Third Sunday after Pentecost
Mark 3: 20-35
Earlier this week I told a friend that I was preaching this week and really struggling with the text. To which they responded, “Scripture, or text message?” Which is a clue that I don’t have very “churchy” friends. But it did strike me that if the gospel Mark were composed today, it might read more accurately like a stream of tweets. Mark, the roughest gospel, a kind of live-action report, was clearly composed orally long before it was written down. I can imagine sitting around the campfire with a storyteller, as they build suspense:
Jesus family has heard he’s possessed and is on their way to restrain him… Meanwhile Jesus, surrounded by so many people that they barely fit in the house, denounces the rumors about him… And by the time his family gets there, he’s so worked up that he denies that he’s even related to them. Who are my mother and my brothers? he says.
This is not the compassionate shepherd we like to think about, certainly not the baby in a manger. Jesus is saucy, rude—a little nasty. Why is he so angry?
It is hard to know where to begin after spending two weeks in Santiago, Chile, and seeing first hand the incredible work that EPES (Popular Education in Health) has accomplished over the last 36 years. We are one of the supporting congregations of EPES and Karen Anderson who founded EPES 36 year ago with two Chilean women. Karen invited me to come to Chile and give healing touch sessions to her hard working staff as a way to care for them. She also asked that I give classes to health promoters and staff so they could learn healing self care techniques and also learn some simple techniques to provide healing for others in the community. I had to leave my comfort zone to embark on this journey and I am so glad that I did. My head is full of information and my heart is full with all of the welcome, love, trust, sharing of stories, and affirmation and support that I received.
A few weeks ago, as an after-homework activity, the Safe Place kids planted seeds in small plastic pots. We sat in a circle and the students took turns filling their pots with soil. Everyone got to decide whether to plant peppers, tomatoes, or basil. Each of the kids made quarter inch holes in their soil, gently sprinkled in a few seeds of their choice, and covered them up. The kids labeled their plants with popsicle sticks. Some wrote encouraging messages. My favorite was, “Go plant! You could do it!” Some wrote warnings like, “Taslima’s plant. DO NOT TOUCH.”
Pentecost B, ‘18
John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15
Trinity Lutheran Congregation
Today is Pentecost. The red in our midst is a reminder to us of the tongues of fire on everyone’s heads in the Pentecost story in Acts we often read on this day. Red is the color representing the Holy Spirit at work . Today we remember the coming of the Holy Spirit
Today’s reading from John is sadly lacking in drama, really. It is part of a three-chapter sermon that Jesus is sharing with his followers. He has been talking about his leaving. Even though this moment has been coming for some time, his disciples have been stunned into silence by this. In their shock and grief they simply don’t know what to think or say.
These heart-felt words from Jesus are partly words of comfort. The tensions were rising and it was becoming clearer every day that Jesus’ time was getting shorter. The authorities weren’t going to tolerate his teaching and challenging of the system much longer. Jesus was explaining that he had to leave, so that the Spirit would come so that they could continue following Jesus and teaching the way of Jesus. . They are also words of hope.
Seventh Sunday of Easter
Gospel: John 17: 6-19
Imagine with me. It is the night of the Last Supper with Jesus, and we his disciples have just heard a lengthy sermon from him, talking about the most important commandment to love one another; about himself as a vine and we as branches; about abiding in God’s love. It seems like Jesus is nearing the end of what he has to say, but suddenly, his expression changes and he looks up to the ceiling—no, to the heavens—and we realize he is not speaking to us anymore, but to his Father.
“All mine are yours, and yours are mine,” he says. Like walking in on someone’s private conversation, we have been given a window into the relationship of God to Godself; the holy dance of Spirit, and parent, and child.
I do not know from personal experience what the intimacy between a father and son is like, but I do know the intimacy between a mother and a daughter. It is a blessing I don’t take lightly, in part because I came to understand it through the loss of another mother in my family—Ruth, my mother’s sister.
I may have a learning to share. Maybe it’s more accurate to say that I have a ‘wondering’ to share and think more about.
This past Friday we had an Urban Hub meeting. The Urban Hub (Augsburg, CAIR-MN, Bethany, ICSA/Dar Al-Hijrah and Trinity) has been meeting for almost 2 years and has been regularly serving Coffee and Tea outside Cedar-Riverside mosques after Friday Juma prayers. This simple yet very meaningful activity was, in part, in response to the Muslim travel ban put in place in January 2017.
Friday was the first time that Darul Quba joined us. We have done the Coffee and Tea there twice, but this was the first time that anyone from there agreed to come. I think they might become a part of our group. We did some planning for the next Coffee and Tea and other activities we are considering getting involved in as a group in the neighborhood. We talked about a couple of opportunities for Iftars during Ramadan and maybe doing something during the Nobel Peace Prize Forum at Augsburg this coming Fall.
On April 8, Trinity invited all of its current and former members, its community and friends to gather and celebrate our 150 years of ministry in Cedar-Riverside. It was a wonderful celebration with more than 175 people in attendance.
If you missed the event you can still enjoy it! Download a copy of our memory book by clicking the icon below, and check out our Instagram feed for photos.
Until the 160th...
Two Easters, three languages, and a community of faith at Trinity Lutheran in Minneapolis: Trinity Featured in Star Tribune
Source: Star Tribune
Date: March 31, 2018
Article by: Jean Hopfensperger
Trinity Lutheran Congregation may be the only Minnesota church that commemorates Easter twice each spring — once for its American-born members and another for its East African Orthodox members with a different religious calendar.
Trinity stands out for other reasons. It's the only Christian church in a Minneapolis neighborhood known as "Little Mogadishu." It has survived without its own chapel for 50 years. And it has become a civic and spiritual anchor in the Cedar-Riverside community, opening its doors to Christian and Muslim neighbors — including as a temporary home to a mosque.
Oh. And it's 150 years old next week.
All are welcome to join Trinity for Holy Week services.
On Maundy Thursday (3/29) at 7:15pm we will worship at Fairview Hospital's chapel, with option to participate in foot washing.
Directions: Enter Masonic Children's Hospital in the door closest to 25th St. (off of a driveway) and head straight ahead toward the back of the building, following signs for the chapel. Parking is available in the ramp off Riverside Ave. Free parking is also available in the residential area behind Davanni's.
On Good Friday (3/30) at 7:00pm we will join Bethany Lutheran for worship at their sanctuary, located at 2511 E Franklin Ave in Minneapolis.
On Easter Sunday (4/1) we will have one worship service at 11:00am in our normal location, Hoversten Chapel at Augsburg University. Before worship we will have a breakfast at 9:45am, with optional donation to support Trinity youth going to Camp Wapo this summer.
Blessed Holy Week to you, and we hope to see you!
On Sunday, April 8, 2018 Trinity Lutheran Congregation will mark our 150th Anniversary. We have an amazing history to celebrate and a faithful future in Cedar-Riverside to anticipate.
We will begin with worship in Augsburg University’s Hoversten Chapel at 11:00am. Bishop Ann Svennungsen of the Minneapolis Area Synod of the ELCA will preach. Worship will be followed by a an Eritrean lunch and a brief program in the Atrium next to the Chapel.
We will have a ‘pick-up’ choir. Anyone who would like to sing with the choir is invited to come to a rehearsal at 10:00am that morning, in the Hoversten Chapel.
Please RSVP before March 25 by clicking on the RSVP NOW button below, or by emailing email@example.com.