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

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

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

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

Thursday, September 25, 2014


From our Wednesday Night meal and Bible study:
If you were the only Bible that people got to ready, from how you embody the living Word of grace and love, what would they learn about God?

Everyone is welcome and there is always plenty of food for all! 6PM Dinner. Bible Study from 6:30PM-7:30PM. We are using "We Make the Road by Walking" by Brian McLaren

We had 11 people last Wednesday - why not come and make it a dozen or more!


More Thoughts on the Lost

By Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The Gospel for the Sunday, September 28: Luke 15:1-10

I've spent the last 2 weeks thinking about the lost and how they factor into the Gospels.  I've been thinking about our religious practices and other practices.  We may come away from those practices believing that we must do something before we are worthy of being found:  pray more, exercise more, read the right books, get the right degrees, eat the right foods.

I come back to that lost coin that just sits there.  I imagine it under the dresser, even though I know that ancient people didn't have that kind of furniture.  I imagine it watching the comings and goings of the family.  It wonders if it should make self-improvements.  It drifts off to sleep.

I think of that lost sheep.  It doesn't make a break for freedom.  It simply wanders away.  It doesn't have a plan.  It doesn't say, "If I can just get free of this herd, I know I could be somebody.  I hate this field.  I should be in the big city.  I'm going to make my way in a different landscape.  I'm going to be somebody!" 

I also think of the woman who lost the coin or the shepherd who goes after the sheep.  They aren't in pursuit because there's something special about the lost coin or sheep.  The shepherd doesn't say, "That sheep is one of our biggest givers.  Better get it back."  The woman doesn't turn the house upside down because she needs to coin to run the food pantry or the Confirmation program.

No, they pursue the lost simply because they are lost.

That's good news for us.  Or at least, for people like me.  I spend a lot of time wondering if I'm fulfilling my purpose here on earth.  I worry that God will be disappointed.  I see God as this big guidance counselor who always tells me that I'm not living up to my full potential.

But these parables show me that I'm wrong.  God is not a disapproving guidance counselor.  God loves me regardless of my skills and talents.  God goes to great lengths to find us because God cannot bear the thought of any of us staying lost.

God doesn't say, "Well, that sheep was useless anyway.  If it's going to wander away, then it deserves what happens to it."  No, God goes after the sheep.  God does not say, "Stupid coin.  You can just stay wherever you are.  I don't care if I never see you again."  No, God turns the house upside down.

God will not rest until we all come back to safety.  What good news that is!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Revelation 7:16-17

No hunger, no tears...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Matthew 14:31

Loved despite our doubt and little faith 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Psalm 113:3

What we should do with the rising of the sun...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

By Kristin Berkey-Abbott

Astute readers may recognize that I've run this blog post before, and it is true.  Next week, after the auditors have left our school and gone back to their homes, I'll generate new thoughts.

The Gospel for the next 2 weeks: Luke 15:1-10

This week, we have parables of lost creatures and lost things. When we read these parables, which character calls more clearly to you? Are you the shepherd or the sheep? Are you the woman sweeping or the coin?

I never really thought about the story from the perspective of the coin, until a few years ago at Lutheridge. Pastor Mary Canniff-Kuhn was leading a Bible study on parables, and she said, “What about that lost coin? What’s it doing? Nothing. It’s just sitting there.”

These parables reassure us that we don’t have to do anything to deserve being found. We don’t have to redeem ourselves. God is the shepherd who will come looking for one lost sheep, even if that sheep is the dumbest, most unworthy sheep in the history of animal husbandry. God will light the lamps and sweep under the cupboards until the coin is found.

As Christians, we have a creator who goes to great lengths to find us, to be with us, to enter into a relationship with us. If you look at both the Old and New Testament, you see God trying a variety of techniques: crafting a beautiful creation, resorting to rage when that creation doesn’t behave, wiping out populations, rescuing populations. The New Testament shows a continuation of this story, with God taking the most extreme step of becoming human.

What does it mean for our lives if we really believe that God will go to all this effort for us? Look at the story again. The shepherd isn’t rescuing a whole flock of sheep. The shepherd goes to that effort for just one sheep. What does it mean for us, if we believe that God is like that shepherd?

Many of us might not be quite comfortable with that idea. We like the idea of a distant god, maybe one who made the whole creation and then went away to leave us to our own devices. Do we really want a God who doesn’t allow us to wallow in our lostness? Do we really want a God who takes such efforts to find us when we go astray?  Our God says over and over again, "Hey, you should try living a different way.  Hey, have you thought about sharing?  Hey, why don't you fogive another 77 times before you give up on that person?"  Is that the God we want?

