Updates From Pastor Justin

Moving Forward Together in Faith, Hope, and Love

September 23, 2020

Today is Day 11 of our 56-Day devotional put together by our ministry team.  This week is about reflecting on the Hebrew Scriptures, otherwise known as the Old Testament.  I pray you are blessed as you meditate on our promise-keeping God as shared by our Youth Minister, Andrew Brazeal.  Also, don’t forget to engage in the video lesson for this week and reflecting along with the accompanying questions as we [RE]FOCUS on Jesus together.

Week 2: Reflecting

Day 4: Seed of Abraham

By Andrew Brazeal

READ:

Genesis 22:18 “and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” 

Hosea 11:1 and Matthew 2:15 “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.” 

When Abraham was promised that the coming King, the Messiah, the Savior promised to Adam and Eve was going to be born through his family line, it must have been an incredibly humbling yet exciting promise. As a parent, I wonder how much pressure he felt to really instill his faith in God in his son Isaac. And as he came to realize that it may be a few generations before this promise came to fruition, it must have required a lot of patience and trust. Trust that the God that he has been worshiping is true to His word and trust that the seeds of faith that he was planting in his own family would be tended and cared for By God Himself through the generations.

Of course, as we know, our God is true to His Word, and the promise that He made Abraham was fulfilled in the coming of the long-awaited Jesus. May we too have patience and trust beyond ourselves. Trust and patience that God is true to His word and promises in our life even when it feels that He’s forgotten. So now as we are given the promise of the return of our long-awaited King, we can have trust and patience as we declare “Come, Lord Jesus!” knowing that our God has not forgotten us.

PRAY:

Spirit, Your patience means our salvation.  Your perfect timing means we live new lives, new love, new grace.  Thank You for Your faithfulness across generations, across time and space.  Help me to believe and grow in faith that You have done, are doing, and will do all You have promised. Amen.

LIVE:

What makes trusting God difficult?  In those moments, what gives you confidence to believe?

Moving Forward Together in Worship
“Not to us, Lord, not to us but to Your name be the glory, because of Your love and faithfulness.”
– Psalm 115:1

This past weekend we had over 500 people between our three in-person worship services and another 50 for a baptism.  Two children were baptized, one at our 10:30 am service and one prior to our Saturday service.  We also had over 1,300 households join us for our 2 on-line services.  The best news of all was that we were able to [RE]FOCUS on Jesus by reflecting on the truth of Christmas receiving more faith, hope, and love as we continue to move forward together.

Your worship team continues to work hard in making worship the best it can be for the glory of God.  We made a few more adjustments and are really looking forward to this upcoming weekend.

If you have not subscribed to our YouTube channel where our worship services and Bible studies are posted, please take a moment and click on the “subscribe” button.  By doing so, you will be notified every time we upload a video to our YouTube channel and enable us to reach more people. As our number of subscribers goes up, so does our opportunity to share our content with those who are not connected yet with our ministry.

Also, if you are on Facebook I want to invite you to follow a new page called “Pastor Justin Krupsky.”  In the days, weeks, and months to come I am going to be uploading lots of content: studies, devotions, prayers, and sermons.  I am praying that this new social media platform for ministry will be a blessing not just for you, but also for the world.
“Pray for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the Gospel,  for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” – Ephesians 6:19-20

September 16, 2020

How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! – Psalm 119:103

This Wednesday I want to share the devotion for Day 4 of our [RE]FOCUS devotional series.  In week 1 of our 8 week devotions we are doing an overview of the 7 categories we have identified about Jesus.  The 7 areas that we are refocusing in on are the history that led to His birth, the restorative nature of His miracles, His renewing of the image of our loving Father, the revealing of His identity, the reforming nature of His teachings, His redeeming work, and the establishment of His kingdom to come.

The devotion below focuses in on the identity of Jesus and it is powerful.  I pray you are blessed by it.

Revealing: Unchangeable identity of Jesus

by Brenda Havers

READ:

“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” John 8:58

The world around us is changing fast.  I am reminded of this every time I see an advertisement for an upcoming music award show and don’t recognize a single artist highlighted. Five years ago it was a completely different group of artists and five years from now it most likely will be an entirely new set of names.

In my life, I have seen sweeping changes in just about every aspect of life.  I started life out listening to records, then 8 tracks, then cassette tapes, then CDs, and now digital streaming.  As a teacher, I have gone from getting purple ink on my hands from “ditto machines” to using Smartboards, YouTube, Apps, and Chromebooks in the classroom.  A quote from Bruce Barton states, “When you are through changing, you are through.”  There is much truth in that statement as it relates to the material world we live in.

Change can be exciting.  Change can also be scary.  I look at so many changes happening in the world and our culture today and it’s easy to be alarmed and discouraged.  As Christians, we can find great comfort in the fact that our Savior Jesus doesn’t change.  Jesus identified Himself to the people of His day using the exact same name God used way back in Genesis – “I am”. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  His love and mercy for His creation do not change.

God’s Word doesn’t change either.  It is as true and solid today as it was when it was first spoken and written down.  Those ancient words are also still as powerful and relevant today despite the whims of changing popular culture trying to convince us otherwise.  Just as musical artists rise and fall in acclaim, so do the teachings and philosophies of man.  In this ever-changing world, true peace can only be found when you build your life on the solid, unchanging foundation of the one true God and His Word.

PRAY:

God, thank you that for every ebb and flow of life in this world and faith within me, You are constant.  Build in me a hunger for Your Word.  For in Your Word you constantly give me life, peace, and forgiveness.  Forgive me when I doubt, restore me when I wonder, and refocus my eyes on You. Amen.

LIVE:

What is one way God brings you peace through His Word?

Please visit our blog page to read each devotion on a daily basis, or you may wish to download the entire devotional book here.

Moving Forward Together in Worship

This past weekend we introduced a few new adjustments to worship.  We adjusted our Sunday morning times to 9 am and 10:30 am and we introduced a children’s message.  Both adjustments were met with great favor as we saw children engaged more and more in-person worshipers and online worshipers.

Our in-person worship increased by over 120 people for the weekend with an average of 170 people at each of our 3 services and our online worship went up by over 400 households.   We were blessed to continue to be responsible for protocols for our in-person worship and the capability to stream our 2 Sunday morning services.

Here is the link to our YouTube channel if you missed worshiping with us this past weekend or if you would like to share the message. While you are there, I would appreciate it if you would please subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Your worship team is working hard each week to prayerfully consider more adjustments during this time.  In fact we have begun planning our Thanksgiving worship services, Advent worship services, and Christmas worship services.   We are committed to sending out this e-mail update each Wednesday through December as we continue to move forward in worship focusing in on Jesus with faith, hope, and love.
“Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” – Hebrews 12:3

September 9, 2020

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13

The key word today is “Move.”  As I think about this call for us to move forward together this morning, I am fixated on this word move.  Recorded in Genesis 12:1, God says to Abraham, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you,” and in Matthew 28:19, we hear Jesus say to His disciples, “Therefore go.”  Do you hear the call of God not just to Abraham and to His first disciples, but still to us today, “Move?

To move is to advance, that is to go.  I love giving the steal sign when I am coaching third base in baseball.  Truth be told though as I coach higher level baseball now, if a runner does not have a good lead off and shows me they are getting a good secondary lead, if I give them the steal sign it is highly likely they will be thrown out.  However if a runner is getting a good lead off and getting a good jump in their secondary lead chances are very high that they will be safe if I give them the steal sign.  Leading off and secondary leads aside, the kids have to not just know the signs but see the sign from me.

So I wonder are we seeing the sign from God, the sign that is telling us to go.  Are we ready and willing to move forward?  There are opportunities all around us to move.  To live out the calling that He has given us yes to love our families, yes to love our neighbors, but also to use our gifts to share Christ’s story with love.  Go.

I know we are in time when it feels like we should be cautious, but we must still move forward responsibly.  So, I ask you where is God calling you to go, to move?  Where is God calling us at Trinity?  Most recently He has called us to go online with all of our ministries, but what is next?  What is the next move of God for you and for Trinity?

Moving from the batter’s box to first base is very exciting, but the goal in the game of baseball is to move around the bases, not just once but time and time again.

God is still calling us even today to move.  Ephesians 5:16 says, “Make the most of every opportunity.”  1 Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared.”  God is not done with us.  So, let’s be like Abraham.  Let’s see the sign and let’s respond.  Let’s continue to move forward together in faith, hope, and love.

Moving Forward Together in Worship

This weekend begins our next pivot for our in-person worship and online worship options as we move forward together.

We have adjusted our Sunday morning worship times and added an in-person children’s message with the hopes to make worship the best it can be.  We are still being responsible with our Covid-19 policies and procedures for our in-person services and we are still utilizing our resources to share our dynamic worship services with you and the community at large.

  • 5:30 pm in-person worship (liturgical)
  • 9 am in-person worship and livestream (liturgical)
  • 10:30 am in-person worship and livestream (modern)

Each of these services will offer communion with our Covid-19 safe practices and a children’s message.

As soon as we either go to Phase 6 or reach our 250-person capacity level, we will add more in-person options with the hope to open our gym once again for worship.

It was also our hope to begin offering a pre-recorded, more personal modern worship this weekend, but at this time we are holding off a few more weeks.

I look forward to launching our new sermon series this weekend, “[RE]FOCUS.”

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”   Philippians 3:12-14
September 2, 2020

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” – Matthew 19:14

It is 8:55 am on Wednesday morning, and today marks the third day of in-person education at Trinity.  What a blessing it is to welcome little people into our building.  As each child comes into our building, I am reminded of Jesus’ words, “Let the little children come to Me.”  For over 130 years we have been applying Jesus’ words by offering Christian education.  This year no doubt has many adjustments, including a virtual option, too.  We are blessed to have an outstanding faculty and staff that are being responsible in every way we can to follow all the educational guidelines for health protocols.

This weekend in worship Pastor Chad is going to lead us to meditate on Jesus’ words from Matthew 18 in which Jesus says, “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”  My prayer today is that, yes, God would bless our day school ministry, but even more that He would give us His spirit of humbleness as His children as we move forward together.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. -1 Peter 5:6-7

Moving Forward Together in Worship update:

If you missed the message from this past weekend’s worship please click here. This upcoming weekend as mentioned above Pastor Chad is going to be delivering an inspired and timely message on rest.

Beginning the following weekend on Saturday, September 12 and Sunday, September 13 through the month of November we have new worship times and a new online option:

  • Saturday 5:30 pm in-person (Traditional/Blended)

  • Sunday 9 am in-person and live online (Traditional/Blended)

  • Sunday 10:30 am in-person and pre-recorded on-line (Contemporary)

Each service will have a children’s message and communion.

The pre-recorded worship online service is going to be called, “Trinity For You: Meeting You Where You Are.”  It will be a shortened service focused solely on the online viewer that we hope will be the next step in our online worship presence.   “Trinity for You” is our attempt to connect more disconnected people with Jesus through worship.  We have realized over the last 7 months that there is great value for streaming live in-person worship, but also that it is very meaningful to have the message and service delivered in a more personal way.  So, we have aligned our resources to stream live our 9 am Sunday morning service and also to pre-record a contemporary service, “Trinity for You.”   Come December our hope is to be able to utilize our resources to stream both in-person Sunday morning services and to continue our personalized “Trinity for You” online worship service.

We have seen that Trinity’s online presence is moving God’s kingdom forward in exponential ways, and it is our prayer and hope that “Trinity for You,” will continue the expansion.   Your worship team asks for your prayers as we work diligently and faithfully to lead worship services that honor God and meet people where they are to give faith and strengthen faith.

I look forward to worshiping with you all this weekend whether here at Trinity or online.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20

August 26, 2020

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—  where does my help come from?   My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.  Psalm 121:1-2

This is my 27th weekly update and devotional for you all since the end of February when Covid-19 became a reality for us. Even though we are mostly apart, I do believe we are moving forward together.  This is also the official 14th year of doing ministry with you all at Trinity.  It was in the summer of 2006 when I began working as a summer vicar, which led to the convertible vicarage beginning the following summer of 2007, and now here we are entering the fall of 2020.

In 2020, God has truly given us an opportunity to understand what really matters, what the essentials are. All lives matter, government matters, health care matters, families matter, friendship matters, equality matters, justice matters,  law enforcement matters, our jobs matter, voting matters, listening matters,  food matters, toilet paper really matters, washing our hands matters, the internet matters and even masks matter; but what really matters is our faith.  Faith in Jesus is why we as a community exist and the source by which we have excelled in this time.

Now I know many of you reading this have been at Trinity way longer than me, and many of you are actually newer to Trinity than me.  As we move forward together, I am hoping that we will pray together more than ever as an essential part of our faith, beginning right now.

I am not sure what you have going on as you are reading this, but I am asking for you to pray with me right now.

Our Father in heaven, we thank You that we are Your children.  We are all Your children, we have a family in one another and You are our good, good, Father.   Hallowed be Your name, You are God.  You are all powerful, ever present, and all knowing; we are not, but You are.   Your kingdom come, bring Heaven.  Not just someday for all eternity, but today in our lives and through our lives.  May we do Your work today, and may the world know that You are at work.  Your will be done, not ours.  We know Your will is to love, not just on this side of all eternity, but for all eternity.  May we choose love today, and may we not get in the way of what Your plan is for us today.  Give us this day our daily bread.  Not just nourishment for our body, but nourishment for our soul.  Please give us more of Your Holy Spirit; sacrificial commitment, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, and self control.  Forgive us our sins.  We repent of our sins that harm us, harm our neighbors, and harm You.  Enable us to change our way of thinking and our behavior.  Thank You for dying on the cross in our place for our sins.  Help us to forgive others.  We confess that it is hard to forgive, but love keeps no records of wrongs.  Lead us not into temptation.  Help us to fight the temptations that so easily tempt us by the power of Your word and give us wisdom of when to flee.  Deliver us from the evil one.  Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces.  Thank You that greater is He that is in me, than he that is in this world. Thank You for the power of prayer Father.  Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever.  Amen. 

Can you feel the peace that surpasses all understanding?  Now is the time to pray.  It is always the time to pray.  Thank You, Jesus, for teaching us to pray and thank You that it does not stop now, but that we get to continually talk with You through our day.

As we move forward together, let’s keep praying for one another, praying for racial equality, praying for our law enforcement, praying for our government, praying for our medical professionals,  praying for our school staff, families, and children as we begin a new school year and praying for Pastor Chris as he discerns between continuing his ministry here at Trinity or at St. Mark in  Illinois.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7

Moving Forward Together in Worship

This past weekend Pastor Lew wrapped up our series on Revelation.  We learned once again that we can handle it, because Jesus did, is, and will.  Jesus is coming soon, and as we eagerly wait for Him, we do so with hope and purpose.  Once again we had around 400 people at our in-person worship services and over 1000 households join us for our online options.

