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Staying Connected

God is working through the people of Holy Trinity to care for each other and to maintain our connections.

God is working through the people of Holy Trinity to care for each other and to maintain our connections.

  • Yvonne Harris and the Caring ministers have been making phone calls to our shut-ins and older members to check on how they are doing and if they need help with anything. Just hearing a familiar voice is comforting.
  • Paul Stratton hosted the Men’s Bible Study group on Thursday night. Each attendee was in the comfort of their own home but was able to see and converse with the other attendees. Technology is amazing.
  • Tithes and offerings have arrived in the mail at Holy Trinity. Thank you as we still need to pay bills and salaries.
  • Kristin Johnson inquired whether any efforts were in place to support our elderly members who might not be able to go out for groceries or other supplies. Her email came just as the staff was discussing Holy Trinity’s response to exactly this scenario. Dale Love will be coordinating the effort to connect members who are willing to provide support and services with those who are in need.

God has gifted each of us to serve Him and to love one another. Thank you God!

How can I keep from singing?

Even in the midst of trials, God is with us.

No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that refuge clinging Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing?

Listen

A God Sighting from Debbie LaFontaine

Although it may feel like the world is falling apart around us, I have seen God and God’s people doing great things.

    We managed to have our Council Meeting on Monday with 10 people in attendance from the comfort of their home. The technology worked great and we were able to have meaningful and productive conversation.
    Our Transition Team meet remotely on Tuesday evening.
    We had a virtual worship service on Wednesday with 20 people participating. There are still a few bugs to work out, but it generally was good. Those who participated enjoyed being able to connect with others from the congregation.
    The staff developed a plan for packing NOAH lunches this weekend. After making a few phone calls and sending a few texts, all of the items needed for making the lunches were accounted for and set to be at the church for this weekend. Most of the volunteer slots were filled within hours of posting the sign-up genius.
    We have 12 new users on our church app – that’s over 40 people!
    Our new church management software makes communication by email easier.
    We are blessed to have regular contributions through tithe.ly

The reality of social distancing has forced us into finding new ways to do ministry. Thank you God for leading us through these uncharted waters.

Download the church app

Donate online: tithe.ly giving

Donate by text: simply text the word “give” to (947) 282-9686 

Christmas WHAT CAN’T WAIT?

I confess—
I am good at waiting.
I waited for someone else to be passionate
before I made a change.
I waited for you to say, “I love you” before I
was honest.
I waited for affirmation about my work before
trying harder.
I waited for anyone else to take the lead instead
of speaking up.
I waited for you to forget instead of saying sorry.
I wait for a compliment before I feel beautiful.
I wait for your call before calling back.
I wait for an opinion before stating my own.
I wait for a rainy day to slow down.
I wait for a sunny day to get outside.
I wait for Saturdays to call home.
I wait for free time to read my Bible.
And too often, I wait for Sunday to pray.
I have lived well, but I have also sat on my hands,
Turned my head, closed my eyes,
Lived in denial, pretended it would get better,
Believed in someone else’s call over my own,
And ignored the fact that these hands belong
to God.
But these hands belong to God.
I guess what I’m trying to say is,
What if Mary waited nine months so that we
wouldn’t have to?
And what if the disciples waited three days so
that we wouldn’t have to?
There is love to sow,
Peace to reap,
Joy to feel,
And a promised day that I am longing for.
So if you want to join me,
I’ll be busy, unlearning years of sitting
and waiting.

Prayer by Sarah Are | A Sanctified Art LLC | sanctifiedart.org

Fourth Week of Advent COURAGE CAN’T WAIT (LOVE CAN’T WAIT)

When people talk about love
They talk about heartbreak.
They talk about the love that got away,
And the love that left them longing.

When people talk about love
Rarely do they say, “be brave.”
I wish they would.

To love is to pull the oxygen from your lungs
and to say,
“Here, take a breath.”
To love is to come out from hiding,
To allow the light to shine on you.
To love is to wear your heart outside of
your body—
Fingers crossed that the holder handles it with care.
To love is to trust that sometimes hurt and pain
come with the territory,
But you’re going to love anyway.
So love anyway.

Love like there’s no tomorrow.
Love as if love is not a scarcity.
Love like Mary, who cradled a baby amidst the
threat of being stoned.
And love like Joseph, who took a child in that he
knew was not his own.

Of course I say all of this because I need
to hear it too.
There are dusty corners of my heart that
I still protect—
Love stored up like grain
While the world is in famine.

So the next time you see me,
Remind me to be brave.
The next time you see me,
Invite me to stand in the light with you.
The next time you see me,
Handle with care and maybe,
Just maybe,
We’ll find a holy and wild
Love that won’t wait.

When people talk about love
They talk about heartbreak.
Rarely do they say, “be brave.”
I wish they would.

Prayer by Sarah Are | A Sanctified Art LLC | sanctifiedart.org

Third Week of Advent DELIGHT CAN’T WAIT (JOY CAN’T WAIT)

I have seen Joy face to face.
She was dancing.
She took my arm in the crook of hers
And spun me around until I couldn’t help but laugh.
We met in the kitchen with Motown
And then again at your wedding.

And I ran into Joy in my mother’s recipe box.
Her handwriting looked like my grandmother’s.
And she smelled like our famous chocolate cake.

