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This Week at Holy Trinity

This Week at Holy Trinity
Valga St. John's church altar picture Risen Christ. from Wikimedia Commons


Third Sunday of Easter – April 10, 2016
Mass at 11:00 a.m. Readings: Readings: Acts 9:1-20; Psalm 30; Revelation 5:11-14; John 21:1-19 . Pastor George Detweiler preaches and presides.

Today’s reading from Acts introduces Saul, a persecutor of the church. On his way to Damascus, he is confronted and blinded by the Risen Christ.  He recovers only when Ananias, a believer, visits and prays for his healing and for the gift of the Holy Spirit. With that gift, Saul becomes Paul, the greatest apostle.

The second lesson gives us a vision of the worship of the heavenly court, with the singing of the resurrection hymn, “Worthy is Christ.” This vision has inspired much of the church’s hymnody.

In all four gospels, Peter three times denies that he knows Jesus. In John’s gospel, one of the appearances of the Risen Christ is a breakfast  to redeem Peter from his denial. Here the Risen One three times asks Peter “Do you love me?”  Each time Peter answers “yes”, and Christ replies with a version of “Feed my sheep.” This is the restoration of Peter to his primary place among the disciples. But then Christ concludes with a prediction of Peter’s martyrdom, another sign of the commitment of those whose lives have been overturned by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ!

Please keep in your prayers: Ellen Benton, Charlotte Cage, Peg Faulkner, Harold Gray, Maria Jacobson, Susan Sterne McCann, Jytte Palumbo, Robert Radsch, Mike Rodriguez, Beth Shane and the family of Deb Hoeck, Thorvald Slater, Rosie Weaver and Benjamin Weiner.

Bach Vespers on Sunday at 5:00PM
The Bach Choir and Players will present Nicolaus Bruhns’ Erstanden ist der heilige Christ and Monteverdi’s Et resurrexit.


Music for Sunday
Prelude: O Angelos Evoa – Gerald Near
Offertory: O Sacrum Convivium – Thomas Tallis
Postlude: Christ lag in Todebanden– Hermann Schroeder

#361   The Day of Resurrection!
#374   Day of Arising
#804   Come Down, O Love Divine
#385   Good Christian Friends, Rejoice and Sing!



Date:           April 24, 2016

Time:           Immediately following the 11:00 AM worship service.

Pastoral candidate to preach and preside.

Purpose:      To hold election for the next pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.

Vote by written ballot to be presided over by representative of the Bishop; two-thirds majority vote required for election; vote on candidate and compensation package only.


We have the distinct pleasure of informing you that the Call Committee unanimously nominated a terrific pastor to be called to Holy Trinity, and the members present at a Special Congregation Council Meeting voted unanimously to recommend that candidate to the congregation.

We invite and encourage you to participate in this exciting and important moment in the life of our congregation by attending a reception to meet the candidate on Saturday, April 23, by attending the worship service with us Sunday, April 24, at which the nominee will preach and preside, and by placing your vote at the Special Congregation Meeting following the service. Details are below.


Your congregation Council, at a specially called Council meeting on April 4, 2016, reviewed and approved the Call Committee’s recommendations:

1)     to nominate, for the congregation’s approval, a pastoral candidate they had interviewed extensively, heard preach at a neighboring congregation, and unanimously recommended;
2)     to seek the congregation’s approval of the agreed-upon compensation and benefits package for the pastoral candidate; and
3)     to call a special meeting for the congregation for the sole purpose of electing the pastoral candidate and approving the recommended compensation and benefits package.

The Bishop’s office was advised of these actions, whereupon the Bishop’s office selected a representative to attend the Special Congregation Meeting on April 24, 2016 and to preside over the election of the pastoral candidate. A two-thirds majority vote, by written ballot, is required by the Holy Trinity voting members present at the specially called meeting to elect the pastoral candidate and to approve the recommended compensation and benefits package for July 2016 to June 2017.

There will be a single vote on the election of the pastor and the compensation package-no other business will be conducted at the meeting.

Information Concerning the Pastoral Candidate’s Identity

To maintain the confidentiality of the recommended pastor’s identity, Synod protocols do not permit the Congregation Council to reveal his or her identity until the weekend of the Special Congregation Meeting. Biographical information will be handed out at that time.