This upcoming weekend I am really excited to share a message from the most famous parable of Jesus.  Through studying this text and praying through it, I have no doubt that God is going to encourage each of you and meet you where you are in such a time as this.  I am really looking forward to being with you all, whether in person or online.

This Sunday at 1 pm we have also put together a special “Back to School” online worship service for day school families. Here is the link.

Beginning the 2nd weekend of September, the weekend after Labor Day weekend, please note the time changes for our Sunday morning worship services.  We will continue our Saturday 5:30 pm service, but our 2 Sunday morning services times are moving to 9 am and 10:30 am for both in-person and online.   All three in-person services will continue to be in our Sanctuary with communion and a children’s message.

As we move forward together in worship we are continuing to be responsible with our Covid-19 protocols for our in-person protocols, and we are continuing to do our best to make our online worship the best it can be.  Please keep your worship team in your prayers for sustained health and discernment.

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.   See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. – Psalm 139:23-24

August 19, 2020

Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law My servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:6-9

Breathe it in again, read it again and again.  Pause after each sentence and simply receive it.  This promise from God has been on the forefront of my heart and mind for decades now.  I almost feel embarrassed for how often this word captivates me in my daily life.  Not once, but three times God speaks to Joshua.  Why?  Joshua is just like us. He needed to hear it repeated to him before he received it.

There are five truths from this scripture that I want to take a moment and share with you today as we seek to move forward together.

1st – Jesus is the land that we are called to lead others to.  Let’s not forget this, especially right now when it seems that many of us are very tempted to become self-focused as if we are in survival mode.  We have the secret to life, and His name is Jesus.  He is the land that we are going to inherit, and we are called to share this inheritance.

2nd – Obedience is still our responsibility, but the outcome is God’s.  Whenever we are in the wilderness (pandemic), it is much easier for us to give into temptations.  I know we are not perfect and will not be until we are in heaven, but we are still called to walk with integrity.   Obedience does not mean all will be at peace, but it is the right thing to do.  Our obedience is not a manipulation tool for us to control God with.  He is still in sovereign overall, and His plans are not always ours.

3rd – God’s Word is living and active.  It is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.  It is the sword of the spirit.  It is able to make us wise to salvation in Jesus.  It does equip us and rebuke us.  It is our daily bread.  Let’s re-commit to being in God’s Word daily and corporately together.  We are so blessed to have 66 books that tell us the Good News of Jesus. We do not need to worry about not hearing the voice of God.  He has spoken and is speaking through His Word.

4th – It is not about what we can do, but what He can do through us.  He has handled it, is handling it, and will handle it; so will we.  1,700 times in the 66 books of the Bible, God proclaims that He is with His children.  He is present with us.  We are not alone.

5th – Strength and courage vs. fear and discouragement is still a real battle that we all face daily.  We are not alone in this battle, and God does not and will not lose patience with us.  He will continue to meet us where we are to move us forward one day at a time into the life that He has created us for.

Verse 10 tells us that Joshua responded to God’s Word.  He stood up in courage and strength because He heard the Word of God and believed that God was with him.  May we move forward together today, just like Joshua.

Moving Forward Together in Worship:

This past weekend we had over 400 individuals come to our campus for in-person worship and had over 1,500 households join us for online worship.  This weekend we will be wrapping up our sermon series on Revelation.
Please do not forget that our Sunday morning worship options will be shifting 30 minutes beginning the 2nd weekend of September to 9 am and 10:30 am.  Our Saturday evening time will remain the same.

This same weekend (September 12/13) we will be beginning an 8-week sermon series called [RE]FOCUS.  This sermon series has a 56 day devotional along with it and 8 small group Bible studies that will accompany it that your ministry team has been working on all summer.  Your Pastors and ministry team truly believe that God has inspired this new fall series and are really excited to be able to [RE]FOCUS on Jesus with you all as we move forward together.

We are continuing to evaluate our online worship services and in-person worship services and are looking forward to being with you this fall, whether you chose to worship with us in-person or online.  It is our hope to add more in-person services in December as we move forward together.

Please continue to share your ideas of how we can worship the best; it can be both online and in-person.

“To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul; in You I trust, O my God.” – Psalm 25:1

August 12, 2020

Understanding

Patient endurance is one of the attributes God’s Word implores us to have.  No doubt it is a “heavy” attribute, but the truth of the matter is we are in a heavy time.   In fact in Revelation 1:9 this is one of the purposes for which God gave John the vision that is recorded for us in Revelation.  What does it mean to endure, and what does it mean to endure something patiently?  To endure patiently is to not be swayed from one’s direction because of the pain or suffering one experiences.  I love that God’s Word from Proverbs 14:29 says, “One who patiently endures has great understanding.”

Do we have understanding?  In today’s world I am finding it harder and harder to gain understanding – understanding of the political nature of the times, the scientific nature of our current pandemic, state by state and national understanding of executive orders, the sociological nature of protests, and the understanding of the nature of what it means to be a police officer.  Do not get me wrong, I could give you a passionate three point Ted talk from either side of the line of each above mentioned area, but do I really understand?

What I do understand is that God is God.  He is good.  He is working through all things.  He desires justice.  He desires submission to government.  He desires love for one another.  He desires truth and most certainly He desires grace.  I understand as people of faith we are called to transform the world and not conform to it.  I understand that He has, does, and will provide for us and meet our needs.

I understand that life is hard, marriage is hard, work is hard, parenting is hard, and loving is hard.  I understand that the only way to live life is by faith in Jesus.  He is THE one who endured patiently and is still to this day.  I understand that He is enduring patiently because He desires all of His children to understand His love for them.  He understands.  He understands you and He understands me.   Do we understand this?

As we continue to move forward together as His church, as His people in our homes, neighborhoods, and yes from our campus, may He grant us the strength to patiently endure.  I know many of you are struggling with your health, are struggling with your jobs, are struggling with your families, are struggling to have hope, are struggling with anxiety, are struggling to have hope for the future, and are struggling with your faith.  I want you to know that you are not alone.  You have a Savior Jesus who is with you and you have a church that is with you.

Please pray with me:  Father in Heaven, help us understand.  Help us understand Your Gospel and life You have created us to live.  Give us more of Your Spirit so that we can patiently endure.  May we not just finish the race You have created us for but may we finish it strong. In Jesus name.  Amen.  

Moving Forward Together in Worship:  September through November plan

Over the past several months your pastoral team, worship team, and your Elders have been prayerfully evaluating our in-person and on-line worship services with the hopes to make more adjustments for the fall in an effort to reach more people.   We have been evaluating Kids’ Connection, our Gym space, our times, our styles, in-person elements of worship, and on-line elements of worship among many others aspects of our corporate worship life at Trinity.  We realize as has been mentioned several times over the past seven months that we need to keep moving forward in faith, hope, and love both cautiously and courageously.  Below are the thoughts of your leadership and the plan moving forward.

Kids’ Connection

Since March we have seen young families engage in our online worship.  Over the course of the summer we have only seen a handful of young families come back to our in-person worship.  We also saw much success with our online option for children when our children’s message was attached to the ending of the service itself.

With the state of Michigan still being in Phase 4 our plan is to not have nursery care or in-person Kids’ Connection.  Our fall plan is to have a children’s message within our in-person service.  This would be a 5 minute long children’s message where we would not invite the children forward, but would speak directly to them with an object lesson based on the scriptures for the day.  We would also pre-record a children’s message that would be part of our pre-recorded  worship service for families.

During this time we would do our best to begin to recruit and communicate with Kids’ Connection volunteers with the hope to have an in-person Kids’ Connection when we are in phase 6 in 2021.  At the same time we are planning on utilizing the Meeting Lounge as a temporary cry room for infants and toddlers during our in-person worship.   School families, we are asking you to fill out the online communication card when you worship with us whether in person or online.  We are as committed as ever to partner with you in raising your children to know Jesus and equipping you in your faith.

Gym Worship

Since March we have not had in-person worship in our gym, and we have had limited use of our gym for our pre-recorded contemporary worship.  In June we did move all of our live streaming equipment into the sanctuary and at this time we still do not have live streaming equipment in the gym.  At this time we also feel that in-person worship is much easier to be responsible with the cleanliness of our space and the social distancing of our people when we are in the sanctuary, which is a much larger worship space.

As we consider pre-recording a contemporary worship service during the week, at this time we realize that we are limited with the gym for set-up and tear down of the streaming equipment and gym stage and rehearsal time since our day school will be back in session.  As a result we have decided to pre-record the majority of our contemporary services outside of the gym, with the hopes to utilize the gym when we have the appropriate equipment and time to re-utilize our gym as a worship space.

Online Worship

It has been clear for years now that Trinity needed more of an online presence in regards to worship.  Since March we have been able to have an online presence with both pre-recorded services and live services.  We have been able to host live chats with people during online worship, and people have also been able to view/participate in our worship services at any time after the streaming of the service.  We have reached thousands of homes through this each week.  What we have learned is that our pre-recorded contemporary service is much more engaging for those who prefer contemporary worship as compared to live in-person worship.  At the same time we have learned that live in-person traditional worship is much more enriching for those who prefer traditional worship.

Our plan for the fall is to continue to stream our live in-person traditional worship on Sunday morning and to go back to pre-recording our contemporary service and stream it on Saturday evening and Sunday morning.  This will put a greater strain our contemporary worship team and media team, but we do feel the extra work will be well worth it in ministering to our community.

In-Person Worship

Prior to March Trinity had six in-person worship services which varied in attendance on average from 100 people to 400 people for an average over 1,300 people.   Since returning to in-person worship in late May, Trinity has had 3 in-person worship services with a social distancing capacity in our sanctuary of 250 people.   Each of these three services has averaged about 120 people in attendance with a total average of 360 people.  We were offering a Saturday evening blended/traditional service, a Sunday morning at 8:30 am blended/traditional service, and a 10 am contemporary service.

Our fall plan is to keep the Saturday evening traditional/blended service, but to adjust the times of our two Sunday morning services to 9:00 am and 10:30 am.  We feel after hearing more from our congregation that moving the 8:30 am to 9:00 am will be well received from both the 9:30 am worshipers and the 8:00 am worshipers.  We also feel that moving the 10:00 am to 10:30 am will be well received for our 9:45 am and 11:15 am worshipers.  We feel based on what we have heard from many people in our congregation is that this 30 minute adjustment is a better balance to what we once had for the time being.  At this time we are not recommending the re-start of our in-person Monday evening service, but do encourage those who are unable to make our weekend in person services to participate in our online worship.

We know full well that this fall plan comes at an unprecedented time. A time where are being called to patiently endure together.  Macomb County is currently in Phase 4, and we all desire to go back to the way our worship was before March. We also know that our congregation overall is proceeding with caution into the fall and winter months knowing that God is working not just through our adjusted worship services but also in all of our other areas of ministry.  We want you to know that at this time these plans for the fall are in no way reflective of a long-range plan for our worship services, times, styles, and places and that we are more than eager about adding more opportunities as we move forward.

The two changes to our in-person service itself are: (all other policies are in still in place such as masks, bulletins, capacity, offering, social distancing, communion, on-line communication card, etc.)

  1.  A children’s message will take place at each in-person service.

  2. Baptisms now have the option to be included in our in-person services.

Summary of Fall 2020 Worship Services planned to start the weekend of September 13 through Sunday, November 29 

Saturday evening worship options:

  • 5:30 pm in-person traditional/blended service with communion.
  • 5:30 pm online pre-recorded, streamed contemporary service.

Sunday morning Worship options:

  • 9:00 am in-person traditional/blended service with communion
  • 9:00 am live streamed online traditional/blended service.
  • 10:30 am in-person contemporary service in the sanctuary with communion.
  • 10:30 am online pre-recorded streamed contemporary service.

Worship will remain the same through September 6.  

  • 5:30 pm Saturday evening traditional in-person
  • 8:30 am Sunday morning traditional in-person and live online
  • 10 am Sunday morning contemporary in-person and live online

We want to remind you that yes, there are many blessings to worship in-person together, but that worshiping with us online is also a great way to join us, especially as we continue to move forward together this fall.  Do not feel pressured to come to our in-person worship, but do know that our sanctuary is a safe place and we are being responsible.  Also, do not feel guilty when you worship from home. Instead, thank God that He has provided a way for you to still be connected with us at Trinity and more than that be connected with Him.

Again, if you desire to receive communion at your house please do not hesitate to reach out to your pastoral staff.

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” – Psalm 100

On behalf of your worship team, thank you for understanding and trust as we continue to make adjustments moving forward together in faith, hope, and love…

August 5, 2020

August is here, and the normal routine of our lives means students and families are getting ready to go back to school.  For us at Trinity we know our school is going to be different.  Our children, whether it is pre-school, elementary school, high school, or even college, are facing changes in the way education is taking place.  We know that teachers, administration, and parents are being asked to stretch their professional  routine.  As we face the new academic year head on, I was reminded of a promise that God made to His children over 3,000 years ago, a promise that still holds great weight for us today.  It comes from Jeremiah 29:11:   “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

This promise has captivated me this past week as I consider my children’s future.  In all honesty it has  brought calm in the storm of worry and anxiousness for my children and certainly into the present reality for us here at Trinity as we get ready for a new school year.  It gives me great courage and strength as a parent to not only share this promise with my children, but to know this is true for my children.  It gives me great peace as I see our school leadership and our parents at Trinity walk by faith as we all make plans for this school year.

Our children have a future, and it is full of hope.  Why?   God said so.

God said so.  What a blessing we have here at Trinity, whether it is through in-person education or virtual online education to Share Christ’s Story with Love.   To do what Jesus asked us to do: “Let the little children come to Me.”  What a blessing we have in our teachers who are able to be resilient in the calling they have to give our children a Christ-centered education.  What a blessing.

If you have not been doing so already, please pray. Not only for our faculty and staff, but pray for our parents as they make plans for their child’s education and most certainly pray for our children that they would walk by faith, hope, and love as we all continue to move forward  together.

“From childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”  – 2 Timothy 3:15

Moving Forward Together in Worship

Again I want to thank all of you who sent me an e-mail over the past couple of weeks  about  your hopes for worship as we continue to make plans for another pivot/adjustment in September.  Your feed back has been crucial, as your flexibility has also has been.

Since March we have  been able to reach over 1,000 households each weekend through our online worship. Since re-opening for our communion services in May, we have had an average of 330 individuals attend our in-person services.   Compare this to last summer, which had an average of 30 households view our online weekend sermons and an average of 1,000 individuals attend our in person services.

