Tidying Up

My awareness of God working in my life sometimes begins with an unexpected incident and gets clarified over time. This time it began with a broken garage door. The spring that raised the garage door had broken and needed to be replaced.  What seemed like a simple fix led to replacing both garage doors, painting the house trim to match the new garage door color, and having the painters also clean and re-stain the deck.

The bottom line is that to begin this chain of expenses I had to clean the garage floor 11 feet back from the doors, so the new doors could be assembled and installed.  That would have been no big deal if it were not for about 40 years of my professional life being in over 40 boxes on the floor, which had to be cleared.  That was God talking to me loud and clear. I had to deal with my professional past before I could deal with my personal present as a broken garage door.  So, day after day I sorted through desktop knickknacks, clinical files, staff meeting notes, training materials, books and journals.  I had to say good-bye to each of them as I processed the good, the bad and the ugly of a long and mostly successful professional life.

What God taught me was that I was OK mourning the death of that part of myself.  This meant that I had to stop feeling sorry for myself for what was no more and to stop being resentful at getting older.  Instead I have to celebrate the good stuff of the past and appreciate what has become part of the person that I am today going into the future.  The assurance of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness made it easier for me to move from one stage of life to the next stage of life.   I feel unburdened and set free, and yet I know that this transition is still a work in process.  God had put a broken garage door into my life to jump-start it all. Thank you, God, once again.


Submitted by Paul Stratton


Holy Trinity’s Eagle Scouts

Boy Scout Troop 782, located at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, is proud to present eight Eagle Awards on November 5, 2018.  This will increase our total to 315 Eagle Scouts since the troop was founded in 1954.  We are ranked #6 in the nation.  There were five Eagle Scouts in the troop when J. Kenneth Bourgon assumed the Scoutmaster position and he added 267 during his tenure.  Since Mr. B stepped aside, Scoutmaster Bill McCarley has added 43 additional Eagle Scouts!

New Eagle Scouts are Alex Chartier, Ryan Falconer, Terry McMillan, Michael Miney, Erik Schmidt, Austin Stratton, Miguel Teran and Matt Zelin.

Alex Chartier is currently a senior at Stevenson High School.  Alex is in the National Honor Society, Jazz Pit, Clarinet Ensemble and Marching Band.  He is the Drum Major as a senior.  Alex plans to double major in Business and Mechanical Engineering at either Kettering or University of Michigan-Dearborn.  He has been to Philmont Scout Ranch which, Alex considers his best Scouting experience.  His project was to collect items for the Blessings in a Backpack.  His crew spent 98 hours collecting and packaging items for the BIAB national office.

Ryan Falconer is currently a senior at Churchill High School.  Ryan has been in the CHS marching band as a Section Leader for four years and CHS ‘Touch-a Truck Program’ for two years.  He plans to major in either Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering and has applied to Purdue, Lawrence Tech, Princeton and University of Michigan.  For his project, Ryan planned and organized reworking an outdoor meditation garden at the Finnish Center.  His crew put in 226 hours.  He has been to Philmont Scout Ranch and was Crew Chaplain.

Terry McMillan is currently a senior at Stevenson High School.  He is in the National Honor Society and received the KLAA Student Athlete Award.  He has his varsity letter in swimming.  He is also in the Chess Club, Community Service Club and Lighthouse International Church Youth Group.  Terry went to Philmont Scout Ranch and was a Crew Leader.  He plans to attend University of Michigan and become a doctor.  For Terry’s Eagle project, they built sign posts for Holiday Park Nature Preserve and donated 70 hours.

Michael Miney is currently a sophomore in a home-schooling program. He plans to attend Schoolcraft College before transferring to University of Michigan to major in Aerospace Engineering.  He recently has attained his Second-Degree Black Belt on his way toward his Fifth-Degree Black Belt in Martial Arts.  His project was completed at the Branch Line School.  He and his helpers built garden beds for students to learn how to grow food.  They contributed 128 hours to the project.

Erik Schmidt is currently a senior at Stevenson High School. He has received Summa Cum Laude his first three years and is a member of the National Honor Society.  Erik is in the Deca club for marketing/business students.  He has earned his Tennis varsity letter.  He was a member of the Concert Band for a year.  Erik has worked with Cell Phones for Soldiers and collected over 5,000 phones!  College is in his future and probably he will major in music.  Erik’s Eagle project was to rework the St. Aidan Church community gardens and his team contributed 125 hours.

Austin Stratton graduated from Career Center Construction Trades program. He plans to attend a trade school to continue his construction career.  He recently earned his Cross-Country varsity letter.  He just spent a month in Alaska and had a great experience.  His Eagle project was to build benches for the Merriman Hollow conservation area.  His crew of 11 people contributed 128 hours to the project

Miguel Teran is currently a junior at Franklin High School.  He has been on the Robotics team for three years.  He has also been selected for the Bel Canto Choir.  Migues plans to attend college and study Electrical Engineering.  For his Eagle project, he and his crew spent 78 hours to build wheelchair adapters for Clark Park picnic tables.

