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...

Monday, September 30, 2013


Smoothie Recipes
Courtesy of Taste of Home Magazine

Berry Blast


  • 1/2 cup pomegranate-blueberry V8 juice blend
  • 1-1/4 cups frozen unsweetened mixed berries
  • 1 medium banana, sliced
  • 1/3 cup fat-free plain yogurt


  • In a blender, combine all ingredients; cover and process until
  • smooth. Pour into chilled glasses; serve immediately. Yield: 2
  • servings.

Nutrition Facts:cup equals 144 calories, trace fat (trace saturated fat), 1 mg cholesterol, 38 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 2 g protein.
Banana and Chocolate
4 ServingsPrep/Total Time: 10 min.


  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate syrup
  • 2 medium bananas, halved
  • 8 ice cubes


  • In a blender, combine all ingredients; cover and process until
  • smooth. Pour into chilled glasses; serve immediately. Yield: 4
  • servings.
Nutrition Facts:1/4 cups equals 256 calories, 5 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 14 mg cholesterol, 89 mg sodium, 49 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 6 g protein.
Frosty Orange Smoothie
4 ServingsPrep/Total Time: 10 min.


  • 1 can (6 ounces) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 10 to 12 ice cubes


  • In a blender, combine the orange juice, milk, water, sugar and
  • vanilla. Cover and blend until smooth. With blender running, add ice
  • cubes, one at a time, through the opening in lid. Blend until
  • smooth. Serve immediately. Yield: 4-5 servings.
Nutrition Facts:-Added by System Jul 07--> 1 cup equals 156 calories, 2 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 8 mg cholesterol, 31 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 3 g protein.

Service in Commemoration of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Monthly Healing Service in Commemoration of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Sunday October 20th at 8AM and 11AM at Trinity Lutheran, Pembroke Pines! Pink ribbons and balloons, information on warning signs and treatment options, a special table for people to place photos of loved ones whose lives have been impacted by Breast Cancer and to sign our prayer request book. All Welcome!!!!!

Breaking Bread with Pastor Keith

Tuesday October 8th at 7:30PM is the next “Breaking Bread With Pastor Keith: Food, Fellowship, and Conversation” event.  Join us in Munson-Mueller Hall for dessert, coffee and conversation as Pastor Keith prepares for a sabbatical spent reflecting on our shared missional future.
If the day time is more to your liking then Thursday October 10th at noon will be a time of lunch and conversation, too!
We'll spend time in Bible Study unpacking the scriptural call of Trinity's mission, then gather our conversation about the faith community at Trinity Lutheran Church Pembroke Pines around three questions :
1. What's going well?
2. What are our biggest challenges?
3. What are your hopes and dreams?
So far half a dozen people have joined in the conversation - our hopes are for many more before Pastor Keith's sabbatical begins December 25th so that he will be able to spend time deep in prayer and reflection upon all that folks have shared.


Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 4PM
in Charter Hall
All Welcome!
If your pet is not up to making the trip or has a difficult time around other pets, then a picture would be just fine.

Luke 11:33

Living a life in the light, of the light...

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Romans 13:11-12

Setting aside the darkness and embracing the light.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Psalm 56:10-11

When we worship our fear instead of choosing to trust...

Pastor Keith's Sermon for Sunday SEPT 29th

Pastor Keith's Sermon for Sunday September 29th
Gospel: Luke 16:19–31

One man is wearing fine clothes – linen and purple – signs of great wealth and status, while the other was covered instead with sores, festering and icky,  something a dog might find delightfully interesting, worth a lick or two at least.

One man dreamed of the possibility of dumpster diving the other man’s trash for a meal, while the Rich Man ate with careless abandon, not even knowing that his crumbs produced enough food to keep another man alive.

Both men died and that is when things began to change.
Final outcomes became final outcomes. The time for mercy was past.

'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.' 

 Lazarus is standing there next to Father Abraham, but the Rich man fails his reality check. Like when they were both alive, the rich man fails to take notice of Lazarus; Lazarus, the invisible.  

The rich man directs his attention instead to Father Abraham, begging him to send Lazarus so that his tongue might be cooled. Doesn’t ask Lazarus. Doesn’t beg his forgiveness. Doesn’t repent of his selfish past behavior; his poor stewardship of what God has entrusted to him. No. He wants Lazarus to come on down from paradise to touch his tongue with water. His dusty hot ash-dry tongue; the same tongue that once tasted sweetness, that had feasted sumptuously day by day while poor Lazarus longed to eat the scraps that fell on the floor.