We have certainly made adjustments in our worship life here at Trinity, and what gives us all great peace and joy is that God is reaching more and more people with His Gospel message through Trinity’s worship services.

With the current state of the world, the United States, and Macomb County itself in regards to the Covid-19 pandemic, we do realize that we are still in Phase 4 of reopening.  We are continuing to respect and be responsible in seeking to implement the recommendations of the CDC and the Michigan District of the LCMS in regards to in-person gatherings for worship.

I do look forward to sharing with you in next Wednesday’s e-mail the plans that your pastoral team, worship team and Elders have come up with.  Please keep your Elders in prayer as we will be meeting next Tuesday, August 11 to make more adjustments for the fall.

We hope you will join us for one of our five weekend worship options: on-site Saturday 5:30 pm, Sunday 8:30 am, and Sunday 10 am, and online Sunday 8:30 am and Sunday 10 am. Please view our livestream on http://www.trinityutica.com/live. Please text the word “Trinity” to 797979 to receive the order of worship, communication card, prayer request, online giving, and e-news information.

If you desire to receive the sacrament of communion and are uncomfortable coming to one of  our in-person worship services,  please do not hesitate to reach out to us pastors.  We would love to  come and give you Holy Communion.

“For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.”  In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” – 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

July 29, 2020

To move is to be in motion, to be on the go.  I love this word.  Creation is in motion. Our internal systems are constantly moving, but is our faith?  I love this word “moving” because this is what Jesus proclaimed when He said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand.”  Quite literally He was saying God is on the move.  In fact He actually started His truth statement recorded in Matthew 4:17 with the call to “repent.”  Change your way of thinking; God is on the move.  Stop doubting, see and believe.

It seems it is becoming easier than ever to become frozen, to stop moving.  At the same time it is becoming easier than ever before to be spiritually blinded, that is to believe that God is not moving, not working.  Is He moving?

To move forward, in my mind, is to press on.  To have hope for the future but to also seize each present moment and learn from the past.  I love what God said to us recorded in Paul’s letter to the Philippians in chapter 3:12-14: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Are we not just moving, but moving forward? So often we move aimlessly or even backward as we live in the past.  Is the Kingdom of Heaven advancing through you and me?

Together is so much more powerful than separate or divided or even by oneself. It means that we are not alone and that we are unified.  This truth is attested to in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:   If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.  But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.  Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

As I share this thought with you today on Wednesday July 29, I have a great peace because the good news is and will always be that Jesus, the One who was crucified and resurrected, is still alive.  He is still forgiving us for when we don’t move.  He is still forgiving us for when we get stuck in the past or go about aimlessly.  He is still enabling us to forgive one another so that we can Move Forward Together ,not just with one another but more importantly with Him.  Please do not ever forget the main thing: we are forgiven because of what Jesus did for us on the cross.  It is in this Gospel truth that we will Move Forward Together.

Moving Forward Together in Worship

When God spoke “Remember the Sabbath day,” His desire was to bless us, that is to give us an opportunity to rest well and to receive.  As He spoke this gift He shared that at the center of Sabbath is to join together with others for a “Sacred Assembly.”  An assembly where true rest is given, namely the opportunity to look outside of ourselves to God himself for forgiveness, for strength, for peace, for purpose, and for truth.  Since March, Trinity has moved forward together in worship.  We have made pivots in our spaces for worship, in our times, and yes even in our styles, but the ability to rest in our faith and to receive has remained constant.

Last week I asked for you to share with me what your hopes are for our “Sacred Assembly” come this fall, and I want to thank you for some great feedback to help myself and your worship team continue to discern how we  can move forward together into the fall of this year.

As we discern this fall I want you to know seven things.

  1.  We are committed to online worship

  2. We are committed to on-campus worship

  3. We are committed to being as responsible as we can in making our on-campus worship space a healthy space

  4. We are  committed to all generations

  5. We are committed to offering  different styles

  6. We are committed to proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus through worship

  7. We are committed to administering the Sacraments

Please continue to pray for your worship team and your Elders as we are planning on making our Fall Worship decisions by the evening of Tuesday, August 11.

This weekend we hope to see you either on campus or online at http://www.trinityutica.com/live for one of our five worship options as we begin our new sermon series based on the vision of Revelation called, “Can You Handle This?” Families with young children, don’t forget about online Kid’ Connection on Sunday at 11:15 am.

  • Saturday Evening 5:30 pm on-campus (Traditional)

  • Sunday 8:30 am on campus (Traditional)

  • Sunday 8:30 am online (Traditional)

  • Sunday 10 am on campus (Contemporary)

  • Sunday 10 am online (Contemporary)

“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.” – Psalm 95:1

July 22, 2020

How are you doing?  Really, how are you doing?  Not just how are you doing, but how is your faith in Jesus doing?  If you could assess, say the last five months, would you say your faith in Jesus has been strengthened, shaken, or weakened by the events and trials of the world around us?

Maybe the question is, do you have hope?  See, faith in Jesus leads to hope.  So, if you have faith in Jesus you cannot help but have hope.  1 Thessalonians says a mark of one who has faith is that even in the grief of loss or change there is still hope.  When you think about the past, tomorrow or even next year, do you believe that God is working in all things, and do you believe that He has a plan for you?

Let me ask one more question: How are you doing at loving your neighbor? Are you more patient, more kind, more selfless, more giving, more humble, more forgiving, more gracious, more merciful, more trusting with your neighbors, which more certainly includes your family and co-workers?

As we move forward together it is good to check in based on God’s word from 1 Corinthians 13:

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. – 1 Corinthians 13:12-13

Faith, hope, and love…
Faith in Jesus creates hope and most certainly overflows in love.
Jesus, we do believe, we confess our unbelief.  Please help us with our unbelief, and please take our mustard seed of faith and expand your kingdom as we do life together in faith, hope, and love.

Three Worship Updates

  1. As your pastoral team, worship team, and Elders continue to make worship the best it can be during this time, we need your feedback.  After all teamwork makes the dream work.  Currently we are formulating our next worship pivot for the fall and we want to hear from you.  Please send a simple e-mail to Pastor Justin at jkrupsky@trinityutica.com with your answer to this question: What is your hope for worship, whether it be online or on-campus come September?
  2. You no longer need to pre-register for our on-site worship.  With us functioning at a comfortable capacity level in the Sanctuary at 250 people and in evaluating the last 10 weeks of registering for our on-site worship options, we are foregoing the pre-registering process.  So all you have to do is show up.  Thank you to all those who pre-registered for worship for the last 10 weekends.  We look forward to continuing to offer our current on-site worship options and our on-line worship options.  Please continue to text 797979 with the word “Trinity” to fill out the worship communication card.
  3. We have found a company that has pre-packaged communion wine with the bread.  If you have been with us on-campus receiving communion you know that we have been using grape juice.  We now have the option of wine also, which we know brings much comfort to many who have grown up receiving wine instead of grape juice.   May God continue to grant us the opportunity to receive His body and blood through the Sacrament of Holy Communion!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:11-3

July 15, 2020

I don’t know about you, but I love Jesus.  I love that I don’t have to wonder what God is like.  Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. I love that I know that I am loved because of Jesus.  I know what truth is because of Jesus.  I know what grace is because of Jesus.   I know my purpose because of Jesus.  His fulfillment of promises, His teaching, His miracles, His compassion, His identity, His death, His resurrection, and His return; all these and more fire me up.

Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus… Hebrews 3:1

I do not know if you have read the book of Hebrews lately, but it is all about Jesus.  It seems that people were falling into the temptation to fix their thoughts and minds on others. Hebrews says stop thinking about angels, stop thinking about Moses, stop thinking about this mysterious guy Melchizedek, and stop thinking about the High Priest — Jesus is greater.

How easy it is for me throughout my day to not think about Him, but how powerful it is when I do. I remember in college during my junior of baseball going through a slump.  I started off the season 3 for 27 with 17 strikeouts.  Not good, not good at all.  I went from batting 3rd in the lineup to batting in the 8th.  I remember finally taking out the tee all by myself with a bucket of baseballs on our college field and just simply focusing on keeping my eye on the ball.  Something clicked as a hitter in that moment and changed the course of that season for me, just by simply keeping my eye on the ball the season turned around into my most successful college season.

I wonder how many of us are in the game, swinging our faith bat, but lacking love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, and self-control.   Last week I shared Hebrews 12:1-3 with you at the end of my e-mail.  Well here it is again:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. – Hebrews 12:1-3

As we move forward together by faith, let’s keep our eyes on the ball.  Let’s get the bucket of balls out and the tee (that is, our Bible) and fix our eyes on Jesus.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”- Matthew 11:28

Moving Forward Together In Worship

As we continue to offer on-line worship and on-site worship I want to let you know that we are committed to keeping our eyes on Jesus in and through worship.  My guiding verse whenever I am working through the process of writing a sermon is Luke 24:32.  This is where the resurrected Jesus has just opened up the scriptures with the disciples (vs. 27) and then there response was ignited hearts. Their hearts were awoken because the scriptures fixed their eyes on Jesus.  May this be true of us each time we gather, whether from home or on our campus for worship.

I pray you are able to not just join us for worship this weekend whether online or in person, but that you also are able to invite others to join us through your online connections.

Sunday Online Options:

  • Traditional/Liturgical -8:30 am
  • Modern/Contemporary – 10 am
  • Kid’s worship – 11:15 am
Please click here to worship online. If you missed any of our previous weeks, please visit our YouTube page.

Weekend On-Site Options:

  • Traditional/Liturgical – Saturday 5:30 pm
  • Traditional/Liturgical – Sunday 8:30 am
  • Modern/Contemporary – Sunday 10 am

Please click here to read more about our on-site options and the health requirements.

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12

As we move forward together, let’s keep our eyes on Jesus!

July 1, 2020

What would you do, what are you doing, or what are you going to do?

If someone called you and asked to come to an event to pray over our President Trump, what would you do? How would you handle yourself given the current state of our union? Would you be honored, would you be scared, would you decline for political reasons, would you accept for political reasons? What would you do?

A few weeks ago I received a phone call asking me to pray about coming to an event to pray over Vice President Pence. What did I do? I prayed about it, and in praying 1 Timothy 2:1-2 stuck in my mind and heart. “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” So I said yes, not necessarily knowing all the details of the event. What I knew is that I can and will always pray for the authorities that God has placed over me in my life, but now I was given a public opportunity to lead others, not just through our church, but others in our community around us in doing what God clearly has told us to do. In doing so I knew this was not a political move on my part, but a faithful response to God’s Word that I was given an opportunity to bear witness to and to bless those for whom I was asked to pray. I also knew this was the intent of the individual from Trinity wanting to bless the Vice President with a prayer over him. Let me pause for a moment and say to all of you, Trinity, that you continue to amaze me by the clear evidence of your faith, hope and love.

My question for you is not what would you do, or even what are you doing, but what are you going to do? Specifically are you going to pray for our government? Are you? Are you really? Not for political intent, but simply because God said to do it.

Below is partof the prayer that was prayed on that day:

Father in Heaven, in this moment we approach your throne room of grace humbly with confidence because of what Jesus the Savior of the world has done for us.

As we move forward together in this moment we pray as you have taught us to pray for those who are in authority, specifically for our Vice President Mike Pence who is with us, our president Donald Trump, and their cabinet and all other elected leaders.

They are the leaders that you have selected for such a time as this in your world. Help us all to pray for them and appreciate the weight of responsibility you have placed on them. Remind them as the prophet Isaiah said, “The government is on your shoulders Lord Jesus.” May they learn to trust you and lean into you each and every day. Your shoulders are much bigger than theirs. In this may they have peace knowing it is not about they can do, but what your Spirit can and will do through them.

As they lead we pray that you would enable them to love mercy, to seek justice and to walk humbly with you as they guide not just our nation but our world. That they would have the ability to not just move us forward, but to move us forward together. We pray that you would grant them wisdom…… Amen.

Whether you are for or against the policies and politics of our local and national government, we are called to pray for them and to acknowledge God’s Word which says in Romans 13:1, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities,for there is no authority except that which God has established.The authorities that exist have been established by God.”

We need to keep praying. I want to invite you to join me in praying for them live this Saturday, July 4 at 9 am on Trinity’s Facebook page. Throughout the day, hour by hour you will be encouraged to pray on your own or with your family and friends for different entities within our government. Here is the schedule:

9 am Facebook live prayer and devotion by Pastor Justin
10 am Pray for our Presidential Cabinet
11 am Pray for our Supreme Court
12 pm Pray for our Senators
1 pm Pray for our Representatives
2 pm Pray for our Governors
3 pm Pray for our Mayors
4 pm Pray for our Law Enforcement
5 pm Pray for our Military
6 pm for our Global Leadership

I know it is Independence Day this Saturday, and many of us will be bus,y but we are never too busy to pray. Let’s give the heavenly throne room a fireworks display like never before with our prayers this Saturday.

“Do not be anxious about anything,but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

Moving Forward Together in Worship Update:

Once again this past week people were able to gather for worship with us whether it was from their cottages, from their cars as they traveled, from their bed’s, kitchens, or living room, and some even in our Sanctuary.

As we move forward together this week in worship I want to encourage you to keep joining us whether on-line or on our campus. Each week I here new stories of where people are joining us from and how people are being Sabbath blessed. This past week I heard of people from Florida, Texas, and Traverse City.

We are continuing to tweak and make adjustments for both our on-campus worship and our on-line worship. We love hearing from you as we seek to make worship the best it can be for the Glory of God. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us during this time. Communication is key for us to move forward together and we welcome your feedback.

Our two live online worship services are at 8:30 am and 10 am.Click here for the link. If you are unable to join tune in live, please visit our YouTube page anytime after the live service.We will also have a children’s worship option which goes live at 11:15 am led by our family life ministry team.

We are continuing our on-site options. This Saturday there will be no traditional onat 5:30 pm due to the holiday, but it will resume on Saturday, July 11.We will have traditional on Sunday at 8:30 am, and modern on Sunday at 10 am.With our capacity level and ability to be responsible with our social distancing in our sanctuary,you do not need to sign up ahead of time to attend our on-site worship services. However if you would like to, we still encourage you to do so in an effort to communicate with us for your attendance records.

When attending on-site please, please, please be responsible with the wearing of a mask as you enter the Sanctuary and leave the Sanctuary. Again, you will not be required to wear a mask once you are seated, but in an effort to be responsible for our neighbors we are continuing to encourage you to wear a mask. Your participating in this effort of responsibility and love toward your neighbor is greatly appreciated by your pastoral staff.

