Hope for the future, not repetition of the past

December 3, 2021

From Pastor Joey

I am usually surprised when I hear reporters say, “These are unprecedented times”. Have these people not studied World History: the recording of wars, plagues, conflagrations, bizarre political rulers, oppression, terrific storms….the list goes on and on! Here is a small collection of quotes that express the dilemma.

  • History repeats itself. Thucydides
  • Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
  • Silence ensures that history repeats itself. Erin Gruwell
  • Every time history repeats itself, the price goes up.
  • History never exactly repeats itself, but it does some rather good impressions. John Dean
  • If history repeats itself, I should think we can expect the same thing again. Terry Venables
  • History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme. Mark Twain

This history quest began when I read an essay by Josh Rittenberg, written over fifteen years ago. It is titled, “Tomorrow Will Be A Better Day.” In the essay, he says that he overheard his dad talking about being upset over his generation leaving those who follow to “a dark and difficult future—if it has a future at all. There will be a pandemic that kills millions, a devastating energy crisis, a horrible worldwide depression and a nuclear explosion set off in anger.”

Rittenberg found family albums that portrayed his grandparents and great-grandparents and he realized what they had experienced in their lives. “Two world wars, killer flu, segregation, a nuclear bomb.” He also found that they experienced wonderful times: “the end of two world wars, the polio vaccine, passage of the civil rights laws. They even saw the Red Sox win the World Series—twice.”

He expressed hope for the future—seeing better things, too: “that we will witness the time when AIDS is cured and cancer is defeated; when the Middle East will find peace and Africa grain.” Perhaps there will be “things as inconceivable to me today as a moon shot was to my grandfather when he was 16, or the internet to my father when he was 16.”

Advent is the time of preparing for the One who has already come and who lives through us today. The history of Christ will repeat itself as we are faithful disciples who “give away love and kindness like we are made of the stuff!” Let us be the ones through which the history of God’s grace and justice lives in our world today through us and Christians all around the world.

Prayer Concerns that we have:

  • For those who continue to go through physical struggles, those who are dealing with cancer, or other health situations. For those who are emotionally feeling lost and alone.
  • For those who haven’t been vaccinated yet; for all those who are ill from the Covid-19 virus; for those families who have lost loved ones to the virus; and for essential workers.
  • For peace in our country.
  • For Katherine Parker, missionary to Nepal.

The three graces

June 24, 2021

Dear Saints of Trinity,

This Sunday we have a special guest. I have to say that she looks amazing given her age. She was born on January 20, 1669. No, you didn’t misread that. I said 1669. She is the mother of the founder of our denomination, although he never called it a denomination. He always saw it as a movement within the Anglican tradition. His name was John Wesley. John also had a brother. Okay, he had a number of brothers (and sisters), but there was one in particular that we know well. His name was Charles. He was a deep thinker like John, but expressed those thoughts in a different way. John’s expressions came in letters, journals, and sermons. Charles expressed himself in music; hymns to be more accurate. And it is Susanna, who will be our guest this Sunday, their mother.

This will be the first Sunday of a series that will last much of the summer. We’ll be exploring the underlying meanings of what it means to be Methodists; particularly a United Methodist Church. I’ve spent most of my life in this denomination with some side trips to Presbyterian, Assemblies of God, Church of God, and a few non-denominational churches. I came back to Methodism because of the foundations of what John and Charles sought to bring to the world. One example is the inscriptions on the outside of our sanctuary doors.

John came up with four pieces of faith; four elements that need to come together to create a healthy and whole expression of faith. They included scripture as the basic foundation for all that we do; tradition going back to the early church as the most basic outline for what a Body of Christ is to be; experience, all of those personal experiences that come together to make us the Christians we are; and finally reason. Reason allows us to bring all of the other elements together. Wesley wanted followers to be deep thinkers, committed to growth and formation throughout their lives. It’s the combination of these elements that sets him apart from so many of his contemporaries.

John believed that God would come to us in three distinctive ways throughout our lives. He called these the three graces.

The first was prevenient grace; a grace that goes before us, surrounding us, introducing us to God’s presence in people and circumstances, a grace that sought to bring us closer to God and the formation of an initial relationship with our Creator.

The second he called justifying grace, a grace that comes in that moment when we commit our lives to Christ and choose to live into that relationship every day.

The third he called sanctifying grace; that love and relationship that takes us deeper into that relationship with God and the relationships we have with each other. This, for Wesley, was a cycle. We move in and out of that relationship but God is always there seeking to bring us back. He believed that the primary role of the church was to do the same. It’s why he formed small groups in every church he started, so that followers would have others to turn to in times of loss, joy, and concern. Charles then wrote hymns that related to everything I just shared, including this next piece.

