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, March 31, 2016

Song of Songs 8:3

Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If one offered for love all the wealth of one's house, it would be utterly scorned. Song of Songs 8:7

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Psalm 30

O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. O LORD, you brought up my soul from Sheol, restored me to life. Psalm 30:2-3a

Psalm 63:1-3

 1O God, you are my God, I seek you,
 my soul thirsts for you;
 my flesh faints for you,
 as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
 2So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
 beholding your power and glory.
 3Because your steadfast love is better than life,
 my lips will praise you.

Psalm 63:1-3

The Road to Emmaus

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

On Sunday, April 3, we will return to the Emmaus Road that we find in Luke 24:13-35.  This story gives us an important window into the lives we are to have as Christians, particularly when it comes to the sharing of a meal, and our basic obligations when it comes to hospitality.

That hospitality is the often overlooked side of the Emmaus story. The travelers have walked seven miles together (for those of you who are wondering, that might take the modern walker, walking at a fast clip, a bit over two hours; in Biblical times, with unpaved roads with poorly shod feet, I'm estimating it would take half a day). When they get back to their house, they don't say to Jesus, "Well, good luck on your journey."

No--they invite him inside. What remarkable hospitality. They share what they have. They don't say, "Well, I can't let you see my house in its current state--let's go out to dinner." No, they notice that the day is nearly done, and they invite a stranger in to stay the night.

Those of you who have read your Bible will recognize a motif. God often appears as a stranger, and good things come to those who invite a stranger in. For those of you who protest that modern life is so much more dangerous than in Biblical times, and so it was safer for people like Abraham and the Emmaus couple to invite the stranger to stay, I'd have to disagree.

Without that hospitality, those strangers never would have known their fellow traveler. We are called to model the same behavior.

One thing we can do in our individual lives is to adopt a Eucharistic mindset. Never has this been more vital. Most people have ceased cooking for themselves, and many Americans are eating at least one meal a day while they drive.

Rebel against this trait. Look for ways to make meals special. Cook for yourself, even if it's something special. Invite your friends and loved ones to dinner. Occasionally, invite a stranger.  Or, if you have more time, each week, go to a different bakery and buy yourself some wonderful bread. Open a bottle of wine, and savor a glass with your delicious bread.

Bread and wine are relatively cheap and available. When I was a teenager living in Knoxville, Tennessee, my father went to D.C. on business, and brought back sourdough bread. I thought I had never tasted anything so wonderful, and marveled at a city where you could just buy such a creation from a bakery.

Well now, most of us do. Even in small towns, it's possible to get good bread. And it's easy to make it for yourself, if you want to restore even more sanity to your schedule. And while you make that bread, you can marvel at the miracle of yeast, and think again about Jesus' call for us to be the leaven (the yeast) in the loaf.

Jesus calls us to a Eucharistic life, which requires a major readjustment of our mindset around the issues of food, drink, time, and hospitality. Consider the Capitalist/Consumerist model that our culture offers us, and the invitation from Jesus looks even more attractive.

So, before the day gets later, go and buy some bread. Think about the many ways that bread (and other grains) sustain most of us throughout the world. Drink some wine and think about the miracle of fermentation (in many parts of the world, people drink fermented beverages because the water supply is tainted, but fermentation provides some protection). You are the leaven in the loaf, the yeast that turns grape juice into the miracle of wine--how can you make that manifest in the world today?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God — what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

The readings for Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016:

First Reading: Acts 10:34-43

First Reading (Alt.): Isaiah 65:17-25

Psalm: Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:19-26

Second Reading (Alt.): Acts 10:34-43

Gospel: Luke 24:1-12

Gospel (Alt.): John 20:1-18

I've talked to many people who seem a bit amazed at how fast this season of Lent has zoomed by us. I've talked to several people who don't feel ready for Easter at all. Are we ever ready for Easter?

Some years feel more difficult than others. I must confess that the older I get, the more I see the same difficulties.  A few years ago, I had just gotten news of one of my dearest high school friend's cancer.  Now, more and more people seem afflicted.