Sign up for July 5 Here
Sign Up for July 11 & 12 Here

Moving Forward Together in Love Toward Our Neighbor:

When Jesus told us to love our neighbor, I really don’t think this was a complex command. In fact, I love the simplicity. As I continue to go in to stores, work on campus at Trinity, and visit people’s homes I am reminded how simple this is in this day and age. By simply wearing a face mask we are obeying Jesus’ command. I have heard many medical reports along with pros and cons by individuals and business owners, but I am stuck with Jesus simple words. “Love your neighbor.” Can it really be this simple?

Follow God’s example,therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” – Ephesians 5:1-2

June 24, 2020

I am not ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of God.” – Romans 1:16

“Extra, extra read all about it,” is the phrase I remember as a boy when it came to the headlines of the day. Over the past 4 months I have honestly paid more attention to the news than in the previous 42 years of my life. Just a few nights ago I tuned in after the kids had gone to bed to once again viewall the headlines of the day. Headlines that were contradicting each other, headlines of sorrow, headlines of chaos, headlines of injustice, and headlines of negativity.

After I shut off the news I was reminded of two things.

The first one was to not tune into the news, which I had made a commitment to fast from last month when I identified it as something that had become unhealthy for my soul. I am hoping to get my consumption of the news under control, say to fifteen minutes a day instead of two hours.

The second was THE headline. Easter Happened. Jesus rose from the dead, the GOSPEL for the world for all time. The Greek word for Gospel is actually the same word used for the Roman news of Jesus’ day. So, when the New Testament writers wrote, they used the word that would be familiar to the people. THE headline is, “Jesus rose from the dead, He is in fact the Savior of the world.”

I realized once again that night that you and I are newsies. We are paperboys and papergirls. Our job is to share this news, not just with ourselves, but with the world. Extra, extra, read all about it, Jesus rose from the dead! In this world we will have trouble, but have courage Jesus has overcome.

This has been THE headline for almost 2000 years now; the headline of faith, hope, and love. It is certainly still THE headline today.

Moving Forward Together in Worship Update:

As we move forward together in worship I want to say that I am very proud to be part of a church that has not neglected the HOLY habit of the sacred assembly over the past 16 weeks. Yes, our practice has pivoted, but we have remained faithful in honoring the Sabbath Day by gathering in our homes and also at Trinity for worship. The last 16 weeks have brought many blessings in worship and also many challenges, but we have remained faithful in our worship of God. Thank you for staying strong and being part of our worship life. We pray Trinity’s worship options continue toprovide us an opportunity to give God what He deservess and that they also continue to sustain and strengthen our faith.

This week Iwant to invite you to join us online or on-site as I wrap up our sermon series called, “Hello My Name is…”

Our two live online worship servicesare at 8:30 am and 10 am.Click here for the link. If you are unable to join tune in live, pleasevisit our YouTube pageanytime after the live service.

This Sunday we will also have achildren’s worship optionwhich goes live at 11:15 am led by our family life ministry team.

We are continuing our three on-site options: traditional on Saturday at 5:30 pm, traditional on Sunday at 8:30 am, and modern on Sunday at 10 am. One pivot that we are making this weekend is in the sign-up process.With our capacity level and ability to be responsible with our social distancing in our sanctuary,you do not need to sign up ahead of time to attend our on-site worship services. However if you would like to, westill encourage you to do so in an effort to communicate with us for your attendance records.

When attending on-site please, please, please be responsible with the wearing of a mask as you enter the Sanctuary and leave the Sanctuary. Again, you will not be required to wear a mask once you are seated, but in an effort to be responsible for our neighbors we are continuing to encourage you to wear a mask. Your participating in this effort of responsibility and love toward your neighbor is greatly appreciated by your pastoral staff.

Sign up for June 27-28 Here
Sign up for July 5 Here

Moving Forward Together:

As we continue to move forward together into July we want to let you know that your leadership is praying more than ever and evaluating Trinity’s course of ministry as we move forward together. We are seeing God move in many new ways through our ministries and continuing to move in many of our existing ministries. We are seeking to bring God’s kingdom and to do His will, believing that He will continue to give us our daily bread to move His mission forward through us.

As we move forward together please know that we are here for you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Also as communication is key to move forward together, make sure to check out our Friday E-News and don’t forget to text “Trinity” to 797979 to connect with us.

There is an eternal Gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth- to every nation, tribe, language, and people.” Revelation 14:6

June 10, 2020

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”  – James 1:19

As we move forward together let me ask you, are you a good listener?  Are you really?  What does it mean to be a good listener?  If you ask my wife, it means to have empathy.  It means to understand the problem before we go to fix the problem.  It means to give value and worth to the emotions of the one to whom we are listening.

As mentioned last week our God has spoken, and I continue to pray that we listen to His Word first and foremost in any and every situation we face on this side of eternity.  As we listen to what He says about loving our neighbor, I pray that we hear what He said in James 1:19.  We are called to listen to one another as an act of love in listening to our Creator, our Father.

There are so many voices.  My prayer is that first and foremost we hear our Shepherd’s voice.  In John 10:27, Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” The other day my oldest son’s baseball coach had a talk with the parents, a talk that I appreciated as a coach.  He simply said, “Please refrain from coaching your son during the game.  I want them to hear one voice.  Please don’t distract them.”

What I have heard God telling me over the last few weeks is to listen, and so I am writing today to encourage you to do the same.  Seek to understand.  Spend time just taking in the stories of your neighbors.  Proverbs 17:27 says, “The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.”

We talk a lot of about being a Proverbs 31 Woman, but as I read Proverbs 31 I want to become a Proverbs 31 Neighbor. First, we need to listen.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”  – Proverbs 31:8-9

Moving Forward Together in Worship

This past weekend as we slowly continue to open our campus for on-site worship, we welcomed almost 400 individuals to our 3 on-site services.  We also welcomed over 1000 households to our online worship.

This upcoming weekend we will continue what we began this past weekend.

Here are the on-site worship options. Please click here for more information or to sign up:

  • 5:30 pm Saturday Traditional
  • 8:30 am Sunday Traditional
  • 10 am Sunday Modern

Here are the online worship options. Please click here for the livestream.

  • 8:30 am Livestream Traditional Service
  • 10 am Livestream Modern Service
  • Any time from your home we encourage you to gather with extended family and friends to worship together.  We strongly encourage to do this to enjoy the fellowship of other believers during your worship time throughout the summer months.

If you desire communion and are unable to attend an on-site worship service, please reach out to the church office to set up a communion appointment with one of your pastors.

We also want you to know that your Pastors and Elders are continually evaluating our worship times, styles, spaces, resources and formats.  As on-site attendance continues to grow through the course of the summer, we are committed to ensuring a healthy and responsible environment along with a  great online worship presence.

Moving Forward Together in Ministry

I want you to know that your church has and will continue to Share Christ’s Story with Love through our Day School, Social Ministry, Youth & Children’s Ministry, Pastoral Care Ministry, Bible Studies, Seniors’, Men’s, and Women’s ministry, and beyond.  We are more committed and equipped than perhaps ever in the history of Trinity, and we pray you are ready for what God has in store for us as we move forward together.

 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-16

June 3, 2020

“Let justice roll on like a river.” – Amos 5:24

Let me start this email about moving forward together by addressing the current state of America with this thought from your pastoral team.  If you read the prophets in the ancient Hebrew scriptures who spoke to the nations and to Israel thousands of years ago, injustice was a major issue of which God keeps calling His children to repent.  When Jesus shows up, we see Jesus not just speak, but live out loving all people, clearly going out of His way to love those who are suffering from injustice.  Injustice, in the eyes of our Christian Scriptures, is when different groups of people are dehumanized and not valued.  Throughout time since sin has entered the world, injustice has been a result of the sinful condition of mankind and a leading tactic of Satan in his effort to destroy God’s prize creation and the love God created us to give one another.

As I have said before, I don’t know all that you have been through in your life, how you are feeling right now or what thoughts you are having, but what I do know is that Jesus knows.  I do believe He has a word for you.

For those of you are who are reading this and have been experiencing injustice and the anxiety it brings into your life, may Jesus remind you that He is with you.  May His Kingship give you peace, comfort and courage.

For those of you who are feeling helpless against injustice in our world, please don’t let the magnitude of its weight paralyze you.  When God gives you a chance to practically bring equality and value to your neighbor, simply do it.

For those of us who are still learning to drop our prejudices, keep repenting, and ask God teach us to see His children as He sees His children.

For those of you who do not know what to do or how to feel in this time, simply keep your eyes on Jesus.

Trinity, we are followers of Jesus. He understands. He loves. He forgives. He empowers and He gives HOPE.

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8

Please click here for a song that we sang a few months ago that has captivated my heart this past week.  It is my prayer that it ministers to you and meets you where you are in your world.

Moving Forward Together in Worship

These past three weeks of our on-site, mini-communion services have been a true blessing as well as our online worship.  We welcomed over 100 households this past weekend in our Sanctuary and a few thousand households through our online worship.

This weekend coming up:

Online worship: NOTE times have changed

If you miss either of these worship times, please note that you can go to our YouTube channel to play it back, rewind, and share it  with a friend.

On-site worship times are:

Saturday 5:30 pm – liturgical, hymn-based

Please be aware as you travel to Trinity and leave Trinity for this Saturday evening worship that there is a march on Hall Rd. that will be taking place between Schoenherr and Garfield from 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm.

Sunday 8:30 am – liturgical, hymn-based

Sunday 10 am – modern, blended

You must sign up to attend these on-site services. Please click here to sign up for this weekend, June 6 & 7. You may also sign up for the weekend of June 13 & 14 by clicking here. This link on our website has the details of these on-site communion services.  The doors to our lobby will open up 15 minutes before each service time, so please show up promptly.  Also, please note that if you are a day school family receiving the active member tuition grant, we are currently not tracking your worship attendance through Labor Day weekend.  However, we are asking that you fill out the communication card each time you do worship with us online or on-campus by texting the word “Trinity” to “797979.”

In-home worship gatherings:

Over the course of this summer, knowing the needs of young families, we are also encouraging that you gather with your small group or with a group of friends or family to participate in our online worship time together from your home.  We want to encourage you to participate in Christian fellowship.  Pick your time and day to  worship together.

We will continue to evaluate your needs and our resources throughout the course of this summer to ensure a safe environment on our campus for worship and to ensure a quality online worship service.  We love hearing feedback from you as we continue to seek to “Share Christ’s Story with Love” to you and to the world through worship.

Moving Forward Together in Ministry

Building Hours:

  • This Friday in our e-news we will be sharing more details with you for our summer building hours.

Family Life:

  • This weekend you are invited to join with our youth confirmands and their families from your home for our youth confirmation services.  Watch the services online Saturday, June 6 at 11 am and Sunday, June 7 at 1 pm.
  • Bringing it Home parenting podcast starts up next Thursday, June 11
  • Check out our Facebook page for a special fun treat tomorrow Thursday, June 4 from our Family Life team.

Christian Growth:

  • New small group study and mid-week study by Pastor Justin starts up next week.  This study is based on the four times we see Jesus interact with His disciples at the Sea of Galilee.  The study is called, “Still Waters – Living Under His Authority.”  We are encouraging our small groups to go through this study and will be sending out the links June 10, 17, 24,  & July 1.

  • If you would like to receive Weekly Text devotions, please sign up here.

Social Ministry:

  • We continue to meet the needs of the hungry in our community each Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.  If you would like to know more of how you can partner with us please reach out to Jenny Jaroneski at jjaroneski@trinityutica.com

Day School:

Christian Care:

  • If you have any need please do not hesitate to reach out to our pastoral team.  We are here for you.

Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, and plead the widow’s cause.” -Isaiah 1:17

May 27, 2020

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”  – 2 Corinthians 4:17

The other day my wife was ripping a band-aid off one of my children, and I began to think about our lives.  In fact, as I write this I have a band-aid on my calf, and to be honest I really don’t want to pull it off because I know it is going to hurt as it tears away my hair.  The same thing goes for a shot, not just for children, but also for adults.   No one likes to get a needle poke.  Yet we know that it only hurts for a moment and the end result outweighs the momentary pain.

I do not know where you are in your life right now.  I do not know how much fear, anxiety, stress, loneliness, or pain you might be feeling, but what I do know is that it is not going to last.  It is momentary.  Disciples of Jesus, the one who experienced the worst pain and trial imaginable, have found hope and joy even in the darkness.  They saw what Jesus did and heard what He said and were able to endure trials and hardship because they knew it was just for a moment.  They knew that God was working through it and in it.  They knew that the darkness would never snuff out light.  There was hope, is hope, and will always be hope.

These past three months it seems that many of us have had a perpetual band-aid being tore off.  My hope and my prayer for each of us is that we will continue to have sufficient courage to not just see the future that awaits us, but to keep living in the present that surrounds us.  In 2 Corinthians 5:11 we hear the word “therefore.”  We need to transition from the shadow to the light. God is not done with us, and we are called to let His light shine through us into the darkest valleys of our world so that the world can experience His love and the hope that it gives.

I do not know where you are in your faith at this time, but He does.  May He meet you where you are in this moment and may His love compel you forward in faith, hope, and love.

Moving Forward Together in Worship

This past weekend we had 60+ households attend our 20 minute on-site worship services and receive communion along with hundreds of households who joined us for our online worship services. We pray that these worship services were a blessing to all those that attended whether here on-site or in your homes.

This weekend once again you are invited to join us in our sanctuary to receive communion.  Please sign up here for May 31.

  • 20-minute, pastor-led communion services in our Sanctuary.

  • There will be up to 26 households able to sign up for each 20-minute communion time.

  • There will be 10 minutes between each service to sanitize the worship space.

  • 26 households with our pastors is under 10% of our Sanctuary space capacity.

  • Please arrive promptly and wait outside of the main entrance for a pastor to greet you and your household.

  • A pastor will greet you outside of the front door and usher the household to their designated seats.

  • You will be able to use the elevator if you need to.

  • Leaders will be wearing a face mask.

  • There will be no bulletins passed out.

  • We encourage you to wear a mask if you are able. We will have a mask for you if you do not have one available to you.

  • Social distancing will be in effect with members outside of your household.

  • When the services end, you will be encouraged to use the exits on the Van Dyke side of the building.

  • Each service will have a sermon, prayer, confession, communion, and a blessing led by a pastor.

  • Our new individual communion cups with bread will only be touched by the individual receiving communion and will be placed on a table in the Narthex.

  • An offering basket will be placed in the Narthex as well.

Please note Health Requirements for Those Attending Each Communion Service:

  • You are welcome to attend provided you are free from the following COVID-19 symptoms: Cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle aches/pains, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell. Please stay home if you have recently been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

We pray that you know your safety is of utmost priority for us, and that our Sanctuary is a safe place to come and gather for worship.

This weekend we will also having our 2 online worship services that will go live at 8 am and 9:45 am on Sunday morning. Please use this link for online worship, and click on “Past Services” to see the recordings.