Finally, they believed that there was one more combination that made us whole as followers. It was first in what I just described. He called it acts of piety. In other words, making sure that we remained in that close relationship with God in Christ. To do that opened up the second piece of Christian balance. In our practice of piety, God would reveal to us those places where God needed us to offer what Wesley called acts of charity. In other words, involvement in the communities that surround us, and involvement that could and would be transformational.

These are a few of the elements we’ll explore this summer. But before we get into those, don’t miss meeting the mother of John and Charles this Sunday. We’ll see you in church.

Pastor Brad

Let’s take care of each other as potentially record-breaking high temperatures are predicted for this weekend, beginning Friday. Be sure to drink plenty of water and check on your neighbors and friends.

Some Concerns that we have:

  • Please keep the family and friends of Rev. Jack Anderson, former pastor of Dungeness Valley Lutheran Church, in your prayers at his death. Memorial service on Saturday, July 10th, 2 pm at DVLC.
  • Gary Nichols and family at the death of his wife, Lelia. Note: The memorial service for Lelia will be here at TUMC on Tuesday, June 29, 1 pm.
  • For those who continue to go through physical struggles, those who are dealing with cancer, or other health situations. For those who are emotionally feeling lost and alone.
  • For all those who are ill from the COVID-19 virus; for those families who have lost loved ones to the virus; for essential workers; and for those who haven’t been vaccinated yet.
  • For peace in our country.
  • For Katherine Parker, missionary to Nepal.

A dark day

January 6, 2021

Dear Saints of Trinity,

I need to share that as I was writing my letter to you this afternoon, I was informed of the blatant and criminal attack on the US Capitol Building. I watched in horror as those who were seeking to do the work of the people, those serving in both Houses were meeting in a joint session, had to be evacuated. While those whose attack was motivated by the invitation to create a coup-like disruption, not only disrupted Congress, but intentionally demeaned the very center of what makes this country free. I’ve shared with you that I will never preach politics. That’s not what this is. I’ve served with friends and colleagues on “The Hill.” I’ve spent time with those with whom I vehemently disagreed just outside the doors of chambers. We’ve argued, sometimes loudly and even angrily, but it was always with the knowledge and the trust that we were each seeking to bring “a more perfect union.”

What I saw today not only takes my breath away, it is an embarrassment to all this country represents in the world. As one of your pastors, I cannot sit by without responding. What this group did was illegal, immoral, unconstitutional, and abhorrent. I clearly understand the anger that lay beneath the election loss of Donald Trump. This, however, goes well beyond politics. Please, my sisters and brothers, continue to pray for peace, for understanding, for grace and patience. We believe in a God who seeks that, not only from each of us, but from all of those who call this planet and this country our home. A peaceful protest is a Constitutional Right. What we saw today was a mob attacking one of the great foundations of democracy. Please join me in a time of prayer as suddenly, for the first time in over 200 years, our Country’s capital has come under attack. And friends, let peace begin with each of us.

Pastor Brad

Cast away the stones

November 19, 2020

Dear Saints of Trinity,

I want to encourage you to watch the service this week. I think most of you do anyway, but there are a few things I hope you can capture. The first is the message. It’s all about being stone-droppers. We’re living in a time of accusations and blame being hurled one to another. As Christians, and as a church I want to encourage us to be those who can assist others to rebuild rather than tear down, offer grace rather than judgment, and offer reconciliation rather than condemnation. That, however, is not the only reason I’m asking you to watch.

I spend a few minutes talking with Dorothy on camera. In almost every neighborhood gathering someone has asked about her, and particularly when “we’ll be able to meet her.” So, we decided that we would do that for the Wednesday recordings. But wait, there’s more. I know I’ve shared that Dorothy and I fell in love while singing together. We will be singing together again for the recording. Donna was gracious enough to allow the two of us to lead the hymns this week. For us, it is an amazing gift; a gift we don’t get to do enough. To stand beside her, share together in worship, help lead the hymns was…well, just wonderful. We both hope you’ll joyfully sing along to these Thanksgiving favorites. Now that brings me to the next piece.

Thanksgiving is a week from today. We’ve been asked to stay as safe as possible. For many of us, that means not bringing in outside family to our homes. Thanksgiving is a precious time for the Beeman family, but it was our children who asked that we postpone it. I remember one of the kids said it well. “Thanksgiving is about being thankful, and, you know what, we can be thankful in February or March or even June. Let’s not let it go. Let’s just postpone it.” So, we’re going to postpone it.

