Crafts for a Cause Thanks You

Thanks to your support for the Holiday Bazaar, Crafts for a Cause is roaring into 2018 with energy and purpose! We made more than $3,800, which easily funds another year of supplying comfort items to hospitals and shelters. We’ll also be able to support The Leadership Center and Heart2Heart in Honduras, Art for Humanity, and several other causes chosen by the group.

If you would like to help make the pillows, blankets, dolls and dresses, we meet on alternating Monday nights from 7 to 8:30 in Room 124. Upcoming dates: Mon., Jan. 8, and Mon., Jan. 22. All adults are welcome; no skills required; instruction provided.

Looking back on 2017, Crafts for a Cause has some interesting numbers to share. During the past year, the work of our volunteers enabled us to deliver an astonishing 600 knitted baby caps, 240 neck pillows, 30 surgery dolls, 150 fleece hats, 40 lap blankets, 40 heart pillows, 75 pillowcase dresses, 50 fleece throws, and 55 Christmas stockings and Santa hats for newborns. Most items went to Fair Oaks Hospital, which places a high priority on the care and comfort of its patients. The fleece throws went to the Linus Project, which distributes blankets to children of all ages. And the dresses were sent to needy girls in Uganda through the international group Dress a Girl.

A BIG thank you goes out to all the volunteers who helped make all these comfort items. If you’d like to be a part of Crafts for a Cause, but can’t attend the work sessions, we also have some homework projects. Contact Molly Sprouse for more information.

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The Lord Is Come

By James C. Sprouse, Senior Pastor

All of us are familiar with Charles Dickens’, A Christmas Carol. I read it every year. It vividly portrays Scrooge’s encounter with the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future. His experiences with the three spirits changed him.

Think with me today about the spirit of Christmas future. Both Advent and Christmas are about a new world – a transformation of our earth. It is about the end of warfare and violence, injustice and oppression. It is about our earth’s transformation, not devastation. It is about a new world that will know only justice and peace.

How will this transformation come about? Despite the passing of 2,000 years it is still not accomplished. The Christmas stories of Matthew and Luke don’t present you and me with a supernatural rescuing of the earth. The Christmas stories are not about a spectacular set of miracles that happened in the distant past that we are to believe in for the sake of going to heaven. The Christmas stories are about God’s passion, God’s dream, for a transformed earth and all life upon it.

The Christmas stories invite us to transform the world with God, because we can’t do it without God. Every year we are reminded that we are the people who claim to have seen the star and heard the angels sing. We are the people who are called to participate in the new birth and the new world by proclaiming these stories.

The struggle of God’s vision for the world continues. The birth narratives are not a pipe dream, but our proclaiming that what we see in Jesus is the way to a different kind of life and a different future. God doesn’t change you and me without our participation, and God won’t change the world without our participation.

We give the last word to one of the carols of Christmas. It combines the themes of Advent and Christmas in a remarkable way: Joy to the world. Dream with me of a world where Jesus is Lord. Dream of every heart preparing room for him. Then let us sing, Joy to the world, the Lord is come, let every heart prepare Him room, and let heaven and nature sing.


A THANK YOU

This fall the people of Trinity honored Molly and me with a combined celebration of our twenty years of marriage and our twenty years of serving the people of Trinity Church. We were touched by your kind words and your generous love gift. Molly and I have lived in your parsonage at Trinity longer than either of us has lived in a house growing up. We share a rich tapestry of memories that we’ll cherish forever. Thank you! And, we look forward to being your parsonage family in 2018. Love to you all, Jim & Molly

 

God’s Dreams for You

By Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor

Does God have dreams? I invite you to look at the story of Jacob’s Ladder found in Genesis. It’s a great story about how God reached Jacob through a wonderful dream. In it, God lets Jacob know that there were great things ahead for Jacob: he would be given the blessing of offspring and land, just as his father Isaac had been promised, and his father’s father Abraham before him. But that’s not all; God promised to be with Jacob through it all.

God never promised Jacob his life would be easy, but God did promise that Jacob would never be left alone. Do you ever think about God’s dream for your life? Just like Jacob, God has big dreams for you. The Bible is filled with scripture that points to this message. One of my favorites comes from Jeremiah 29:11. “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”

Not only does God have great dreams for us, God also has great dreams for Trinity Church. How do we figure out those dreams? We start by praying. We pray for guidance and for God to lead us to live out God’s will. It won’t always be easy, but we can take comfort and reassurance in knowing that God will never leave us. This is another reason that Trinity is taking part in the Next Level Innovation project. We believe God is calling us to reach more people outside the walls of our church—people who might never have come to church before.

