Reformation 500 Study for Lent and Easter

luther_10809c“This epistle is really the chief part of the New Testament, and is truly the purest gospel.  It is worthy not only that every Christian should know it word for word, by heart, but also that he should occupy himself with it every day, as the daily bread of the soul.  We can never read it or ponder it too much; for the more we deal with it, the more precious it becomes and the better it tastes.” – Martin Luther, “Preface to the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans” (AE 35:365)

At the heart and core of Luther’s teaching was his “rediscovery” of the Scriptural truth that believers are saved “by grace through faith for the sake of Christ”.  Many of Luther’s insights into this gift of God to us came through his study and teaching Paul’s Epistle to the Romans.

A new book, Reading Romans with Luther, by Lutheran Pastor RJ Grunewald, will serve as a guide for our study of this important New Testament letter.  Gathering many of Luther’s comments on Romans into the significant themes in the letter, we will come to see how both Paul’s and Luther’s words are important for us today, especially as we are reminded that the grace which God shows to us is a gift, not something we need to earn.

The book, Reading Romans with Luther, is available from Pastor, or for purchase by ordering it through either Concordia Publishing House (www.cph.org) or through Amazon (in book format or for your Kindle).

Join us on Wednesday Evenings at 7:00 PM in the Multi-Purpose Room as we grow together in God’s Word through our study of the Letter to the Romans, or join us through your own self-study of the book.

The Study will follow the chapters of Reading Romans with Luther in order, with breaks for Ash Wednesday and for Holy Week and Easter Week.

Wednesday, February 15th
“Exposed”

Wednesday, February 22nd
“The Human Condition”

Wednesday, March 1st
No Study — Ash Wednesday

Wednesday, March 8th
“A Worship Problem”

Wednesday, March 15th
“The Old Man”

Wednesday, March 22nd
“Law and Gospel”

Wednesday, March 29th
“The Bad News”

Wednesday, April 5th
“The Power and Primacy of the Gospel”

Wednesdays, April 12th & 19th
No Studies during Holy Week and Easter Week

Wednesday, April 26th
“Righteousness”

Wednesday, May 3rd
“Sinners, Saints, and the Simul

Wednesday, May 10th
“Suffering”

Wednesday, May 17th
“Grace that Changes”

Wednesday, May 24th
“Gifts”

Reformation Year Bible Study

GlassOur Midweek Bible Study is currently going through a video-based study titled, “A Man Named Martin”, prepared by Lutheran Hour Ministries.  This study helps us delve into the life and times of Martin Luther and to learn how both the man and the days in which he lived helped to shape and bring about this thing we know of today as the Reformation.

You are welcome to join us at Trinity on Wednesday Evenings at 7 PM in the Multi-Purpose Room for these times of discussion and learning more about our heritage as Lutheran Christians.

For those unable to join us at church for this exciting study, all of the study materials and videos are available at the Lutheran Hour Ministries website (Click Here)  (Use the “Watch Videos” link to access the videos, and use the “Download” link to access the study guide).  Also, by using the study guide online, there are many links available for you to “dig deeper” into Reformation History.

“The Story” at Trinity

CrownThis year, Trinity will be going through a program which will embrace much of what we do in our life together.  It will also be an opportunity to learn and grow together in what is most important for our life of faith–to know and understand God’s Word. We hope that spending this time together in The Story will be very beneficial to all of us–from youngest to oldest, from new believer to mature Christian, from novice Bible reader to Scripture scholar–as we grow in the knowledge of the story of God’s love for us and how this “greatest story ever told” is actually our story and one in which we also are a part of even now.

 

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Join us in an exciting journey together as we “Read The Story. Experience the Bible”

What is The Story?

The Story is the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation written in the style of a novel in 31 chapters with its text drawn from the New International Version.  Many people acknowledge that the Bible is a daunting book, especially to read “cover to cover”.  The Story tries to remove some of that fear by presenting the main “storylines” of Scripture in a “manageable form”.  This is helpful for all sorts of readers.  For those new in faith, it presents the Scriptures in an accessible manner.  For those more mature in faith, it provides the Bible in a summary format, giving opportunities for new discoveries or motivation to “dig deeper” in the Word.

Why read The Story?

As Christians, the story of the Scriptures is our story of how God has saved humanity and how He continues to love us and to be active in our lives as we live for Him.  We need to know this story because it is the Word of truth which shows us our salvation.  And we need to know this story because it is the message that we share with the world which does not yet know the love of God revealed in Christ.  We need to know the story so that we have the assurance of our faith in God and so that we can give that same assurance to those who still need to know it.  From young to old, we all need to be immersed continually in this great story of God’s love.

