In the Sanctuary at 8:30AM and 11AM -
a blended service of traditional and contemporary elements with communion

In the hall at 9:45AM
scripture, prayer, and creative response with communion

Worship each Sunday @ 8:30AM, 9:45AM, and 11AM

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We have moved the service that was tentatively planned for this Friday July 13th to Friday, September 21st 7PM-8:30PM in commemoration of th...

Friday, January 31, 2014

Psalm 38:9

Longing and Sighing...but not in vain.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hebrews 4:16

Before the Throne of Grace...

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

The readings for Sunday, February 2, 2014:

First Reading: Micah 6:1-8

Psalm: Psalm 15

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12

Here we are again, at one of the touchstones of our faith, the Sermon on the Mount (alternately called The Beatitudes). Those of us who have been going to church for many years have likely heard it so often that we zone out at the reading of it. We might say to ourselves, "Yeah, yeah, blessed, blessed, got it."

Now is a good time to revisit this text. Now is a good time to use that old technique from the ancient practice of lectio divina: sit with this text for some time and take note of what jumps out at you. That might be God talking to you through the text.

You could also use a similar technique from literary analysis. In my literature classes, I often ask, "Which character speaks to you?" Here I would ask, which verse speaks to you?

Are you that person who mourns? Are you hungering for righteousness? Are you making peace?

Maybe you have a darker glimmer: maybe you're not the person who is working for peace (perhaps in the politics of your office or your family). Maybe you're the one standing in the way of peace. Maybe the text is calling you to revolution, that turning around, in the way that St. Paul turned around.  In church calendar time, we've just celebrated the conversion of Paul on Jan. 25. It's a valuable time to remember that God has a use for us, no matter how ferociously we've been undermining the vision that God has for humanity and creation. 

The actual date of today, February 2, is Candlemas, the day we celebrate the presentation of Jesus at the Temple.  Simeon holds the light of the world, Jesus, in his hands.  We, too, bear the light of the world within us.  Like Jesus, we are called to be the light of the world.  Some churches, monasteries, and abbeys will bless the year's supply of candles today. 

It's a good day to light a candle and to think about this issue of light and how we can be that light, especially if we feel our wicks are cut short or are damp or are unworthy in so many ways.  Return to the Gospel; it tells us how to live.

The text reminds us of how to treat ourselves and others: with mercy, with compassion, with comfort. The text reminds us that just because we follow Jesus, our path will not be easy. On the contrary, we will likely face persecution. But Jesus doesn't let us off the hook. This text tells us how we are to act and what we are to value.

Again and again, Jesus reminds us that God's way is not the world's way. Read this text one night as you watch T.V. and marvel at the difference in values. The world worships wealth and power. The world worships beauty and power. The world worships those who boss the rest of us around. The world worships those who ship our jobs away, those who buy low and sell high, those who ignore the rules and succeed.

Our Gospel this week reminds us of God's rules, the way that we succeed in God's eyes. Our Gospel this week gives us God's promise that we will be comforted, that even though we may be meek in the eyes of the world, we will be filled with good things.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Colossians 3:12-13

Chosen by God to forgive...

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Psalm 27:4

The one thing we need to be seeking...

Saturday, January 25, 2014

2 Corinthians 5:17

The Blessing of Being Made New

Friday, January 24, 2014

1 Corinthians 12:26

We are not alone...

Trinity Congregational Council Elections 2014

Trinity Congregational Council Elections 2014

 The following is the list of your current council

Council Terms 2013-2014
Kristin Berkey-Abbott  Second Term expires JAN 2016
Denise Payne – Second Term expires JAN 2016  
Richie Cannezzaro –  Second Term expires JAN 2016
Tina Hines – First Term expires JAN 2016
Eileen Manella – First Term expires JAN 2016
Ron McCoy – Partial First Term expires JAN 2015  
Earline LaCroix – Second Term expires JAN 2014   
Reed Talbert  - First Term expires JAN 2014 (eligible for a second term).
Pastor Keith  - permanent council member
*Kayla Frey and Alex Berger are completing their youth terms which have been eliminated in the new constitution .

 This year’s ballot includes two regular council members: Reed Talbert has been nominated for a second term, while Zory Graciani, who has served on the council a few years ago, has been nominated for a first term. Council members are permitted to serve two consecutive 3 year terms only before being required to step away from council for at least one year.

