Fifth Sunday Council President Update April 28/29, 2018

Good Evening/Morning

Since our last update we have a lot of things going on:

The carpet committee selected a carpet for the main level of the church, lobby, halls, stairs, Titus room, and so on. The council approved the purchase, and the new carpet is to be installed beginning this coming Monday, so next week when you arrive at church you should see a new, clean look in those areas.

The Elders are still working on just the right church security plan for us here at Trinity. We have been in contact with other congregations, as well as collecting information from governmental units, and are hoping to attend a couple seminars on the subject. Also, the new door security entry button and camera have been installed by the main entrance, once active the doors will remain locked during the day and the secretaries will be able to screen who enters the building, for their safety.  We hope to have this system up and working in the next few weeks.

We have a new part time secretary in the office working with Janet, she started last Monday, her name is Renay Baker, if you’re here during the office hours be sure to stop in and welcome her.

Next Sunday is our Bi-annual voters assembly meeting. The only action item on the agenda will be indicating our intent to call Deacon Bob as a Specific Ministry Pastor-Just a little bit about this: a couple years ago the deacon program was changed, it cut back on what a deacon could actually do at a church. It was decided that if the church wanted a Deacon to continue doing these things, that with additional training the deacon could become a Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) for short. The program calls for the church they are serving to place a call for a SMP, specifying that person. This will allow Deacon Bob to participate in the SMP program and be considered staff here at Trinity. For us everything will remain the same as it always has been, there are no financial obligations or commitments. For deacon Bob it will mean a bunch of studying to do the same things he has been doing for years.

Currently we are looking for a superintendent for or education program. This person would be responsible for the Sunday School Program as well as Vacation Bible School Program. Carissa Anger is ready to take some time for other things. She has been doing this for many, many years. So, if you or someone you know is interested or would like more information, please drop a line or talk to Pastor.

There are copies of the Voters agenda in the narthex if you are interested in picking one up on your way out this evening.

Any time I get up to talk I always like to get in a plug about volunteers, as everyone knows, volunteers are what make a church run, so, anyone who would like to help out is always welcome, we are always looking for ushers, Sound and Light team members, Altar Guild, Praise Band members, Choir members, and Office help, other places that need a hand at times are quilter, Family Promise, Franklin Avenue Mission, My Brother Keeper, International Friends Ministry, The Mentoring Program, and many more  If you have time to help once or multiple time WE need your help!

Our second annual volunteer appreciation dinner will be June 5th, there will be more detail in the coming weeks, there is a signup sheet in the lobby to let us now you are coming.

One final note: this year’s Lenten and Easter Season Services were the largest attended we have had in many, many years! God IS good!

Thank you for this opportunity to give you this update of happenings here at Trinity!

God’s Blessing to you all!

Following the Good Shepherd

Last Sunday, Pastor comforted us with words about our Good Shepherd caring for His sheep. As members of Trinity, we can see this happening as each Sunday we gather for worship. We don’t fear that when we arrive at church, the doors will be locked, soldiers will be on guard with guns, and our beloved sanctuary up in flames.

But that’s exactly what my friend from Pakistan’s family witnessed a couple of weeks ago when a neighboring church and school was set ablaze by militants. After my friend shared a video from her neighbors with me before Sunday’s Bible Class, I asked Pastor for prayer for safety as my friend flies back to Pakistan this week. If there ever was a time this international student needed to find the still waters of rest it was now. What awaits back home—in a country where Christians are persecuted daily is certainly on her mind and heart. And it should also be on our hearts as well—because they are our brothers and sisters in Christ.

This week, please include my friend and her family and her church in your prayers for persecuted Christians … as they are deemed as “dirty” and “shameful” by some of their unbelieving neighbors.

We also can rest in the fact that our friend is a Christian and that God’s promise to her is comforting: “And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 23:3-4

Meeting other believers from around the world strengthens my faith. Join with us at Flint International Friends and become a friend to a person who needs one!

How Shall I Spread Abroad Thy Wonderous story?

