We give thanks for those assisting with Sunday's worship: Pastor - The Rev. Alex P. Stall, Jr.; Assisting Minister - Cheryl Beversdorf; Altar Guild - George & Susan Toth; Greeter - Esther Day; Usher - Jones Day; Cantor - Shelley Stall; Organist - Eric Sparks; Videographer - Shane Gainer; Social Hour Host - Rick Hawn; Counters - Nancy Jairrels and Desiree Jessimy.
ANNUAL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING
We will meet Sunday following worship to approve the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, elect council members and officers, and celebrate. Join us for this important session!
Don’t forget to have your photo taken for the contact directory.
From the Pastor's Desk - Week of May 29, 2023
This Sunday is Trinity Sunday. On this day, we celebrate the Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity. It is a complex belief. One God – a single substance and one Being, yet three distinct entities – we call them the three Persons of God: The Parent, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is a concept that is difficult to adequately explain, and one that has been contentious throughout history. Theologians and teachers have written volumes on the subject, and there have been heresies declared, excommunications, and schisms in the church over the precise nature and relationships between the Three-in-One. There is an aphorism that has circulated for a number of years about the Christian theology of the Triune God, the Holy Trinity: “Try to understand it and you’ll lose your mind. Try to deny it and you’ll lose your soul!”
The three persons of the Trinity reflect to humanity the nature of relationship in and with God. In the Trinity, the power, the love, and care of God are revealed to us. Martin Luther wrote of the Trinity: “…we could never attain to a knowledge of the Father’s favor and grace except through the Lord Christ, who is a mirror of His Father’s heart. Outside Christ we see in God nothing but a wrathful and terrible judge. But about Christ, we could know nothing if the Holy Spirit had not revealed it to us.”
Timothy Keller, a Presbyterian pastor, theologian, and apologist describes the Trinity this way, “The life of the Trinity is characterized not by self-centeredness but by mutually self-giving love. When we delight and serve someone else, we enter into a dynamic orbit around him or her, we center on the interests and desires of the other. That creates a dance, particularly if there are three persons, each of whom moves around the other two. So it is, the Bible tells us. Each of the divine persons centers upon the others. None demands that the others revolve around him. Each voluntarily circles the other two, pouring love, delight, and adoration into them. Each person of the Trinity loves, adores, defers to, and rejoices in the others. That creates a dynamic pulsating dance of joy and love.” God reaches out to all of creation to share the joy of that eternal dance of love.
One of the prayers offered on Trinity Sunday says, “Almighty Creator and ever-living God: we worship your glory, eternal Three-in-One, and we praise your power, majestic One-in-Three. Keep us steadfast in this faith, defend us in all adversity, and bring us at last into your presence, where you live in endless joy and love, Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, one God, now and forever. Amen.”
The Trinity is an eternal relationship, a dance, of love and self-giving. We are called be in relationship with God and with one another. With God at the center, we embrace all of creation, sharing the gift of grace and living in love for all.
Grateful always, Pastor Alex
Annual Summer Food Drive
Collection continues through Sunday, June 18. Please bring low-sugar, kid-friendly breakfast foods (cereal, bars, oatmeal, muffins, peanut butter, fruit cups/squeezers, non-fat dry milk) for AFAC (Arlington Food Assistance Center).
Collecting Used Tech
NEW or used laptops, cell phones, and accessories will be donated to OAR (Offender Aid and Restoration) to assist formerly incarcerated individuals find employment. Used devices will be wiped of all personal information.
Next Up for Advent Book Club
The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai centers on the AIDS epidemic as it played out in Chicago in the late 80s. Two intertwining stories take us through the heartbreak of the eighties and the chaos of the modern world, as both characters struggle to find goodness in the midst of disaster. The Great Believers was a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist.
Let’s discuss “The Clobber Passages”
Join LGBTQIA+ and straight-ally clergy for a deep and engaging conversation about the notorious 'clobber' passages so often used against the LGBTQIA+ community. Peace Lutheran Church, St. Charles, MD, is sponsoring online Pride Bible Study over three weeks in June:
June 14—Genesis 19:1-38; Leviticus 18:22, 20:13
June 21—Romans 1:25-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
June 28—1 Timothy 1:9-10; Jude 6-7
Webinars start at 7 pm. Click link below for more information and to register.