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7150 Pines Blvd
Pembroke Pines, FL 33024
The SE corner of Pines Blvd and 72nd Ave
Across the street from Broward college South Campus lake
(954) 989-1903

Join Us For Worship!

Join Us For Worship!
Sundays at 8:30AM, 9:45AM, and 11AM

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Meditation for Justice Sunday

The readings for Sunday, August 27, 2017:

Deuteronomy 16:18-20      
Isaiah 1: 11-17
Isaiah 58: 6-9a

This week we return to a recurring theme in both the Bible and the life of our church, the theme of justice.  Justice is different from charity.  Charity often fixes an immediate problem:  think of a food bank, for example, where a family gets several bags of food to tide them over.  Justice looks at the larger picture and ponders why we need food banks at all--where are the jobs that would allow people to earn enough to buy their own food?

Even if we aren't successful at creating change, God still calls on us to work for justice. 

Not to contribute to charity, although God mandates that too. But to work for justice.

In a book I cannot recommend highly enough, The Heart of Christianity, Marcus Borg explains the difference this way: "Charity means helping the victims. Justice asks, 'Why are there so many victims?' and then seeks to change the causes of victimization, that is, the way the system is structured. Justice is not about Caesar increasing his charitable giving or Pilate increasing his tithe. Justice is about social transformation. Taking the political vision of the Bible seriously means the practice of social transformation" (page 201).

He offers this comfort: "The world's need for systemic transformation is great, but it is important not to become passive or discouraged ('without heart') because the need is so great. None of us is called to be knowledgeable about all of it or capable of doing something about all of it " (page 204).

We are lucky to be part of a church that works for both justice and charity.  We are stronger in a group than we are alone.  Together we can help create a world where everyone has what they need.

We have been successful on many levels.  It's time to celebrate that success--and to continue the work.

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

The readings for August 27, 2017:

First Reading: Isaiah 51:1-6

First Reading (Semi-cont.): Exodus 1:8--2:10

Psalm: Psalm 138

Psalm (Semi-cont.): Psalm 124

Second Reading: Romans 12:1-8

Gospel: Matthew 16:13-20

In this Gospel reading, we find Jesus asking some of the basic questions. “Who do men say that I am?” “Who do you say that I am?” It’s a curious exchange that has Peter proclaiming Jesus as Lord, and Jesus instructing him not to tell anybody about himself.

Hmmm. Is this a basic existential moment? Surely, of all the humans who have walked the earth, Jesus would have the least reason for asking these questions—depending, of course, on your view of Jesus. Many of us believe that Jesus understood his purpose from babyhood, or at least during his childhood, when he disappeared only to be found in the Temple, teaching the priests (that story appears in Luke, not in the other Gospels). On the other hand, some scholars speculate that Jesus didn’t understand the full scope of his mission, that Jesus, like many of us, spent his days asking God, “Am I doing what you want me to do?”

We see in this text Peter getting the kind of affirmation that many of us crave. Jesus tells Peter that he will be the cornerstone, the rock.

I think of Peter and imagine that in times of frustration, he must have looked back at this moment with Christ. What a comfort that memory must be.  Or maybe it's irritating on those days when he feels more like a pebble than a rock.

I spent much of my younger years longing to be sure that I was doing what God put me on earth to do, as if I had only one destiny, and I might be missing it.

My parents, in their wisdom, kept reminding me that God can use me no matter where I am. God is the original collage artist, taking bits and pieces that don’t seem to go together, and creating them into a cohesive whole.

It might be worth thinking in poetic terms about this Gospel. If Peter is the Rock, who are you? Some of us are willow trees that bend with storms but don’t break. Or maybe you’re sand, having been worn down by those storms, but still valuable. Maybe you’re soil made rich by the compost of circumstances. Some of us are grass, that steady groundcover that makes the larger plants possible by holding the soil in place.

I could go on with these metaphors, but you get the idea. The Gospel wants us to wrestle with these questions. Who are you? And who is the triune God in relation to you?

What part does Jesus play in your life? A guy you see once a week in church? A fellow traveler? Comforter? Savior? Someone you don’t know very well because you just don’t have the time? Co-creator of a joy-filled life? Reason for living?

More importantly, can people see who Jesus is to you by the way you live your life? How is your life a testament, like Peter’s? How can your life be more of a testament? What changes can you make today?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Meditation on This Sunday's Gospel

The readings for Sunday, August 20, 2017:

First Reading: Isaiah 56:1, 6-8

First Reading (Semi-cont.): Genesis 45:1-15

Psalm: Psalm 67

Psalm (Semi-cont.): Psalm 133

Second Reading: Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32

Gospel: Matthew 15:[10-20] 21-28

I don't like this picture of Jesus that today's Gospel represents. He treats the Canaanite woman rudely, with a complete lack of compassion. What do we make of this vision of Christ?

Part of the answer may depend on your view of Jesus/God. Do you see God as completely formed? Do you see God as never making mistakes?  We see Jesus change his mind in today's reading.  It's an interesting idea of the Divine.

I like the idea of God who allows us to disagree--and a God that sometimes agrees that we are right in our disagreement. I like the idea of a God that is being shaped and changed by creation, just as we are being shaped and changed by creation--and by God.

I know it's not as comforting as what many of us were taught in Sunday School. I know we'd rather believe in an absolute God, a God who has all the answers. We don't want to believe in a God who gets tired. We don't want to believe in a God who doesn't have absolute control. We want a God who can point and make magical changes, even though everything we've experienced about the world doesn't suggest that God does that act very often, if at all.

In today's Gospel, we see a tired, irritable Jesus. It's a terrifying idea (I'd prefer a God of infinite patience), but it's the best support to show that God did indeed become human.

The Canaanite woman is much more Godlike than Jesus in this Gospel. Here's a woman who is desperate to help her child. When Jesus rebukes her, she stands up to him and argues her case. And she persuades him. She demands justice, and because she stands her ground, she wins.

She has much to teach us. We are called to emulate her. When we see injustice, we must cry out to God and demand that creation be put right. Many theologians would tell you that if you want God to be active in this free will world that God has created, that you better start making some demands. God can't be involved unless we demand it (for a further discussion of this concept, see the excellent books of Walter Wink). If God just intervened in the world, that would violate the principle of free will which God instilled in creation. But if we invite God to action, then God has grounds to act.

I would argue that some of the most sweeping social changes of the twentieth century were grounded in this principle of crying out to the wider world and to God to demand that justice be done. Think of Gandhi's India, the repressiveness of the Jim Crow era in the USA, the South African situation decried by Archbishop Tutu, the civil wars in Central America, the Soviet occupied Eastern Europe: these situations horrified the larger world and the movements to rectify them were rooted in the Christian tradition. True, there were often external pressures applied, economic embargoes and the like, but each situation prompted prayer movements throughout the world.

We are in a similar time--perhaps humanity is always in a similar time.  The world is full of injustice that should make us cry out, especially since much of the injustice will not easily be fixed by any one of us.  Cry out to God about the plight of refugees, the racism that has such deep roots, the economy which keeps so many so desperate, the warming of the planet, and the list could go on and on.

