Zoom Gathering Information

Zoom Gatherings: Each of the gatherings use the same password (410002), but different meeting ids; see below for each of the links. If you need the links at any time, please contact Pastor Jen (revjedyer1@yahoo.com or call/text 518-231-4633)

Weekly gatherings

Wednesdays (7pm) Bible study Meeting ID: 346 900 784)

Fridays (10am) Thread & Yarn group (Meeting ID: 890-6099-7152)

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April 25, 2022

Pastor’s Sabbatical Documents 2023

CRP National 2022 Form

Sabbatical Document

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July 10, 2022

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7) 
Dearly Beloved, 
This Sunday, we begin a few week series on “stewardship” and yes, I know that its not the fall yet. Often this part of our faith life gets relegated to our yearly pledge drive and talk about budgets. The first thing that often comes to mind is money – which is only one part of stewardship.
The fullness of stewardship takes us back to creation when God called upon us to “have dominion” and “subdue” creation (Gen 1:26-28). These kinds of words lend themselves to control and conquer, to do whatever we wish with what he have. They lend themselves to a kind of disposable society. Yet, when we think about all that God has made, called “good” and wants it to be fruitful and multiply, we are mindful of a sense of abundance.


Rather than “use up”, we are called to a life of stewardship, to care for all that God has made. It has been entrusted to us – not as our personal belongings but as a loan from God in order that this world and everything in it may be fruitful and multiply. All that we can see, feel, touch, all that we have is a gift and blessing from God. Just as we ask children to take care of that which we give them, God asks the same of us.
Does this change how you view not just stewardship but how you view your own life? We will be reflecting more about this over these next few weeks. Plan to join us for worship as we seek to be faithful stewards and live thankful lives.
peace in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Worship

Trinity Weekly

July 3, 2022

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7) 
Dearly Beloved, 
Do you remember when we used to say “Holy Ghost” instead of “Holy Spirit”? I remember the slow transition from one to the other (it was “ghost” in the old red Service Book & hymnal and become “Spirit” in the green Lutheran book of worship).  
While I was doing a search on this (you know, one of those rabbit holes that takes you in all kinds of directions), I realized it wasn’t the Casper kind of ghost but rather from the Old English word “gast”  or even German “geist” which both mean “spirit”. However, because of its transition to “ghost” and its perception of some kind of paranormal entity, it became “spirit”. Other than a bit of trivia and rabbit hole burrowing, the significance of this is only that it always meant Spirit and there are no “real” ghosts involved.
Think about how we use “spirit” in day-to-day occurrences – someone might have “team spirit” or be “spirited”.  We call various kinds of alcohol “spirits” and there is even an airline that uses that as its name. We say that “we will be there for you in spirit” or that  “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”  Someone can be “spirited away” or be a “kindred spirit”.
If we view it as that which brings a certain energy, enthusiasm or motivation to one’s life, it draws us closer to its biblical roots.  The word “spirit” is used more than 600 times in the Bible – most often for God, but also for our own spirits.  In both Greek & Hebrew, the words for Spirit (Hebrew: ruah; Greek: pneuma) also mean wind and breath.

In the beginning, God took the dust of the earth and breathed God’s Spirit into us. The Spirit/breath of the Lord descended on Jesus at this baptism and then the wind/Spirit of God swirled around the disciples at Pentecost. God’s Spirit is that which gives us life, claims us and then sends us forth to breathe God’s Spirit upon the world.

And so, when we reflect this Sunday on the third article of the Apostle’s Creed, it is more than just a recitation of our theology but how God’s Spirit gathers us as the Church and sends us forth, filled with the Spirit.

See you Sunday!

peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

Worship
Trinity Weekly

June 27, 2022

Dearly beloved,

We are in the midst of reflecting on the Apostle’s Creed.  I thank Dorothy Kafalas for preaching & Mary Beth Commisso for leading worship last week while I was away.  They lifted up God as Creator and as Father, sharing a message on the first article of the Creed.

More than just a statement of faith, we are reminded not just what it means to be believe in this Triune God, but how God has chosen to relate to us in our daily lives.  This week is all about Jesus in which the Creed seems to only recite a bare-bones kind of summary of Jesus’ life.  Yet, each line tells us more than just what happened, but calls us to see the purpose of Jesus’ life and death among us.  

        What does it mean for us to say that God became human through Mary and the Holy Spirit?

              Why is the significance of mentioning Pontius Pilate?

                   What does it tell us about Jesus and God’s love for us revealed through the cross?

And – what does it mean for us to state that this is what we believe about God?

              How is this belief reflected in our day to day lives?

Join us for worship this Sunday as we not only proclaim our faith, but we make a commitment to live into this faith!

peace in Christ, Pastor Jen            

Worship

Apostle Creed

Trinity Weekly

June 19, 2022

Worship

Apostle Creed

Trinity Weekly

Holy Spirit Coloring Page

June 12, 2022

Dearly beloved,
This Sunday is Trinity Sunday when we attempt to make sense of the doctrine of the Trinity…or not.  The more I try to explain the concept of Three-in-One, the more confused I make myself.  Any kind of explanation seems woefully inadequate and even a bit trite.
In Celtic theology, they don’t try to make sense of the Trinity but instead, honor its mystery and the ways in which God touches our daily lives.  There is a collection of poems, prayers, and hymns compiled called Carmina Gadelica (Alexander Carmichael). This compilation sought to preserve the history of Gaelic people in Scotland, offering the gift of their faith for others to reflect upon.  These prayers, blessings, and hymns had to do with everyday life – from farming and fishing to household and family, morning & evening, birthing and dying.  Many of them named each aspect of the Trinity in the prayer.
Here is one of the blessings that I share with you that you are invited to share with others.
Spirit, give of Thine abundance, Father, give of Thy wisdom, Son, give me in my need, Jesus, beneath the shelter of Thy shield lie down tonight, with the Triune of my strength, with the Father, with Jesus,     with the Spirit of might. (Carmina Gadelica, pg. 54)
 May the blessing of the Triune God: in whose image we are created, who loves us beyond death and who dwells with us fill your life with light and peace.
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Worship

Apostle Creed

Trinity Weekly

June 5, 2022

Dearly beloved,
This Sunday is Pentecost (don’t forget to wear red or flame-like colors).  It is when we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit that gathered people together as the Church.  With the gift of the Spirit, they (as well as we) are empowered to share the Good News of the Gospel with those around us.  We are called to meet people where they are – be it their circumstances, language, experiences, needs, etc.   The disciples spoke in other languages on that Pentecost day.       How are we called to speak the Gospel today?
Join us on Sunday as we pray for the gift of the Spirit to fill us and send us out into the world to share the Good news!
peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

ELCA News: I wanted to share with you a distressing situation from the wider church.   This situation has been playing itself out for the better part of six months.  We are the whitest of the mainline denominations and unfortunately, this report reveals the ugliness of racism that exists even among our leaders. Please pray on the linked document.  If you have any questions or would like to talk about any of it, please let me know.  The coming days may bring more information and decisions as well as at the Churchwide Assembly in August in which I am a voting member. 
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen 

https://download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/ELCA-Listening-Team-Report-053122.pdf

Worship

God’s Story

Trinity Weekly

May 29, 2022

Worship

God’s Story

Trinity Weekly

May 21, 2022

Dearly beloved,
One of the losses with the internet age is the lost art of letter writing.  Amongst some of my family artifacts are letters and postcards from one family member to another.  While I am grateful that the internet enables me to be in better touch on a more regular basis, there is still something about writing or receiving letters from others (besides just having something other than bills and junk mail in  your mailbox). While some of these letters are newsy, mentioning people I do not know, they still give a bit of insight into the lives of my ancestors.  They share not just activities but joys and sorrow.
For the next three weeks, we will be privy to the reflections of Paul to the community of Philippi.  It was a personal letter but not a private one.  We get a sense of the relationship that Paul had with this community from the opening lines – “I give thanks to God every time I remember you in my prayers”.  This letter was not passed along from one person to the next but was read aloud within the community.  Paul relays his circumstances as he writes in jail.
One commentator, Fred Craddock, writes “to say that a letter to a church is to become very aware of that church: its circumstances, its work, its strengths, its problems…Paul wrote no third-class circulars addressed to “occupant, Gaeco-Roman world”.  His ministry was to particular groups trying to live out the Gospel in concrete ways” (pg. 8, Interpretation: Philippians).
Paul’s words encouraged the community to continue living out their faith and sharing the gospel.  We hear these words today – while in a different context – as words of encouragement for us as we seek to do the same.  
I would encourage you to read the entire letter in preparation for Sunday and to read it out loud as it was first intended.  Pray and reflect on the ways in which Paul’s words touch your own life as well.  How do they encourage you?  Challenge you?
Join us this Sunday as we gather in worship to offer our own witness to our faith in Christ Jesus
peace in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Worship

God’s Story

Trinity Weekly

May 15, 2022

Dearly beloved, In this week’s reading from Acts (17), Paul shares the Good News in Athens.  More than just another story in  Paul’s travelogue, we find that it is the way in which he shares the Gospel message that becomes notable.  Paul didn’t just have one way of proclaiming the message of Jesus.  He sought to speak to people in a language and way in which they were familiar.
Sharing the Good news is about more than having the right words.  It starts with building relationships with others.  It’s not telling them what we think that they need to hear, but hearing their own stories first.  
Join us for worship this Sunday and hear more about sharing the Good news of Jesus Christ our Lord
peace in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Worship

God’s Story

Trinity Weekly

May 8, 2022

Dearly beloved,
This Sunday is Mother’s Day – a day that can evoke mixed emotions for some people.  I am  very thankful that  I have been blessed with two mothers (one known affectionately as my “wicked” stepmother).  However, I was not able to have children and so this day can remind me of this reality as well.  There are others who have had difficult relationships with their mothers and/or children; those who are separated from their mothers or children due to distance or death.
While we may each have our own response to this day, it is interesting to note its actual origins.  Many of the early commemorations were based around peace and justice.  The main proponent of making this a National celebration, Anne Jarvis, was vehemently opposed to those that sought to commercialize it with cards, flowers and candy.  She wanted it to be celebrated within worship at churches. 
It was following her own mother’s death that Ms. Jarvis took up the mantle of establishing this day.  Her mother, Ann Jarvis, had earlier gathered mothers from either side of the Civil war in order to  establish a mother’s day that would honor their grief for their sons who died in the war.   Julia Ward Howe also sought to establish a “Mothers day for peace” (see her Mother’s day proclamation:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother%27s_Day_Proclamation)
These early efforts sought to lift up not just motherhood as a role within their own households.  They wanted to seek to nurture the wider community to bring about peace.  Just as God is described as a “mother hen who gathers her brood under wings”, they wanted to offer this love and peace as a way to reunite families.
In whatever way we each are able to mark this Sunday, may we seek to bring that self-same love and peace to bear upon the lives of others
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Worship

God’s Story

Trinity Weekly

May 1, 2022

Dearly beloved,
“In the beginning” sounds a bit like “once upon a time”; yet unlike fairy tales, there are no ending to this story.  The story of creation begins the Bible but it doesn’t end there.  God is always creating – not just the birth of new flowers, trees and animals – creating in us that new heart that the Psalmist desires so that the Spirit of the Lord may dwell within us. (Psalm 51:10).  
Easter is all about how God re-creates through the gift of the resurrection.  God brings life out of death.  God’s creating and re-creating power is still at work.   We are invited into God’s ongoing creation.  We are called to not only enjoy it and give thanks for it, but to participate in what God is doing.
In the creation account, God places all that God has made into our care and keeping.  It is not there to use as we wish.  All of life has been entrusted to us by God.  It is “on loan” from God and we are called to be faithful in how we use and participate in God’s creation.  God’s creation in more than the wind & sea, the birds and animals, more than nature.  God’s creating power is revealed in relationships, homes & jobs, time & resources that enable us to live in this world.  As we sung in our offering song for Lent – “all that we are, all that we have, all that we hope to be” is a gift from God that is entrusted into our care.
We are called to be faithful stewards of all parts of God’s creation.             How are you caring for the relationships that God has given you?              How are using the time that God places you within?                 How are you a faithful steward of all the material resources that God has entrusted to you?
And ultimately, how is our stewardship of what God created and what belongs to God – how does it enhance and further God’s mission in the world?  How are we using it to reveal God’s love and grace?  How is God inviting us to participate in Christ’s re-creating gift of life?
As we reflect on these questions – here is one more: how does the way that you look at your life and all that it encompasses change when you see it as belonging to God and entrusted to us?        Does that change how you care for your life?  for your relationships?  for your resources?
May we all know the blessing of God’s re-creating power and presence in our lives and in the world
peace & blessings in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Worship

God’s Story

Trinity Weekly

April 23, 2022

Greetings,

I hope you all had a happy Easter and were able to celebrate with family and friends. Pastor Jen is away this Sunday so it is my privilege and honor to be leading worship.

Our readings for this coming Sunday are from the Gospel of John. Jesus appears to the disciples who are in hiding for fear of the Jews. But Thomas isn’t among them. When Thomas rejoins them, they tell him they have seen the Lord. Most people know the story. Thomas says, unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, etc, I will not believe.  So what about Thomas? What can we learn about him from the Gospels? And are we more like him, or like the other disciples who, at least as reported by John, didn’t express any concerns? I suggest that there is more here than a cursory reading would suggest.

Please join us again this Sunday at either the 9:00 AM or 10:30 AM service to celebrate the risen Christ. Looking forward to seeing you all, either in-person or online.

Peace be with you!

Deacon Charlie Germain

Worship

God’s Story

Trinity Weekly

April 17, 2022

Dearly beloved,
Christ is risen!   Christ is Risen indeed!  Alleluia! 
While you are receiving this email before Easter morning dawns (and we’re not supposed to say that “a” word above), we proclaim ourselves Easter people!  We are people of the resurrection who live into the hope and promise not just of the life to come but of the new life that is offered to each of us today!
New life certainly looks like the earth awakening after the dormant days of winter.  It looks like people being able to gather in person more safely than we experienced over the past two years.  It looks like relationships restored after estrangement and heartbreak.  New possibilities are revealed with college acceptance letters, retirement plans, new jobs, and graduations.  New life comes to us in the birth of a child, the wonder of creation, the affections of family, friends and even pets.
How and where have you experienced the gift of the resurrection?
Even in the midst of the chaos of this world – war, hatred, violence, prejudice, brokenness in mind, body and spirit – we find the resurrection lived out in those that offer love and care through a healing and comforting touch, voices that speak up for the unheard, disenfranchised, unloved, feet that rush to help in a crisis, ears to listen to those who cry out in grief and pain, and hearts that brim with God’s love personified.
How have you been a sign of the resurrecting power of Christ’s love today?
Join us as we gather to proclaim the Risen Christ and as we are sent forth to love the world with God’s redeeming love!           

(Worship will be at 9am & 10:30am)
peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

Worship

God’s Story

Trinity Weekly

April 15, 2022 – Good Friday

Dearly beloved,
We prepare this day to walk with Jesus as he moves from a meal with his disciples to pray in the garden.  As he lifts up his prayers, his life is handed over to the authorities of the day.  And yet, God is the One who is really in charge as Jesus willingly lays down his life for all of us.
Join us as we watch the path that Jesus walks for our sake.  While we do not take up the cross that Jesus carries, you will be invited to select one of the symbols of faith that will be provided (nail, dice, linen cloth, etc.).  As we enter into the time of worship, reflect on how this symbol tells you that you are loved by God.  Watch as Christ’s love is revealed once again to each of us.
We worship on Good Friday at

12noon  Way of the Cross     

7pm      Tenebrae service
peace in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Worship – Noon

Worship – 7pm

April 14, 2022 – Maundy Thursday

Dearly beloved,
Our journey through Lent and now Holy week finds us gathering at the table with Jesus and his disciples.  In the other gospels, they are gathering for a Passover meal, but in John’s Gospel, it is before the Passover.  Instead of the familiar “this is my body…this is my blood”, Jesus kneels at his disciples feet and washes them.
The closest I have ever been to someone washing my feet is when I was a small child and the couple of times that I have had a pedicure.  When I was in seminary, we did have a service where we washed one another’s feet.    It is a  vulnerable and even intimate act for both the washer and the washee.  It is one thing to do this within your family and another in worship.  I rarely offer it as a possibility for worship as it makes many uncomfortable. including myself (so, not to worry, we won’t be doing so this year).  An alternative of washing someone else’s hands is sometimes offered in place of feet.
Whether this act is re-enacted or not, imagine yourself as of the disciples with Jesus kneeling at your feet.              How might you react and feel?                       What does it tell you about Jesus – not just who he is but how he feels about you?
Maundy Thursday, while about Jesus’ last meal, is ultimately about God’s love for us.  The word “maundy” comes from the Latin “mandatum” which refers to the commandment that we are to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves.  We are called to love as we have been loved.            Knowing that you are loved unconditionally by God, how might you share that love with others?
Join us for worship on for our Maundy Thursday service at noon and 7pm (online & in person).  We will also be celebrating with nine of our young people as they receive their First Communion that evening.
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Worship

April 9, 2022

Dearly beloved,
This Sunday is Palm Sunday when we remember Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem.  He purposely entered that city despite the threats against his life – threats that would soon become reality as he is arrested, convicted and sentenced to death.  It is horrifying to imagine,  particularly for his followers who watched helplessly and immobilized by fear.
This week is central to our faith.  It is crucial that we do more than just remember the events of this holiest of weeks.  We are invited into a deeper understanding and relationship with God as the abundance of his love is revealed on the cross.  For that is ultimately what this week is about – God’s love revealed in Christ Jesus.
Join us in person or virtually as we mark this week and as we see the depths to which Christ goes all because of God’s love for you!
peace in Christ, Pastor Jen Holy Week Services: All services will be in-person as well as streamed on Facebook Live (and then posted to YouTube).  Bulletins will continue to be sent out via email and posted on our website).   Communion will be offered at all the services (except Good Friday). 

Palm Sunday (April 10th) @ 9am & 10:30am

Maundy Thursday (April 14th @ 12noon & 7pm)

Good Friday (April 15th)

Stations of the Cross (12noon)

Tenebrae Service (7pm)

Easter Sunday (April 17th @ 9am & 10:30am)

Worship

God’s Story

Trinity Weekly

April 3, 2022

Dearly beloved,
This week we look at the last of our designated “I AM” statements in John’s Gospel (14:1-6) – Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.  Early Christians were often referred to as “people of the way”.  We can place the phrase “Jesus is the way” on a bumper sticker, but what does that really mean?
Jesus is our way of life, the path by which we live each and every day.  It is the way of God’s love, peace and grace.  Jesus is the way that we make our decisions, interact with one another, work at our jobs, drive, shop, and the like.  Jesus’ love is the guiding principle for how we live and how we look at the world around us.
Over the past month or so, we have had a couple of reflections from people about why giving and being part of Trinity’s church family is important to them (thanks, Holly & Peter!)  They shared these as a way for us all to reflect on what our stewardship looks like – more than just paying the bills.
At the core of stewardship is what we believe and trust about Jesus as the way.  Our faith is reflected in the ways that we choose share of our time, talents and treasures.  They are expressions of how we share Christ’s love for the sake of God’s mission in the world.  We share of our resources as tools of God’s love and grace.
How do you live your life in the way of Jesus, the way of love?  How do the choices you make each day reflect what you trust and believe?
Remember, God does not call us to be perfect but faithful.  God offers us grace and fills us with his love so that we may live according to the way of Christ.  We don’t give from what we don’t have; we give from the abundance of all that God has given us.
peace in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Worship

God’s Story

Trinity Weekly

March 27, 2022

Dearly beloved,
Spring is beginning to show herself,  little by little.        What is your favorite part of Spring?           What plant do you look forward to blooming?
This Sunday, Jesus proclaims himself to the true vine and that we are the branches.  We are invited to abide in this vine that nourishes us with God’s love and grace.
How do you stay connected to the true vine, to Christ?         What nourishes your faith?
Join us for worship  this Sunday as we explore these questions together
peace in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Worship

God’s Story

Flower Order Form

Eastern Europe Crisis

Trinity Weekly

March 20, 2022

Dearly beloved,Probably one of the most enduring images of Christ is that of the Good Shepherd.  With the words of the the 23rd Psalm echoing in our hearts, we envision Jesus going out to save that one last sheep and returning it to the fold of 100.  We see our Good Shepherd as that One who comforts, protects and guides us in our day to day lives.  We hear his voice and we follow.
As you reflect on this image in preparation for this Sunday, I share with you the following prayer: 

This I Believe I believe I need a shepherd. Because I am sometimes timid and other times overconfident, because I often don’t know the best path yet pretend I do, because I rush into dead ends or lead others into hazardous places, because my brightest ideas are seamed with darkness, because the things I crave may not be what is good for me, 
I need a shepherd.I believe in Jesus, the best possible shepherd; his wisdom leads me to the best opportunities, his word comforts me when I’m anxious or afraid, his arm steadies me when I feel weary and heavy-laden, his wounded body displays the cost of my rescue,. I believe in Jesus, the best possible shepherd. I believe that I do not find him but he finds me, that I under his care by virtue of sheer grace, the love he gives me is to be shared with others, that he treasures my name and prepares a place for me, that his fold transfixes earth and heaven. I trust Jesus, the good shepherd. Amen.    
             — Copyright © 2002 Bruce D. Prewer.  
How do you need the Good Shepherd in your life today?
Peace & blessings in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Worship

God’s Story

Trinity Weekly

Eastern Europe

Easter Flowers

March 13, 2022

Dearly beloved,
In this week’s gospel reading, we hear Jesus proclaim “I am the light of the world”.  As we mark the start of Daylight savings time this weekend (don’t forget to Spring Forward an hour), we are mindful of the importance of light.  Light can lift our spirits as well as bring things to life.  And as the Psalmist proclaims is a manifestation of God’s word that brings light unto our paths and a lamp unto our feet.  (I will talk more about this on Sunday.)
Throughout scripture (and our daily language), light is often portrayed as good and darkness as bad.  At its extreme, it has been used to equate whiteness & light as good and blackness & darkness as bad.  While there are certain things that can be hidden and done in the dark that are harmful, in and of itself – darkness at its core is not the root of evil and sin.  Even light can be used to harm – staring into the sun or other bright lights can affect our vision.
We need both light and darkness in our world as well as all the shades in between.  We don’t live in a stark world of just light/white & dark/black – there are far more nuances.  The variations between the extremes give shape, color, and flavor to the world.  Shadows offer distinction to our lives.
As winter begins to fade away, we are reminded that the earth needs this dark and fallow time to rest and prepare for new life.  The darkness affords us the opportunity to rest,  to put aside the activities of the day and rest.  God created both night as well as day, the moon & stars as well as the sun – we need both light and dark to live into the fullness of life that we are offered.
Barbara Taylor Brown in her book “Learning to Walk in the Dark” reminds her readers of the biblical stories that happen in the dark – God showing Abraham the stars in the sky as an illustration of his descendants, Jacob wrestling with the angel, and God coming to Moses and speaking to the people from within a dark cloud.  In this last story, “this thick darkness reveals the divine presence even while obscuring it, the same way the brightness of God’s glory does.  Both are signs of God’s mercy”.
God comes to us in light and darkness.  In whatever light, dark or shadows we find ourselves, God is there leading and guiding us.  And it is for this that we proclaim – thanks be God!
peace in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Worship

God’s Story

Trinity Weekly

March 6, 2022

Dearly beloved,
As we enter into this Lenten season, we are called to draw near to God, to focus on the love and grace revealed in the cross.  Our theme for these 40 days is the “I AM” statements in John’s Gospel.  These draw our thoughts back to the revelation of God’s name in Exodus 3 where God proclaimed “I Am who I Am” (Yahweh)
God is more than we can ever imagine.  God is the very source of our own being.  God Is!   And as one of my favorite singer/songwriters, Christopher Williams sings “I am because, You Are” ( lyrics of song “Because you are”).   We are because of the One who gives us life and purpose.  We are because of the One who loves us into existence.
Anglican Bishop, Rt. Rev. John Shelby Spong, wrote that “God is not a noun that demands to be defined, God is a verb that invites us to live, to love and to be.”
As we reflect on Jesus as the Bread of life this week, we are invited to not only be nourished by Christ but to live as God’s bread in the world.  Join us on Sunday as we worship the Great I Am, Jesus Christ our Lord
peace in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Worship

God’s Story

Lenten Devotional

Trinity Weekly

February 27, 2022

Dearly beloved,
As I sit down to write this week’s email, bombings are taking place in Ukraine and my heart breaks for those who must live amidst the fear and uncertainty that they are enduring.  Less than 24 hours earlier, on Wednesday, I “attended” a Peace Prayer vigil online where faith leaders gathered to offer prayers for peace.  You can watch it by going to: Faith Vigil for Peace in Ukraine
Faith Vigil for Peace in Ukraine
It is in situations like this when it feels like our prayers didn’t “work”, that evil is winning.  But then I came across this quote: 
Prayer was never meant to be magic,” Mother said.“Then why bother with it?” Suzy scowled.“Because it’s an act of love.” – A Ring of Endless Light by Mageline L’Engle And so, we pray for peace to be achieved even when all seems hopeless. we pray for peace because this is the world that God loves (John 3:16) We pray for peace because we are called to love our enemies, our neighbors and ourselves We pray for peace as a calling and reminder to ourselves to live and work for peace in our daily lives
Prayer is an act of love, more than words on our lips and thoughts in our hearts.
Prayer is the way of faith-filled living as we call upon the steadfast love of Christ to be revealed to us and through us this day and always!
peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

Worship

God’s Story

Trinity Weekly

February 20, 2022

Dearly beloved,
Stop and count how many times you have used water today?  Even in just the last hour?
In this part of the world, we take water for granted.   It’s always quite literally at our fingertips.  Over 70% of the earth is covered in water (though 92% of that is saltwater).  Our own human bodies are 60% water.  We cannot live at all without water.  And yet, it is probably one of the things that we take most for granted in our part of the world.
What would our lives be like without water – particularly clean water?  Unfortunately, there are many places in our world without access to this very basic necessity of life.  The ELCA World Hunger ministries seek to alleviate this problem so that all might live abundant lives.  Check out a few of the ways that they do so:  https://goodgifts.elca.org/water
This Sunday, our Gospel reading has Jesus talking again about “living water”, the water that gives life, the fullness of life that we need in body, mind, and spirit.  How might we be a channel of this life-giving water in today’s world?  How might we stop taking this gift for granted and be better stewards of this gift of life?   