Most of us do yearn for someone to pay attention to us in just this way. We often look for that kind of attention in our families, but I know I’m not the only way who has returned home after a long day in the office, only to find our families so engaged in other activities that they don’t even notice our return. Maybe you’ve yearned for a dog who would be happy to see you, and each day would announce its doggy joy in your return to the hearth.

God’s slobbery kisses may not be as noticeable at first, but God is the one who marks our comings and goings with as much steadfastness as a good dog. God is that good dog of popular culture who will know that something’s wrong before anyone else does. God will go to great lengths to find us, to bring us back to the flock, back to the coin purse. We worship a God who will not rest until we’re all present and accounted for. That’s Good News indeed.

Psalm 139:9-10

The One who holds us fast...

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Psalm 139:3-4

Knowing our words before they are even spoken....

Isaiah 46:4

When the Lord Carries Us....

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Isaiah 42:16

When the darkness before us becomes light...

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Matthew 5:6

Of the promises of God...

Trinity's Justice Ministery Update!

Have you ever wondered what Trinity’s Justice Ministry is all about? There are three opportunities this month to find out more and to share your community concerns (what keeps you up at night, what problems you would like to see addressed to make our neighborhoods better to live in, etc.) Making change starts with YOU.

THIS Sunday, September 14th @ 12:15pm in Charter Hall
Friday, September 19th @ 7pm at Lisa and Jose’s house
The 3rd House Meeting TBD

Any questions or to RSVP contact Janean Becker Baumal

Friday, September 12, 2014

Galatians 6:14

The only thing about which we should boast...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

More Thoughts on Seeds

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The Gospel that we're spending 2 weeks contemplating:

Matthew 13:1–9

Last week's discussion of seeds took me back to a children's sermon that I preached in 2012.  That week's Gospel talked about mustard seeds, and I had found a jar of mustard seeds, which was so cheap that I should have bought several. 

I came up with the idea of sprouting them much too late--or so I thought.  But I wrapped them in some damp paper towels, which I kept damp.  Much to my surprise, in just 4 days, they looked like this:

It took nothing more:  not special food, not sunlight, no enriched soil.  Just cover and dampness.

I've been thinking about seeds, how tiny they are:

I've been thinking about how quickly seeds sprout with just the slightest encouragement.

But I'm also thinking about the potted plants on my porch.  At the beginning of summer, they were full and lush.  These days of heat have taken their toll, no matter how much water I give them.

The parable reminds us that the sprouting process is not the hard part.  No, as anyone who has tried a healthier approach to living knows, the hard part comes in later seasons.

As a church, maybe we should talk more about what to do when we're feeling our faith wilting.  Maybe we should talk about the season of wilting as a normal part of the faith cycle.

The ways to deal with a wilting faith are similar as the ways to enrich the soil to make sure that seedlings thrive.  The ways are as varied as humans.  The trick is to keep doing the practices that have worked in the past, even when we're not sure that they're presently working.

We keep reading our Bibles even when we'd like to be watching old movies.  We keep going to church, even though we might rather sleep.  We pray, even as we wonder if anyone hears us.   The list could go on and on.

Eventually, we will look up and realize that we have some new leaves on our brittle stems.  We will have left the time of rocky ground and thorns, and we will be ready for new shoots to take root.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Colossians 3:1-3

The seeking the things that are above...

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Psalm 116:7-8

Why our souls should be restful...

Sunday, September 07, 2014

God's Work - Our Hands - A Day of Service

"God's Work - Our Hands - A Day of Service"
Today folks donated, sorted and put away carts full of food for Trinity's Community Food Pantry, made quilts for Refugees for Lutheran World Relief, Packed up cookies for the College Cookie Mailing, filled shoeboxes for Seafarer's House, worked in the Memorial Garden (shout out to Annie Broderson and her awesome girl scouts !!!) and donated blood. What a privilege to pastor such selfless servants of God!
 - Pastor Keith 

Friday, September 05, 2014

Ephesians 5:1

Imitating as a child beloved...

Thursday, September 04, 2014

This Fall in Worship!