Have you ever asked the question the hymn writer asks in our beautiful hymn we sang together at Maundy Thursday worship, “O Dearest Jesus, What Law hast Thou Broken? In verse 3 of the that hymn, the writer asks, “How shall I spread abroad thy wondrous story?” How do we tell the whole world that God loves each and every person so much that He sacrificed His own son, Jesus for our sins? We may support overseas missions or include the world’s lost in our daily prayers.

After Maundy Thursday worship, I asked my friend from Pakistan if she understood the service—after all her first language is Urdu, her second language is Hindi, and her third language is English. She smiled at me and nodded her head up and down.

“Even we sing the same hymns as you.” she said.

“Like which ones,” I questioned?

She started humming a familiar tune—the tune of O Dearest Jesus …and then in a beautiful soprano voice she sang this song for me in the Urdu language. What a joy to share with believers from around the world our precious Savior’s love in song. It reminded me of Psalm 86:9, “All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.” That evening this verse came true for me!

This was an Easter blessing I didn’t expect but I’m thankful to God to have the opportunity to sing with people from all over the globe. You can too! Find out how you can meet people from different parts of the world at Flint International Friends!

Holy Week at Trinity

This next weekend is Palm Sunday.  The day begins Holy Week –  the climax of the Lenten Season.  Holy Week includes special times of worship designed to help us understand and appreciate the price Jesus paid for our salvation.  This week also includes some faith milestones in the lives of our members. 

Please celebrate this special week with us at Trinity when we observe major events in Jesus’ life and celebrate significant faith events in the lives of our fellow Christ-followers.

Palm Sunday (Saturday) – March 24 – 6:15 p.m.

We recognize Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem less than one week before His crucifixion.  The crowds welcomed Jesus with hopes that He would become their king (Luke 19:28-40).  During this Saturday evening worship we  celebrate this event with a special service that includes our annual Palm Sunday Cantata featuring choir members from both our own choir and the choir of St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Otisville.

Palm Sunday – March 25 9:15 a.m.

It’s Confirmation Sunday at Trinity!  While we celebrate the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem, we also celebrate a faith milestone in the lives of several young people who have completed a two-year study of basic Lutheran doctrines.  We witness these young people confirm their Christian faith and we pray for them as they continue their journey as Jesus’ followers.

Maundy Thursday – March 29 @ 7:00 p.m.

On the night of Jesus’ arrest He celebrated His last meal with His disciples (Luke 22:14-23).  During this last meal, Jesus began the sacrament of Holy Communion which has been a weekly celebration for Jesus’ followers since the earliest days of the faith (Acts 2:42-46; Acts 20:7).  Our congregation gathers on this special Thursday evening to reflect on the meaning of Jesus’ gift of communion.  We also celebrate this evening as some of our young members receive first communion after they have completed the “Early Communion Prior to Confirmation” course with their parents.

Good Friday Tenebrae Worship – March 30 – 7:00 p.m.

The name “Good Friday” hardly seems appropriate when we remember what Jesus endured and suffered on this day two millennia ago.  We gather and worship on this holy day to remember and appreciate what Jesus endured for us.  This is an specifically somber service: we begin by gathering in silence; we reflect on Scriptures that tell the account of Jesus’ suffering; and our service concludes in darkness.  Our youth play a significant role in this worship as they read God’s Word and extinguish altar candles leading to a worship that concludes in darkness. During this solemn worship we discover again that this Friday is “good” because of Jesus made it good through the terrible things that happened to Him.

Trinity’s 2017 Family Promise Contribution

This morning I had the opportunity to sit down with Mary Weeden who serves as Trinity’s Family Promise co-coordinator and Lindsay Moore, Network Director of Family Promise of Genesee County.   During this meeting in my study we had the pleasure of talking about our church’s contribution to Family Promise to help those who are homeless.  God’s people at Trinity are doing some good things together to provide shelter and meals to people who are homeless.  To be more specific, please look over the statistics below from our “2017 Congregational Review”:

Number of Host Weeks: 4 weeks in 2017 (15 weeks since 2014)

Number of Families Hosted: 11 unique families in 2017

Number of People Hosted: 35 unique people

Number of Night’s Sleep: 277 nights in 2017

Number of Volunteer Hours: 1,136

Amount of in-kind donation ($22.13 an hour/volunteer): $25,140

Family Impact: 24 (including one family from 2018) families who have stayed at Trinity Lutheran have successfully graduated from Family Promise and are maintaining their own homes.

