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, December 31, 2014

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The Gospel for Sunday, Jan. 4: 

Matthew 2:  1-25

This Sunday we remember the slaughter of the innocent boys of Bethlehem, killed by Herod as he tries to get rid of any possible competition, even if that competition is newly born and not likely to challenge him for decades.  We remember the Magi who alerted Herod on their way to pay their respects, and we remember the Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, transformed overnight into refugees.

Let us take a minute to think about the modern Herods in our world.  We see no shortage of evil dictators who slaughter whole swaths of the population for a variety of reasons.

Let us take a minute to think about the Holy Family, transformed into refugees, fleeing for their lives with just the clothes on their backs.  Here in our modern world, we see no shortage of people transformed from regular citizens to refugees in just a matter of hours.

Maybe we don't want to think on a huge, global scale.  The human brain was not meant for such horror.  Some of us become immobilized.  But we could help refugees on a smaller scale.

There's always money that we could donate, but maybe we want a more hands-on project.  I stumbled across this blog post about a mom who homeschools and the Christmas project of making Christmas bags for foster children, many of whom leave abusive homes with just the clothes on their backs.

It's also a good day to consider the ways we are Herod.  How do we lash out to protect ourselves?  We may not literally slaughter a whole town of babies, but most of us could do better at nourishing the next generations:  the kids in our churches, the students in our schools, the younger folks in the work force.

As we remember the slaughter of the Holy Innocents, let us recommit ourselves to love.   We can resolve to let love rule our actions, not fear. We can also resolve to help those who are harmed by the Herods of our world.

The older I get, the more I appreciate the actions of the early church.  These days that honor martyrs coming so close to Christmas--it makes more sense now.  But I also pray for the time that we will not have to remember the horrors that humanity can inflict.  I hold fast to that Christmas vision of light shining in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


5PM Festive Service with communion and candles (and ukuleles!)
7:30PM Family Service young and beautiful voices, familiar carols, the Christmas Gospel (and communion and candles, of course!)
11PM Cantata Service with choir, instrumentalists, (and communion and candles!)

One service at 11AM (cantata Reprise) with healing

Return to regular schedule 8AM, 9:45AM, 11AM

Meditation on the Sunday after Christmas

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

Lectionary readings for Sunday, December 28, 2014:

First Reading: Isaiah 61:10--62:3

Psalm: Psalm 148

Second Reading: Galatians 4:4-7

Gospel: Luke 2:22-40

This Sunday, after the whirlwind excitement of Christmas Eve, in the lectionary readings we return to the Temple, where Simeon and Anna have been patiently waiting for God to fulfill God's promise. At church, we will hear the Christmas cantata again.  And in our scary times, that message is a wonderful reminder: God fulfills the promises that God makes.

Of course, it may not happen in the time period that we would like to demand. So what do we do in the meantime? We wait. Maybe we wait patiently, like Simeon. Or maybe we become impatient, like the Psalmist. But we wait. What else can we do? Scripture and Literature across many different cultures warn us of what happens if we decide that we're as powerful as God and can proceed on our own--nothing good can come of that.

What do we do while we're waiting? We can take Simeon and Anna as our models. We can surround ourselves with people who believe in God's promise. Hopefully, we find those kind of people in our Christian communities. Hopefully, we've spent our lives finding people who live in hope, even when surrounded by evidence that would make more rational people doubt.

Of course, we don't have to just wait passively. The Advent lessons have reminded us of the importance of staying alert and watchful. The Scriptures tell us that God will appear in many guises, none of them what we expect.

We can also take our cues from Mary and Joseph, from Elizabeth and John the Baptist, from any number of spiritual predecessors. We can decide to take our part in the redemption of God's creation. Every day gives us the opportunity to practice resurrection, as Wendell Berry phrased it. We can choose to move towards light and leave the darkness to mind its own business. We are called to be the light of the world, the yeast in the bread dough, the salt of the earth. We can't do that if we're pessimistic.

I would encourage us not to leave Christmas behind too quickly. Many of us have had busy Decembers. We can leave our Christmas trees up for a few more days (twelve, even, until Jan. 6, Epiphany) to enjoy the vision we haven't had a chance to take in during our busy Advent. We can eat one last Christmas cookie, while we reflect on the past year, and plan for the year to come. We can pray for the patience of Simeon, for the wisdom of Anna, for the courage of Mary and Elizabeth and Joseph, who said yes to God's plan. We can pray that we have the boldness of John the Baptist, who declared the Good News.

