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Trinity Topics H O L Y T R I N I T Y L U T H E R A N C H U R C H
In observance of President’s Day, the office is closed Monday, February 16
“Be Still and Know that I Am God”
February is the shortest month of the calendar year, and this year February is almost evenly split between the Epiphany and the Lenten seasons. We transition from the season of light to a season of reflection as we journey with Jesus toward the cross. The tone shifts from the light and life of Jesus’ early ministry to a season that invites us to ponder how it’s going with us and our relationship with God and neighbor. Psalm 46 is one of the psalms we will hear in Lent, and it begins like this:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
Our lives are rarely the way we want them or expect them to be. We live through troubles and disappointments, brokenness and sadness. Changes happen in our lives that we want either to undo or reverse. Relationships break, and we are shattered to our core. Some of us lived in the Bay Area when the Loma Prieta earthquake hit in 1989, so we know how the earth shaking feels. We know what roaring waters looks like. When life seems to turn on us, and the mountain is about to blow, we want to take control… to DO whatever we can to make things right and to return to status quo… the pre-eruption time… when the waters were clean and the trees were tall.
The psalmist reminds us that when we are in trouble and the mountains rage, God shows us the light. When wars break the people, God breaks the bow and shatters the spear. Whatever it is in our own lives that threatens to break us, God brings new life where old life is being destroyed.
The Lenten journey is a new “life journey”. In the forty days that begin on Ash Wednesday we will be wondering and wandering with these words of Psalm 46 together: Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)
In our noisy world, it is good to become still before God, take a break from the chaos of life, and be filled with God’s peace and healing.
Come join this community on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings for fellowship, reflection, singing, praying as we journey toward new life that God promises to all people.
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 18
A Service of Holy Communion with the Imposition of Ashes at 7:00 pm
H O L Y T R I N I T Y H A P P E N I N G S
Adult Forums in February & March
Sundays mornings | 9:00 am | Conference Rm
February 1 | “Testaments: One Story, Two Parts”
February 8 | “Gospels: Unexpected Good News”
February 15 | “Interpretation: Scriptures Reads Us”
“Journeys in Faith” Lent has historically been a season of “faith
formation” in which women, men, and children
prepared for the sacrament of Holy Baptism. Let
us join in this tradition of inquiry on Sunday
mornings to discuss matters that relate to our faith
in an interactive format.
February 22 | “God: Faith Is A Quest”
March 1 | “Religion: Spirituality Is Not Enough”
March 8 | “Jesus: The Revolution of Love”
March 15 | “Cross: Where God Is”
March 22 | “Church: An Imperfect Family”
All are welcome!
Discipleship Gathering Saturday, February 7 & 14
Find out more about the history and teachings of the Lutheran Church in general, and Holy Trinity in particular at this Gathering from 10:00 am - 12 noon.
Coffee, tea, and snacks will be provided. This is a good opportunity for anyone interested in making Holy Trinity their spiritual home.
We will be receiving new members on Transfiguration Sunday, February 15.
Please email Pr. Christian with any questions or to RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 650.593.0325 x.1
We look forward to seeing you there!
Burning of Palms
Sunday, February 15 As we prepare for Ash Wednesday
and the Lenten season, all worshipers are invited to bring their palm fronds from last year’s Palm/Passion Sunday
worship. We will burn the palms following worship in the courtyard and use the ashes in our Ash Wednesday
Service on February 18.
MIDWEEK SERVICES ON WEDNESDAY NIGHTS IN LENT | 6:45 PM “Baskets of Promise - Signs of Hope”
We are rotating with Messiah Lutheran Church in Redwood City
February 25 Messiah Lutheran RWC
March 4 Holy Trinity
March 11 Messiah Lutheran RWC
March 18 Holy Trinity
March 25 Messiah Lutheran RWC
A simple soup supper precedes each Midweek Service at 6:00 pm If you would like to bring a hearty soup, salad, bread, or dessert,
please sign up in the breezeway or contact Petra Gilmore.
H O L Y T R I N I T Y L I F E
Baptism of Hazel Marie Schemper Vorhes, January 18
Pastor's Epiphany Open House
Budget Presentation and Annual Meeting
Lori Friedman and Anita Reimann working on a PowerPoint presentation at the January council meeting.
Shirley Zimmerman and Pamela Bohlmann making music
H O L Y T R I N I T Y Y O U T H
Preaching on the Floor: A New Year for Preschool-2nd Grade Sunday School
Something new is happening downstairs in this new year. When the youngest of our congregation leave for Sunday school, our preschool through 2nd graders are engaged in a new curriculum. Except that I hate to call it a curriculum. It’s really more like preaching. They’re sitting in a circle on the floor, hearing and seeing and touching a story from the Bible.
Upstairs, adults are listening to a sermon. If you’ve listened to a few sermons, you’ve probably noticed that sermons are different from teaching. (We don’t call them lectures! They’re something different!) In the tradition of the New Testament in its original Greek, pastors and theologians sometimes throw around the word “kerygma” when talking about preaching. “Kerygma” is the Greek word for preaching. It’s a completely word than the word for teaching “Didaskalo” (think of “didactic” in English). Kerygma is related to the word for “proclaim” or “cry out,” the way a herald would. And the New Testament pairs it with the idea of Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ. So a sermon is not just teaching someone head knowledge, but crying out to them (with some urgency and excitement!) about the Good News.
By now, you are wondering what on earth the distinctions between Greek terms mean to a 4 year old. But here’s the idea: when this group of kids leave worship for Sunday School, we’re not exactly doing “school” with them anymore. We’re doing preaching at their level. Many Sunday School curriculums fall apart when they only try to teach, and not to proclaim. Downstairs this year, we’re using something called “Godly Play” and a nearly identical derivative format called “Young Children and Worship” to proclaim the Good News. It’s based on the system that Maria Montessori developed for her Italian students’ religious education (part of her curriculum that didn’t cross the Atlantic because most schools in North America that use Montessori method are secular).
To reach young children at their developmental level, they sit in a circle with a storyteller. On shelves around the room are the “stories”: sets of objects that are used as aids to tell the story. The storyteller takes a set down from the shelf, and begins to tell the story using the objects in the box, because young children are concrete thinkers, and need objects to make the story real. When the story is done, they talk about it with the storyteller, using questions that begin with “I wonder…” This winter and spring, we are concentrating on the parables that Jesus told. The parable of the Good Samaritan, for example, is told using felt shapes that look like a road from Jericho to Jerusalem, and hand-colored laminated images of the characters in the story. At the end of the story, the storyteller and children might wonder together: “I wonder if you’ve ever had to travel somewhere far away? “I wonder if you’ve ever wanted to help someone?” They aren’t learning a “lesson” so much as they are entering the story and learning how the Good News is meant for them in their own lives.
It’s really not that hard to be the storyteller. There’s a script for the story. You get to use the storytelling sets (it’s sort of fun, like getting down on the floor and playing with children!). And, children are usually so captivated by the stories and the objects that, even the most squirrelly sit and listen.
I’m hoping we will all fall in love with this way of preaching to our children. If you’re curious, come down and see some Sunday! Better yet, let me know if you want to help. There are a number of ways I could use your assistance in this. What could you do?
1. Pray for the children of our church. As we walk down the aisle after the children’s time, would you please say a little prayer for hearts and minds that are open to the Good News