While we might not have as much talent as Simone Biles, we can still be inspired to spot and stick our landings as we attempt to fall with style through life. And as people of faith, maybe our theological spin we could put on that phrase is to say, “falling with grace.” I like that more. Because it’s hard to look as stylish as Simone Biles or Buzz Lightyear when we fall, but we can relax into our fall trusting in God’s abundant grace to catch us. Maybe knowing that, we’ll scream and flail a bit less because the gentle embrace of God will receive us and put us back on our feet.
Close to 1,000 attendees from 2 countries (USA and Australia), 21 states, the territory of Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia converged on the campus of Augustana College in Rock Island, IL for Leadership Lab this summer. I was able to be one of those attendees for the week long camp. Leadership Lab (LL) is a collaborative effort of the 3 Illinois Synods of the ELCA. The mission of LL is “To be an active LABORATORY, practicing church leadership for the future”.
The 2019-2020 Holy Trinity Choir season will be underway before we know it! Rehearsals will begin on Sunday, September 15th. Details to follow. Please consider joining us if you have been thinking about becoming a part of our exciting music ministry! You still have plenty of time to contact David Brackley or Ayriole Frost with questions. You can email David at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your choir needs you!
Do you need a spiritual re-set? Are you not sure what you believe anymore? Did you grow up in a conservative denomination and haven’t fully integrated a new kind of faith and practices? Have you felt estranged from organized religion yet sensing a desire for more depth in your spiritual life? Would you like to learn more about Holy Trinity, Lutheranism, and the ELCA?
Holy Trinity has a famous icon of Mary and the Child in the worship space. The intercessions each week conclude with thanksgiving for the saints—especially those to be observed in the coming week, yet Blessed Mary is named first. Here are six reasons devotion to Mary can enrich the spiritual and liturgical lives of Lutherans and other Protestants.
Pr. Kevin Strickland and his husband Robby have been members at Holy Trinity since Pr. Strickland was called as Assistant to the Presiding Bishop and Director of Worship for the ELCA churchwide organization in 2014. On June 2, 2019, Pr. Strickland was elected to serve a 6-year term as bishop of the Southeastern Synod of the ELCA. Sunday, July 14 will be Kevin and Robby’s final opportunity to worship in their home congregation before moving to Atlanta and we will bid them farewell and Godspeed during worship.
Our confirmands have experienced the power of the Holy Spirit in this community. For them, “What does this mean?” will be a lifelong question. It’s not a question that is answered easily or simply. It’s a question to be lived into and then asked again and then revisited throughout their lives. It’s not a question that they will answer alone. It’s a question they will continually explore together in their communities, with those who are brave enough to stand in the mystery with them.
Please assist the Fox Valley Adult Transition Center for Women in Aurora by donating gently used women’s clothing and shoes (suitable for work, not formal dress), as well as accessories, for the boutique where residents can outfit themselves at no charge. Please put items in the HTLakeview narthex (entryway) in closed paper, cloth, or plastic bags clearly marked “Fox Valley.”
Twenty-five years ago, on June 5, 1994, I was ordained into the ministry of word and sacrament in the ELCA. A lot has changed in my life and in the ELCA in the past 25 years, and I’m so grateful that 17 of these years I’ve been a pastor at Holy Trinity.
Twice during my tenure at Holy Trinity Pastor Mueller has been blessed with sabbatical opportunities. Once I jokingly asked on Facebook, “When do half-time pastors get to have a sabbatical?” I never expected to actually get one, but thankfully, Pastor Mueller and the personnel committee proposed a six week sabbatical for me to take during the summer of 2019.
During the six weeks of sabbatical I will rest from the daily work I’m called to do at Holy Trinity. It’s the most important reason for a sabbatical, in my opinion, so that through rest and relaxation, I will be rejuvenated for continued ministry for many years to come.
Back in March of this year, Barbara Brown Taylor released a book called Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others. I haven’t had a chance to read it just yet, but as I spent last week with students from the South Loop Campus Ministry, traveling through Colorado, I experienced my own case of holy envy. It happened to me at the Shambhala Mountain Center (SMC), a Buddhist retreat center, where the students and I spent two days immersed in nature, meditation, mindfulness, and yoga