One more thing, however. Our local restaurants are struggling. What if, instead of doing all the cooking for whoever it is that will be at your home, that instead, we order our meals from one or two of our local restaurants. They need us, friends. I ordered lunch yesterday at Rain Shadow. In talking with the staff there, I could feel the nervousness. She shared that this is supposed to be one of their busiest seasons, and yet, here they are, closed and doing only pick-up service. So, let’s be the church as well as being family and do whatever we can to support our local businesses.

So, there you have it. Happy week before Thanksgiving. I continue to pray for you throughout this time. Please let me know if you need anything from me. A reminder that neighborhood gatherings will begin again in January, if we’re able. Oh, and don’t miss the Advent worship services. They are going to be special.

In Peace,

Pastor Brad

Some Concerns that we have:

  • For those who continue to go through physical struggles, those who are dealing with cancer, or other health situations. Prayers for those who are emotionally feeling lost and alone.
  • For all those who are ill from the covid-19 virus; for those families who have lost loved ones to the virus; and for all the first responders/essential workers.
  • For peace in our country.
  • For Katherine Parker, missionary to Nepal.

Even though you can’t be with those having birthdays this week, emails or phone calls are appreciated.

Parking Lot service is taking a break for winter

You can view our service online. Just go to our webpage sequimtumc.org for a link to the service.

We thank you for your continued support of our ministries here at Trinity and ask that you mail your contributions in to the church. Make sure to use our Post Office Box 3697 instead of our street address.

It’s a new day! A new way!

There’s a new shared Senior Ministries office in the Administrative wing, across from Pastor Brad’s office. New church phone line: 360-683-4307; E-mail: polsen@sequimtumc.org

Senior Ministries includes Lois’s Legacy, Neighborhoods and Home Support for unexpected life challenges. Volunteers will listen to your situation. We’ve helped folks find transportation, special equipment or a helping hand. Sometimes it helps just to talk with someone who has time to listen. Senior Ministries also includes Tim’s Place, and Powerful Tools for Caregivers.

Call our new phone line and leave a message. We plan on having a volunteer in the office to pick up messages Monday – Friday.

Pauline Olsen, Chairperson, Lois’s Legacy

You are invited to join Joy Fellowship

They meet weekly on Zoom to share where each person has found joy and any concerns they may have. At the end of sharing joys and concerns, they pray. After the prayer, they discuss a topic. To end their time together, they read a hymn in unison.

The Joy Fellowship November topic is The Charter for Compassion. The December topic is an Advent study by Adam Hamilton: Incarnation: Rediscovering the Significance of Christmas. Joy Fellowship meets on Thursdays from 2:00-3:30 p.m. If you would like to join them, contact Linda Gordon at gordonlinda100@gmail.com.

Challenges and Comfort Group

— is suspended for now due to current covid19 regulations restricting in-person meetings.

Second small group book study

The second small group book study: Right Here Right Now, The Practice of Christian Mindfulness by Amy G. Oden begins on December 3rd. It will meet for six Thursdays at noon for one hour. The author of this book is a professor of Christianity and Theology and affiliated with The Church of the Resurrection in Kansas City.

People from our first group expressed they benefited greatly and even will continue to meet at least another 6 weeks to practice Christian Mindfulness.

This is a wonderful way to connect with others while deepening your sense of God’s presence in your life. While enhancing your spiritual life this calming practice also reduces stress and aids in providing resilience in this particularly challenging time.

We will be meeting on ZOOM. Your book can be ordered on www.Amazon.com. If for some reason, you are unable to use Amazon to order please let Melody Romeo know soon and we will order and deliver a book to you since we aren’t able to enter the church at this time.

Melody is leading our group and can be reached at email: melodycoach@olypen.com or by cellphone: (360) 461-5595

Additional volunteers still needed to help with the Sequim food box distribution

— for November 25th and December 9th and 23rd from about 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Andra Smith (Sequim Food Bank Director) indicated that, even though CERT will not be involved those two months, volunteers still can be trained. If you are interested, contact Jan Kreidler at 681-5027 / janet2.kreidler@gmail.com.

Office hours note

Trinity United Methodist Church office hours are 9 am – 2 pm Monday through Friday. However, due to limited access to the building during this phase of opening, we are keeping the doors locked. There is a doorbell to the right of the main door (by the office) that you need to ring to alert Marian and she will let you in. It is best to call ahead so we are aware that you are coming.  Thanks so much for your patience!