 Let the Canaanite woman be your guide towards right behavior. Let the actions of Jesus remind you that even if you're snappy and irritable, you can change course and direct yourself towards grace and compassion. Let your faith give you hope for a creation restored to God's original vision of a just and peaceful Kingdom.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Foundations Firm and Sandy

This week, we finish our study of the Sermon on the Mount, by pondering this passage:  Matthew 7:24-27.

Lately, we may all be feeling like we've built our houses--real or metaphorical--on sand.  I remember the day that my spouse was repairing the fence and digging holes for the post.  He couldn't sink them deep enough because he hit water.  We're about twenty inches above sea level, and although our house has pilings as part of its support system, but those were put in place long ago, long before anyone would have had to consider sea level rise.

I'm also feeling like the larger world is built on a foundation of sand.  I watch world leaders bellow at each other and make nuclear threats which might be hollow or might be real, and I watch Venezuela slide into even greater chaos, and I wonder if we've fallen through a hole in time.  Can we learn nothing from the mistakes of the past?

All of our ancient wisdom, across a variety of spiritual traditions, warns us about placing our trust in the wrong areas.  Most of us have first hand experience in the loss of our material things.  Most of us long ago realized how our world leaders might let us down.

Jesus reminds us of our true foundation:  his words.  Our last year's journey through the Sermon on the Mount shows us that Christ's teachings are just as relevant for twenty-first century life as they were when Jesus first spoke them.  If we put those teachings into practice, Jesus assures us that our lives will not collapse--they may change in ways that we would never have imagined, but they will not be washed away.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Good Fruit, Bad Fruit

Our time with the Sermon on the Mount is drawing to a close.  This Sunday, we will ponder Matthew 7:  15-23.  What part jumps out at you?

Perhaps it is the warning about false prophets that seems timely, those people who seem sheeplike from the outside but are ferocious wolves inside.  These days, I'm even more worried about the ones who don't bother to disguise themselves.  I know I should be grateful--at least I know my enemies.  But the unguarded ferocity of our times never ceases to worry me.

I am always struck by good fruit and bad fruit, and always, my inner voice of worry pipes up.  What if I'm bad fruit?  What if I'm going to be cut down and thrown in the fire?

I'm not sure that Jesus meant for us to identify with the fruit itself.  A Lutheran minister friend of mine, David Eck, just preached on the seeds that land in a variety of soil, and he has chosen to view the metaphor differently.  He says that we're not the seeds, but the soil.  There are no bad seeds--what good news!

But we're not completely off the hook.  Eck continues, "When we see ourselves as the field, an interesting thing happens: The need to label others stops, and all the finger pointing gets turned in toward ourselves."  (for the complete sermon, go here:  https://jesusunboxed.wordpress.com/2017/07/25/no-bad-seeds-we-are-the-field-mt-1324-30/)

No matter whether or not we see ourselves as good fruit trees, bad fruit trees, or the soil that holds us all, there's still improvement that can be made.  I think of my parched petunias on my porch.  Once they grew so vibrantly, and now the summer is taking its toll.  But I still water them.  I still hope for a revival.

Likewise, we, too can nourish our spiritual lives.  We can make the chance for good fruit more likely.  The ways we do this will be as varied as our human existences.  Some of us will turn off our gadgets and devices.  Some of us will head out to be in natural surroundings more.  Some of us will add some devotional time.  Some of us will paint.  Some of us will invite the neighbors over for dinner.

God is not the harsh gardener who will chop us down and throw us into the fire.  Frankly, God doesn't have to do that.  We marinate in the bad choices that we've made, and that's punishment enough.
But the Good News comes again and again.  Death doesn't have the final word.  Resurrection awaits.  Choose your spiritual manure and get to work bearing good fruit.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Al Gearhart's Funeral Update

At around 9pm Sunday evening, Al Gearhart, husband to Shirley and father to Tom, Bill, and Denise entered the Kingdom Triumphant, peacefully passing away under the care of Seasons Hospice at Memorial South Hospital after battling pneumonia and other complications. 

The celebration of life and memorial service will take place this Sunday at Trinity Lutheran Church at 11am with a meal to follow in the fellowship hall. If you would like to bring a dish please let Dany know (954) 907-1562 or vdvega@bellsouth.net 

In lieu of flowers the family has asked that donations be made to the Trinity Memorial fund in his memory. The funds will be used towards the completion of Trinity's new communionware set. 

Notes of condolence may be sent to:

Mrs. Shirley Gearhart 
Denise Isbell (daughter) 
12731 SW 13 Manor
Davie, FL  33325

Bill (son) and Patsy Gearhart 
Sarah, Zak (grandchildren)
18440 NW 18 St
Pembroke Pines, FL 33029

Mr. Thomas Gearhart (son)
839 Asbury Drive
Aurora, IL 60502

Allison Isbell (granddaughter)
455 W Riddle Ave 
Ravenna Ohio 44266

Matthew Isbell (grandson)

2039 north Meridian rd #171 Tallahassee fl 32303

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Why Pray at All?

This week at Trinity, we will consider Matthew 7:7, the verse that tells us to ask, to knock, to seek.  Some of us may say, "I already tried that, and my prayers weren't answered."

Rabbi Rachel Barenblat has an interesting perspective on prayer, which I first discovered a few years ago in this article:  http://zeek.forward.com/articles/117998/.  She says, ""Jewish tradition forbids asking God for the impossible. For this reason, we don’t pray for rain during the dry season; the laws of nature are what they are, and our prayers can’t change that, so our liturgy guides us to pray then for dew instead. We can’t 'wish away' climate change. That isn’t how prayer works."

I wish more Christians had this view of prayer.  I see far too many people viewing prayer as a version of Santa Claus for grown ups:  I will pray fervently, and the cancer will go away.  I will pray enough, and a job will come, and it will be a good job that pays lots of money, and I will finally be happy.

But what does that mean if the outcome is negative?  Do I need to improve my prayer techniques?  Does God not hear me?  Does God not like me?  If I prayed harder, could I have affected the outcome?

It's crummy theology, and that's one reason why I don't like it.  But that leads us to a different question:  why bother to pray at all?

Why pray?  Different theologians have different answers.  One of my favorite theologians, Marcus Borg, admits that he's not sure of how prayer works, or if it works, but he does it the way that he practices other good manners.  And he does it because he's willing to admit that he doesn't know everything:  "I myself have no clue what the explanatory mechanism is, and I am content not to. And this leads to my final reason for continuing to do prayers of petition and intercession. To refuse to do them because I can't imagine how prayer works would be an act of intellectual pride: if I can't imagine how something words, then it can't work. To think thus involves more than a bit of hubris" (The Heart of Christianity: Discovering a Life of Faith, page 197).

I like the views of my all-time favorite theologian, Walter Wink, who reminds us again and again that God will not intervene in this universe that gives us free will unless we ask God to intervene: "This is a God who works with us and for us, to make and keep human life humane. And what God does depends on the intercessions of those who care enough to try to shape a future more humane than the present" (Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination, page 301).

