This Sunday – Marathon Sunday & the 6th Sunday after the Epiphany

This Sunday

Can you remember the last time you asked someone for help?  What was the last situation in which you had to make a difficult choice?  When we face tough choices we often need help and none of us get where we want to go in life without the help of someone else.  This Sunday we’ll hear a lot from Jesus about how we can best live together by the choices we make, and it takes asking for help.  We know other people need our help and this is a Sunday where I need your help.

It’s Mercedes Marathon Sunday and we need your help at Trinity Commons at 7am (!).  I know it’s early but this is a fun and important event where we provide hospitality (gummi bears, Gatorade, water) to those running in the marathon who come right in front of our student center.  It’s a lot of fun to cheer them on, help them as they run the race, and be a part of an important event in the life of Birmingham.  We’ll have coffee and bagels for you to get you going, but we need a lot of hands to help because there are a lot of runners to support.  I promise you you’ll enjoy it by all the people who’ll tell you ‘thank you.’  So set your alarms, get a friend to come with you, and please make plans to come help serve those who need our support and encouragement.

Sunday night we’ll join our friends next door at St. Andrew’s for a combined Eucharist with supper afterwards.  The service is still at 6 pm but join us in the church at St. Andrew’s to say thank you to God.

–Thomas

This Sunday – Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany

This Sunday

Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
–Matthew 5.13-16

  • What is wisdom? How do you get wisdom?
  • Can you recall a moment when you faced a decision in having to do the ‘right’ thing? How did you decide?
  • Do you think God calls us into a life of requirements or way of life together? Is there a difference between them?
  • Do you believe that you are a light of the world? What holds you back from letting others see it?

Seeing clearly is important, but seeing clearly and not acting or moving or living isn’t really seeing at all.  Words and deeds are important, and tonight at Trinity Commons you can join us at 6 pm to hear why we need both words and deeds to live out our faith with one another.  Both are important, as are the gifts and light you have to share with others.  This week will be about sharing what we have, seeing and doing, so join us tonight to reflect and stay for dinner thanks to our good friend Martha Bains.

–Thomas

This Sunday – Presentation of Jesus in the Temple

This Sunday

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,

“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.”

–Luke 2.25-32

  • Do you still have objects, pictures, from your childhood you can’t bear to part with but you don’t leave out for others to see?  Why do you still keep them?  What keeps you from displaying them?
  • Can you remember a promise someone made to you that they didn’t keep?  Do you still feel disappointment about it?
  • What does salvation look like? Who gets to enjoy it?
  • What are some ways you can assist God in allowing people without a voice to speak up, be heard, and feel included?

This Sunday at Trinity Commons we remember what it means to be part of a community that understands who we are and what we do by a promise from God.  I know promises are sometimes hard to believe, but that’s why we hear reminders and find encouragement in one another.  Join us at 6 pm to remember this promise and find your place in God’s community with Eucharist and supper.  We’re grateful for our friend Martha Bains and look forward to seeing you as we celebrate life together and enjoy delicious food.

–Thomas

This Sunday – Third Sunday after the Epiphany

This Sunday

As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.
–Matthew 4.18-22

  • What job are you hoping to have when you’re done with college?
  • What are the communities (clubs, organizations) that are important to you?  What draws you to them and what keeps you there?
  • Do you consider yourself a follower or an admirer of Jesus?  Is there a difference between the two?
  • Why do you think Simon, Andrew, James, and John immediately followed Jesus?

Are you a follower?  This week we hear another story of the calling of the disciples.  Each day we make choices to follow certain people, follow specific dreams, and follow our inner voice.  At Trinity Commons this Sunday at 6 pm we’ll reflect on what it means to be a follower, how to know what to follow, and who’re the voices we should be listening to as we try and find a path.  As always we’ll have a delicious free supper thanks to our friend Barbara Sloan and the folks at St. Andrew’s. I hope you’ll join us on Sunday.

–Thomas

This Sunday – Second Sunday after the Epiphany

 

This Sunday

The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day.
–John 1.35-39

  • Do you know where you want to go in life?  What would help you figure it out?
  • What principles/values guide you in your relationships with others?
  • If Jesus were to ask you, “What are you looking for?” how would you answer?
  • Is Jesus a Teacher or the Messiah?  Is there a difference?

From baptism we follow Jesus into calling disciples, and those things are connected.  If you’re interested in how we live into our baptism and respond to Jesus’ invitation that is authentic and inviting to all people then join us as we gather to learn how to best respond, and invite others to respond.  A good start is to be with us at Trinity Commons Sunday at 6 pm for Eucharist and supper; we’re looking forward to a delicious meal thanks to our friend Monica Romano.