How will our Trinity Family go through The Story together?

First, it is our hope that every member of Trinity, from oldest to youngest, will join us in this Scriptural journey.  To make this possible, we hope that every household will have a copy or copies of The Story to read.  There are actually four different versions of The Story available that we will be using:

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1. The Story: The “regular edition” which contains texts from the Bible presented as “one continuing story of God and His people”.
2. The Story: Teen Edition: Similar to the regular edition, but with text and other materials geared for young adults in middle school and high school.
3. The Story for Kids: An edition of The Story produced for students in grades 3-5, using the texts from the Bible found in the New International Reader’s Version.
4. The Story for Children: A unique version of The Story presented in a storybook style for children in Kindergarten through grade 2.

Copies of these books will be made available at Trinity for our families and guests as well as for use during Sunday School and Bible Classes.  E-book editions are also available online for those who would like to purchase them for your e-readers like the Kindle™ and Nook™.

Second, our journey together through The Story will encompass and fill our Christian Education and Worship together for the coming year.  Beginning on September 29th, we will spend 31 weeks going through The Story together in the following ways:

In Sunday School and Sunday Adult Bible Class:
We will return to offering Sunday School for Children every Sunday as we use The Story as the basis for our learning.  Classes will be offered for the following levels:
Younger Children (Pre-K through Grade 2)
Older Children (Grade 3-5)
Youth (Middle and High Schoolers). This class will also serve as the program for first year Confirmation students this year.
Adults

In Worship:
Pastor will be preaching on each chapter of The Story during Sunday Morning Worship.  This will allow for further meditation on the accounts studied during Sunday School and provide opportunity for those who did not come to Sunday School to have a way of joining in this spiritual adventure and possibly even come to decide to join in the other learning experiences that are being offered during this program.

326991_w185In Midweek Bible Class:
During our Bible Class time offered on Wednesday evenings, Pastor will lead discussions which will allow those participating to “dig deeper” into the stories in The Story.  We will look at the texts and talk together more about the people, places, and events in this grand story and to look at how the story becomes and shapes our own life stories.  (Plans will be made to find ways to offer this study during the Lenten Season in the spring based on the interest of those attending.)

At Home:
If you are not able to join us for the educational opportunities being offered, or if you should miss worship on a Sunday, we hope that you will read The Story at home, using it for your own personal study, meditation, and devotions, either alone or with your entire family.

When will this journey begin?

Our journey with The Story will kick-off on Sunday, September 22nd with a special message by Pastor during Sunday Morning Worship.  The Story books will be available for pick-up on this day during a special celebration reception following Sunday service.

Our study of The Story will begin on Sunday, September 29th with Sunday School and Bible Class and Worship and will continue through our “Regular Service Schedule” for this year, ending in May.  Just keep an eye on the parish calendar as well as bulletin and Tribune announcements for up-to-date details.
We hope that you will plan on joining us in this journey through the Scriptures and join us in praying God’s blessing on it that it may indeed be a joy-filled and fruitful undertaking for all of us as we learn and grow in God’s love and in His Word which is the foundation of our most holy faith.

“In the Community” Events–A Fun Success

Thanks to all those who came out for Trinity’s first “In the Community” Events.  Our “Trinity on the Town” event at TGI Fridays in Greenbelt on October 6th drew 19 folks out for a good evening of food and fellowship.  And our “Bible Study in the Neighborhood” at Ledo’s in College Park on October 16th brought 8 of our Trinity Family together for good food and good conversation with each other and about the Word.  (We were also happy to run into other members who were at Ledo’s for their own meals and gatherings, and to know that one of our own works there.)  And, if you are interested in knowing a little about what we talked about over our meal, feel free to look over a copy of the evening’s study guide found on the link below.
Bible Study In The Community Study 10-2012

Both of these events were wonderful moments to learn, have fun, and to connect with one another.  We hope to continue these fellowship opportunities and you can find updates on future events right here on our website. And please remember, these events are for everyone–Trinity members and friends as well as your own family and friends who you would like to bring to meet your church family.  All are welcome!

Also, our special thanks go to Rick Hudson who has done a wonderful job for us in coordinating these events for us.

Hope to see you all with us when we’re out “In the Community” again!

Fellowship Events Out in the Community

As a church family, we want to be able to not only share the joy we have in being with one another as we gather together at church but to share in that joy anywhere we may find ourselves gathered together.  It is good for us to have opportunities to share our fellowship with others outside of our church’s walls and give people a glimpse of who we are: followers of Jesus who love each other, who love others, and who even love to have fun together.

