Grace, Mercy and Peace to you, Welcome to Volume 20 of this E-Newsletter.
Trinity Sunday is upon us, it is always the Sunday after Pentecost, which incase you weren't in church last week was last week. This is a high holy day in the church, not just because it is our namesake. This is the Sunday, when we celebrate, recognize and try to understand the mystery of God, three in one. Now the Trinity is a tricky thing to talk about, venture too far anyone path when speaking about the Trinity could label you as a hectic of the church due to you not understanding an early church council on this or that*. The Trinity is a difficult thing to discuss.
We say that the Trinity is a mystery, because it really is. The Trinity is the way in which we try and wrap our mind around the way that God is, was, and is working in the world. We try to understand the Trinity through triangles, eggs and other human analogies but they all fall short, like our understanding of God and the Trinity.
The early church helped us understand a bit of the working of the Trinity, through their writings but especially the Creeds (Niece, Apostles, and Athanasian). However, once again these are only words and phrases that helps us put words to our beliefs about the Trinity, however they do not explain, relate or convey everything the Trinity is or is not. They are words that help us understand but do not relate the whole picture. This is all so challenging because there is not explanation that we will understand, there isn't a way to grasp fully the mystery of the Trinity, because it is just that, a mystery. Faith is not a code to be broken, God is not a code to figure out and the Trinity isn't either. There is no perfect understanding out there for us to achieve, we will always see through a veil.
So then what do we do? We certainly seek to understand God and how God is working in the world. But we recognize and understand that we will not be able to grasp the whole picture. So then we must return to the praise and adoration of God. We must return to living and dwelling in that mystery. We must return to God and dwell in that uncertainty that comes with faith and trust in God.
The other day as I gathered with other Pastors to pray and discuss the texts for this week, one of the Pastors played for us a hymn that helped focus on exactly this concept. I have included a link to the same hymn done by possibly my favorite artist Sufjan Stevens. So maybe sit and pray with this hymn, sit and mediate, and return to that wonder and adoration.
Here is the hymn Holy, Holy, Holy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FpQuGRlNg8.**
*- If I have committed any heresies during the writing of this newsletter, I ask your forgiveness.
**- Please ignore the ad before the video.
-If we all could continue to keep Penny Fowler's Mother, Ruth, in our prayer as she remains hospitalized at Legacy Emmanuel. Please pray for her, the family and those providing her care.
Prayer Requests: Ruth Barbara R, Betty J, Shirley P., Lois T., Dorothy F, Pastor Janell, Leah M, Cole, Stephen, Rev. Maggie, Jane (Family member of the Nelson's who was in a car accident), Siegline as she travels, St. Mark's Lutheran, St. Paul Lutheran, Jake + Marie, Linda, Pastor Fred, Dave, Danielle, Grayson and all those preparing for baptism or recently baptized, Nepal as they recover from an earthquake, those that work with Special Needs Students, that we should remain troubled by everything that is troubling, the church, the world, and all those in need.
- Mark your calendars for June 28th. This will be the date for our church picnic. We will be gathering on the 28th for worship outside (weather permitting) and afterwards will be having fellowship around the grill. There will be a sign up sheet in the fellowship room for picnic materials. Keep you eyes on the website for more details.
- Summer Book Study, this Summer we will be partaking in a summer book study of Unbinding the Gospel by Martha Grace Reese. It is a text written for congregation to focus on their prayer life, to understand the connection between prayer and action, and develop an understanding of how to apply the Gospel to their communities. We will be gathering throughout the summer to discuss the book and what it means to us here at Holy Trinity. More details to follow.
-It spring time and the weather is getting nicer. This is a great time of the year to start getting more active and enjoy the beautiful weather we are having. So join Pastor Andrew on Wednesday to walk around the neighborhood. We will be meeting at 2:30 at the church and set off for a stroll around the neighborhood.
-5th Sunday ingathering of canned goods is right around the corner again. Our next ingathering will be, This SUNDAY May 31st! Which is also Holy Trinity Sunday. This month we will be supporting Camp Lutherwood, which is the ELCA Summer Camp for the Oregon Synod. They have requested a few things that will greatly help their summer camp program. We will be gathering them on the 31st but feel free to drop them off before hand if you like. Our next gathering will be back to school supplies in August and canned good donations in November.
- Band aids (regular size/length, any color) to help stock our nurse's cabin
- 1 1/2 inch binders for staff manuals (any color, 3 ring, 8 1/2 x11 size paper)
- Clipboards (any color, 8 1/2 x11 size paper)
- Sharpies (all colors! Regular felt tip) Regular
- rolls of masking tape
- If anyone is interested in checking out what Puddletown is all about we have been invited to observe one of their classrooms. This is an open invitation to the congregation to come and spend some time experiencing their program. This has to be scheduled in advance, so please do not show up. This is by appointment only! Contact their office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Thrivant Builds! Thrivant Financial partners with Habitat for Humanity on their building projects here in Portland. We will be focusing on one date (Aug, 14th) that they are looking for volunteers to help. This is a wonderful opportunity to help out the community and dust off those work boots. Keep your eye out for more information or contact Pastor Andrew for more information.
-There is a new poll up on the chalkboards in the fellowship room to determine our next Bible Study and Service Project. So stop by and vote for whatever options sound interesting to you. You can vote for as many options as you like.
-St.Mark's is having their annual Rummage Sale on July 24-25th and all are welcome to attend. Donations will be accepted beginning in June.
-Check out out new calendar on our website www.htlcpdx.com http://www.htlcpdx.com/ for the most updated events around the church and community.
-There are many ways to connect and engage with Holy Trinity Lutheran.
Find us on Facebook: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church Portland
Spread the word on Yelp http://www.yelp.com/biz/holy-trinity-lutheran-church-portland
Join us for daily devotions on Instagram: HTLCPDX
Follow us on Twitter @HTLCPDX
If you are interested in my occasional musing on my blog you can find it here http://spoileralertimnotagoodwriter.blogspot.com
Keep an eye on our webpage www.htlcpdx.com for more updates as well.
Pastor Andrew's Schedule June 1-5
Monday- On-call if needed
Tuesday- Morning Pastor Text Study Group and afternoon around office.
Wednesday- Morning and Afternoon around the Office.
Thursday- Morning on-call if needed afternoon around the office.
Friday- On-call if needed and Sermon Prep.
Blessings Pastor Andrew