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, October 30, 2015

All Saints Sunday and Trinity's 55th Anniversary

About 48.5 hours for now (not counting the extra hour when we "fall back" Saturday night) Trinity Lutheran will begin its All Saints Service and 55th Anniversary commemoration. Thank you to everyone who has helped ni ways great and small to prepare the Trinity Memorial Butterfly Garden (which has had an almost complete makeover the past few weeks - all 3000+ square feet). A few more hours today and we will call "complete" though in truth as a living space it is always in progress. And than you to everyone bringing some food to share (please do!) for the Anniversary brunch Sunday following worship (Worship at 10AM and brunch arounf 11:15AMish). There will be a slideshow of photos from Trinity's 55 years (just completed with 2,000+ photos) playing continuously in the background during our brunch on the projection screen.

We will give thank this year for 10 long-time servant-saints and recognizer them for their hard work, faithfullness, and perserveance for the sake of the gospel. John Ray Williams, Earline LaCroix, AJ and Lila Brinkley, Bev Grant, Bill Manrodt, Ingeborg Slingsby, Don and Virginia Allen, Mickey Hall, Shirley Grigas, and Al & Shirley Gearhart. To honor them we have planted several fruit trees in the Butterfly garden and placed a stone with the following verse from John 15:8 "My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples." A special bookley with brief interviews of those being honored will be handed out at the brunch.

We will also be honoring our long-time organist Barbara Gilson for her many year of dedicated and faithful service, another servant-saint who has done all asked of her and more for the sake of the gospel. In the butterfly garden there is a new tree (a star apple for our star organist!) along with a nearby wind chime so that everytime the Spirit blows (wind and spirit are the same word in scripture) we will hear its music and remember how blessed we are by her devotion and gifts. Thank you to Eileen Soler for interviewing Barbara Gilson for our anniversary booklet.

The booklet also includes a brief history of Trinity Lutheran and a summary of its pastors to date and those ordained there, among them Mark Cerniglia, a son of the parish! The booklet also includes some traditional hymns requested as part of the hymn sing that celebrates beloved hymns from our history.

We are honored to have with us to share in this special day the Rev. Jaime Dubón, the Assistant to the Bishop & Director of Evangelical Mission for South Region of the Florida-Bahamas Synod, who will be bringing greetings from our bishop, Robert G. Schaefer as well as preaching and assisting with communion.

During our All Saints Worship we will be receiving five new members, who will be presented to the congregation by some of our congregational leaders. Welcome Dolores Moon, Bernadette Hammond, Betty Harvey, Howard Brown and Casey Jones!

There will be a table set up in front of the first set of pews for people to place photos and momentos of dearly departed loved ones - we call it our "Table of Remembrance." You may place objects any time prior to the start of the worship service. On this table you will find a prayer book in which you may write the names of anyone who has gone ahead of us into the Kingdom and during worship we will lift them up in prayer as we light candles to remind one another of the promise into which we were all baptized and claimed by Christ.

Thank you in advance to our worship helpers, our Hand Chimers led by Piper Spencer, solist Janean Becker Baumal, our Worship Choir and musicians led by Barbara Gilson, and DaniyCaco Vega for preparing our worship space and fellowship hall for these events. And most of all thank you to God, who in Christ Jesus has blest Trinity with a Spirit of love lived out so boldly through justice, service, compassion, and joy for the past 55 years.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Meditation on All Saints Sunday

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The readings for Sunday, November 1, 2015:

First Reading: Isaiah 25:6-9

First Reading (Alt.): Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-9

Psalm: Psalm 24

Second Reading: Revelation 21:1-6a

Gospel: John 11:32-44

Today we celebrate the Feast of All Saints', traditionally a time when we remember our dead loved ones and all the saints triumphant.   Some of us are lucky--we have come through the past year without death coming close to us or those whom we love.  Some of us have spent the past year grieving, and we can't imagine how we will ever leave the tomb of grief ourselves.

And along comes Jesus, who calls us to a new life.

