My God is one of Provision

This past week, we were getting ready for our worship service in the fellowship hall. The service was centered around our VBS and we wanted to have at least some of the decoration in place. On Wednesday we had nothing other than our ideas. Thanks to the many volunteers to came to help on Wednesday evening, we made a lot of progress and got a lot accomplished. We were able to put our Ishtar wall in place on Friday!  We are not done with our decorating but we had enough for our worship service. God is able to accomplish much more than we can ever imagine!

Submitted by Debbie LaFontaine

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Say What?

Exciting things are happening at Holy Trinity, and we’ve thrown a lot of new terms your way recently.  We’ve compiled this “cheat sheet” as a quick reference guide.

Rise Up Campaign: A special campaign created by the Southeast Michigan Synod of the ELCA for congregations to share Christ and grow leaders for the church of today and tomorrow.  The campaign goal is to raise $1.25 million across the SEMI synod to fund items such as stewardship training for church leaders, the Tune In process provided by LEAD and currently being implemented by the Listening Team (see below), special grants to congregations, rostered leader mentoring, lay leader development, and more.

LEAD: Living Every day as Disciples, or LEAD, is a company that provides comprehensive tools for healthy congregations that want to grow deeper in faith and wider in mission. The Southeast Michigan Synod has engaged LEAD through the Rise Up Campaign to provide congregations with tools and resources.

Tune In: LEAD offers four different 10-step processes to meet the specific needs of congregations. Resources, training, and coaching are available to help congregations successfully move through the process. Tune In is the first process offered by LEAD.

Listening Team: The Listening Team is the team Holy Trinity has formed to implement the Tune In process in our congregation. Throughout the process we will be listening to God through scripture, prayer, the congregation, and the neighborhood to discern where God is calling Holy Trinity.

LEAD Congregational Assessment: The LEAD congregational assessment, a short online survey on the LEAD website, is the first part of the Tune In process where we listen to the congregation. Follow on steps for the assessment will be distributed by the Listening Team in the summer or early fall. These steps will include a written survey, focus groups and one-on-one conversations with members of the congregation.

Stewardship for All Seasons: Stewardship for All Seasons is a special program funded by the Rise Up Campaign, where congregations work with a stewardship consultant to develop new strategies for congregations. Holy Trinity is participating in this program in 2018.

Submitted by Audrey Andison

Yeah God!

I have seen God at work in many little things that have happened this past week. First, Packaging Corp of America not only donated large cardboard sheets for our VBS backdrop, they also cut some of the cardboard details that we needed. Second, Carol and I were looking to send some prayer ideas out our Kids Hope volunteers. We found a document we had used in 2012 that listed prayer ideas for each week of the summer and figured we could use it even if the dates were different. It turns out the calendar for 2018 is identical to that of 2012 – so the dates were correct! Third, it was a blessing to welcome our new members last Sunday and to have so many people welcome them during the Faith 5 discussion after worship. Fourth, I mentioned to Carol that my son was looking for an upright piano. She said that the day before someone had just told her they had one to get rid of. The best part of all this is it is becoming a habit for me to see and acknowledge God in everyday events. God is good all the time – all the time God is good!

Many thanks to Packaging Corporation of America for their continued support of Holy Trinity’s VBS and Worship Arts.  They always come through with cardboard to help us create wonderful things.

Submitted by Debbie LaFontaine

Finders of Lost Things

GOD SIGHTING STORIES  —  God calls us to be witnesses.  Sharing our stories helps us to
be comfortable talking about God working in our lives, & reinforces/strengthens our faith.
When we put that experience into words it prepares us to help others know God at work
in their lives. Be bold and vocal.  It’s our call.

 I had been missing a couple of items for quite some time. The first was some gift certificates that I won at Miles for Mia LAST year. The second was my cottage keys. I looked high and low with no luck, so I called on the “Finders of Lost Things” for some help. Well, the “Finders of Lost Things” must have been busy this past week while I was out of town because both items mysteriously showed up in my beside table drawer. Thank you God for opening my eyes to see the things that I sometime miss as obvious.

Submitted by Kathy Weinberg

 

 

 

 

   

 

A NIGHTMARE GOD SIGHTING

God sightings are by their nature personal, some more than others.  Please read on to share with me my struggle to articulate this very personal, very unusual God sighting.

For over 30 years I worked as a therapist with children and families.  While I worked with many people who progressed past their issues, there were others who were memorable for their exiting the process before achieving much success.  And, to be honest, I did make my share of mistakes or have my skill level not be adequate for the issues being presented.  Despite being trained in keeping myself emotionally detached from my clients and not taking responsibility for their continuing problems, often that was difficult to do; something easier said than done.

Since I retired about 10 years ago, I have had occasional vivid dreams that can be interpreted as being related to my work. Most were pleasant and humorous and some others were scary.  This morning was one of the latter.  It felt like a scene from Revelation.  It began by my being confronted by a man, who I had in therapy on and off for several years when he was a child.  Having an IQ of about 50, meant he would not become a brain surgeon, and my goals were limited, such as working hard at a task or looking for the good side of a difficult situation.  In my vivid dream, as an adult he confronted me, blaming me for not helping him enough with his horrible life of abuse, legal problems and failure.  I looked around me and saw I was in a barn, with the floor covered in manure. As I looked around the pieces became larger, from rabbit size to horse size to what ever could have made a larger size and piled higher? There was a pen of sheep, banging heads into one another. I could hear the banging and pained bleating, over and over again.  I was helpless and alone. I felt like I was smothering under a growing pile of you know what.

Finally I woke up, sweating and panting, as if I had been running.  I laid back down and asked God for help.  Another dream appeared, as I must have drifted off to sleep again. I was standing at a large table, covered with piles of my stinking sins.  On the other side of the table was a radiant light emanating from a point in front and above the table.  I said, “Forgive me. I have sinned.”  All I heard was a whispered, “which?”  I pointed to a small pile. Puff! It disappeared. I pointed to a larger pile of stinking sin. Puff! It was gone. Then another and another, until they were all gone. The table was shiny white clean, like a new table!

What a relief it was to give it all to God!  I doubt I will have that bad dream again.  And, if I do, I know a good therapist to ask for help. Thank you, God!

Submitted by Paul Stratton