Once I saw Joy in the street.
She was at the parade.
There was glitter in the air
And a father hugged his son.
Joy cried happy tears.

And I have seen Joy on the loose,
Running to keep up with you as you go.
Did you know that Joy is looking for you?

I know that your heart hurts,
And that you’re not sure if you like yourself.
I know that this world is scary
And I know that love can feel fleeting.
But Joy told me to tell you—she’s at the door.
She delights in who you are.
She’s inviting you to dance.
I pray and pray you’ll let her in.
I pray, and pray, and pray.

Prayer by Sarah Are | A Sanctified Art LLC | sanctifiedart.org

Second Week of Advent REPENTANCE CAN’T WAIT (PEACE CAN’T WAIT)

Sometimes,
While the sky is still dark,
I slip sock feet into tennis shoes and go for
a walk.
Step by step
I ask my deepest questions,
While the sky lets go of its deepest dark blue.

Am I doing enough?
Ink to indigo.
Does my brother know how much I love him?
Indigo to navy.
Will my friends keep showing up?
Navy to royal blue.
Will we ever know peace?
Royal blue to gold.

And after a while, my pilgrimage must end,
So I turn apologetic feet toward home
And walk my repentance back toward the sun.
And once again, while I stand in sock feet and
tennis shoes,
God takes my breath away.
For once again,
The sky’s deepest void is now a watercolor
of light.

And I am reminded
That like the sky,
God touches everything.
And I am reminded,
That like the sky,
Nothing is so broken that it can’t be
painted gold.

In the morning light, there is peace.

Prayer by Sarah Are | A Sanctified Art LLC | sanctifiedart.org

First Week of Advent: God’s Promised Day Can’t Wait (HOPE CAN’T WAIT)

Someone once told me that hope was naive—
A foolish game that children play
When they pray that summer won’t end,
And bedtime won’t come.

Someone once told me that hope was naive as they
Cradled pessimism in their lap like a sleeping cat,
Stroking their ego while they stoked a fire within me.

Unfortunately for them, I’m allergic to cats.
And unfortunately for them, those who deny hope
Will never know vulnerability;
For hope requires us to believe in a better day—
Even when this one is falling apart.

Hope looks the 24-hour news cycle in the face,
Hope looks our broken relationships in the face,
Hope looks our low self-esteem in the face,
And declares at low tide that the water will return.
Hope is exhaling, trusting that your body will
inhale again.
Hope is watching the sunset and setting an alarm.
Hope is planting seeds in the winter, assuming
summer will come.

I never said it would be easy.
The ground is frozen, you are thirsty,
and the night is long.
But I will say this—
I have found hope to be the rhythm of love and
the fiber of faith;
For to hope is to believe in God’s ability to bring
about a better day,
And like a child with an Advent calendar,
I will always be counting down the days.

So to those who cradle pessimism and fear,
You can find me outside—with the kids—wishing
on stars,
Praying to the God of today
That tomorrow will be just as beautiful.
Set your alarm.
We’d like for you to join us.
The sunrise won’t wait.

Prayer by Sarah Are | A Sanctified Art LLC | sanctifiedart.org

Share the Bounty – A Little History

Learn more about Holy Trinity’s Annual Fundraiser

The 28th Annual Share the Bounty fundraiser will be held on November 8, 2019 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 Families in Need 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 28 years, we estimate that we have helped more than 270 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 have helped families through Salvation Army and Samaritas (formerly LSSM).  This year we will assist families from Salem Lutheran Church and Randolph Elementary.

Share the Bounty continues to be an enjoyable event for the members of Holy Trinity as well as others in our community.  We are looking for a Holy Trinity Member to sponsor an 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 items 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.

It takes relationships

Mrs. Gertner seemed ancient to me as I sat in the brightly colored tiny chairs for Sunday School opening. Mrs. Herman was the mom of my best friend at church – she was like a second mom to me – she taught Sunday school and Vacation Bible School. Despite having a lousy attitude in confirmation class, (and having Pastor Ted heave a bible at me during a Saturday morning session), I developed relationships with people in the church where I attended – and I maintained them through adolescence and adulthood.

The goal of cross generational faith formation is to help people develop relationships. Think about it . . . how many of you can put a name and a face together? Do you know the name of the two boys sitting up front with their mom, while their dad serves as a Sacristan? How about the shy blonde girl and her brother, and their parents? Do you know the name of the kindly lady with white hair that sits in the third row back, on the choir side of the sanctuary? Do you know the name of the guy who makes wine for Maundy Thursday, or the lady who organizes the funeral lunches?

Cross generational faith formation isn’t about making things easy or throwing away “Sunday School.” Remember those promises we made at baptism – “to support and pray for them in their new life in Christ?” – you can find it on page 228 of the ELW. It takes a village to help our families become connected to Christ. It takes relationships.

It takes more than two or three parents teaching Sunday School to a handful of children during the sermon on Sunday morning. It takes more than asking children to sit quietly in church for worship and expecting them to understand why we do what we do.

We need to learn to talk about our faith, together. Perhaps sharing and talking about our faith with those in our church can help us to be better disciples when we walk outside these hallowed walls. We need to participate in this Christ-life together.

Submitted by Kathy Kephart Weinberg