 The congregational council appointed a nominating committee consisting of Pastor Keith and current and former congregational council presidents ( Janean Baumal, Ron McCoy, Harry Furey, and Kristin Berkey-Abbott) who through a process of prayer, reflection and balloting, chose one name for each available position as has been our practice since 2000. That ballot was approved by Trinity’s congregational council and will be before you on Sunday January 26th.   If there are any nominations from the floor at the 11AM service, such action would make this a nominating meeting with elections taking place at each service on SUN FEB 2nd instead. Any nominations from the floor at the 9:45AM service will not impact the date of the elections as the name(s) would be available at the 11AM service that morning. By constitutional mandate, there is no absentee or proxy voting permitted. 

 If there are any nominations made from the floor it should be noted that nominees from the floor must be (1) present (2) seconded (3) willing to serve and (4) a regular voting member (those “not yet” confirmed youth, associate members and non-members are not eligible.)

 The 2014 Trinity Congregational Council Nominee Ballot And Biographies

Each person was asked to answer the following three questions:
1. How long have you been a part of Trinity and what attracted you to make Trinity your church home?
2. What has brought you the most joy in serving at or through Trinity and/or in the world beyond Trinity?
3. What’s one thing that you would like to share about yourself that most people do not know?

Zory Graciani
1. How long have you been a part of Trinity and what attracted you to make Trinity your church home?
I visited Trinity for the first time during the Christmas Eve service of 2000.  I had just moved to Pembroke Pines and was very pregnant of my first child.  Pastor cared to call, people were welcoming!  Then the more I visited the more I saw the different activities carried out in church and realized this was in the right place for me and my baby (now two girls). I became a member around mid 2001. 

2. What has brought you the most joy in serving at or through Trinity and/or in the world beyond Trinity?
Tough question, I think that any work that makes me feel I am touching someone else’s life and letting them know God is with them.  For example, when I shared the prayer shawls with a mom who had just lost her only son or with Breast Cancer patients during the 60 miles Walk. When I get involved leading Cross+ Gen Service and then I hear my girls talking about what they learned, those little moments bring me great joy!

3. What’s one thing that you would like to share about yourself that most people do not know?
Not many people know that I was a clown in the name of Jesus ;) 
I am always fond to remember my days in the Clowning Ministry when I was in college, great memories!

1. How long have you been a part of Trinity and what attracted you to make Trinity your church home?
I have been a part of Trinity Lutheran Church for about 16 years.  What attracted me the most to Trinity was the same kindness and courtesy I have received in most of the Lutheran congregations I have visited or was a member.  

2. What has brought you the most joy in serving at or through Trinity and/or in the world beyond Trinity?
I love to cook in service to The Lord.  This last year brought me the most joy when my son and daughter asked to help cook breakfast at the Easter Sunrise Service.  They were eager to help and willing to leave the house at 3:30 AM that morning to get started with Forest Fritz.

3. What’s one thing that you would like to share about yourself that most people do not know?
I was in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most consecutive generational child births on the same birth date:

Bonford Reed Talbert I:  July 28, 1899
Bonford Reed Talbert II:  July 28, 1929
Bonford Reed Talbert III: July 28, 1968

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Acts 20:24

The value of life

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The readings for Sunday, January 26, 2014:

First Reading: Isaiah 9:1-4

Psalm: Psalm 27:1, 5-13 (Psalm 27:1, 4-9 NRSV)

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:10-18

Gospel: Matthew 4:12-23

Here we are this week, still in the early days of Jesus' ministry. We see him call the disciples with that famous offer to make them fishers of people. He goes out to preach and teach.

But notice that early on, he's also ministering to the physical needs of people. He's not here to talk to them about their spiritual ailments. He tells them that the kingdom of heaven has come near, but he doesn't go around haranguing people about their selfish natures and the need to pray more.

Notice that his fame spreads, and it's probably not because of his brilliant teaching or a glimpse of heaven on earth. People will come from far and near if one of their physical ailments can be lessened.

Jesus also addresses, at least indirectly, their emotional ailments. As he heals and teaches, he's creating a community. It's exhausting work. But again, he knows that people aren't going to overthrow their established way of doing things unless they get something substantial in return.

Notice that Jesus doesn't talk in terms of eternal salvation, at least not in this part of the Gospel. He doesn't promise a place in Heaven if people will just endure their ailments during this life. He doesn't tell people that they'll be popular in Heaven to make up for being outcast on earth.