If we're lucky enough to have been spared from natural disaster ourselves, we've likely looked on in horror as other parts of our world have suffered horribly.  There are natural disasters and this week, the terrorism in Brussels.   If we're thinking people at all, we have to realize how precarious is our existence on the surface of our planet.

Maybe you say to yourself that you're still in that Ash Wednesday space. Maybe you ask, "How can we celebrate Easter with the taste of ashes still in our mouths?"

Hear that Easter message again. Know that God is working to redeem creation in ways that we can't always see and don't often understand. But we get glimpses of it.

The earth commits to resurrection this time of year. Green sprouts shoot out from hard earth everywhere.  Even for those of us further to the south who have no real winter, this time of year brings new blooms, as the yellow tab tree blooms burst forth and the bougainvillea seems more vivid.   Each spring, we are reminded of the cyclical nature of the world, which can bring us hope in the times in which we suffer. This, too, shall pass.

The social justice goals of past generations have come to fruition. We may be seeing ravaged populations today, but in a decade or two, we may see healing. Imagine going back to 1987 and telling everyone you saw that the Wall would soon come down, that the Soviet Union would soon be no more, and the world's stockpile of nuclear weapons would soon be reduced. No one would believe you. And yet we know it happened. We can pray for a similar outcome in Syria and other places decimated by war.

We know that sometimes our bodies can produce miracles. We convince the cancer not to kill us this year. Damaged wombs can bring forth children. We abuse our physical selves with too much exercise or too much drink or too much smoke, but to our surprise, our bodies can heal.

But maybe we see those examples of resurrection as random and capricious. We taste the ash in our mouths. If we've heard the Easter story (and the Holy Week stories) again and again, we tend to forget the miraculous nature of them. Maybe we're tempted to downplay them even. Maybe we're beaten down and tired (tired of praying that the insurance company gets its act together before the next hurricane season starts, tired of praying for health and people getting sicker, tired of praying for peace in the world which never seems to come), too beaten down and tired to believe in miracles anymore.

Resist that pull towards despair, which some have called the deadliest sin, even worse than pride. We have seen miracles with our own eyes: Nelson Mandela walks out of jail to claim his place as president, for example; peace in Northern Ireland; peace in some parts of Eastern Europe. We're often too shy or scared to run out of our gardens to tell everyone else what we've seen, what we know.

But we must remember we are a Resurrection People. Commit yourself to new life. Rinse the ashes out of your mouth with the Eucharist bread and wine. Celebrate the miracles.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Palm Sunday Meditation, with a Glimpse to Holy Week

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The Readings for Palm Sunday, March 20, 2016:

Let us consider not only Palm Sunday, but Holy Week that comes in its wake.

Jesus continues to teach the same lesson as he has been teaching his whole life: it is better to serve. If we weren't familiar with the story, we might wonder at its strangeness. We make ourselves better by humbling ourselves? We might hear the echo of other Gospels: Jesus washing the feet of the disciples, Jesus riding through Jerusalem on a donkey. Jesus has sent out the disciples with nothing--and they want for nothing. There's a lesson here for our possession-crazed culture. Empty yourself, so you can find what's essential.

Here we see Jesus moving through varying ruling branches of his society: the church, the government, the masses of people. One day they're on your side, the next day they're not. Things haven't really changed all that much, have they?

Here, too, Jesus makes it clear what following him will mean for our earthly life. Jesus shows us our highest potential as humans, what we can strive for, what we can reasonably expect to accomplish in our own lives--and it won't necessarily be greatness in the way that earthly life defines greatness: who gets to sit at which position of power and authority. According to this way of thinking, we can't let ourselves off the hook by saying, "Oh, but Jesus was divine, so what was expected of him would be different than what would be expected of me."

No, Jesus came to show us how to live a life for which we yearn. And how do we do that? By serving others. By sacrifice, perhaps the ultimate sacrifice of our lives, but certainly of our time and our treasure.