May the living water of Christ’s love flow in and through you now and always!
peace in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Worship

God’s Story

Trinity Weekly

February 13, 2022

Dearly beloved,
Several (similar) questions that I have been pondering this week   Do I/we live out of a sense of abundance or scarcity?      Do we look at what we have or what we are lacking?         Do we live in fear of what we might lose or give thanks for what we have?              Do we always want more or are we satisfied?
Our answers to these questions may vary from day to day or depend on particular circumstances (which is fine).  It may be a matter of perspective; the anecdotal of the glass half full or half empty.  Our culture often claims that we don’t have enough, that we need more.  It says for us to live in fear of losing, of others taking from us and the like.
Our faith is more than a half-full glass perspective – it is our cup over-floweth (Psalm 23:5b).  It is the water into abundant wine (John 2) and the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (John 6).  It is the looking at what we have and seeing that while we think we don’t have enough, that God will use our gifts to overflow into abundance – whether it be water jugs or barley loaves.
I was struck by these words of the Offering/stewardship prayer from the Presbyterian church in New Zealand that helps us to live from that faith-full sense of stewardship. ((https://www.presbyterian.org.nz/for-ministers/worship-resources/special-services/stewardship/offertory-prayers) – which is why we are using it again this Sunday.
On my own what I have to give doesn’t amount to much in the light of all you have given to me and in the face of so much need. Put together as a congregation, what we offer you here in love becomes more, not simply added together, but somehow multiplied in its usefulness. We ask you to bless our gifts and with the addition of your blessing, just as it was with the loaves and fishes, there is enough for all. Amen
We give – not because of God’s need for it – but as an act of worship, a sign of our thankfulness as well as our commitment to live out  God’s mission that is set before us.
We are called to ask different prayer-filled questions:     How might I/we more fully recognize not only what I have, but that it is entrusted to me/us?       How might I lovingly honor that which is placed in my care?          How might these entrusted gifts from God be used to share in Christ’s mission in the world?            How might I join my gifts of time, finances, and skills/abilities/knowledge (etc.) with this community of faith to live our mission of sharing the loving presence and peace of Christ with others?
I invite you to pray with at least one of these questions, using scripture (such as Psalm 23, John 2:1-12, John 6:1-15) to reflect on how God is speaking to you through this passage.  You may want to write it down (journal), share it with others in your household, make a meme, etc.  If anyone would be willing to share their reflections with the congregation, please let me know (it can be written, recorded, done through art, music, etc. – however, God is inviting you to use your gifts for this).    Peace & blessings in Christ, Pastor Jen
Notes: a couple of things to please take note of:1) On-line giving: If your pledge has changed and you give online, we do not make those changes for you.  You need to do that.  If you have any questions, please contact the church office and/or Joanne & Don Icken     ALSO – our online service (Vanco) charges a fee to the congregation to process these offerings.  There is a higher fee for credit card use rather than direct withdrawal from a checking account.  January’s fees were about $45 which adds up over time.  
2) Altar flowers: There are openings for people to put flowers on the altar each week.  If you would like to do so, please contact Kathie Ruhs (email address included in Trinity weekly)
3) E-news subscriptions: We are hoping to switch over to Mail chimp for the emails coming from the Church office soon.  If you are receiving this, you will automatically be put on the service.  People will be able to subscribe or unsubscribe.  You can also contact Sue Ellen in the office to update your email or to let us know if you have a preferred email.  Once it is up and running, you are invited to ask others to subscribe as well.  More information will be out soon.

Pastor Jen Boyd (she/her(s)

Worship

God’s Story

Trinity Weekly

February 6, 2022

Dearly beloved,
First, an announcement – tomorrow’s First Friday is canceled due to the impending ice and storm – please stay home and safe.  We will move the Game night to next month’s gathering   
Right now – on my heart is sorrow – my mother-in-law, Bonnie Boyd died after a long struggle with cancer.  She is reunited with Michael and her other son, Bob. (I don’t have any details for the service yet).  Also, one of my colleagues in ministry, Pastor Dolores McKay just laid her husband of 65 years to rest, and then a week later one of her sons died.  
It is
this time that I wish that I could lift the sorrow like a blanket and put it away.  Instead, I am offered the image of a prayer shawl that enfolds all those who mourn and are in need of comfort and peace.  
In the past, we have invited people to knit/crochet a shawl to be given to people going through significant events in their lives.  Often given to those who are sick, hospitalized, or grieving, they can also be given when a baby is born, someone graduates, moves, retires, and the like.  It is a tangible means of prayer to enfold another person. And so, I share this prayer of comfort for all those who need to be enfolded by God’s love and grace:
Prayer for Comfort Cathleen O’Meara Murtha, DWAs you wrap yourself in this shawl of comfort…May the mother of mercy, the Father of faithfulness, And the Spirit of compassion wrap you in their all-encompassing love this day. May you find comfort from all that appears too much to bear at this moment From all that feels as if it might be the breaking point From all that seems to threaten your peace of heart. May this shawl be a shelter for the time of overwhelming grief A shade in times of sorrow too deep for words a shield from times of unimaginable loss. May you be comforted by the presence of those who love and support you by faith in the eternal Loving One By the memories of what you hold most dear. May you be strengthened in your daily comings & goings In your tentative new beginnings in your unfolding new memories. Blessings of the Angel of comfort be with you And all you love now and forevermore  Amen.
Peace & blessings in Christ, Pastor Jen
If you are interested in learning more about prayer shawls, let me know

Worship

God’s Story

Trinity Weekly

January 30, 2022

Dearly belovedThis Sunday, we gather for our Annual meeting to reflect together on this past year as well as to look ahead to the coming months.  For the past two years, it has been very difficult to plan for anything past a week or so.  And even if we did, it was always with the caveat that it might change.  We pray (often unceasingly) for some sort of return to “normal” (whatever that still means) or at the very least, a time when Covid is not the deciding factor in our day to day lives.
Before our meeting this Sunday, we gather in worship.  While on the one hand, it is practical to have the meeting when many will be here already.   Yet, as people of faith, it is the deciding and focusing factor of our faith that informs our life together.  All that we have done and all that lies before us in this coming year, is shaped by the mission of love entrusted to us by Christ.
We begin each day in prayer – more than just putting our requests and petitions before God – but as a way to see our day and our lives through the lens of our faith.  Worship is about placing our trust and all of our lives in the hands of God.
And so, join us as we worship and as we reflect on God’s mission – both in the worship service as well as our annual meeting.
peace in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Worship

God’s Story

Trinity Weekly

January 23, 2022

Dearly beloved,
Over the next year, we are going to be focusing on stewardship, using as our theme the hymn: “We are an offering” (ELW #692).  We will be reflecting on the offering of ourselves through a variety of gifts from God.
To get us started, Holly Larocchia is sharing her reflections on “Why do I give to Trinity?”
As I used to tell my kids, God gives you all week, you can give him an hour on Sunday.  But you also need to put your money where your mouth is! Sadly, I can’t explain my faith nor can I begin to verbalize my connection to the church but, it has always been there.  I loved Sunday school as a kid.  I had a GREAT time during my 2 years of confirmation.  And I know that God is always there for me. It took until I was on a church council to realize that the church is a business too.  As a parishioner, I did not want to think of it that way, of being about money.  It was my sanctuary, my place to connect with God, to try to understand faith, the bible, and myself.  But, it does need to keep the heat on, the lights going and, the many many things that help to show the world what being a Christian is about.  I can’t possibly participate in all the church has to offer, that ELCA has to offer.  But money can help to keep my sanctuary going, our Pastor fed and sheltered, and the warm welcoming place that we all need at times,  Money helps the world to see that Christians give for disaster relief, provide shelter to the homeless, necessities to those less fortunate.  The building provides a safe haven for helping people like AA
, scouts, and even other churches. So while it really annoys me to talk about money when I am trying to improve my faith, our money is not being used as a bribe, an elevation in status, or any indicator of getting into heaven   It’s about being a Christian, supporting the church, a place where all are welcome to learn about Jesus.  It is what Jesus taught us to do, to reach out to others.  Over the years I have learned to pledge because how do you plan for great things without knowing what kind of financial support you will have?  And that goes back to my original statement. God gives me every day,  How could I not give to his church? Holly Larocchia
Thank you to Holly for sharing her reflections.  How might you answer the question?
peace & blessings in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Worship

God’s Story

Trinity Weekly

January 14, 2022

Dearly beloved,
As many will pause this weekend and remember the life and legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., I share one of his prayers with you that continues to inspire, challenge and empower us to live as Christ’s church in today’s world: 
§ We thank you for your church, founded upon your Word, that challenges us to do more than sing and pray, but go out and work as though the very answer to our prayers depended on us and not upon you. Help us to realize that humanity was created to shine like the stars and live on through all eternity. Keep us, we pray, in perfect peace. Help us to walk together, pray together, sing together, and live together until that day when all God’s children — Black, White, Red, Brown and Yellow — will rejoice in one common band of humanity in the reign of our Lord and of our God, we pray. Amen. (Thou, Dear God: Prayers that Open Hearts and Spirits, prayers by Martin Luther King, Jr.  (edited by Lewis V. Baldwin, Beacon Press, 2012)Christ’s peace and blessings be upon you now and always!
peace in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Worship

God’s Word

Trinity Weekly

January 8, 2022

Dearly beloved 
As I sit down to write this, it is the day of the Epiphany of our Lord, the day when we remember the visit of the Magi as they followed the star to find Jesus (Matthew 2:1-12).  These Magi are depicted as both kings and wise men.  The Greek word (magos) was more literally the word for magician, sorcerer or fortune teller; it was also used for priests in other religions (like Zoroastrianism).  
However we might define or understand them, we are told that they followed a different kind of star at this rising.  It caught their attention enough that they left their homelands and followed it for miles until they arrived near Jerusalem.  This star revealed that a king beyond all kings had been born and they had come to worship him.
Epiphany and the weeks following are about revelations, signs and other manifestations that point or lead the way to Jesus.   We open our eyes and our hearts to see and experience the presence of Christ.  
I love to look up into the night skies and marvel at the infinite stars that are seen as well as imagine those that are just outside of our vision.  It gives me a sense of the eternal in its seemingly endless vastness.  In the starts, we glimpse our Creator and the wonder of all that God has made.  From the dust of stars, we are reminded that we are created by love and that through God’s awe-some love his own Son was born, made flesh and blood and lived among us.
In this season of Epiphany, you are given the gift of a “star word” – Epiphany cards were mailed to each household with a word.  You are invited to let this word dwell within  you – ponder, pray, think and share this word.  Explore all of its meanings and its uses.  Find scripture passages that contain  your word.  Reflect on what God might be saying to you through this word.
If you have difficulty – let me know and we can reflect together.  Or you may choose another word for yourself or others.  I have additional words that you can pick from here at church (they will be available during this Sunday’s worship).   You may also go to this site (https://epiphanystars.neocities.org/…) where a word will be generated for you.
Use it throughout the season of Epiphany (that lasts until the end of February) or for the year. 
I pray that as you follow this star, you will experience the vastness of God’s love for you!
Peace & blessings in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Worship

God’s Word

Trinity Weekly

January 2, 2022

Dearly beloved,
When this email reaches you, many will be  preparing for 2021 to end and a new year to dawn as we count down the seconds.  A number of you may make new commitments & resolutions as we turn the page on our calendars.  In doing so, we are effectively saying that we are being deliberate in the time set before us to do something differently.  Our resolutions are as much about our use of time as anything else.
Unlike most other aspects of our lives – time is one thing that we can’t increase or decrease.  Though we may find it quickly passing or move at a snail’s pace – we all have the same amount of time each and every day.  
Think about all the different ways that we think about time:    – are we wasting time?    – or did time fly?    – have we run out of time?   – or  do we have all the time in the world?
We may think that we have enough time or not enough – but what we really have is just this one moment now…and then the next…and the next…and so on.

Ecclesiastes 3 tells about all the different ways that time is spent in our lives – building or tearing down, at war or at peace, loving or hating, etc.  And yet, ultimately “my times are in the hand of the Lord” (Psalm 31:15).  God’s time is far beyond our own sense of time but chose to enter into our time to reveal how steadfast his love is for us.  Christ came into our minutes and days to live, die and rise again in our time.
What if we were to look not only at the New year but each moment of our time from the perspective of our faith?  What if we were to live the words of Psalm 31:15 and see that time is in God’s hands?   What if we were to view time as a gift of God that has been entrusted to us and that we are called to faithfully use this gift to love and serve God?
Time may be finite on earth but we are called to be faithful stewards of this gift.   Viewing time as a gift from God – how does this change or influence your resolutions?   How might this help you to keep your commitments for the New Year?
I am thankful for the time that we are blessed to share together!
Peace & blessings in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Worship

God’s Story

Trinity Weekly

December 12, 2021

Dearly beloved,
We begin the third week of Advent this Sunday where our theme is “Joy”.   You’ll notice that we light the pink candle this week which is called “Gaudete” Sunday (Latin word for rejoice).  In years past, Advent was similar to Lent as a time of repentance and renewal.  Gaudete Sunday was a break from the somber time and to refocus on the joy in the expectation of the birth of Christ.
Joy is often seen as the equivalent of being happy; yet, it is so much more than that.  Happiness is often fleeting or temporary.  We can be happy about tests results, a warm puppy, or a satisfying meal.  We can be happy at our job, playing games, or dancing.  Being happy finds its expression in moments in time and particular circumstances; things that we and/or others help to bring into being.        What is an example of the last time that you experienced happiness?

Joy is happiness beyond our own capabilities.  St. Paul writes to the Philippians “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice (4:4).   Joy is a gift from God.  It is everlasting and not dependent upon how I am feeling at any particular moment in time.  Joy is Christ.  Joy is knowing that God loves us.   Joy emanates from the peace and hope of God.  Joy is knowing that we are created in the image of God.  Joy is God entering into the midst of this world and living among us.
So, we rejoice in the Lord always as we are filled by the power of God’s Spirit now and always!
Peace & Joy in Christ, Pastor Jen
Check it out: Please make note of the announcements in the Trinity Weekly (particularly decorating the church and a change of Sunday worship times in the New Year) 

Pastor Jen Boyd (she/her(s)

Worship

Trinity Weekly

God’s Word

Poinsettias Form

December 5, 2021

Dearly beloved, This week, we move from the theme of “peace” to that of “hope.  Advent focuses around the expectation, anticipation, and preparation of the coming of Christ – not just those many years ago but the promise of Christ’s return.  In the midst of the chaos of our lives and world, we need the promise of Jesus to sustain us.  We need the hope of Christ to bring that peace that surpasses all understanding.
Hope is not wishful thinking, but it is trust in God’s promises.  We trust that God only desires the fullness of life for all of his beloved people.  We place our faith in the One who entered into our world to show us the surety of these promises.
What are the ways in which you have experienced the hope of Christ?  What does “hope” look like for you?        

Try this exercise – take each letter of the word: HOPE and write what it means to trust in Christ.  For example H – Holiness of God beyond human expectations           O – Only God can give us the fullness of life           P – Praising even when I am uncertain           E – Everlasting that is beyond my comprehension
If you’d like to share any of your own words, please send them along and/or post them on our Facebook page.
Join us this Sunday for worship as we lift up the hope that is found only in Christ!
peace & blessings, Pastor Jen
NOTE: Just as a reminder that if you are going to borrow any tables, chairs, etc. from the Church, please notify the church office.  We also ask that the new red chairs in Fellowship Hall stay here (we have other chairs that can be borrowed)

Pastor Jen Boyd (she/her(s)

Worship

God’s Word

Trinity Weekly

November 28, 2021

Dearly beloved,
We begin the season of Advent on Sunday (yay blue!)  It is a time of preparation and expectation.  It is a season that invites us to draw near to Christ in the manager.  It is the start of Jesus’s story among us.
Each week there is a different theme for the season.  This Sunday, we focus on PEACE – the shalom and wholeness of peace that comes only from God.  It is the peace that  God intended for us when we were created and the peace that finds its fullness in Christ.  In worship, we share the peace as something more than a greeting.  It is a prayer for Christ’s peace to strengthen and uphold us.  It is Christ’s peace that we are commissioned to take out into the world.  It is Christ’s peace that brings all that we truly need to live in this world.
What image comes to mind when you hear the word “peace”?       How have you experienced peace in the past week?         How have (and/or might) you shared the peace of Christ with others this week?
I pray for the true peace of Christ to dwell in your midst.  May your family gatherings be ones that reflect the peace and joy of Christ!
peace & blessings in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Check this out/Don’t forget: Thanksgiving reflections video: Last Sunday as people shared their pledges, they also shared the reasons why they are thankful for Trinity.  Check it out here:  https://youtu.be/Y544NXVmE_UPledges: We have received about 35 pledges to date.  If you have not yet done so, please send in your pledge (commitment) to the mission and ministry of Trinity.

Advent devotions: We are also thankful for the numerous people who have shared their reflections for Advent.  Paper copies of the devotional guide are available or you can go each day to Trinity’s blog: https://tlcdevotions.blogspot.com/

Brewster Cares shelter: The shelter is resuming its ministry for the winter.  We will be hosting 4 of the weeks.  If you would like to make and/or serve the evening meal, provide lunches and/or be an overnight host.  You can contact Irene Germain (irene6174@comcast.net) or sign up online at Show your support!

Alternative gift givingELCA World Hunger: Make a donation in honor/memory of a loved one and help others at the same time.  Go to: https://goodgifts.elca.org/?_ga=2.184608619.374532971.1637679903-1707856103.1608059491
Smile.amazon: If you shop on Amazon, you can designate us as your charity of choice (make sure it’s Trinity, Brewster) and then shop as normal.  You can access it by going to this address: http://www.Smile.amazon.com

Servv: Want to find unique gifts, support fair trade as well as support Trinity, click on this link:  serrv.org?a=TLCbrew

Pastor Jen Boyd (she/her(s)

Worship

God’s Story

Trinity Weekly

Poinsettias Order Form

November 21, 2021

Dearly beloved,
Sunday is the official end of the Church year.  No one got all of the questions correct (though they got most of them). Answers below.  
Our lives are not normally framed around the year offered by the Church – school or January to December is what we are used to. The purpose of the Church year is to help us live our lives into God’s purposes for us and the Church year helps us do that.
This Sunday is Christ the King Sunday; also called the Reign of Christ.  This day only appeared at the end of the Church calendar in 1925.  It was a response to a focus away from the Church and to more secular powers.  Pope Pius XI set apart this day to remind the faithful of who is the true ruler in our daily lives.  This Sunday’s reading from Isaiah, for us as Christians, lift up Jesus as the one who reigns among us as the Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, and Everlasting Father
For us at Trinity, we have also designated this week as the time for people to share their pledges and commitments to the mission and ministry of God.  Our pledges are more than a “bill to pay”, but a sign of our faith and our desire for God’s mission to continue through us.  They enable us to do the work that God has entrusted us.
Please prayerfully consider your pledge.  Reflect on it as a sign of your commitment to God’s Church.  We will be invited on Sunday to share the reasons why we are a part of Trinity and why we make this commitment (I will be taking pictures and/or videos of people with the attached sign) – see also the video posted on our Facebook page on Thursday.
peace in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Church year quiz: answers1)      

  1. What is the longest season in the church year?  b)      Pentecost

2) Which of the following colors is not used for the Church year?  c)      Yellow 

3)      How many days are part of the Easter season?  b)      50  days  

4)      What season comes after Christmas?  a)      Epiphany 

5)      What color is used the most during the Church year?  d)     Green 

6)      What color is used the least during the Church year?       a)      Red (thought it could  be argued that its blue since red is used forsaints’ days – but we don’t normally observe them)    
7)      What is the shortest season of the Church year?    c)      Advent 

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God’s Story

I am Thankful for

Trinity Weekly

November 14, 2021

Dearly beloved, The Church year is coming to a close in another week.  Unlike the yearly calendar or even school calendars, the Church calendar ends with Christ the King Sunday and then starts with the First Sunday in Advent; this year those days fall on Nov. 21st & Nov. 28th.  Other than pastors and altar guilds, many don’t live according to this calendar.  Though we may notice if the paraments (cloths on the altar, lectern, and Pastor’s stole) change.

As we do prepare for these changes, I thought I’d give you a brief quiz (whoever sends me their answers first gets a prize – except, of course, altar guild members as I know that you already know) to see what you already may know

  Next week, I will talk more about the significance of the Church year as it pertains to our lives of faith
Peace & blessings in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Church year quiz

1)      What is the longest season in the church year? a)      Advent b)      Pentecost c)      Lent  d)     Epiphany     

2)      Which of the following colors is not used for the Church year?     a)   Purple    b)    Blue    c)    Yellow    d)   Red

3)      How many days are part of the Easter season?     a)      40 days  b)      50  days  c)      25 days  d)     3 days
4)      What season comes after Christmas?  a)      Epiphany b)      Advent  c)      Lent  d)     Pentecost

5)      What color is used the most during the Church year?     a)      Red  b)      Blue  c)      Purple  d)     Green
6)      What color is used the least during the Church year?      a)      Red b)      Blue  c)       Purple  d)     Green

 7)      What is the shortest season of the Church year?            a)      Pentecost  b)   Epiphany  c)   Advent d)  Lent

Pastor Jen Boyd (she/her(s)

Worship

Trinity Weekly

God’s Story

November 7, 2021

Dearly beloved, 
In Mexican and other Latin cultures, there is the tradition of Dia de los muertos or day of the dead in the first days of November.  (called All Saints and All Souls day as well).  From many Western perspectives, it sounds a bit morbid and scary (lots of skulls), but it is a wonderful tradition of honoring family members who have died.  It is a celebration of their physical lives as well as the unbroken connection we have with them. [if you’ve not seen the animated movie Coco – this is a great celebration of this tradition)
This coming Sunday (Nov. 7th), we are celebrating All Saints day as we light candles in remembrance and thanksgiving for the saints who have touched our own lives.  We will be setting up a ofrenda (private altar) for people to display pictures and other mementos as a way to honor them.   You are invited to bring some to put on tables this Sunday.
We honor those who have gone before us – for the lives that they lived and for the love of God that they shared in countless ways.  So for all the saints who from their labors rest, we give thanks and praise to God
peace in Christ, Pastor Jen 
p.s. Don’t forget to Fall Back One Hour this weekend 

Worship

Trinity Weekly

God’s Story

October 24, 2021

Dearly beloved,
You can feel it in the air as life begins to shift towards the holidays.  Beyond Halloween (or Reformation for Lutherans), we begin to switch our mindsets into what needs to be prepared for this year’s celebrations (with great hope that we will be able to gather with our loved ones).  While there is a great deal of joy in anticipation of these celebrations, anxiety, stress, and worries creep around the edges framed by expectations.  This year sees another stress as the supply chains are not working properly and we worry about what gifts we may be able to even give and will we be able to purchase all that we need and want.
Pastors have long preached and written about the commercialization of Christmas.  As much as we decry it, we too fall prey to its allures (who doesn’t like to peruse catalogs and dream).  We proclaim that we must “keep Christ in Christmas”  but what does this really mean as preparations begin to loom on the horizon?  It means far more than being able to say “Merry Christmas” to those we meet.
We look to the heart of our faith and the love for others that Jesus shared throughout his earthly life and how we are called to share that love with others – from our families, our neighbors, and strangers alike.  How do our preparations embody this love?  How might our worries and anxieties be lessened as we focus on the true celebrations of Christmas as well as Thanksgiving? Before you begin any preparations, pray first!  Pray for Christ to be revealed in and through your plans.  Pray for the ability to reveal the love of Christ in all that you do during this season.  Pray for patience and understanding, for peace and hope.  Pray for the Lord’s will to be done in your life, in our church and in our communities.  Pray first and always!
May Christ’s peace fill you each and every day!     Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen 
Check out the announcements for Trunk or Treat    All Saints Day   Congregational retreat

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God’s Story

Trinity Weekly

October 17, 2021

Dearly beloved,
You are the people in your neighborhood?  (Sesame Street: People in Your Neighborhood with Bob
Sesame Street: People in Your Neighborh…
Love this song from Sesame Street!  I still remember so many of our neighbors from the street where I grew up – waving as I rode my bike past, going trick or treating to their homes, staying at the homes of my friends.  
It seems that much of this has changed over the years.  I don’t have much more than passing acquaintances with my current neighbors.  The past couple of years haven’t necessarily made this any easier.  Forced into our homes and socially distanced for needed health reasons, there is a wariness of getting close to people.
Despite the physical distancing, there are parts of our world where we have drawn closer.  I am thankful for the ways that social media enable us to connect with people even when we cannot be physically together.  In this way, our neighborhoods have expanded beyond localities to the world wide web.
We often think of these two realities as separate and that we need to choose between one or the other.   There will be some who will choose to “live” in one or the other of these neighborhoods.
As people of faith, we have often talked about that our neighbors are much more than just those who live next to us, that everyone is our neighbor.  Think about how we might apply this to what it means to be the Church.  More than just those who enter into our building physically, our Church expands outwards into both those places that we go to day in and day out – physically and virtually.
So, who is in your neighborhood?      Who are those that you regularly see (in person or virtually)?      Who are those that need to receive all that we experience and participate in as part of the Church?        Who in your neighborhood needs to know that they are loved, forgiven, and offered the peace and grace of Christ?        As we further expand our understanding of the neighborhood and of Church, how might we be bolder, and more deliberate in the ways that we share the love of Christ with others?
Who are the people in your neighborhood?
      Invite them to join us in worship (in person or virtually), come to a First Friday, the Trunk or Treat, or other activity, offer them your prayers, share a social media post, and the like. 
May our understanding of God’s neighborhood enlarge to encompass all of God’s people.
peace & blessings in Christ, Pastor Jen

Worship

Trinity Weekly

God’s Story

October 10, 2021

Dearly beloved,
How often have you and/or someone in your family looked in the fridge and declared “there’s nothing to eat”.  More often than not, our cupboards are not bare, but rather there is nothing in there that we want to eat.  For me, its often that I don’t know what I want to eat as well as that I really don’t want to cook anything.
This Sunday’s reading is about the giving of manna by God to the Israelites in the wilderness.  The Hebrew word “manna” actually translates as “what is it”, for they had never seen anything like it before, this strange flaky substance that appeared with the dew.  I’ve often wondered how it tasted and if it really compared it all to our communion wafers.
In a culture where food has garnered its own network and a slew of programs, we have been introduced to a wide variety of foods (some of which we may even say ‘what is it).  Food has become much more than just want we need to sustain our daily lives.  It is difficult for us to even fathom that there are families even in our own midst as well as the wider world that not only do not have the variety that we have at our fingertips but don’t even have enough to eat for the day.
The challenge for us as people of faith is to both be aware of our own abundance as well as to share with those who are in need.  We can “teach a person to fish” but they need to be fed so that they are strong enough to fish.  They also need better living conditions, environments and opportunities that have not always been readily available.
The ELCA continues to make dedicated efforts to feed, advocate and educate so that the hunger of the world might be addressed.  You can learn more about these ministries by visiting: https://www.elca.org/Our-Work/Relief-and-Development/ELCA-World-Hunger
Another opportunity is celebrating World Food Day together! What: “A People of Hope: Until All Are Fed”Who: Featuring Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton and Rick Steves, special guests, and performances by Rachel Kurtz, Peter Mayer, and the St. Olaf Choir. Why: As a vital supporter of the church, we would love for you to join us as we hear compelling stories, listen to wonderful music and gather in fellowship to invest in this life-giving work.When: Thurs., Oct. 14 at 7:30 pm CT on ZoomRegister today: https://bit.ly/3hFpxwZ

Continuing blessings and peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

Worship

God’s Story

Trinity Weekly

October 2, 2021

Dearly beloved,   What’s in a name…(Romeo & Juliet)
How did you get the name that you have?  Was it a family name?  A favorite of your parents’?  What about nicknames?  How has your name changed over the years?
While our names are the first thing that is shared when we first meet someone new, they are also more than a way to identify ourselves.  Names often have meanings derived from various languages (for instance: Jennifer is from the Welsh and can mean “white wave”  or “fair one”).  Our names also connect us to others.  They point to our relationships, be it from our birth or later in life.
Moses asks God for God’s name and God responds with “I am who I am” (insert Popeye joke here); a three-time repetition of the Hebrew verb “to be”.  More than that, God also speaks of being the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – pointing to how God has related to others in the past.  God is a God of relationships and of promises.  God’s name points to where we find the ground of our own being.  God’s name lifts us not just God’s own self – but us as well.
so, what is our name – our name is rooted in the very being of God!
peace & blessings, Pastor Jen

Worship

God’s Story

Trinity Weekly

September 26, 2021

Dearly beloved,
There are days when I realize that I don’t need television for entertainment – I have cats (Scooter, Marley & Pippin).  Their antics are amazing as they race after each other in the house, play with a myriad of toys, and try to fly after bugs that manage to enter the house.  They bring me great joy on a daily basis.  Many of our family stories revolve around one pet or another from years gone by.  For many, their pets are that which helped them survive through the past couple of years  – we are truly blessed by these gifts from God!
On Sunday, Sept. 26th (11:30am), you are invited to bring your pet for a special service of blessing for all the animals in our lives.  We will meet in the lower parking lot for a brief service and blessing of each pet.  They need to be leashed or in carriers.  If they do not play well with others, you can bring a picture; children are invited to bring a stuffed animal as well.  
If you are not able to make it, I invite you to bless your pet at home.  Talk with others about some of the ways that your pet brings you joy and giving thanks to God for this gift.  Then you may use these (or other words): (Name), may you be blessed by the One who created you and cared for by the one who is entrusted with your life.  Amen. 
If you don’t have a pet of your own – offer this blessing to the pets of friends or family; share it with all God’s creatures you see around your yard; lift it up for all those animals who do not have someone to care for them, those affected by natural disasters and changing communities.  Give thanks for pets that have been a part of your life in other times or for those who are working animals providing care for those who need help.  Prayer for those who are endangered or extinct; those in zoos and refugees; those affected by poachers or others who would harm them.
We give thanks for all of God’s creation and seek to be faithful stewards of all that which we are entrusted with – those directly in our care and those around the world.
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Here is a wonderful blessing of animals by Jan Richardson (Blessing the Animals)
Blessing the Animals

Don’t forget/mark your calendars    Blood Drive (Tues. Sept 28th, 12:30-6:30pm).  Please sign up online: https://donate.nybc.org/…/schedules/drive_schedule/283661

First Friday Oktoberfest (Oct. 1st, 6pm)  Bring a dish to pass for this yearly fellowship event

Worship

God’s Word

Trinity Weekly

September 19, 2021

Dearly beloved,
Recently I have been “hooked” on a new tv show to the point that I have encouraged just about my whole family to watch it (even made it as a brief illustration in a sermon).  Have you had anything like this – a television show, a restaurant, a recipe or the like?  Something that is soooo good that you just want everyone else to share in your enjoyment of it?
What about Trinity?      Do you – or have you – had the same kind of feeling about our community of faith?
I have been blessed to be a part of many churches over the years with many wonderful people, with many relationships that have stood the test of time.  I give thanks for the individual relationships that I have as part of this community of faith.  But even more so, I give great thanks for how we are together as a community of faith.  The joy, the laughter, and fun, the service and kindness, the care of each other and the wider community are just a few of the things that make Trinity special and blessed!
What might you name?  What does being a part of this community of faith mean to you?
How do we take this gift of this community of faith and invite others to share in it?  Much like recommending a television program, restaurant, and the like – how do we recommend Trinity to others?  What do you see that we have to share with others that they may need in their lives?
On Sunday (Sept. 19th, 11am-4pm), we will be in Brewster village, sharing the gift of Trinity with others.  We will share our smiles and our care for others.  We will share gifts and handouts ….and so much more!  We could use a few more of you to join us at our booth – even for a little while – please let me know if you are able to be there.
We are blessed to be this community of faith in this time and place – let us share the joy of being Church together with others!
Peace & blessings in Christ, Pastor Jen
additional announcement: Pet Blessing – will be held next Sunday, Sept. 26th (11:30am) in the back parking lot (we will be sharing invitations at the festival).  Invite family and friends to join us.  Pets must be leashed or in carriers.  If they don’t “play” well with others – you may bring a picture; children can bring stuffed animals to be blessed as well. 