 In the great reversal, the poor suffering Lazarus is at last comforted and the rich man, blind to his sins, blind to the suffering in the world at his own doorstep and one imagines in all other places as well,  blind to his own excesses, this blind-to-the-poor-and-suffering Rich Man is forever in torment. No chance to change that.  But wait! Knowing that his sentence has been passed, a spark of, what shall we call it – compassion – finds some life – but note: not compassion for the poor. Not for the hungry, sore infested other people like Lazarus in the world, but for the Rich Man’s own brothers. He wants to help his brothers. For Father Abraham to send Lazarus to them (still ignoring Lazarus who is standing right there). No repentance. No asking for forgiveness. No confession. No acknowledgement of the poor long suffering Lazarus who is standing right there.

In our own ELCA’s resources on hunger and sustainable life for all we read that…
“When the sun sets in Africa this evening, more than 10,000 people will have died – today alone – from AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. This same evening, more than a billion people around the world will go to bed hungry or in desperate need because they live on less than one dollar each day. More than 20,000 people will have died simply because they were too poor to live. In the Sudan and the Middle East, people will have spent another day in fear of the violent conflict that has existed for as long as they can remember. In Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Caribbean, a child will have been orphaned every 14 seconds of the day that has just ended.” Approximately 1.02 billion people are hungry around the world today, an increase of an estimated 100 million people since 2008

Further, it goes on to say, “As a church we confess that we are in bondage to sin and submit too readily to the idols and injustices of economic life. We often rely on wealth and material goods more than God and close ourselves off from the needs of others. Too uncritically we accept assumptions, policies, and practices that do not serve the good of all. Through the cross of Christ, God forgives our sin and frees us from bondage to false gods.”

Did you all hear that: frees us from the bondage to false gods. We have a choice how then we shall live, whether or not we shall open our eyes and see the suffering around us or create a fiction in which we shape our own world to make ourselves heroes by stripping away all judgment of the choices that we have made and written out any thought of confession and repentance for our true reality.  

There is a calculator online at http://www.globalrichlist.com/ which one can enter one’s salary and benefits, one’s total income, and see how one compares to the rest of the seven point two billion people in the world. We spend so much time comparing ourselves to those with more than what we have  - anyone remember that show “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous?” Think about who graces the covers of magazines and who everyone is talking about – those who are rich and who have what we do not have. When I ran my income through the world economic calculator I found out that I am among the top 1/10th of 1% of the world’s population in terms of income. If you own a car, my friends, you are among the top 8% in the world. We need to re-focus away from how poor we think we are, to how much we have as compared to our brothers and sisters around the world. And do not for a moment think that arguing to oneself that this is a more expensive place to live, this country of ours, relieves any of us of the responsibility to think about all that we have been entrusted with and for what purpose.

Back to our Lutheran Statement on economic life:

Finally, the statement reminds us, “Through human decisions and actions, God is at work in economic life. Economic life is intended to be a means through which God's purposes for humankind and creation are to be served. When this does not occur, as a church we cannot remain silent because of who and whose we are.”

In this parable, Jesus is not vilifying the rich, instead Jesus is trying to help them see that they are being trusted to use the wealth entrusted to them to help the poor.  For those who are people of means, of wealth, to claim personal responsibility for the choices that they make. This is not about making people feel guilty, but about giving people with means the eyes to see the poor around them, to give them permission to act, to demand that they act as followers of Jesus. We are such people.

We are such people!

Let us then in Christ claim both who we are and what we are called to do in Christ’s name.


Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The lessons for Sunday, September 29, 2013:

First Reading: Amos 6:1a, 4-7

First Reading (Semi-cont.): Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15

Psalm: Psalm 146

Psalm (Semi-cont.): Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16

Second Reading: 1 Timothy 6:6-19

Gospel: Luke 16:19-31

This Sunday, the Gospel returns to familiar themes with the story of Lazarus and the rich man. Lazarus is so poor that he hopes for crumbs from the rich man's table and has to tolerate the dogs licking his sores (or perhaps this is a form of early medicine). Lazarus has nothing, and the rich man has everything. When Lazarus dies, he goes to be with Abraham, where he is rewarded. When the rich man dies, he is tormented by all the hosts of Hades. He pleads for mercy, or just a drop of water, and he's reminded of all the times that he didn't take care of the poor. He asks for a chance to go back to warn his family, and he's told, "If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead."

