While we had services at 12:30 and 7 PM, Ash Wednesday gave us an opportunity to be a more public church by offering ashes out in our community. The photo was taken around 9 AM while Pastor Detweiler and Donald Meineke were standing out at the corner of Central Park West and 65th St. offering ashes to passersby.
We had perhaps 50 people stop and request this sign of repentance and renewal. That included cab drivers and delivery persons who stopped and put on their flashers to get out and receive ashes with the words “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
The church was open for prayer all day, starting at 8 AM. Pastor Detweiler and Donald were outside with ashes again from 4 to 5 PM. In addition, Pastor Detweiler took ashes to the firefighters at our local firehouse at 66th St and Amsterdam Ave.
First Sunday in Lent – February 14, 2016
Mass at 11:00 a.m. Readings: Deuteronomy 26:1-11; Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16; Romans 10:8b-13; Luke 4:1-13. Pastor George Detweiler preaches and presides.
We always begin the Sundays in Lent by reading about Jesus’ temptations and 40 days in the wilderness, which precede the beginning of his ministry in Matthew, Mark and Luke. In Luke’s gospel, Jesus resists each of the temptations by quoting Deuteronomy. It is remembering the word of God that gives him the ability to resist.
Similarly, in the Hebrew Bible reading for this Sunday, the people are given the words to say to when they thank the Lord for rescuing them from bondage and bringing them into the promised land. Much as Jesus’ quotes from the word of God in Deuteronomy define his ministry, so recalling the story of Abraham and his descendants defines the people of Israel as God’s chosen, and provides the glue that holds them together.
It is from Psalm 91 that the devil quotes, hoping to dislodge Jesus’ firm obedience. It is also the basis of the hymn “On Eagle’s Wings.”
The reading from Romans takes up the theme of relying on the word of God. Confessing with one’s lips and believing in one’s heart (notice the order) that Jesus is Lord saves, and, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” How do we make that the goal of our lenten journey?
Beginning Wednesday, February 17, Mass will be at 6:30 PM.
Lenten Meditation I is Sunday at 5:00PM
This Sunday the Bach Choir and Players will present Giacomo Carissimi’s Jonas.
Music for Sunday
Prelude: Passacaglia in G minor, Georg Muffat
Offertory: Jesu, Grant Me This, I Pray, Charles H. Kitson
Communion: Remember Not, Lord, Our Offences, Henry Purcell
Postlude: Aus tiefer Not schrei’ ich zu dir, BWV 686, J. S. Bach
#320 The Glory of These Forty Days
#788 If God My Lord Be For Me
#321 Eternal Lord of Love, Behold Your Church
Parish Life Survey
In an effort to better understand the various factors that impact attendance and participation at worship and other activities at Holy Trinity, the Parish Life working group has created a short online survey, the results of which will be used to help schedule upcoming events in the Lenten and Easter seasons. We ask that you please respond to this survey within the next few days. The survey should take 3-5 minutes to complete, and responses are anonymous. Please click here to complete the survey. Thank you!
The Council met on Monday, February 8:
- We reflected on 2 Corinthians 4:1-2 and how we do not lose heart in our ministry in Christ’s name;
- Pastor Detweiler suggested that the focus of the upcoming anniversaries in 2018 (150 years for Holy Trinity and 50 years for Bach Vespers) needs to be raising funds for the organ and air conditioning for the sanctuary. After some years of putting off repairs and improvements, it is time to address them.
- A list of potential members of committees and working groups was reviewed. Additional people are needed, and some names suggested.
- The Property Committee reported on the developing plans to improve the Pastor’s apartment. The last major improvement was 20 years ago, so updating is needed now.
- Parish Life reported on the growing involvement of parents and children in worship, plans for Lenten discussion groups, and improvement of coordination of worship volunteers.
- The Finance Committee presented a suggestion to add giving by text to the ways people can give to Holy Trinity, and reminded us of the 5 year financial plan goal to increase income by 5% a year.
- The Treasurer reported we have started the year with a modest surplus, thanks to several large gifts at year end and just after it.
- December Annual meeting minutes were reviewed for submission to next year’s Congregational Meeting.
- Bruce Uehland was appointed to replace David Zimmerman on the Audit Committee.
- Three vacancies were filled on the Nominating Committee: Suzanne Hoglund, Jean Silliman and Kim Suttell are the incoming members.
- We heard a report from the Constitution Review Task Force of Kathy Yates, Dee Scholz-Beyer, Damon Gray and John Richards.
- Job descriptions for the Office Manager and Cantor were approved. Pastor Detweiler explained that the role of the musician at Holy Trinity is Cantor, and described the difference between a director of music and cantor. He promised to write an explanation for the newsletter.
Call Committee Report
The Synod has provided us with three excellent candidates. The Call Committee has scheduled extensive interviews with all three candidates for the weeks ahead. Please keep us in your prayers as these meetings unfold and we hopefully come closer to making a recommendation regarding the call of Holy Trinity’s next pastor.
Scripture Readings – Week after Lent 1
Sunday: Deuteronomy 26:2. What are the first fruits if your labor?
Monday: Deuteronomy 26:2-3. Is what you give for God’s work first fruits or leftovers?
Tuesday: Deuteronomy 26:4-7. Do you see our giving as an act of worship?
Wednesday: Deuteronomy 26:8-10. What disposition is embodied in these words?
Thursday: Psalm 91:1-2. How is God your refuge?
Friday: Romans 10:8-13. How and when do you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord?
Saturday: Luke 4:1-2. How can Lent be a time of spiritual renewal for you?
Sunday: Luke 4:3-12. Which do you think was the most difficult to resist of the temptations?