all the jazz of heaven 
and in the ecstasy of the moment
thunderstorms rain down,
I run around mouth agape,
foolish, mad, a gleeful child all at once. 
And the pools fill, the ponds, the lakes.
Will it rain tomorrow, if it rained today?
One question to another: 
To journey on or sit the quiet waters by?
To risk and trust,
to live without concern for clouds. 

The author, Rich Melheim, whose company "Faith Inkubators" developed the BibleSong material that we use for our "Worship Together" service and who also developed the "Faith Five" that we have spoken so much about in the last year will be coming to Trinity Lutheran, Pembroke Pines on Sunday April 14th for worship and to lead conversation about Faith Five and 
"Holding Your Family Together" later that afternoon and evening.


Would you like to contribute a photo or poem or reflection this week?
The Word of Distress
I thirst (John 19:28)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

"The Rich Man and Lazarus"

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Sermon on Luke 16:19-31 March 10, 2013
by Pastor Keith Spencer, Trinity Lutheran, Pembroke Pines

We want to believe that there are no people like Lazarus out there.
People who sit by trashcans and search for scraps, another person’s waste: rinds and bones and crumbs.  All of the stuff we were too stuffed to eat or turned up our noses at the very thought of eating.
How much broccoli do you think Lazarus ate over the course of his life?

We want to believe that there are no people like Lazarus out there.
 No roof.over their head. No one to care for them.  Covered in sores.
We want to believe that such people are lazy. That they just want a hand out.
That they don’t know an honest day’s work.
That they just mooch off the rest of us.
We so want to believe the lies we tell ourselves.
Those people we say, they have cell phones and cable and air conditioning.
We so need to believe that they are not like Lazarus so we can sleep better at night

People like Lazarus are out there.
And they don’t have cell phones
Or air conditioning.
Or cable.
And their healthcare is lousy, but perhaps about to get better.
And their dental care is non-existent.
 People like Lazarus are out there.
Invisible except to the dogs.
The dogs love Lazarus. They lick his sores.  I know few people who would dare be that friendly with anyone.

The rich man feasted sumptuously every day.
And every day Lazarus waited for the trash. to be dumped so he could eat.
Until the day came that they both died.
In the story that Jesus is telling, Lazarus goes to Father Abraham in heaven where he is comforted and the Rich Man goes to a place of fire and torment.

And the Rich Man looks up from his place of torment and sees Lazarus.
He actually notices him! He even remembers his name.
That is rather amazing!
But despite their reversal of fortune, the Rich Man refuses to acknowledge his current reality. He hasn’t learned anything, it seems.
Father Abraham, he cries out. Could you please send Lazarus down here to dip his finger in the water to cool my tongue?

Lazarus is standing right there, but the Rich Man pretends that Lazarus is invisible.
Still a nothing. A man of no consequence.
Someone to be given orders and told what to do.
Like sticking his wet finger on the rich Man’s tongue.

No can do says Father Abraham, you see there is this chasm, this Grand Canyon-sized chasm between you and us. So he can’t come down there. It is that simple That impossible.

Then we see the softer side of the Rich Man. His caring side.
Sort of.
Could you, he asks Father Abraham. Could you send Lazarus (who is still standing right there by the way) to my father’s house to warn my brothers so that they do not come to this place of torment?

Let me ask, what would the Rich Man have Lazarus say to them? How would the Rich Man ask his brothers to change their way of living in the world?  
Make sure you let the dogs lick your sores?
Was that it?

In the Bible being wealthy is not a sin.
But how that wealth impacts how we choose to relate to one another – well, that is a different story.
Does our wealth give us power that we then choose to use to create separation rather than build community?
Does that power get used over another person rather than for another person?
Is that power used justly or unjustly?
Does it reflect the very image of the in-breaking kingdom of God or some other kingdom?

Does anyone here pay taxes in Broward County?
Those taxes get used for, among other things construction projects.
Billions of dollars in projects over the past five years and into the future.
And here’s the thing. The county commission has the power to ensure that the contracts that are written for those projects set aside a portion of the jobs that they create for Broward County residents, especially those greatest hit by the economic downturn.  There are nearly 70,000 unemployed people in Broward County and in some areas the unemployment rate is nearly 27% .  San Francisco has a local hiring ordinance. East Palo Alto, California has a local hiring ordinance. Milwaukee, Wisconsin has a local hiring ordinance.  Why would any elected official not want a local hiring ordinance that makes local projects founded by local taxes to uses local labor that would benefit their constituents? Reduce unemployment in their districts?
But some of ours are reluctant.

Trinity’s justice ministry is fighting with the other member churches of BOLD Justice  here in Broward County for just such an ordinance. This issue along with a second issue which addresses the abysmal reading scores of our third graders will be presented with proposed solutions at the Action Monday March 18th – we invite you to strongly consider your participation in that event. Transportation can be provided – just check the block on your worship slip. If you have questions see Janean Baumal or Ron McCoy or Denise Payne or Piper or Lisa Montalchi.

In Jesus’ parable this morning, what was God expecting that the Rich Man give up:
His wealth or his way of thinking about the world?
His wealth or his understanding about who mattered and who did not?

Please send Lazarus, he begged Father Abraham. Send him to my family so that they may not end up with the same fate as me.
And Father Abraham says that they have Moses and the Prophets, what we would call the Old Testament.

But if someone comes to them from the dead, Father Abraham, he pleads. Then they will repent.
Father Abraham is unconvinced.
And the story ends with a sense of hopelessness for the Rich Man and likely his family. And blessings for Lazarus, whose suffering has been replaced by comfort.

Since Ash Wednesday’s reading, Jesus has set his face towards Jerusalem.
That he where his journey will take him
And we know what will happen there.
He will suffer. He will die. And he will rise again.
God is about to alter our reality.
Grace poured out. Forgiveness for sins. The impossibly great chasm crossed.
In Christ Jesus, the Kingdom of God has broken in – has come near to us.
And with this grace with which God has so abundantly blessed us, how then shall we live? As Kingdom people, claimed in our baptism as God’s own daughters and sons, how will live in this new reality in which we find ourselves?

Will we dare make invisible our brothers and sisters, who are made as we in the glorious and precious image of Christ?  Or will we show our love for God, our love poured out for God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, by loving our neighbor as Christ loved them and continues to love them no matter how they live and who they are.



Pastor Keith is busy in the Trinity Butterfly Garden in this gorgeous weather getting it ready for Easter and would love to have some help. Days/times are flexible. If you can pull a weed, dig a hole, use a hose or spread mulch you pretty much go to the head of the Butterfly Gardening class! Please post here or get in touch with Pastor Keith to join the team!