Maybe by now you're feeling a bit frustrated: week after week of reminders that we shouldn't get too comfortable with our worldly possessions. Maybe you suspect the Council who chose this common lectionary of readings of being just a tad socialist.

Yet those who study (and tabulate!) such things would remind us that economic injustice is one of the most common themes in the Bible. To hear the Christians who are most prominently in the media, you'd think that the Bible concerned itself with homosexuality.

Not true. In his book, God's Politics, Jim Wallis tells of tabulating Bible verses when he was in seminary: "We found several thousand (emphasis his) verses in the Bible on the poor and Gods' response to injustice. We found it to be the second most prominent theme in the Hebrew Scriptures Old Testament--the first was idolatry, and the two often were related. One of every sixteen verses in the New Testament is about the poor or the subject of money (mammon, as the gospels call it). In the first three (Synoptic) gospels it is one out of ten verses, and in the book of Luke, it is one in seven" (page 212).

And how often does the Bible mention homosexuality? That depends on how you translate the Greek and how you interpret words that have meanings that cover a wide range of sexual activity--but at the most, the whole Bible mentions homosexuality about twelve times.

If we take the Bible as the primary text of Christianity, and most of us do, the message is clear. God's place is with the poor and oppressed. The behavior that most offends God is treating people without love and concern for their well being--this interpretation covers a wide range of human activity: using people's bodies sexually with no concern for their humanity, cheating people, leaving all of society's destitute and despicable to fend for themselves, not sharing our wealth, and the list would be huge, if we made an all-encompassing list.

It might leave us in despair, thinking of all the ways we hurt each other, all the ways that we betray God. But again and again, the Bible reminds us that we are redeemable and worthy of salvation. Again and again, we see the Biblical main motif of a God who wants so desperately to see us be our best selves that God goes crashing throughout creation in an effort to remind us of all we can be.

Some prosperity gospel preachers interpret this motif of a God who wants us to be rich. In a way, they're right--God does want us to be rich. But God doesn't care about us being rich in worldly goods. Anyone who has studied history--or just opened their eyes--knows how quickly worldly goods can be taken away. But those of us who have dedicated our lives to forging whole human relationships and helping to usher in the Kingdom now and not later--those of us rich in love are rich indeed.

Proverbs 11:28


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Psalm 10:17

The Heart of Meekness

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pastor Keith at the Florida-Bahamas Synod Conference on Ministry

"We cannot worship and not remember the poor....God takes sides."
The Rev. Dr. Stephen Bouman Executive Director of the Congregational and Synodical Mission unit of the ELCA.

Pastor Keith at the Florida-Bahamas Synod Conference on Ministry

"People want us to be spiritual leaders, women and men of God, calling people back to their spiritual moorings, to the practices of faith." The Rev. Dr. Stephen Bouman Executive Director of the Congregational and Synodical Mission unit of the ELCA. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013



I have been approved for a sabbatical by the congregational council that will begin on the afternoon of Christmas Day and continue for approximately eight weeks with me returning to lead worship (and make beignets!) on Sunday March 2. Florida-Bahamas Synod guidelines suggest an 8 week sabbatical every 4 years. This will be my second sabbatical in our 14 years together.
A sabbatical is a time for rest, renewal and professional development in ways that benefit both the pastor and the congregation. My intention is to use this sabbatical to reflect upon Trinity's missional future - meaning in what ways together can we best use our time, gifts and passions to better serve what God, in and through the Holy Spirit, is already at work doing at Trinity Lutheran Church Pembroke Pines. It is easy over time to get so busy doing stuff (and good stuff, missional stuff!) that taking an extended time off allows for some perspective and renewal.  By some measures, Clergy is considered the number #1 burnout profession: the price of always being on call, dealing with stressful, often amazingly so, situations, crazy busy holidays, days off that go missing, and so on. The cost in physical, emotional and spiritual health can harmfully accumulate. Sabbaticals provide some good medicine for this. 

I will be leading a number of events this fall called "Breaking Bread With Pastor Keith: Food, Fellowship, and Conversation in Preparation for Sabbatical." We will share in Bible study about our mission and have conversation about what is going well, about our biggest challenges, and about our dreams for the future. Our Bible study and conversations will provide significant input for my sabbatical reflection. When I return I will be spending time with our congregational council and with you in order to share the results of my time of reflection and praying with you that God will use this opportunity to affirm our mission, challenge us further, and stir our hearts towards new directions and opportunities. You may sign up to participate in a conversation on your worship slip.