As we enter this busy Christmas season, I hope that you’ll keep your church leaders and congregation in your prayers. Know that you are in our prayers. Just like the rest of the world, church is changing. This is not the same church many of us attended as children; it is not even the same church it was ten years ago! You are an important part of the future of Trinity. It’s my prayer that you will join us as we work to live out God’s dream.

 

Trip to the Museum of the Bible

By Keith Lee, Associate Pastor

On January 14, the preteen class and youth group (grades 5 – 12) will visit the new Museum of the Bible which opened in November. Their press release states:

The Museum of the Bible opens its doors to the public, unveiling the institution’s flagship, 430,000-square-foot museum building for the first time. …the innovative, global, educational institution boasts one of the largest privately-held collections of ancient biblical codices, scrolls and papyri along with thousands of other historic artifacts and exhibit items.

I’m so excited to take students and their parents because often we overlook the sacrifice and dedication that generations of scribes and believers have contributed to this important book.

I have studied the manuscript transmission process of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) more than that of the New Testament. Therefore, I can attest to the making of the Hebrew Bible with more details. Two facts I want to highlight: one, the invention of vocalization by the Masoretes and two, their meticulous procedure of copying texts. The Hebrew Bible was primarily written in Hebrew and some portions in Aramaic. Both being Semitic languages, they did not contain vocalization notes in their original forms. The Masoretes (Jewish scholars and scribes in 6th to 10th century CE) invented a new vocal notation system to standardize pronunciation and interpretation. Out of that movement, the Ben Asher family was noted for their precision and excellence. The present printed edition of the Hebrew Bible for scholars, the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, is based on one of the manuscripts from the Ben Asher line. This family of scholars was so meticulous and pious, it had strict rules of copying. One of them is undergoing ritual washing after a scribe writes the letters ‘YWHW’ (the holy name of God). For example, in Deuteronomy 1 a scribe must undergo twenty-one ritual washings to finish the chapter! (I guess they didn’t have a copy and paste function!)

In our preteen class, we open the Bible and we read it as a group to come to an interpretation. We have open access to it because there have been generations of dedicated scholars, copyists, translators, and believers who gave sweat and tears in preserving and transmitting it for today’s generation. We are so fortunate to live close to this museum that is dedicated in presenting the Bible in its multiple facets.

 

December 2017 Schedule of Events

Dec. 3 Advent Workshop Annual event for children. Registration and details on our website under Get Involved tab.
Dec. 3 Youth Choir, 11:45 a.m. Choir practice for grades 7—12
Dec. 4 Crafts for a Cause
7—8:30 p.m.
All new adult crafters are welcome. Contact
mollysprouse@gmail.com
Dec. 9 Trinity Trebles Pageant dress rehearsal
Dec. 10 The Incredible Adam Angel Children’s pageant during 10:30 a.m. worship
Dec. 10 Martha’s Table Sandwich Making
Dec. 10 Executive Committee, 11:45 a.m. Meet in the Library
Dec. 16 Christ House  
Dec. 17 Lessons & Carols during 10:30 a.m. worship service
Dec. 18 Crafts for a Cause
7—8:30 p.m.
 
Dec. 19 Trustees Meeting  
Dec. 20 Blue Christmas
7 p.m.
Service for those feeling loss
Dec. 24 One morning worship service at 10:30 a.m.
Dec. 24 Christmas Eve worship 5 p.m. Family Service

8 p.m. Candlelight & Communion

10 p.m. Candlelight & Communion

Dec. 25-26 Office Closed  
Dec. 31 Two morning worship services:

8:30 a.m.

10:30 a.m. Celtic-inspired, no evening Celtic service

Jan. 1 Office Closed
Jan. 6 Men’s Group, 7:30 a.m. All men are invited to this meeting in Langley Hall.

Adult Choirs: December 2017

by Jerry Rich, Director of Music

Our ringers and singers are looking forward to sharing the musical joys of the Christmas season with you! We will sing selections from Handel’s Messiah and modern carols by Gustav Holst, Ethan McGrath, and John Rutter; we will also present instrumental and vocal settings of Away in a Manger, The Holly and the Ivy, I Wonder As I Wander, Jesus Rest Your Head, Lo How a Rose, O Come Emmanuel, Rise Up Shepherd and Silent Night. The Children’s Choir will perform its Nativity musical on December 10, and on December 17 the adult choirs will offer a service of Lessons and Carols. On Christmas Eve, please bring your heartiest caroling voices to the Sanctuary to help us proclaim the birth of the Christ Child!