Rachel Barenblatt's article shows me a similar strain of thought in Judaism:  "The kabbalistic tradition teaches that God withdrew God’s-self in order to make space for us and for our free will. Free will means that we can choose to harm, or we can choose to bring healing. And when we act here 'below,' our actions are mirrored 'on high.' When we act to bring healing to our world, we arouse the flow of healing within transcendent divinity too. This is one of the deep kabbalistic messages of the Tu B’Shvat seder."

I've always believed that my actions can change me.  I have an atheist friend who says she envies me my belief. I argue that my beliefs come because of my practice, and that she could enter into spiritual practices, and she would be a different person in a year. She proclaims not to believe me, but she also refuses to try my experiment. Marcus Borg, in The Heart of Christianity, says "We become what we do" (192).

But Barenblatt's idea says that my actions not only change me, but they change the planet, which I desperately want to believe.  And yet, my actions seem so piddly.  Can my recycling really help heal the deep poisoning that we've been seeing?  I'll plant a tree, as there is room in my yard, but I know that the planet needs so many forests of trees, and I am one small person.

Barenblatt's idea gives me hope.  God wants our buy-in, our participation, and then God will meet us more than halfway.  God has many more resources than I do.  I'm willing to partner with the Divine.  I like the idea that my actions not only change me and the planet, but they also change God.  Suddenly, every action has a weight that I don't always see.

Maybe that's my problem with the prayer that I watch so many practice.  For example, we smoke and then pray for the lung cancer to be healed.  It's rare that the body works that way.

Yet, if someone I loved had lung cancer, I'd pray those prayers anyway.  Much as I'm committed to a universe based on the principles of free will, I want to allow room for miracles.  I want a world where God and my fellow humans can bring about healing of all sorts--the kinds of miracles we need today.

So, I will do as Jesus tells us.  I will ask, I will seek, and I will knock.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Judge Not

The text for Sunday, July 23, 2017:  Matthew 7:1-5

This famous text has Jesus telling us not to judge, followed by the example of taking the speck of dust out of our own eyes before we try to remove the logs out of the eyes of others.  Along the way we're reminded that we'll be judged in the same way that we judge others.

Some of us should shake in fear at those words.  But this morning, as I read them again, I thought about the way I judge others and the way I judge myself.  Frankly, I'm much harder on myself.  I give others the benefit of the doubt as I remind myself that I can't possibly understand every aspect of what's affecting them.

Meanwhile, in my own head, I hear a chorus of voices that remind me of all the ways I'm not living up to my full potential, of all the ways I've let everyone down.  You might think I need some therapy, and you might be right, but I suspect I'm not alone in this.  I know many people who are far more gentle with each other than they are with themselves.  Just listen to how people talk, and you'll see.

With that in mind, let us return to the text again.  This text is not about the way we should judge.  No, I believe that Jesus is telling us not to waste precious time in judgment.

It's a variation of what one of my most beloved yoga teachers told me long ago.  She caught me looking at a fellow student when I couldn't hold a pose.  She said, "Don't compare yourself to your classmates.  It won't help.  Focus on your own body."  It's wise advice in a variety of contexts.

When we judge, we're comparing.  Maybe we're comparing to a standard that we feel everyone should be attaining.  Maybe we're comparing ourselves to our larger society.  Maybe we're finding ourselves superior.  Maybe we come up lacking.

It's not helpful.  It's not a good use of our time.  Jesus reminds us again and again of our main task:  to love each other and to love God.  Judging doesn't get us there.

Life is very short, and judgmental behavior robs us of many joys.  Let us resolve to stop judging each other.  Let us resolve to stop judging ourselves.  Let us look at the world with a different set of glasses:  let us look through the lenses of love.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Wealth and Treasure, Rust and Moths

The reading for Sunday, July 15, 2017:

Matthew 6:19-34
Any time we see stock markets wobble, I think about various Bible passages that talk about wealth and where we place our trust.  The one in Matthew is one of the most famous.

Money--and the power and status that it brings--is a powerfully seductive thing. Once, when facing reduced circumstances because of my spouse's job loss, my Charismatic Catholic AA friend acted as if I'd had a death in the family.

I shrugged and said, "I think having too much money is spiritually dangerous."

You wouldn't think I'd have to explain that to her, but I did.

If we have too much money, we tend to think of ourselves as capable and smart and able to go about our lives on our own. We think we don't need God. And soon, we begin to worry that we don't have enough money, and we lash ourselves to our jobs, jobs that require ever more of us, so that we can ensure we have enough money. But we'll never have enough money.

We will never have enough money. We will never be safe and protected by having enough money.

The only way to win that game is not to play.

When markets tumble, I'm reminded of how much faith I've put in my money, of how I've stored up for myself treasures on earth, where moths and rust and thieves and worldwide economic downturns can take it from me, and I can do nothing.

Most spiritual traditions warn us not to rely on our monetary wealth.  Let us try to follow the teachings of Jesus, who reminds us that God knows what we need.  The passage at the end is one I suspect I will spend my entire life trying to follow:  "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Let us strive not to worry at all.  Let us learn to trust God ever more fully.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Walter Wink Books Worth Your Time

If you were at church this morning, July 9, you heard Kristin reference the work of Walter Wink.  Here's more information about his work.

I'm happy to see that the work of Walter Wink is still in print.  I find his writing very easy to understand, especially for a theologian delving in deep.  If you want to read the book that had such influence on me, it's Engaging the Powers:  Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination.  Chapter 13 gives a list of historical times when nonviolent resistance has worked to overcome oppression on a geopolitical scale.  Chapter 9 contains the information on The Sermon on the Mount's section on turning the other cheek, walking the extra mile and giving up our clothes as resistance texts, not let people walk all over us texts.

Wink has also written a shorter (and less expensive) book which looks like it covers similar territory:  Jesus and Nonviolence:  A Third Way

Friday, June 30, 2017

Aventura Assisted Living Visit

Sunday July 9th volunteers will return to the Aventura Gardens Assisted Living Center to bring worship. All welcome to be a part of bringing joy to these wonderful people. Meet in the Trinity parking lot at 145pm or at the Center at 230pm. Please RSVP with Piper Spencer if you are planning on going.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

July 4th Ice Cream Social

Join us in the Fellowship Hall for some yummy icecream and Rootbeer floats at 7:30PM on July 4th, then set up in the back parking lot and watch the city of Pembroke Pines fireworks! Open parking except for the viewing area on the east side of the back lot. Donations of icecream, cones, sprinkles, etc welcome!
All cash donations will go to support Trinity's Prayer Shawl Ministry.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Prayer Service and Feast

There is an interfaith prayer service and feast to mark the end of Ramadan this Sunday 130pm-3pm at the Daruloom mosque's interfaith center (next to their main building) two blocks east of Trinity. Any and all welcome. Trying to get a count - let me know if you are interested in attended. Pastor Keith will be offering a prayer on behalf of Trinity Lutheran.

Anger and Reconciliation

This week at Trinity, we will explore  Matthew 5:21-26.  What does this text have to teach us about anger? Is our anger a sin?  Is it a gift?  Can it be both?