Worship

God’s Word

Trinity Weekly

September 12, 2021

Dearly beloved, Where were you when……?   There have been significant moments in our histories that stand out and that we often remember exactly where we were and what we were doing.  Depending on our age, those events might be the day that Kennedy was shot, Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon, the Challenger space shuttle blowing up, the Berlin wall came down, and/or Sept. 11, 2001.  The vividness of those days stays with us and is etched into our souls.
It is difficult to believe that it has been 20 years since that fateful day of 9/11.  Our whole world seemed to shift off its axis and it continues to color how we approach our day-to-day lives.   While that date is not currently a federal holiday, it has been designated as Patriot Day, a day of mourning and remembrance for our nation.  We spend time in silence and prayer, in remembrance and the honoring of fallen heroes.
This Saturday, Sept. 11th, we will join with other people of faith at 7pm in front of Drew United Methodist Church (Carmel) to pray and to remember.  We will light candles to shine forth with hope and peace.  In our remembering, we do more than recall what happened, but hold forth our faith that brought us through that time.  Our trust in Christ pointed to the ways that life is brought forth in the midst of death, that the sin of this world cannot vanquish love.
We look at not just where were we when this tragedy occurred, but where are we now?  Not so much our physical location, but our faith.               How have we experienced God’s love and peace in these years?             How have we shared the grace and hope of Christ in our daily lives?
So let us do more than remember that day – though it is vital that we honor the lives and sacrifices of that time – but let us also remember Christ who is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).  Let us remember and witness to our faith that boldly proclaims that sin and death do not have the final word but that Christ’s love and grace prevail in the past, present, and future!

Peace and blessings always in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Here are a few resources for you to use: Prayers for the Twentieth Anniversary of 9/11

Prayers for the Twentieth Anniversary o…
carolynshymns.com : O God, Our Hearts Were Shattered

carolynshymns.com : O God, Our Hearts W…

Brewster Fall Festival will be Sunday, Sept. 19th in Brewster Village.  We will have a booth to help (re)introduce ourselves to the community.  We have lots of free items to share.  If you are able to be at the booth to help out, please sign up here: Brewster Fall Festival
Brewster Fall Festival

Sunday Church school will begin for all 3-year-olds – 6th graders on Sunday, Sept. 26th.  Families should have received an email from me with more information.  If not, please contact Pastor Jen  

Worship

God’s Word

Trinity Weekly

September 2, 2021

Dearly beloved, First off, I have a confession to make – I did not daily write down my thanksgivings throughout the summer – though it was I who encouraged and challenged everyone to do so.  Like many things (diets, exercise, etc.), I start off strong and then I get busy and miss a day or two, then a week, then a month, then I am just ashamed at how I failed.  What was supposed to be a faith-strengthening activity becomes more of a chore – sigh!
However, this is not to say that I was not grateful to God on most of the days.  There was the spontaneous “thank God” when I was able to stop my car from hitting another.  I was thankful to be able to have the opportunity to road trip with my Mom to see my brother and his wife in the beautiful state of Wyoming.  I was grateful for a satisfying meal, a beautiful day, a good book, fun times with family & friends, a wonderful church community and so much more.  
While I failed at the daily discipline, I could certainly fill up a calendar with so many blessings with which to thank God – even in the midst of this seemingly never-ending pandemic.  In this time, I am thankful for so many in the medical communities who continue to work tirelessly for the health and care of others.  I am thankful for teachers who pivot and adapt through all the uncertainties.  I am thankful for all those essential workers who work behind the scenes that often go unrecognized and unacknowledged.
The point of this challenge was less about getting it done and more about taking the time to see the ways in which God is working amidst our daily lives – sometimes in obvious ways, sometimes in unseen ways that just need us to pay attention, and then sometimes in ways that we may never see.  Giving thanks to God is more than a summer of gratitude or Thanksgiving day activity, it is a way in which to recognize God’s relationship with us.  
God is indeed in our midst and for this, we do bless and thank the Lord our God!  Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen Music can help us bless the Lord as well: “Bless the Lord” ~ Godspell (1973)

Worship

August 29, 2021

Dearly beloved,
First of all, thank you to all who participated in our recent worship survey -we had 50 responses!  Wow!  Your input is valued as we continue to make our way through these ever uncertain times.  At this point, we are going to continue with just one service on Sundays at 9:30am.    We are, however, looking at resuming the Thursday noon spoken service as another option.  If this is a service that you might attend, please let me know.
Before I left on vacation, things were starting to improve and I was feeling more comfortable with forgoing my mask.  With numbers on the rise again, I am prone to wear my mask again in more public settings (its required in Danbury).   
There is a great deal of information and misinformation floating around that it is often difficult to know what to believe as well as to trust.  We tend to gravitate towards that which matches our own perspective the best.
Yet, how do we continue to live into these uncertain times as people of faith, as followers of Christ?  Do we ask WJM (Would Jesus Mask?)?  Jesus probably wouldn’t need to mask and could heal those who are sick.  Still, I believe that Jesus would mask both as a sign of solidarity as well as a reflection of his caring and loving nature.
While we may not feel the need to mask for ourselves, we can mask for the sake of others – those who are unable to get vaccinated like children and those with health issues.  We mask even for those who haven’t yet decided to be vaccinated, caring for them whatever their own decision maybe (though I do hope that they will consider getting the shot).
While we are not currently mandating masks for when we gather to worship (unless the state or county changes its policy), we are encouraging people to wear them when they are physically closer to others (even if all are vaccinated). We continue to watch the numbers and to pray mightily for the greater health of our communities.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

Worship

August 22, 2021

Dearly beloved,In my recent ventures out west (Wyoming), I was struck by the stark beauty of the landscapes.  My pictures do not do it justice at all.  I can see why my brother and his wife like it out there.  However, I missed trees.  While there were some, I missed the lushness of the more familiar landscapes of our area.  (Yet, isn’t it amazing to be able to live on a world that offers so many different kinds of beauty in creation).
I was thinking about my longing for trees as I began my reflections on this week’s reading from Daniel where king Nebuchadnezzar shares his dream with Daniel.  He sees himself as this great tree that offers so much around him and yet the vision shifts as this tree is cut down.  He is called to see how the source of his “power” is not of his own making, but that which has been entrusted to him.
Our human inclinations often turn in on ourselves.  We look at what we/I accomplish, how we/I have succeeded, all that we/I  have done.  It is about “me” and not about anyone else (much less God).  My opinion, point of view, experience is the only one that is valid and everyone else is wrong (and we wonder at why we are do divided in this country).
I’ll be talking more about this on Sunday, but I invite you to take some time to reflect on our question of the week:Faith Question of the week:  Proverbs 16:18 warns against the hubris of pride that will lead to our destruction.  When have you had a pride-filled experienced that led to being humbled later on?
And how might our “me” turn to “Thee”, that God’s will and not my own may be done?I pray that all are well and healthy!
Peace & blessings in Christ,  Pastor Jen
PLEASE NOTE: While the state & county that not issued a mandate related to masking, I am highly recommending that people resume wearing masks when they come to worship (particularly around children and other unvaccinated individuals. 

Worship

August 6, 2021

Worship for August 8

July 30, 2021

Greetings,
Did you ever think that you had it all figured out, only to realize that you were only scratching the surface?  When I was working, I’m retired now, I used to write technical reports which presented data from which we would draw conclusions.  Early in my career, I soon learned I needed to write “executive summaries”.  With few exceptions, no one was going to read my whole report.  They only wanted to scratch the surface.
The readings for this coming Sunday are from the Book of Ruth.  A lot of people think it’s a love story.  That’s just scratching the surface.  As I dig into it, there’s a lot more there.  So I’m going to suggest that before Sunday, take a few minutes to read the Book of Ruth.  It’s a short book, only 4 chapters long.  And ask yourself, is there a message here for me?  You might be surprised.
God has a plan for the future.  I may never know what that plan is, but like Ruth, I may have a part to play.  So the questions I’ll leave you with are, “What is God’s plan for us?” and “What is my part in it?”

Deacon Charlie Germain

Worship

July 23, 2021

Dearly beloved, The Faith Question of the week is about superpowers and what one you would like to have if you could.   My answer changes depending on what I am currently dealing with in my life.  
Somedays, I’d like to be able to quickly travel from one place to the next, but then I think about what I might miss along the journey.
Other days, I wish I had the power to cure all diseases, but then think about all those (particularly in this past year) who have cared for the sick, researched and tested the vaccine, etc.
Periodically, I wish I could fly to be able to see the world from a different perspective, though there are these things called airplanes Emoji
While it is fun to imagine superhuman strength, knowledge, or other superpowers, do we often think about our gifts and abilities that we already have?   What are the things that you are good at?  What do you enjoy doing?  What brings you fulfillment?
These are the gifts that God has blessed you with.  We don’t need superpowers, but rather need to recognize the gifts that we already have and how we are called to use them for the glory of God – to bring healing, to build up, to comfort, and to guide.  These are your superpowers because they are from God and for God’s world.
May you not only recognize the ways that God has already blessed you but share these blessings with others.
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

Worship

July 9, 2021

Dearly beloved,
 If you could ask God anything, what would your question be? This is a question that I love asking people and particularly children.  I have a little book called “Children’s Letters to God” (compiled by Stuart Hample & Eric Marshall) that ask some of the best questions:            

Dear God, did you mean for the giraffe to look like that or was it an accident

Dear God, who draws the lines around the countries?           

In Sunday school, they told us what you do.  Who does it when you are on vacation? Our questions of God as we become adults are often focused around the “whys” of this world:              

Why did my loved one have to die?             

Why can’t there be peace in the world?             

Why do bad things happen to good people?

The whys are among the hardest questions to answer because there are often not good explanations or logical reasons.  And even if perchance we can discern a reason, they rarely change the outcome.  Our questions then linger and haunt our souls.
Beyond the whys, what questions of curiosity bound around your thoughts?  What is something that you always wondered about?  What have you been afraid to ask?
I was not the kid who asked many questions in school.  It was only as I grew older that I let my curiosity out to play.  And while many questions can be answered by a quick search online, I think that this method doesn’t allow for the deeper ponderings that would give us more than information.  It’s not just about getting the “right” answers, but about living into the questions of our lives.  It’s about more than filling our brains with knowledge, but about exploring the implications of this information for our relationships with God and one another.  
That is some of what happens when we participate in Bible study/Faith Formation.  We can learn information about the communities that first heard these readings and what it meant for them.  We can delve into the various translations to more fully understand the meanings behind the original languages of Greek and Hebrew.  We can see how any particular passage relates to other biblical readings.
If we stop there, we are not living fully into scripture. 

We need to ask the question of the text: So what?  Or in other words:       

What does this mean for my life?              

How does it apply to today’s world?           

What is it telling us about God and our relationship with God?           

What is God’s message for us in this passage?

We are called into living the questions of our faith, not just finding the “correct” answers.  In living these questions, we are inviting God into our ponderings, thoughts, and reflections. We are engaging more fully into our relationship with God.  We may not always get clear-cut, “right answers for the test” results, but that is not really the point.
Throughout the summer, I will be offering up questions for us to reflect upon.  They will be in the weekly bulletin as well as posted on our social media accounts.  I invite you to share your own thoughts related to the question (either on social media and/or you may also email them to me)  If you have questions of your own that you would like to offer up, please do so (again you can post them and/or send them to me)
May all the questions of our faith enrich our lives!
peace & blessings, Pastor Jen 

Worship

July 2, 2021

Dearly beloved
“…free to worship without fear..”  is a portion of the Gospel canticle in a Morning Prayer (Matins) service and the refrain that has been running through my head as I sat down to write this week’s reflections.  Freedom.  Worship.  Free to worship as part of our Constitution that we honor as we mark Independence day this Sunday.
The initial thoughts that come to mind when “freedom” is lifted up is that we can do anything, that nothing should impede us from our freedom.  It is sometimes even thought of as “anything goes” and “don’t tread on me”.  I can do whatever I want; I have that freedom.   Even with that, we know that not everyone had the same freedoms when this document was written – women  couldn’t vote or hold office, people of color were enslaved and that unless you were a landowner the same privileges didn’t apply.  These freedoms over the years have been expanded, clarified and debated as each generation sought to more fully understand what it meant for them and those around them.
The thing about freedom is that while it is viewed as a right and privilege, there is also responsibility. Our freedom should not be at the expense of another’s.  Our freedom is to be lived  out in the context of those around us.  Martin Luther summarizes it thus:            

A Christian is perfectly free lord of all, subject to none
A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.  (Treatise on Christian Freedom)

This week and next we are looking at the grace of God as revealed through the Commandments.  We often look at rules at things that impede our liberty.  And yet, as we look at these commands, we find that God is leading us more fully into both the privilege and responsibility of our freedoms.  The commandments point us to how to live in loving relationships with God and with one another.  God commands because God knows what is best for us.
“free to worship without fear” points us not just to our freedom, but to the source of our worship as well as our freedoms.  We are reminded that our freedom to worship is a gift from God and we honor this gift in exercising this freedom.   It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom (Galatians 5:13-15. The Message)

May we honor our true freedom that is found in Christ1

peace & blessings in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Worship

June 25, 2021

Dearly beloved, It was a joy to be able to celebrate Dawn’s ordination last weekend and her journey of faith that has brought her to this milestone.  As it called to mind my own ordination, I remembered less about the event itself and more the people who were not only a part of that day but of my faith journey then and now.  So many witnesses – so many faces, experiences, places, and the like – so many to be thankful for!
Who has been witnesses to the gift of faith in your own life?

           Who has shared the love of Christ with you?             

Who has revealed the peace of the Lord?                   

How have you experienced the grace of the Spirit?
As part of our celebration with Dawn, Debbie Lyons shared a blessing and prayer for her.  Using the witness of countless women of scripture, we recalled how their lives of faith inspire, challenge, and guide us in our own.  And so, with Debbie’s blessing, I share these words with you as well, praying that they surround your own spirit and faith with the presence of Christ!
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen 

May the Lord bless you and keep you. 

May the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. 

May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. 

In the precious name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we wish to bless you with some character traits of the women in God’s Holy Word, the Bible.

We bless you with the vision of Eve who knew her son came with the help of the Lord.

We bless you with the inner resolution of Hagar who obeyed God, returning to a hostile environment.

We bless you with the believing heart of Sarah who chose to trust God despite her age.

We bless you with the assurance of Rachel who, after giving birth to Joseph, knew that God remembers.

We bless you with the courage of Rahab who, seeing what God had done, protected His servants, regardless of the danger to herself and family.

We bless you with the reputation of Deborah who won battles because she served God.

We bless you with the compassion of Naomi who freed her daughter-in-law from staying with her.

We bless you with the conviction of Ruth who left everything for God Who she barely knew.

We bless you with the wisdom of Esther who knew the importance of prayer and fasting for such a time as this.

We bless you with the love of Mary, the mother of our Lord, who upon learning more about Him, treasured these things and pondered them in her heart.

We bless you with the hunger of Martha’s sister, Mary, who chose to sit and feed at Jesus’ feet instead of being caught up in the things of the world.

We bless you with the servant’s heart of Martha who, even without help, waited on the people in their home.

We bless you with the boldness of Priscilla who told others about Jesus and His love for them.

We bless you with the sincere faith of Lois and Eunice that it may be passed down to your children and future generations.

We pray God uses this blessing as a reminder.  You are just as precious to Him today as these women were to Him long ago.  We pray, too, this blessing serves as encouragement.  As you begin your official role as a Pastor, please remember “Those He calls, He equips.”  You are never alone doing what He says to do.  Above all else, we pray this blessing is an all-encompassing hug from our awesome God who loves you more than life itself.

Signed with love from your church family at Trinity.                                               June 20, 2021

Worship

June 17, 2021

Dearly beloved, We are in a season of celebrations – graduations, weddings, family gatherings and the like.  All those special times delayed from the previous year are now being planned and celebrated.  They take on a deeper sense of the holy and joyous as we are reminded how important these occasions are for our lives.  There is so much to life that we can no longer take for granted and that truly is a cause for celebration.
While many of these events are within our own personal circles of family and friends, there are some celebrations that take on a communal nature (the 4th of July, for instance).  In the life of the Church, each congregation may celebrate anniversaries, the burning of mortgages and the like related to them.
While we are an individual congregation located in Brewster for over 75 years, we are a part of the larger Church – the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  God’s mission is lived through us here as well as throughout the country and world (Lutheran World Federation).  It is easy to only view the Church through our own particular lens, but God’s Work is happening on a much larger scale.  We are God’s mission workers here as well as in the wider world!  We are a part of the Church that lives out God’s message of love as we bring hope to the hungry and poor (ELCA World Hunger), acceptance and love to the disenfranchised (Reconciling works), welcome to the stranger (Lutheran Immigration & Refugee service) and so much more!  Ask any of the youth who have attended the National Youth Gatherings about what the whole Church looks like!
This weekend, we celebrate with the whole Church the ordination of our own Dawn Morello.  We are a part of our her faith journey as she is of our church’s faith life.  She has also been accompanied, taught, guided, challenged, inspired by other parts of the larger church – from the church of her youth,  her internship church (Resurrection, Mount Kisco), Luther Seminary, the Metro NY Synod and so many other parts.  She is being called to a particular congregation (First Lutheran, Bronx) but she is ordained into the Whole Church (ELCA) – because we are all a part of the larger Body of Christ. 
And so we celebrate our faith-filled relationship with her here at Trinity, we join with the whole Church to celebrate her ordination!  You are invited to participate in the livestream of the Ordination service on YouTube or Facebook (see links below) as well as to join us here in worship on Sunday as we celebrate together as this community of faith.
Please keep Dawn as well as the other ordinands (Martha Cruz and Abby Ferjack) in your prayers as they await this day of celebration!
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Worship

June 11, 2021

Dearly beloved,
Last week I talked about all the “National days and months of”.  This week, I lift up the ELCA’s Commemoration of the Emanuel 9 who were killed in Charleston by a young man, brought up in a Lutheran church  and yet filled with hatred for those who welcomed him into their community.  A resolution to commemorate June 17 as a day of repentance for the martyrdom of the Emanuel Nine was adopted in 2019 by the ELCA Churchwide Assembly. 
I keep a picture of these nine beautiful souls on a shelf behind my computer (see attached).  It reminds me not only of their martyrdom, but how evil and hate can lurk in our midst.  Or as we read in this week’s scripture from Genesis “sin is lurking at the door, its desire is for you, but you must master it.”  (33:7).
While many will never go to the extremes that brought about their martyrdom, we must still be diligent in our purpose-ful care of one another.  Small perceptions can build until they find an outlet in our moments of weakness.  Random thoughts may spill forth in angry words that cut and hurt another.  We are called to see and love one another as God in Christ Jesus sees and loves us – as created in the image of God in all its beauty and diversity.
We pause this week to repent of the sins of racism and white supremacy which continue to plague this church, to venerate the martyrdom of the Emanuel Nine and so many others who have been victims of this pervasive sin, and to seek to more faithfully live as God’s beloved communities where all are seen as created in God’s image.  
Several clergy from the Tappen Zee Conference (Putnam & Westchester) Lutheran churches have recorded a service of repentance and commemoration of the Emanuel 9 which you may view as part of your own reflections this week.  I have attached the worship service as well.    Emanuel Nine Commemoration TZ 2021

For additional information and resources, go to Commemoration of the Emanuel Nine — June 17
Peace & blessings in Christ, Pastor Jen 
Pastor Jen Boyd

Worship

Commemoration for Emanual 9

Image

June 4, 2021

Dearly beloved,
As this arrives in your email box, you will want to know that today (June 4th) is 

While I’m not a cognac drinker and I’m not sure how long my cats will let me hug them, I am all about the cheese and doughnuts (so if anyone wants to help a pastor out…).  These obscure “national day of…” can be fun as well as funny.  They can be an excuse for hugging cats or eating cheese.  
They can also lift up important things like National Cancer Survivor’s day (1st Sunday in June) or National PTSD Awareness (6/27).  They can remind us to drink more water (6/23) or eat your vegetables (6/17)   Others are more well-known like Flag day (6/14) or Juneteenth (6/19).  Still others are a bit obscure like Turkey lovers day (6/20 – shouldn’t that be in November?) or Megalodon day (6/15)
[check our your own birth month to see what days catch your attention:  https://nationaldaycalendar.com/ ]
We also have designated months for Black history (February), Women’s history & Organ donor(April) as well as many others.  In June, it is Pride month with the focus on LGBTQi+ rights.
While for some, all these national days and month may seem to be just too much, there is much to be said for the benefit of these kinds of acknowledgments.  These events are an opportunity to learn and more fully recognize our history as well as the lives of those for whom these days are important.  It is a chance to look beyond our own life experiences and see the world around us from a different perspective.
While St.  Paul said to the Galatians that there is no longer male or female, Gentile or Jew, slave or free, that we are all one in Christ Jesus – this unity does not dismiss our diversity.  Like his example of the Church as the Body of Christ with many members, we need the different parts to work together for the whole – we need the wide variety of people with their varied gifts, experiences, backgrounds, etc. (otherwise, wouldn’t life be pretty boring).
Take the opportunity to learn more from and about different people with different experiences than your own.  Talk with them and really listen.  What might God want you to hear from these conversations?  How is the Body of Christ being revealed through them?  For in doing so, you are getting a glimpse into the full beauty and wonder in which this world is created.  And isn’t that trul a marvelous and wondrous thing! 
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen 
P.S. On June 17, the ELCA commemorates the martyrdom of the Emanuel 9.  The clergy of the Tappen Zee conference will be offering a service for you to use as part of that day’s commemoration.  (https://www.elca.org/emanuelnine)

Pastor Jen Boyd

Worship

May 28, 2021

Dearly beloved,This Sunday, we begin our summer worship series where we will be looking at a variety of Old Testament stories where God’s grace is revealed.  Our weekly themes are  based around a book called “Grace in a tree stump: Old Testament stories of God’s love”  by J.  Ellsworth Kalas.
When we think of a grace-filled God, our hearts find such a depth of mercy and grace as revealed through Christ.  Yet, too often the God of the Old Testament is only viewed as judgmental and harsh.   However, even in judgment, God’s grace abounds.  From the first moment of creation, God’s love spilled forth and was made to reflect God’s love and grace.  When we created in God’s image, we were to embody that grace and love….yet, so often we have failed.
But God’s grace still abounds even in our sinfulness – – because of God’s character and not based on who we are or what we do.  Thanks be to God for that!
You are invited each week to read ahead of the appointed scripture and reflect on how you see God’s grace revealed in this passage.
May your days continue to be filled with the love and grace of God in all the ways that God’s self is expressed to us – as Father, Son and Holy Spirit
peace in Christ,  Pastor Jen
NOTE:  I thank Mary Beth Commisso for preaching and leading worship this Sunday as I attend a family wedding in Florida.  I will be back in the office on Wednesday.
Pastor Jen Boyd

Worship

May 21, 2021

Dearly beloved,This Sunday, May 23rd, is Pentecost (remember to wear red and/or flame like colors).  We celebrate the gift of God’s Spirit Emojithat is poured out upon us, gathering us as a community of faith and sending us forth into the world!  Emoji
NOTE: For this Sunday only, we will be having two services (9:30am & 11am) as we will be having the Affirmation of Baptism by three of our young women: Gabielle Duben, Olivia Giacomelli and Cassandra Sciarra.  Please keep them in prayer as they prepare for this Sunday.
As these young people affirm their faith, they are asked if they will live faith-filled lives each and every day.  They will be asked:Do you intend to continue in the covenant God made with you in holy baptism:to live among God’s faithful people, to hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s supper, to proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed, to serve all people, following the example of Jesus, and to strive for justice and peace in all the earth?Each person responds: I do, and I ask God to help and guide me.
In many ways, this is a big “ask” of any of us.  It can be a daunting commission no matter what our age.  Though Charlie Germain and I talked through what this all means and could look like in their daily lives and they agreed that they could respond positively, I was very mindful of the enormity of this question.Yet, none of us are called to this alone – that’s why it starts with “to live among God’s faithful people”.  Not only are we invited to continue in the community of faith, to be part of this Church, but we are assured that we are called to work together, to be God’s Body in the world.We join them in this affirmation of faith – both to pray and support them in their own faith-filled lives as well as to work alongside each other to live out what is means to be baptized children of God.  I will ask us – as this community of faith – to make this promise to them as well as to one another.Join us this Sunday as we affirm the Good News of Jesus Christ through prayer, the Word, music and the affirmation of our lives of faith together.

peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

Watch this video regarding current policies on mask wearing: To mask or not to mask that is the question?!

Worship

LtW_At_Home

May 15, 2021

Dearly beloved,The other day, in conversation with colleagues, we began to talk about prayer as an expression of love!  I  had never really thought about it so directly in those terms.  We often say and promise that we will pray for one another, expressing our concern and attention for them.
Yet, is is very much an expression of our love for them as well.  We are saying that not only do we care about them, but that we love them to the point that we will express our love by pausing in our day, to focus our thoughts upon them and voice their reality before the One in whom we are created.  We are saying that we want them to be filled with the love that we have received through Christ.
Prayer also reveals our love for God.  We bring our love for one another to be enfolded into the One who is the source  of all love, who enables us to love as we have been loved.
Prayer is about our relationship – first and foremost with God.  It is one of those ways that we express our faith in God.  And the center of this relationship is the Love that God has for us – revealed in the image of Christ that we bear and in the fullness of the resurrection.
What are ways that you have experienced prayer as love – in which you have prayed for others and/or others have prayed for you?
I’m still letting this thought dwell within me and want to explore it in greater depth.  What are your own reflections?
peace in Christ,  Pastor Jen

Worship

LtW_At_Home

May 7, 2021

 Dear beloved,
We pause this Sunday to give thanks for our mothers and for all those who have mothered and nurtured us.   We recognize that this day can be difficult for some who experience difficulties in relationships.