Matt Zelin is currently a senior at Stevenson High School.  He has been on the Cross-Country team for four years.  Matt plans to major in architecture or aviation. His project was to collect and assemble Pocket Flags to be sent with a note to Sgt. Kuaff Matthew stationed in Kuwait for distribution.  His team contributed 103 hours.

That Bracelet – Thank You God

I asked the man how he knew I was a Christian, and he pointed to my bracelet that read, “God’s Work. Our Hands.”

As I boarded the airplane to return home from visiting family there were over 40 seats available.  I found a middle seat with an overhead space for my carry-on luggage.  I asked if the middle seat was taken, and the man in the aisle seat moved over and motioned for me to seat in the aisle seat, which I preferred anyway.

During this hour and a half flight I had planned on reading a novel, but, soon after takeoff, the man asked me, “how did you come to know Jesus?”  While the question took me aback some, I was prepared by having given this “elevator speech” about my faith before.  What followed was a blessing. We talked about our shared Christian faith and their mission work around the world.

Jerry and Marilyn Fine are the authors of One-on-One with God (www.ONEonONEwithGOD.org). This is a structured training program for how to make disciples, which they have taught to thousands of people, many of whom have gone on to disciple other people.  As I have worked as a church leader and have learned about faith development, I have struggled with being a disciple teacher.

Of all the seats available on this airplane and of all the topics to talk about, here was a couple who could give me what I needed in order to learn more about making disciples. Late in the conversation I asked the man how he knew I was a Christian, and he pointed to my bracelet that read, “God’s Work. Our Hands.” And I said, “thank you, God, once again.”

Submitted by Paul Stratton

What Our Confirmation Kids are Saying

I liked the baptism because I liked the words that Pastor said,  “People of God do you promise to support Amelia and pray for them in their new life in Christ

What part of the service did you like best?

  • My favorite part of the worship was the sermon because Pastor Golden explained everything that she needed to. She talked about the Pharisees.  [9-2-18, Andrew M.]
  • Communion because I get to pray for my family.  [9-2-18, Aaron S.]
  • I liked the instruments that they played during the songs because it inspired me and was interesting to watch.  [9-2-18, Sean V.]
  • I liked the fact that it was Homecoming, it was so crowded and there were lots of people there. I liked the music and all the different instruments that were played. It was very different.  [9-9-18, Sean V.]
  • I liked the Sermon because it always makes me think about my life.  [9-16-18, Aaron S.]
  • The songs because it helps me understand more. [9-16-18, Haylee S.]
  • The sermon because I liked learning about the disciples.  [9-22-18, Faith C.].
  • I liked having my family sit behind me in church. I normally would come with Mom or Dad, but today, I came with my Grandma and my Aunt. It was nice to go to church with other members of my family.  [9-23-18, Sean V.]
  • The songs because it makes me understand more what the service is about. [9-23-18, Haylee S.]
  • My favorite part was the children’s message because the message had a good meaning to it.  [9-23-18, Audrey W.]
  • I liked the sermon the most because it talked about competition and how we should live.  [9-23-18, Ben W.]
  • My favorite part of the worship was when the choir sang a song by themselves.  [9-23-18, Andrew M.]
  • My favorite part was the offering song because it was a nice/pretty song.  [9-30-18, Audrey W.]

How does the sermon relate to your life?

  • The sermon relates to my life because Pastor Golden said that the Pharisees has to wash their hands. At my house me and my family always have to wash our hands before we eat our dinner which is always good.  [9-2-18, Andrew M.]
  • Because everyone needs to be kind out of church. That is including me and my family. [9-2-18, Aaron S.]
  • The sermon relates to my life by showing that God cleans my heart and takes away my sin. By the grace of God, his salvation is a free gift. I need to remember to not just listen to his Word, but follow his word, not just on Sundays, but all week long.  [9-2-18, Sean V.]
  • Sometimes when I feel lost or alone, I have to remember that no matter how far we go or how lost we sometimes feel that God will always find us. There is always hope and God gives us his Grace and is there for each and every one of us. We can always make a change with the help of God.  [9-9-18, Sean V.]
  • It relates because I don’t always see what I should see, like when I draw because usually it looks bad to me.  [9-16-18, Aaron S.]
  • Today’s sermon was about how we help our neighbors. Also what it means to follow the cross.  [9-16-18, Haylee S.]
  • I work hard every day to achieve my goals. In school, sports, etc. by being polite.  [9-22-18, Faith C.]
  • The sermon relates to my life by showing how sometimes we show anger to each other for things that we or others may have done. We should not take these things out on others. I can relate as there may be a problem in school and it reminds me that I should not and cannot take my anger out on them.  [9-23-18, Sean V.]
  • In everything I do there is pressure to be #1. Pressure to get good grades, and stand out among others.  [9-23-18, Haylee S.]
  • The sermon relates to my life by that you have to treat people equally to everyone else.  Like treat your teacher the way you would your parents.  [9-23-18, Audrey W.]
  • We started by talking about the Fifth Commandment and how it means more than not to murder. Also how we should treat others.  [9-23-18, Ben W.]
  • In the ancient world children didn’t really get as much attention as they do now. Right now children get all of the attention.  [9-23-18, Andrew M.]
  • The sermon relates to my life because God loves everyone from the very rich to the homeless, and that he loves them all equally.  [9-30-18, Audrey W.]