We live in a time that seems angrier than any I've ever seen--people who are older than I am say that this time is even more full of fury than some of the worst years of the Johnson or Nixon administration.  Is this rage healthy?

I used to believe that politics had more potential to change the world than any other societal institution.  My 19 year old self would have scoffed at the idea that religion could be transformative in the same--or better!--ways.

My current self feels a great weariness when it comes to any political discussion.  Once, I would have been happy to discuss any political issue.  Once I knew exactly what politicians needed to do to fix any problem.  Now I freely admit that I wouldn't know what to do if you gave me full power--and I certainly don't know how to make huge groups of politicians work together for the common good.

We might argue that Jesus is instructing us about our individual relationships in this passage.  I would agree.  But the case against corrosive anger is true whether we're talking about individual relationships or our anger about larger groups.

I've spent time lately thinking about ministries and how we see our ministry.  I've wondered how our nation might change if we saw more of us saw our ministry as being one of reconciliation. 

One way to do that might be to seize opportunities to de-escalate situations.  People can't be reconciled when everyone is vibrating with anger.

Anger can be transformative too, and not always in a bad way.  But anger nursed deep within us is damaging.  To hold that anger for many years is even worse.  Far better to forgive, although it's much harder.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

To Be Salt and Light

This week, we'll think about what it means to be salt and light.  Once, years ago, Pastor Amsalu Geleta of St. Mark's Lutheran Church (Springfield, Virginia) told us that Jesus gives us new name tags: light and salt. Light of the world, salt of the earth: check. We know how to do that: feed the poor, be kind to everyone we meet, clothe the ragged, make sure that the oppressed are taken care of. Not easy, to be sure, but there's our mission.

Everyone I know seems to be wrestling with the same question: how can we live a life of integrity, a life that's in synch with our values? The Gospel gives us some fairly serious instruction along these same lines, as Jesus directs us to be sure that our insides and our outsides match. Apparently our current struggles with living a life that's in balance are not new to our time.

We all know what happens if our lives get out of synch. We become hypocrites, and most of us would say we don't want that. I could make the argument that the hypocrisy of Christians do more to hurt our Gospel mission than anything else. If you know any non-believers and you ask them why they don't believe, they won't often bring up the fact that belief in God requires a faith beyond their senses, a faith beyond what is scientifically provable. No, most non-believers will bring up the hypocrisy of Christians, from the smaller hypocrisies, like the Christian who pretends to be a friend to your face but spreads ugly rumors about you, to the huge hypocrisies, like all the sexual predators employed by the Church through the ages. How can they believe in the God of those types of people?

And if you ask the non-churched why they don't go to church, they will almost always bring up hypocrisy. And if I hadn't started going back to school, I'd have mentioned that too. I think back to when I was a self-righteous 19 year old, angry, angry, ANGRY about the cost of the church building, the offering collected in heavy, gold offering plates and being used to pay the light bill. I wanted to be part of a church like Luther Place, in downtown D.C., a church that transformed itself into a homeless shelter for women every night, a church that operated a variety of services for the dispossessed.

I think back to the favor that the pastor of that church did for me. I told him that I wanted to switch churches, that I wanted to drive past my suburban church and become a member of his church, a church that so clearly was doing what Jesus wanted it to do.

He studied me. He asked me which church I was a member of, and I told him that I went to St. Mark's, in Springfield, Virginia.

He said, "You know, we wouldn't be able to run any of the programs that we run without the financial help that they give us." And then, in that precise moment, my perspective shifted. I started to move away from being a self-righteous, know-it-all 19 year old towards being someone who sees life as more complex. And thus, I entered into what I suspect will be a lifelong measurement: am I living the life that Christ calls me to live? If I'm to be light and salt and to begin living the life of God's Kingdom right here and right now, what does that look like? How can I make my inner attitude match my outer actions?

Jesus wants us to be more than surface Christians. It's easy to go to church service each week, to sing the hymns, to hug each other. It's harder to live our Christian values the rest of the week. Go back and reread all of what Jesus tells us to do, both in this Gospel and throughout the Gospel texts. Can we really live like that? We're called to forgive each other more times than we think we can. We're called to make peace with our neighbors before we head to church. We're called to give away our money to those who have less than we do. The world watches to see how we live our lives.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Sunday In Celebration of Radical Hospitality!

Join Trinity Lutheran this coming Sunday June 18th for our commemoration of one year of being a radically welcoming, intentionally inclusive, Reconciled in Christ (RIC) congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America at 8:30AM, 9:45AM (in the hall), 11AM.

Poems by Lora Mitchell and Kristin Berkey-Abbott.
A reflection by Lisa Gomez.
I'll share some thoughts based upon 1 Corinthians 1:18-31
"But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God."

Father's Day Waffle-A-Palooza after each service.

Should be an awesome Day!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Trinity Celebrates a Year of Being a Church of Radical Inclusivity

This Sunday, Trinity will celebrate the one year anniversary of our decision to be a church of radical inclusivity and hospitality.  Some of us will say that we've always been that way.  Some will say that all churches are that way.

Many of us understand that many churches have failed miserably at being truly welcoming to all.  And of course, we all struggle with how to be welcoming and inclusive while having good boundaries, in the ways that our friends in helping professions would tell us are so important.

In Matthew 5:13-16, we get our mission statement from Jesus. We are to be the salt of the earth, the light of the world. It’s an interesting time in history to contemplate light and how we manifest light and darkness in our world..

Jesus tells us that we are to let our light shine, but he doesn't tell us how hard it will be some days. As a child, I always thought that once the light was lit, the hard part was over. I would just shine and shine and not hide my light under a bushel and not let Satan pfff it out (as that old song goes).

I did not anticipate the days and months I would feel like I had no light at all, no wick to light, no oil left in the lamp.  I did not anticipate the days that I would wish I had a flicker, a guttering flame.
But now, more than ever, every flame of love is important, even the ones that are sputtering.  It’s important to remember that we are often the only light of Jesus that many people will see throughout the week. How would our attitude and behavior change if we saw our lives through this prism? We are the instruments and tools that God uses to deliver God’s light into the world. How can we make ourselves better at the task?

Some of us think that we need to lead people to Jesus by talking to them about our faith. But our lives and our actions have already done all the talking before we ever open our mouths. Keep that in mind as you interact with people. Let your life do the shining. Be the salt that adds savor to everyone’s surroundings. Glorify God in this way.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

More Photos from Singsation II


On Pentecost Sunday June 4th, Trinity participated in the second annual Broward-Bahamas Conference Singsation event at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Margate. An awesome time was had by all! 

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Reconciling in Christ Sunday: A day of Celebrating Radical Hospitality!

Trinity Lutheran Church is a Reconciling in Christ (R.I.C.)Congregation. Its leadership adopted a statement of welcome and radical hospitality on behalf of and with input from the congregation on June 20th 2016.

We consider Jesus command to love one another as Christ loves us and gave himself for us to be free of any asterisks or foot notes. We as individuals and a congregation do not embody Jesus' love command to perfection, but we know that is held out as the standard. The Apostle Paul tells us that we are called to be imitators of Christ. And so we hold one another accountable and spur one another on to love more deeply and more authentically.