Relationships are vital to our lives, but they are not always simple and carefree.  Every relationship has its ups and downs, understandings and misunderstandings.   While we might desire the ideal in all of our relationships, we are still human and will fail one another

As people of faith, we recognize our own limitations, but hold fast to the One relationship which reveals the fullness of who we are created to be and how we are made to be in communion with one another.  

We see God as the One who mothers us, gathering us under her wings like a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.  God is the One who through Jesus Christ offers us grace to try again when we fail and love to empower us to live into who we are created to be

As baptized children of God, we honor one another as ones who are created in the image of God and sent forth to bear the love and grace that enriches our lives

Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

Worship

LtW_At_Home

April 30, 2021

O sing to the Lord a new song;    sing to the Lord, all the earth.Sing to the Lord, bless his name;    tell of his salvation from day to day. (Psalm 96:1-2
Dearly beloved,One of the things that I have truly missed in worship this past year is singing together as a community.  Yes, in the times that we were virtual only, those who were leading worship could sing.  And yet, when it came down to the choice of having people join in-person for worship or singing – worshipping with all of you was and will always be the easiest of choices.
I missed singing with you, however.
It has been an enriching faith practice to take the hymns apart – hearing the music separately from the words and then reading the words instead of singing them brought new understandings and depth to their significance.  It made me hear them in a new way. 
Still, I missed singing with  you all.
I realized that for me the joy of singing was singing with others.  I’m not really a soloist.  Even when I sing the liturgy and you respond, there is still a sense of singing with others.  I grew up singing as a family.  Even with some of my community college friends, we would sing in harmonies together.  Singing with others has always been an important expression of faith for me.
Last Sunday, I realized that most of the people who were gathered in-person were vaccinated.  With updates to some of the CDC guidelines and our ability to maintain more than 6 feet of social distancing, we – the Worship committee, Church Council and myself – have decided to begin singing together again in worship.  
I know that there are some who aren’t yet comfortable with this – even if they are vaccinated.  We will continue our current practices of social distancing and masks (even when singing).  We will not sing with full force quite yet and there is enough space for people to move beyond the designated 6 ft. from other singers.  We don’t want this decision to prevent people from attending.
If you have any questions or concerns about this decision, please feel free to contact me.
There are still questions and uncertainty as we transition in this time.  The more people get vaccinated, the more we can resume some of our previous practices.   While the decision to be vaccinated is a personal one, I also view it as an expression of the greatest commandment – to love God, others and ourselves.  I am vaccinated not solely for myself but for the sake of others, particularly those who are most vulnerable.  
In the meantime, let us sing a new song to the Lord!
Peace & blessings in Christ, Pastor Jen
And just for fun: Sesame Street: Sing/Canta | #ThrowbackThursday

Worship

LtW_At_Home

April 23, 2021

Dearly beloved, As I pause to write this week’s email, it is Earth Day.  Originating over 50 years ago, it was a call to awareness and action for us to care for this planet upon which we dwell (for more of the history: https://www.earthday.org/history/)   It has often been a political beachball, bouncing between parties and policies with every decade bringing new “fights” that are being waged.
As people of faith, we are called to look at the actions of our world from the perspective of God.  As Jim Wallis, former editor of Sojourners has said “God is not a Republican or a Democrat”. (see a book called “God’s politics).  It is not about a political perspective, but a faith perspective.  This doesn’t mean that we don’t participate in advocating for better policies in our country, it’s instead about where we are starting our perspectives.
On Earth Day and every day of our lives, we remember that God created the heavens and the earth and proclaimed it all good.  We remember that God has entrusted creation into our care, not to use it until it’s gone, but to wise and faithful stewards of all that God has entrusted to us.  This means that we take deliberate actions that honor God and God’s good creation.  We see Earth day as an extension of our faith as we seek to care for Mother Earth every day.
This week has also been marked by the verdict in the Derek Chauvin case.  This is the way that we seek justice in our country through a fair and just trial.  As people of faith, we are called to live and pray into the current climate of our country.  We do not relegate it solely to the news of the day but seek to find the ways in which God is revealed in and through current events.  We are called to not just care for the plants and animals on this earth, but to care for all those who are created in God’s image – each and every person that we encounter.  
While we do not always live into that divine image, as we live as both “saint & sinner”, we must continually live into the grace and mercy of Christ.  Forgiven, we are called to live lovingly as God’s image-bearers.  We are called to honor that divine image in others.  We are called to hear and truly listen to the ways in which many – particularly people of color – are directly impacted by injustice and racism every day.  We are called to advocate and actively seek to bring God’s justice to bear upon the lives of others.
On this Earth day, how will you honor all of God’s creation – not only the planet but others?  How will you seek to live into your faith as you care for the earth and all its inhabitants each and every day?
Let us focus our efforts, not on the politics of the day, but the life of faith that we are called to as baptized children of God who is the Creator of heaven and earth!
Peace & blessings in Christ, Pastor Jen

Worship

LtW_At_home

April 16, 2021

Dearly beloved,As I sit down to write this week’s email, there is a fine rain falling outside my window.  The earth is soaking it all in to help bring renewed life to what lies beneath its surface.  Everyday there is a little more color, a few more birds as life bursts forth.  I love spring!  It is such a time of hope and possibility.  The long dark and gray days of winter are (mostly) past, light lingers longer and spirits are starting to lift.
While we are still faced with a certain amount of uncertainty of when this pandemic will “end”, there is more hope and possibility that is peaking up through the sorrow.  We don’t know yet how much of “normal” we will be able to resume or what the “new normal” will look like, but as  the number of people who are vaccinated increases, we sense it coming closer (I got my 2nd shot of Moderna this week and after a day of aches and a slight fever, I am hopeful for what is to come).
I am looking for ways that we can – safely – gather in-person.  I am setting up a time to gather outdoors (weather permitting) that we can spend in fellowship, reflection and prayer.  Bring a lawn chair and join  outside the office (lower parking lot) on Tuesday, April 20th (3pm).  If this time does not work for you, let me know what would be good.
peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

Want to hear the birds singing praises to God, check this out: 

Minnesota Bird Songs | Minnesota Conservation Volunteer

Worship

LtW_At_Home

April 10, 2021

Dearly beloved,It was a wonderful day to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord last Sunday.  While we could not sing, it was great to have Peter Donoghue playing the trumpet (Thank you,  Peter).  From the aroma of the lilies to the smiling eyes of those who were able to join us in worship – we were truly blessed on that Easter day.
Easter, though, is more than a day – it is a way of life.  We are Resurrection people that walk in hope, that journey in faith.  By virtue of the empty tomb, we are assured that the ways of sin and death do not hold sway over our lives.  While the chaos of the world swirls around us, we hold fast to the promise that God is with us and leads us towards transformation and new life.   We will be reflecting on the Road to Emmaus this Sunday which gives witness to this promise.
We return to our one service schedule, for the time being (9:30am) and continue to stream on Facebook and post to YouTube.  As always, if you have any concerns, questions, or suggestions, please let me know.
I am looking at other ways in which we might gather in-person, social distanced, and masked.  One thought is to have a time of “Sittin’ in the Son”, gathered outside on nice days to spend time in conversation, prayer, and fellowship.  If this is something that you might be interested in, please let me know – particularly what days and times might work best.
Peace & blessings, Pastor Jen
Pastor Jen Boyd

Worship

LtW_At_Home

April 4, 2021

Dear beloved, As dawn breaks on April 4th, we once again claim ourselves as Resurrection people, people of hope, people who are loved and given grace.  Like the women at the tomb, we are faced with the realities of life and yet…and yet…the tomb is empty.  All our expectations are turned upside down.  All our preconceived notions are upended.  That which we thought dead is alive!  What we perceived as the end, is just the beginning!
We live as Easter people filled with hope and possibility, looking not at what “is” but rather what can be!  We look beyond the reality of sorrow and death and see the possibilities of what God can transform.
We are in the process of transformation, like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon.  As we come out of this year, we are invited to see how we are transformed by the grace of God.  How have we changed?  What has changed around us?  How have our lives shifted?  This is the resurrection power of God’s love and grace.
Please join us for Easter Sunday morning worship.  Services continue to be live-streamed on Facebook and will be posted afterwards on YouTube.  You are invited to come in person at either 9:30am or 11am.  We are asking people to make reservations ahead of time to help us be ready (see links below).  All must be masked (even if vaccinated) and maintain social distancing.  Please check in with the usher as they will be keeping a contact tracing list.
We are Resurrection people, filled with love and grace of Christ! 
peace in Christ, Pastor Jen
p.s. You will also find attached a “resurrection set” to print, color, cut out, and display
Pastor Jen Boyd

Worship

LtW_At_Home

IM-Resurrection

April 1, 2021

Dear beloved, Our journey through Holy week brings us to the day that is called “Good”.  This seems so paradoxical as if we are “celebrating” Jesus’ death rather than mourning or lamenting.
Yet, without Friday – Easter would have no meaning.  If Jesus had died a “natural” death, his resurrection, as well as his life, would not contain the fullness of God’s love for us.
We are Resurrection people, precisely because of Good Friday.  Jesus entered fully into the violence, brokenness, betrayals, denials, fears, sorrows of this world – even that which continues to do this day – Christ took them all onto himself on the cross.  And just as God said at creation, it was good because of what shone forth even in the midst of it all – God’s great love for the world in all its brokenness.  For God continues to be faithful and steadfast in his relationship with us – even when we fail to do so.
Join us for our Good Friday services where we are reminded of what makes it so good – Jesus Christ our Lord!
Stations of the Cross (12noon) –in person and Facebook liveTenebrae service (7pm) –  Zoom (see link below) and Facebook live (there is no in-person service)               

Note: we will have two special guest readers as well as special music

Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen Pastor Jen BoydTrinity Lutheran Church2103 Route 6Brewster, New York  https://trinitybrewsterny.org
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Good Friday Stations of the Cross

Good Friday Tenebrae

March 31, 2021

Dear beloved,  It goes by a variety of names – Holy Communion, Eucharist (thanksgiving), Lord’s Supper, Last Supper, The Meal.  On this Thursday, a day that it is referred to as Maundy Thursday (maundy= mandate, command), we remember the meal that Jesus shared with his disciples.  That meal was a Passover meal (at least according to 3 of the 4 Gospels).  That meal that was remembered just this last week by our Jewish brothers and sisters was a sign of God’s covenantal love that brought them out of Egypt and into a new life.
This meal shared by Jesus and his disciples, which we gather to share with one another, provides nourishment for the journey ahead.  It speaks of Christ’s love that was soon to be born on the cross.  It revealed a different understanding of freedom that was to be poured out for many.
Jesus said: take and eat my body, drink my blood.  We are to embody the grace and love that we ingest in this simple meal.
You are invited to come and join in worship on Thursday, April 1st at 12noon.  It will be live-streamed on Facebook  and uploaded to YouTube when you are able to worship at another time. (see links below).  There will be no evening service
Separate emails will be sent out with the bulletins and information regarding Good Friday and Easter services.  Stations of the Cross will be at 12noon in person and on Facebook.   The Tenebrae Service (7pm) will not be in-person but will be on Zoom and streamed to Facebook.  There are two services on Easter Sunday (9:30am & 11am), both in-person and live-streamed.  In order to help us determine how many to expect for the Sunday services, we are asking that people make reservations (see links below) 
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the church office.
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Worship

March 26, 2021

Dearly beloved, This Sunday begins Holy Week with Palm branches waving and shouts of “hosanna” ringing in Jesus’s ears.  The interesting thing about this Sunday’s Gospel from Luke is that his version of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem doesn’t even mention palm branches (just cloaks on the ground).  Here in the northeast, without palms to cut, we would be more apt to use our coats (thankful to shed them after the winter) and maybe balloons or streamers to welcome Jesus.
While Luke’s Gospel also doesn’t use the word “hosanna”, its meaning and significance remain.  Hosanna means “save us”, it is a cry for help as much as it is a shout of praise.  It is praising the One who can and does save us.  Oftentimes, we think of salvation only in terms of sin.  In broadening our view, we can also see the brokenness of our lives and the world – sometimes that is a result of sin.  The people cried out for salvation from the brokenness of their own lives, seeking the One who could save them.
We are all in need of salvation.  From what specifically do you need saving?  Stress?  Isolation?  Illness?  Strained relationships?  Bitterness?  Globally, we are in need of salvation from racism, hatred & violence, the pandemic, poverty, and hunger.
Where in your life and in our community, do you need to cry “hosanna”?
When we proclaim these words this Sunday, we lift up the brokenness of our world, seeking the One who offers salvation to all as he endures the events of Holy Week.
Come, join in our shouts of “hosanna”!
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen
Note: We are asking people to make reservations for Easter Sunday services (9:30am & 11am).  See the link provided for more information.  You may also contact the church office to reserve a spot.

Easter Sunday 9:30am Reservations

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/easter-sunday-tickets-148216360123

Easter Sunday 11:00am Reservations

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/easter-sunday-tickets-148222767287

Pastor Jen Boyd

Worship

LtW_At_Home

March 19, 2021

Dearly beloved,I have worn glasses for over 40 years.  Without them, everything is just one big blurry mess.  I can’t see much farther than my hand stretched out from my face.  When I first got them, I remember being astounded that I no longer had to squint in order to see the blackboard.  It was amazing!
Have you ever had the experience of all of a sudden only seeing white (or black, red, etc.) vehicles when you were just thinking about them?  Minutes before, you didn’t notice one, but then you weren’t thinking about them before.  We see that which we pay attention to.  We notice what is on our minds.
Many days are just a blur.  Even remembering what I ate the previous day takes some effort.  One day can roll into the next with little differentiation.  Sometimes it is significant events in our lives that get us to stop and take notice around us.  Or we are caught off guard and notice something that wasn’t there before.
In those times, I wonder – is God trying to get my attention?
As people of faith, we are called into lives of greater attention and focus.  We don’t have to squint to see God, we just have to pay attention.
In the midst of the flurry of activity, we are called upon to stop and pay attention, to look for the ways in which God is working amidst our lives and world.  It may be that you need to set a reminder or alarm so that time does not slip by.  It is an opportunity to stop, take a breath (breathing in the Spirit of God), pausing and focusing our attention on the One who is in our midst always.
I pray that we will each take those moments to stop and really see God’s loving presence in our lives this day and always.
peace in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Worship

LtW_At_Home

March 18, 2021

Dearly beloved,The Service of Remembrance and Celebration for the life of Larry Ruhs is to be held on Saturday, March 20th (10am) at Trinity (bulletin attached).  There are limitations to how many can come in person to the service.
If you do plan to join us in person, please maintain social distancing and wear a mask (even if vaccinated).   You will be asked to sign in as you enter.
We will also be live streaming the service on Trinity’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Trinity-Lutheran-Church-Brewster-NY-160570420670756).  You may join us there.  It will be posted to YouTube later in the day.
Here is the full obituary:  Lawrence Ruhs Obituary – Visitation & Funeral Information
Lawrence Ruhs Obituary – Visitation & Funeral InformationAt Beecher Funeral Home, we strive to make our families and visitors feel comfortable while paying respects to t…

We continue to pray for Kathie and her family!
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

Funeral Service

Bluebird

March 12, 2021

Dear beloved, Marking a year since this pandemic took effect amongst us seems a bit surreal. It’s difficult to believe not only that so much time has passed, but that we have lived with all the necessary restrictions in this time.  I’m beginning to sense some glimmers of hope as more people get vaccinated (my first shot will be in a couple of weeks). While precautions may remain in place for a while longer, it seems as if we may return to some variation of “normal” in the coming months.
Hearing the birds chirping, basking in the warm sunshine, and glimpsing the early blooms of crocus add to this sense of hope.  Spring has become more than a season but hopes for our daily lives as we transition into “normal”.  Lent invites us into this sense of hope and possibility.  While we travel these somber roads of reflection and self-examination, the horizon beckons with new life.
Whether you join online or in-person for worship, this time that is set apart from our daily routines lifts up the hope found in Christ.  We are drawn out of our self-focus to see the One who offers us the abundance of life – to live that life that God has given us in all its fullness.  I look forward, as always, to worshipping with you.  I encourage you to invite others to join us live or to watch as they are able (share, share, share!)
Blessings upon all of you this day and always!
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

Worship

LtW_At_Home

March 5, 2021

Dear beloved,
Lent, as I have mentioned previously, is a time of renewal.  You have been invited into various faith practices.            What, if any, of the suggested resources are you using?                    What have they impacted you faith life? Take the opportunity to share your experience with me and/or others (by email, on our Facebook page, text, etc.).        In this way, our faith moves beyond our interior lives and into the lives of others.  It becomes the means by which we live our faith.

Sharing our faith is important for the church (it is how it began and continues today).  It does not have to be in lofty or churchy words.  It is the pointing to how we have experienced God in our daily lives.  For instance, in talking with some of our Affirmation youth last week, in looking at some of their daily experiences, we found ways to point to God.  One of them talked about a sick pet in which we could point to the gift of God’s creation as well as the ways in which we care for these gifts in providing for their welfare.
How might you point to how God is working in  your midst as well as through you.  This is not about giving ourselves accolades, but rather how the Spirit lives and moves amongst and through us.
Take the opportunity this week to watch for God at work in your midst and then share that experience with a family member or friend.
One of the ways that we are blessed to share our faith is through worship (see attached bulletin).  We are resuming in-person worshipthis Sunday at 9:30am (it will continue to be live streamed as well).  All safety precautions remain in place with masks, social distancing and sanitizer (even if you have received the vaccine)         Other sharing our faith opportunities include: 
Sunday School: is meeting this Sunday at 11am (please note time change).  We will gather on Zoom to catch up with one another as well as for our own time of reflection together.   Join Zoom MeetingJoin our Cloud HD Video Meeting

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40 Days of Words for Lent: You can find reflections from me on each day during Lent on our blog  (https://tlcdevotions.blogspot.com/ ) as well as on our Facebook & YouTube pages.  They are either written or video reflections.  Pleases comment with any thoughts of your own on any of the words.

Easter play: I still need about 7-8 people to participate.  All rehearsals and production will take place on Zoom.  Please let me know as soon as possible if you are interested or if you have any questions
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

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February 28, 2021

Dearly beloved, It’s hard to believe that it is almost a year since the effects of the pandemic hit locally – it actually feels longer (!)  It’s been a long time of uncertainty with more questions than answers.  Even now, hopes about when we might return to some semblance of “normal” are vague.  There are days when it’s even hard to imagine “normal” at all.  And what will the “new normal” even look like?  How long will we need to keep masks, social distancing, and the like?  Many questions with fewer answers at the moment.
However, a different kind of question is not just what we have learned from this experience, but how might we keep focused on what has become priorities in our personal lives as well as in the life of the congregation.  An early focus was on the importance of keeping connected with one another even when we could not meet in person – how might we continue some of these practices in the future?  While in-person for many is what we long for, we can still use some of our other virtual practices to supplement them.
The resumption of “normal” will not be an immediate return to 2019 lifestyles, but a progression and ongoing adjustment as the virus gets contained and controlled.  At the forefront of these changes is to be always mindful of people’s health and safety.  Each of us has a different comfort level for when we are ready to go through this progression and we need to be respectful of that.
All that being said, the Council has decided to resume in-person worship on Sunday, March 7th.  We will continue to send out bulletins and live stream our service.  Our previous practices of masks, social distancing, and checking in will be put back in place.  We will have to discontinue singing for the time being but we will offer communion once again (at the end of worship as well as drive-thru before & after worship).  We will have more information sent out next week in preparation for this.
In the meantime, I invite you to continue with your Lenten practices as we journey through this wilderness, always mindful of Christ’s presence with us to bring us peace, love, and grace.
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

Worship

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February 21, 2021

Dear Beloved, I have heard it said that this past 11-12 months have been like one long Lent.  Changes began mid-Lent last year and while we have moved through all the seasons of the Church year, it certainly does feel like we never left Lent behind – and now, we officially begin this season again.
Yet rather than seeing Lent as only a somber time of repentance, we are invited into this season to be renewed and anticipate with hope.  As I said in my Ash Wednesday email, Lent points us to spring and possibilities.  Our Lenten disciplines are not about “giving up” but about growing closer in our relationship with God.  Lent calls our attention back to the cross – a sign not of death but of life. 
In the midst of all the uncertainty, what are the times when you have experienced the presence of God – in moments of love or of hope or of grace?  What moments have brought you laughter?  When have you found peace? 
Lent invites us into renewal, finding anew the ways in which Christ enters our lives with possibilities.  Rather than focusing on what we lack, see the ways in which Gods presence has impacted our daily lives
Using any part of the resources in this week’s bulletin or any suggested devotionals, open yourself up to the renewing presence of the love of Christ that is with you always 
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Worship

LtW-At-Home

40 Words of Lent

February 17, 2021

Dear beloved, As I sit down to write this, it is a balmy/spring-like 49 degrees (while Texas relatives are dealing with temps in the 20’s).  While I am certainly ready for the warmer temps, I know that is but a brief anomaly that will change by tomorrow.  How often have we found ourselves wanting to rush through different times and seasons in our lives – whether it was as a child waiting for Christmas, a teenager wanting to drive, or an adult who is ready to retire.  We sometimes want time to elapse quicker than the speed of sound – even if it’s just wanting the line in front of us to move.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a season of 40 days (not including Sundays).  In our hemisphere, it parallels springtime as we wait for the earth to re-awaken.  In fact, the word “lent” comes from the Old English word “lencten” which means spring.  While the image of spring that first “springs” to mind is that of flowers blooming and trees budding, I often forget about the messiness of spring.  March is often gray and muted brown before any buds appear.  Things covered up by snow are now revealed by our neglectfulness.  
This is the springtime of Lent – sometimes messy, still waiting for a new life, hoping for change.
Our “messy Lent” begins on Ash Wednesday as foreheads are marked by the dust of the earth, recalling our origins as God created us from the dirt and breathed life into us.  I may not be able to place the ash on your forehead this year, but we can still mark this day.  Some have picked up “ashes to go” to use at home; you can also burn any leftover palms for your own ash or in a pinch, you can use flour (remembering the bread of life).  We trace a cross on our foreheads to remember that at our baptisms we were marked with the cross of Christ forever, recalling our dusty earthliness and the love of Christ that fills us.
Each day, during Lent, I will be using the (attached) 40 Words of Lent to offer reflections – sometimes in a video, others written or expressed in other ways.  You are invited to use them to reflect upon as well – if you would like to share any of your own reflections, please let me know.
No one set of devotions or practices fit all – so I offer a few others that you might find useful (if not, let me know and I have a myriad of others to suggest, including devotional books that you can purchase)    “Where Your Treasure it” weekly devotion (sent out with last Sunday’s bulletin)
 40 days+40 miles+40 dollars to End World Hunger (included in the attached)
Lent Madness(daily emails to vote for your favorite saints; sign up on the website) 

Lent Madness
Our Ash Wednesday Service will be live-streamed on our Facebook page at 12 noon (https://www.facebook.com/Trinity-Lutheran-Church-Brewster-NY-160570420670756.  It will be available to watch there as well as our YouTube channel ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEBfzqqPTuf8fe3PjPr21gA) when you are able to do so (bulletin is attached) 
 May this Lenten season brings renewal and hope as we walk with Jesus
Peace & blessings in Christ, Pastor Jen

Worship

40 Words of Lent

February, 14, 2021

Dear beloved, This weekend marks the transition from one church season to another.  Transfiguration is the last Sunday in Epiphany – a time that focused on the ways in which Christ was revealed amidst the earth (beginning with the visit of the Magi).  At the end of this Sunday’s service, we “bury” the alleluia in preparation for Lent.  Lent invites us to a time of introspection and reflection.  We are called back from our wandering ways and back onto the path that Christ has marked for us.
You will find in this week’s bulletin a number of different opportunities to observe this Lenten Season – from Lent Madness to Lenten words of the Day to the 40 days + 40 miles + 40 dollars for World Hunger.  Each of these opportunities afford us the chance to re-focus our faith back to the One who has created us and called us to be in loving relationships with God, each other, ourselves, and the world.
Lent begins with Ash Wednesday.  We will have one virtual service at noon that will stream on Facebook Live.  You may pick up a packet of ashes before that date (see bulletin for times).  You will find attached a Lenten devotional booklet called “Where your Heart Is” as well as information about the Lenten words and 40+ challenge
As we enter into this time, may we grow in faith and understanding; may we come to see the ways in which we are loved by Christ, and may we seek to live in love daily
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

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February 6, 2021

Greetings,

This Sunday’s reading is from Luke 7: 1 – 17. It’s about the healing of a centurion’s servant and the raising of a widow’s son from the dead. The centurion is, of course, an officer in the Roman army, part of the occupying force in Israel. You would not have expected him to have faith in Jesus, yet Jesus says “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” A centurion would have 100 soldiers under his command. He probably rose through the ranks and was recognized for his courage and leadership ability. People might think of him as someone who had power.  Yet in this set of circumstances, he was powerless and so went to seek out Jesus, who could grant life. I would argue that when we follow Jesus’ call, we have the power to grant life. The crass becomes wonderful; the ordinary becomes extraordinary; the mundane becomes miraculous.

Looking forward to seeing you all this Sunday, albeit online. Deacon Charlie Germain

Worship

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January 30, 2021

Dear beloved, It’s that time of year again when we “gather” to reflect on this past year (phew!!!) and look down the road into this New year.  While much is still very uncertain, we believe and trust that God continues to guide us to be the Body of Christ in this world.   On the one hand, we can think that “not much has happened” since we were not able to meet in person and yet while it was not “business as usual”, God has been in our midst in new ways.

Annual meetings are not always very exciting and I suspect that if we didn’t have to have them, we might have even decided to not have one this year because of this year.  Yet, despite their routine nature, it offers us the opportunity to come together (even if it is Zoom) and affirm that we are God’s church gathered in new ways.  Think of it as our way of marking this moment in history together for future generations to explore our faith-filled witness amidst this unprecedented time.
During our gathering, we will be going into breakout rooms to reflect together on this year and how we have shared and/or experienced the peace of Christ even amidst its challenges.  It invites us to re-connect and support one another as we move ahead in our journey together.
Earlier this week, you should have received an email outlining the use of Zoom.  If you have any additional questions before Sunday, please feel free to let myself, the Church council, or Caitlyn in the office know.  In an email last week, we included the Annual report (which you can also find here:https://trinitybrewsterny.org/covid-19-update)   Attached you will find a couple of additional reports that hadn’t been included.
Please note that the Council nominees are: 3-year terms: Brent Hnatow, Sue Stringer (2nd term), Ken Von Bargen; and fulfilling an unexpired 2-year term: Pattie Kapp.
Additionally, we are looking for folks willing to do our publicity as well as someone to be the Financial secretary.  Please lift up prayers for guidance for those who are gifted in these areas.
You are invited to join the meeting at 10:30am and we will begin at 10:45am
We look forward to seeing you all at our Annual meeting in just a couple or days
peace and blessings in Christ, Pastor Jen
Zoom link: Topic: Trinity’s Annual MeetingTime: Jan 31, 2021 10:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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Annual Report

Annual Meeting Report Insert

January 28, 2021

Subject: Annual Report 1/31
Dear beloved,On Sunday, January 31st, we will be gathering virtually for our Annual Congregational meeting.  It will be an opportunity to reflect together on this past year as well as look at 2021.  We know that there was nothing “normal” about 2020 and there is still much that is uncertain in these early months of 2021 but we are always assured that God is present with us wherever we are and that we are called share the love and peace of Christ as we live into this time.
We will most likely only be gathering on Zoom for the meeting.  Voting will be set up as polls on the Zoom meeting and for those who call in, we will take  your verbal vote
If you are unable to do so or need help in getting connected, please let me know that and we will see what we can do to help.  Even if you are unable to join via computer, you can call in for the meeting.  We can help with instructions with that as well.
Also, if there are those that are able to help others with the tech, let me know and we can see about connecting you.
We want to try to make this as user friendly as we can.