Jesus constantly reminds us that the glory of God is all around us, if only we had eyes to see. Jesus invites us to a Resurrection Culture. Sometimes, it's a forceful invitation: the cancer that is caught in time, the loss of a relationship or job that leaves us open to something more nourishing, the addiction that loosens its hold, the return of the prodigal loved ones. Other times, we catch sight of God's Kingdom as a fleeting glimpse: the dance of butterflies, the bad mood that lifts, the perfect bottle of wine that we share with friends.

Still we must cope with the ultimate sorrow. As thinking creatures, we go through life aware that if we live long enough, we will lose all that we love. How do we square the Resurrection Culture of Jesus with this knowledge?

Jesus promises us that death is not the final answer. We may not fully understand how Jesus will fulfill that promise. Some will argue that we go directly to Heaven, and some will tell us that we'll wait in a safe place until the final coming of Christ. And in the meantime, Jesus invites us to participate in the creation of the Kingdom, right here, right now. We don't have to wait until we're dead.

Jesus stands at the door of our tombs and calls to us. How will we answer? Will we say, "Go away! I'm comfortable here in my coffin. Leave me alone." Or will we emerge, blinking, into the sunshine of new life? Will we let Jesus unwrap us from our death cloths?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Meditation for Reformation Sunday

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

 Here we are at another Reformation Sunday. As we celebrate the actions of Martin Luther centuries ago, you may be wondering what we’re experiencing right here.

Maybe you’re in an angry space; maybe you’re saying, “Hey, I have some theses of my own that I’d like to nail to a nearby church door.” It’s been a tough few years for many of us, as we’ve watched our denominations wrestle with various issues.

Maybe you feel that the Church should move more quickly towards fully embracing the idea of same-sex marriage. Or maybe you feel it’s all moving too quickly. Maybe you despair and imagine God asking, “So, enough of these sexuality issues. What are you doing as a church to eliminate childhood hunger?”

Maybe you feel a bit of despair this Reformation Sunday as you think about the Reformations you thought you were witnessing. Maybe you’re wondering what happened to all that reform. Not too long ago, we might have thought that technology would transform us—or maybe we were ancient-future folks, hoping for more contemplative elements in our services, more praying of the liturgy of the hours, more pre-Reformation elements.

Maybe you’re feeling irritated as you wish we could just go back to being the church that we were in the 1950’s, before so many denominations lost their way. Maybe you’re tired of being the only one at work who’s living a liturgical life.

Or maybe you’re feeling joy. Maybe you’re delighting in hearing about different kinds of intentional communities. Maybe you’re seeing a different way to do Christian education which inspires hope for the next generation of believers. Maybe you’re feeling your creativity enhanced by your spiritual practices, or maybe it’s your spiritual life that’s enhanced by your artistic practices.

No matter where you are this Reformation Sunday, take comfort from the knowledge that the Church has always been in the process of Reformation. There are great Reformations, like the one we'll celebrate this Sunday, or the Pentecostal revolution that's only 100 years old, but has transformed the developing world (third worlds and those slightly more advanced) in ways that Capitalism never could. There are smaller ones throughout the ages as well. Movements which seemed earth-shattering at the time (monastic movements of all kinds, liberation theology, ordination of women, lay leadership) may in time come to be seen as something that enriches the larger church. Even gross theological missteps, like the Inquisition, can be survived. The Church learns from past mistakes as it moves forward.

Times of Reformation can enrich us all. Even those of us who reject reform can find our spiritual lives enriched as we take stock and measure what's important to us, what compromises we can make and what we can't. It's good to have these times where we return to the Scriptures as we try to hear what God calls us to do.

Once the dust settles, each of the previous time periods of Reformation has left the Church enriched, but enriched in ways that no one could have predicted--that's what makes it scary, after all. As we approach Reformation Sunday, I'd encourage each of us to tap our own inner Martin Luther. What is the Church doing well? What could be changed for the better? What part can we play?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Meditation for Breast Cancer Sunday

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The readings for Sunday, October 18, 2015:

Hebrews 5:  1-10; Mark 10:  35-45

In the spirit of full confession, let me admit to feeling queasiness about our annual breast cancer Sunday.  I feel a bit nervous by just confessing my queasiness.  I am not opposed to healing services.  But this particular Sunday with its focus on this particular disease makes me uneasy.