No. He creates a community and includes all of these people.

His ministry addressed the very real, the very physical, the very present needs of the people around him. It's an example we should keep in mind, as we order our own lives, and as we think about the future of our individual church and the larger Church.

As we think about outreach, we should keep the example of Jesus in our mind. We should ask ourselves what our lives show others about Christian life. As we think about our individual lives and about what God has called us to do, we should keep God's example in mind. What is our larger purpose? How can we effectively minister to a broken and hurting world?

Many of us aren't comfortable talking about our faith, and perhaps that's for the best. Nothing turns of an unbeliever more than someone who inserts faith into the conversation too early ("Hi, I'm Cindy, and I'm saved. If you died tonight, could you be sure you'd be going to Heaven?"). Instead, we can help out our coworkers who need it. We can invite lonely people over for dinner. We can be the person who always has a smile ready. We can be the person who's willing to listen. We can be the light of the world that God needs us to be.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pastor Keith's Poem for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

A poem for the Week of Christian Unity as published in Living Lutheran (www.livinglutheran.com)
The eyes of an infant
may spot a speck of dust upon the floor
that we ignore, unseen, uncaring,
yet an infant’s hands present the gift
to the shaking of our heads, a smile
playing upon our lips,
all the while we reach under couches and chairs
for what more we may have missed.
We see the world differently,
in innocence noting that all is not the same,
a child’s game: which one is not like the other?
And on a street where we once gathered,
the Irish and Italian former city dwellers
and us,
now as children older, set for school,
the trains returning fathers to subways and workdays
the suburbs in their rearview,
sons and daughters in crisp uniforms of plaid and brown and blue,
one bus for girls and one for boys,
and we others all a jumble with our carpools. 
How they regaled us:
we drinking in every word about
the nuns and the catechism and communion,
holy and mysterious.
But we tucked it all away and lived instead to play
hopscotch and freeze tag and kickball
and even if in kindness memory has erased the witness
of us and them, of meatless Fridays in Lent
and who did or did not Hail Mary,
I remember nothing of it, but catching toads in teams
and learning to play basketball,
they in patience teaching the most awkward of pupils,
allowing me to share in knowledge most wonderful
of how to swish from beyond the arc. 
How I loved God then,
in joy, in wonder,
life as one great discovery unfolding,
even in the dead of winter, in slush and chill,
even then, until,
until with eyes seeing as they had never seen before
how easily one may sunder the oneness of it all,
of kickball and freeze tag and basketball,
to let the mystery become the measure,
to deify the words of love and grace
in such a way that it mattered most
if one were labeled a sheep or goat,
rather than the actions they embodied:
Are you or are you not?
They calling us to think on these things,
life or death,
rather than a simple act of grace repeating over
like breathing.  
How I loved God once,
when we could live in Christ as one
without a moment’s thought,
day after day,
seeing the differences, but not believing
that they in substance mattered more
than the love that bound us
that we left unnamed without trading its holy ground
for sand.
Did Jesus know as Jesus prayed
that we be one as they are one
that we would twist and turn such love within our hands
until it choked and died?
Nostalgia may be its own kind of sin,
but we must labor, you and I,
to seek in the children of our yesterdays and current time
the resurrection witness, strong and sure,
that the sum of all of differences,
every gesture, prayer and word,
must in all humility,
upon bended knee and with downcast eye,
behold that which lives again
in wholeness now,
seeking in us some holy work,
the healing of the nations,
the finding of the lost,
the binding of the broken,
the answer to a prayer.

I John 3:14

Loving and Living

Monday, January 20, 2014

Psalm 145:14-16

The One Who Satisfies our Desires 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Luke 9:46-48

The Greatness of the Least

Friday, January 17, 2014

Psalm 42:2

A Question of Beholding

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Romans 11:20b

How it is we stand...

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The readings for Sunday, January 19, 2014:

First Reading: Isaiah 49:1-7

Psalm: Psalm 40:1-12 (Psalm 40:1-11 NRSV)

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:1-9

Gospel: John 1:29-42

Today's Gospel continues the story of Jesus' baptism, and it has lessons for each of us. Notice that Jesus doesn't get baptized and go home to sit on the sofa. He doesn't say, "Well, I'm glad I got that spiritual landmark over with. Now I don't have to do anything else until I die and get to go to Heaven."

