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...

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Psalm 104:23

Bumblebee, Shark Valley Visitor's Area, Everglades National Park, July 2013

O LORD, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom you have made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
Psalm 104:24

Monday I took a little time for a quick walk and photo shoot along the roadside canal at Shark Valley Visitor's Area of Everglades National Park off US 41. It has become my go to place. Bees and butterflies and flowers were in abundance. I watched a water snake attack a baby alligator (which swam away unharmed). A red-shouldered hawk hung around long enough for a number of photos and its presence at such a close distance left me amazed. A Blue heron hung out for awhile. For an hour not a single human being passed me. The only sounds were the songs of birds, the flow of the canal, the buzz of insects, and the deep throaty call of the ever-present pig frogs. The 7 foot alligator that swam by didn't make a sound, which was somewhat unnerving. Not since I was a child has God's creation so enraptured me, (when I would walk fields of goldenrod covered in Monarchs and by stream beds teeming with frogs, turtles, and more). 

I am learning that as we slow down, take sabbath time, open our eyes and ears and allow God's creation to sing to our hearts, gifts begin to unfold, one after another: peace, a renewed spirit, a sense of wonder. Yes, it is darn well muggy awful hot and humid, but I don't notice. And this surprises and delights me. Those walks have enabled me to be a better pastor and person. And I trust that many more might benefit from more time in God's creation. To slow down, to look, to listen, and to see!

Isaiah 26:7

White Peacock Butterfly, Shark Valley Visitor's Area, Everglades National Park, July 2013

The way of the righteous is level;
O Just One, you make smooth the path of the righteous.
Isaiah 26:7

Obviously, Isaiah doesn't live our lives, now does he:
the mountain tops, the valleys, the hills and sprawling landscape, the ruts, puddles, and stones that fill the paths of our lives. 

But perhaps the truth is that we encounter life differently as people of faith. Not that God rewards us with an easier journey, but rather the journey, itself, is transformed, we now fellow sojourners, a resurrection people, a people who live in the assurance of a living hope that will not fade or fail us. A journey in which nothing will separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Psalm 37:8

Blue Heron, Shark Valley Visitor's Area, Florida Everglades, July 2013

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath.
Do not fret — it leads only to evil.
Psalm 37:8

Here's a question: Tell me the one time when Jesus was angry.
Hint: There is no indication that when Jesus "cleansed" the temple he was angry. In fact one gospel says that he used this action to teach.

Jesus is no fan of anger:
"But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment" (Matthew 5:22)

So that whole "righteous anger" thing we like to break out and use for a free pass. Tuck that card away. That currency is no good here.

While anger is not sin, in and of itself, it rarely has a heart of love to give it true life.

Deuteronomy 4:9

Hawk, Shark Valley Visitor's Area, Everglades National Park, July 2013

But take care and watch yourselves closely, so as neither to forget the things that your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children's children-- 
Deuteronomy 4:9

Passing on the faith is at the heart of the promises that we make before God for the future generations entrusted to us. It is never someone else's responsibility, though others may equip us, encourage us, and support us in our journey. Such are the roles of church, Sunday school, and the like. It is, as one might imagine, an awesome responsibility and one I suggest is more about learning to share our stories of faith than anything else. Let us ask ourselves what we need to become more comfortable sharers of all that God has done for us, what God means for us and what it means that we are people of God, and then find those places, activities and friends who can assist us; places where others offer to accompany us on the journey.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Psalm 118:5-6

Lubber Grasshopper, Anhinga Trail, Everglades National Park, July 2013

Out of my distress I called on the LORD;
the LORD answered me and set me in a broad place.
With the LORD on my side I do not fear.
What can mortals do to me?
Psalm 118:5-6

Fear, paralyzing fear, disorients us so that we can no longer find our way. We stumble, seeking only to take one more step, but we cannot; we place a tentative toe, then withdraw it. Fear robs our life of joy, of fullness, of freedom, and far worser still, of our ability to honor our relationships. 

To confront that fear, let the Lord's strength be our strength; let the love with which God claims us, forgives us, and saves us bear the burden of our fear, freeing us to live, to love, to claim the hope which sustains us. The fullness of life is the gift that God has given us - let us honor God by giving to God all that diminishes that gift.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The 23rd Psalm Project

"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies"
New week - new verse over at the 23rd Psalm Project. No takers on "Your rod and your staff" There's some reflecting right there  - so we move forward from rods and staffs to tables before enemies - now there is a creative challenge! Photo, prose or poetry - come play and post!