We could argue that we need to make people aware.  But surely anyone who's been conscious for any amount of time understands how to screen for this disease and the importance of early detection.

In fact, I would argue that the focus on breast cancer obscures other health issues.  Did you know that breast cancer is not the cancer that kills the most women?  No.  It's lung cancer.

And if we want to focus on the biggest killer of women, we'd have Heart Disease Sunday.

I know plenty of people who have suffered from breast cancer.  It's not that I don't have a face to go with the disease.  There are far too many faces in my memory.

Happily, most of those faces are still attached to living bodies.  I know of more people who have died of other cancers.

I will confess to theological thoughts that seem almost heretical in this past two years of many cancers.  I don't usually spend much time thinking of cancer, but in these past two years, a colleague has died of pancreatic cancer, a friend died because of a cancerous brain tumor that returned, a colleague has battled colon cancer that travelled to his liver, and my best friend from high school died of cancer of the esophagus.  The thought of cancer is never far from my consciousness.

I have found myself wondering about where cancer fits into God's plan.  I don't believe that our lives are set on a predetermined path, but I do believe that God has created everything with meticulous attention to detail.  How do I square that belief with a cancer cell?  The cancer cell undoes such a beautiful creation, the human body.  It looks like a design flaw to me. 

But here's the heretical thought:  maybe it looks like a design flaw, but it's not.  Maybe I think of it as a design flaw because I am human-centered.  Do we believe in a God who loves every element of creation equally?  I say that I do, but my belief falters in the face of cancer cells.

I think of those Bible verses that has God caring for a sparrow and knowing every hair on the human head.  Does God care equally for the cancer cell?

If I was a good theologian, I'd have an answer.  I don't.  I don't even have a Bible reference that helps me make sense of my quandary.

My creative practices help me with my theological quandary about God and cancer cells.  My creative processes have helped me to be comfortable with long periods of not knowing a clear direction.  I begin to write a novel, for example, in a place of uncertainty.  Do I have characters who are worthy of a book?  What will happen to them?  What's the purpose of this novel?  I don't have to know for sure, but I have to keep going.

I don't know for sure how cancer fits into the plan for creation.  Is it evidence of a fallen aspect of creation?  Or perhaps the cancer cell fits a larger purpose that I can't even conceive of--because, after all, I'm not God.

But I have trust in the Easter message that death does not have the final answer.  I have trust in a Creator and a creation that commits to resurrection on a daily basis.  With that faith, I can continue.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


JUST A FRIENDLY REMINDER THAT PUMPKIN OFFLOAD IS THIS WED AT 4:00PM.  Come whenever you can.  Bring your gloves!  Pizza will be served!
If you are unable to help during offload, there are many times during the week when we still need volunteers to work the patch.  Fortunately, the pumpkins sell themselves, however...one cannot do it alone.  The only requirement is that you enjoy meeting new people in the community and within the Trinity Family.  Also, the pumpkins that are not placed on pallets, and there will be many, will need to be turned every night.  We are looking for youth volunteers to do this - another great way to earn service hours.  If you are able to work any of the shifts (or part of a shift), or to sign up for pumpkin turning, please email Kathy Velez at  kathryn4301@att.net or call her at 954-478-4395.  Thanks to those who have already signed up to volunteer.  