Attached is the bulletin of reports from 2020.  If you would like to have a paper copy, please contact the church office.
If you have any other questions, please let me know
peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

Annual Report

January 22, 2021

Dearly beloved, Often when there is a major change – like an inauguration – there is a feeling that everything is going to now be better or worse (depending on your perspective)  While a change in leadership will often bring its own changes, there is much that doesn’t change.  It’s like the dawning of the New Year with all its hopes for a return to “normal”, the past is not erased; it offers new possibilities that may or may not be realized.
In that last Sunday’s reading, Jesus talked about how the scripture of Isaiah 61 was fulfilled in him.  It wasn’t brought to completion or an end but found its fullness in the person of Jesus.  The revealing of this fullness would slowly be unwound through Christ’s teaching, healings, miracles and reach its apex in his death and resurrection.  Yet, even that was not the end of the fullness promised.
Leaders have risen and fallen through the ages – some good, some bad, others mediocre; some memorable and others forgotten over time.  Our faith does not rest in any one of them – for we are human as are they, prone to good and to bad (results may vary according to our own perspectives).
What Jesus calls us to is to not only place our trust and hope in God but in the values of faith that are at the core of our identity.  Jesus lifted up the lowly – not to be higher than others, but to show that are among God’s beloved.  Jesus preached release to the captive – proclaiming that grace and mercy is a gift offered to all.   Jesus loved the world – not just those who believed in him, who earned that love or were considered worthy by us.  Jesus is that Prince of  Peace that offers the fullness of the life that God created us to be – not what the world claims are important.
The values of our common belovedness as people created in the image of God and our need for forgiveness and grace frame the ways in which we seek to live in this time and place.  They are what motivate and inspire our actions, our interactions with others, and how we seek to bring those same values to bear upon the world around us.
There is a group that gathered for a People’s Inauguration began by people of faith.  It is a call to commit to values that would uplift others.  They invite people to sign and live into the following oath: “I, (insert name), do solemnly vow that I will faithfully execute my role in healing,  reimagining, and rebuilding our country, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend dignity, justice, and joy for myself and for all around me and that I will do so with love.”
How do our values at Christians invite us into this kind of oath?  How do we take our faith values and live them out in the midst of our community – locally, nationally, and globally?
May these reflections help as we approach the coming days as people of faith
peace in Christ, Pastor Jen
SCS: We will be meeting bi-weekly with Sunday school kids following worship on Sunday.  We will gather this Sunday at 10:30am via Zoom for about a half-hour.  All children are invited to join us.  Join Zoom Meeting

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January 15, 2021

Dearly beloved, I will admit to still being a bit numb after last week’s events at the Capitol.  Beyond politics, my heart is breaking for the level of hate that instigates such violence.  It is difficult for my head -and heart – to even comprehend the evil of white supremacy, for people to despise another race to the extent that they would want to kill them. (As evidenced by shirts such as “camp auschwitz”, confederate and neo-nazi flags and the like) 
In this Sunday’s Gospel, a mob also erupts when Jesus challenges those in his hometown about who is among God’s beloved.  They even seek to throw him off a cliff!
  This divisive perspective on the world is certainly not new and unfortunately, it will still persist. However, as God’s people, we are called not only to not act divisively but to be God’s voice, proclaiming the belovedness of all people.
This is Martin Luther King weekend when we remember a man who sought to lift up the broken-hearted and free those who are captive to oppression (Isaiah 61 & Luke 4).  In his words, “In the final analysis, love is not this sentimental something that we talk about. It’s not merely an emotional something. Love is creative, understanding goodwill for all men. It is the refusal to defeat any individual. When you rise to the level of love, of its great beauty and power, you seek only to defeat evil systems. Individuals who happen to be caught up in that system, you love, but you seek to defeat the system.” We are called to love all people and to defeat the ideology of white supremacy and all other systems that treat another person as less than others. We seek to claim the belovedness for all people in the ways that we live daily.  We remember that Christ died for ALL people out of God’s love for the whole world!   We live faithfully in Christ as we honor the legacy of King that is still needed in our world today.
There will be an event on Monday on the steps of the Old Putnam courthouse at noon to honor King and his legacy.  People are invited to come (will also be streamed on Facebook live).
Peace and blessings in Christ, Pastor Jen Pastor Jen Boyd

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January 14, 2021

Dear beloved, The countdown to the New Year is even more anticipated than in previous years with strong hope that 2021 would bring better things.  Unlike other years, it has not taken me long to switch from writing “2020” to “2021” with a sigh of relief each time I do it.
As a part of this transition to the new year, we put up new calendars and prepare for what lays ahead.  One of the ways that we also mark this transition is moving from one box of offering envelopes to another.
As such, we have your offering envelopes here at the church office for you.  Since we are not meeting in person yet, we want to make sure that you receive them.  Please contact the church office to make those arrangements to either pick them up, have someone deliver them to you, or to have them mailed if those other choices don’t work for you.
If you no longer wish to receive envelopes, please let us know that as well so that we can make adjustments to our records.
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

January 10, 2020

Dearly beloved,
This Sunday is when we celebrate Jesus’ baptism and when we are afforded the opportunity to remember our own.

Like many, I don’t actually remember the occasion of my baptism which happened on July 11, 1965.  There are a couple of pictures and I have my certificate from the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Lancaster, CA, but that’s about it.  My baptism was an event in my life that happened long ago.

However, to live as a baptized child of God is about more than a date.  It is about a relationship.  It is God’s relationship with me, with each of us, created in the divine image.  It is about seeing our belovedness as well as the belovedness of others.  It is claiming that relationship as central to our existence and as a call to let the grace-filled waters of baptism cleanse, restore and sustain us each day

This Sunday, I am inviting you to have a bowl of water ready for worship as we do remember that we are baptized and to recommit ourselves to live out the promises of our baptism daily

May we walk wet daily in the cleansing grace and love of Christ

Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

Worship

L_t_W At Home

December 31, 2020

Dearly beloved,
I write this with less than 36 hours until 2020 ends!  (yeah!)  While it may not quite be the full res-et that we would long for, the New Year affords us the opportunity to re-view our  lives and make plans for the coming months.  This ticking of the clock – while not different than the previous seconds and minutes – gives a sense of hope for the future.
Do you make any resolutions for the New Year?
    Are they different this year from other years?   If so, how?
As a pastor, I “dream” of people making a renewed commitment to their faith – attending Bible study, a regular devotion time, participating in worship, and the like.  I’m not sure how many have included one or more of these as a part of their resolutions in the past – but a pastor can dream, can’t she?!
Resolutions often mean changing certain behaviors or  habits – the most common being related to exercise and food.  We make these promises by trying to add them to our regular routines.  More often than not, studies show, that most resolutions don’t even make it as far as the end of January.  Maybe it’s because we are adding something without taking something else away to make room for it.
What if I were to say that we could fulfill my pastoral dream without adding something to your regular routines?  
I was given a book by Bishop Egensteiner by one of his fellow bishops, Jim Hazelwood called “Everyday Spirituality: discover a life of hope, peace and meaning”.  The basic premise of this book is that everything that we already do is spiritual.  From breathing to sleeping, from walking to cooking, from disagreeing to wondering, Bishop Hazelwood shares 27 different aspects of our lives where we are met by God.  It is less about doing something more and more about paying attention to your life.
I contend that what is most missing from the fulfillment of any resolutions that I might set is seeking the strength and guidance of God.  When I try to rely upon my own willpower, I so often fail or flounder.
In one of the daily devotions I received this from The Upper Room: 

We often fall short because our new year intentions depend so much on our willpower and our efforts without being grounded on, rooted in, or supported by the pull and push of the Spirit. A friend of mine says willpower is an exhaustible resource; it just takes too much effort to keep going. The intention of getting more exercise is good, yet how does it fit into a holistic plan for caring for God’s temple, the body? Our willpower can only get us so far. God’s care and nudges can sustain us over the long haul.    —Larry J. Peacock, The Living Nativity: Preparing for Christmas with Saint Francis (Upper Room Books, 2018)
I pray that whatever resolutions that you make as we begin this New Year that Christ’s Spirit will accompany you daily!
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen
P.S. We will be reflecting together on the book by Bishop Hazelwood as part of our Wednesday evening Bible study series.

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December 24, 2020

GLORY  TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST!!Dearly beloved,
Today we celebrate the birth of Christ into the midst of our world – not just all those years ago, but today!  Christmas is more than a day; it is the revelation and proclamation of God’s love that continues to be born in our midst.  We celebrate Christmas to bear witness to this love that continues to surround and uplift us in all of our days.
The season of Christmas does not end tomorrow but continues until Epiphany (Jan. 6th).  These twelve days of Christmas may have partridges in pear trees and maids a’ milkin’ (though I do require proof that you have recently encountered them).   We are called to mark them as part of the ongoing celebration of Christ’s birth.
To help you do so, I have put together The 12 Days of Christmas Scavenger Hunt.  There are different activities for each day.  I invite you to share what you have found in these days (and those who send me photo proof of each day, will win a prize).  Share it with family and friends; we will include each day’s activity on our Facebook page (where you can also share your own results) 
May the love and peace of the Christ-child be born in your midst today!
Peace & blessings, Pastor Jen
P.S. Reminder that this Sunday’s (Dec. 27th) worship is being offered by the Metro NY Synod office and Bishop Paul Egensteiner.  Here is the link again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFjKBk6-XtI
Virtual Christmas pageant: Watch the telling of the Christmas story as performed by members of the congregation.  It will be released on Christmas eve on our YouTube channel (subscribe now).  a link will also be shared to our Facebook page.
https://youtu.be/ZpLMGUaNm6w

12 Days of Christmas Scavenger Hunt

December 23, 2020

Immanuel: God with us!

Dearly beloved, One of the things that I have often felt about many biblical stories is that wish that I could’ve been there.  While I was blessed to visit Israel 20 years ago, even that didn’t quite satisfy me.  We rely upon the hearing and telling of God’s stories with us.  We use the gift of our imagination to place ourselves in the garden of Eden, Mount Sinai as well as beside Christ’s manger in Bethlehem.
Faith, as it says in Hebrews, is the conviction of all that is unseen.  It is in the telling, hearing, imagining, and sharing.
Much could also be said for this year as I imagine each of you gathered in the pews for Christmas eve and day.  I recall the beauty of my favorite scene looking out upon all of you with the flicker of candlelight on your faces as we sing “Silent Night”.
The opportunities that we have to worship the Christ-child over the next few days invite our memories and imaginations.  We are called upon to hear and tell the story of Jesus’ birth in new ways.  Though it may be not what we are used to, it does not diminish the power of this wonderful story – that truth that God still loves us each so much that he would send his Son to be with us, both in that time long ago and today!
Come and join us as we worship Christ our Lord!  While we may be virtual, there is nothing virtual about the love of Christ that transcends heaven and earth and that meets us where we are!
See below for links, information, and bulletins for each of these opportunities
May the birth of the Christ child fill you with peace, hope, joy, and love!
Peace and blessings in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Christmas Carols & Special Music:  are now available on our YouTube channel in a Christmas Playlist.  Play at home; sing along with others.  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxNXl5lqiH-RaNO4HoiqmN6sKE_61rKTE
Virtual Christmas pageant: Watch the telling of the Christmas story as performed by members of the congregation.  It will be released on Christmas eve on our YouTube channel (subscribe now).  a link will also be shared to our Facebook page. (link:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEBfzqqPTuf8fe3PjPr21gAChristmas Eve Candlelight Service (7pm) will be on our Facebook page (and later posted to our YouTube channel) link: https://www.facebook.com/Trinity-Lutheran-Church-Brewster-NY-160570420670756
Christmas day Service of Blessing (10am) will be via Zoom (and live streamed to Facebook).  See the bulletin for the Zoom link.

Virtual Service of Lessons & Carols: Join Bishop Paul Egensteiner and the staff of the Office of the Bishop, as they lead us in worship on Sunday, Dec. 27th (10am).  You can watch it by going to: MNYS Facebook Page & YouTube Channel.  Click HERE for a copy of the worship bulletin.There will be no separate service offered at Trinity.

Christmas Eve Worship

Christmas Day Worship

December 19, 2020

Dearly beloved,  Much is happening in the next week!  Numerous opportunities to celebrate the birth of the Christ-child.  While we are not able to fully participate in our regular Christmas traditions, we have wonderful new ways to experience the birth of Jesus in our midst!Please plan to participate as we bear witness to the never-ending love of Christ that is with us always!
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen
Sunday, Dec. 20th 9:30am Fourth Sunday in Advent worship (Facebook live & YouTube)

Sunday, Dec. 20th 4:00pm Outdoor social distanced Christmas caroling worship with Holy Communion (back parking lot)

Monday, Dec. 21st 7:00pm Longest night service (Zoom)

Thursday, Dec. 24th Virtual Christmas pageant (YouTube)7:00pm Virtual Christmas Eve service (Facebook live & YouTube)

Friday, Dec. 25th 10:00am  Christmas Day Blessing service (Zoom)

Sunday, Dec. 27th Service of Lessons & carols (YouTube)Links and additional information are in the announcements in the bulk 

Worship

L-t-W-at-Home

December 19, 2020

Dearly beloved, The days continue to shorten as night settles upon us earlier and earlier.  The quickening of nighttime causes me to lose track of the time.  I think “it must be bedtime” when it is barely seven.  This past year has had the same kind of effect as we have to stop and remind ourselves of the date.  The regularity of our previous routines helped us to mark time and days.
This Monday (Dec. 21st) is the winter solstice where the days are at their shortest and the nights at their longest.  As in the past, we will be having a Longest Night service (7pm via Zoom), sometimes called a Blue Christmas.  It has been a way to acknowledge that sometimes it is hard to conjure the prerequisite happiness that marks this time of year.  As people face the loss of loved ones, jobs, health, and this year, many of our family traditions and gatherings, we are afforded the opportunity to name them and lay them before Christ.
This service highlights the kind of world that Jesus was (and is) born into – not one of perfection, but one in which we are faced with the limitations of ourselves and the world around us.  It is through Christ that we come to experience the fullness of joy and peace that was birthed in Bethlehem.  It is for the sake of this fragile world that Jesus was born.
We will be going to Facebook live via Zoom on Monday, Dec. 21st (7pm).  Zoom link is included in the bulletin that is attached.
Also attached is a caroling booklet for this Sunday’s Outdoor Christmas Caroling (4pm).  We will gather in the lower parking lot to sing (socially distant) as well as have a short Communion service.
Pastor Jen Boyd

Longest Night

Christmas Carols

December 11, 2020

Dearly beloved, First the good news, the person that I and others were exposed to ending up being a false positive!  It was quite a relief!
However, with that in mind, the increasing number of cases and recommendations from the Bishop and Synod office, we have decided to stay virtual until at least the beginning of the new year.  This was a heart-wrenching decision to make and one that wasn’t done lightly.  Yet, for the sake of the health and safety of our faith community and the communities in which we live, we are pausing in-person gatherings.  Our tenants (along with the shelter) will be notified, but we will leave it to their own discretion of whether or not they will still meet.
With that, we mourn the departure from our traditional Christmas celebrations.  It will be difficult and we wish that it could be different.  Yet, the heart of our worship is not the place or even the ways that we worship – at the center of our faith is the birth of God incarnate, Jesus the Christ.  This vulnerable baby was born into the chaos of our world and continues to be birthed into our midst today.  
We are given different opportunities to celebrate the birth of the Christ-child.  Check out the variety of services that will be offered over the next couple of weeks –  you can find them in the announcements in this week’s bulletin.  It is into the midst of a world as it is that Christ was born and that is what we celebrate in our  lives of faith together.
Continuing peace, blessings and hope to enfold you all!
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Don’t forget: Pledge form: Don’t forget to send in your 2021pledge (see attached).  This is both help to our Finance committee and Church council, but it’s also a commitment to hope for the coming year.
2021 Offering Envelopes are now available.  Please make arrangements with the church office to pick them up.

Worship

L-t-W at Home

Pledge Form

December 6, 2020

Worship

December 5, 2020

Please note:
We have someone who tested positive for a COVID that was in contact with Pastor Jen as well as a few members (none of which have any symptoms as of yet)  We are moving to virtual-only for at least two weeks.

Worship will continue online with virtual worship only (and no music)

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me

Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

December 4, 2020

Dearly beloved, For many years, the term “holidays” has been used as a generic name for all of the religious and secular events.  Over the past few years, there have been some who have seen its use as an affront to Christmas.  Its generic nature is seen as watering down the fullness of what Christmas is about for some Christians.
Yet, we forget that we are not the only faith communities that celebrate particular holy days during the year and especially during these waning days of this year – in addition to Christmas, there is Hanukkah (12/10-17), Kwanza (12/26-1/1), Winter solstice/longest night (12/21), and Bodhi (12/8),    Even within the Christian tradition there are additional holy days that are celebrated such as St. Nicholas day (12/6), St. Lucia (12/13), and Los Posadas (12/16-24).
These holidays lift up a sense of the sacred and of the mystery of the divine, that which is beyond our own comprehension.  While we center our own beliefs around the unique nature of a God who is birthed into the midst of our world and who gives his own life for us – we are called to refrain from diminishing the faith understandings and experiences of others.
To name something a “holiday” is to claim it as a holy-day and important to each person’s faith life.  While their experiences may be different from our own Christian’s understanding, we respect and honor their wish to claim the holy in their lives as well.
In these holy days of Advent, we look for signs of that Divine child being born in our midst.  We long for the peace and hope of Christ that marks a birth not just a long time ago but in our midst today.  Celebrate these holidays as a holy and sacred reflection of God’s presence in our midst.
Peace & blessings in Christ,  Pastor Jen


NOTE: You may now make reservations for our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services (see links below).  We are limited to a total of 50 people at each service (while in the yellow zone).  We are requiring that all make reservations in advance of the service as we may not be able to accommodate people in the sanctuary that have not done so. If you have any questions or need help in making/changing your reservations, please contact Caitlyn in the church office. 
Christmas Day Worship Service

Christmas Day Worship ServiceGet your tickets now! Only 50 reservations available for the Christmas Day service starting at 7pm-8pm.Los Posadas.

Christmas Eve Worship Service
Christmas Eve Worship ServiceGet your tickets now! Only 50 reservations available for the Christmas Eve service starting at 7pm-8pm.

December 3, 2020

Dearly beloved, For many years, the term “holidays” has been used as a generic name for all of the religious and secular events. Over the past few years, there have been some who have seen its use as an affront to Christmas. Its generic nature is seen as watering down the fullness of what Christmas is about for some Christians. Yet, we forget that we are not the only faith communities that celebrate particular holy days during the year and especially during these waning days of this year – in addition to Christmas, there is Hanukkah (12/10-17), Kwanza (12/26-1/1), Winter solstice/longest night (12/21), and Bodhi (12/8), Even within the Christian tradition there are additional holy days that are celebrated such as St. Nicholas day (12/6), St. Lucia (12/13), and Los Posadas (12/16-24). These holidays lift up a sense of the sacred and of the mystery of the divine, that which is beyond our own comprehension. While we center our own beliefs around the unique nature of a God who is birthed into the midst of our world and who gives his own life for us – we are called to refrain from diminishing the faith understandings and experiences of others. To name something a “holiday” is to claim it as a holy-day and important to each person’s faith life. While their experiences may be different from our own Christian’s understanding, we respect and honor their wish to claim the holy in their lives as well. In these holy days of Advent, we look for signs of that Divine child being born in our midst. We long for the peace and hope of Christ that marks a birth not just a long time ago but in our midst today. Celebrate these holidays as a holy and sacred reflection of God’s presence in our midst. Peace & blessings in Christ, Pastor Jen

November 28, 2020

Dearly beloved,
As our thoughts shift from Thanksgiving to Christmas, we enter into the church’s season of Advent.  This is a time of watching and waiting, preparing, and anticipating.  It’s a season of hope.  It is the hope fulfilled in the past with the birth of Christ and the hope of the future is awaiting Christ’s return.  The hope for today is the watching and waiting for the in-breaking of Christ amidst us.

As we look to the heavens for changing weather patterns, we also open our eyes to find the changing patterns in our world for signs of hope, peace, joy, and love.  We are watchful for the presence of Christ revealed today.

You will find in this week’s bulletin a number of opportunities to enter into this season of Advent, to be watchful, to live into the hope of Christ.  Use these opportunities as we mark our days, as we live in anticipation – not just for Christmas, but for the birth of Christ today

Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

Worship

LtW-At-Home

DoNotBeAfraid Devotional

Pledge Letter

November 21, 2020

Dearly beloved, We are about a week away from Thanksgiving and there are so many different questions and scenarios whirling around my head.  Images from past years, concerns about this year, and questions about what decision to make in terms of gathering with others.  It’s enough to make my head spin and make my headache.  It will be different – there are no two ways about it.  It’s about much more than just deciding how much turkey to cook and more about the importance of our relationships with those that we love.
On Sunday evening, we will be gathering with other faith communities for our annual Interfaith Thanksgiving service – needless to say, that it will be very different.  I look forward to this gathering every year.  Being together in worship with one another highlights our connections.   The core of our gathering remains the same – giving thanks to the Lord our God!  Our theme is “Gratitude in difficult times”.  There are days when we can be so overwhelmed by the difficulties that we forget to give thanks, to look for those moments of blessing.  We will spend time together in this time of worship to do just that (see links below)
As a part of our time, we will go into breakout rooms to get to know one another and to share our blessings, using the following questions:       * Favorite Thanksgiving food?        * What has been a silver lining in the past 6 months?        * What are you grateful about in regards to your faith community?
I invite you to use these questions in your own gatherings – whether it be in person, on the phone, or online.  Please plan to join us in this special service to offer up our gratitude together!
In the midst of all of the questions, we know one thing for certain – Christ is with us and is leading us through this time.  We hold onto this certainty with thanksgiving!
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen 

You may join us via Zoom (see link below) or watch the livestream on First Presbyterian Church’s Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/FirstPresbyterianChurchMahopac ).  This link can also be found on the Events page on our own church’s page.  Join Zoom Meeting: Interfaith Thanksgiving service 

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85883050197?pwd=dW1UOUxTUFpiUlFaajhpcHV0dDVPdz09 

Meeting ID: 858 8305 0197
Passcode: 790177One tap mobile         +19292056099,,85883050197#,,,,,,0#,,790177# US (New York) 

Worship

LtW-At-Home

November 15, 2020

Worship

LtW-At-home

November 10, 2020

Dearly beloved, We already know that the holidays are going to be much different this year.  There is still the uncertainty about how long we may be able to even meet in-person in the limited way that we are already doing so – though we do remain hopeful.
One of the services that we will be doing is a Virtual Christmas Pageant pre-recorded via Zoom (I’ve attached the script).  We have not had a Christmas pageant in years though we have been blessed often by special music on Christmas eve.  While previous pageants have usually been done by children, we want to have this year – particularly since it is virtual – be intergenerational, all ages!.
I need about 20 people – kids, youth, parents, adults of all ages – to get in touch with me to participate in this (if I get more than that, there are parts that can be shared).  If you do not have a computer or another device that allows for Zoom, but would like to participate, I can help set folks up around the church building for both rehearsals and the production.
I am also looking for someone who would be able to run the tech side of things during the production and even possibly do some editing when its done.  My capabilities in this area are very limited and I know there are many of you who are very gifted in this!
There is additional information provided at the beginning of the script as well as the listing of the parts to be filled.  If you have a particular part that you’d like, please let me know.  If more than one person in your household wants to participate, it would be helpful if you had parts that share in the same scenes.
We will be having a read through rehearsal – via Zoom – on Sunday, Nov. 22nd (11am), so I need to get these parts cast as soon as possible. 
Lastly, if anyone wants to provide any special music for this service and/or any of the others, please contact Franklyn or me.
Peace in Christ,  Pastor Jen 

November 9, 2020

Dearly beloved, Yesterday I met with our current 3rd year Affirmation class for the first time (via Zoom, of course).  One of the aspects of the third year that we spend time on is participating in a variety of service projects along with others.  Needless to say, much of that hands-on work is mostly at a standstill.  Instead, I have asked them to investigate a local, global, and/or Lutheran ministry to learn more about it.  I shared a few links with them as well.
These ministries are an important part of how we share the peace of Christ, particularly in these times.
While I could name some of them for you –  I would rather hear from you.  What are ministries/outreach/charity programs that you are already involved with?  How is Christ’s peace being share through them – directly or indirectly?
If there isn’t one specific group that comes to mind, why don’t you learn more about one or more that you have heard about – maybe the Shelter program, Putnam CAP, the Midnight run, San Lucas Mission, one of the ELCA ministries (World Hunger, Disaster response, YAGM, etc.).  I gave the following questions to our young people to help them: 
1) Who and where does this ministry help?2) What is their primary way of helping others?3) Do they talk about God and how God influences their work?4) How does it share the peace of Christ?
You could also look if there are any specific stories of particular people or situations.  This often helps to move it beyond just the realm of knowledge to the face of people – and that is where we find Jesus!
Rather than keeping that knowledge to yourself – who and how might you share it?      One way would be to send it to me and/or share on social media.  Use the title “Sharing the peace of Christ” or #ShareChristspeaceWrite a summary, share a video or picture, tell a friend and/or support their ministry in some way (prayer, volunteering, donations, etc.)
Consider this “homework” – I’m excited to hear what you found out and how Christ’s peace is being shared!
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

November 8, 2020

Dearly beloved,
It’s been a distracting week that has found me following the news more than normal.  The results of the election have since been released (though still more votes need to be counted).  There is a wide range of emotions that people are feeling and while I do personally have my own response, pastorally, my greatest concern is the divide among so many

There will not be a time when we ever all agree – which I believe is part of the uniqueness of our country.  Yet, when the division finds its expression in ridicule, violence, disrespect, etc., we are not living fully into the beautiful diverse humanity that God has created us to be

We rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.  We respect and acknowledge the feelings that many are experiencing.  And then we work towards unity amidst our diversity.  We proclaim that the love and grace of Christ are for all people and we share what we have received accordingly.

Tomorrow’s scripture reading is from Jonah – which is about much more than a whale.  It’s a short book and I would encourage you to read it all in preparation.  Nineveh is Jonah’s extreme enemy with whom he does not want to share God’s mercy.  Who are the Ninevites in our midst today?  Who do you consider your enemy?

Remember Gods mercy is for them as well

May Christ’s peace and mercy wash over you this day and always!

Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

Worship

LtW-At-Home

October 30. 2020

Dearly Beloved, In recent days, much of our cultural attention has been on Halloween (and why not – there is candy involved!)  Yet this spooky holiday has its roots in the liturgical tradition of All Saints & All Souls’ days (All Hallow’s Eve = Halloween).
There is no longer a religious connection to this holiday, but as the next day dawns, we are called to remember all the saints who have gone before us.  In worship, we will light candles to remind us how God’s love was revealed in and through those saints who have touched our own lives.  The flickering light reminds us that God’s love cannot be extinguished even in the midst of chaos and despair.
This All Saints day also finds us meeting as a community of faith to talk about the possibility of being a sleeping site for the winter shelter.  Though our saintly focus is often limited to those who have died, we recall that Martin Luther said that we are all saint & sinner alike.   Being a saint is not about what we have done, but rather what Christ has done through all of us.  We are saints because of Christ’s everlasting love and grace.
As we contemplate this decision, How do we reflect the love that God has revealed to and through us?   How we live as saints called to serve others who God has already claimed as his own?
We have fear and uncertainty, but we are called to live in trust and hope; we are called to share the peace of Christ, called to live as saints in the midst of this world.
May these reflections guide you in your own prayerful contemplation as we gather first in worship and then in our meeting.
Peace & blessings in Christ, Pastor Jen

Topic: Congregational  meetingTime: Nov 1, 2020 10:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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Worship

LtW-At-Home

October 27, 2020

Dearly Beloved,

As a reminder, we will be meeting this coming Sunday, Nov. 1st (10:30am) following worship to make a decision regarding being a sleeping site for the re-formed Shelter program.  You should have received a letter/email a week or so ago regarding this meeting (if not, please let us know).  We will have the Executive Director of Brewster Cares with us to address any additional questions.
We will meet both in-person & via Zoom (see link below). For those who are online, you may use the Chat feature to send your vote privately to the host.  We cannot – constitutionally – take absentee votes, so I would encourage you to attend.
I’ve also included below a statement of support from one of our Council members, Phil DeRoberts that he asked me to share with you all.
If you have any questions before Sunday, please feel free to contact me.
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen
Pastor Jen BoydTrinity Lutheran Church2103 Route 6Brewster, New York  https://trinitybrewsterny.org

Trinity Friends, I urge you to approve the use of our facility as a sleep site for the homeless shelter. Homelessness in our communities is a crisis that even some of our elected officials choose to ignore. All protocols to minimize risk to the congregation and other users of the building will be in place. More than ever now volunteers are needed. Today it is risky even go to the grocery store but this is work that needs to be done. If you can help in any way contact Pastor, Charlie or Irene Germain or myself.
Thank you, Phil DeRobertsCouncil member.