  • 8:00 am – liturgical hymn based service from our Sanctuary
  • 9:45 am – modern service from our Gym

Beginning the first weekend of June we will pivot from our 8 mini-worship services to three on-site worship services while continuing to stream our worship services.  Please note the times.

Summer on-site worship:

  • Saturday on-site 5:30 pm
  • Sunday on-site 8:30 am & 10 am

Details:

  • Each on-site worship service will be in our Sanctuary
    • Capacity will be 150 people to ensure proper social distancing

      • There are 88 pews in the Sanctuary and we will use every other pew to ensure social distancing.

    • Please sign up by clicking this link or by calling up the church office – (586) 731-4490

    • Masks are recommended and will be available in the Narthex

    • Saturday 5:30 pm and Sunday 8:30 am will be traditional, blended services

    • Sunday 10 am will be a modern, contemporary service

    • Proper disinfecting will take place between each service

    • Hand sanitizer will be available

    • Each service will last 45 minutes

    • The congregation will not be encouraged to greet one another with a handshake

    • At this time we will not have nursery, cry room, or children’s ministry options

    • There will be no paper products such as bulletins or any hand-outs at these services

    • Offering plates will be placed at our entrance points and exit points with our staff

    • Please enter through our main entrance

    • For Communion we will continue to use our method from the past two weekends. The “fellowship cup” will be on a table in the narthex as you enter so you can grab your cup with the bread attached. Please wait for the moment in the service where we will take communion together in our pews.

Please note Health Requirements for Those Attending Each Service:

  • You are welcome to attend provided you are free from the following COVID-19 symptoms: Cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle aches/pains, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell. Please stay home if you have recently been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

If you have questions please reach out to your pastors.  As we move forward together through the summer months we will continue to evaluate our best worship practices, resources, times, styles, and spaces.  We look forward to seeing you once again in worship on our campus as the Lord guides you.  We are here for you.

Summer Online Worship:

  • Sunday 8:30 am will be streamed live from our Sanctuary.  This will be our traditional, blended service.
    • If you miss an online service please visit our Trinity Utica You Tube channel to participate in the replay.

    • During the service please text the word “Trinity” to 797979 to receive the order of service, offering information, prayer request card, and communication card.

    • Sunday 10 am will be streamed live from our Sanctuary.  This will be our modern, contemporary service.

Moving forward together in Ministry

In the weeks to come your leadership will continue to inform you on our ministry updates, which are vast.  God has been working through Trinity during this pandemic and He will be this summer.  Please continue to read our e-newsvisit our website, and participate on our Facebook page.  Thank you for sticking with us through this time and moving forward with us.

We do know that in all things God is working for the good of His children.” – Romans 8:31

May 20, 2020

We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” – 2 Chronicles 20:12

Dear Church Family,

As we face a changing world with many uncertainties, we continue to look to our leaders to guide us.  As a leader I always want to guide people, to give people a sense of confidence and security.  Not knowing what to do never sets well with me.  Not just as I go through life, but especially when others are looking to me for answers.  At our last Zoom Elders meeting I told the Elders that it feels like I am not thinking of something that I should be, but that I know when the time is right God will let me know what that is.  I felt like I was being a bad leader for saying that.  Pretty much I felt like I was telling the Elders, “I don’t know what to do.”  I remember thinking to myself, “What kind of leader says that he feels that way?”

What kind of leader says that or feels that?  The answer: the kind that realizes he or she is not God. Basically — a real leader.  A real leader, in my opinion, is a leader that is being led.  In 2 Chronicles 20:12  Jehosaphat stood up in the assembly of people and said, “We do not know what to do.”  But he didn’t leave it at that as he finished his profound leadership example by saying, “But our eyes are on YOU.”

“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”  That has a ring to it, doesn’t it?  Not just a ring, but a sound of freedom.  I don’t know what to do, but YOU do.  My eyes are on YOU, the One who knows what to do.

Our eyes have been on Jesus not just since March, but for over 130+ years at Trinity.  2020 is about having focused sight.  The temptation has, is, and will always be to take our eyes off of Jesus and put them either on the storm around us or ourselves.

We do know what to do.  Love God, love our neighbor.  Walk by faith, hope, and love.  Pray, meditate on His word, respect authority, and serve.

If you are feeling like you do not know what to do, let 2 Chronicles settle in.  God, I don’t know what to do, but my eyes are on You.  God will lead you, just like He led Jehosaphat and like He is leading us at Trinity. We do know what to do, and that is to keep our eyes on YOU!

Moving Forward together in Worship

This past Sunday, May 17 we continued to champion online worship with both a liturgical, hymn- based service and modern, blended service.  Our team was able to record part of the service from our campus and for this upcoming weekend the entirety of each service will be recorded from our campus.

Between our two services, over 2,000 devices engaged in our online worship services.  Over the last ten weeks we have continued to reach thousands of homes each weekend.   As we move forward, our plan as long as God allows us to do so, is to continue to champion online worship.  Yes, we have championed online worship during this current pandemic, but we know there will still be a need to share the story of Jesus with the online world.  We are committed to keeping online worship a viable ministry of Trinity.

We also opened up our building for worship this past weekend in the form of nine 20-minute long mini-communion services consisting of 8 households. Seventy households attended these mini-communion services on Sunday morning in our Sanctuary.  Each individual was blessed to receive communion and to gather with others at Trinity in a safe and healthy environment while keeping social distancing.

This Sunday, May 24 we encourage you to sign up if you are comfortable as an individual or household for one of our 8 mini-communion services taking place in our Sanctuary on Sunday morning between 8 am and noon.  Pastor Chad Wright will be leading these 20-minute long communion services.

Here are the details: Sunday morning on campus mini-communion services:

  • Sign up here for May 24, and May 31

  • 20-minute, pastor-led communion services in our Sanctuary.

  • There will be up to 12 households able to sign up for each 20-minute communion time.

  • There will be 10 minutes between each service to sanitize the worship space.

  • Twelve households with our pastors is under 5% of our Sanctuary space capacity.

  • Please arrive promptly and wait outside of Door 4 for a pastor to greet you and your household.

  • A pastor will greet you outside of Door 4 on the Van Dyke side of the building and usher the household to their designated seats.

  • Leaders will be wearing a face mask.

  • There will be no bulletins passed out.

  • We encourage you to wear a mask if you are able. We will have a mask for you if you do not have one available to you.

  • Social distancing will be in effect with members outside of your household.

  • When the services end, you will be encouraged to use the exits on the Van Dyke side of the building.

  • Each service will have a sermon, prayer, confession, communion, and a blessing led by a pastor.

  • Our new individual communion cups with bread will only be touched by the individual receiving communion and will be placed on a table in the Narthex.

  • An offering basket will be placed in the Narthex as well.

Please note Health Requirements for Those Attending Each Communion Service:

  • You are welcome to attend provided you are free from the following COVID-19 symptoms: Cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle aches/pains, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell. Please stay home if you have recently been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

This upcoming online worship will be wrapping up our “Anchored” sermon series with a message by Pastor Justin on the Abundant Life that Jesus came to give.  Both of these services in their entirety will be recorded from our campus. Pleas join us on http://www.trinityutica.com/live.

  • 8:00 am liturgical, hymn-based – from the  Sanctuary

  • 9:45 am modern blended – from the gym

We continue to be thankful for the resources to put together these engaging worship services.   We are all in this together and blessed to be a blessing.

On the evening of Tuesday, May 27 your Elders will be meeting to finalize the plan for on-campus worship for the first weekend of June.  After ten weekends of not having worship at our campus, we have a tentative plan after looking at our worship survey and talking with more leadership to open up our Sanctuary to a 20% capacity level the first weekend of June.  We will be asking you to sign up ahead of time.  We will be following similar protocols from our mini-communion services.

I look forward to sharing more information with you next Wednesday.  We truly look forward to worshiping with you on our campus in the weeks to come.

Moving Forward together in Ministry

Trinity is much more than just a worshiping community, and we have seen God work in incredible ways through our day school ministry, family ministry, Bible study ministry, social ministry, and pastoral care ministry.  More information on all these ministries will be available in our Friday E-News.  If you are looking to get connected, please do not hesitate to reach out to the church office.  We are here for you!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

May 13, 2020

Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand.” – Matthew 4:17

Dear Church Family,

These words from Jesus have been echoing through my soul this past week. “Repent,” at its root, is to change the way you think. “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand,” means that God is at work. Do we hear what Jesus was saying to a world in need and what He is saying to us today as we read His Word once again? God is at work. Right now, He is working. Change your way of thinking. He is not sitting on the side-line or taking a nap. He is working. Over the past eight weeks God has been working. He has been taking what the Devil has meant as evil and has been re-purposingit for His good. Family, may God enable us to not only see His work, but to continue to be part of His work. When our minds tempt us to believe He is not working, may we stay strong and have eyes of faith to see His work, not just in us, but all around us.

Next Steps Together

As the world begins to lessen restrictions and reopen, Trinity has put together a committee dedicated to putting together a plan to lessen restrictions on our campus slowly but surely. Our souls ache to gather with you again as we have for over a century. God has designed us as His children to do this. You matter to us.Your safety, your peace of mind, your health, and your feelings of comfort are in the forefront as we seek to go through this process. With this at heart we are currently working on a survey, based on a national survey being used by churches across the United States.We are hoping to make this survey available for you by this Friday. As mentioned in the last two e-mails grace will be needed as much as ever as go through this process. We have peace based on God’s Word through Nehemiah as God’s children returned to their homes. God is at work, Trinity.His kingdom is at hand.

I want you to know that we are blessed with a custodial team who have been dedicated to keeping our facility disinfected and safe. As we have pivoted in ministry over the last eight weeks, so have our custodians. They are following all regulations passed down from the CDC for cleaning. The staff and volunteers that have worked at our building over the last eight weeks have also followed all the guidelines passed down to us. We have followed all the health requirements and will continue to through this process. We are asking you to do the same when opportunities present themselves for you to come to our campus.

With this said, we will be continuing to offer our two online worship services. In fact, this weekend you will see that the pastors were able to record their parts of the service from our campus. Please join us athttp://www.trinityutica.com/liveor onFacebook Liveat 9:45 only.

  • 8 am – Liturgical/hymn based online worship from our Sanctuary

  • 9:45 am – Modern/Blended based online worship recorded from a combination of our gym and the homes of our worship leaders.

This weekend we will also begin to offer the approved on-campus Sunday morning mini-communion service plan. Below are the details of the service, our cleaning plan, our guest health requirements, and the link to sign up for upcoming communion services.

Mini-communion Service:

  • Sign up here forMay 17,May 24, andMay 31
  • 20-minute, pastor-led communion services in our Sanctuary.
  • There will be up to 8 households able to sign up for each 20-minute communion time.
  • There will be 10 minutes between each service to sanitize the worship space.
  • Eight households with our pastors is under 5% of our Sanctuary space capacity.
  • As gathering sizes are recommended to increase, so will ours. Our 6 on-campus worship services varied from 110 people in attendance to well over 400 people.
  • Please arrive promptly and wait outside of Door 4 for a pastor to greet you and your household.
  • A pastor will greet you outside of Door 4 on the Van Dyke side of the building and usher the household to their designated seats.
  • Leaders will be wearing a face mask.
  • We encourage you to wear a mask if you are able. We will have a mask for you if you do not have one available to you.
  • Social distancing will be in effect with members outside of your household.
  • When the services end, you will be encouraged to use the exits on the Van Dyke side of the building.
  • Each service will have a sermon, prayer, confession, communion, and a blessing led by a pastor.
  • Our new individual communion cups with bread will only be touched by the individual receiving communion and will be placed on a table in the Narthex.
  • An offering basket will be placed in the Narthex as well.

Cleaning Protocol for Between Each Communion Service:

  • Deep Blue Glass & General Cleaner –for glass cleaning and general hard surface cleaning.
  • Green Earth Peroxide Cleaner –to be used for general cleaning of hard and soft surfaces.
  • Quat Statt –to be used for disinfecting hard and soft surfaces.

Health Requirements for Those Attending Each Communion Service:

  • You are welcome to attend provided you are free from the following COVID-19 symptoms:Cough,shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle aches/pains, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell.

  • Please stay home if youhave recently been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

As mentioned above it is our hope to continue to lessen the restrictions that we have on our campus for ministry purpose. Please pray for wisdom for your leadership and health for all who enter our campus.

May 6, 2020

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” – Colossians 4:6

As we begin to navigate re-assimilating, I want to offer a word that has been given to me and that I pray not only sticks with me, but all of us.  Grace.  Grace is the word.  We will need to offer grace to one another more than ever as we will no doubt be different in how we choose to approach our new world.  This will be true not only for us as a church community, but for each of us in all of our existing and new relationships.  Grace.

There is no doubt in my mind that one of the ways the enemy will seek to isolate us even more  than we are right now is to cause us to judge each other by throwing stones and calling people who are cautious “soft” and calling people who are optimistic “reckless.”

We need to offer an attitude of grace.  More than ever we will need to seek to understand, before we are understood.  More than ever we need to not assume the worst in others.

We are going to be different, and it’s okay to be different.  God has showed us that to have a healthy community there must be room for different opinions and experiences.  Differences stretch us and help us not only grow together, but learn together.  We will need to respect and recognize that everyone is navigating a new frontier.  We are all in this together only by and with grace.

Grace-filled people live in the truth that optimistic people keep us hopeful about the future and enable us to embrace uncertainty as an opportunity.  Just as much, grace-filled people live in the truth that cautious people keep us sensitive to the needs and concerns of others and ultimately lead us to wise decisions that foster unity and life.  Grace-filled people are not full of pride.  They truly listen and value the opinions of others.  Grace-filled people know that people matter more than opinions.  Grace-filled people choose love and know that relationships are more important than winning arguments.  Grace-filled people are people of faith.  May God’s Spirit enable this to be true of us as we move forward together sharing Christ’s story with love.

Worship Update

Mother’s Day, May 10 – This upcoming weekend we will continue to offer three worship options.  We are excited that Pastor Chad, Pastor Lew, and Pastor Justin will be sharing the message together.  May God keep us ANCHORED in Him this weekend through worship as we not only thank God for and encourage mothers, but also as we all learn to love and be loved.

May 17 – We will  continue to offer two online worship options, and will also hopefully be able to offer on-campus mini-worship services for families and individuals.  In talking with our Elders, our church leadership, and in following the recommendations of the Macomb County Health Department, we are hoping to offer mini-worship services in our Sanctuary like we did on Sunday, March 22.  If not on May 17, we will hopefully offer these on May 24.