Current dates include:
Friday OCT 4th at 6:30PM with potluck lunch in Charter Hall.
During Men’s Group Time Tuesday OCT 8th 7:30PM Coffee and Dessert
Thursday OCT 10th at noon with potluck lunch in Charter Hall.
Sunday OCT 20th at 12:15PM during Coffee Hour in Munson Muller Hall .
Thursday OCT 25th  at 7PM at Crispers Restaurant (University and Stirling Road)
December 14th at the potluck dinner at the home of Carl and Kristin Berkey-Abbott
More Dates Will Be Added As Needed
I will also be working in earnest on a devotional book for the post-Easter 50 day period that incorporates my love of the Everglades and the South Florida outdoors, Photography, and the scriptures.

Your Congregational Council is diligently working on supply preachers to cover those Sundays that we are apart as well as any logistics, in order to make the sabbatical run as smoothly as possible. A letter will be forthcoming covering the important points. Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me or any member of the Executive Committee: Kristin Berkey-Abbott, Ron McCoy, Earline LaCroix, or Carl Berkey-Abbott.

Ever in Christ,
Pastor Keith

Psalm 63:1a, 7-8

In the Shadow of God's Wing

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Matthew 5:16

Where is your light leading others to give glory to God?

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The readings for Sunday, September 22, 2013:

First Reading: Amos 8:4-7

First Reading (Semi-cont.): Jeremiah 8:18--9:1

Psalm: Psalm 113

Psalm (Semi-cont.): Psalm 79:1-9

Second Reading: 1 Timothy 2:1-7

Gospel: Luke 16:1-13

What a strange Gospel for this week. Those of us who are inclined to read Jesus' parables as telling us something about God are left scratching our heads. Is God the rich man who rewards the dishonest steward? Surely not? Are we the dishonest steward, who collects less of a debt than his master requires? Maybe. Or maybe Jesus is trying to tell us something else.

Jesus offers many parables that tell us about God and the kingdom of God. But Jesus also gives us parables to teach us about the state of the world as it exists in its broken state, a state far from the Kingdom of God, a state that God would like to heal. This parable is likely a parable about the world, and about the dangers of putting too much store in the values of the world.

This parable tells us something about capitalism, about debt, about money, about riches. This parable warns us that if we let ourselves be bought, we'll find ourselves doing unsavory things (redeemable, sure, but unsavory nonetheless). The parable ends with Jesus giving us a strict lesson, just in case it hasn't been clear: "You cannot serve God and money." Hard to wiggle around that one.

Jesus also offers behavior lessons. We might protest that we understand how to live an ethical life.

But do we? We tell ourselves that small bad behaviors don't matter. We let ourselves get away with the white lie, the little theft. So we take a ream of paper from work--at least we haven't murdered anyone. So we lie about being sick so that we can go shopping--at least we don't cheat on our taxes. So our vacation budget is bigger than our budget for charitable contributions--we still give someting to charity, and that's more than most people do.

At least that's how we rationalize it. We let ourselves, and others, off the hook this way.

But God knows and so do we. More importantly, so do other people. We should remember that other people are always watching--not so that we can avoid punishment, but so we don't miss opportunities to minister and to witness.

Have you ever known a person who's very vocal about being a Christian, but their behavior doesn't match their professed beliefs? As I talk to people, I think that kind of hypocrisy has done more damage to the larger Church than any one big scandal. That kind of hypocrisy makes the unchurched folks resolve never to set foot in a church, no matter how drawn they are to the way of the faithful.

Jesus is clear: ". . . he who is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much." Jesus calls us to be on our guard, always, against the ways of the world that often rewards bad behavior. Small bad behaviors lead to larger ones, and before we know it, we've sold our very souls.

Christ commands us not to lose sight of the true riches, the riches that our society doesn't comprehend fully (or at all). We are not our paychecks. There's so much more to us than our job titles. We have been entrusted with so much. We will be judged by how well we show stewardship of those resources.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sermon on Luke 16:1-13 and Amos 8:4-7