Join us this Fall in Worship for THE PARABLES OF JESUS
One thing that we have learned after a couple of years of CROSS+GEN worship is that spending two consecutive weeks on a text is exponentially better than just spending one. If we want folks to learn the texts, to connect with them more creatively and in a multitude of ways, to embed them in memory and become more comfortable connecting them with their daily lives, two is much better than one. Because we believe this is so, this fall we are finally moving to having all of our services using the same Biblical texts. At our "regular" services Pastor Keith  will preach one week with folks writing down questions about the text and/or sermon and the second week we will have designated lay people share a personal response to the text for about five minutes and then Pastor Keith will take up the previous weeks questions and spend some time teaching more about the text. It will be a great opportunity for us to get more deeper into Scripture and get more comfortable connecting it with our lives. Please join us!

FOOD PANTRY for God's Work - Our Hands Sunday SEPT 7th

From Dany Vega....
 The count down is on ! The FOOD PANTRY TEAM is ready to welcome you!!! Everyone who donates one of the following items will be rewarded with a small gift. Just come see us and pick your gift  We are looking forward to seeing you all !

 We are in need of the following items:
 - jelly
 - peanut butter
 - pasta sauce or any tomato item
 - mac and cheese
 - cereal
 - condensed tomato or chicken noodle soup
 - mashed potato
 - rahmen noodles

Food items should be placed in the shopping cart located in the narthex (entrance) as items will be blessed during each worship service.

College Cookie Pack Up for "God's Work - Our Hands" Sunday

This is our current list. If you are a college student and you have no yet provided your name/address for a cookie box, whether you are living at home or away at school, please do so ASAP as we are boxing this Sunday September 7th and mailing on Monday.
Racquel Malave
Maya, Dinesh and Rajiv McCoy
Chaniel Francis
Shauna Stevens
Christian Spencer and Thomas Spencer
Kayla Frey
Jessica Stone
Anthony Giordano
Alexander, Bryan and Stephanie Hocke
Zack and Sarah Gearhart
Katie and Keely Emery
Elizabeth Furey
Daniel DeLeon
Marc and Joanna Vega
Katherine Bosch

God's Work - Our Hands

A note fron Dany Vega:
This Sunday September 7th


We have already collect quite a few shoe boxes ( more are always welcome) and are now in need of any Christmas wrapping paper !
Below is a list of items to go in the box :



Psalm 41:10a

On Raising Up...

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

First Thoughts on the Parable of the Sower and the Seed

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

For the next 2 Sundays, we will focus on this Gospel: 

Matthew 13:1-9

This Gospel returns us to one of my favorite metaphors: the seed. When I first read this Gospel lesson as a child, I read it as an indictment of the seeds. Clearly some were just bad or worthless. Now, as an adult, I see this Gospel as being primarily about the ground. We've all got lots of potential, but some of us just aren't in the right kind of ground to flourish.

This week, let's think about ways we can enrich the soil in which we find ourselves.  Many of us start our days by watching the local news. What would happen if you turned off the news and read a chapter of the Bible? You'd probably leave the house feeling calmer. I know that you'll tell me you only watch the news to get the weather and the traffic. Well, there are better ways to get that information. The local news carries such horrific stories, and our bodies can't handle that stress.

Likewise, what sounds surround you all day?  I know many people who keep the news on all day.  No wonder they feel wrung out by the end of the day.  Many people watch news shows where people spew hate all day--even clever sarcasm is a form of hate.  Turn off that media.

Think about your Facebook posts:  the ones you post and the ones you read.  I try to avoid reading the posts about what's making people mad.  I'm far more interested in the gratitude posts and the posts that notice the beauty that's around us.

What do you watch on TV?  Do you watch crime shows that leave you afraid to sleep at night?  What would happen if you ended your day with soothing music?  What if you ended your day by reading something nourishing?  What if you kept a gratitude journal and wrote down the best things that happened to you all day?

There are times in your life where your heart won't be fertile soil. But if gardening teaches us anything, it's that soil can be redeemed--and if you want to keep on with this metaphor: what redeems soil? Poop! Lots and lots of poop! So give thanks for all the poop that falls into your life and pray that it transforms the soil of your heart. The redemption process goes faster if you participate. And teeny changes can lead to incredible rewards. Here, in the sweltering last days of summer, think about one change you can make.  If you make a daily or weekly commitment, maybe new sprouts will be shooting up inside your heart by the time that Advent starts.

Monday, September 01, 2014

The Passing of Bob Williams

Former Trinity Member and Council Member Bob Williams passed away this summer. Our prayers and our hearts go out to his wife Deb, his daughter Amy and the family. Notes of condolence may be sent to Deb Williams 2204 Ryan Ct, Charlotte , North Carolina, 28214

Isaiah 60:1

Why we arise...