As stated last week, your pastors and elders are very eager to bring worship back to our campus.  We miss you all greatly, but in Phase 1 we will be very cautious as we follow the guidelines handed down to us.  We also recognize that churches will most likely have different practices depending on their size, resources, community, and other variables.  We want you to know that Trinity will do its best to honor God and our neighbors with our resources in listening to the recommendations of the authorities that God has placed over us as we have been doing.

Phase 1 of worshiping at our campus:

  • 20-minute, pastor-led worship services in our Sanctuary.

  • Register your household on Sign-Up Genius or by calling the church office for time slots on Sundays between 7:30 am and noon to begin with.
    May 17
    May 24
    May 31

  • There will be up to 8 households able to sign up for each 20-minute worship time.

    • There will be 10 minutes between each service to sanitize the worship space.

    • As gathering sizes are recommended to increase, so will ours.  Our 6 on-campus worship services varied from 110 people in attendance to well over 400 people.

  • Elders will greet the household outside of our main north entrance and usher the household to their designated seats.

    • Elders and ushers will be wearing a face mask.

    • We do encourage you to wear a mask if you are able.

  • Each service will have a sermon, prayer, confession, communion, and a blessing led by a pastor.

    • Our new individual communion cups with bread will only be touched by the individual receiving communion.

    • An offering basket will be placed in the narthex.

*If you would like more details about Phase 1 of on-campus worship and these mini pastor-led worship times, please contact the church office to ask a pastor or email one of your pastors.*

Moving Forward Together NEW Ministry Events

Family Life Live – On Friday Night, May 15 at 7 pm we will be streaming a Family Life Live parenting event.  Join us on http://www.trinityutica.com/live as Pastor Justin hosts Michael and Gina Spehn, founders of the Foundation for Families, who will share their personal experiences and insights on helping children deal with stress and anxiety. After the interview, you will be able to chat live with Michael and Gina to ask any questions you may have. Michael and Gina have been able to raise 5 amazing children through tragedy, trials, and blessings.  Through their experiences they have gained great parenting wisdom on how to move forward through change.  This is going to be great event with much wisdom to be gained for all of us given our current circumstances and what our children are going through.

Newlywed Game – Friday, May 29 at 7 pm. I have been guiding couples through “Not for the Weak” marriage devotionals since April 20, and would like to celebrate its 40 day conclusion with this fun event! Join me on Facebook Live as I not only lead couples in this version of this classic game show, but you can also play along at home with your spouse!  You will be blessed with some major marital fun and entertainment.  It’s not too late to start doing “Not for the Weak.”  You can begin your couples devotions by going to our Youtube page or by joining our Facebook group.

Youth Confirmation Service – Saturday, June 6 at 11 am. Join us to celebrate our 2020 Confirmation students for a special online Confirmation service.  Families and friends are invited to join our confirmands and their families as they celebrate their faith.  Each student will receive a blessing in their homes during this special service that will be streamed here.

Stay Connected

If you are not receiving our e-newsreceiving text devotionssubscribed to our YouTube channelfollowing us on Facebook, or unable to view our online worship please reach out to the church office for assistance.

“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” – 2 Peter 1:2

April 29, 2020

“Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern Your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this Your great people?” – 1 Kings 3:8-9

As your church leadership is beginning to prayerfully consider the initial steps to opening up our campus, we are turning our attention to Nehemiah in seeking God’s wisdom.  In the book of Nehemiah in our Old Testament Scriptures, there are several cues as God’s people return from Babylonian Exile in order to rebuild the breached wall of Jerusalem.  We understand that to simply come back to ministry on our campus as usual is not likely.  The world has changed.  We each have changed from this experience, and in fact, some of the manner of which we do ministry has changed. While some ministry will hopefully remain the same, some will not.  Some of the changes are good, and some of the changes will be difficult to understand.

Before we get into Nehemiah, I do want to remind you of our Easter truth: God has not and will not change, the Gospel has not and will not change, and our Mission has not and will not change.

Nehemiah experienced the following:

  1. He got permission from the king and received rite of passage and provisions for the work (Neh. 2:4–9).
    • Trinity will continue to trust in God first and foremost. Along the way we will work directly with LCMS leadership and respect both our local and national government.
  2. He made a personal evaluation of the situation (context) with a small group of advisors (Neh. 2:11–18).
    •  Church Council, Elders, and leadership will continue to evaluate our ministries.
  3. He divided up the work among several team leaders (Neh. 3).
    • Boards and Staff will continue to work together.
  4. He encouraged the many joining in the effort to stand strong (Neh. 4 and 6).
    • This is all of us!
  5. He directed ministry to meet the needs of those in the community who were suffering want (Neh. 5).
    • We will continue to champion social ministry and pastoral care ministry.
  6. He kept track of people and accounted for them because people are really important to God (Neh. 7).
    • Each of you matter, along with each new soul that we ministered to through this crisis.
  7. He arranged for God’s Word to be proclaimed that led to repentance and renewal and a celebration that is described in this way: “The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away” (Neh. 8–12; see esp. 12:43).
    • Each weekend we will celebrate the truth that “He is Risen!”
  8. He instituted some lasting reforms … some things would not go back to the way they were (Neh. 13).
    • We will do our best to communicate through each step of the re-opening of our campus, each phase of opening, and each change.

Worship UpdateMay 3 – This upcoming weekend we will continue to offer three worship options.  We will have special guests as part of our 8 am and 9:45 am services.  At our 8 am worship Pastor Justin will be interviewing young Tommy Schomaker and Sam Kell about the power of prayer as part of the message.  For our 9:45 am service Pastor Justin will be interviewing Sam and his parents about the power of prayer.  Sam and Tommy are both young men whom we have been praying for the past several years, and Sam’s parents Michael and Gina have been in partnership with us and inspired us in many ways over the last 11 years.  We are looking forward to sharing their testimonies about what God has taught them and is teaching them about prayer.  May God keep us ANCHORED in Him this weekend through worship.

May 10 – Mother’s Day; we will continue to offer our two livestream services and tele-worship.

May 17 – We continue to offer two online worship options, and will also hopefully be able to offer on-campus mini-worship services for families and individuals.  In talking with our Elders, our church leadership and in following the recommendations of the Macomb County Health Department, we are hoping to offer mini-worship services in our Sanctuary like we did on Sunday, March 22.  If not on May 17, we will hopefully offer these on May 24.  Your Elders will be meeting on Tuesday, May 12 to make this decision.

Your Pastors and Elders are very eager to bring worship back to our campus.  We miss you all greatly, but in Phase 1 we will be very cautious as we follow the guidelines handed down to us.  We also recognize that churches will most likely have different practices depending on their size, resources, community, and other variables.  We want you to know that Trinity will do its best to honor God and our neighbors with our resources in listening to the recommendations of the authorities that God has placed over us as we have been doing.

Phase 1 of worshiping at our campus:

  • 20-minute, pastor-led worship services in our Sanctuary.
  • Register your household on Sign-Up Genius or by calling the church office for time slots on Sundays between 7:30 am and noon to begin with.  The links to sign up will be coming soon.
  • There will be up to 8 households able to sign up for each 20-minute worship time.
    • There will be 10 minutes between each service to sanitize the worship space.
    • As gathering sizes are recommended to increase, so will ours.  Our 6 on-campus worship services varied from 110 people in attendance to well over 400 people.
  • Elders will greet the household outside of our main north entrance and usher the household to their designated seats.
    • Elders and ushers will be wearing a face mask.
  • Each service will have a sermon, prayer, confession, communion, and a blessing led by a pastor.
    • Our new individual communion cups with bread will only be touched by the individual receiving communion.
    • An offering basket will be placed in the narthex.

*If you would like more details about Phase 1 of on-campus worship and these mini pastor-led worship times, please contact the church office to ask a pastor or email one of your pastors.*

If you are not receiving our e-newsreceiving text devotionssubscribed to our YouTube channelfollowing us on Facebook, or unable to view our online worship please reach out to the church office for assistance.

Please continue to pray for all of our ministries and be blessed by our ministries.  God is with you and as His disciples we are here for you.  Do not hesitate to reach out to us.

“I thank my God every time I remember you.In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” – Philippians 1:3-11

Stay Anchored and Press ON!

April 22, 2020

“I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.  Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope. Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will look for Him.” – Lamentations 3:20-24

This morning as I woke up, this verse, like it has many mornings of my life, captured my heart and mind.  I pray today that you find HOPE, you rest in God’s LOVE, and that you see God at WORK.

This is the 10th update that I am sharing with you since March 2.  No doubt things have changed and are changing for all of us in some way.  Yet, I want to remind you once again that our God has not changed, the Gospel has not changed, and our purpose for being has not changed.

Below are a few updates that I would to take a moment to share with you:

Worship
This past week once again God used us to reach thousands of homes with our 9:45 am worship “Anchored” and our mid-week worship “Press On” that we replayed on Sunday morning at 8 am.  We are beyond blessed, not just by our online worship at this time, but also to Share Christ’s Story with Love online with the world.

It is certainly appropriate to thank God for the resources that He has provided for such a time as this to enable this to happen through Trinity.

For this week we have made a “pivot.”  We have decided with our resources to move our mid-week liturgical-blended style that we have offered the last six weeks to Sunday morning at 8 am.  This means that on Sunday morning there will now be an 8 am liturgical-blended style and a 9:45 am blended-modern style under the same sermon theme.   We pray that this “pivot” is a blessing.  We do know that our online worship is not the same as being present with each other on our campus, but we are extremely thankful for God providing His immeasurably more in this time.  I do want you to know that we are all really excited that we have figured out a way to enable Carla Hudgens to record herself leading us musically.

Also we are excited that within this “pivot” we are still able to offer a mid-week Bible study.  Today in “Press On” we will be studying Philippians 1:12-30. You may click on the video above or visit our YouTube channel here.

Wednesday:

  • 11 am mid-week Bible study: Join your pastors for “Press On,” a mid-week, verse by verse study through Philippians.  Bring your Bible and get ready to “Press On.”

Sunday:

Weeks to Come:

  • As we continue to make decisions in best practices for our online worship at this time we will continue to respect authorities, be leaders in the community and church by leading by example, not put people at risk, utilize our resources, and minister not just to you but the world around us.  We will continue to come from our homes to yours each weekend until health professionals, government officials, and the Lutheran Church leadership advise us otherwise.
  • We are hopeful like you that mandates and recommendations will change.  I do want you to know that we have begun to make plans for how to record worship services from our campus in honoring our staff and volunteers, open up our campus for Sunday morning worship for small groups, and ultimately open up our campus on Sunday morning for our six worship services.
  • I am looking forward like you to April 30 as our local government will give us an update and recommendations as to how to best honor our neighbors and go about our life in a safe and healthy way, but we will proceed with caution, not just in our worship life but also in our ministries.

Pastoral Care  
Among many of the ways we have been connecting with you to offer spiritual care, I want to remind you that we are able to give you communion.  Each week we have safely been able to administer communion to families or individuals. If you desire to have communion please call the church office at 586-731-4490 to set this up.

Keep in Check your Political Attitude
“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.  For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.  Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.  Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” – Romans 13:1-7

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.  For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.  Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.  Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.” – 1 Peter 2:13-1713

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 2:1-3

“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone. At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.” – Titus 3:1-3

Closing 
You are all in my prayers.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to the church office for more information about the many ministries that are still taking place, and make sure you are reading through the weekly e-news, subscribe to our Trinity Utica Youtube page, and if you are able be part of our Facebook community.

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”  – 2 Corinthians 13:14

April 15, 2020
He is Risen!

This truth reigns louder than perhaps ever before. Our Savior is Jesus, and He is the Hope of the World. He was crucified, but on the third day, He rose again from the dead, so that we can have a firm foundation and an anchor for our souls. He is Risen! Hallelujah!

May the truth of Easter continue to give us the courage and strength that we need for such a time as this. Below are some of our ministry updates. If you have not been able to read the previous Wednesday letters,please visit our website to learn more about current ministries and new ministries coming.

Holy Week Praise Report

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His powerthat is at work within us,to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”-Ephesians 3:20-21

This past Holy Week Trinity was able to reach more households than ever before in its history.

  • Maundy Thursday: over 1,500 views

  • Good Friday: over 2,000 views

  • Holy Saturday Prayer Vigil: over 11,000 views

  • Easter Morning: over 6,000 views

There is truly no way to be able to measure how many people were blessed and participated this past week with us, but what we do know is that God is working! Each device conservatively averages two people.

You can visit our YouTube page if you missed a service or would like to share it with a friend. You can also visi tour Facebook page and participate in our prayers that took place this past Saturday and continue praying.

Worship Update

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”Jesus replied:“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.”-Matthew 22:36-38

As we reflect on the blessing of our online worship for Holy Week, Iwant to acknowledge that many people went above and beyond behind the scenes to make the services happen. Many people came out of their comfort zones to enable us to do two Sunday morning services and two mid-week services for Holy Week. On behalf of the pastoral staff, Trinity’s congregation, and everyone who was blessed, THANK YOU for going above and beyond for Holy Week!

I also want to let you all know that we will not be continuing to record from our building and offer two distinct Sunday morning online services like we did this past week. We are going to continue to respect our governor’s order and eagerly wait together from our homes for the time where we can return to our building to worship together. We are going to continue to best utilize our resources as stewards of what God has given for such a time as this.

The good news is that we are going to continue to offer a mid-week service and a weekend service from our homes to your homes and into the homes of our neighbors. The greater news is that we will continue to share Christ’s story with love in these two new worship services that we are now offering as they are both center in on God’s truths of His Gospel guided by His Word.

“Press On” is our six-week theme for our mid-week worship that will take place on Wednesdays at 11 am. The first video is included at the top of this email. This service leans more toward the traditional aspects of worship with more traditional hymns.

This is a series from the book of Philippians.Paul, who was in prison at the time, wrote this letter to Christians during a time of uncertainty. He was pressing on and he was calling his fellow believers to press on through the power of the promises of God. It is my prayer that this series will keep us to connected to our Savior Jesus. We can press on through Him who gives us strength.

April 15– Pressing on through His faithfulness – leaning into His promises
April 22– Pressing on through His courage
April 29– Pressing on through His glory
May 6– Pressing on through His sacrifice
May 13– Pressing on through His righteousness
May 20– Pressing on through His resurrection – leaning into Heaven
May 27-Pressing on through His peace – leaning into prayer
June 3– Pressing on through His strength

“Anchored” is our six-week theme for our Sunday morning worship at 9:45 am. This service will continue to offer all our aspects of worship in a more blended structure with new songs, familiar songs, and ancient songs.