We can pray for the strength to evolve into people of hope, people who watch and wait, confident in the knowledge that God fulfills all promises.

Monday, December 22, 2014


I am taking a break from copying bulletins and humming Christmas songs to let you all know that Christmas Eve worship at Trinity Lutheran is going to be amazing!
While I was up to my elbows in toner and copy paper, our Ukulele ensemble was busy at work preparing for our festive 5PM sunset Christmas Eve candlelight communion service. Mostly indoors (and if it is raining then all indoors), this service is pure joy! And the ladies sound like angels singing, plus they really know their way around a ukulele) so there's that!  7:30PM features a number of our younger folks (kids through young adults) helping out with their voices and their hearts. Another service with candles and communion and the joy of Christmas! 11PM is led by our choir and musicians who will lead us from Christmas Eve into Christmas Day with a passionate cantata written by Jim Hawkins (and communion and candles, of course!).  Please join us and bring friends!

Ever in Christ
Pastor Keith

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014


For the grieving and the lonely. For the broken and the lost. For the hurting and the angry.
For the sorrowful and the sad. For those needing to forgive and needing forgiveness.
This Saturday night December 20th at 7PM at Trinity Lutheran Church, Pembroke Pines. A service to offer God's hope and healing.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

More Thoughts on Joseph

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The reading for Sunday, December 21, 2014:

Matthew 1:  20-22

I have done some thinking of Joseph, as many of us do, in the Advent season.  He thinks of quietly unweaving himself from Mary, who is pregnant.  This behavior is our first indication of his character.  Under ancient law, he could have had Mary stoned to death, but he takes a gentler path.

And then, he follows the instructions of the angel who tells him of God's plan.  He could have turned away.  He could have said, "I did not sign up for this!"  He could have said, "No thanks.  I want a normal wife and a regular life."

Instead, he turned towards Mary and accepted God's vision.  He's there when the family needs to flee to Egypt.  He's there when the older Jesus is lost and found in the temple.  We assume that he has died by the time Christ is crucified, since he's not at the cross.

When I was a teenager, our discussions of Joseph, if they happened at all, revolved around how it must have felt to have raised a child that wasn't his.  As I look back, I think about how many of the fathers around us were doing just that, as it was the 1970's and early 80's, that time when so many families split apart and reconfigured into different families.  But none of us grew up saying, "I hope I'm a really good stepparent some day."

Many of us grow up internalizing the message that if we're not changing the world in some sort of spectacular way, we're failures.  Those of us who are Christians may have those early disciples as our role models, those hard-core believers who brought the Good News to the ancient world by going out in pairs. 

But Joseph shows us a different reality.  It's quite enough to be a good parent.  It's quite enough to have an ordinary job.  It's quite enough to show up, day after day, dealing with both the crises and the opportunities.

Joseph reminds us that even the ones born into the spotlight need people in the background who are tending to the details.  When we think about those early disciples and apostles, we often forget that they stayed in people's houses, people who fed them and arranged speaking opportunities for them, people who gave them encouragement when their task seemed too huge, people who gave money.

I imagine Joseph doing much the same thing, as he helped Jesus become a man.  I imagine the life lessons that Joseph administered as he gave Jesus carpentry lessons.  I imagine that he helped Jesus understand human nature, in all the ways that parents have helped their offspring understand human nature throughout history.

Let us not be so quick to discount this kind of work.  Let us praise the support teams that make the way possible for the people who will change the world.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The reading for Sunday, December 14, 2014:

The Gospel for this Sunday gives us an angel appearing to Joseph in a dream. In this season of Advent, we've spent several weeks thinking and hearing about angel visitations.:  Mary, Elizabeth, and now Joseph.

Notice the responses of these people. They give themselves to God's will. They don't protest, the way that some of our spiritual ancestors did--think of Moses, who tried and tried to get God to go away.