As a pastor I am free to perform wedding services for all couples both in our sanctuary and in other locations.

On Sunday June 18th we will mark our first anniversary of being Reconciling in Christ with very special worship services at 8:30AM, 9:45AM, and 11AM and cake. Because cake goes great with everything.

And as it is also Father's Day, with bacon and a full waffle bar and other goodies after each service.
Please celebrate with us! 

Blessings of Grads

We are blessing grads on Sunday. All grads. Little pre school grads and kindergarten grad and elementary grads and high school grads and college grads and grad school grads and vocation/professional school grads. If you graduated this past year we want to bless you and acknowledge you and feed you cake. This Sunday at Trinity Lutheran 8:30AM, 9:45AM or 11AM.

Did we say that there would be cake?

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Meditation on Trinity Sunday

The readings for Sunday, June 11, 2017:

First Reading: Genesis 1:1--2:4a

Psalm: Psalm 8

Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 13:11-13

Gospel: Matthew 28:16-20

This Sunday is Holy Trinity Sunday, one of those festival Sundays that seem a bit baffling, at first (like Christ the King Sunday, which comes at the end of the liturgical year). We understand the significance of Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. But what exactly do we celebrate on Holy Trinity Sunday?

At first reading, the Gospel doesn't seem to help. And Jesus certainly didn't spend any time indoctrinating his disciples on these matters which would later split the church. He alludes to the Triune God: we see him pray to God and he tells the disciples that he will send a Comforter. But he spends far more time instructing the disciples on how they should treat the poor and destitute, about their relationship to the larger culture, about their role in creating the Kingdom in the here and now.

You get a much better understanding of the Trinity by reading all the lessons together (thanks to my campus pastor from days of old, Jan Setzler, who pointed this out in his church's newsletter over a decade ago). These aren't unfamiliar aspects: God as creator of the world, God as lover of humans, Christ who came to create community, the Holy Spirit who moves and breathes within us and enables us to create community.

Notice that we have a God who lives in community, both with the various aspects of God (Creator, Savior, Spirit) and with us. It's an image that baffles our rational minds. It's akin to contemplating the infinity of space. Our brains aren't large enough or we don't know how to use them in that way.

My atheist and agnostic friends will sometimes pull up these issues of a triune God when they ask me to defend the faith. I tell them that I can't do it and that I'm content to be living as part of this great mystery. Baffled, they look at me. They say, "You're an educated woman. Certainly you can't accept something you can't explain!!!"

Well, frankly, there are many things I can't explain: electricity, computers, internal combustion engines, arcane French literary theory. Does that mean that I'm going to live in the dark or not use my car? Of course not.

The message that Jesus brings us is refreshingly simple, in that it's easy to understand: "Go and make disciples."

Obviously, it's not that simple, and here, too, interpretations of this text have split the church. Does our commitment stop once we've baptized people? What does it mean to make disciples? There's an infinite supply of answers.

The God that we see in our Scriptures is a God of action. We see God creating in any number of arenas. We are called to do the same. This is not a God who saves us so that we can flip through TV channels. Our God is a God who became incarnate to show us how to be people of action: Go. Make disciples. Teach. Baptize. Keep the commandments. We do this by loving each other and God. We love not just by experiencing an emotion. Love moves us to action.

Our job is not done once we’ve baptized. Our job is not done with the Rite of Confirmation. Jesus, as always, points the way. Why not share a meal together? Why not do some work (fishing perhaps? Building housing for the poor? Weeding the gardens?) together? Why not read the same book?  Why not pray together? Why not create a beautiful work of art together?

Or perhaps we should just be together--keep each other company in life's journey.

Our Triune God calls us to go and make disciples, but two thousand years of Church history shows us a delightful diversity of ways to do that. 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." Jesus promises to meet us there.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Letting God Breathe on Us

The reading for Sunday, June 4, 2017:

 Acts 2:1-21

Ah, Pentecost, day of fire and wind and foreign languages.

Contemplate how much of Scripture circles around the breath of God. Reread Genesis--creation comes into being because God breathes it into life. Something similar happens in the Gospel of John. Jesus breathes on his disciples and transforms them. Likewise in Acts--that great rushing wind. For those of you in love with words and older translations, we often find the same word in these passages: Pneuma (yes, that root that creates our modern word of pneumonia).

The twenty-first century church, at least some branches of it, is in serious need of the breath of God. Perhaps you are too.

I often think of those first followers, who went out with the breath of God in them, and transformed the world. In the history of social movements, few have been as broadly successful as Christianity.  My atheist friends would chime in that few have been as destructive--we both may be right. What an unlikely story: a small band of weirdly talented or distinctly ungifted men and women head out in pairs, carrying very little with them, and they survive enormous obstacles. In the process, they change the culture--and often, then, they move on. Think of the distances that they travelled--often on foot. Think of how hostile the culture was. You wouldn't be able to suspend your disbelief if you read it in a book.

The breath of God should transform us in the same way. Jesus transfers his powers to his disciples; we're given the power to do what he does. Now, if only we could believe it.

Maybe the key is to act as if you do believe it. You can do remarkable things, even if you don't feel like you can.

We start on a small scale. We go to church. Maybe we remember the weekly lessons on Monday. As years go by, we're better at being Christians throughout the week. We bolster our efforts with spiritual reading and prayer. As we find ourselves transformed, we transform those around us. Many of us stop at this stage or we run out of time--but some of us will go on to transform society: maybe we'll start a food pantry or create legislation that takes care of foster children. Maybe we'll challenge our home countries to look out for the civil rights of all. Maybe we'll issue the same challenge to other cultures. Hopefully, whether it be on a small scale or an international scale, no Christian can be immune to the call to care for the dispossessed, whether on a small, interpersonal scale, or a large, international scale.

It's also important to talk about the cyclical nature of the spiritual life and work. Even Jesus needed to retreat to solitude at times. Even Jesus had to practice self-care. If you feel that you've had the very marrow sucked out of your bones as you've cared for the world, maybe it's time to retreat. Even if you can't physically leave, you can let the machine pick up the phone and turn off the electronics. If you can't do much else, claim some time for the occasional nap. No one can go at an insane pace for very long and stay sane.

Pentecost is an overlooked church holiday. No church holiday gets as much time as Christmas, not even Easter. But Pentecost is such an important reminder of why Christmas happened. God became incarnate to prepare humans to carry on the work of Kingdom creation. And Pentecost reminds us of our job description.

So, receive the breath of God. For a powerful meditative exercise, you might imagine that as you inhale, God breathes into you. Breathe deeply.

Thursday, May 25, 2017


HELPING Lynette Brown MOVE
We are now meeting Saturday at 11AM to unpack at the new house located at 3361 SW 50th Terrace
Davie, FL 33314
please RSVP to me so we know who we can count on.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Life After Ascension

This Sunday at Trinity, we celebrate the ascension of Christ into Heaven.  If we read the Gospels chronologically, in the time before Christ leaves, we see him praying, telling God all the things he (Jesus) has done. We also see Jesus handing over his ministry to his disciples.