Collected comments from September 2018 submitted by Susan Mount-Campbell, Ed Team

Food, Fellowship and Fun!

Share the Bounty is an evening of delicious treats, fellowship, fun and opportunities to win some great gift baskets, certificates, gift cards, handmade items, toys and other awesome stuff.   Won’t you please join us?

Tickets are available at the church and at the door the night of the event. Tickets are $15.00 includes admission and 10 raffle tickets. If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Weinberg in the church office at 734-464-0211.

Share the Bounty

The 28th Annual Share the Bounty fundraiser will be held on November 9, 20181 at 7:00 pm.. This annual event is a major fundraiser for our Women of the ELCA – all of the money raised for this event goes to Holy Trinity’s needy family fund and helps to provide Christmas gifts for families in our community that otherwise wouldn’t have a Christmas due to financial difficulties.  It also provides assistance for those in need throughout the year.

Long time Holy Trinity member Laura Dwyer proposed the needy family fund to Pastor Seltz. It was established to minister in a Godly and loving manner to local families with special needs who have for whatever reason found themselves in financial crisis. It was meant to catch the people who “fall between the cracks” of the governmental system and be a “hand up, and not a hand out.” The fund provided food and gifts at Christmas and helped with temporary emergencies throughout the year as funds allowed.

The first year the Needy Family Fund was seeded by member donations.  In 1991, continued funding was needed for the project, and four ladies put their heads together to find a way to raise money.  Laura Dwyer, Phyllis Nader, Joan Newman and Doris Srock were instrumental in developing Share the Bounty.  The idea was simple – sharing the goodness that God has so richly provided us so that we could help those in need.

The ladies sought donations of handmade crafts, new items and services to be offered in a ticket auction.  Matching funds were requested from Aid Association for Lutherans. Rather than asking for donations of goodies to eat, it was decided that they would buy the fanciest sweets they could afford.  This gave the ladies an opportunity to enjoy the evening without having to worry about preparing all the food.

Over the span of 26 years, we estimate that we’ve helped more than 250 families.  In addition, the fund provides a way for our pastoral staff to assist people with emergency needs throughout the rest of the year.

We’ve worked with various social service agencies to find families in need.  In the past, we’ve helped families through Salvation Army and Lutheran Social Services of Michigan.  This year we will assist families from Salem Lutheran Church and Randolph Elementary School to help families within our own neighborhood.

Share the Bounty continues to be an enjoyable event for the members of Holy Trinity as well as others in our community.  Thrivent Financial and its predecessor organizations always supported this fundraiser.  We are looking for a Holy Trinity Member to sponsor a Thrivent Action Team.

You can help us this year by: Attending Share the Bounty – it promises to be a memorable evening; donating a handmade and new item as well as certificates for services; taking a tag from our Angel Tree – these are gifts for the children in the families we sponsor; or making a tax deductible donation to Holy Trinity’s Needy Family Fund.

Tickets are available at the church and at the door the night of the event. Tickets are $15.00 includes admission and 10 raffle tickets. If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Weinberg in the church office at 734-464-0211.

Where is Your Heart At?

As I have been planning the fall stewardship campaign, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on Matthew chapter 6. In Matthew 6:21, Jesus said “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Every time I read this verse, I find myself doing a quick gut-check. If someone were to put together a list of everything I spend money on, what would it say about me and where my heart is at? I would hope that person would say that it is clear by the way I spend my money that my heart is with God. I would also hope it would show that as I have been growing in my faith journey, I have also been growing in generosity.

I know that I have a long way to go, but the season of stewardship allows me to not only reflect on how my generosity reflects my gratitude to all of the blessings God has given me, but also allows me to be intentional in my money and my time. This season allows me to trust in God and listen to how he will guide me to become more generous.

Matthew 6:24 goes on to say “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

It sure does seem like people serve money these days, doesn’t it? At work every week, small groups gather to do a 10 minute mindfulness meditation session. One week’s session centered around gratitude for the abundance we have in our life. At the end of the 10 minute session, my co-worker was in tears. “I worry so much about money that I don’t take the time to realize how blessed I am,” she said. If we spent more time with God, thanking Him for what we do have, we really would live a happier and more fulfilled life.

Matthew 6:25 says “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” Verses 33:34 explain “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

This world thrives on the idea of scarcity, that there isn’t enough and we aren’t enough. Thankfully we have a God of abundance, who gives us everything we have, which is all we will ever need. He loves us unconditionally, enough that He sent his son to die for us.

So I ask you: Where is your treasure at? Where is your heart at? How will you use this year’s stewardship campaign as a way to be more intentional in reflecting your gratitude to all that God has given you?

Submitted by  Andrey Andison