It's important to note that God always gives us a choice, although God can be notoriously insistent. Joseph could have gone on with his plans to divorce Mary quietly; notice his unwillingness to shame her publicly, as would have been his right in a patriarchal society. But the angel comes to him to give Joseph a fuller picture, and Joseph submits to God's will. Likewise, Mary could have said, "Mother of the Messiah? Forget it. I just want a normal kid." But she didn't.

During this time of year, I often wonder how many times I've turned down God. Does God call me to a higher purpose? Am I living my life in a way that is most consistent with what God envisions for me?

The readings for this time of year reminds us to stay alert and watchful. This time of year, when the corporate consumer machine is cranked into high gear, when so many of us sink into depression, when the world has so many demands, it's important to remember that God's plan for the world is very different than your average CEO's vision. It's important to remember that we are people of God, and that allegiance should be first.

What does this have to do with Joseph? Consider the story again, and what it means for us modern people. Maybe you're like Joseph, and you're overly worried about what people will think about you and your actions. The Gospel for this Sunday reminds us that following God may require us to abandon the judgments of the world and accept God's judgment.

Notice that Joseph is the only one in the story who receives an angel visitation in a dream. What is the meaning of this fact? Perhaps this route was the only way that God could reach Joseph. Many of us are so used to having our yearnings mocked or unanswered that they go deep underground, only to bubble up in dreams and visions. Convenient for us, since we can discount things more easily when they appear in our dreams.

God will take many routes to remind us of our role in the divine drama. Many of us won't notice God's efforts; we're too busy being so busy. This time of year reminds us to slow down, to contemplate, to pay attention.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


We spent three weeks this fall in worship engaging in three Jesus'  "Stewardship parables" about how we use our time, our gifts/passions, and our financial resources. Then everyone was invited to answer four commitments anonymously. 56% of those who could respond, did (which is a great number by the way).
For those who did here is the breakdown to their affirmations:
I will pray daily for Trinity and especially its lay leadership and pastor as they seek faithfully and humbly to lead us as God gives them ability (94% yes)
I will give generously for the mission and Ministry of Trinity Lutheran Church of what God has blessed and entrusted to me (85% yes)
I will commit to giving regularly, whether I am present or absent, of an amount I prayerfully discern. (91% yes)
I will increase my offering for 2015 by an amount I prayerfully discern. (47% yes)

A people who pray, who give, who give regularly and generously are a people for whom much shall be expected and through whom much can be accomplished in and through the Holy Spirit for the sake of the world. It is an honor to serve a parish and a people so committed to embodying the love of God in all aspects of their life to the glory of God.
Ever in Christ
Pastor Keith

Saturday, December 06, 2014


The WELCA Cookie exchange Tuesday Night December 9th is open to everyone and has a NEW START TIME of 7PM - if you can please bring 2 dozen cookies to share - and all are welcome to the evening program featuring Max Lucado's "The Christmas Candle"

Thursday, December 04, 2014


If you have not yet turned in your Offering Preference Card and your Offering Commitment Card, please do so at your earliest convenience. They may be placed in the offering plate.

This Saturday in our parking lot and hall is our Community Yard Sale to support our Justice Ministry.

Spots for venders still available. Volunteers to assist still welcome.

Set up at 6:30AM. Sale 8AM until 2PM. Christmas crafts and lots of cool stuff to be offered!
WELCA Cookie Exchange Tuesday December 9th at 7:30PM. Those participating are asked to bring (at least) 2 dozen cookies. All welcome! We will be boxing up cookies to bring to our shut ins during caroling.

We are collecting gently used teenage clothing until DEC 14th for the youth of the Lippman Shelter
Gingerbread decorating this Sunday December 7th after each service. Please bring icing and decorating elements to share. At 11AM service please bring something for the potluck to share.