Topic: Congregational  meetingTime: Nov 1, 2020 10:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 844 5848 7757
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October 23, 2020

Dearly beloved, Technically Oct. 31st (All Hallows Eve) is Reformation day, though we mark it on the last Sunday of the month.  This is the date that Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses/statements to the door in Wittenberg.  We change our parament colors to red, both because the color evokes Pentecost and the Holy Spirit as well as the witness of the saints.  This too is why many a church door is painted red and why we ask people to WEAR RED for worship.
Reformation Sunday is about much more than a Lutheran history lesson.  It is more than a heritage celebration.  It is both a reminder of our past and a call into our present and future.
Luther was not looking to start a new church – much less one named after him.  He was asking for the Church of his day to remember what it meant to be a follower of Christ.  He lifted up the grace of God revealed in Jesus Christ as the core of who we are as a people of God.  He pointed to Christ as our life and not the church in and of itself. 
As the Church today, we are called to be always “re-forming”, re-centering our mission and our lives around the love and grace of Christ.  We remember not only who we are in God’s eyes, but how we are to see the world around us.  We are living into the reality that the Church is so much more than a building, but it is us, as God’s people, living in the midst of the world today.
Our vision at Trinity is to “Share the Peace of Christ”.         

How have you received the peace of Christ today?             

How have you shared it with others?


Join us for worship this Sunday as we come together – virtually and in-person – to experience the loving presence of Christ so that we may go forth, reformed and renewed, to share that love with others
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

Worship

LtW-At-Home

October 20, 2020

Dearly beloved, Just a quick reminder that we need your input in our survey regarding in-person Christmas services.  We are looking at a variety of options for both in-person and virtual, but we need your help.  Go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RQBC2B2  to fill out a very quick survey.

Reformation Sunday: Don’t forget that this coming Sunday is Reformation and we invite all to wear red for worship, even if you are joining us from home (take a pix and share on social media).  Three of our young people will also be affirming their baptisms that day;  please keep Kyle Klammer, Lucas Bertone and Daniel Baggetta in your prayers as they prepare to do so.

All Saints Sunday: is Sunday, Nov. 1st when we remember and commemorate the saints who have entered the Church Triumphant.  We will once again be naming those who have died in the last year as well as any others that you would like  to add to the list.  Please submit any names for the bulletin by Wednesday, Oct. 28th to the Church office.  We will be lighting the candles and are working on adjusting the logistics for our present circumstances.   Time change:  Reminder that next week, Nov. 1st is Daylight Savings time when we “fall back” one hour.

Congregational meeting, Nov. 1st following worship to make a decision related to being a sleeping site for the shelter.  Details were sent in a previous email and can be found here: https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.233.86/fgk.17f.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/cong-mtg.11.2020.pdf

Putnam CAP: will only be receiving donations of turkeys for this year’s Thanksgiving baskets as well as gift cards and/or monetary donations for both the baskets as well as Christmas gifts for the children.  You may either give them directly to Putnam CAP (121 Main Street, Brewster;  http://putnamcap.org/index.html) or through Trinity.  They are asking that all donations be made by Nov. 13th. 

Lots of things going on in the next couple of weeks – don’t miss out, join us as you are able, either in person or online 
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

October 16, 2020

Dearly beloved, I pray that your week is going well and that you have been able to experience moments of peace amidst the chaos.  What did this peace look like for you?  Or what images come to mind when you imagine peace?
There is a story told about a rich man who asked an artist to paint a scene of peace.  The first painting was of a field of flowers lit by the rising sun.  “No, the man said, “while it is beautiful, it does not evoke peace”.  The artist tried again, painting a portrait of a mother with her newborn baby.  Again, the main rejected it, saying that while it revealed a great love, still he not sense peace in it.  Finally, the artist painted a scene filled with huge waves as they crashed upon the cliffs surrounded by dark and menacing skies.  As the man looked closely at this chaotic scene, he found a bird perched on its nest on the cliff face.  “This, this is peace!”
What does peace look like for you at this time?
I am inviting you to share your own images of peace on our Facebook page or you may send it to me (you’ll find one rendering of the scene above attached below; this one is by Jack Dawson).  It may be a photo that you have or another painting that you have viewed or you can describe it with words.  You can also use an app like You version to put scripture with your images such as Philippians 4:7 or Psalm 4:8 
In other news: Don’t forget to take the survey related to our Christmas services: Christmas in-person worship
Christmas in-person worship
Congregational meeting on Nov. 1st at 10:30am to further discuss and decide about being a sleeping sight for the shelter (a letter with answers to our questions will be sent separately) 
Reformation Sunday is Oct. 25th, you are invited to wear red – no matter if you come in person or watch virtually (send a picture of you in your red).  Three of our young people – Daniel Baggetta, Lucas Bertone & Kyle Klammer – will be affirming their faith during worship that day.

May the God of peace renew and strengthen you in faith & love
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Worship

LtW-At-Home

Bird-in-Storm

October 16, 2020

Dearly beloved, We have had a chance to talk with the current board of the re-formed shelter.  Attached you will find a letter both announcing our next Congregational meeting as well as answers to many of our questions.  Please plan to attend in-person or via Zoom (link will be sent out with that week’s worship bulletin).
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

Congregational Meeting

October 8, 2020

Dearly beloved,
So many people that I have talked to lately have sighed and commented about how “done” they are with all of this and wishing for some semblance of “normal” again. We are tired and anxious; we are depressed and overwhelmed; we are uncertain and grieving.  I know that we all pray for this to over as soon as it can – we pray without ceasing.
How do we live into this time as people of faith?  How do we experience a sense of peace amidst the stress, uncertainty, and grief at what is and what isn’t happening in the world around us?
There are no simple answers, solutions, or easy fixes – oh, how I wish there were!
Yet, we can experience a sense of peace amidst the chaos – that “peace of God that surpasses all understanding (that) will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).               

It is the peace that God’s loving and grace-filled presence will give us the strength to move through this time.               

It is the peace that we are blessed by a community of faith that walks together, offering love, support, and grace to one another, reminding us that we are not alone  

It is the peace that there are people who are working very hard to bring relief, healing, and comfort to others.  
How have you experienced the peace of Christ in this time?  

Who has shared that peace with you?                           

How have you been blessed to share that peace with others?
This week, during a visioning conversation with Church Council, we set this forth as the way in which we seek to be God’s Church amidst the stress and uncertainty of this time.               

Our mission statement proclaims: we desire to experience the presence of God so that we might be the presence of God to others. We will live out this mission by:   Sharing the peace of Christ with others.


As the leaders of the congregation, we have begun to explore very tangible ways to share this peace as more than just something that is a part of our weekly worship.  You will be hearing more about some of these ideas soon, but in the meantime, we are asking that you begin to pray about this vision and how we may all share the peace of Christ daily in very real ways.  Think about the times in your life where you experienced a sense of peace and in what way it impacted your life.  Share those experiences with others, inviting them to do the same.
We gather for worship weekly so that we may always be reminded of Christ’s peace that surrounds and upholds us, that brings new life and hope for our future.  
Peace & blessings be upon all of you this day and always!     Pastor Jen 

Worship

October 3, 2020

Dearly beloved, Our Worship committee has begun to look ahead at our Christmas services – I know it still likes 85 days until Christmas, but like everything else are planning will need to be different.
We have begun brainstorming and looking for a variety of ideas (if you want any ideas, please pass them along).  One of the critical bits of information that we need as to do with how many would come to in-person worship.  While many things may change in these next few months, we are looking for your input about whether you think that you might come to worship in person on Christmas Eve and/or Day.  We will be sending out a survey soon.
We will have a variety of options for both virtual, in person as well as a hybrid – but your input will help us to figure all of this out.
It is difficult to think too far ahead as we know that things can change in the next hour, day, or month.  It’s hard to plan.  I am pretty flexible when it comes to most of this, but even I am getting frustrated by the uncertainty.  I remind myself that it is important to take a step back and breathe, that I can’t have all the answers for the future, and that I need to dwell in the loving grace of God – that this is where I can find strength (Psalm 46:10)
*    *    *    *    *    *    *     *     *     *    *    *     *    *    *    *    *    *    *     *     *    *    *    *    *    *     *     *    *    *
In addition to this Sunday’s bulletin, you will find the short order of service for our Blessing of the Pets/Festival of St. Francis.   You may use this on your own at home or you may participate with us in the following ways:
Sunday, October 4th (upper church parking lot, Rt. 6)          1:30pm – Drive thru blessing          2:00pm – Service of blessing (will be on Facebook Live as well)          2:30pm – Drive thru blessing
May you be enfolded by the love and grace of Christ, the One in whom we find true peace!
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

Worship

LtW-At-Home

Animal Blessing

September 26, 2020

Dearly beloved, Social media in many different iterations has been a part of many people’s lives over the past dozen years or so. It can be distracting and time-consuming, but it can also help to keep us together. It has been a vital part of keeping connected with one another when we can only see one another IRL (in real life) on a very limited basis. Think of what it might have been like even 10-20 years ago without this resource.

Like any tool, it becomes a matter of how we use it (and not let it “use” us).

The question for us – as followers of Jesus – is how are we using this tool to share the love and grace of Christ? Is what we share and like a reflection of our faith? How might we use social media to help others know that they are loved, that they too are created in God’s image? How do we reflect on the peace of Christ in what we post?

As a faith community, we seek to be connected to one another, to our community and our world. We can use this tool and resource to live that out daily. We can share messages of hope and grace. We can offer up our prayers and compassion for others. We can speak up for the justice of God to prevail.

This week, I would invite you to reflect on your own social media usage – what kinds of things do you share? What pages, messages, memes might you share -either in general or specifically for one person to reflect the love of Christ? And how might you translate that IRL for those that you encounter during your day?

A few ideas and resources to get you started:

1) Worship Watch Party: Invite others to join you for our weekly worship service (you can do it both when we are live as well as if you watch it later). You can share these by going to our Facebook or YouTube pages

https://www.facebook.com/Trinity-Lutheran-Church-Brewster-NY-160570420670756

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEBfzqqPTuf8fe3PjPr21gA?view_as=subscriber

2) Faith texting: Many use this as their primary way to communicate; use this as an opportunity to share your faith

a) Do you have a favorite Bible verse, faith-focused meme, or another quote? Why don’t you send it as a text to someone that might need encouragement or that you want to let know that you are thinking of them? b) Flocknote: We are trying out a new online service for communication (in addition to what we currently use). We are starting off by forming a praying group that will receive prayer requests to lift up during the week. It is called Prayer partners: If you would like to be a part of this text group, please text TLCPRAYER TO 84576 to automatically sign up. (Note: we have currently entered many people’s information from the church’s database – you may go there and sign in for yourself to keep your information up to date. You may use text-to-join by texting: TLCBREWSTER to 84576 or you may go to the website https://trinitylutheranbrewster.flocknote.com/dashboard

3) Share, share, share: We are not limited by those who can come to our physical location. Invite everyone you know to engage with all of our social media accounts. In addition to Facebook & YouTube, we have set up

Twitter (https://twitter.com/TLCBrewster) and

Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/tlcbrewster/?hl=en) accounts (and plan to use them more actively). Follow and share it with us!

As we continue to live as the Body of Christ in this new time, may we always remember the One True God who shapes our lives with love, grace, and peace!
Peace in Christ always, Pastor Jen

Worship

LtW-At-Home

September 17, 2020

Dearly beloved, I don’t know what to wear!  Mornings are cool and afternoons warm – do I start the day warm and end up too hot or reverse?  Such the plight of Fall (and first world problem as well).  I have too many clothes to choose from.  I have never had a time in my life where I didn’t have enough (at least that I knew of).  I live comfortably and it’s hard to even begin to fathom what life must be like for folks who live in constant worry about food, clothing, shelter, and the like.  I’ve read about it, seen it in a few instances, but I’ve never lived it.
Though I have not experienced the basic challenges that many face, I cannot ignore them.  It may not be on my daily radar, but  I cannot forget the circumstances that others face.   
This is what rises in my thoughts as we reflect on the possibility of being a sleeping site this winter for BESP.  I have a warm home to sleep in that I take for granted.  There is an increasing number of people in our area that are having trouble putting food on their tables as well as a roof over their heads.
The challenges of being a sleeping site have increased substantially due to COVID.  See the attached document for the guidelines put forth from the CDC (some may not apply directly to BESP since its a movable shelter).  Hopefully, this will answer some of our questions.
We will be meeting on Sunday following worship (10:30am) in person as well as on Zoom (see link below).  We are going to try to have it so that folks can see and be able to talk easily through these means.  Please plan to attend in whatever way that you are able to.
If you have any questions, please let me know.

Just a couple of reminders about upcoming eventsFaith  Book study, Monday, Sept. 21st (7pm) via Zoom on Martin Luther King’s book, “Strength to love”             Contact me for that Zoom link

Blood Drive, Tuesday, Sept 29th (12:30-6:30pm) in Shepherd’s Hall.  By appointment only.   Schedule your time at: https://donate.nybc.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/272917
Donor Portal – New York Blood Center

A couple of ideas that are in the works (let me know of your interest)     Blessing of the animals     Virtual Talent show
Hope to see you all on Sunday
Peace & Blessings in Christ always, Pastor Jen

Join Zoom MeetingJoin our Cloud HD Video Meeting

Join our Cloud HD Video Meeting
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Interim Guide for Homeless Services

Worship

LtW-at-Home

September 11, 2020

Dearly beloved, Well, its begun…and then changed.. and changed again…   This seems to be the pattern to life that our routines are going to be ever-changing as everyone makes the needed adaptations to life as we currently know it.  We can’t get too attached to anyone’s way of doing something as it will probably change tomorrow.  It’s a strange Fall, all those normal activities are….well, not normal.
One of the things that I have discovered – even as living as a single person – is that this time has invited me to think and live into what is really essential to life.  It is so very easy to add lots to my calendar.  Now that there are limits in place, I am called to think about what is essential, not just for me personally, but for what it means to be a community of faith.
From the beginning, one primary priority is to keep us connected as a community of faith.  We had to jump into online venues like Facebook Live,   YouTube and Zoom with a very sharp learning curve.  We have now eased into some semblance of a routine with these practices.  Our connections as a community of faith find its expression as well through our connections to our local community.   
All these connections find their strength, meaning, and substance through our connection and relationship with God – we have most certainly needed God’s loving and grace-filled presence in and through this time – for both our own lives as well as living in the midst of the world.  We need that “peace that surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) from The God “who so loved the world that he gave his only Son” (John 3:16) so that we may “not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing our minds” (Romans 12:2).  In this time, we need the peace and grace of Christ to give us guidance and strength as we seek to live faithfully.
We offer the communal opportunities for this through worship (Sundays @ 9:30am) and Bible Study (Wednesdays @ 7pm).  It is offered as well through Sunday school  (please note: we are waiting a couple of weeks before we begin as we see how the beginning of school goes.  Please contact Jeanette Baldanza to let her know about your child’s participation.)
We have numerous resources that people can use on their own as they seek a greater connection with Christ.  One of those, you will find attached is the Family Guide for “God’s Story @ Home” which offers resources to talk about the week’s reading through crafts, stories, reflection questions, and the like.  We will be including this every week for the congregation – even once we resume SCS.  It is a great way to supplement what they hear there.  It is also useful as a devotional guide for everyone.
How are you living in your faith at this time?  What resources are you using?  What might be helpful for you?  Let me know!
Until we “see” one another on Sunday in worship (in-person or virtually), may you always know the peace of Christ that surrounds and upholds you this day and always!
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

Worship

LtW-At-Home

September 9, 2020

Dearly beloved, Just a quick note to bring a few things to our attention (another email will go out with worship material in the next few days)
While the start of Fall activities and programs are much different than previous years, here are some opportunities that you don’t want to miss
Wednesday evening Bible Study (7pm – tonight!)We begin a new time of conversation and reflection together around the theme of “Love is greater (>) than…”   We continue to meet via Zoom (see link below).   You can also find tonight’s study attached for when you join us and/or to use on your own     Join Zoom MeetingJoin our Cloud HD Video Meeting

Join our Cloud HD Video Meeting Meeting ID: 346 900 784
Passcode: 410002One tap mobile+19292056099,,346900784#,,,,,,0#,,410002# US (New York)

Sunday school: we are waiting a couple of weeks before resuming Sunday school to allow families to adjust to their new school schedules.  We would ask that parents contact Jeanette Baldanza to let her know whether you all would like in-person gatherings or remain on-line (or a combination thereof).  There will be home studies available that coincide with the Sunday morning readings.

Congregational Meeting to discuss the possibility of being a sleeping site for BESP.  The meeting will be held at 10:30am following worship on Sunday, Sept. 20th – both in person and on Zoom.  Please plan to attend

Blood Drive:  we will be hosting blood drive on Tuesday, Sept. 29th (12:30pm-6:30pm – note time change).  It is by appointment only.    You can schedule your time by going to: https://donate.nybc.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/272917

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
Peace & blessings always, Pastor Jen

September 6, 2020

Greetings friends!

Some days it feels like the world has been turned upside down and it’s hard to see which way is up or to find solid ground.  There are days when we look around and many faces we see cause us to turn away.  Yet the love of God is always present and moving in the world.  Join us for worship as we read surprising words for this first Sunday in September, but ones that speak to the power of God’s grace poured out for all and always working in the world.

Dawn

Worship

August 29, 2020

Greetings,

Pastor Jen is on vacation for 2 weeks. I will lead worship this Sunday and Dawn Morello will lead worship next week. Can you believe it, the summer is almost gone. Plans are being made for school, and in some cases rapidly changing. People are wrestling with how to deal with Covid-19 in the fall. Is there any rest for the weary?

Please join us this Sunday, either in person or via the internet, and take some time to rest. That’s what Sabbath is all about. Looking forward to seeing you all.

Deacon Charlie Germain

Worship

August 20, 2020

Dearly beloved, The beginning of the next cultural (aka school) season is upon us.  While it is not New Year’s or Fall, it unofficially becomes fall when school starts.  I remember being so excited about wearing new clothes for the first day which usually meant a fall outfit.  Inevitably, I would be in a sweater on that sweltering hot first day of school.  So excited and anxious to enter into a new season and time that I wasn’t concerned with the consequences of sweating through the first day.
The possible consequences of this school year are so very different.  There are no easy decisions and no certainties about their ramifications.  We are so anxious for a sense of normalcy that we hope for everything will turn out exactly as we planned.  
There’s a saying that goes that “when we make plans, God laughs”.  I’m not sure who said it, but I do not think that God is laughing at us in the midst of all of this, God is walking alongside us no matter what happens.  This is what we are assured of, promised and this is what we hold fast to in the midst of this time.
In looking at our own Fall schedule, we are going to – for the time being – keep our worship to one service into the Fall (9:30am).  We continue to re-evaluate all the time but will give you ample notice if that changes.  We are surveying families about whether they think that they would bring their children back to in-person classes (please let Jeanette Baldanza or the church office know).  We will be offering both an online version as well as home versions for people to use.  
A couple of notes about the next couple of weeks:  I will be taking some vacation time (Aug.24-Sept.7) – not sure when I last had a vacation (!?!)  If there are any pastoral emergencies, please contact the Church office (Pr. Dave Dockweiler from St. Andrew’s Lutheran is covering for me).  Charlie Germain and Dawn Morello will be preaching and leading worship the next two Sundays; there won’t be communion as a part of those services.  They will still be on Facebook Live and posted to YouTube.
Much peace and many blessings as we all live faithfully into this time!
peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

Worship

August 15, 2020

Dearly beloved,

Another week has slipped by and with it a renewed anxiety related to when,  how, if (etc.) schools will re-open.  It seems that any decision that is to be made will be the “wrong one” (or is it the right one!?)  We are all figuring this out one day at a time, doing the best that we can.
The words of the prophet Jeremiah come back to mind with “surely I know the plans I have for you, plans for your welfare and not for you harm”.  The folks who are working on these decisions are trying to look out for the welfare of all involved, trying to take all the needs and concerns into consideration.  
I was in a few meetings this week where I saw the witness of this – in the Community Resource group (many of the local outreach agencies), County Suicide Awareness Taskforce as well as folks concerned about BESP.  While each of their focus has been different, their concern for our communities remained at the forefront of the conversations.
As a community of faith, we too are a part of this larger community, facing many of the same concerns that our schools, community organizations, and others have in front of them.  The Church does not live in a vacuum but is very much a part of the place in which it lives.
How might we as a community of faith pray and support our larger community?  I know many of you are a part of some of these other organizations – are there ways that we can help as well?  Let us know.
A couple of ways that you will be hearing more about in the next month are:    BESP – the current organization has dissolved, but is being re-formed with a new and renewed vision.  We will be having a congregational meeting in September to share information as well as to talk about the possibility of being one of the sleeping sites.  I know this elicits many questions and that is why we will be having a meeting.  Watch for details coming soon!
Blood Drive:  We will be hosting another drive on Tuesday, Sept. 29th (12:30pm-6:30pm – note time change).  There will be a number of new protocols in place, including no walk-ins, but appointments only.  We will be looking for just a volunteer or two that can remain in the building if there are any questions – no direct interaction with the drive itself.   Contact Carol Fendt, the church office, or myself for more information.
We continue to live and move and have our being grounded in our faith & trust in Jesus Christ.  May all that we say and do reflect Christ’s love and grace.
Peace & blessings in Christ, Pastor Jen 

Worship

August 8, 2020

Dearly beloved,
Praying that everyone is well and has withstood this latest aspect of this year.  Please check in and let us know if there is anything you need and how things are going.

The church building was only without power for about a day so if you need to charge anything or connect to the internet, let me know.  That’s what I’m doing right now as I’m still without power at home.

You will find this Sunday’s bulletin attached. We continue to offer Facebook live worship at 9:30am with communion. Drive-thru communion is offered between 9-9:20am and 10:15-10:45am before and after service

We continue in prayer for all those who are struggling in this time, particularly for our schools, teachers, parents and students as they face difficult decisions in the next month

As always, know that I pray for Christ’s peace and love to support and uphold you now and always

Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

Worship

July 30, 2020

Dearly Beloved, One of the (many) reasons that I don’t live in the south is that the heat and humidity just does me in.  I feel like I can’t function.  And it’s just too darn hot to be outside for any length of time – so much for enjoying my deck.  While the A/C is life-saving, its not really life-giving.  It provides comfort, but not refreshment so to speak.
This Sunday’s’ reading is the story of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well where he offers her life-giving water,  We need water for our lives – we can live longer without food than without water.
Think about all the times that you have used water just today….I’ll wait why you think…what did you use it for?  What did it provide?
Jesus is that life-giver who refreshes and renews us, cleanses, and satisfies.
How have you experienced the refreshing love and grace of Christ this day?    How has water been a sign of that grace?
Use these questions as a part of your reflections in preparation for Sunday.
You will find attached the Order of Worship for this Sunday’s worship.  It will also be posted on our website and then with a link on our Facebook page.
Many blessings and peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

Worship

July 23, 2020

Dearly beloved, I hope all are staying cool amidst this heatwave and hopeful that it will break soon.  Please keep in touch and let me know how you are doing.
I would also encourage you to invite others to “join” us for worship on Sunday morning – in whatever manner works best for them (online or in-person).  This is an opportunity for us to more easily share our community of faith with others.  Invite them to *like* our Facebook page, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and/or check out our website.  if they have any questions, please let them know that they can also be in touch with me.
I am looking into a variety of other ways to keep connected – including through a group text app where you can receive notifications like these emails.  I would also like to use it for prayer chains so that if a prayer concern or thanksgiving comes up during the week, we can invite people into prayer more immediately.  I will also use it for periodic devotions, reflections, or suggested bible passages.  There will be a way to opt-in or out – I will not send things unsolicited but will invite people to participate.  
I am still looking at a variety of options – if there is one that you use that you find helpful, please let me know
One quick announcement for our Youth – the National Youth gathering has been moved from 2021 to 2022.  as more information becomes available, we will let you know.
You will find this week’s worship bulletin attached.  It will also be on our website and I will put a link to our Facebook page.
peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

Worship

July 16, 2020

Dearly Beloved, They call it the “covid-19” and  I’m not talking about the disease, but like the “freshman 15”, I have added weight by my increasing bad eating habits.  It’s just too easy to buy and eat junk that is not good for me rather than healthy food.  Bad habits are easier to fall into than to get out of – here’s praying that I will actually do something about it.
The main healthy food that I have been missing is Holy Communion.  Jesus hasn’t been missing – for I have felt and experienced God’s loving and grace-filled presence in countless ways during this time.  Yet that tangible taste of grace in the bread has become a craving.  While we cannot physically offer our arms and hands to one another,  here is a way that we can experience the touch of Christ.
With that spiritual desire in mind, I have decided to offer weekly Communion once again.  It will be the bread only for the time being and there will be a couple of opportunities to receive it (with other ideas still percolating).  Here are the ways that you may receive Communion:
I will be gloved and have both a mask & face shield on.  Using tongs, I will drop the wafer in your hand.  Please do not remove your own mask until I have moved aside.
     1) If you are not ready to attend in-person worship, I will be in the upper parking lot at the following times (see below) for you to “drive-thru” and to receive the bread.  Please stay in your cars and I would ask that you would have a mask on.  I can come to each car window to distribute to those who are with you.  I will also have stickers for the kids.  

9am-9:25am approx. 10:15am-10:45am
        2) For those who come to in-person worship, I will be at the door to distribute Communion as you leave.  Please maintain the 6 feet separation between households. 

I am looking at a mid-week outdoor brief Communion service as well.  If this is something that you would be interested in attending, please let me know.

We continue to explore ways in which we may continue to live out our baptismal promises as a community and in our world.  If you have additional thoughts or ideas, please let me know
Here are a couple more announcements to draw to your attention:    Flowers – since we are gathering in person for worship (as well as want to support a local business), you are invited to put flowers on the altar once again.  Please contact Kathie Ruhs or the church office to make those arrangements.   You do not need to attend in-person worship to do so (you can always arrange to pick them up at another time)
Food pantry: We are encouraging people to drop off items for Putnam CAP.  Not only is summer often a more difficult time for food pantries, but this year especially.   You can either bring it on Sundays or contact the Church office to drop them off during the week (you may want to call first to make sure that someone is here: 845-279-5181) 
Coffee Hour: We are continuing our Zoom coffee hours on Sunday mornings.  I will be a little late, but people should be able to join before I log on.
Continuing peace and blessings to all!
Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

Worship

July 10, 2020

Dearly Beloved,

We had our first in-person worship service last week with about a dozen people present.  While we were not able to interact in the ways that we would have like to, it was wonderful to see more people in person.  We will continue to hold these services along with Facebook Live (I won’t record side ways again, I promise)  

Again, if you do not yet feel comfortable in coming to an in-person service, please do not feel pressured or guilty about doing so.  Our main concern is always the health and well being of each other.