Batting and material needed for an upcoming Trinity Quilting worship on SEPT 8th led by Debbie Smith as part of our "God's Work-Our Hands" activities. Drop off in office or in the narthex box. Ever wanted to make a quilt ( or learn how) to help out our contribution to the Lutheran World Relief Quit Project - come join Debbie on SEPT 8th - read more about LWR quilts here


It is Sunday - did you get a newspaper and pull out the coupons to donate to the TrinityFood Pantry?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Butterfly, Anhinga Trail, Everglades National Park, July 2013

So then, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those who enter God's rest also cease from their labors as God did from his. Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest
Hebrews 4:9-11b

For us, the Sabbath is not about rules, but a relationship. 
It is not a specific day as it is for our Jewish brothers and sisters (and I honor that), but a way of being, of living in relationship with God.
Do we trust God to cease from labor and enter into God's rest?
Someone much wiser than I once said that a sabbath is when we do that which brings us the most joy. 
I believe that we honor God by honoring God's gift of the Sabbath to us. The rhythm of work and ceasing from work flows from God's very act of creation. 
I also believe that because it is not about rules, but a relationship that it is transformative if we allow ourselves to participate in its gift for us.

This Sunday's Sermon on Acts 11:1-18

Pastor Keith's SERMON ON ACTS 11:1-18 July 28, 2013

The kids showed up curious, the old church taking up nearly half a block, stark stone and stained glass and all in a neighborhood of century-old row houses with chipped brick facades and marble stoops swept clean.  Whether they strolled on into the sanctuary like they owned the place or peered inside the great wood doors painted red then tiptoed in hushed silence quietly sliding in upon the wood pews, no one knew for certain, but there they were, sitting there until someone directed them to a downstairs Sunday school class where Mrs J fed them breakfast and Jesus, not sure, herself, which they had come for, but it didn’t really matter. Not to her, anyway.

An hour with those kids opened her eyes and from then on she found as she walked to church each Sunday morning that there were more children like these, wandering the streets with nothing to do; children who were more than happy to welcome breakfast with a little Jesus on the side. First one table, then two filled with young people as the season passed from fall into winter, Mrs J paying for the food out of her own pocket to avoid the inevitable complaints.  Mrs J had found her calling, her Sunday children grateful and off the streets, learning stories about Jesus. We could imagine Mrs J reading out loud: "Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs" and looking out into faces busy with bowls of Rice Krispies and Cherrios, the faces nodding between spoonfuls, offering their own particular “Amen.”

But other complaints were not long in coming, the kids having drawn attention because they were kids from the streets whose parents had no connection with the church; strange kids in class with their children for gosh sakes, walking the same hallways, using their bathrooms, eating food, not believing that Mrs J. could be providing for them out of her own pocket, a dozen kids, she a school teacher on a school teacher’s salary, no husband, him long gone, dead. So the complainers complained and caught the ear of the congregational council, longtime members well-meaning, desirous of peace, calm, order. Mrs J. was told that she could not feed those kids under any circumstances, some excuse lost to memory given, and as the food went, so, too, did the children, Jesus on the side not enough.  But the decision, the priority, enough for Mrs. J. who quit the church that day, keeping the story to herself for many years after.

God in and through the Holy Spirit had said it, shouted it, big and bold, and undeniable. Proclaimed it in numbers, Spirit-filled gentiles, blessed like the Hebrew Christians had been blessed, centuries of separation and second class status or worse erased in a joyous mini-Pentecost. And word travelling back more quickly than Peter, who had chosen to stay a few days with the gentiles, reaching the ears of the other Hebrew believers in Jerusalem, giving them time to raise their indignation with which they accosted Peter upon his arrival: “Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?" That being the only fact reported, the only one someone had cared to mention, the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the gentiles somehow missed, left out, considered of little importance.

Peter, pushing back against the woefully incomplete picture of the events that had taken place, took it slow and sure, step by step, explaining what God had done, was doing, right there in their midst, ending by declaring:  “If then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?"