No. Jesus goes out and tackles his mission. What is his mission? The same as ours: to proclaim that the Kingdom of God is revealing itself right here, right now, that God is breaking through our mundane daily life to transform us into better people in a better world.

But notice that Jesus doesn't go around yakking about this all the time. He's not the type of guy that drives most of us crazy, all talk and no follow through. When people ask about his mission, he says, "Come and see."

And what will people see? They will see a man healing the sick, comforting the poor in spirit, feeding the poor in wealth, eating with the outcast, and supporting the lowest people in society's social stratum:  women, children, demon possessed, tax collectors, the diseased, and the like. They will see a man who sacrifices his social life and prospects for a long life so that other lives will have improvement. They will see a man of constant movement.

What do people see when they look at your life? I've said it before, but it bears repeating: people pay attention to your actions. If your actions don't match your words, people don't accept your words. But it's worse: people see you as a hypocrite, one of those Christian types they hate so much. But wait, it's even worse: if your actions habitually don't match your words, people begin to assume that ALL Christians are hypocrites.

I know it's tough some days. We're impatient. We wonder why these out-of-towners can't turn when they get a green arrow, and we lean on our horns. In these days of when it feels like so many aspects of our lives are threatened, it's harder to part with our money. We want to conserve and hoard. We don't want to comfort a sick coworker because she reminds us that human flesh is so frail and grasslike. We would rather retreat to our houses and watch reality TV shows than deal with reality itself.

What's a beleaguered Christian to do? Pray for help, of course. Each morning, when you wake up and wash your body, remind yourself that you are marked with the cross of Christ forever. Then ask God to help you be the light of the world today. Remember that the world watches you, waiting for your light. Remember that when your light shines, other people feel better about being people of the sun. Forgive yourself for days when you're a dimly burning wick (to use the words of Isaiah's, in last week's readings) and remember that God does not extinguish a dimly burning wick.

And remember, that we are called to do tough work. Remember to follow the example of your Savior. Surround yourself with like-minded people who will help you on the journey. With these people, take frequent food breaks:  eat fresh-baked bread and drink wine! Every so often, retreat from the world's demands so that you can pray and recharge. And remember that Martin Luther said that faith should move your feet. We are called to be Movement People. And even the smallest movements can lead to great changes down the road.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Psalm 51:9-11

Hiding, blotting, but casting not... 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Psalm 81:1

Singing and Shouting and Joy!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Proverbs 3:5-7

Turning, trusting, and what is true...

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Psalm 17:6-8

In the Shadow of the wings of God...

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The readings for Sunday, January 12, 2014:

First Reading: Isaiah 42:1-9

Psalm: Psalm 29

Second Reading: Acts 10:34-43

Gospel: Matthew 3:13-17

This week's Gospel finds Jesus at the beginning of his ministry, a ministry that shows what a difference to world history a year of two can make. Notice that Jesus begins with baptism. Much critical ink, and literal blood, has been spilled in the centuries since the baptism of Christ, as people try to determine how important baptism should be to us as Christians. But let's put those issues aside and focus on the words of God: "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."

We tend to see Jesus as special. We can't imagine God saying the same thing about us. But in fact, from everything we can tell, God does feel that way about us. God takes on human form in its most vulnerable, as a little baby.  How much more of a demonstration of love do we need?

For those of us who are big believers in affirmations, we should print out those words and paste them on our bathroom mirrors. What does it mean, if we believe God is well pleased with us?

Many of us dwell in the land of self-loathing this time of year. Maybe we've spent too much money on our Christmas festivities. Maybe we've eaten too much in that time between Thanksgiving and New Year's. Maybe we've already broken our New Year's resolutions. We look in our mirrors and see multiple reasons to hate ourselves.

We look in the mirror and see ourselves as we imagine that the world sees us. The world looks at us and feeds us criticism: too fat, too plain, too wrinkled, too odd, too tall, too short. A diet of that commentary quickly leaves us malnourished. The world looks at us and judges us in terms of all the things we haven't accomplished yet: no child or children who don't measure up, lack of business success, a house that's too small or in the wrong neighborhood, no publication credits, no worthy creative products, the wrong kind of degree or no degree at all. Seeing ourselves through the eyes of the world means we compare ourselves to others and hold ourselves to impossible standards.

No one wins this game.

