- WELCOME TO TRINITY!
October 24, 2016
Although our online presence may provide a small glimpse into our life together as the people of God here at Trinity, we sincerely hope that you will
BE SAFE AND BE WELL.
As the current public health situation continues, Trinity’s church building will remain closed until further notice. Any updates in the weeks to come will be announced.
If you are at home, or if you are among those who are required to be out because of work or other responsibilities, we pray that you are safe, and that you also will find ways to live out your faith. Our faith and hope in is the one who died and rose again for us. I hope that you will also seek out resources for worship, study, and devotion in the home. Please see the links below, or continue to check our congregation’s Facebook page, “Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church – Gibsonia” for such resources, messages, and educational resources for children.
We are still the church. The Peace of Christ be with you.
-Pastor Tony Schneck
*Although we do not have a date to reopen our building, we are in the planning stage. With many counties having moved to the yellow stage, this is a time for planning. Although we look forward with joy to that time when we can gather together inside our building, there is much to consider before we do. We must continue to move forward, courageously but cautiously, with love toward our neighbors, especially those who are most vulnerable. A planning team made up of Trinity members is in place to make necessary preparations. Updates will be shared as they become available.
SUNDAYS 9:00am and 9:45am
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church
3832 Gibsonia Road
“Come as you are, but stay in your car!!!”
It’s a different kind of worship for a very different time.
We hope you can join us! The service will last approximately 20-25 minutes.
Please be advised of the following house rules…
1) Come ready to hear God’s Word and give him praise.
2) Everyone is to remain in their vehicles! No exceptions. This will be strictly enforced.
3) No access to church building. No exceptions. The building remains closed. This will also be strictly enforced.
If possible, please let us know which service you plan to attend. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 724-443-8110.
WE ARE STILL GOD’S PEOPLE, THE CHURCH!
ONLY THE BUILDING IS CLOSED.
HOPE TO SEE YOU ON SUNDAY!
THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, JUNE 21, 2020
Click here to listen to the sermon…
1bShould we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? 2By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? 3Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
5For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. 7For whoever has died is freed from sin. 8But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Grace to you, and peace…
“You don’t know what it’s like!” Have you ever said that to someone? Has anyone ever said that to you?
A lot of women look at the men in their lives and say, “You don’t know what it’s like.” And they’re right. Most men will never know what it’s like to be treated as less valuable because of their gender. Decades after the Equal Rights Amendment, many women still make less money than their male counterparts for doing the same job. By the way, folks, I’ll offer just a reminder that, there are still some in our churches… even our Lutheran churches… who aren’t comfortable with the idea of women pastors. Thought that might be worth mentioning during this anniversary year… since it has now been 50 years since the Lutheran church in the United States began ordaining women as pastors.
Most of us don’t know what it’s like to be a minority. Most of us don’t know what it’s like to be the subject of someone else’s preconceived notions and suspicions based simply on the way we look… because of the color of our skin.
Most of us don’t know what it’s like to have COVID19. But by now, some of us at least know someone who has had it.
At this point in the pandemic, many of us can’t really understand the economic impact on those who have lost their jobs and their businesses unless we’ve experienced the same thing.
We can’t really understand someone else’s suffering unless we’ve been there… unless we’ve walked a mile in their shoes, as the old saying goes. Those who share common experiences can relate to each other. Widows and widowers can understand what each other are feeling after having lost a spouse. Those who struggle with alcoholism and addiction can gather at meetings and find support from one another, and hopefully be on the road to recovery. Common experiences bring people together, and can help build each other up.
So, what its St. Paul talking about when we writes the following…? For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
What does it mean to be united in a death like the one Jesus suffered? Are we talking about dying in the same manner in which our Lord died? Because if we are, who has died a death like Jesus? You know how that doctor or nurse comes in to your hospital room and asks you to rank your pain on a scale from one to ten? Who has suffered with the same amount of pain as Jesus? The beating, the nails, the suffocation, the abandonment, and the sorrow?
Has there ever been any more sorrow than there was on that hill outside of Jerusalem that Friday?
If he really wanted to, Jesus could very well look at us and say, “You don’t know what it’s like.” His suffering was real, to be sure. But Jesus does not wear his unique suffering as a badge of honor; nor does he mean to hold it over us and draw us to himself by way of guilt and shame. It is the love poured out on the cross which draws us.
Everyone’s own suffering is unique, to be sure. But in his suffering, Jesus bears the weight of all the world’s suffering and the sin which causes it.
Let this be our common experience…. that we are drawn to his suffering, his forgiveness and love poured out on the cross. We are invited to find meaning… and our unity, in this… His love. Let this be what unites us… that our eyes would be focused on his wounds more than our own. That in his love, and in our baptism, we are united with Christ, and with each other. His love enables us to see each other as equals, and sympathize with each other’s suffering as much as possible. His love, and our baptism into his death is what can allow us to walk a mile or even more with others.
It seems to me that this is what St. Paul is talking about… The “death like his” is the death of the old, sinful self in baptism.
It’s the death of the old sinful self which looks upon our neighbors as anything less than equals and beloved children of God. We are all those who have been saved by Jesus… men and women, young and old, the sick and the healthy, and those of every race and nation… all pulled out of the same pit, and saved from the clutches of death.
It is likely that you and I will have this in common…. that if you have a Lutheran funeral service, it is likely that these words will be read… 5For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
This is what’s St. Paul talking about. It’s our baptismal death in Christ. And it is our baptismal rising as well. We are those who have been saved by Jesus… pulled out of the same pit… all of us.
Sin separates us from God and from each other. But Christ unites us. We may not know exactly what each other is going through. We don’t know exactly the magnitude of Jesus’ suffering. But we can know his great love for us… all of us. And in this we can be united. United in his death, we will also be united in his life.
We can’t imagine what it would be like to die a death like Jesus.
We also can’t imagine what it’s like to live a new resurrected life like Jesus.
We don’t know what that new heavenly life will be like. But we can catch glimpses. And freed from the bonds of sin and death, we can begin living that new life now, and love one another. And we can trust that this new life is… and will be… ours. Amen
“TLC OUT THERE”
is a brief midweek message for those seeking to follow Jesus out in the world. Listen here… (May 19, 2020 edition)
“TLC OUT THERE” is a new “radio” style midweek message. Click here to listen to the first edition, dated May 12, 2020.
Additional messages are also being made available on the “Pastor’s Page.” Please see the menu above.
To see more, LIKE US ON FACEBOOK… Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church – Gibsonia
RESOURCES FROM THE CHURCHWIDE OFFICE OF THE ELCA
Worship and devotional resources, prayers, updates, and other helpful information.
RESOURCES FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
“Family Sunday School” is available from our own Lutheran Sparkhouse publishing. See videos with music and stories, and download free coloring pages and activity pages.
“Illustrated Ministry” is a company which is making available free resources for families during this time. There are lessons, coloring pages, and activity pages for children. See the link below to sign up.
COUNSELING RESOURCES FROM ANCHORPOINT
Anchorpoint Counseling is offering video and phone appointments. See the link below to contact them for help during this time.
“GRAB AND GO” MEALS FOR STUDENTS
Meals made available by the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. The link and the map provided show locations in our area.
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK… Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church – Gibsonia