Two new fellowship opportunities are planned, and we hope that they will become regular events for our Trinity family and our friends and acquaintances.  All are welcome!

Trinity on the Town:
What is it? Trinity On the Town is a time for us all to get together outside the church walls for fellowship and fun!

When is it? Saturday, October 6th at 4PM till ???

Where do we meet? TGI Fridays, 6460 Capitol Drive, Greenbelt, MD

Who’s buyin’? A bunch of German Lutherans are going Dutch for this event!!!

Please bring a friend or two so we can show off what is great about being a member of Trinity!!!  Families and kids are welcome!!!

Fellowship and Study in the Neighborhood:
We look forward to gathering for times of fellowship, fun, and food for both body and soul.  Bring yourself and your friends for a time of getting to know one another and to grow together as we look at God’s Word.

Our first gathering will be held on Tuesday, October 16th at Ledo’s Restaurant, 4509 Knox Road, College Park, MD 20740.  We will gather at 6:30 PM for a bite to eat, have time for fellowship and conversation, and then a bit of time in the Word.  Bring an appetite to be fed with good food, good company, and growth in the Lord.

Reservations are not required, but letting us know who will be coming in advance would be helpful so we can get enough space at the restaurant for everyone.  Dinner will be “dutch”, and we’ll have a few appetizers ordered to get things started. Please contact Rick Hudson at redneck7307@gmail.com or cell phone 240-638-6307 or the church office at trinity-elc-office@verizon.net, phone: 301-864-4340, and let us know if you will be joining us.

Being an Informed Christian Citizen

From Pastor Schiebel:
As Christians, we owe our loyalty to both Christ and His Church as well as to our own country and its government.  We understand that government is indeed a gift of God to us, and that we are commanded to honor it and the leaders whom we have elected to govern and serve our nation (see the Fourth Commandment and the Table of Duties: Of Civil Government & Of Citizens in Luther’s Small Catechism).

Our nation’s Constitution in its First Amendment states that: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”.  This first statement in the Bill of Rights grants religious liberty to every citizen to practice their faith, whatever it might be, according to the dictates of their conscience.  The Government is not an arbiter of faith, and the Church is not a ruler within the civil realm.  As Lutherans, we know this as “The Two Kingdoms”–that God rules over us both through the Church and the authorities that have been placed over us.  We would agree with the constitutional idea of “Separation of Church and State” as being an expression of this “Two Kingdom” theology.

That being said, there are times when Christians, with consciences formed and shaped by God’s Word, cannot in good conscience agree or accept as right that which our government asks of us or what government may deem to be permissible.  Within this free society in which we live, we all, as Christians and as people of faith and of no faith, have the right to voice our opinions and to exercise our privileges and rights in the hopes that we may see laws change.  People of faith do this not seeking to impose our faith upon others or to in some way create a sort of theocracy.  Rather, we work towards gaining freedom–freedom already guaranteed to us that we may be people who are able both to be faithful to our God and His Word and to be loyal citizens of our land.

In our country, we understand that there is a good and proper separation of Church and State.  We understand that there is no “religious test” to hold public office.  We understand that we live in a pluralistic society in which there is to be no preference given to any one group over another.  Yet, this does not mean that as citizens we are then asked to check our beliefs and our consciences informed by those beliefs outside of either public discussion and discourse or even before we step into a voting booth.  People of faith and of no faith have informed consciences shaped by what they believe, and they will use those consciences in expressing themselves through the opinions they hold dear as true.  As citizens, we are guaranteed the right to hold and to express these opinions in words and also in our deeds, including our right to vote.

Our Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod takes no official view upon governmental policy.  Yet, our very existence in this country is because our founders came from their homes in Germany to this land in order to be able to exercise their faith freely and without governmental hindrance, and to do so in both word and in deeds.  We therefore stand in the belief of and seek the right for Religious Liberty, not only for ourselves but also for every citizen of our land.  We also realize that the membership of our Synod’s congregations is diverse–reflecting any number of differing political loyalties and outlooks on laws and policies.  We respect the rights we all have to share the views that each person holds as true.  We also ask for the same respect to be able to express our own views from our consciences informed by our faith.

Martin Luther stood before the Diet of Worms in 1521, asked by the leaders of the government of his day to recant his writings and teaching.  He refused, declaring that his “conscience is captive to the Word of God”.  As Christians in our own day, we have the right to say the same, and to let God’s Word and our faith allow us to make informed decisions, living both as citizens and as Christians.  We are indeed a free people in this land, and as Christians in this land we are also “Free to be Faithful”–as people who are able to be “true to our God, true to our native land” (LSB Hymn # 964, “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, stanza 3).