Since March of 2014, Trinity members have taken part in 15 Host Weeks.  In order for us to continue this important ministry we need the continued support of our members.  Each host week presents dozens of opportunities to be part of Trinity’s Family Promise Ministry.  Please contact Mary Weeden for more information about Family Promise at Trinity.


It’s Our Turn

Remember back in the days before dishwashers, when after a family meal, an argument would sometimes develop about whose turn it was to do the dishes or carry out the garbage? I don’t know why but it seemed to my young mind that it was ALWAYS my turn.


Fifth Sunday Council President Update

Council Update December 30 /31, 2017

Good Evening/Morning

Welcome to our first Council President Update!

As Pastor has already been announcing, these 5 minute 5th Sunday updates are intended to update our congregation as to what things, and how things are going on here at Trinity.

Since November we have appointed 2 new council members to fill empty seats: Christine Simmonds will be the new Education Director, and Vickie Foster will be the new Stewardship Director.

One of the biggest items on the radar of the Board of Elders as well as the Council, in light of the recent event in Texas, is Church security! We have been collecting information from our Church resources, other Congregations, as well as the Michigan State Police on what policies, plans and actions we can put into place to help prevent a tragedy from happening here at Trinity. We don’t feel there is any current threat but want to be proactive!  So, over the next few months we will be working to have some plans in place that will help ease everyone’s mind.

We have lots of outreach ministry items going on, and many of them could use an extra hand, so if the Holy Spirit move you in that direction, please volunteer: Coming up next week is Family Promise, also My Brother’s Keeper, the Mentoring Ministry, Quilter’s, International Friends, Services at Brookdale Assisted Living, and many more.

We have 2 different committees working on projects:

  • The first one is working on getting bids for replacement of the carpet in the Lobby, Halls, Offices and Stairs hopefully in time for our Easter Services!
  • The second is in the planning stages of our next big project. Some of the items they are working towards are the  Real Elevator, Updating the Current Kitchen, Remodeling of the Basement to use for events, Adding New Handicap accessible restrooms to the lower level, Converting the Trinity room into classrooms and more.

Other building improvements happening:  We are updating to LED bulbs in the sanctuary which are brighter. 4 have already been upgraded, so if you can see a little better in worship the last couple weeks that’s the reason!

The hot water heater and circulation system have been repaired so you can actually get warm water to wash your hands.

Consumers Energy came in and upgraded many of the fluorescent lights with LED technology, that will help save on our utility bill.

In November the voters decided to extend our Minister of Youth position! The position is showing signs of attracting the Jr. High and younger students. It is a crucial investment for our congregation; we need our youth to be active! This position is no longer a funded pilot program, and is budgeted out of our weekly income, so, please remember this is a very important ministry when you are budgeting for your tithes and offerings in 2018..

Finally, an update on the parking lot project. When we voted to rebuild the parking lot 50% of the funds $53,000.00 were to come from the Koester Estate funds, and the other 50% were to be matched by the congregation. Since May we have already matched over  $18,000.00 of the congregations portion. Please keep up the good work!

Thank you for this opportunity to update you!

I will be back for our next update in April!

Until then:

God’s Blessings and Happy New Year to you all!!

Got a Retirement Plan?

This isn’t a pitch for your retirement saving but rather a plea for those unreached by the Gospel. My friend is a Bible translator. This week she phoned me from an Asian country with news about her work that focuses on 2-billion people who have never heard of Jesus. She’s nearing retirement age and I asked her if she had any plans … to which she replied she’s considering going back to Botswana—a country that borders South Africa—to live in a village while teaching people about our loving Savior.