–Thomas

This Sunday – Advent 3

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This Sunday

Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

Join us tonight at 6 pm for worship on the Third Sunday of Advent. This will be our last Sunday worship service of 2019. So if you are still in Birmingham, come say hello and share Holy Communion.

–Kelley

This Sunday – Advent 1

This Sunday

Jesus said to the disciples, “Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”
–Matthew 24.42-44

  • When do you feel most isolated?
  • Name one significant and important relationship you have in your life?
  • Does the image of God as a liberator make sense to you?  Why or why not?
  • What would God’s presence look like for you today?

It’s the season of Advent and that means we begin a new year in the church by looking forward, to peek at the end you might say.  It’s not really so much an end as it is our longing for the day when Jesus is with us again, so the isolation we feel today becomes transformed by his presence.  Advent is a new opportunity for you to come hear what Jesus says to us and realize you’re a part of the kingdom we long for that one distant day.  When you’re here Sunday at 6 pm with us that distant day doesn’t look or feel so distant after all.  After the service, we’ll have a delicious dinner thanks to the Rev. Eric Mancil and members from Holy Spirit in Alabaster.

–Thomas

 

This Sunday – Christ the King

This Sunday

One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding Jesus and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
–Luke 23.39-43

  • Have you ever taken a trip to a different country?Did you find the adjustment to a new culture easy or difficult?
  • Do you constantly think about the future?  Do you imagine good things or are you obsessed with what may go wrong?
  • Is your faith in Jesus something which could be described as past tense or present tense?
  • Loneliness and isolation can be understood as the chief human problems of our age; what does Jesus as Messiah have to offer us in our isolation from one another?

Success is difficult to measure; one moment’s success can easily slip from our grasp and look like a catastrophic failure, or that’s our fear.  Jesus the Messiah knows all about moments of success and failure and yet calls us to turn our attention away from such slippery concepts as we find meaning, and purpose, and value.

This Sunday at 6 pm we hope you’ll be with us at Trinity Commons and we hear Jesus invite us into this new way of seeing our lives with God and others.  And we’ll enjoy a delicious dinner after the service thanks to our friends from St. Andrew’s.

–Thomas

 

This Sunday – Pentecost 23

This Sunday

They asked Jesus, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?” And he said, “Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, `I am he!’ and, `The time is near!’ Do not go after them.  “When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.”
–Luke 21.7-9

  • Have you ever had trouble saying goodbye or letting go of something important to you? What, if anything, helped you?
  • Are you someone who looks forward to going to new places, meeting new people, and having new experiences, or are you more comfortable with the familiar?
  • Where do you hear God inviting you to overcome the fear you have?
  • Where and in what way is God inviting you into building a new future for yourself and others?

Part of the challenge of college life is finding a place where you can fit it, belong, be yourself, and meet people.  At its best that’s what the church is, a place where anyone can find a community of people to support and who support them.  It’s why community matters so much to us, and why we’re continually on the lookout for a place to go.  We want to connect our lives to something more than just ourselves, and grow into the fullness of who we can be…if we’re just given a chance and a little help.  Jesus gives the woman the healing she needs to fully participate in the community she already has and it’s a community which meets her need to connect with God.

If you’re looking to connect your life with the life God invites you into then I hope to see you tonight at 6pm at Trinity Commons for Eucharist and a free supper after the service.  We hope you’ll make the community a better place by being here too so we can all praise God and stand up straight.

We look forward to seeing you!

–Thomas

 

This Sunday – Pentecost 22

This Sunday

Some Sadducees, those who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus and asked him a question, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no children, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first married, and died childless; then the second and the third married her, and so in the same way all seven died childless. Finally the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had married her.”
–Luke 20.27-33

  • Are you good at asking questions to try and understand what you don’t understand, or are you reluctant to ask the questions you want to?
  • What gives some people authority over others?
  • If you could ask Jesus a question, what would it be?
  • Are there times when faith in God or the doctrines of Christianity don’t make sense?  What do you do with those things which don’t make sense?

We’re getting near the end, not just of the school year but of the church year also. As the leaves fall our attention begins to turn to endings.

Join us at Trinity Commons tonight at 6 pm for our Eucharist and supper, thanks to Joshua Richman, and let’s end strong by being together, asking some questions, sharing some possible answers, and listening to God and one another.  None of us have all the answers, and none of us can do life on our own, nor do we have to.  Come be with us and we’ll begin another week together this Sunday.

–Thomas