What a strange thought, that these humans are ready for such a large mission. And yet, even my devout atheist friends have to admit the success of these early followers. And those of us several thousand years out might be wondering what Jesus did to foster this success. After all, if you set out to choose a group of people to bring the Good News to the far corners of the planet, you would likely pass those early disciples right on by.

That's the wonderful news that winds its way through the Bible. God can use all sorts of misfits and scraps of humanity to accomplish wonderful things. In her wonderful book, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott says, "You've got to love this in a God--consistently assembling the motleyest people to bring, into the lonely and frightening world, a commitment to caring and community."

Notice that all of Jesus' followers were given responsibilities. They didn't just show up at church and wait to be entertained. They didn't march off in a huff when Jesus didn't do things the way the last savior did. I'm sure that Jesus lost some people along the way--after all, he made some stringent demands. But he also gave people ownership and expectations.

Jesus taught his followers to live in the moment, to not worry so much about 5 year projections or the future of the faith. He taught people to focus on the needs of the community and not on power structures that they hoped to maintain.

Jesus commanded his followers to be dependent on each other and to trust that God would provide for them. Think about one of the Gospel's versions of the last supper. Jesus sends them into town to procure things and when they're asked what they're doing, they're to say that the Lord has need of these things. And it works! When they're sent out, they're sent out two by two, with only what they can carry (and it's a light load). This ensures that they'll make connections in the new community, not just trust in each other and the people that they already know.

I'll admit that it's simplistic to look at Jesus' ministry in this way. We can't just set out into the world in pairs (we can't, can we?). We can't decide to start over in thinking about the way we do ministry.

But maybe we can refocus a bit. The church does best when it focuses on the needs of the community and looks to fulfill those needs. Many of us might think in terms of a soup kitchen or a day care, but there are other needs too. Maybe our frazzled community needs a contemplative service, where people can come into a candlelit sanctuary and sit and hear the lessons, without a sermon and communion and all the other stuff we cram into a service. Maybe people need a noon concert series. Maybe people need to come to paint and to listen to the voice of God in the paint. Maybe people need a book group to keep their minds from turning to mush.

If you don't know where to begin (the needs of our communities can seem overwhelming), start by emulating Jesus as we see him in this lesson. We can start by praying for each other. We can pray for all our colleagues, not just the ones that are out sick. We can pray for all our church members, not just the ones who don't come to church anymore. We can pray for our leaders: our pastor, our President, our boss, Congress, the mayors and city managers. We can pray for our friends and family. Jesus told us to pray without ceasing, and these days, it seems we have no shortage of those who need our prayers.

So, start with some simple approaches. Say a prayer of thanks before you eat, and as you say grace, remember those who are hungry. Pray for the end of hunger in our world. Say a prayer of thanks at the end of the day and the beginning of the day, and thank God for the people in your life who mean so much to you. When your boss yells at you, when your clients are frustrated, when your students curse, pray for them. Be the mirror that reflects God's light into a world that needs it so desperately.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Help Lynette Move!

Help is needed this Saturday May 27th at 9AM at 2840 NW 105 Lane Sunrise, FL 33322 to help pack up the moving truck. Please come out if only for a few hours.

VBS is now a week-long Day Camp!

Save the dates Mon - Fri July 24th – 28th from 9am – 4pm!
Before and aftercare available for a small fee. 
Sign up and information sheets now available in the office and in the narthex or contact Tina Hines (954) 893-6597 or Piper Spencer (954) 668-1620
*Space is limited - make your reservations NOW!

Saturday, May 20, 2017


FOR MAY 21st 2017                      

The Rev. Dr. Keith A. Spencer

Trinity Lutheran Church, Pembroke Pines, FL

MAY 21st SERMON on John 14: 15–21

Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

Think about the home you grew up in. The homes that you visited as a child. The home that you keep now.  Organized or disorganized? Clean or messy? Welcoming or isolationist.

Homes send signals of welcome or unwelcome, don’t they?  Of love or indifference. Homes are open or closed. Surrounded by fences delineating boundaries and borders or they have cheerful well-lit paths and put out a garden of welcome mats.

Like people, faith communities send out signals relative to welcome.  Either they crave clear borders and boundaries or are willing to annihilate them for the sake of a generous welcome. Boundary-loving communities love organization and control, while true faith communities seek to cede control to the Holy Spirit, who feels comfortable playing as she does in the midst of holy chaos, working in her own mysterious and powerful way to transform.  And let’s face it, trying to organize transformation is an by definition an exercise in futility. It is folding our arms across our chest before God in defiance and declaring that we could do a better job than the Holy Spirit. That relinquishing control would just be too darn messy. And uncomfortable.

And if we are honest among ourselves we hate feeling uncomfortable.  

Jesus, of course, always prefers messiness to simplicity.

Trouble, to peace.

Community to the individual.

Discomfort to comfort.

Crossing boundaries and borders rather than building them.

And radical welcome.

And no doubt that he suffered for it.

No doubt he died for the sake of the community of the in-breaking Kingdom of God  that he came to proclaim.

It scared people. This borderlessness. This annihilation of boundaries.  This new faith community founded in and through Jesus, the one and only hope for the redemption of all people, of all of creation.  Radical welcome and radical love scare people.

Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

A community is a collection of relationships. And in a true faith community love will define our relationship with Jesus and with one another. But not a cupid stupid sort of love that sells cards and chocolates and flowers grown with poisonous chemicals by slave wage earners. No. By a different sort of love.  By a boundary annihilating love. You see, we are a world that loves boundaries even to the point of turning the life-giving Scriptures into an instrument of hate; a collection of rules that fulfill our prejudiced fantasies of comfort and calm found in an innumerable, fixed and unyielding boundary between US and THEM. Those we fear. Those we hate.

Were there any boundaries in your neighborhood growing up?

Boundaries that told you where one could live? Where one could go? Where one could shop? Who one could talk to? Be friends with? Date? Marry?

For Jesus, love was the ultimate measuring stick of a disciple’s faith; and not just any idea of love, but a love as a disrespector of borders and boundaries; love that would push at them, cross them again and again, trample them underfoot, tear them asunder. A community riven by fear and hate and criss-crossed by boundaries of distinction, of the great and the least, of more and less beloved, more and less worthy is not a community that embodies such a love, whether that community is a congregation, a neighborhood, a state or a country.  

Jesus would eat with Pharisees one night and tax collectors and sinners, the next. Jesus did not respect acceptable boundaries that separated the right dinner guests from the assumed wrong dinner guests; guests that that might strengthen one’s reputation or harm it. Notice how on one Sabbath Jesus would be teaching in the synagogue and the next he would heal or allow his followers to gather grain, doing that work which was forbidden on the Sabbath. Jesus let children come to him and spoke with women in public and touched the unclean. These were all unacceptable boundary violations. Jesus had no respect for “acceptable boundaries.” And that frightened those in authority. Once one started erasing boundaries, who knows what might happen?

Well, we do have some evidence for what might happen, don’t we?

 From John 4

Jesus left Judea and started back to Galilee. 4But he had to go through Samaria. 5So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.
7A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." 8(His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) 9The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?" (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.)