Attached you will find the Order of worship for this week’s service which will also be posted  to our website.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free as always to contact me and/or the church office

Peace & blessings in Christ,  Pastor Jen

Worship

July 2, 2020

Dearly Beloved, We are taking a big step forward this Sunday as we resume in-person worship.  I will admit that I do so with a bit of apprehension-  do we have everything in place to provide the safest environment possible?- will I remember to keep socially distanced when I’m so excited to see people?- is this the right decision?
No easy or definitive answers and so, we gather prayerfully and faithfully.
As I indicated in last week’s email as well as in the video (see Facebook & YouTube links) if you are not comfortable with coming back to in-person worship, please do not feel guilty or pressured to do so.  A number of people have already indicated as such to me.  We continue to come together as a community of faith gathered in the name of Christ whether it is in person and/or online.  This doesn’t change.
For those who do choose to come in person, please familiarize yourself with the procedures (see attached).  We have also attached the bulletin – we will have copies placed in the designated pews for people on Sunday (or you may bring your own copy)
Lastly, you will find the video of The Essential Pets of Trinity – both on our Facebook page (Trinity Lutheran Church, Brewster, NY

Online Worship

Essential Pets Video

June 25, 2020

Dearly Beloved, You will find the bulletin for this Sunday’s (June 28th) worship attached.   You will also find our Re-opening Procedures document.
At the Church Council meeting on June 24th, it was decided to open for in-person worship on Sunday, July 5th (9:30am).  We will continue to go on Facebook Live as well. Please familiarize yourself with our procedures because many changes have been put in place to ensure the safety of all who attend.  While we all want to return to in-person gatherings, often what we want and what we are comfortable doing are different.  If you are not ready to do so, please do not feel guilty or pressured in returning.  If you find that after arriving (even mid-service) that you are not comfortable, please do not feel compelled to stay.  There are still risks involved and the health of everyone is our primary concern.
Some of the most significant changes will include: 1) Everyone is required to wear a face mask while in the building and maintain 6 ft. apart. 2) There will be NO singing (instrumental music will be offered) 3) You may not be able to sit in your usual place 4) Communion will be offered, beginning at a later date, with wafers only (Due to all the other changes, we are waiting to make this adjustment as well) 5) Everyone will be asked to check-in in case we need to do any contact tracing.
We are waiting a couple of weeks before we allow our tenants to resume their own activities to make sure that we have everything in place.
Know that if anyone who attends tests positive for Covid-19 after being in our building, we will initiate contact tracing immediately and close our building.   In addition, if local or state government agencies recommend that we close our building again, we will comply. 
Please if you have any concerns or questions, do not hesitate to contact me as well as our Church Council members.
Peace & blessings in Christ, Pastor Jen

Online Worship

Reopen Procedures

June 18, 2020

Dearly beloved,Just a short message this week.  Attached you will find both the Order of worship as well as the Hymns with music.
Please note the announcements at the end.  We are looking at possibly re-opening our building for in-person worship on July 5th – but it  depends on how things go in terms of continuing decreasing number of cases, etc. as per the County & State.  The Church Council meets this next Wednesday and will make a decision.
I am looking forward to seeing you all in person once again – I have missed being together physically in community.  It is a blessing that we have the options of on-line (imagine what it would’ve been like for communities of faith during the 1918 Pandemic!).  While we have to remain physically apart even when we are together – just to see your faces (albeit covered by masks) will be a true joy!
Peace and blessings always, Pastor Jen 

Online Worship

Hymns

June 11, 2020

Dearly beloved, One week blends into another and it is often hard to differentiate not just what day it is, but what week it is.  Still, worship enables us to provide a framework for our week.  It calls us to both remember to Whom we belong and in Whose image we are created.  We are invited to open our hearts and lives to the One who is with us always to the end of the age, to Christ who suffers with us and the Spirit who empowers us.
We begin our summer series, UnRaveled this week with the story of Sarah’s laughter in the midst of the unraveling of her own life.  This series draws us into the biblical narrative so that we may see them as more than stories, but the ways in which God weaves grace, joy, and laughter into our lives.
Part of this series is an art project that we will create through the summer.  It is a prayer medallion in which we weave our prayers into a round loom.  We have a large one for the whole congregation and you are invited to make your own as well.  We have about 20 kits or so that people can pick up (they are upstairs outside the front door under the overhang).  There are also strips of fabric that you may write your prayers on and leave in the basket to be added to our large medallion.  I have put together a short instructional video that you can find on our Facebook page as well as YouTube.
A study journal which goes along with the weekly readings and themes will be emailed separately along with the directions for the prayer medallion/loom
Please read the announcements in the attached bulletin for additional happenings.

Online Worship

Hymns for Worship

Loom Directions

Unraveled Study Journal

June 5, 2020

Dearly Beloved, I may have invented the word ‘trinitarily” but it is in an attempt to reflect on what it means to live as people of God within the relationships of the Trinity.  This Sunday is Trinity Sunday where we will do more than just try to wrap our brains around what it means to believe a God who is 3-in-one.  It is all about relationship- specifically the ways in which God chooses to be in relationship with us – as the One who lovingly creates us in the Father’s own image, as the One who revealed the expansiveness of that love on the cross and the One who moves amongst us now, leading and guiding us to live out that love.
We are named Trinity Lutheran Church and thus, are marked by this relationship that God offers to us.  To live as people of the Trinity, we are called to reflect all parts of God as we enter into relationships with others.  To actively live “trinitarily” means to see one another as created in God’s image, to share the unconditional love and forgiveness that Christ has given us and to let the Spirit move us out into a world that so very desperately needs this loving presence of God.
As I write this, my heart is breaking – for all those around the world who have lost loved ones to this disease.  My heart is twisted in sorrow for our brothers and sisters of color who continue to be pre-judged, neglected, and victimized by virtue of their skin color.  These are not isolated occurrences, but a daily reality for them.  This was brought home for me this morning in conversation with someone who I care about and who lives in the Brewster community.  She and her family are afraid to go out – it’s difficult enough these days with the virus, but the comments and even threats that they have recently received make it more so.  
It is systemic and there is no “easy fix”, but that does not mean that we shouldn’t do the hard work of working for justice for all God’s beloved people.  It is more than rallies and marches – it is the willingness to take an honest look at ourselves (and I most certainly include myself in this) and find the ways that I can be proactive and seek to be anti-racist.
While I will attend tomorrow’s peaceful rally in the village of Brewster (June 5th @ noon), I am also asking for your support and prayers.   I am inviting anyone who would like to enter into these difficult conversations with me to be in touch.  As a part of this, I am reading “How to be an antiracist” by (Ibram Kendi) if you would like to be a part of a discussion group around it.  The book is on backorder through many outlets but is available for download..  
I will continue to pray – particularly for those people of color who I am blessed to have in my life.  I will be more mindful of the struggles that they face that are difficult for me to see from my place of privilege.
These are hard realities, but through the loving embrace of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we are given the strength and the guidance to live trinitarily.
Peace & blessings always, Pastor Jen
P.S. Attached you will find this Sunday’s worship service and announcements.  Please make special note of the re-opening survey, the watch party for Bishop Eaton’s sermon on Sunday as well as our plans for our summer worship and bible study series.

Online Worship

May 28, 2020

Dearly Beloved, This Sunday is Pentecost – probably one of my favorite Sundays of the year (and not just because it’s one of the few times that I get to wear my red stole).  I love all the “special effects” of that particular Pentecost Sunday when flames appeared above the heads of the disciples, the sound of a violent wind blew through the room and they all began to speak in different languages – so much imagery and significance in even just these first four verses of Acts 2.  
So many different thoughts and foci that I could probably preach all day on just these 4 verses (but then we also have I Corinthians 12 which has great stuff as well).  Instead of a 2-hour sermon, here are a few thoughts and images that have struck me in my prep.  (which may still be a part of my sermon): 
Pentecost is often thought of as a Christian festival, but it is actually one of the three Jewish primary pilgrimage festivals where people gathered in Jerusalem (Pent – 50 days since Passover & Easter).  It celebrated the first harvest of the season as well as the giving of the 10 commandments – the “harvest” of God’s Word is revealed in the giving of the Spirit. (note: Pentecost is also seen as the birthday of the Christian church).
Violent wind: In both Hebrew & Greek, the words for wind, breath, and spirit are the same.  So, in Genesis, God’s breath & wind moved over the waters and God’s breath & spirit breathed life into us.  Wind can also disrupt things and so here, God’s spirit and breath disrupts as well as brings to life the new church.
Tongues of fire: Fire purifies (Malachi 3).  God spoke to Moses in the burning bush that was not consumed by the flames (Exodus 3).  God led the people of Israel by a pillar of fire at night through the wilderness (Exodus 13).  These purified disciples were God’s burning bush to lead the people through the wilderness of their lives.
Languages: Unlike the tower of Babel (Genesis 11) where they sought their own glory and God confused the languages, here they are united.  God uses the gift of different languages to spread the Good news so that all – no matter where they were from or what language they spoke could receive God’s Word. (As an additional illustration: in Douglas Adams’s book “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, a babel fish is put into your ear so that you can understand other languages – other than the fish in the ear part, they would be cool).  Also, to really learn a language, it is best if you immerse yourself in the life and culture to which it belongs – what does that tell us about God as well as our call to spread the Good news?!
How do you see God at work in these images?  What message is being shared through them for the life of the Church in today’s world?
Tune in Sunday and see what God is working in me to bring to you (prayers for focus always welcome)
Attached you will find the  Order of Worship for this Sunday’s worship.  In addition to Facebook live, we will have a separate Zoom room from which you can watch (it will not be streamed to Facebook).  Links are all at the end of the bulletin.  There is also a separate document that has the music to the hymns for those that would like to use them.
Don’t forget to wear red (or flame-like colors) this Sunday as a sign of the Holy Spirit in our midst.  If you would like to color the Pentecost flame, here is the link  (if you would like it displayed for worship, drop it off in the church mailbox by Sunday morning for me to hang up) :

Pentecost Coloring Page: Free Downloadable Pentecost Coloring Page

Sunday schedule (all links in bulletin & our website)

9:30 am Worship (Zoom & Facebook live)

10:30 am SCS (Zoom)               

Affirmation (Zoom with Charlie)12 noon Coffee hour

Online Worship

Pentecost Hymns

May 22, 2020

Dearly Beloved, Another week has sped by and it’s hard to believe that Memorial Day is this coming Monday.  Many have not even made plans with all the uncertainty of what each day will bring.  It’s hard to live in the midst of the “not knowing”.
Governor Cuomo has recently relaxed some of the gathering restrictions and is allowing up to 10 people to gather.  While this does not allow for worship gatherings, we will begin to think about how we might gather in small groups with the appropriate precautions.  We will be putting together a task force to make these plans and will keep you up to date on what is decided.
I have also thought about having an unofficial congregational meeting via Zoom if folks would like to have one so that we can share some of our thoughts.  Let me know if this is something that you might be interested in.
Worship continues as has become our new “normal” on Facebook live (and later  YouTube).  We will once again try to do the simulcast with Zoom to Facebook live (from my personal page) while also streaming directly from Trinity’s page.  I’m sorry that it didn’t work last week with all the problems that Zoom had that day.  We will also have Zoom SCS as well as Zoom coffee hour on Sunday.  See all the links below) There will be no Zoom Prayer meeting on Monday as its Memorial day. In thinking ahead, I’ve begun to reflect on what have been some of our learnings and experiences at this time. What from this time would you like to continue when life returns to some semblance of “normal”?  What good things have arisen for you?  
What priorities have you re-thunk?  
I would love to hear what some of your thoughts are in regards to this.
In the meantime, we continue to lift up our prayers for all of you and for our wider community!
Peace & Blessings, Pastor Jen 

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Meeting ID: 435 263 0119
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Topic: Zoom coffee hour https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4352630119?pwd=YXo0a241ZkJMMThKb1FSbm5ITEZqUT09
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Online Worship

May 15, 2020

Dearly Beloved, Prayer is at the heart of our identity and daily lives, particularly in these difficult times – we may even find ourselves praying more often and for more people.  More than just a faith practice – it is our conversation with God (though I suspect many – like myself – do most of the talking and less listening).  While God already knows all that is in our hearts and on our minds, it is how we place our trust in the Only One in whom we live and move and have our being.
There are countless resources out there that can help us learn about prayer and different prayer practices – though there is not a wrong way to pray.  Please share any that you have found most meaningful with others.  Here are a few that have been a part of my recent practices:
1) Zoom Prayer Gathering – we gather each Monday at 5pm to spend time in prayer together, using different prayer practices as we seek to grow in relationship with God (see the link at the end of the Worship bulletin) 
2) Global World Prayer  – this past Thursday, we were invited through the Lutheran World Federation to join with people around the globe to pray together about the pandemic.  It is not limited to just one day of prayer – but ongoing.  Here is a link to some of the resources they offer:  LWF responds to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic
LWF responds to the Coronavirus disease…
3) Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela community ((Padraig O’Tuama) This small prayer book offers prayers to begin the and end the day as well as at

mid-day.  This community is in the Celtic tradition as they weave together faith, peace and reconciliation.  Here is one of their prayers from their website: God of our hearts and minds,
God of our nervous systems:
as our eyes and ears try to take in
another day of news,
our little bodies absorb the shock
of the biggest event of our lives.
Help us make sense
of what we honestly feel.
Fear. Loneliness. Exhaustion. Anger.
And in naming what lives in
our inner most selves,
may we grow more human
with each other:
warm-blooded and social,
communicative and relational,
present to nurse, eager to soothe
the people we more fully can be.
Amen.

www.corrymeela.org

Prayer is a central part of our worship as well.  Remember that you can always send me prayers to include during the service and/or you may include them in the comments under the video.
Zoom worship: Yes, you will still be able to watch worship on Facebook live as well as on YouTube later.  However, if you would like to connect with  people (face to face), you are invited to join on Zoom which will then be broadcast to Facebook Live.  I will be going live on Zoom to my personal Facebook  page and live directly on Trinity’s page.     This is only a test.  We will see how well it works and if it helps us to make connections with one another.        Here is the the link for Zoom Facebook Worship (9:30am Sunday):  Meeting ID: 884 3338 3611) Please note different password (Password: 993550)
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A SPECIAL SERVICE FOR CHILDREN.  + YOUTH SERVICE OF THE WORDTune in this Sunday at 10 am(or watch later) with the whole family, for a as special Metro NY Synod Youth Service of the Word for our youngest members. The Rev. Becca Seely, MNYS Candidacy Coordinator, and her son Harry; lead us in this children’s service along with Marret Arfsten, MNYS Young Adults Coordinator, musicians Guillermo and Daphne Vaisman, and the children of the Office of the Bishop staff.  (links: https://www.mnys.org/about/mnys-digital-services-of-the-word/  or on Facebook: Metropolitan New York Synod

This is a lot of information – and there are a couple more attached to this document in addition to this week’s Order of Worship.   
There are numerous places in the county to donate food.  The other is a devotional handout to use at home as a part of your prayer and worship time at home.  I hope it is helpful.
Please keep in touch and let me know how you are doing
Peace & blessings, Pastor Jen

Online Service

Faithstuff

May 13, 2020

Dearly Beloved, 
As I sit to write this, the  scent of lilacs draws my attention (cut from my yard – see pix below) – an aroma that hints of heaven (What do you think heaven smells like?)
My eyes feasted upon the joy of post-it notes – no, I do not have some kind of strange obsession.  Their post-its (pix below) were shared in our offerings from the Bettcher family; their thoughtfulness is a blessing in my day!
Sitting in my desk chair, I think of the comfort of a chair that provides more than somewhere to sit, but the ability to lift, enabling the sitter to stand easily.  We generously received a phone call from a community resident who is looking for someone who might need such a chair (see pix below).  The person that she bought it for doesn’t quite like it and she would like it to go (free of charge) to someone that we might know.  Could you or someone you know use it?  Give me a call and I will get you in touch with the giver.
Blessings of the day!
So much of our days are taken us by the stress and worries of this time.  So many questions and uncertainty swirl around us – that we just need to stop and take a breath (of heavenly scents like lilacs), give thanks for people around us, and be in awe of the generosity of strangers.
Pause at this moment…look around you…touch something near you…smell the spring air…hear the sounds of the awakening creation…how are you experiencing the blessings of God this day?
I am thankful for each of you!
Peace & blessings, Pastor Jen 
Announcements:Don’t forget     Bible study tonight (7pm)
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May 7, 2020

Dearly Beloved, First of all, a bit of advice (at least to myself) – when you think you learn something new, make sure that you’re “learning” the right information.  I thought the links for all of our Zoom meetings were the same – the only thing that is the same is the password, each meeting has its own ID – sorry for the confusion!  I have included all of the links with the individual IDs at the end of the attached bulletin.
One change for this Sunday is that I will have a worship assistant with me each week to share the readings and the prayers of intercession.   They will be “live” with me – though I am looking into the option of being able to connect Zoom to Facebook Live (as soon as I get it figured out, I will let you know – hopefully, by next week)
As we all long for that day when we can return to “normal”, we are also mindful that it won’t be a matter of flipping a switch and everything will fall back into the same place that we left it.  It may very well be that it will be a slow transition, beginning with small groups meeting with continuing precautions (masks, no hugging, etc.)  We will make sure that whatever decisions are discussed will be in line with keeping people healthy so that we can all fully live and “celebrate the lives that God has given us”.
In the meantime, we are the Church – God’s people deployed in the world!
Please check out the announcements at the end of the bulletin – there are a number of opportunities to (virtually) come together as well as serve our wider community.  Don’t forget to let  me know if you are interested in being a part of the video “The Essential Pets of Trinity”
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power…Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication.” (Ephesians 6:10,18)Peace & blessings, Pastor Jen

Online Worship

May 6, 2020

Attached you will find the worksheet for tonight’s study along with the Zoom link below.
We will be doing the first two pages (the other pages in the document are from our previous gatherings).  I have not included the actual Bible readings in the document so you will need to have your own copy of a Bible (translation of your choice).
Please invite others to join us as well
See you soon!
peace, Pastor Jen

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Bible Study

May 6, 2020

Dearly Beloved, This time has given us new words and phrases in which our lives revolve around – in addition to Covid-19, there are masks, social distancing, and virtual.  One that has gained in greater meaning is “essential workers“.  While those in the medical and emergency communities have almost always been a part of who are essential in our world, this phrase has expanded to now include cleaning crews, grocery store workers, truck drivers, delivery people and so many more.  Many whom we have often taken for granted or even looked past are among those who are most needed to help us live each and every day.
We are extremely grateful for all of you who are serving others in this time, often putting your own lives on the line and caring for others for the sake of the wider world.  Our gratitude pales in comparison to your sacrifices and commitment to the greater good!  God’s blessings rest upon all of them!!
As I was thinking about this list of essential workers, I thought about how my own life is impacted by those who are essential.  And because my brain flips around a lot, another category came to mind – some who are essential in much more individualistic ways – our pets!  I am thankful for my crazy cats – Scooter, Marley, and Pippin who bring me joy, affection, and a little sanity to these days.
Knowing that there are others who feel the same way about their pets, I got a crazy idea (cause you know, my mind does all these flips).  For something fun, we are going to put together a video of the Essential Pets of Trinity (and beyond).  Our former office manager, Lorna O’Hanlon has offered to put it together for us as a gift.  If you are interested in participating, please contact me.  I will then send you more information about what you need to do – we’ll have a kind of “script” to follow to introduce your pet as well as possibly something to read.   Once it is finished, we will post to YouTube where you may share it with others.

What do you think?


Upcoming Gatherings on Zoom (see link below that works for all of the gatherings). Even if you have not participated in any of these in the past, it is a great way to gather with our community of faith to keep connected with one another.  You are also encouraged – as always – to invite others to join us at any time – on Zoom, Facebook, etc.    

Tonight (May 6th @7pm)  Bible study     

Friday (May 8th @ 10am)  Thread & Yarn group   Our crochet group is going to try to meet again on Friday mornings; it is open to everyone.  For more information, contact Lois Lawrence 
You are all essential and a valuable part of this community of faith!
Peace & blessings, Pastor Jen
Jennifer Boyd is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

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May 1, 2020

Dearly beloved,

Days blend into each other to the point that I’ll stare at my calendar wondering what day it actually is.   It’s easy to lose track as we don’t have many of our regular activities to frame our days.   Other than figuring out what day it is, I hardly even look at my calendar.   It’s hard to plan ahead when the days are so uncertain 

The one thing – the main thing – that centers my week is our Sunday morning worship.  It begins my week with the focus on Christ, the One who carries us through all of our days.  The love and grace of God offer meaning, purpose, and clarity to this life.

So, please plan to join us live on Facebook (9:30am) or at another time of your choosing there or on our YouTube channel.  The order of worship is attached and the Zoom links for SCS and coffee hour are below.

Invite others to join us live and/or share the links with others that are looking for hope and peace amidst this time.

Christ’s peace and blessings are with you always, Pastor Jen 

Here are the links for Sundays Zoom gatherings

Topic: Zoom SCS Time: 10:30am 
Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4352630119?pwd=YXo0a241ZkJMMThKb1FSbm5ITEZqUT09 
Meeting ID: 435 263 0119Password: 410002 One tap mobile+19292056099,,4352630119#,,#,410002# US (New York)

Topic: Zoom coffee hour Time: 12 noon
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Meeting ID: 435 263 0119Password: 410002 One tap mobile+19292056099,,4352630119#,,#,410002# US 

Online Worship

April 29, 2020

Dearly beloved, Do we live in hope or in despair? Are our hopes wishful thinking or trust in God?  Are our hopes selfish or selfless?
The answers to these questions are not always clear-cut.  We may waver between them, particularly in today’s reality with uncertainty about when things might go back to “normal”.
We are called to be people of faith who trust in God’s gracious presence, believing that Christ’s transforming love will bring us through this time to a new way of being.  While our faith may waver and question, we are assured that God will give us the strength, patience, and peace that we so need for this time.
Our Wednesday evening Bible Study will be talking about hope and how we may grow in our faith during this time.  You are invited to join us via Zoom at 7pm (see link below) as we spend time in reflection and conversation.  This is open to all – invite others to join you as well.  I have attached the worksheet (including the readings)that we will be using; we will begin on page 3 tonite. 
As I have been working on our weekly worship, I realized that I was missing the way that together we lift up specific names in prayer each week.  I will be including names, beginning this week as well as listing them at the end of the bulletin.  I am inviting you to share any names that you would like to have included (below are the categories; please also include their relationship to you).  Please send them to me by tomorrow (4/30) so that they can be included in the bulletin. 
As we will hear in one this Sunday’s readings: “we give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. “ (I Thessalonians 1:2-3) 
Peace & blessings always, Pastor Jen
Areas of Prayer Prayers of HealingPrayers for those serving in the medical community (include where), Prayers for essential workers (include where), Prayers of the Wider ChurchPrayers for families who have had loved ones die. Families of

Jennifer Boyd is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.Topic: Bible study  Time: Apr 29, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)       

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April 27, 2020

Dearly beloved,J ust a couple of reminders of things coming up in the next couple of days:
TODAY! at 5 pm Prayer gathering – we are using different prayer practices to engage our faith together.  It is usually about half an hour.
Wednesday at 7 pm Bible study – hearing God’s words to us “be not afraid” that appears 140 times throughout the Bible.  Join us for faith-filled conversations
These will both be Zoom gatherings.     You may have noticed that the meeting ID, as well as the password, is the same for all Zoom gatherings I host.  I am just figuring that out as well.     So if you do not get a specific link to a gathering, click on most of the others and it will bring you into the current gathering.  You may also phone in as well.


Here is the link/info:
Jennifer Boyd is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Zoom Prayer gathering Time: Apr 27, 2020 05:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)        Every week on Mon, until May 18, 2020, 4 occurrence(s)      Join Zoom MeetingJoin our Cloud HD Video Meeting now

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April 25, 2020

Here are the links for tomorrow’s Zoom gatherings

Topic: Zoom SCS Time: 10:30am 
Join Zoom Meetinghttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/4352630119?pwd=YXo0a241ZkJMMThKb1FSbm5ITEZqUT09 
Meeting ID: 435 263 0119Password: 410002One tap mobile+19292056099,,4352630119#,,#,410002# US (New York)

Topic: Zoom coffee hour Time: 12 noon
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Meeting ID: 435 263 0119Password: 410002One tap mobile+19292056099,,4352630119#,,#,410002# US (New York)

April 24, 2020

Dearly beloved, As we prepare to gather for worship again in our own homes – separated, yet united in Christ – I long to see your faces and be with you.  The comments that you made or even the “likes” may not seem like much, but it offers us (and me!) a connection, a sense of us being together (even if you are not watching “live”).  So, please do comment or indicate your presence in some way as well as if there are others participating with you.
This is an opportunity for evangelism as well.  We can reach out with God’s love and grace even if we cannot be together.  You can invite friends and family to join you for online worship (let them know that they can find the order of worship on our website or you can forward this to them).  You can be in contact with others, letting them know of your prayers for them and their families – be it by phone, Zoom, email, or even snail mail.
Are there other ways that you are keeping connected to others?  Share any ideas with us!
Attached you will find our regular documents (Order of Worship & Sharing God’s story @  home) as well as a Cartoonist’s guide to our reading from Acts that was created by another Lutheran pastor (he has series for most of the Bible on his website, a link is provided in the document).  I will share these from time to time.
And don’t forget to share your story with “We are Trinity” submissions (see previous emails).
Remember always that – God is on the loose!  And cannot be contained by buildings or even ourselves.  God is not limited by fear, time, or space.  Christ is in our midst offering peace, hope, and comfort always!
Peace & blessings,

Pastor Jen

Worship Service

Guide to Acts 3

April 20, 2020

Dearly beloved,

I come desiring your prayers for friend and colleague, Pastor Marv Henk (St. John’s, Mamaroneck).  He is hospitalized with Covid-19 as well as a large blood clot in his lungs (seems to be a part of this virus as they are discovering in more people).  Prayers for his wife, Kathy, family, and congregation as they cannot be there with him.
Prayer is one of those parts of our faith that we often take for granted.  We are used to it in more formalized settings like worship.  We bear the familiar words of the Lord’s Prayer deeply in our hearts.  We bring our laments and our thanksgivings; we name those we know and those who have no one to name them.  
Our prayers: This is the kind of prayer I long for this day – an indwelling of God’s Spirit amidst my heart and soul, amidst the cries of this world, amidst the uncertainty and fears.
Today’s weekly Prayer gathering (via Zoom at 5pm – see link below) will be a guided meditation where we let God’s Spirit breathe into our midst, offering us Christ’s loving presence.  You may either just call in or video in – whichever works best for you (if this time doesn’t work for some and you want to suggest another time, let me know).  I hope that you can join us.
Also, today is our monthly Faith Book club where we will be discussing “Tattoos on the Heart” by Greg Boyle about his work with gangs in LA for the past 30+ years.  It is a great book – even if you haven’t had a chance to read  yet, you can always join us as well (see Zoom link below)
I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. (Philippians 1:3-5)

Christ’s peace and blessings always,

Pastor Jen

Topic: Zoom Prayer gathering Time: Apr 20, 2020 05:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)      Join Zoom Meeting

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Topic: Faith Book club Time: Apr 20, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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April 17, 2020

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This Sunday we will join the disciples as they encounter our risen Lord and receive assurance that they will be given the power of the Holy Spirit to build them up to be witnesses of the good news to all the world.
Attached is the Order of Worship for the 2nd Sunday of Easter.  We worship Live via Facebook at 9:30am or at a time of your choosing via our YouTube channel.  

Peace.
Dawn

Sunday Worship

LtW At Home

April 16, 2020

Dearly beloved, My main focus these days is about ways in which we can continue to keep connected as a community of faith.  It can be difficult to do in the best of times with the flurry of activities that many are involved in.  This time presents us with different kinds of challenges as well as opportunities.
Have you ever wanted to join a Bible study, but couldn’t make it to one of our sessions?  Now, you can via Zoom on Wednesday nights (I am thinking about offering a daytime session, let me know if you’re interested in being a part of it)
Have you had a Sunday morning when you just couldn’t get yourself out the door?  Now, you can participate in worship in your pj’s and/or at the time of your choosing
Have you ever wanted to just pray and meditate?  Now, many of you have the time to do so; you can also join in on a Zoom Prayer time on Mondays.