We reminisced about our time together in Botswana. I left her there at a cattle post—in a stick hut on the edge of the Kalahari Desert—about 15 years ago. We often laugh about this adventure—where her assignment was to live with an un-reached people group and develop a written language for the Bible.

I was in Botswana to write a grant for a Lutheran School there that was filled with orphans from the AIDS epidemic. We stayed with German Lutheran missionaries in a very-nice home—living in their attic apartment—with a thatched straw roof.  She was preparing to leave the apartment and travel to the cattle post where she would live with a tribe of people for over a year and learn their spoken language.

I remember the day we hopped into the German missionary’s pick-up truck …. filled with jerry cans of gasoline because there are no gas stations in the desert. It was a day’s drive to our destination and I was speechless in wonder of God’s miraculous creation. It’s one thing to see zebras and rhinos in the zoo, but to watch them striding or running in the African bush was amazing.

At nightfall we arrived at the cattle post—where we were directed to our tents. There was a big fire burning outside the circle of tents and wearily we cooked the food we brought with us. I had never been to a cattle post before—so I wasn’t prepared for the smell and the flies that assaulted me as I tried to eat my dinner. I gave up and headed for bed. In the morning we said our tearful goodbyes to my friend and headed back—hoping we’d brought enough gas to make the return trip and praying that our friend would be safe. (I later learned the big fire that burned all night was to keep the lions away from the cattle.)

Maybe your retirement won’t be as exciting as my friend’s—but you can serve Christ in many exciting ways with Most Ministries and LCMS missions. Stop by our display after church on Dec. 6, 9 or 10 and be ready to see a world or opportunities waiting—just for you!

Get Inspired

People often ask me why I get involved in foreign missions.  I’m sometimes asked, “Isn’t there enough to do here in the US without traveling around the world?”
My response is not what you may want to hear—but it’s based on experience. When I met my first “street kid” in South America, or saw a woman crawling to church on a dirt road in Africa, it changed the way I looked at the world. At home in the U.S. we have churches—some closing and empty, but they are there in almost every community. This is not true for the 2.7 billion unreached people. The Bible is readily available on-line or on the shelves of libraries and churches—although the pages may not be well worn—but it’s a crime punishable by death in some countries.
In all the countries where M.O.S.T. Ministries works, including Uganda where our team will be installing water filters that save lives while proclaiming the Living Water Jesus, we are serving people not as fortunate as the poorest in the U.S. These people are starving for the WORD…many without hope or saving faith in Jesus.
The question I ask is, “Do we put boundaries on God’s Word…..and only provide for the people who already have it? Why are we not feeding those without it?”
If you’d like to learn more about using your God given talents to feed those truly desperate join me on Saturday, Nov. 11th for the annual Most Ministries luncheon at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor. It is a good chance to hear more about MOST Ministries, enjoy a nice lunch, and listen to testimonies from the mission field.  I guarantee you will ‘Get Inspired!’
Contact me at for more information or to make a reservation and be prepared to expand your worldview.


The idiom, “double-up” can be confusing to international students when we ask them to share a ride with another student in the same car, or deal with something in pairs. When an instructor says, “We’re going to have to double up in this job and get it done,” some students are scratching their heads thinking, “How do I do that?”
We can double up with laughter when someone tells a hilarious joke, or when we don’t have enough hand-outs for our class we ask students to double-up with another student.
Today, we’re asking our Trinity members to DOUBLE-UP!  We’re going to double our impact when each member brings a friend to our Living Water Walk, Aug. 11th at 7 p.m. at Lake Callis Recreation Center.
By doubling-up, Team Colorado will have opportunities to double their impact when they take the water filtration equipment we will purchase with the money raised from our walk. Not only will more people be assured of clean water—more people will hear the Gospel that has everlasting affects.
Double-Up with us by bringing a friend. Share God’s love with those who are dying without it. Register on-line at, or pick-up a registration form in the church narthex.  Let’s make this Walk for Living Water overflow with love!