As our world faces our current global pandemic, we all realize that this is not the first time that the world has gone through something like this. For thousands of years global pandemics have been experienced, and for thousands of years individuals and families have faced their own pandemics. In timeslike this it is wise to learn from those who have gone before us. We as individuals, as families, and as humans are looking to grip unto truth to weather this trouble that we are facing. We long to live life and live it to the fullest.I want to invite you to a weekend sermon series called, “Anchored.” It is a series that is going to give us six timeless truths that give life. A life that is secure. Each weekend you will be invited to drop your anchor and grip unto the truth that disciples of Jesus have been anchored into for generations. Truths that give life even in the midst of a storm.

Please click here for the link to our livestream service.If you missthe live worship, do not forget that when the service is done you can click “Past Services” to watch it again. Certainly share the links with your friends and family.

April 19– A Free Life
April 26– A Focused Life
May 3– A Peaceful Life
May 10– A Loving Life “Mothers’Day Special”
May 17– A Confident Life
May 24– An Abundant Life

Sunday Morning Tele-Worship Continues

It has been a blessing for us pastors to be able to share God’s Word with many of you over the phone these past four weekends, and we look forward to continuing this once again this weekend. Please do not hesitate to set up “Tele-Worship” with a pastor between 8:45 am & 9:45 am and also between 10:45 am and noon. To set this up call the church office or go directly to this Signup Genius link.

Tele-Worship Sign Up

Partnering With Us Through Giving

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” – Malachi 3:10

Thank you so much for your offerings during this pandemic. As we continue pressing on and sharing Christ’s story with love, we hope that you will continue to partner with us through your offering.

Trinity has changed our online giving system to be linked to Church Center. Church Center is our new and improved membership and contribution system. There are new benefits to using our online giving system that make it convenient and easy. Now when you give online, it will be posted to your contribution statement automatically and you will have access to view your giving as well as see your membership profile at any time. All you need to do is download Church Center using one of the three options:

  1. Go to:https://trinityutica.churchcenter.com/home
  2. Or download the app:Church Center
  3. Or you can also access by our websitewww.trinityutica.comand click on theGivelink.

Then set up your log-in information and how you want to give, the amount you want to give along with the frequency (one–time or recurring). Going forward you will be able view your giving history under your membership profile.

Due to the stay-at-home order, we encourage you to give online or mail in your offerings. Please do not dropthem off in person at the church if possible.For questions please email either Cyndi Carpenter,ccarpenter@trinityutica.com, Janet Joseph jjoseph@trinityutica.comor Laurie Hilligoss,lhilligoss@trinityutica.com if you have any questions or need assistance. Any of our business staff would be happy to help you. Thank you so much for your support of Trinity Lutheran Church.

Standing in the Gap:

“You are the light of the world.A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.In the same way, let your light shine before others,that they may see your good deeds and glorifyyour Father in heaven.”-Matthew 5:14-16

We are standing in the gap and as mentioned in the weeks prior to this, our ministry team has stepped up. We are continuing to share Christ’s story with love in new and innovative ways. This week on Trinity’s Facebook we are highlighting what has been taking place behind the scenes in all of our ministries.

  • Monday– Christian Care

  • Tuesday– Day School

  • Wednesday-Christian Growth

  • Thursday-Family Life

  • Friday-Worship

  • Saturday– Social Ministry

Trinity’s Facebook Page

We Are Here For You

“Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.”-Ephesians 6:23-24

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for prayer or if you need something. If you want to know more about our ministries,please visit our website or call the church office.More innovation and creativity is coming as we continue to share Christ’s story with love.

April 8, 2020
Dear Trinity Family,“But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.” – Hebrews 10:39

God’s Word continues to be on my heart and in my mind during these unprecedented days that you and I are living in. I pray that the words above are true of you and me. This weekend is Holy Weekend, beginning Thursday through Sunday. God is calling us as Hebrews 12:3 says,“To consider what Jesus went through so that we do not grow weary and lose heart.” As I hear the reality that the worst is yet to come in regards to our pandemic, I cannot help but hear our Resurrected Savior’s voice shout“Our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the future glory that awaits us.” –Romans 8:18

I pray this email finds you and your family healthy. As we live in this time God’s light is shining through us here at Trinity in some incredible ways. If there is anything we can do to help you and your family, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at Trinity and please be blessed by these ministry opportunities below.

Holy Week Opportunities

“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead,the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.For since death came through a man,the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”– 1 Corinthians 15:20-22

Maundy Thursday – “Perfect Submission”

  • At 1 pm you are invited to join us for an online service as we see our Savior Jesus perfectly submit. If you are unable to join us at 1 pm you can use the same link to watch the recording. Please share the link with your friends and family.
Maundy Thursday
Good Friday – “Perfect Savior”
  • At 1 pm you are invited to join us for our Good Friday service as we hear the last words of Jesus from the cross and witness our Perfect Savior. Also, if you are unable to join us at 1 pm you can use the same link to watch the recording. Please share the link with your friends and family.
Good Friday

Holy Saturday

The Scriptures tell us that among the many things Jesus was doing on that Saturday, two things stand out. One was that He was proclaiming victory over the enemy, and the other was that He was resting in the arms of the Father. This Holy Saturday we want to invite you to join your pastors and elders in dedicating the day to prayer. Beginning at 9 am and going through 7 pm, your pastors will be going on Facebook Live at the top of each hour to guide us in specific petitions for each hour of Holy Saturday. Here is our prayer schedule.

  • 9 am – Prayers for the Sick
  • 10 am- Prayers for the Families of the Sick
  • 11 am – Prayers for the Grieving
  • 12 pm – Prayers for the Lonely & Isolated
  • 1 pm – Prayers for Families
  • 2 pm – Prayers for Medical Professionals
  • 3 pm – Prayers for the Government
  • 4 pm – Prayers for Churches
  • 5 pm – Prayers for the Economy
  • 6 pm – Prayers of Thanksgiving
  • 7 pm – Lord’s Prayer Together

Your Pastors will be on Facebook Live for about the first five minutes, and then will help facilitate the prayers in the comments. We encourage you to join us throughout your day. If you are unable to join us via Facebook, please join us in praying each hour. Our faith tells us to pray continually, and we invite you to do so with us this Saturday. To pray continually does not mean to be on your knees with your eyes closed and folded hands;it means to be prayerfully mindful so as you go throughout each hour of your day as the Spirit guides you to lift up those we are praying for to the throne of grace. Jesus said it best:“My house will be a house of prayer.” We are His House. Please share with as many people as you can in your sphere of influence. Let’s do some praying this Saturday, resting in the power of Almighty God and proclaiming victory over the enemy.

Easter Sunday – “He is Risen”

  • “Tele-Worship”with a pastor between 8:45 am & 9:45 am and also between 10:45 am and noon. Your pastors would love to pray with you over the phone and share the good news of Easter with you.To set this up call the church office or go directly to the sign-up link below.
Tele-Worship Sign Up
  • 8 am Online Traditional We are really excited to offer a traditional Easter online service for you. This service is at 8 am and includes audio from past Easter Celebration services along with Pastor Chris, Pastor Justin and Carla Hudgens leading in our Easter morning celebration. You will not want to miss this online worship service from our Sanctuary. The following link will take you to the live service on Easter at 8 am, or to the recording in case you miss it.
Traditional Easter Service at 8 am
  • 9:45 am Online Contemporary We are blessed to continue to reach thousands of families each weekend during the 9:45 am service. This will be a Contemporary Easter service from the homes of Pastor Justin, Alison Carr, and our worship leaders. If you miss the live worship, please use the same link to watch the recording. Please share the links with your friends and family. Also, if you desire Holy Communion or know someone that desires to be baptized, please reach out to a pastor.
Contemporary Easter Service at 9:45 am
Standing in the Gap
“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.”– Ezekiel 22:30

We are standing in the gap, and as mentioned in the prior weeks,our ministry team has stepped up. We are continuing to share Christ’s story with love in new and innovative ways.This next week on Trinity’s Facebook page we are going to highlight what has been taking place behind the scenes in all of our ministries. Christian Care & Counseling, Day School, Christian Growth, Family Life, Worship, and our Social Ministry have all been able to be innovative and, in fact flourish,during this time in reaching people with the love of Jesus. At the end of the week, what the ministries have shared during the“Standing in the Gap” event will be posted on our website for you to be blessed and understand more what God is up to during this time here at Trinity. I will also provide a recap in next Wednesday’s email.

Upcoming New Ministry Opportunities

“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”– Joshua 1:8

New Wednesday Online Worship Series/Bible Study:
  • This mid-week series will take us through the book of Philippians and will be called “Press On.” Make sure you have your Bible with you as you join your pastoral team for this mid-week series.
New Weekend Online Worship Series:
  • Our Sunday online 9:45 am service will continue to come from our homes into your homes and will be called “Anchored.” It is our hope that this series will continue to strengthen and encourage us in our faith during these times.
Soul-Con:
  • This is a ministry that we have partnered with in the past, and it has been a huge blessing for the men who have participated in it. It is a 40-day spiritual challenge that deepens our relationship with Jesus, gets us exercising and eating healthy along with learning how to love those around us even more so. Pastor Chris will be leading this great ministry for men and will be giving more information in the weeks to come.
Not for the Weak:
  • This is a 40-day marriage devotional that Pastor Justin has been working on for years now, based on the Song of Songs. If you are married this devotion will be timely. Look for this to be released one day at a time beginning Monday, April 20.

Communication

Communication is key during this time. If you know of someone who is not receiving our communication please let us know. If you would like to receive our Weekly Enews on Fridays at 10 am,please click here.Also if you have not yet, please take a moment and let us know how we can best bless you with devotions and communication.

Your Communication Preferences
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.”– Revelation 22:21
April 1, 2020
Let me begin by saying this: we have THE PERFECT SAVIOR. Jesus understands everything we are feeling and going through. He is with us, He has overcome it all, and He spoken promises over us for such a time as this. Jesus was, is, and will always be our PERFECT SAVIOR.

As we continue to live our lives by faith, hope, and love, I do want to take a moment and share with you a few of our current ministry opportunities.

Worship Opportunities:

They took palm branches and went out to meet Him, shouting, ‘Hosanna!’ ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ – John 12:13

Today, Wednesday, April 1

Sunday April 4
  • Tele-worship with a pastor between 8 am and noon. This is a 15 minute phone call with one of your pastors where you will have time to be blessed by scripture and prayer. To set this up, call the church office or go directly to the sign-up link:
Sign up for Tele-worship
  • Online worship at 9:45 am. Once again we had over 3,000 devices participate. Most devices had not just 1 person participating but 2, 3, 4, or more! There will be a children’s message added at the end of the worship service for families with young kids. Please continue to share the link with your friends and families.
Online Worship
Holy Week:
Oh, that my words were recorded that they were written on a scroll, that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead or engraved in the rock forever! I know that my Redeemer lives! – Job 19:23-25a
  • Maundy Thursday, April 9:online service will be live at 1 pm
  • Good Friday, April 10:online service will be live at 1 pm
  • Easter Sunday, April 12: traditional online service will be live at 8 am, contemporary online service will be live at 9:45 am
  • Easter tele-worship will continue from 8 am to noon. Sign up on the next Sign-up Genius link coming out next week or call the church office.

For all online worship services please go to our website to watch live or to watch at a later time. Also, use this opportunity to share the link with your friends.

We miss being with you all greatly and are eagerly awaiting the time where we can be together again in fellowship and worship.“God can testify how I long to be with all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:8.If you desire to receive communion as an individual or family, please reach out to the pastors.

Day School, Social Ministry, Red Letter Challenge, Pastoral Care, and Next Generation Ministries:
all are continuing as in the past week. Please see last week’s email for information and links and contact the church office if you have questions.

One new ministry that Pastor Chad is leading is:

  • COVID-19 Emotional & Spiritual Support Hotline. We want to extend our support and commitment to our community as we navigate this difficult time in which so many individuals and communities are being impacted by COVID-19. It is normal to experience stress, anger, anxiety and fear during a crisis. Being aware of your reactions can help you decide what you need to cope with these feelings. If you are having trouble coping, we can help. Please call (402) 851-9289 to speak directly with Pastor Chad Wright for spiritual counseling.

Making a Difference in God’s Kingdom:

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart,not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. – 2 Corinthians 9:7

If the Lord is moving you to give to the ministries of Trinity at this time as we seek to continue to bring faith, hope, and love, here are three easy ways to bless the ministries of Trinity.
1.Online
2. Send offering in mail (45160 Van Dyke, Utica, MI 48317)
3. Text “Trinity” to 797979

Communication:
Communication is key during this time. If you know of someone who is not receiving our communications please let us know. Also if you have not yet, please take a moment and let us know how we can best bless you with devotions and communication.

Communication Survey
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 1:3-6
March 25, 2020

You’ll get through this. It won’t be painless. It won’t be quick. But God will use this mess for good. In the meantime don’t be foolish or naïve. But don’t despair either. With God’s help you will get through this.

 

A mentor of mine shared the above quote with me a few years back when I was going through a huge mess. These words keep ringing through my heart and mind, and I wanted to share them with you again. These words were inspired by the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis, chapters 37-50. I encourage you to take some time to read the story today from your Bible.

Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But have courage! I have overcome it.” – John 16:33. Today’s online Lenten worship service is about “Perfect Courage.” Please be blessed and share this service with as many people as you know.

As we continue to be the church “Sharing Christ’s story with love,” below are our ministry updates.