Who was I that I could hinder God?

Peter silencing them, whether from shame or awe, I do not know; The full unfolding of God’s plan to gather all people to himself, Jew and Greek, man, woman, and child, rich and poor, slave and free, falling upon them and unencumbered by their former judgments and prejudice, their praise broke out, God’s Name once more lifted on high for manifesting God’s limitless grace, even upon those they had until most recently thought unworthy at best.

Before his own eyes, Peter had witnessed God’s love at work in the world, and he refused to close those eyes, to turn away. He chose instead to speak of it, to share the good news of the Good News breaking out of former trusted limits and clear boundaries and labels soiled in prejudice. And he faced down the disbelief of friends until the plans of God, undiminished by their doubt, swept them along in jubilation, overwhelming their sense of privilege and too-small understanding of God.

Somewhere on the streets of Baltimore, the children of those children are growing up. And if they in curiosity, standing before the grey stone and red doors and stain glass, ask their parents as only children can, of what they know of it, will another generation find the moral disconnect of people who bore witness to the work and love of God, the very presence of God incarnate in their midst, and far from doing nothing, sent Jesus back out into street.

Every congregation stands before the witness of Scripture. As the Holy Spirit joyfully labors in their midst, will every sleeve be rolled up and every hand reach out, and every heart be open to receive the good news of the Good news being embodied before them?

As the Holy Spirit joyfully labors in our midst, will every sleeve be rolled up and every hand reach out, and every heart be open to receive the good news of the Good news being embodied before us in ways both unexpected and quiet, bold and transforming?
For where this is most certainly true, the church is most certainly found.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Matthew 16:24

Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me."
Matthew 16:24

Crosses are not the burdens we bear, but walking in the way of Jesus. So we need not, should not brag about our sufferings, nor lament them, but rather practice humility; for it is a humble heart and a humble life that marks disciples of Jesus. That quality will bear a greater witness to Jesus and his love for all than nearly anything else we will ever be capable of doing in Jesus' name.  

(Anhinga, Shark River Visitor's Center, Everglades National Park, Florida, July 2013)

Thursday, July 25, 2013



Opening hours
Every 2 nd and 4 th Thursday of the month
12 pm -  2 pm  and  6 pm - 7 pm

Volunteers are always welcome :-)

We are commited to help ALL IN NEED . For assistance between distribution dates you will need to make arrangements with Dany Vega  954-907-1562 , Barbara Ito 786-566-7622 or Sam our office administrator 954-989-1903

Food Pantry Wishlist

- jelly
- peanut butter
- mac and cheese
- ravioli
- condensed soups
- rahmen noodles

- any coupons 

THANK YOU SO MUCH for your continued support >3

Opening hours
Every 2 nd and 4 th Thursday of the month
12 pm - 2 pm and 6 pm - 7 pm
Volunteers are always welcome

We are commited to help ALL IN NEED . For assistance between distribution dates you will need to make arrangements with Dany Vega 954-907-1562 , Barbara Ito 786-566-7622 or Sam our office administrator 954-989-1903

Food Pantry Wishlist

- jelly
- peanut butter
- mac and cheese
- ravioli
- condensed soups
- rahmen noodles

- any coupons

THANK YOU SO MUCH for your continued support >3

Jeremiah 29:13

Shark Valley Visitor's Center, Everglades National Park, July 2013

When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart
Jeremiah 29:13

We crowd our hearts and our lives with many things, both important and trivial. Faith calls us to have perspective that so much of our anxiety and anger and nearly all our fear is misplaced. This photography hobby of mine has forced me to slow down in order to see things that I have not seen since I was a child and wonder ruled more of my life than any other emotion. It allows time for God to speak, in a language I better understand, the language of creation, of awe, of stillness and beauty, one heart seeking another. How does your heart seek out the voice of God?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Psalm 95:6-7a

Green Egret, Shark Valley Visitor's Area, Everglades National Park, July 2013

O come, let us worship and bow down,
let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
Psalm 95:6-7a

We must broaden our understanding of worship until the whole of life becomes the very act of the thing, itself.
Like the Celtic Christians of old, we must open ourselves to the presence of God in the routine, the mundane, life in the ordinary becoming extraordinary; God surrounding, enwrapping, enfolding, every moment, every heartbeat.