WORSHIP WITH US!
8:30AM, 9:45AM in the hall, or 11AM

Location:
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
tlcppines@gmail.com


Join Us For Worship!

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

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











Trinity at 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.