Seasons Blog: Nov.-Dec. 2017

DSCN1118 portraitOne of the things I love about Church is that it gives us an alternative paradigm for thinking about time—not in a linear way, but in overlapping layers. We acknowledge that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, held together in Christ’s arms through all of time, and sent to proclaim hope in every time and place. The theme Serving Christ Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow is at the root of all our activities in the coming months.

Trinity is commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in grand style. True to our name, we are embracing a three-in-one theme: Serving Christ Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. On Oct. 29, officially Reformation Sunday, Trinity honors the contributions of Dr. Martin Luther and other reformers who opened up the Scriptures and changed the church and the world! On All Saints Sunday, Nov. 5, we honor the church of the present—especially those who have died or have been baptized in the past year. On Nov. 12 we will focus on the church of the future. We will collect financial pledges for 2018, and rededicate ourselves to ministry in our changing world, though we have no idea what the year(s) ahead will bring.

Determined to celebrate all four Sundays of Advent this year, Trinity’s worship team’s solution to the complication of Advent 4 falling on Christmas Eve is to move Christ the King Sunday (the last Sunday in the church calendar) to Nov. 19 and begin Advent on Nov. 26. This way, Christmas Eve will just be Christmas Eve, rather than a combination of Advent 4 and Christmas Eve. NOTE that there will be no Sunday morning service on Christmas Eve. Instead, we will have our traditional Christmas Eve services at 4:30 and 10:00 p.m., as well as worship on Christmas morning at 10:00 a.m.

Are you confused yet? I know; we’ll do our best to keep reminding each other. Perhaps what we gain from this nebulous shifting of time is the sense that God’s presence is near to us at all times—nearer than we understand or imagine.

If you have time to stay for a bit after worship on December 3 to decorate the sanctuary, please do! People of all ages are cordially invited to help.

If celebrating Advent/Christmas is difficult for you or someone you love this year, I hope you will attend our Longest Night Service on Thursday, Dec. 21 at 6:00 p.m. This service will not center on the joys of the season, but recognizes of the darkness that makes it hard for some to rejoice. There will be an opportunity to receive the laying on of hands and anointing with oil for healing as well as communion at this service.

Because there is such pain in our world, Trinity is striving to communicate to our neighborhood the Good News that God is welcoming, forgiving, and crazy about the world. Two ways we are endeavoring to do this involve the exterior of our building. Of course we know that God’s work is not confined to the inside of our building, but all too often people outside of our building don’t. Our new exterior church sign, with seed money provided by Mel Schluter’s family, will give us the ability to announce timely events and activities is a way of showing that something is happening here.

The other message to the community will be a group effort. Trinity and groups that use our space will begin painting four panels the week of Nov. 13 (see the painting schedule, and call the office or sign up to volunteer for a time slot of your choosing). The four panels will be mounted as a mural on the wall facing the parking lot sometime around Easter 2018.

Come and hear our artist Jennie Gao from Dane Arts Mural Arts explain the design and images in our mural on Nov. 5 right after worship. Each of the four panels communicates the Good News that that everyone is invited to “come home” to Trinity (“home” and “music” were the dominant themes gleaned from the surveys and interviews conducted this summer). Trinity is a place to come to for nurturing in God’s family in order to leave emboldened to serve the world. This is our calling for all time(s).

~Pastor Sue

About Trinity Lutheran Church

A congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) located in Madison, Wisconsin.
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