We are collecting new (unused) Christmas Cards until December 7th for immigrant mothers and children held in detention (we have hand outs on how to fill them out and we will send them into Lutheran Immigration and Resettlement Services).
Christmas Caroling will take place Sunday December 14th following the 11AM service. Meet in Charter Hall. Pizza at 12:15PM for the carolers then groups will go out to shut ins, the VA home and the Lippman Shelter

The deadline for poinsettia dedications  is Sunday December 21st.  Envelopes are available in your bulletin. Suggested donation is $10. You may also mail in your donation directly to the office:

Trinity Lutheran Church 8362 Pines Blvd Suite 431 Pembroke Pines FL 33024
Please indicate that it is for Poinsettia Dedication.
Wednesday Night Potluck and Bible Study is on hiatus until Wed JAN 7th

Christmas Eve Services:
5PM Festive Service with Music led by Ukulele group “Tropical Blend”
Begins in the sanctuary and ends in the Butterfly Garden with candlelighting at sunset

7:30PM Family Service
Our young people provide solos and music leadership under the direction of our organist Barbara Gilson.
11PM Cantata Service
A special composed Christmas Cantata by Trinity’s own Jim Hawkins and led by the Trinity Worship Choir and instrumentalists forms the heart of this service

 *All services with Holy Communion and Candle lighting
ONE service at 11AM on Sunday December 28th (Cantata Reprsie)

 Sunday January 4th regular services return at 8:30AM, 9:45AM and 11AM
Sunday January 25th Semi-Annual Congregational Meeting during worship services for council  elections. Chili Cook Off and Silent Auction at 12:15PM


Wednesday, December 03, 2014


The Second Annual Community Yard Sale to support Trinity's Justice Ministry will take place this Saturday December 6th on the Trinity Campus and in Charter Hall. Christmas Crafts and gifts and other household and other items will be sold by venders including our own WELCA. Food will be available. Pastor is making a pot of chili.

Vender spots are still available! If interested, please contact Dany as soon as possible at 954 907 1562 

Set up is at 6:30AM and the sale runs from 8AM - 2PM

If you signed up to donate food and beverage items please bring them in as soon as possible.
If you signed up to assist Dany by working the sale, food table, and so forth, please remember to show up on time. More volunteers always welcome.

Thank you in advance for your hard work to support this important ministry!

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The reading for Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014:  Luke 1:  47-49

Today's reading is part of the Magnificat, the song that Mary sings when she goes to her cousin Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist, conceived long after Elizabeth's child-bearing years ended.

Take some Advent time and look at the Magnificat again (verses 46-55 in Luke 1). Reflect on how Mary's song of praise sums up most of our Scripture. If we want to know what God is up to in this world, here Mary sings it for us. He has raised up a lowly woman who would have been a member of one of the lowliest of her society. He has fed the hungry and lifted up the oppressed. He has continued to stay with Abraham's descendants, even when they haven't always deserved it. We can count on our strong God, from generation to generation.

Take some Advent time and think about Mary's call to be greater than she could have ever expected she would be. She could have said no to God--many do. But she said yes. That acceptance didn't mean she would avoid pain and suffering. In fact, by saying yes, she likely exposed herself to more pain and suffering. But in saying yes, she also opened herself up to amazing possibilities.

Think about your own life. Where do you hear God calling your name?

Perhaps I will adopt a different New Year's resolution this year. I usually have resolutions about eating better and exercising more and tending to my writing. Maybe this year, I will resolve to say yes to God.

The very thought makes me a bit terrified. My control freak self doesn't like this idea of saying yes. My control freak self doesn't understand why I would want Mary, mother of Jesus, as a model.

How can we be like Mary? How can we be like Elizabeth, who receives an even more improbable invitation? Where would we be led, if we said yes to God?

God has a greater narrative for us than any we can dream of. Let this be the year that we say yes to God and leave our limited visions behind.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014


Wednesday December 3rd Potluck 6PM then we decorate the two Advent Trees in the sanctuary, put up the big blue and gold streaming banner from the sanctuary cross and a tree in Charter Hall. Then we go on hiatus until JAN 7th and recommence meeting weekly for potluck and Bible Study continuing with Brian McLaren's "We Make the Road by Walking"


Pastor  will be spending most of this week making gingerbread (and finishing up Christmas Eve worship, JAN worship etc etc). But here's the thing: Can folks bring in unused Christmas Cards this Sunday? Besides the joy of slathering icing on Gingerbread we also have the opportunity to prepare special Christmas cards for the more than 1700 women and children currently held in immigration detention. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS) is collecting these cards for distribution. We will have all of the information on a handout - please join us as we write messages of hope for them.
Gingerbread and Christmas Cards will take place following all worship services (8:30AM, 9:45AM, and 11AM in Charter Hall. If you are coming to 11AM please bring a dish to share!