Our Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod and Lutheran Hour Ministries have both prepared websites which may be of use to you in helping to understand some of the issues facing our nation, especially the issue of religious freedom and liberty.  Feel free to look at these sites and their resources to help inform you of what we as Lutheran Christians believe, teach, and confess, and to see how our faith speaks to the issues we face.

From the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod:
Religious Liberty: Free to be Faithful
The LCMS launched an education and awareness campaign called “Religious Liberty: Free to Be Faithful” in September 2012 in response to increasing intrusions by government into the realm of the church. The campaign’s main goal is to inspire LCMS rostered members and laity to take informed action to protect the freedom of religion.

From Lutheran Hour Ministries:
The Intersection of Church and State
Religious freedom in America has been an issue of paramount importance since the beginning of this great nation. As the nation has grown and changed, so has the relationship of the federal government and the many religions that comprise the community of faith throughout the land. Questions of the relationship between Church and State have never been more relevant than they are today!

Equipped with this information, please exercise the rights you have as a citizen and vote according to the dictates of your own conscience.  But above all, no matter how you vote or no matter of the political position you may side with, be a faithful Christian who daily prays to God that we may live in this land and have leaders who will allow all of us in our nation to “live peaceful lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:3).  God grant it.  Amen!

Celebration of the ministry of Concordia Lutheran School

We will be celebrating the 68 years of educational ministry accomplished by our Concordia Lutheran School with a special day of events on Sunday, September 16th (the 56th Anniversary of the signing of the articles of incorporation for CLS).

10:00 AM      Festival Worship Service at the Longfellow Street Building
3705 Longfellow Street, Hyattsville, MD 20782
Holy Communion will be celebrated and a special rite will officially decommission the School Building and bring the ministry of CLS to a close.

To conserve limited parking, please consider meeting at Redeemer and carpooling to the service.

12 Noon      Celebration Luncheon at Redeemer Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall
3799 East-West Highway, Hyattsville, MD 20782
A time of fellowship and reminiscing. Greetings will be brought to the Concordia Family and Mr. Norm Hoerauf, Principal at CLS from 1964-1994, will give the Keynote Message. The luncheon is catered and is a ticketed event. Please contact the Trinity Church Office at 301-864-4340 to RSVP.

More information can be found on the attached flyer. Hope we will see you for this special event!

New Fall Christian Education Offerings for Adults

This fall, Trinity will have two study opportunities for adults which we hope will be exciting and interesting to all.  These studies will be held at Trinity in the Multi-Purpose Room.  Please come and join us for these times of learning, and feel free to bring a friend.

Sunday Mornings at 9:00 AM beginning September 12th
“Jesus Among Other Gods”

In today’s world, filled with so many religions, the prevalence of “create-it-yourself” spirituality, and the general sense of relativism held by so many, the question of “What is truth?” is a question which is often asked by many.  With so many “versions of truth” out there, what is really true?

In a video-based study with renowned Christian Apologist, Ravi Zacharias, we will look at the “exclusive claims” of Jesus and Christianity and compare them with similar claims made by three of the world’s most followed faiths: Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam.  Pastor Art Simon and Helen Joynes will be team-leading this study.

Wednesday Evenings at 7:00 PM
beginning September 12th

“The Case for Christ”

It is often said that Jesus never claimed to be the Son of God and that this claim was a later “invention” by the Church as the Gospel accounts were written to evangelize people about this new faith.  But, can this claim stand as true?  Do the Gospels verify that Jesus is who He says He is?

Taking a video journey with former Chicago Tribune legal reporter, Lee Strobel, we will examine the evidence, following his own journey from skeptic to believer.  This study will be led by Pastor Schiebel.

End of Summer Picnic

Trinity held an end of summer picnic on August 18, 2012 for our church family, neighbors, and friends.  As always, there was good food, great fellowship, and a good time had by all.

“Celebrate Concordia” Sunday

On Sunday, March 25, 2012, Trinity celebrated its shared ministry in our Concordia Lutheran School.  In observance of Lutheran Schools’ Month, we were privileged to have the Concordia School Handbell Choir, under the direction of Teacher Edith Damron, enrich our worship that day with their musical offerings.  We also received a “State of the School” message from Principal Jeff Burkee, which gave the congregation a valuable view into what our school is doing and where we hope to continue to go.

To round out our celebration, a special fellowship was held after the service for all who were at worship.  The center of attention during the fellowship was the chocolate fountain which was enjoyed by all, as the pictures show.  Thank you to Cathy Burkee for sharing the “gift of chocolate” with us.