Hi Trinity family, welcome to another edition of Wisecracks where my goal is to keep you informed about what’s happening around Trinity, encourage you in your walk of faith, and at times challenge you to think in new ways about things. Let’s get started.
First, just a quick reminder that we are having a workday at Trinity tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 10, from 9:00 to Noon. If you have some time to spare and want to wash windows or pull weeds, trim bushes, edge sidewalks, etc. that would be great. We’d appreciate the help.
Second, here are some important events that are coming up on the calendar. Saturday, Oct. 17 at 5 p.m. we will resume having our Saturday evening service. This will provide an additional service and additional safe, socially distanced space in the sanctuary for those of you who are ready, willing and able to return to in person worship.
Then, on Sunday, Oct. 25 at 1 p.m. we are celebrating the Rite of Confirmation for 27 of our young people. We are doing this at a separate service due to the limited seating we have in the sanctuary because of social distancing. This means we are limiting the Confirmation service only to those who have been invited by our confirmation families. Please, keep these young people in your prayers as they take this next step in their journey of faith.
The following weekend, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 we will celebrate All Saints Day. Part of that service includes remembering, and reading the names of, those who have departed in faith in the previous year. If you have, a Christian loved one that has died in the past year, and would like their name included please, contact the church office no later than Monday, Oct. 26.
Now, going off the calendar and on to other things. I want you to know that Sue von Fange, our Minister of Outreach and Assimilation, is retiring from full-time ministry as of Dec. 1. Sue has served us in a wide range of capacities over the years and we are planning a retirement celebration for Sue that is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 22. If you see Sue, I hope you express your thanks for her ministry here at Trinity.
I also want you to know that we are forming the search committee for our next full time, and hopefully long time, principal here at Trinity. David Brown and Gordy Kennedy, our current interim principal, will be co-chairing the search committee. We are in the process of putting together a team of faculty and parents, reviewing the position description, and identifying the qualities, we are looking for in our next principal. When that is finished, we will contact the Michigan District for a list of candidates and we will also invite you, the members of our congregation, to give us any names you may have for us to consider. This is super important for the health and growth of our ministry so please, keep this process in your prayers.
I’d like to close with a prayer that one of our members shared with us in our Mission Council meeting last week. It is from pastor and author Max Lucado. It’s an updated version of a prayer he prayed after the events of Sept. 11, 2001. It’s called “Do it again, Lord.” I hope it speaks to your heart.
We’re still hoping we’ll wake up. We’re still hoping we’ll open a sleepy eye and think, What a horrible dream. How could this have happened?
Just a moment ago moms were packing school lunches. Just a moment ago chefs were planning the day’s menu. Just a moment ago arenas were noisy, brides were walking down the aisle, and neighbors were discussing the weather.
In just a moment, everything changed. A phantom disease invaded our peace, our plans, and our security. In a heartbeat our language and behaviors were upended. Even young children understand the term “social distancing,” “quarantine,” and “Covid-19.” Grandma isn’t allowed visitors in her nursing home. Workers are telecommuting, zooming and skyping in their baseball caps and slippers. Handshakes and hugs have been put on indefinite hold. This strange season has introduced a level of fear we haven’t seen since 9/11. Fear of touching. Fear of exposure. Fear of what we can’t see.
We are anxious, Father. And so we come to you. We don’t ask you for help; we beg you for it. We don’t request; we implore. We know what you can do. We’ve read the accounts. We’ve pondered the stories and now we plead, “Do it again, Lord. Do it again.”
Remember Joseph? You rescued him from the pit. You can do the same for us. Do it again, Lord.
Remember the Hebrews in Egypt? You protected their children from the angel of death. We have children, too, Lord. Do it again.
And Sarah? Remember her prayers? You heard them. Joshua? Remember his fears? You inspired him. The women at the tomb? You resurrected their hope. The doubts of Thomas? You took them away. Do it again, Lord. Do it again.
You changed Daniel from a captive into a king’s counselor. You took Peter the fisherman and made him Peter an apostle. Because of you, David went from leading sheep to leading armies. Do it again, Lord, for we need counselors today, Lord. We need apostles. We need leaders. Do it again, dear Lord.
What we’re seeing on the news, you saw on that Friday so long ago. Innocence interrupted. Goodness suffering. Mothers weeping. Just as the darkness fell on your Son, we fear the darkness falling on our friends, our family, our world. Just as our world has been shaken by a phantom disease, our world was shaken the day the very child of Eternity was pierced.
You saw it. But you did not waver, O Lord. You did not waver. After your Son’s three days in a dark hole, you rolled the rock and rumbled the earth and turned the darkest Friday into the brightest Sunday. Do it again, Lord. Grant us another Easter.
We thank you, dear Father, for these hours of unity. Selfless acts of service and kindness warm our hearts. Strangers see opportunities to share with others. Our medical warriors are working together, at personal risk, to care for the rest of us. We thank you for their selfless commitment and these days of unity. And we see the world turning to you, Father. People encouraging people with scriptures and reminders of your sovereignty. We confess we have been anxious, but because of you, we have hope.
We ask, Father: let your mercy be upon all who suffer. Grant to those who lead us wisdom beyond their years and experience. Have mercy upon the souls who have been hurt by this disease. Give us grace to help each other and faith that we might believe.
And look kindly upon your church. For two thousand years you’ve used her to heal a hurting world.
Do it again, Lord. Do it again. Through Christ, Amen.
We live by faith and not by fear.