Sacrifice. It's such a grim sounding word. And yet, think of the times when you've felt most at peace, most like you were fulfilling your destiny. Those were probably some times of sacrifice. We finish an academic degree, which requires much sacrifice of time and money, and we get an incredible amount of joy. We weather tough times in our personal relationships. Any long-term relationship demands some sacrifice of ourselves. We can't always put ourselves first and expect people to stick around for that.  But with the sacrifice, if we're lucky, comes the reward of a richer relationship.

I've met (or read the books of) people who have made even deeper sacrifices, people who have formed intentional communities to better serve the poor and outcast. Those communities have made a deep and lasting impression on me, so much so that I spend a great deal of time yearning to return, wondering if I, too, could make that commitment. Those communities seem filled with peace and purpose. One senses God's presence there, in a way that one doesn't ordinarily in regular life, like, say, when stuck in rush hour traffic. These people in intentional Christian communities seem to be living a life most like Christ's. And though they may lack for things that our Capitalist culture tells us we NEED to have, like the latest electronic gizmos or speedy Internet access or health insurance or meat on the table for every meal, they seem to have found a way to fill the yearnings that many of us feel in our souls.

When we feel these yearnings for something more, many of us turn to food or exercise of Internet wanderings or alcohol. What would happen if we turned towards God?

Soon Easter will be just a hazy dream, and we'll have to return to life in ordinary time. We'll have forgotten about the story of Christ's passion and returned to focus on our own passions. But Christ calls us out of ourselves, to focus on the suffering of others. Paradoxically, here is where we will find our deepest joy, by serving others.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Time change !

Don't forget to spring ahead Saturday night! Time change! Time change! Time change !

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Deadline for Hand Made Chocolate Easter Eggs


Eggs will be available on Palm Sunday March 20th.
Order via worship slip or let the office know.

God's Sustenance

The readings for Sunday, March 13, 2016:

1 Kings 17:1-16

This week's reading makes me think of sustenance and how and where we find it--an issue which is always timely, although we're not always as trusting as the prophet Elijah. 

As a good prophet would do, Elijah trusts God, and God provides through unusual vectors.  Ravens deliver bread and meat, and this plan goes well until Elijah's stream dries up.  

God's next plan must have seemed even more impossible.  God tells Elijah to go to a more distant town and to rely on the hospitality of a widow. 

To modern ears, this idea might not seem strange, but throughout the Bible, widows are living on the narrowest of margins, the most dispossessed even in the best of times.  Indeed, she's planning to eat the last of her food and die.   But the widow shares what she has and receives abundance.  The meal and oil do not run out.  The widow, so recently prepared to eat a last meal and die with her son, finds herself fed. 

And if you read the rest of the chapter, you discover that because of the widow's hospitality, Elijah is there to save her son when he dies of illness.   Once again, we see God providing a way when it looks like none can be found.  And once again, we see God operating in ways that we might not expect. 

In this passage, God relies on outcasts to deliver sustenance:  ravens, a widow, and Elijah himself.   Again, here, we see the value of hospitality.  The widow could have refused to take Elijah in.  But by sharing the little that they had, they find that they have more than they did when they started.  

We also see another example of faith rewarded.  Elijah obeys God; he doesn't try to control God.  He doesn't say, "Ick.  I'm not eating food that's been in a raven's beak."  He doesn't decide to leave the poorest of the poor (the widow) alone and demand food from a wealthier patron.  He holds fast to God's vision.

And in the end of the chapter, we see Elijah demanding more from God.  Elijah pleads with God to save the son, and God does it.   Many a theologian will tell us that if we believe in a free-will world, that God cannot intervene in human lives unless we ask. 

This will not be the last time that we will see Biblical people demanding that God act in a more just way.  And the good news of this story is that this cry for justice is rewarded with new life.  Unlike other ancient religions, no one has to be struck down for daring to call on God to act justly.  

We, too, live in a land that needs more justice.  We, too, see that we inhabit a wrecked planet with abundance for a few, and difficulty for the rest.  But the Old Testament passage promises us that God will sustain us.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Palm Sunday, Holy week and Easter!