Worship update:
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus the Author and Perfector of our Faith.” Hebrews 12:2This past weekend:
This upcoming week:
  • We are going to continue to do our best with the resources we have to provide another online service on Sunday at 9:45 am.Here is the link to our livestream and to set a reminder if you would like.
  • We offered a mid-week Lenten service as mentioned above.
  • Your pastors have also figured out a way to do fifteen-minute“tele-worship” sessions, a one-on-one phone interaction with a pastor on Sunday morning between 8 am and noon.
Sign Up Here
Pastoral Care:
“Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.”– Jeremiah 3:15
  • If you need prayers or would like to set up an appointment, please do not hesitate to reach out to the church office or email a pastor.
  • Pastor Chad has written an encouraging and insightful blog to provide comfort during these difficult times.Read it here.
Prayer Request
Ways to serve:

For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited Me in” – Matthew 25:35

As we continue to love our neighbor, here are a few opportunities through Trinity:

  • Social Ministry
    • We are currently feeding those who are in need on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. If you are able to help prepare food, please contact jjaroneski@trinityutica.comto get more details and sign up.
  • Grocery Ministry
  • Masks
    • We have a team of people making masks to be sent out to first responders and medical workers. You can e-mail jkzapp@wowway.comto get details and get involved.
Next Gen Ministry:
Jesus said,“Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” – Matthew 19:14Day School Ministry:
  • Our teachers and families are doing a great job with remote learning! Keep both the teachers and families in your prayers.
Children, Youth, and Family:
  • Weekly school chapels are being produced and given to day school students.
  • Each Thursday Allison Carr is providing a great resource for parents and children to work through together. This Thursday night she will be reading a bedtime story on Facebook live.
  • Every day, youth are interacting with Andrew Brazeal through social media. Parents, please have your youth find Andrew on either Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Red Letter Challenge:
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”– Psalm 119:105Pastor Chris is continuing to lead us through the Red Letter Challenge working with small group and Bible study leaders, providing weekly messages and also daily challenge videos.Please click here to visit the RLC page.Many of the 700 families and individuals who purchased a book continue to work through the 40 day challenge daily devotions.Offering:
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:21Even during this challenging time, people are continuing to give as a statement of their faith. If you would like to give online here is how you can do that:
Online Giving
Stay Connected:
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up,just as in fact you are doing.” –1 Thessalonians 5:11Communication is key during this time. In an effort not to overwhelm you, but to be able to minister and communicate with you we are asking that you take a moment to let us know what you would like to receive from us. We are offering devotions via text, email, and phone, as well as reminders for Sunday’s online worship.
Your Communication Preferences
The church is not a building it is a people and we are the people of God. May His light continue to shine not just through us but also in us as we continue to live by faith, hope, and love.
March 18, 2020

Today is Wednesday, March 18.  Yes, our lives are different and have changed in the last seven days, but our God has not changed.  He is with us.  Last night, your elders and Church Council were able to meet at our campus respecting our government’s recommendations and through modern-day technology.  Last night as I was driving home, I have to say I have never been more in awe of how the Spirit of God is moving through Trinity.  I want to share with you a few things that we discussed and some new details as to how our ministries are continuing at this time.

First, we reflected on Jesus’ words, “The gates of Hell will not prevail against the church.”  We were reminded of what Jesus requires of us at this time as people of faith, hope, and love. We were reminded that without a doubt the physical care of our neighbor is extremely important, but that the spiritual care of our neighbor is always of greater importance.  We were reminded that God has given us godly wisdom around us, and that we need to utilize best practices in keeping people healthy while caring for their souls.

I want you to know, as I share some of the details as to what worship life is going to look like this weekend here at Trinity and what our social ministry will look like, that we are currently working with the Macomb County Health Department.

Worship for this Weekend:

We will once again offer on-line worship at 9:45am.  The worship team and I are working hard to ensure that this happens once again.  Click here for the link (and to set a reminder if you would like).

This weekend, instead of offering our six worship services on our campus, we are offering individuals and families 15 minute mini-worship services with our pastoral staff, elders, and lay ministers between 8:00 am and 12:00 pm at Trinity.   The 15 minute mini-worship services will offer communion and prayer.

  • To participate in an individual or family communion service, you can sign up through this SignUpGenius link, or you can contact the church office to schedule your family’s appointment.
In being mindful of best health practices at this time, the following guidelines are in place for these worship services:
  • There will only be up to ten services happening at once.  Each minister will have a designated space in and around our Sanctuary.
  • Between each service the minister will have 15 minutes to disinfect their area.
  • Families or individuals are asked to stay in their car until two minutes before their scheduled appointment, at which time their minister will come outside to greet them and bring them to their station.
  • After their service the minister will escort the individual or family out of one of our three Van Dyke side exits of our building.
Pastoral Care:
  • We are continuing to step up our web presence and are still offering pastoral care for those who would like a house visit or would like to come to Trinity to meet with a pastor.   Please check out Trinity’s Facebook page daily and visit our website for updates.
  • We are currently working with funeral homes to understand how to minister to families during this time. We are willing to help in any way we can with godly wisdom.
  • We are also currently working with hospitals, nursing homes, and senior assisted living homes at this time to ensure that individuals who need spiritual care are receiving it.
  • We are making phone calls like never before to pray with people.  If you know of someone who could use a phone call and some prayer, please let your Pastoral team know.
  • For all prayer requests, please complete this form.
  • We are currently organizing a grocery delivery team.  Contact Dave Sheldon at dsheldon@trinityutica.com if you know of someone who could use assistance or if you would like to volunteer to assist in this ministry.
Social Ministry:
  • In working with the Macomb County Health Department and other food ministries, we are offering an expanded food ministry during the week.  Right now we are planning on giving food out on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.   We have a meal prep team making meals daily for these ministries along with our off-site food ministries.   If you would like to help, please contact Jenny at jjaronseki@trinityutica.com.
If you know of individuals who are not receiving these e-mails, please pass along the information to them and reach out to the church office so we can call them.  I pray that you are able to be still and know that God is in control.  Here is a link to our mid-week online Lent service.
March 16, 2020

Esther 4:14 says, “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish.  And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

Being people of faith is never easy, but it is what we do as disciples of Jesus.  During this time God is working, and it is a blessing to be part of God’s movement through Trinity.  In an effort to love God and love our neighbor, please read our following ministry updates.

WORSHIP
Weekend Re-cap

  • Our online worship service had over 2,000 individuals and families view and participate in it.   Thank you, Jesus, for providing us with modern day technology and people who are gifted to make it happen.   Here is the link if you missed it or would like to share it.
  • CDs, DVDs, and home visits with communion are available upon request.
  • Our on-site worship did abide by the recommendations of the CDC, government, and our Lutheran Church Missouri Synod leadership.  We had small groups from 24 to 60 people gather for our Saturday service and Sunday morning services.  Our health protocols worked great as everyone who chose to gather and serve kept their social distancing in our large spaces.
  • Two baptisms took place outside of worship services.  You can watch them on our Facebook page.
This week’s plan
  • With the new CDC recommendation of limiting social gatherings to 50 people or less tonight’s Monday worship service is canceled.
  • Wednesday Lent worship services are canceled on-site, but a Lent service will be online.
  • Elders will meet on Tuesday night to determine more innovative options for worship life here at Trinity.
  • At this point we are planning on having family or individual communion appointments on Sunday morning between the hours of 8 am and noon with our pastoral staff at Trinity.  On Wednesday afternoon we will share more details as to how this will be administrated.
  • On-site visits during the week or home visits with a pastor to pray and receive communion can be scheduled by calling the church office or emailing the pastoral staff.
  • Online worship will once again take place this Sunday at 9:45 am.  Here is the link to set up your reminder for this Sunday.
  • Please submit your prayer requests by using this link or by calling the church office.
DAY SCHOOL
Teachers are working hard to initiate our remote learning and students/families are eagerly waiting for it to begin.  Please pray for our children, school families, and faculty during this time.SOCIAL MINISTRY
Weekend Recap
  • NSO served meals to over 70 individuals on Saturday.
  • SSS gave meals, showers, and sack lunches to another 70 individuals yesterday.
Plan Going Forward
  • Beginning this Friday we will be open to the community for meals, hygiene needs, and showers.  Call Trinity’s office for hours.
  • Next week we will be ministering to the hungry on Saturday (NSO), Sunday (SSS), Wednesday, and Friday.
  • We will abide by the state’s mandates in this.
  • We will do this in the name of Jesus.
  • We will do all we can ensure the health of our guests and volunteers.
RED LETTER CHALLENGE & BIBLE STUDIES
  • We are continuing the Red Letter Challenge and are currently on Day 14, working on receiving forgiveness and giving forgiveness.  Please continue your 40 day challenge.
  • Pastor Chris is working with small groups and off-site Bible studies.
  • Pastor Chris will be sending you a video message each week on the Red Letter Challenge.
  • Right now all Bible studies are meeting off-site or have chosen to postpone meeting for this time.
FAMILY LIFE MINISTRY
  • Andrew Brazeal is continuing to provide guidance, love, and care to our youth through social media.
  • Confirmation is also continuing through in-home video lessons.
  • Allison Carr is providing family devotions each week that will be posted on our Facebook page and with our school families.
PASTORAL CARE
  • Individual counseling appointments are still taking place.
  • We are working with funeral homes and individual families to make sure we have a good practice at this time.

Matthew 5:14-16 says,“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

March 13, 2020
I would like to give you an update in regards to our ministries at Trinity as we enter into the weekend.  We remain committed to the physical safety and spiritual health of all who step on our campus and continue to receive guidelines from medical professionals, the Michigan District of the LCMS and state officials.
Worship – In order to follow our governor’s request to eliminate gatherings of more than 100 people, we have implemented the following options:
  1. On-line worship at 9:45 am  https://trinityutica.churchonline.org/
  2. Recorded CDs of our worship services to be mailed or picked up upon request
  3. House visits from our pastors with communion during the week
With these options we do believe our attendance at each of our six weekend services will fall under the recommendations of a gathering of 100 people or less.  If a miracle occurs where there are more than 100 people at one of our worship services, you will be blessed with a two-minute worship service and the shortest sermon over the course of 138 years at Trinity.  Please note your Elders, Council, and Pastors are evaluating this day by day.


To keep those who choose to worship at Trinity’s campus this weekend safe and healthy, we will adhere to the following:

  1. We will place the offering plate in the back of the Sanctuary and gym as you exit so you don’t need to pass the plates down the row.  You can also give online.
  2. We will not have any paper products being handed out or in the pews.
  3. We will provide hand sanitizing stations around campus for everyone to use.
  4. We will have ushers and communion assistants wear non-latex gloves and not involve finger to finger contact during distribution of the bread and the wine, the body and blood of our Lord.
  5. We will not have Kids’ Connection, Bible studies, nor open the nursery and the cry room by the gym.
  6. We will refrain from the greeting at the beginning of worship.
  7. We will suspend coffee and doughnuts for the time being.
  8. We will take extra cleaning measures between services, especially to clean pews, handrails, and doorknobs.
  9. We will not have communication cards turned in (school family worship attendance will not be counted during this quarter of school).
  10. We will stay home if we have any symptoms of illness.

More details will be explained for those who chose to worship at Trinity this weekend.

Social Ministry-Trinity helps feed over 1500 individuals each week through our food ministry.  We will be working with all of our partners to ensure that those who need food will continue to receive food through our Social Ministry.  Pastor Lew and his team are working right now to ensure this while seeking to maintain a safe and healthy environment here at Trinity.
  • SSS (soup, shower, and sack lunch) will continue this Sunday with many modifications as will NSO.
  • Please contact Jenny Jaroneski at jjaroneski@trinityutica.com for details of how to help continue to feed those who are hungry in this time of need.

Visitation ministry for those who are sick

  • Your Pastoral team, hospital visitation team, and Elders will continue to bring Jesus to those we are able to during this time.

Again, please stay home if you are not feeling well, cover your coughs and sneezes, and wash your hands often. Pray for those are sick, pray for medical professionals, and for leadership to make godly decisions.

While we cannot control the virus, its spread, or the impact it has on our church, we’re doing everything we can to make our campus as safe and clean as possible.  We appreciate your cooperation to help us do just that.  We must also remember that God has not called us to live in fear, but faith.  “Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9 

March 12, 2020

Dear Trinity Family,

We would like to take a moment and communicate with you about how we are approaching the present reality of responding to the coronavirus and its potential spread.   We want you to know that it has always been and certainly is our priority to ensure that Trinity’s campus is a safe, comfortable place for you and your family.

A Beacon of Hope

History tells us that God’s light shines even greater in times of trials, war, social unrest, economic upset, and public health crises.  In all of these trials the Church has remained a place of rest and peace for those in need, a Beacon of Hope.  For this reason, we will do everything we can to keep our campus functional and open for ministry purposes and will remain flexible to still do our ministries in mobile ways.  We walk by faith, not fear.

Communication Lines

With the awareness that this is an evolving situation; our leadership team is closely following information released by the CDC and will revise our policies and procedures appropriately. We will also continue to communicate any updates, adjustments, or event postponements with you our church family via e-mail, texting, phone, our website, and social media venues.

Weekend Worship

At this time we will continue to offer our six weekend worship services with modifications to our offering practice, communion practices, and greeting practice.   We will continue to have our sermons on-line and this weekend we will begin offering an on-line worship service.  The link is https://trinityutica.churchonline.org/.  It will be up Sunday morning at 9:45 am.  This weekend Pastor Justin will be giving a special stand-alone message that specifically addresses how we as Christians deal with trials like this.   You can also contact us by phone (586) 731-4490 or e-mail abeaconofhope@trinityutica.com to request a CD of a worship service or request a Pastor or Elder visit to receive communion and prayer as an individual or family.

 

Godly Wisdom

In recent weeks Trinity’s leadership has revisited our cleaning and disinfecting protocols to ensure that our facilities are being cleaned appropriately to decrease the risk for coronavirus exposure.

  • We will continue to disinfect frequently touched surfaces between all services, including rails, doorknobs, handles, and restrooms. Team members who clean these surfaces, as well as individuals who prepare any food or beverages, will wear disposable gloves.
  • Greeters who welcome you to Trinity will not shake hands and the time for greeting at the beginning of the services will be suspended.
  • Hand sanitizer stations are still placed throughout the building in common areas.  Please look for these.
  • In our children’s ministry environments, we will continue to sanitize toys, tables, and other surfaces. We will not receive children who display symptoms of flu, respiratory distress, or other ailments.

Best Practices for Good Health

  • Be mindful of physical contact with others, giving a smile or wave where you might normally offer a hug or handshake.
  • Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, or mouth and be sure to wash your hands with soap and water often.
  • If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a sleeve or tissue then wash your hands immediately after.
  • If you aren’t feeling well, see your doctor and stay home from our campus and call if you would like prayer or a visit.

As we move forward together please join us in praying for those who are working hard as medical professionals and those affected by this illness.

Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Thank you for being a part of our Trinity family; a family of faith, hope, and love.

March 2, 2020

With the recent coronavirus global concerns, I would like to take a moment to share with you a few of our best practices at Trinity.

1. We are a people who trust God, and therefore when tempted to become sensationalists and live in perpetual anxiety, we move on by faith in our sovereign God. We believe that, “We do not know what tomorrow holds, but we do know Who holds tomorrow.”
2. We do all that we can to love those who are hurting. Let’s pray for those all around the world who are suffering from this virus and for the medical professionals as they seek to bring healing.
3. Use common sense. If you are not feeling well and have an inclination that your illness is contagious, it is a best practice to not come to church or school to participate in ministry. As you are currently aware our weekly sermons are on-line. In a few weeks our 9:45 am service from the gym will be livestreamed, and after the sanctuary renovations one of our sanctuary services will be streamed.
4. Wash hands. Throughout our building we have hand-sanitizing dispensers; please continue to use these. If you are uncomfortable shaking hands during our greeting time in worship or as you encounter your friends at church, we will all respect each others’ decisions. Also, be aware that our formal greeting at the opening of our worship services could be changing.
5. Go to the doctor, eat healthy, and exercise regularly. God has given us each a body; keep it strong and use the means by which God has blessed us. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”