Searching for peace and calm

January 14, 2021

Saints of Trinity,

As I’ve sat and watched the news in the past week, something hit me. It hit me hard. I grew up with Walter Cronkite, a man who saw his job as reporting the news. I remember Huntley and Brinkley as they took their spots each evening, and as they too reported the news. Walter Cronkite seldom shared his opinions. He seldom showed emotion. There were times when the emotions would sneak through, times like when President Kennedy was shot, but more often than not, his role in this country was simply to report. I’ve realized just how much things have changed.

Like some of you, I’ve sought to hear multiple perspectives, particularly since the election. I’ve listened and watched Rachel Maddow, Tucker Carlson, Anderson Cooper, Neil Cavuto, Chris Cuomo, George Stephanopoulos, Norah O’Donnell, and others. Here is the realization. I realized after the events of last Wednesday, the storming of the Capital, I’m not sure I see the news anymore. I’m not sure I’ve seen the reporting of the news for a very long time now. What I now see are emotional editorials that focus on current events. I was watching CNN only to realize that Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo were inciting emotional epithets as critical of the other side as what I heard on Fox with Tucker Carlson. In times like these, I’m just not sure any of it is helpful, particularly in a country that seems already overwhelmed with division.

I share this out of concern for you, Saints of Trinity; particularly your emotional and spiritual health. We’re already dealing with the fears surrounding the growing Coronavirus numbers, the shifts and changes that have minimized our ability to relate to one another, so much now influences our opportunities to see and share with each other. I watch as tensions rise. I watch as desperation becomes heightened. And yes, I’m worried, and sure I’m worried about the country, the transition, and the violence. At the same time, I’ve seen and experienced what watching too much news does to my own soul. I shared with Dorothy just yesterday, a feeling of a kind of malaise; and it’s not just the weather.

In my virtual appointment with my doctor, he asked if I wanted him to up my antidepressant dosage. Nope, I said. I’d rather work out, sweat, hike, walk, ride, whatever it takes to push myself toward greater health. And part of that is turning off the news, or at last, deciding how much is enough. Here’s what I’m recommending, and this comes from a close friend who is a psychologist. Like our eating habits, each of us needs to seek to control our news-watching habits. Watch only an hour of a news show. If you need more news, read the paper. It is often more objective. Not always, but at least here the stories are more local. Walk, run, bike, kayak, canoe, hike, go play in the snow, have tea with a friend while on the phone, FaceTime, Zoom, whatever it takes to renew those important relationships with family and friends. Just turn off the television.

Over the next twelve weeks, I’ll be inviting you into a time of study. I’ll be exploring the Beatitudes from the 5th chapter of Matthew’s Gospel. I want to invite you to fully participate. As you hear the weekly messages, do some Bible study, take some notes, formulate some questions, prayerfully consider how what I’m saying relates to you and your situation. It is my goal every week to give you food for thought, even questions to ponder; to offer you significant opportunities to take on and take in the lessons each week.

Take some time to simply sit quietly without the sound of the television. Listen to the rain and wind. Experience it. Look up to the mountains, and by the way, the Psalmist is correct, we can find strength when we take the time to look to the hills. Ultimately remember that God has us; surrounds us, loves us, encourages us, and forms us if we allow that to happen. So, in the midst of this crazy, disturbing, challenging time, let’s do some soul work. If we do that, the rest of life will fall into place. I love you and am praying for you.

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 smooth delivery of the vaccine.
  • 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, or to YouTube, where you then type in Sequim Trinity United Methodist Church in the search bar.

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.

COVID-19 Vaccinations Available

For Sequim area residents ages 70 and over. This is a drive-through process. People stay in their cars. Check-in is here at TUMC in the parking lot. After completing the paperwork, people are directed to Carrie Blake Park where they will receive their vaccination. This takes place on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, 9 am to 3 pm. However, people line up very early since this is a first-come, first-served process.

Access to the Church during the COVID-19 Vaccinations

You may come into the church from the north driveway (next to the skateboard park) and drive around the back of the church to the parking lot. Blake Avenue is blocked from the church to Washington Street so you will need to reach this driveway from the north. This is on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays before 9am and until 2pm. If you are stopped by the police, let them know that you have business at the church and are not here to get a vaccination.

Hosts needed

— to assist Covid vaccination volunteers with snacks and lunches in the fellowship hall on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 9am to Noon and Noon to 3 pm. If you’d like to help, contact Gay Lyn Lillagore, 360-582-6192 or glillagore@yahoo.com.

Noisy Can Offering for Katherine Parker – January 31

Katherine is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of the UMC and serves as a Health and Community Transformation Advisor with the United Mission to Nepal (UMN). For several years Trinity UMC has supported (and continues to support) Katherine via a Covenant Relationship, which means we annually send $1,000 towards her salary. (Any funds donated above and beyond her salary will be used to help provide medical care for COVID-19 patients in Nepal.) Donations of any amount are gratefully accepted. Checks may be issued to TUMC, indicating January NCO in the memo section.

Update on Sequim Food Distribution

At our briefing before the December 23 distribution, there were two announcements: 1) Between June 3rd and the end of December, the Sequim Food Bank distributed 350,000 tons of food (equal to about 500,000 meals). 2) There still is a great need. The food distributions will continue in 2021 on these dates: Jan. 27, Feb. 10 and 24, and Mar. 10 & 24. Hours for the volunteers are 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. If you would like to help, contact Jan Kreidler (360-681-5027 or janet2.kreidler@gmail.com).

Another opportunity to serve: CERT

CERT has contacted Trinity UMC to ask if any of us would be interested in volunteering to “staff” one of CERT’s two field/portable kitchens in the event of a natural disaster. This kitchen would be deployed in eastern Clallam County, where food would be provided and served. Training would be required. If you are interested, contact Jan Kreidler at 360-681-5027 or janet2.kreidler@gmail.com.

Office Hours

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 the office and you will be let in. It is best to call ahead so we are aware that you are coming. Thanks so much for your patience and remember when in the building to be sure and wear your mask!

Note: The church is closed Monday January 15 for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

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

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!