Have you ever wanted to have the opportunity to get to know one another better? Well, you can come for our Sunday coffee hour on Zoom (see link below)
We are also inviting everyone (!) to either write and/or video a short message (5-10 min.) for a series I am calling “We are Trinity”.  Using the following questions as a guide, submit your answers to me (Pastor Jen) to be shared with the rest of the congregation via email, our website and our social media outlets.  You can do it individually or as a family.  Not only will this help us get to know one another better, but it will be a part of our archives and a testimony to what it means to be part of this community of faith.  Use any or all of the following questions as a guide (you are invited to share additional information as well). You are invited to be creative in how you present your answers.       

1) Name(s), where you live, hobbies/activities, other info about your family                    

2) When did you start attending worship at Trinity?  And why did you keep coming?                   

3) Favorite experience at Trinity (be as specific as you can)                   

4) Favorite hymn and/or Bible verse/story and why it’s your favorite                   

5) How have you experienced the presence of Christ in the congregation?                    

6) What one word comes to mind when you think of Trinity?
Please participate in this project.  I know we have some “shy” people who are uncomfortable with doing something like this – but think of it as a gift to others and the congregation as a whole.  I often wish I had videos or testimonies like these from folks in my life that I no longer see.  What a blessing and gift that would be!
Continue to know that you are Christ’s beloved!
Peace & blessings, Pastor Jen

Announcements

Thank you to all who have continued to share their offerings for the mission and ministry of the congregation.  We are blessed by your commitment.  If you have not yet had a chance to do so, you may either mail your offering to the church office or use our website to make an offering online (https://trinitybrewsterny.org/

Worship this Sunday: Dawn Morello will be leading and preaching our worship for this Sunday, April 19th.  We will send out information soon.

Sunday School: Pastor Jen will still be meeting with the Sunday school kids this Sunday at 10:30am via Zoom (see link below)Coffee hour:  Pastor Jen will also be hosting coffee hour for a time of fellowship on Sunday (noon) via Zoom as well (see link below)

Origami butterflies: As Pastor Jen mentioned in her sermon last Sunday, you are invited to make origami butterflies that will then be hung in the sanctuary for when we re-gather.  (rather than the cranes – though if you have done or want to do them, that’s fine too)  The goal is 1000 butterflies!  If you would string them together (using needle & thread) so that they may be hung – 10 per string.  Here is a video with instructions: Bing video
Bing video

Upcoming Zoom GatheringsJennifer Boyd is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
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April 14, 2020

Dearly beloved, First of all an apology – I totally forgot about yesterday’s Zoom prayer gathering – I was actually napping when I should’ve been getting on-line.  I could “blame” my cats as I was “impaired” by 2 of them laying on top of me – but I just plain old forgot.
Days do seem to run one into another and it is hard to keep track of what day this actually is.  Even looking at a calendar doesn’t always help because what normally fill it up is now left blank.
We could even say that same thing about Easter – was it really just two days ago?!  My focus was so squarely fixed on Holy Week and Easter that my brain was not ready for what comes next.  At least, I had a goal before – now, life does not resume its “normal” pattern – for nothing is “normal” nowadays and the more we try to get a “fix on it, it shifts again.
We sing in the hymn “time like an ever-rolling stream soon bears all our years away; they fly forgotten as a dream dies at the opening day” (O God, Our Help in Ages past, ELW #632).  One day, this may seem like a dream, but right now – it’s just blurring my brain.
Where do we fix our gaze in the midst of all this uncertainty?  What will help to bring focus to these blurry days?
Easter Sunday may have come and gone for another year – but we are called to live as people of the resurrection!  For Easter is about more than a day but as a way of life.  It is about seeing Christ suffering along with us; it’s about living into the hope of the empty tomb and it’s about holding fast to the promise that God is both our help in ages past but also our hope in the days and years to come.
We may not always know what day it is as well as when life will return to some proximity of “normal”, but we have faith that Christ is with us in the midst of it and we are called to live as Easter people every day.
A couple of announcements: Zoom Bible Study based on a study called “Living Unafraid: lessons on hope from 31 of the Bible’s most-loved stories” by Scott Hamilton will be tomorrow night (Wed./ 7pm)  All are invited (see link below).
Percolating idea? I am thinking of having folks share videos and/or written reflections about Trinity.  I will be putting together a few questions for people to answer that will be then shared with others.  Still brainstorming this – if you would like to help me flesh it out, just be in touch.
Being in the community: in addition to the online connections, I want to help us all stay connected to each other.  If you would like to be in touch with other members of the church, let me know.  I’d like to have us all checking in with one another regularly -still thinking through the best ways to do this so that no one is missed – again, if you have thoughts or ideas, let me know.
Sharing our Faith: One of the gifts that I have received in our online worship is being able to read the comments afterward of those who have watched and connected in this way.  Even if you are not watching it live, please do comment. 
       Also, I have had some of my own family and friends who are far away from connecting with our worship as well.  Please take the opportunity to invite others to like our Facebook page, subscribe to our YouTube channel as well as sharing our specific worship services and other information. Peace & blessings in the Risen Christ, Pastor Jen


Jennifer Boyd is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Bible study Time: Apr 15, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)     
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April 10, 2020

Dearly beloved, We join the women as they come to the tomb.  They came with spices and concerns about rolling away from the stone.  Yet, all these expectations were turned upside down when they found the tomb empty!
We come to this day with our Easter expectations turn upside down as well!  Like the women in Mark’s Gospel, we are filled with fear and uncertainty.  
Jesus is not contained by the tomb nor by our church buildings – they are empty for Christ is risen and is on the loose in our world!  We are Easter people for Christ’s resurrection is not relegated to one day a year, but every day!
As we prepare for the dawning of Easter morning, you are invited to print out the coloring pages below.  Use them to decorate your own space for Easter – post or send me pictures of your decorations.  If you would like to drop off (in the church mailbox, lower parking lot), any of your butterflies for me to use to adorn our worship space, please do so by Sunday morning at 8am.
Attached is the Order of Worship for Easter Sunday.  We worship Live via Facebook at 9:30am or at a time of your choosing via our YouTube channel.
We trust and believe in the Risen Christ who brings new life out of death!  Alleluia!  Christ is risen indeed!
Peace & blessings, Pastor Jen

Butterfly

Alleluia Poster 1

Alleluia Poster 2

Easter Worship

April 9, 2020

Dearly beloved, In the midst of this uncertain time, we gaze upon Jesus as he takes on the suffering of the world through the cross.  Christ took the brokenness of this world to himself out of God’s great love for all people in all times and places.
You will have two different opportunities to gather virtually for Good Friday Services.  If you want to join us live, they will be on Facebook at the designated times and later posted to YouTube.  Orders of worship for both of the services are attached to this email and will be on our website

Stations of the Cross service (noon)
Tenebrae Service of light and shadows (7pm) 
Join us as we gather in our own homes and worship Christ our Lord who loves us so very much!
Peace & Blessings, Pastor Jen

Good Friday Noon Service

Good Friday Tenebrae Service

April 8, 2020

Dearly beloved,

I feel as if I keep pointing out how different everything is – all that is “normal” or “tradition”  is not going to happen in the same way.  While we can mourn our inability to be physically altogether, we are also invited to focus on the significance of this week, the meaning behind our traditions.
Maundy Thursday is when we remember Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples.  It has been the time when young people have received their First Communion and then helped with the stripping of the altar.  Please pray for Zachary Duben & Jonathan Sciarra as they must wait a bit longer before they come to the table with us to receive the body and blood of Christ.  
Jesus’ last meal with his disciples was the Passover meal (except in John’s Gospel).  Our Jewish friends are celebrating Passover beginning today.   As they gather in their homes as well as virtually, they recall the story of liberation told in Exodus, an event that defines their relationship with God in many ways.
You will have two opportunities to gather for Maundy Thursday.  At 2pm (April 9th), there will be a Zoom meeting where we will talk about the Passover meal that Jesus shared with his disciples.  I will have a Seder plate with the symbolic foods and practices that are used (you can find the list in the Holy Week resources sent out last week if you would like to assemble these items for yourself as well).  Please plan to join me!  See the link below.  (This will be recorded so that you may view it later if you are not able to join us)
In the evening, we will gather at a table.  While we are unable to have communion at this time, you are invited to join me on Facebook Live, gathered at your own table with your evening meal, a snack, etc.   In preparation, please have an empty chair as well as a bowl of water with you for a symbolic washing as we recall Jesus’ washing of his disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17).  The Order of Worship is attached. 
In the uncertainty of these days, Christ comes to us where we are and gives us that new commandment that we are to love one another in both what we say and what we do – together or apart – but always as God’s people, the Church deployed!
Peace & blessings, Pastor Jen

Order of Worship

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Topic: Maundy Thursday gathering Time: Apr 9, 2020, 02:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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April 6, 2020

Dearly beloved,

Yesterday was Palm Sunday which begins our Holy Week observances.  You should have received an email last week with resources for use at home (if not, you can find all previous emails on our website)
As we enter into this time, you are invited to gather with me on Zoom for a Prayer gathering at 5pm.  Click the link below to join (you can either go to the Zoom website if on a desktop, download the app for mobile devices or call in by phone).
We will also be having a Zoom gathering at 2pm on Thursday, April 9th for a Maundy Thursday activity (a link will be sent out in a couple of days) 
Holy Week Worship: Orders of worship for Maundy Thursday (April 9th, 7pm), Good Friday (April 10th, noon & 7pm) and Easter (April 12th, 9:30am) services will be sent out separately in a couple of days. Each of these services will be on Facebook Live and then later posted to YouTube.

Psalm 91 for 91 days. There are a number of people who have committed to praying Psalm 91 for the next few months as a prayer of faith during this unusual time. Beginning today (April 6th), we are doing so as well. You can set a reminder at the time of your choice or pick a time like 9:10 (am or pm).   

Bible Gateway – Psalm 91

Or you may recognize some of the words that are used for “On Eagle’s wings” On Eagle’s Wings (with lyrics)

There are numerous others who are doing this online – for example

 Psalm 91 

Topic: Zoom Prayer gathering Time: Apr 6, 2020, 05:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)      Join Zoom Meeting Join our Cloud HD Video Meeting now

April 4, 2020

As a way to celebrate a Palm Sunday, place palms on your front door (use the coloring sheets sent out previously)

Join together virtual worship at 9:30 am on Facebook live (or later on our YouTube channel). 

Online Worship

LtW At Home

You can also find the video that Tyler O’Toole put together at both sites

Palms will be distributed from 11am-noon at the upper parking lot.

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Zoom coffee hour will be at noon via this link

Topic: Zoom coffee hour Time: April 5, 2020, Noon. This is a recurring meeting. Meet anytime. Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/4352630119 Meeting ID: 435 263 0119 One tap mobile+19292056099,,4352630119# US (New York) ZOOM.US Join our Cloud HD Video Meeting now Join our Cloud HD Video Meeting now

April 1, 2020

Dear Beloved people of God,

As we prepare to enter into Holy Week, I have put together some resources for you to use at home.   There are links, activities, questions to reflect upon for your own devotions and/or in conversations with others, prayers and more.   
The other document is a coloring page of a palm branch.
Don’t forget, you can still pick up palms tomorrow, April 2nd (10-11:30am) or Sunday (11am-noon).   If you’re unable to do so, let me know if there’s another time.   We will be keeping extra palms for when we can gather again
Also, don’t forget to send Tyler O’Toole your pix or short video so that he can put create our virtual palm parade (his contact info was in a previous notice)
Continuing peace and blessings to all!  

Pastor Jen 

Holy Week at Home Resource: https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.233.86/fgk.17f.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/holy-week-at-home-resources.2020.pdf

Palm Coloring: https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.233.86/fgk.17f.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/PalmColoring.pdf

March 30, 2020

Dear Beloved people of God,We begin Holy Week next Sunday (April 5th) with our Palm Sunday celebration. No, I am not going to process around the church with all the palms by myself. I came across an idea that I need your help with!We are asking for each household to take a picture or make a short video that will then by put together in a video by our own Tyler O’Toole. It will be uploaded to our YouTube channel to be viewed on Sunday morning. This is a quick turn around so we need you all to do this by Friday, April 3rd and send it to Tyler at imperialwhale9@gmail.com. There will be an additional Holy Week resource coming out this week with ideas to use at home. We are in the process of making adjustments to our worship services so that we may continue to worship together virtually. Palms: I will be offering palms for people to pick up (I will be the only one handling them and with gloves) You are invited to stay in your car and I will be handing them out at the following times, Lower parking lot (honk to let Pastor Jen know you’re there)Wednesday, April 1st (1:30pm-3pm), Thursday, April 2nd (10am-11:30am) Upper parking lot Sunday, April 5th (11am-noon) Easter Lilies – we are not able to get lilies from the florist after all. The husband of Diane (co-owner of shop) unexpectedly died (not related to the virus). Please keep them in your prayers. Kathie will return any money that had already been sent to her. Offerings: Please remember to continue to share your offerings as you are able – you may either mail them to the church office (2103 Route 6, Brewster 10509), drop them off and put in our mailbox in the lower parking lot, or donate on-line: https://trinitybrewsterny.org/ . Please note that we are not depositing checks weekly at this point. They will be deposited every 4-6 weeks depending on how many we receive. Prayers: Austin Giacomelli has been hospitalized with back pain; still awaiting test results. If there are others that you would like to have included in our prayers, please let me know. Christ’s love, peace & blessings are with you all! Pastor Jen

March 26, 2020

Dear All,
Blessings and peace to you from Jesus Christ our Lord, dear beloved people of God
I have not sent out quite as many emails this week, but you all are constantly in my prayers!
Tomorrow you will be receiving the newsletter for April.  There won’t be a calendar since all of our in-person activities are on hold.  We will update you (as always) as things change – via email, mail, Facebook and our website.  If you have any questions, concerns, needs, etc. – please do not hesitate to call/text/email as needed.  We are regularly checking mail and messages.
Attached is the Order of Worship as well as this week’s “Sharing God’s Story’ got for this coming Sunday.  You will find announcements and additional links on the last page.

Coddiwopple (to travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination) I get a “word of the day” in my email.  This was a word that appeared quite a bit ago but seemed fitting for our current time. We may not yet know where/when this will end, but we walk purposefully with Christ’s love and peace to strengthen us for the journey ahead.
God says to us: ” For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.
We may not know what the future holds, but we assured in faith that God in Christ Jesus is with us always!
Peace, Pastor Jen 
You are also encouraged to continue to share your offering with Trinity be mailing them to the church office or by donating online via our website: https://trinitybrewsterny.org by clicking on the “donate” button. 

Online Worship

LtW-At Home Insert (2020-03-29)

March 27, 2020

On Sunday, March 29th, you have the opportunity to participate in a few different online gatherings through Zoom. To participate:

1) download the Zoom app (it’s free)

2) click on one of the links below to participate in whichever gatherings you’d like. Or you may call in rather than doing the video

3) once at the gathering, make sure your audio and video are on

4) you can change the view to grid/gallery so that you can see multiple people Links for each of these gatherings are below:

Topic: Zoom coffee hour (2) Time: This is a recurring meeting Meet anytime Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/4352630119 Meeting ID: 435 263 0119 One tap mobile+19292056099,,4352630119# US (New York) ZOOM.US Join our Cloud HD Video Meeting now Join our Cloud HD Video Meeting now

Topic: Zoom coffee hour (1)Time: This is a recurring meeting Meet anytime. Join Zoom Meetinghttps://zoom.us/j/4352630119 Meeting ID: 435 263 0119 One tap mobile+19292056099,,4352630119# US (New York) ZOOM.US Join our Cloud HD Video Meeting now Join our Cloud HD Video Meeting now

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March 20, 2020

Dear all,

And now for something completely different – worship online and in our own homes.  Though now that I think about it, the Church began in homes and then grew as people were invited to join them.   So, maybe we should think about this as a kind of “throwback worship” with a modern twist.
Attached you will find the order of worship that we will be using this week.  There are some instructions and guidance for what to expect and ways to create a kind of a sacred space where you are.  I will post it as well on Facebook by Sunday morning 
I will be on Facebook Live from our sanctuary on Sunday at 9:30am and it will be posted soon after on our YouTube channel for folks who watch at a different time (or if you are in need of something else to watch 😂).  Praying for no technical difficulties 
As always, please check in to let me know how you’re doing as well as if there is anything you need.  I have set up some Zoom meetings as well as our daily walking group (weather permitting)
Prayers, peace and blessings to all, Pastor Jen 

Online Worship

Dear all, 

We realize that you do not have the same kind of access to what is being offered through many people’s computers. If you are able to connect in some way (safely) with those who do, we encourage you to do so. 

I am including with this mailing the daily updates that I have been sending via email to the congregation so that you may be able to keep connected. There is also an order of worship that we are sending out so that folks may have worship in their own homes as well as our weekly insert with daily readings and the like. 

We have a team of volunteers who are contacting a number of our members. If you have not received such a call, please let me know so that I can follow up on it. 

I and Caitlyn (our office manager) are in the office part-time, checking mail and messages. Please feel free to contact us there if you have any questions. You may also contact me at any time on my cell phone. 

We do not yet know when we will be able to re-open, but in the meantime, we continue to lift up our prayers for everyone. Know that we are finally able to come back together, it will be with great celebration and rejoicing – for God is good all the time! 

Praying that you are doing well and staying healthy! 

Peace & blessings, Pastor Jen 

March 19, 2020

Dearly Beloved,
I’ve spent a lot of time praying, thinking and planning about how best we might still stay connected as a congregation.  I am very thankful for those who I and others have been able to connect with, but also realizing that there is nothing quite like seeing folks in person (even if we can’t be in physical proximity)
I am setting up a couple of Zoom “coffee hours” where we can just gather online to talk for a bit and connect.  I will have separate ones for book study, bible study, prayer and children’s times in addition to these coffee hours (which I will send out in a few days).
Pick one (or more) of the following links for different times to gather.  You can just call by phone in or if you have a mobile or desktop that allows for video & audio, you can click those links.
I have participated in a couple of these, but I am still learning.  A couple of suggestions:  In order to help with some of the echoes, use earbuds or headsets.  Also if you are not talking, please mute your microphone to avoid any background noise.  I will try to talk folks through things once people get connected, but there is also information on the Zoom site and elsewhere to help you out.
While we cannot provide the coffee and goodies for our time together, the most important thing is that we can be gathered for a bit in this way.
Peace & blessings, stay well – Pastor Jen

Jennifer Boyd is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Coffee hour 1 Time: Friday, Mar 20, 2020 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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AND/OR Jennifer Boyd is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Coffee  hour 2 Time: Sunday, Mar 22, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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March 18, 2020

Dearly Beloved,

How much do I take for granted from day to day? From the simple realization of all the things I touch everyday to the most important of being able to be with all those that I know and love – how precious all of this becomes in present circumstances.I’m feeling that spring and more importantly, Easter will be experienced in a much deeper way than in years before. While I might have glanced or taken a quick picture of the crocuses that are blooming, now I truly appreciate their color and their appearance amidst our current chaos. Being able to take a walk on a nice day is less of a “I need to” or “I should” get more exercise and more of a joy of thinking about who might join me on our daily walks (3pm in the lower church parking lot before we head to the bike path).While it is still uncertain whether we will be able to have “normal” Easter services on the scheduled date, we most certainly will celebrate with great rejoicing the power of Christ’s resurrection promise when we come back together. Easter and the Resurrection has always been about more than one date in the Church year, but a call for us to live as Resurrection People everyday.In the meantime, we are still in Lent – a time of prayer, fasting and reflection. We may be fasting from more than we originally intended, but I hope that prayerfully, we may be able to draw closer to God in the midst of this time, turning to Christ in prayer for ourselves, others, our nation and world.One of the Bible verses that I have turned to in difficult times is I Corinthians 10:13 – No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.Christ is with us in this time – both offering the comfort and strength that we need as well as filling us with love and compassion for all those who are in need.Peace & blessings to all, Pastor JenLooking ahead: On Friday, we will be sending out an order of worship to follow along with on Facebook Live (9:30am Sunday) or that you may watch later on YouTube as well. We will include the links for those videos along with others for music and an online worship service being offered through the Synod office. I am inviting people to either send me prayers of intercession that they would like to have included on Sunday or you may type them into the comments below the video feed.Zoom Bible Study and/or Book study: If you are interested in participating in an online bible study or book study, let me know as I will be setting that up.Zoom Children’s Time: I will also be offering the chance to meet with kids via Zoom for conversation and prayer. Please let me know if you are interested so that I can set up the link, time, etc. As always, please let me know if there is anything that you need, if you are sick or if you just need to talk/vent as well as pray. I am working from home in the morning and going to the office most afternoons.

March 17, 2020

Dear all,

In this unprecedented time, we face many challenges.  First of all, is making sure that people stay healthy which is the basis of our recent decisions.
The other primary goal/mission is to continue to be the Church even when we cannot gather together.  Here are a few of the things that we are doing:
1) Regular phone calls to those not online as well as those who are in the at-risk group.  We have a number of volunteers who are doing this, including myself and the Council. You are invited to maintain contacts with those that you are concerned about as well.
2) Regular emails/videos, etc. from Pastor Jen & others    We are planning on sending a daily email with updates as well as faith-filled resources from a variety of sources (if you have any that you would like to share, please let Pastor Jen know); they will be posted to Facebook as well Videos will be posted through our Facebook & YouTube pages or can be found through a link on our website.
3) Interactions (real & virtual)    Each day at 3 pm, people are invited (weather permitting) to meet in the church parking lot to go for a walk on the bike path (Pastor Jen will be there most of the days – its a new Lenten commitment/practice for her)
In addition to Pastor Jen’s videos, we are looking to host Zoom or Free Conferencing calls for people to gather virtually.  We will have times of prayer, reflection, study, as well as conversation.  Watch for links and times soon.
4) Sunday worship:  While we cannot meet in person, we will still worship.  In the next day or so, Pastor Jen will be sharing a service for you to do at home as well as how we might worship together on-line.  She will also be asking for your specific prayers to be shared at this time.  Franklyn will be sharing links to hymns & other music that you can listen to or sing along with at home.  If anyone would like to record a song to share, please let us know.  
5) Prayer – while this is listed last – it is the most important!     We lift up so many prayers for our leaders, our communities, those who are of service and most certainly all those who are in medical fields, hospitals, nursing homes and the like. 
Pastor Jen as well as Caitlyn (our office manager) will be primarily working from home but will be spending some time in the office as needed.  We will be checking messages, mail, etc. regularly.  
Please feel free to contact Pastor Jen when needed (email:revjedyer1@yahoo.com; cell # 518-231-4633)
You can find additional information here:

https://trinitybrewsterny.org/ (the link at the time of the page has all our updates related to the coronavirus)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Trinity-Lutheran-Church-Brewster-NY-160570420670756/

YouTube: Trinity Lutheran Church Brewster NY

March 16, 2020

Dear Friends in Christ,

This is an uncertain time, things are changing rapidly and it seems that as soon as a decision is made, something happens to change that decision.

We were able to meet for worship on Sunday (3/15) with a total of about 40 people total from both of the services.  We had decided to continue to meet as we are able, but yesterday afternoon an emergency order came from the County executive office that prohibits groups of more than 20 to meet.  While this particular order only covers the next five days, we are going to assume that it will be extended.

With great reluctance and regret, the Church council and I have decided to close the building to all activities until precautions are lifted. We will be informing all of our tenants as well.

  We will be offering online worship, probably through Facebook and YouTube.  Watch our Facebook page as well as our website for further information.

We will also be trying to keep in touch with one another on a regular basis.  In addition to online worship, I will be doing daily reflections and opportunities for conversation, primarily through email.  There may be a chance to meet through other resources like Zoom meeting or free conference call.

Those who are not connected via online resources will be given a phone call by volunteers.  If you are willing to be one of these volunteers, please contact me.

Since we are able to keep some distance in outside activities, I am inviting people to join me at 3pm each afternoon (weather permitting) to meet in the church parking lot and to go for a walk on the bike path.

If you have additional ideas of ways that we can stay connected, please share them.  This is all new to all of us and we are learning as we go.

We also ask that you please send in your offering as you are able– either through the mail or you may also give your offerings online through our website (https://trinitybrewsterny.org/) by clicking on the donate button.

Lastly, continue to take care of yourselves and take the necessary precautions.  Please let me know if you are sick and/or if there is any help that we can provide such as grocery shopping, etc.

We are called to continue to be the Church even in these uncertain times.  We are challenged to find new ways to share the Gospel message and share the love of Christ with others.  Take heart, dear Church, we will endure for Christ is with us!

I share with you a prayer that I received:

“In apartheid South Africa, many prisoners were denied the sacraments and had to find other ways of taking Spiritual Communion. ‪This prayer found its way into the 1989 Anglican Church of South Africa Prayer Book as a help to others who could not receive. 

Jesus, may all that is you flow into me.

May your body and blood be my food and drink.

May your passion and death be my strength and life.

Jesus, with you by my side enough has been given.

May the shelter I seek be the shadow of your cross.

Let me not run from the love which you offer

but hold me safe from the forces of evil.

On each of my dyings shed your light and your love.

Keep calling to me until that day comes when,

with your saints, I may praise you forever.

Amen.

Peace and love in Christ, Pastor Jen Please feel free to contact me either through the church office or my cell phone (518-231-4633)

March 16, 2020

We would encourage people to try to maintain their offerings during this time. You can mail them to the church office or go to our website and click the donate button: https://trinitybrewsterny.org/

March 12, 2020

Dear Family of Faith,
It is amazing to think about how many things we touch in any given day. Most of the time, I am not particularly mindful of it, but in light of Covid-19, I’ve become much more cognizant of it. I think often of Michael and the dangers that this would’ve posed to him (through me) as well as so many others who are at-risk. While you and I may not personally be at risk, many of us may have regular contact with those who are.

I have been wavering between wanting to be cautious as well as not wanting to over-react. Panic is not helpful and can even put others at risk. For example, the theft of masks, gloves and soaps from hospitals where they are on the front line of this virus as well as a myriad of other health situations.

With all of this in mind, here are a few things that we will implement at this time:

1) We will continue with all current worship services, meetings, classes and other programs.
A) However, we are encouraging people to not shake hands, hug or kiss during the passing of the peace. Elbows, peace signs and other non-physical signs of peace and welcome are to be our current practice.
a. This is also true for greeting of people outside of worship.

B) We are asking people to not mark their baptism with the water from the baptismal font. We encourage people to do that as you use water at home and in other circumstances.

C) The offering plates will be set out for people to place their offerings in rather than having the plates passed around. As always, you may give your offering through our website at any time.

D) Communion will continue to be served. Myself & the assistants will use hand sanitizer before distribution (the bread & wine will not be brought forward, but placed on the side table). We will still serve both the bread & wine; however, if you are uncertain about receiving the wine through the common cup or intinction, you may forgo that.

2) We encourage the following personal practices for everyone:
a. Wash hands regularly and for a minimum of 20 seconds – in addition to singing happy birthday to gauge the length, you may say the Lord’s Prayer and make this not just a health practice, but a faith practice.
i. We will try to keep a regular supply of hand sanitizer available for people to use in addition to the soap in the restrooms and kitchens.

b. If you are not feeling well, stay home.
i. We have been working on getting my sermons online and hope to have that fully up and running. We do have a Youtube channel or you may also check out our Facebook page.

These are temporary measures. They will change in the event that there is any direct incidents of Covid-19 in connection with Trinity. We will notify you if that becomes the case and what measures will be taken in that case.

There is a lot of information out there. Sometimes it is difficult to know which ones to trust. The most accurate information can be found through the CDC as well as the World Health Organization.

We continue to be Church together! Please check on those who live alone or who are in the at-risk categories. If you do become ill, please let me know, particularly if there is anything that we can do to help you out.

Continue to pray for those who are sick as well as for those in the medical professions and for other health organizations as they care for those who are sick and seek to bring resolution to this crisis around the globe.

Peace in Christ, Pastor Jen

P.s. I am postponing my “college tour” to bring care packages to our college students as many colleges are closing. Though some students are choosing to stay on campus.