A Word from Pastor Heidi
Dear friends in Christ,
“O that you would tear open the heavens and come down!”
“It is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the negro poor has worsened over the last twelve or fifteen years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.”
The first words above are a cry to God from the prophet Isaiah. The second is a clarion call to facts from Martin Luther King Jr. that rings as true today as it did when first spoken. As a church, we are entering the season of Advent, the four weeks before Christmas. During Advent, we light the candles on our Advent wreath, one a week, until all four shine out. It is an ancient act of resistance against the dark night that closes in upon us.
Advent means “coming.” For Christians, God has already come in Jesus. God continues to enter our lives and God promises to come again to make all things new. That final coming seems a long way off in Ferguson, Missouri. That new creation we long for is yet to be seen in our own city and world rocked by racism, poverty, hatred and violence that seem to know no end. Yet we live in the hope that it will end and that a new creation will emerge from the ashes. In Advent, we cling to that hope, we cry out in that hope, we sing in that hope. May our longing shape our lives so like candles we shine in a multitude of acts of resistance, faith and love. O come, O come Emanuel!
May these holy days unfold with hope for you. In the love the holds us together,
This Month's Articles:
- Advent Dinner Church
- Trinity Celebrates La Virgen de Guadalupe!
- Advent Crafts Night for Families
- International Aids Day
- Christmas Baazar
- Young Adults St. Nicholas Party
- Trinity Youth Group
- Blue Christmas
- Children's Choir
- Christmas Organ Concert
- An Easy Way to "Simply Give"
- Special Christmas Opportunities
Each Thursday in Advent, we’ll go back to the early days of the church to meet around a table and a meal. We’ll eat, talk, reflect on scripture, sing and pray. We’ll share holy communion and sacred community. If you are seeking an alternative worship experience or just some breathing space in the midst of busy days, Dinner Church may be for you. We’ll gather from 7:15pm-8:30pm on three Thursdays in Advent: Dec. 4, Dec, 11, Dec, 18.
Although the story of the Virgin of Guadalupe is rooted in Mexican soil and Mexican hearts, it has spread around Latin America, and in fact, around the globe. Come to church at 11am on Sunday, December 14th and find out why! Bilingual worship will be followed by a feast of Mexican food and festive music. In addition, on Friday, December 12th at 6am, (no, that is not a typo…6am!), you are welcome to come and join in the singing of “Las Mañanitas,” morning songs for Mary. This will be followed by a traditional breakfast of Mexican sweet rolls and atole, a sweet rice drink.
It’s almost time for our 2nd annual Advent Crafts Night. It will be on Tuesday, December 16th from 5pm-7pm. We'll have pizza and lovely Advent crafts for children to make. We need an adult or teen helper for each craft and we need cookie bakers for our cookie-decorating craft. All children need to be accompanied by an adult.
We are part of a community of churches and organizations remembering those we have lost to this virus and those living with HIV today. The Candle Light Vigil begins December 1st at 6:00pm at Trinity where we will meet, pray and remember. We will then process with candles down Broadway to Broadway United Church of Christ and Advent Lutheran Church on W.93rd Street for a community time of worship, remembrance and hope.
Our Grandma Group will be holding a Christmas Bazaar on Friday December 5 from 11 am to 2 pm in the church entrance. Come warm up with something warm and get some Christmas shopping done! Christmas decorations, homemade Christmas ornaments, Christmas cookies and candies...
All young adults are invited to attend our annual St. Nicholas Wine and Cheese party on Saturday, December 6th at the parsonage. The parsonage is the pastor’s house which is attached to the church (to the right of the church’s main doors) Everyone is invited to bring wine (or another beverage) and/or cheese (or another snack). Friends are welcome!
Youth Group is off to a great start! We have already gone on a “Random Acts of Kindness” challenge which was a lot of fun and up next, on Saturday, December 6 we will be baking cookies to take to our shut-ins and sing some Christmas carols to them. All youth, 7th grade and up are invited to come at 12 and stay for part or all of our adventure that day. Bring a friend!
On Wednesday December 17 at 7 pm we will be having a “Blue Christmas” service. For some people the holidays are an especially difficult time. If you or a friend or family member or acquaintances are struggling to get through this time please come to hear a word of comfort and hope. Come support one another.
Children's Choir is working hard on Advent and Christmas music as they will be singing one Sunday in Advent and on Christmas Eve. It would be great to have especially a full choir for Christmas Eve. Please bring your children to practice on Saturdays from 11 am to 12 noon (new time).
On Sunday December 21 at 4 pm, Vicar Barbara will play some of her favorite Christmas pieces that she has played for Christmas Eve and Day services at various churches over the years. Come hear the wonderful colors and range of our 1908 Hutchings organ. This is also a fundraiser for our after-school program, the Creative Learning Center.
This is the time of year when members and friends of Trinity think about financial pledges for the coming year. Of course, we will have offering envelopes for the new year available in the back of the church. As you consider what you'll contribute in 2015, we'd also like to encourage you to consider the alternative of Simply Giving. Simply Giving is a way to help you give consistently and easily throughout the year. Those who sign up for the program have whatever amount they have specified deducted from their checking or savings account (or billed to their credit card) on a weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly basis. For example, someone who has pledged to give $1200.00 a year to Trinity could have $100 automatically deducted from their checking account once a month (or $50 twice a month, or $23.08 every week). Why should you consider using Simply Giving? Two reasons: one, it encourages consistent giving. We often see donations decrease in the summer months, when many of us are on vacation, and Simply Giving avoids that problem. Two, all of the donations that come in to Trinity are counted and deposited by volunteers. Even counting one less check saves time. You can stop your contributions at any point, and you can also adjust the amount you give at any time. There are Simply Giving forms at the back of the church. Thanks for considering Simply Giving!
We have a number of meaningful giving opportunities. (1) Christmas is always a tough time for the young people in our shelter. You can brighten their holiday with stocking stuffers (10 stockings are hanging in the back of the church) and/or contribute towards the $50 gift cards we give each resident (2) Our Wee Worshippers will lead our collecting money for the ELCA Global Barnyard which provides animals that help families in developing nations feed themselves. (3) We provide a festive and abundant Christmas breakfast for all who wish to partake. Donations for this breakfast are welcome and needed! The above are special giving opportunities. We are still behind our on regular giving and are hoping to lower our operating deficit. December 21th will be “Close the Gap” Sunday. Please contribute as you can!