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I just returned from the New England Synod Assembly (think a congregation’s annual meeting but on the synod level that takes place over the course of 2-3 days). Therefore, I thought I would give you all a quick update on the happenings around the synod.
There really is only one big update. We re-elected Jim Hazelwood as the Bishop. A bishop’s term is 6 years, and Bishop Hazelwood was finishing up his 6th year. Bishops are allowed to serve multiple terms and Bishop Hazelwood was willing to be re-elected if that is what people wanted at the assembly.
It did take a little longer than expected and it is a complicated process to explain. What you need to know is someone is elected bishop based on how many votes they receive. Depending on “the round” of voting, one would need as much as 75% or as low as 66% of the vote. Each round of voting narrows down the list of people who are in the running for bishop. When the amount of people was narrowed down to 3, Bishop Hazelwood received the required 66% of the vote needed to “win” re-election.
It was an interesting process to be part of and I was grateful for the conversation that it allowed as we heard from candidates about their hopes for the future of the church. I was grateful for the outcome, not because I felt the other candidates were not capable of the job, but I believe Bishop Hazelwood is doing a fine job as bishop and is the best person to lead us over the next 6 years.
The other information that I wanted to share with you, was from a video we saw that was a summary of some of the work the ELCA accomplished during 2017. You can watch the full video by going to YouTube and searching “ELCA 2017 year in review.” But, here are some highlights.
We are part of a church that is not waiting around and passive. We are a church that is active in the world and doing its best to join God in the work that needs to be done. Thanks for the way you support and participate in that work. The world is a better place because of it.
Grace and Peace,
Summer is coming. The days are longer and the flowers have bloomed. Lawns have been mowed and school will be ending soon. Vacations are being planned and anticipated. A new schedule will emerge and your days might start to look or feel a little different. I hope you enjoy whatever you have scheduled, even in if what is scheduled is nothing (those are sometimes the best plans!)
Here at Holy Trinity, our summer schedule will soon commence. On June 10th, we will change the time of our worship schedule and there will be a different rhythm to Sunday mornings as we transition to one service.
The new worship time will be at 9:30am and we will remain gathering on Sunday mornings, at that time, until Labor Day weekend. If you are an early service person, enjoy a little extra sleep. If you are a late service person, go to bed a littler earlier, or take a nap in the afternoon. :)
If you are gone on the weekend, there are three ways you can still be part of our worshipping community.
We have worship on Wednesday evenings at 6:00pm. This is a shorter service with a conversational sermon. We sing, read the scriptures, pray, have communion and for the sermon we discuss the readings. Join us and share your thoughts and questions, or simply listen to what is discussed.
Also, we stream our sermons on Facebook live. If you want to watch it live, log onto Facebook and make sure you “like” our page. It is located at www.facebook.com/holytrinityevangelicallutheranchurch. Around 9:45am, when we go live, a window or our stream should pop up on your screen. If you are not available at that time, the video of the sermon is available on the church Facebook page, anytime, immediately following the service.
Lastly, the audio of the sermon is available on the website as well. Under the “Worship” tab, click on recent sermons and you can play it directly.
Due to copyright restrictions we cannot record or stream any other parts of the service.
One final note, if you are traveling and are not home on a Sunday morning, look for another place to worship. There are approximately 10,000 ELCA congregations in the United States (and many other churches also). I am willing to bet, there will be one fairly close to where you are. Remember, your brothers and sisters in Christ are not only those who are within the walls of Holy Trinity, but they are spread throughout the world. Walk in the doors of a different church and hear the Word of God and receive communion there. The preaching probably won’t be as good (at least tell me it wasn’t as good!) but we don’t go for solely for the preaching. We go to receive God’s love and be reminded who we really are…a beloved child of the one who created the cosmos.
Grace and Peace and I look forward to the next time I see you.
I want you all to know that life is good! I so greatly appreciate all the questions my family and I have received. I don’t think a day goes by in which someone from church asks doesn’t ask one of the following questions. “Are you all settled in? How are your kids doing? Are you unpacked yet?” Thank you for caring so much about my family and I. I can confidently say that we are all doing well. As with everyone, life always has its challenges. Nothing always going perfectly smooth, but overall, life is good. Thanks for all the ways you have helped it be good.
