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.

Thanksgiving Week

November 25, 2020

Saints of Trinity,

Thanksgiving looks a whole lot different this year. My hope is that Thanksgiving being different doesn’t stop us from being thankful. We have much for which we can be thankful. I sat with the music staff this morning and we looked ahead at the worship services that are ahead of us. It’s Advent, and tomorrow afternoon we record the service for the First Sunday of Advent. It starts us on a journey toward hope and light. If there was ever a year where we need hope and light this is it. As we talked, I began to feel the anticipation that is supposed to be felt in Advent. Advent is a step-by-step journey. It is a time of overwhelming anticipation. For us here at Trinity it will begin with an examination of the prophets and the hopes of two sets of God’s children. Each was desperately hoping for light in the darknesses of their lives. They carried all kinds of hopes for a hero that would come and save them. For most of them, their savior would be a warrior who would destroy their enemies. But, if this season reminds us of anything, it is that God’s plans are often very different from ours, and this time of Advent is the perfect example.

The following week we realize that God is moving in ways no one expected. The wrong person from the wrong place with the wrong personal history from the wrong family would be chosen to bring a savior into the world. Then, the next week we’ll realize that if that wasn’t enough, the wrong set of people received the message of where and how this hero was to be brought in to the world. And if that wasn’t enough, the next week, another set of inappropriate people were selected to follow their unusual beliefs, and that would lead them to this savior. They shouldn’t be in this story at all. And if that wasn’t enough, this savior was born in the wrong place, placed in the wrong kind of bed, and surrounded by the wrong kind of building. Everything seemed wrong. That is until we are able to see and hear the rest of the story. This savior was to be unlike any savior or hero before him. His saving role was also unlike any before him. Even his relationship with God was completely different.

All of that says a lot about us, or maybe it should. If this season reminds us of anything it is that we too can be people of hope and light. Like each step along this Advent journey, we are also called to be different. It’s this baby born of Mary, and laid in a manger that will grow up to teach us exactly what that means. So, like the previous sermon series on being stone-droppers, life-saving heroes, builders, miracle believers, and more, our ways are not the world’s ways. So, I invite you to join us on this journey through Advent, and may the light of Christ, and the hope of this eternal God of love become that much brighter for you and your family.

I’m so thankful for you; each of you, and pray that this season, beginning this Thanksgiving Thursday and moving through the rest of this year brings light and peace; hope, and joy to each one of you. Amen

Be at Peace! For unto us a child is born, and unto us a son is given!

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.

You are invited to join Joy Fellowship

Joy Fellowship will start the Advent study by Adam Hamilton, Incarnation: Rediscovering the Significance of Christmas, on Thursday, December 3, 2020, at 2 p.m. on Zoom. Contact Kathleen Charters at kcharters@mac.com or call 240.463.7598 if you would like to purchase the book. Contact Linda Gordon at gordonlinda100@gmail.com for the Zoom invitation.

Correction: the Christian Mindfulness Group is not postponed; it is meeting on Zoom

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 on Zoom.

The author of this book is a professor of Christianity and Theology and affiliated with The Church of the Resurrection in Kansas City.

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. Your book can be ordered on www.Amazon.com. Or the church will have a few copies to deliver to your door.

You may contact Melody Romeo if you have any questions or to sign up. Melody is leading our group and can be reached at email: melodycoach@olypen.com or by cellphone: (360) 461-5595.

Postponed

The Women’s Bible Study and the Challenges and Comforts groups will not meet in person until the current COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

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

— for 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!