The congregation will have the opportunity to meet the nominated pastor and the pastor’s spouse at a special social function to be held in:

The Holy Trinity Community Room
Saturday, April 23
Between 4:30 PM and 7:00 PM

On Sunday, April 24, at 11:00 AM, the pastoral candidate will lead the worship service and deliver the sermon to our congregation. Immediately following the service, after a brief coffee break, the Special Congregation Meeting will begin and the vote to elect the nominated candidate will be held.

Invitation to Congregational Discernment

The Synod provides us with the following suggestions as we prepare for such an important event in the life of our congregation:

It is pretty bold these days to profess to know God’s will. In fact, many of us are inclined to be a little suspicious of people who too quickly and easily claim to know what God wants. Nevertheless, it is the task of the members of this congregation to seek God’s desire in a very specific circumstance-the call of a new pastor.

The Call Committee and Council have gone about the work of discernment for some time. Now it’s the congregation’s turn. Here are some suggestions for your prayerful discernment in these last days before you vote to express your understanding of God’s desire for a new pastor at Holy Trinity.

•    Pray to be “indifferent” to all but God’s will. That is, ask God to help you let go of personal agendas    and other attachments so God’s voice can be heard above other interior voices.
•    Seek conversation with wise Christians…since discernment is not a private enterprise.
•    Pray with scripture. Romans 12-4, Ephesians 4, and Philippians 2 lift up the life of a Christian. I Timothy 3-5, II Timothy 2, and Titus 2-3 talk about the qualifications of leaders of the Church. Add to these your favorite scriptures that call us to remember a vision for God’s reign on earth. These verses center us in God’s grand desire for the people of God and the whole creation.
•    Gather information and listen to your gut. Show up when the candidate is present for a reception and dialogue, and listen to both your head and your heart.
•    Imagine God’s future for this congregation and the pastor’s place in it. God draws us forward into a time none of us has seen before. Imagine the challenge God has waiting for you, and ask if this candidate is God’s gift to help lead you there.
•    In the days before you vote, spend some time listening for God.

We ask you to make every effort possible to attend the April 23 reception, the April 24 worship service, and the Special Congregation Meeting that will follow. We have a terrific candidate for you to consider. We ask you to take part in this vitally important decision about Holy Trinity’s future.

Yours in Christ

Craig Wilson                                                                 Steven Aurand
Congregation Council President                                    Call Committee Chair

You can now make a contribution to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church with a quick text message!
Simply send a text to 631-938-7285 with the amount you would like to contribute. Make sure to include the dollar sign before the amount. Example: $25. The default is to the General Operating Fund. You can give to the Capital (Building) Fund by leaving a space after the dollar amount and typing Cap. Within a few minutes, you’ll be sent a text with a link to register. Click on the link and enter your cardholder name and credit or debit card information.   Once your registration is complete, you will receive a text verification and a receipt via email. For future giving, simply send a text with the amount you wish to give, and it will process automatically!

Sundays, April  10 & 17: Discussion led by Pr David G. Burke, Ph.D.
The Jewish biblical scholar, Nahum Sarna, has written perceptively in his Introduction to the Psalms: “In the Law and the Prophets God reaches out to humans. The initiative is God’s. God communicates, we receive. In our God-given freedom we can accept or reject. In the Psalms we reach out to God. We try to communicate. God receives. God chooses to respond or not, according to the inscrutable divine wisdom.”

In these discussions we will dig into the 6 psalms that we will sing/pray in our Sunday worship during the Easter season this year (lectionary year C). We will particularly be looking for Easter connections in these ancient psalms and exploring why these were chosen for Easter use and how they can enrich our worship, our prayers, our faith, and our lives.

Scripture Reading – Week after Easter 3
Sunday – Acts 9:1-6 – What do you think about this dramatic encounter?
Monday – Acts 9:7-9 – What would have been your reaction if you were with Saul?
Tuesday – Acts 9:10-14 – What did it take for Ananias to do what he was asked?
Wednesday – Acts 9:17-20 – What did Ananias do for Saul?
Thursday – Revelation 5:11-14 – How many hymns do you know based on these verses?
Friday – John 21:1-3 – Why do you think the disciples went back to fishing after the resurrection?
Saturday – John 21:15-17 – How would you answer this repeated question of Jesus?
Sunday – John 21:18-19 – Is this what we expect from following the Risen Christ?