I thought I would share a bit about what I am reading these past couple of months. As I mentioned during one of my first Sunday’s here, I try and read one to two books a month. Sometimes they are faith based, sometimes not. Whether the book is fiction or not, it is always with the focus of learning about myself, the church and the world. So, without further ado…
Ready, Player One by Ernest Cline. You can also see this as a movie in theaters and was recently the number one movie in America. The book takes place in not so distant, dystopian future. Poverty, crime and homelessness are rampant, and to escape it all, the vast majority of people, especially younger people, use the “Oasis,” a virtual reality world. The book focuses on life in the Oasis, and particularly a challenge/game the creator of the Oasis left people upon his death. While I there will be many who won’t enjoy the book because it is not their style of, I enjoyed it (and its seemingly unlimited 80’s references). It also can serve as a social commentary and critique on our current culture and the dangers within it.
Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of the Nations by Amy Chua. Chua is a Yale Law Professor. In this book, Chua studies tribalism and how it can affect us at a personal level and how it plays out on the international level. She specifically looks at past conflicts (Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and Venezuela) that the US has been involved in and identifies where the US has not looked at the proper group/tribe dynamics/relationships within a country which has led to poor decisions and outcomes. She then relates it to the US today and how we can better understand what is going on in our current political climate.
You can now find these books in the library here at Holy Trinity.
Also, I am looking at a date to discuss previous books I have read, specifically, “When to Jump” and “Barking to the Choir.” If you have read those, I hope to talk soon.
The two that I will be working on for this coming month are “A Failure of Nerve” by Edwin Friedman and “The Orthodox Heretic” by Peter Rollins.
Lastly, I hope you are starting to enjoy the weather. It seems like we are skipping spring and going directly from Winter to Summer!
There are a lot of things I could write about here, and in the future, it will have a devotional focus, but right now, I simply need to say thank you from my family and myself to all the people of Holy Trinity!
We have been here for just about 2 months now and the hospitality that you all have extended us has been nothing short of fantastic. We were just sitting at dinner the other night as a family eating chili and my daughter asked, “Where did we get the chili from? I don’t remember anyone making it.” My wife responded that someone from church brought it over for us. Her response was, “The church has been so generous. We have hardly had to cook!”
It is true. Many meals that are brought last us more than one day because there is so much. Sometimes, we have gotten desserts like Whoopie Pies or cookies, and for some reason, they don’t even seem to make it to the end of the day!
But it is not just the food that has been provided for us. It is also the smiles, hugs and graciousness that you have shown us on Sunday mornings or anytime that we have been together at church or around town. All of you are so genuinely excited to have us here. It has made a big move so much easier.
As an update for you all, we are really starting to settle in. We now live in our own house and sleep in our own beds! The walls are painted, new carpet is coming and the next thing you know we will be hanging things on the walls. Our house will become our home.
I don’t know what the future holds from Holy Trinity. I don’t know what the future holds for my family and myself. What I do know, that for the time that the two paths are joined, it will be good. It will be good, not because of what we do, but because of what God has done and wherever we go together, God will be with us. Thanks be to God.
Hope all of you are doing well! I have been here for just over a month, and as far as I can tell, things are off to a great start. I have done my best to sit and listen to people tell their stories off Holy Trinity and what they love about this church and the people that are here. I hope during my time with you that I am able to add to some of those stories as together we learn and experience God’s love.
My family is starting to settle in. We are looking forward to moving into our own house. That will happen in just a couple of weeks. It will be good to be in our own beds! I have to say thank you for the generous hospitality that everyone has extended to us. We have been fed, housed, and loved in tremendous ways this past month. Thank you for all you have done for us.
Lastly, I wanted to invite everyone to the Intergenerational/All Ages Forum this Sunday. I will be leading it and I hope it is a good time. While it will begin at 9:45, it won’t have a hard start time or end time. Food and drinks will be out until the beginning of the second service, so if you can’t come right at 9:45, it doesn’t matter. Come when you can and stay for as long as you can! (Have I been mysterious enough in what we are doing that you really have no idea but made you curious enough to come?)
Also, don’t forget, we worship on Wednesday evenings with soup for dinner during Lent. Soup (and Mac n Cheese) is served at 5:15 with worship beginning at 6pm. You don’t have to come right at 5:15 for dinner, just come before 6pm. The soup will be on and warm.
I look forward to continuing to meet everyone.
Pastor Krick will be making his first blog post shortly. Please stay tuned over the next week for semi-monthly thoughts from our Pastor.