Sermon on Luke 16:1-13  & Amos 8:4–7
Sunday September 22, 2013
Shrewdness is often an honored virtue.
When I was a kid, I met a whole bunch of adults who thought that if they could get away with something – if they were smart of enough to think of it or hear of it from someone else and finds it useful - then it was just fine. In the great struggle to make it in the world, if one could get away with something, if the risk was low and the benefit meaningfully high, then that was enough. It served the bottom line and the greater good of the family balance sheet.
And so wet bunches of newspapers were wrapped inside dry bundles before they were brought to the recycling center for weighing and payout. Electrical meters were turned to run backwards. And in the early days before cable signals were scrambled you could buy an inexpensive box from a friend of a friend and have all the free cable you wanted. Even the premium channels.  Screw HBO and Showtime, right? It was all free, baby.
We kids, playing in this yard or that one, noticed such things, but never spoke of them. These none-of-our business things. These mind-your-own business-things.
Then in one high school social studies class it came out in the open, no longer whispered. A guest came in to share with the class how he and his wife had started a church and they were the church and all of their income became church income and how the church then paid them, absolving them under those early 1980’s laws from having to pay any income tax (these laws are no longer in effect, the loophole closed, so do not try this at home, people).  The presenter smiled at his own shrewdness. He had found a loophole and it had saved him and his wife real money.
The manager in our parable today was certainly shrewd, charges being brought against him, allegations of impropriety, a negative judgment on his service declared valid by his boss, and a pink slip pending. So what was the manager to do? He reached deep inside himself for every ounce of shrewdness that he possessed and began to curry favor with those who did business with his boss. He cut their debts, figuring that one favor deserved another – that they would remember him in the future as the guy who saved them some serious bucks. Maybe they would welcome him into the homes when he needed a place to stay. Maybe they would open their wallets and slide him a few dollars in gratitude. Maybe they would offer him a job, trust him with their books as shrewd as he was – who knows?
And Jesus’ commentary on the story points us to ponder which god we will serve with the whole of our heart, mind, soul, and strength: money or the God of all creation. Will our legacy be the pursuit of wealth or embodiment of selfless love, the way of the cross, the way of Jesus?
A group of scouting fathers standing around while their sons work on merit badges a distance away, the men talking about this and that, their weeks. What they were up to. One father offered how happy he was on the deal that he just made, a house purchase. It went something like this:
“She had to sell, you see, divorce. And I knew this – she told me. Can you believe she told me that? So I made an offer much lower than the one that she wanted. She countered, but I knew I had her. I stood firm knowing that she had a week or two to unload the house and I ended up saving like 50 grand. That was a sweet deal.”
The men grunted their assent, a few backslaps, the usual stuff, me trying not to let my disgust at his gloating  show on my face, wondering if I should challenge the general feeling of a shrewd job well done. I have told the story before but it bears repeating because I believe it is typical of the dilemmas we face. Dilemmas that demand that we choose, to act or to not act.
I know this sounds black and white, while our lives and the decisions that we face come at us fast and with layer upon layer of complication and fraught with moral ambiguity. What then are we to do?  How are we to let our faith guide us?
Paired with our gospel this morning is a powerful text from Amos 8, in which the Israelites are declared to be exploiting their own people; the rich taking advantage of the poor, the powerful over the powerless.  As we try to navigate the complexities of God and money, of having a shrewd faith or just being plain shrewd for our own sakes, the scriptures provide us with the yardstick of justice to assist us. Not just any justice, but God’s justice.  
The images from Amos paint this picture starkly: The righteous being sold for silver; the needy being sold for a pair of sandals. Institutions arrayed against the poor, cheating them time and time again, extending and deepening their poverty. Those Israelites of means were only doing what the law allowed them to do, weren’t they? Doing what the power of their relative wealth gave them the opportunity to do? They saw the opportunity to take advantage of the poor who were forced to take loans to pay for land and crops and who fell into debt when those crops failed due to famine and the like. As they say, it was just business. But by the measure of God’s justice repeated over and over again by the prophets, business is not just business and never will be. The choices we make that provide advantage to ourselves, our shrewdness in life and in business, must always be measured against God’s justice embodied in Jesus’ call to us to show our love for God in loving the other, especially the most vulnerable. To be as shrewd in our dealings for the sake of the other as we are in our dealings for ourselves, if not more so.  

As people of faith then, we need to educate ourselves about God’s justice so that we may more faithfully live it out in our lives. Our community’s participation in BOLD Justice along with 15 other congregations and synagogues provides one such opportunity  -and I invite you to take advantage of it through participation in house meetings this week either by attending today’s meeting with Janean Baumal at 12:15PM or the meeting with Ron McCoy on Wednesday that will take place in his home.
But regardless, as we try to navigate the complexities of God and money, of having a shrewd faith or just being plain shrewd for our own sakes, the scriptures provide us with the yardstick of justice to assist us. Not just any justice, but God’s justice.