December 2018

The Season of Advent is a season of hope and anticipation...anticipation as we remember and celebrate the arrival of the baby, Jesus!

The color of the season of Advent is blue signifying our hope in Jesus, the Messiah, the Savior of the world. So, on December 2nd this year, we set out the Advent wreath, a tradition that dates back to the 16th century! It is a symbol of the tension between light and darkness in nature in the season of winter and in our spiritual lives. During Advent, the days grow shorter and darkness increases, yet right before Christmas, the cycle changes and the days begin to grow longer again. The lighting of the blue candles on the wreath on four successive Sundays in this season gives us increasing light to counteract the darkness. The circular shape of the wreath conveys the truth that God has no beginning or end. At Trinity, we hold dear the traditions and rites of the Christian church, and as Lutherans, we place our trust in the hope that God will guide us into the future.

As some of you may know, we have been using portions of the "cranberry" hymnal for our Liturgy and Worship on most every Sunday for the past four years and the Sanctuary Choir has had several "cranberry" hymnals for use in the Choir Room for several years. More recently, the Worship and Music Committee has been promoting this Lutheran hymnal for our pews at Trinity, but we need your help because we are trying to do this solely upon donations. There is now a sign-up clipboard on the round table in the Narthex, and soon you will see black and red donation envelopes to use in purchasing the Evangelical Lutheran Worship hymnal (ELW) in honor of or in memory of a loved one. What a wonderful Christmas gift to Trinity and to a loved one! However, some folks have posed several questions concerning the "cranberry ELW," and I will attempt to answer these questions now.

First, we will continue to print the liturgy in the bulletin, but the plan is to save paper and trees by NOT printing the hymns each week. Also, during special services, for instance our mid-week Lenten Services, we may use the service portion of the hymnal. Secondly, there is another reason for having the "cranberry" ELW in our pews. In 2006, the hymnal was published and a majority of Lutheran churches in our synod removed the green LBW hymnal at that time to make room for the cranberry ELW hymnal.

Dear Friends, when I was called as your Pastor, our goals were to move us forward in Christian Education, in Youth Ministry, in Worship and Preaching, and in the general life of the congregation. I truly feel it sends a negative image of Trinity to visitors, visiting and supply pastors and seminarians who serve at Trinity that the green LBW remains in our pews, many of which are tattered and the bindings are breaking down. Furthermore, the ELW is a great resource not only for its hymns and liturgies, many of which we've already been singing and are beloved traditional hymns, but it also houses the entire Small Catechism of which our faith is based. It is my hope that those who truly value our Lutheran heritage will support our Worship and Music Committee in this endeavor. The final step of this process is to transfer the green hymnals from our pews onto tables set up on the stage side of Luther Hall where they will be placed in alphabetical order according to the inside book plate so that families may take the green hymnals home in memory or in honor of their loved one. After an appropriate time period, any unclaimed green hymnals will be given to mission development congregations in the synod and in the ELCA or beyond.

At this point, we have over 50 hymnals on the list and 80-90 more from donors who wish to remain anonymous at this time, but truth be told we'll need approximately 300 to fill the pews. It is also important to note that we should move forward before March of 2019, because we have recently been notified that there will be a price increase of $2 per hymnal at that time. I would like to see us have the cranberry ELW hymnals in our pews before this increase is implemented by the publisher. Lastly, the blue With One Voice hymnal will remain in the pews as well as the Bibles. I sincerely hope this answers most of the questions that have been posed to me and/or the Worship and Music Committee members, and I invite anyone with additional questions to stop by my office for discussion. Think about it, pray about it, and see how the Spirit may move more folks to support this effort of the Worship & Music Committee. I know I will.

Friends in Christ, as we once again anticipate the arrival of the Baby Jesus this Christmas Eve, and we enjoy the festive decorations and traditions; we look forward to the story of the Nativity. On Christmas Eve, we will gather together with our Family Worship at 6:00 pm with Vicar Rich preaching a "family message" along with music provided by the Trinity Praise Band and at 9:00 pm, we will celebrate with a full gospel procession, the Sanctuary choir and special music, under the direction of our Minister of Music, Sue Lovejoy, a traditional homily preached by your Pastor, a Service of Candlelight symbolizing the Light of Christ coming into the world, and at both worship services, we will share in Holy Communion by Intinction, as we sing beloved Christmas hymns to our triune God, who guides us each and every day of the year. And so, let us move forward, and let us declare to all the world his holy name...Jesus, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and our Prince of Peace and Savior of the World!

From my family to yours, we wish you and yours a very joyous Christmas season and a very blessed New Year.

Peace on earth, goodwill to all!

The Reverend Nancy L. Moore, Pastor

Service Schedule

Sunday Worship

9:30 a.m.

Sunday School

10:45 a.m.

First Saturday of the Month

5:00 p.m.

First Tuesday of the Month

10:00 a.m.

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