The following shifts are available:
Friday, Oct. 16th
4:00-6:00     2 volunteers needed
6:00-8:00     2 volunteers needed

Saturday, Oct. 17th
12:30-3:00   2 volunteers needed
5:30-8:00     2 volunteers needed

Sunday, Oct. 18th
3:00-5:30     2 volunteers needed
Monday, Oct. 19th
2:00-4:00     1 volunteer needed
6:00-8:00     2 volunteers needed

Tuesday, Oct. 20th
6:00-8:00     2 volunteers needed

Wednesday, Oct. 21st
6:00-8:00     2 volunteers needed

Thursday, Oct. 22nd
6:00-8:00     2 volunteers needed

Friday, Oct. 23rd
4:00-6:00     1 volunteer needed
6:00-8:00     2 volunteers needed

Saturday, Oct. 24th
12:30-3:00   2 volunteers needed

Thursday, October 08, 2015

The Rewards of Faithfulness

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The reading for Sunday, October 11, 2015:

Joshua 2:  1-23

In the reading for Sunday, we get the story of faithful Rahab, who protects the Israelite spies from the townspeople planning to kill them and assists their escape from the town.  She bargains for protection for her family during the coming invasion, and she is promised what she wants if she follows instructions.

Traditionally her story is told as one that demonstrates faithfulness and reward for that faithfulness.  I worry about that interpretation and how we might see it if we feel we are not being rewarded.  Will we criticize ourselves for not being faithful enough?  I hope not.

I have Christian martyrs on the brain as I read the story of Rahab.  I think of all the people who sheltered Jews during the time of the Holocaust--many people survived because of those efforts, but let us not forget those who were killed because of their faithfulness.

I also see this as a story of how God will use the outcast of society to transform that society.  Think about Rahab, who was a prostitute--not only a woman, but the lowest kind of woman in patriarchal society.  Yet without her assistance, the Israelite spies would have been killed.  She not only shelters them, but she tells them how to survive and escape.  She knows the land, in a way that people in a higher rung of society might not.

What motivates some of us to provide assistance and some of us to turn away?  It's hard to know, but of one thing we can be certain:  God can use any one of us.  We may assume that since we don't have money or power or importance, that we are not essential--our culture beams that message to us every day.  Watch network TV and see for yourself.

But the Bible shows us story after story of the most unlikely people turned into agents of God's vision for creation.  If a prostitute like Rahab has a starring role, there is room for all of us.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Pumpkin Patch News!!!


Pumpkin offload is Wednesday, Oct. 14th @ 4:00PM.  It takes hours to offload so if you can't make it at 4:00 come as soon as you can!  Many hands needed - plus if you know a youth who needs service hours for school this is an excellent opportunity! Pizza and water for all.  We are also in need of wheel barrels, wooden pallets, and a couple of shop lights.  The patch runs from Oct. 15th thru Oct. 31st from 10AM to 8PM. Sign up sheets for offload and all shifts are now going around.  VOLUNTEERS NEEDED - please contact Kathy Velez with any questions at 954-478-4395kathryn4301@att.net 

Thursday, October 01, 2015

God's Call and Our Response

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The reading for Oct. 4, 2015:

Joshua 1:  1-17

As I read the passage for Sunday, I am struck by the clarity of the call and the lack of doubt in Joshua's response.  We may remember that not every person in the Bible responds the way that Joshua does.

Throughout the Bible, we see God at work in the world. We see God using all sorts of humans, the kind of humans that a wise CEO wouldn't promote. But God sees their potential, and God calls them.

Sometimes, people protest and remind God of their unworthiness; think of Moses. Sometimes God has to do a lot to get their attention; think of Jonah.

But sometimes, the call comes, and the person responds, dropping everything to follow God's call. In Joshua, we see this example.

Maybe this story of Joshua makes you feel unworthy.  You haven't heard a clear call, and you wonder why.  Or maybe you have heard God's call, but you don't have the kind of community that supports you like Joshua's does.

Maybe you're feeling a bit adrift as you wonder what comes next.  God is always offering interesting invitations. Take a moment each day to listen for God's call.  What visions does God have for you that are better than any you could dream for yourself?

I have friends who are much more scientific and rational, friends who would roll their eyes at any of these thoughts.  And they raise good points:  how can we be sure we're hearing God's call and not our own desires?

Or are our deep-seated desires the same desires that God would have for us? 

Here is my favorite thought about God's call and modern life.  Theologian Frederick Buechner reminds us in his book Wishful Thinking: "The place God calls you to is where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet."