October 9, 2016 Guest Pastor, Rev. Peter Kuhn Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7 Psalm 66:1-12 2 Timothy 2:8-15 Luke 17:11-19
October 16, 2016 Jeremiah 31:27-34 Psalm 119:97-104 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5 Luke 18:1-8
October 23, 2016 Joel 2:23-32 Psalm 65 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18 Luke 18:9-14
October 30, 2016 Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4 Psalm 119:137-144 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12 Luke 19:1-10
Dear Friends of Trinity,
Thank you for the warm welcome I have received in returning as the interim pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ. It is always a stressful time when a congregation makes the transition from called pastoral leadership to interim ministry, but I am hoping we can use this time to reflect on the past (without dwelling on it) and to look forward to a vision for the future.
Every congregation has hopes and dreams for how it can share the good news of God in Christ to the community which it serves. In changing times such as these, there are many challenges – the ways in which we did things thirty, twenty, or even ten years ago no longer seem effective and inviting. So how do we begin to capture a vision for Trinity’s future? Let me suggest that we rely on the power of the Holy Spirit and be open to where that Spirit may lead us in understanding how we can minister to the larger community. We need to be patient and we need to trust that the Spirit will guide all of us. We are a diverse community of faith with a wide range of understandings, but we are joined together in our common faith in the presence of God in Christ Jesus in our midst.
I would like to be able to say that the Holy Spirit will lead us to comfortable and safe places, where there are no risks and no challenges. But, unfortunately, that is oftentimes not how and where the Holy Spirit directs us. It would have been safer for Moses to stay in the land of Midian tending his father-in-law’s sheep, but God called him to go back to Egypt and lead the Hebrew people out of Egypt to an unfamiliar and unknown land. It would have been more comfortable for the disciples to stay together in Jerusalem and build a safe place to worship for themselves and their followers, but the Spirit sent them to the ends of the earth to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. It would have been much less of a risk if Martin Luther had simply recanted his 95 Theses posted on the church door in Wittenburg, but the Spirit strengthened Luther to a radically new way of understanding God at work in the world. All of these faithful followers of God trusted that the same Spirit that challenged them would be present with them as they responded to the Spirit’s leading even though they did not know how or where it might lead them. But they had a vision of God’s intention for their lives and responded.
So let us listen carefully and patiently for that same Spirit to direct us in establishing a vision for Trinity. God is still speaking if we will listen. Let us prayerfully look to the future, supportive of one another, with open hearts and minds, trusting that God will use this congregation to accomplish much in being an effective witness to the community. In the words of the familiar hymn: “Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me; Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me. Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me.”
Your interim pastor, George
All Saints’ Sunday, November 6th (the time changes for this Sunday; turn your clocks back one hour)
On Sunday, November 6th, during both worship services, we will be remembering those members of Trinity and friends who have died during the previous year. We will observe this special time as we reflect on the difference that those loved ones have made in the life of the church and in the lives of individuals and families. Part of this year’s service will be the lighting of individual candles during the Prayer for the Saints, hopefully with a representative of the loved one participating in the act of lighting (or the acolyte will light the candle). You are invited to include a relative and/or friend who has died in the past year even if they were not a member of Trinity (and invite your relatives or family of your deceased friend to worship).
Please contact the office if you are interested in participating.
Veterans Sunday, November 13th
During worship services we will be recognizing all those who have served or are serving in the military, who have acted to de-fend the freedoms and liberties that we cherish and holdimportant for our nation. Part of the service will include a litany for those who have served. Invite a friend to join you for worship that day.
Gettysburg Address Sunday, November 20th November 19th marks the 153rd Anniversary of the dedication of the National Cemetery located here
in Gettysburg. Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, probably the most famous speech ever given. We will take an opportunity to reflect on this speech, on Lincoln’s evolving understanding
of slavery and those enslaved, as well as how the church can continue to respond as the people of
God in today’s world. Of course invite a friend to join you in worship.