March 20th 2016
Palm Sunday will be commemorated at all service: 8:30AM, 9:45AM, 11AM

March 24th 2016
Maundy Thursday will take place at Noon in the sanctuary and 7PM in Charter Hall

March 25th 2016
Good Friday will take place at Noon in the sanctuary and 7:30PM in the Sanctuary

March 27th 2016
Easter will be celebrated at
6:30AM outdoors in the Butterfly Garden
  • Candle lighting
  • Renewal of Baptism
  • Communion

9:30AM in Charter Hall
  • Cross Generational/Intergenerational
  • Communion
  • Trinity’s Ukulele Trio leading the music

11AM in the Sanctuary
  • Cantata Service led by Trinity Choir
  • Communion
  • The congregational singing of the “Hallelujah Chorus”
    Easter Brunch will be set up continuously in Munson Mueller Hall beginning at the conclusion of the 6:30AM service
    The Egg Hunt will take place behind Charter Hall at 10:30AM
    The Easter Cross will be set up outside the front of the sanctuary for decoration with Easter flowers

Friday, March 04, 2016

2016 Trinity Congregational Council

Congrats and blessings to the 2016 Trinity Council:
President Reed Talbert
Vice President Zory Graciani
Secretary Eileen Soler
Treasurer Ron McCoy
Assistant Treasurer Tina Hines
Eileen Manella
Pat Messmer
Lois Cozier
Lisa Montalchi
Pastor Keith

Butterfly Garden

For those who would like to help out the Trinity Butterfly Garden, right now Lowes at Pines Blvd and University has red mulch at 1$ a bag ! You can drop bags off at the garden and we will take care of the rest. Join us this Sunday 1230-4pm and next Saturday March 13th 9-12 as we get the garden ready for Easter! All welcome. Service hours given.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

This Coming Sunday

Pastor Keith is on vacation through Saturday and is looking forward to seeing everyone Sunday morning when our journey through the Old Testament finds the Kingdom of the Israelites torn in half in the wake of King Solomon's death and his son's decision to choose authoritarian power over mercy.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Nearby Lutheran Church Sign Firebombed

Prayers for our brothers and sisters in Christ at Abiding Savior, Fort Lauderdale. This is an amazing congregation which takes many risks for the sake of the gospel in serving all people in the way and manner of Jesus.
I spoke with Pastor Bill Knott​ this morning who described to me that their sign was torched, probably with some sort of firebomb. In broad daylight.
Piper Spencer​ and I just sent in a donation - one small stand against hate.
If you would like to donate to help replace their sign here is the link

Living in the Ruins

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The reading for March 6, 2016:

1 Kings 11:  26-40

How interesting to read this passage in the middle of a political season where it seems that all is being torn to pieces.  All the political truths we thought we knew have been turned on their heads.  The mood of the country grows increasingly frustrated and fed up.  Each week brings us more negativity.  Those of us who have a wider sense of history feel more and more fretful and panicked.  The cycle feeds on itself, increasing the volume of panic.

We read the Old Testament passage, and we realize that this story, this downward spiral, is very, very old.  We have seen the people of Israel clamor for a king--they think that all of their problems will be solved if only they had a proper king.  The prophet warns them of the various costs of having a king, but they don't care.  They want a king.

From a distance of centuries, we can be judgmental:  stupid Israelites, bringing this fate upon themselves.  But then we look at our own headlines and realize that we, too, pin our hopes on earthly messiahs, those who would promise much.  How we want to believe!  How little will be delivered to us from those earthly saviors.

In the midst of this passage, the good news:  God remembers God's promises.  The earthly kingdom may be ripped apart, but God will be there in the wreckage. 

It may not be much comfort for those of us who have to live in the wreckage.  Perhaps we will spend our days yearning for the past days of glory, in danger of drowning in our tears we cry when we realize that what we hoped for is not to be. 

But God will be there, living with us, pointing us towards ways of rebuilding.  Out of the ruins of the life we thought we might have come new neighborhoods of hope, new gardens of possibility.