Try a different practice for a week or two or 52. Look in the mirror and see yourself not as the world sees you. Look in the mirror and know that God loves you. God chose you. God delights in you.

Our spiritual forebears might have worried that this kind of practice would lead to too much pride. But frankly, our culture has changed. In a world where more people are seeking help for the diseases of depression and anxiety disorders than ever before in human history, and many of the rest of us are trying to self-medicate, perhaps we shouldn't worry too much about big-headedness.

God chose you. God delights in you. God loves you.

You may find this hard to believe. You may be able to believe that God loves people like Mother Theresa or Archbishop Tutu, or any number of people more worthy than you. The good news is that God loves you the same way. God sees you in the same way.

No matter how much you improve yourself, God will still love you. No matter how many times you lose sight of your goals and move further away from the best self that you could be, God will still love you. Of course God sees your full potential and probably hopes that you'll move in that direction. But even if you don't, God will love you anyway. No matter how miserably you've failed, God will always welcome you.

We've lived in the land of self-loathing long enough. Why cripple ourselves with this kind of thinking? There's work to be done, and the world cannot afford for you to waste time feeling bad for all the ways you've failed. Every day, remember your baptism (perhaps as you bathe, as Martin Luther recommended) and the larger meaning of your baptism.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

1 Corinthians 13:12

Seeing in part...for now...with the promise of everything to come

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Proverbs 27:19

Reflections of hearts and faces...

Psalm 69:34

The Praising of the Waves...

Psalm 63:1, 7-8

Of Thirsty Souls That Will Sing For Joy...

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Psalm 119:147-149a

Our cry before dawn will be heard...

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Wednesday, January 01, 2014


Frank Juiliana died last night unexpectedly after being taken to the hospital. Our thoughts and prayers are with Marge and her daughter Ginny and their family and their many many friends. 96 years were not enough for a man like Frank. He will be missed. Funeral arrangements will be shared as soon as they are available. 

Isaiah 66:13a

The comfort of mothers and God

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The readings for Sunday, January 5, 2014:

First Reading: Jeremiah 31:7-14

First Reading (Alt.): Sirach 24:1-12

Psalm: Psalm 147:13-21 (Psalm 147:12-20 NRSV)

Psalm (Alt.): Wisdom of Solomon 10:15-21

Second Reading: Ephesians 1:3-14

Gospel: John 1:[1-9] 10-18

When I was younger, the Gospel of John confounded me. What kind of nativity story did John give us? Does he not know the power of narrative, the importance of a hook in the beginning?

Look at verse 14, which may be familiar: "And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father." As a child, I'd have screamed, "What does that mean? How does word become flesh?"

And then I became a writer, and I learned how the word becomes flesh. I invented characters who took on lives of their own, who woke me up early in the morning because I wanted to see what happened to them. Yes, I know, I was the God of their universe. But as anyone who has had children will know, you make these creations, and they have their own opinions, and they live their lives in ways you couldn't have known they would.

But lately, I've begun to see this first chapter of John in a less-writerly way. Words become flesh every day. We begin to shape our reality by talking about it. We shape our relationships through our words which then might lead to deeds, which is another way of talking about flesh.

Think about your primary relationships. Perhaps this coming year could be the year when we all treat the primary people in our lives with extra care and kindness. If we treat people with patience and care, if we say please and thank you more, we will shape the flesh of our relationships into something different. Alternately, if we're rude and nasty to people, they will respond with rudeness and cruelty--we've shaped the flesh of the world into a place where we don't want to live.

Our words become flesh in other ways, of course. It's not enough to profess we're Christians. Our words should shape our actions. The world is watching, and the world is tired of people who say one thing and act another way.

How can we enflesh our Christian beliefs incarnate in our own lives? That's the question with which we wrestle year after year. It's easy to say we believe things, but it's much harder to make our actions match our words, to live an authentic life.

The good news: it gets easier. You must practice. Our spiritual ancestors would tell us that daily and weekly practices help to align our words to our actions.

I have an atheist friend who says she envies me my ability to believe. I tell her that there's not a class of people who just have faith. We come to it by our actions. We pray, we pay attention, we meet in church, we study, we read the Bible, we help the poor and outcast, we pray some more--and years later, we realize that we are living a life consistent with our values.

It's time to think about the New Year, and some of us will make resolutions. What can you do to make your words and beliefs take flesh?