So let’s name the boundaries Jesus crossed right there.

Jew/Samaritan; Judea/Samaria; Man/Woman; other?

 By the time their conversation at the well is over, transformation has happened. Not for one person, but for an entire community.

“…The woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, 29Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he? 30They left the city and were on their way to him….39Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I have ever done." 40So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. 41And many more believed because of his word. 42They said to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world."

However, once we plunge into such boundary crossing love, such border annihilating love,  once we stop fighting the Holy Spirit and all her work in all fullness in our lives, we may get uneasy. Let’s face it: That’s one of things that got Jesus into so much trouble. Jesus replaces with love a human system of clear boundaries and control, of power and domination; of greater and lesser; of welcome and unwelcome.  In that replacement someone loses. What they lose in the eyes of God versus their own eyes will likely be quite different. But something is lost.  What is Good News for some will not be Good News for all. Just ask the rich man who ignored poor Lazarus. Just ask the rich young man who loved his worldly possession more than Jesus. 

Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

It scares people. This borderlessness. This annihilation of boundaries.  This new faith community founded in and through Jesus, the one and only hope for the redemption of all people, of all of creation.  Radical welcome and radical love scare people. Yet it is in such welcome, such love, such boundary crossing love, such border annihilating love, that we make a true home for God in our lives and through which, we discover, perhaps to our surprise, the height and depth and breadth of our own welcome, a welcome despite our own struggles, and prejudice and weakness. That in God we have a home and in us God makes a home, another act of radical welcome.



 by Dr. Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The readings for Sunday, May 21, 2017:

First Reading: Acts 17:22-31

Psalm: Psalm 66:7-18 (Psalm 66:8-20 NRSV)

Second Reading: 1 Peter 3:13-22

Gospel: John 14:15-21

In today's Gospel, we get a hint of Pentecost. Jesus tells his followers that he will never leave them orphaned or desolate, to use words from several different translations.

Every year as Ascension Day approaches, I think of those poor disciples. They have such a short time with their resurrected Lord, before he goes away again. How on earth do they cope with this?

I also see this situation as a metaphor for our own modern one. You may be feeling a bit whipsawed by grief and loss yourself. You may recover from one crisis, only to find yourself staring down the maw of the next. As I've gotten older, I've noticed that these crises seem to be increasing in frequency and severity. I look back to the dramas of my high school and college years, and I understand why so many elders chuckle dismissively at the troubles of youth. We forget, however, that trouble feels like crisis, no matter what our age.

But Jesus offers this comfort: we will never be alone.

Notice what Jesus does NOT offer: our God is not Santa Claus. Our God is not a fix everything quickly God (at least not all the time).

I have some acquaintances who claim to have lost their faith on September 11, 2001. They had been faithful in their church attendance, but once that disaster happened, they declared they couldn't believe in a God that would let such terrible things happen. No talk of free will would deter them in their determination to let go of their faith.

Earlier generations had a similar difficulty with Auschwitz (perhaps you do too). How can God let such awful things happen?

Well, that's the disadvantage of gifting humans with free will. We will sometimes get things spectacularly wrong. I think of it as being a parent of an adolescent. We want the best for our teenagers. We know the dangers are acute; so many mistakes that are made at this age are mistakes for life and can't be easily undone. So many choices made at this age will impact the rest of adulthood.

Yet as parents, we can't prevent every tragedy. All we can do is to be there for our children when they go off the rails.

Likewise as friends, as spouses and significant others, as children: we can't keep our loved ones safe. We can try to help them avoid the pitfalls that we see, but even that won't always be successful. We can only be with those we love as they suffer, in the hopes that our presence will alleviate some of the pain.

Evil has real power in the world, and we forget that at our peril. As Christians, we are called to take a longer view, and we are called to believe that God will eventually emerge victorious--but that doesn't mean that this victory will happen in our lifetimes. We are part of a larger story, and we all have our part to play. But we must be aware that we might be like Moses or the early apostles: we may not see the fruits of our labors; we may not get to the promised land (at least not in this life). The Good News that Jesus delivers should give us comfort: all of creation will be redeemed eventually, and that redemption has begun.

Return to that promise of Jesus: we are not orphaned. We are not abandoned. Even in our darkest days, when we feel at our most unlovable, God sees our value. God remembers our better selves. God knows what we could accomplish. If God can use deeply flawed people like Saul who becomes Paul, God will also weave us into the great fabric of Kingdom life.

Trinity Lutheran Church

8362 Pines Blvd Suite 431 Pembroke Pines, FL 33024

Follow Trinity Lutheran on Twitter using @tlcppines


Office (954) 989-1903 • Pastor Keith’s Cell (954) 668-6077

Care and Visitation Team

For visitation/communion for those homebound or in the hospital

Contact Bev Grant  954-885-0394 or Lisa Montalchi 954-297-1325 or Ron McCoy (954) 790-3106 or leave a message with the office


Rather than email out prayer lists, we now have a prayer team coordinated by Lisa Montalchi that prays for those on our prayer cards during each service, then prays daily for the concerns expressed on them. If you want to be a part of the prayer team, please contact Lisa. If you have a prayer concern that comes up during the week, please email or call Lisa Montalchi 954-297-1325 or fitlisa71199@gmail.com

Primarily the 2nd and 4th Thursdays from noon to 2PM
and on the fourth Thursday from 6PM – 8PM
Dany Vega (954) 907-1562 vdvega@bellsouth.net
Here's our current wish List:
peanut butter - jelly- pasta sauce- tuna- mac and cheese-
green beans - condensed soup

- tuna
- mac and cheese
- green beans
- condensed soup


Lisa Montalchi  (954) 297-1325  fitlisa71199@gmail.com


May be brought in any Sunday and left on the Altar for the duration of worship in honor or memory of a loved one or for the glory of God.

Trinity is now an Amazon.com Operation Smile Participant

You can support Trinity with each purchase that you make through Amazon.com with NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU!

By registering and using the smile.amazon.com link,

a small percentage of what you spend at Amazon

will be returned as a gift to Trinity.


Our BLOG Page is now PayPal enabled – so that anyone may make a donation either through their PayPal account or without a PayPal account by using a credit card. In either case Donate by clicking on the PayPal button on the top right-hand side of the page and follow the instructions at http://pastorkeithsblog.blogspot.com/


The Executive Committee which serves through  FEB 2018

Eileen Soler through 2017*           President            (954) 483-3238

Lisa Montalchi through 2017*       Vice President    (954) 297-1325

Ron McCoy (appointed)                 Assist. Treas      (954) 790-3106 

Tina Hines through 2018               Treasurer            (786) 271-3789

Basi Perkins through 2020*           Secretary            (954) 439-1596 

At-Large Council Members include:  Zory Graciani  through 2019, Pastor Keith, Eileen Manella through 2018, Pat Messmer  through 2018*, Lois Cozier through 2018*

“*” = eligible for a second 3-year term

The next Congregational Council Meeting will take place at the Parsonage on Monday MAY 22nd 2017 at the Parsonage at 7PM (council members meet at 6:30PM for a meal and conversation). These meetings are always open to the congregation beginning at 7PM. Any new business to be considered for this meeting should be submitted to the office in writing either by email at tlcppines@gmail.com or by written note with contact information by Sunday May 14th  




Look for the sign in Charter Hall – notes for our (or your) sick and shut-in or for gratitude may be written and left in the basket. If you are writing a note for someone who is not part of the Trinity Family, please make certain that you have included both their name and address on the envelope.


Help is needed this Saturday May 27th at 9AM at 2840 NW 105 Lane

Sunrise, FL 33322 (954) 235-3918 to help pack up the moving truck.

Please come out if only for  a few hours.


Trinity’s next visit from the Bloodmobile is this Sunday May 21st.

Upcoming dates include: July 23rd, September 24th, November 26th


Save the dates Mon - Fri July 24th – 28th from 9am – 4pm!

Sign up and information sheets now available in the office and in the narthex or

contact Tina Hines (954) 893-6597 or Piper Spencer (954) 668-1620


Follow Trinity Lutheran on Twitter using @tlcppines



peanut butter,  jelly, pasta sauce, tuna, mac and cheese, green beans, condensed soup.  THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!  Please leave donations in the narthex.

·        ITEMS NEEDED FOR Blessing bags for Homeless People

Small fruit cans or pudding cups, protein or granola bars, small packages of salt+pepper and sugar, powdered drink mix small for a bottle of water, travel size toiletries and sanitary pads for ladies , plastic cutlery, coffee sticks , tea bags, wet wipes, small used blankets ( no comforters please).

Please leave donations in the narthex.



In memory of Earline LaCroix, her family provided Chocolate Easter Eggs this Lent. Donations received from those eggs will be use to purchase new altar ware in her memory.


A second AED Memorial Fund has been established in order to provide an AED for Charter Hall in addition to the one already purchased for the Sanctuary. In case of a heart attack seconds matter, so having an AED in a building where so many people spend coffee hour and other activities is important. Our goal is $1400.

You may use the special offering envelopes located on the offering and prayer card stand or write “AED Fund” on the memo line on the check. If paying via Trinity’s PAYPAL account please indicate that it is for the AED Fund on the memo line that paypal  provides.


Information corrections or additions to this section of the weekly email may be sent to Pastor Keith at tlcppines@gmail.com.

·        Anna MATTY recently turned 92 - wish her a happy birthday C/O 6431 SW 2 Street Pembroke Pines, FL 33023

·        Pastor Robb GRIMM who recently moved from south Florida to California was hit by a car while crossing the street and is recovering from his injuries. You may send him a note of encouragement C/O 155 S Orange Grove Blvd, Apt C Pasadena, CA 91105

Let us remember more of our shut-ins with notes of encouragement this week:

·        Tony HULSHOFF 13255 SW 9 Ct G-201 Pembroke Pines, FL 33027

·        Ann DIAMOND c/o Mike Nelson  PO Box 95 Viola, IL 61486

·        Nona WHITE 1141 NW 84 Terrace Pembroke Pines, FL 33024

·        Ingeborg Slingsby 7361Allen Drive Hollywood, FL 33024

·        Al Gearhart  c/o 12731 SW 13 Manor  Davie, FL  33325

·        Richard Jeboo 8761 SW 9th Court Pembroke Pines, FL 33025

- tuna
- cereal /oatmeal
- chunky soups
- condensed soups
- mashed potato

The Pantry will be open Thursday , Feb. 4 TH 12pm - 2 pm and Thursday, Feb. 18 TH 12pm-2 pm and 6pm-7pm



Weekly “Noisy” Offering collection for Luther Springs Camp continues

28th   Healing Sunday

28th   Cake during Coffee Hours for those celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, or other special days during April/May 2017

28th   Ascension of our Lord Sunday - Ephesians 1:15-23 and Luke 24:44-53

28th   Vaquero Baptism at 11AM Service


Weekly “Noisy” Offering collection for Luther Springs Camp continues

4th         Pentecost Sunday   Acts 2:1-21

4th     Broward-Bahamas Conference Pentecost “Singsation” Event  4PM (choir rehearsal at 3PM)

11th   Holy Trinity Sunday

11th   Blessing of the Graduates during worship

11th   Equality Rally for Unity and Pride  Las Olas, Fort Lauderdale @3PM


Matthew 5:13-16 Being Salt and Light

18th   Reconciled in Christ (R.I.C.) Anniversary Recognition

25th   SUNDAY TEXT: Matthew 5:17-20 I have come to fulfill the law

25th   Healing Sunday


Weekly “Noisy” Offering collection for Luther Springs Camp continues

2nd        SUNDAY TEXT: Matthew 5:21-26 On Anger and Sin

9th     SUNDAY TEXT: Matthew 5:27-32 Adultery and Divorce

16th     SUNDAY TEXT Matthew 5:38-48 On Loving our Enemies

23rd   SUNDAY TEXT: Matthew 6:19-34 Treasures in Heaven

23rd     Blessing of VBS Volunteers

23rd   Bloodmobile

24th – 28th VBS DAY CAMP

30th   Healing Sunday


Weekly “Noisy” Offering collection for Luther Springs Camp continues

13th   Blessing of Teachers/Staff returning to school

20th   Blessing of the Students returning to school

27th   Healing Sunday


Weekly “Noisy” Offering collection for Luther Springs Camp continues

15th - 17th GodSpa for Women, Luther Springs Camp, Hawthorne, FL

24th   Healing Sunday and Bloodmobile


Weekly “Noisy” Offering collection for Luther Springs Camp continues

Memorial Butterfly Garden Special Support Envelopes this month

Pumpkin Patch 15th – 31st

12th – 14th Synod Assembly in Kissimmee

Pumpkin Offload the weekend of October 14th

22nd Healing Sunday

29th   Confirmation

31st   Joint Worship Service Archdiocese of Miami


Weekly “Noisy” Offering collection for Luther Springs Camp continues

22nd Thanksgiving Eve Service

23rd   Thanksgiving  Dinner at Trinity

26th   Healing & Bloodmobile

26th   Advent Wreath Building

Trinity Prayer List from 5/14/2017

Joey, Sylvia, Paloma, Louie, Sharon, Lisa, Jan and family, David, Jack and Dany, Frankie and Melissa, Payne family, the Saulsbury-Stewart- Hill- Grant- Cooper-Brown-Hayes families, Alvarez family, Jose B., Family and Friend of TLC, Richard J., Priya,

Glen, Hyacinth and family, Claire, Sunbeam and family, Ainsworth, Vivian, Pastor Keith, his family, and his parents, Tyrone, Joyce, Elsa, Pearl, Bev and family, Lyla and family, Dottie and family, Joyce and family, Carl and family, Tiffany and family, Jean,

Billy, Lori, Kyle, Rachel, George, Dot, Matthew, Grant Twins, Al and Shirley, Diana,  

Ray, Nona, Ingeborg, Tony, Lynette, John, Jay, Patrick, Tina’s Mother-in-Law, Lynette,

Diana, The Hunter Scott family (grieving), The Benjamin family (grieving).