Trinitarian Congregational Church

Sunday Recap: July 7, 2019

Hello church! We post these Sunday recaps to highlight the awesome things God did each Sunday at TCC. Here’s a recap of our Sunday services and programs last weekend.

July 7, 2019 Rev. Dr. Tom Petter is the Senior Pastor.

I get the best view in the house. As we worship together on Sundays, I get to look out onto the sea of faces and see families embrace, grinning ear to ear as they sing “Great is His love for us!” As we gave our offering I was reminded of the verse from Psalm 127:1 – that it is the Lord alone that can build our house. Our “house” can refer to anything we ascribe value to in our lives: our careers, our families, our bank accounts, and even our identity. It is God that builds us up. Anything of our own effort is, as the writer of Ecclesiastes states, “a chasing after the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 1:14)

On this Independence Day weekend, we sang for our final hymn a text that thanks God for our great country, and also prays for peace around the world and that God’s kingdom would come and his will be done – a great segue into next Sunday’s sermon on the Lord’s prayer. You read about the text of that hymn here.

It was a joy to have our children worshiping with us the entire hour as our Children’s Ministry team took a Sunday of rest. Games, activity clipboards, and extra seating in the lobby helped make the church feel welcoming for kids of all ages.

– Adam

Pastor’s Note

Our conversations with God tend to go very well when He says “yes” to our requests.  Matthew 7:7 is the model when God says yes.  All we can do when this happens is say, “praise the Lord.”  When God says yes, it is the heart of the Father that comes through to give us good gifts (James 1:17). Psalm 104 is a great hymn to God as the great provider in our lives.  As the saying goes, He is good all the time.

But what about the times when God says no.  The times when the door not only is shut, but is slammed into our face and we are left wondering where God is.  Psalm 43 is one of those psalms (Psalm 43:1-2) where we pray and we feel abandoned.  “Why are you cast down, O my soul?” is a powerful image.  The casting down comes from the idea of being grinded into dust, like pesto in a mortar and pestle. 

To this state of despair, the answer of Psalm 43 comes in verse 5: “hope in God.” 

What does it mean in our daily life?  Here the language of hoping actually is the language of waiting.  To wait is to hope and to hope is to wait.  Psalm 43:5 “Hope in God” actually can mean “wait for God.” In fact there is a strong case that can be made that we should really read it as “wait for God” Micah 7:7 is a good example where the same language is expressing waiting for God.  So when the answers are not what we are looking for from God, He tells us, ‘wait for me; wait for my timing, wait for the ways in which I will make myself known through your circumstances because it’s in the waiting that the hoping comes.’  Rather than having a “wait and see” attitude (a sort of passive-aggressive way to grin and bear it through the times when things don’t go our way), God is saying: ‘wait and hope.’ 

The benefit of this posture of waiting/hoping when God says no is that it gives God time to change our own attitude. The waiting allows Him to prepare us for His answer.  We do the waiting/hoping in His Presence where there is “exceeding joy” (Psalm 43:4- a unique phrase in the language; see Jonah 4:6 for a similar idea).  The presence of the Lord Jesus is what ultimately bring us fulfillment and joy:  “hope/wait in God for I shall again praise you” (Psalm 43:5).  It is in this ‘waiting room of life'(a phrase borrowed from someone I know well)that we learn to praise Him, whether we get what we ask for or not.  He is to be praised in all our circumstances. 

So in the end, the answer is still yes.  Only now we are saying “yes” to Him and His ways, whether we receive what we ask or not.  We also realize that our hope is not found in getting answers we like from God, but it is found in Him and Him alone.    

Sunday Recap – Serve 72

Hello church! We post these Sunday recaps to highlight the awesome things God did each Sunday at TCC. Here’s a recap of our Sunday services and programs last weekend.

June 30, 2019 Kyle Smethurst is the Pastor of Family Ministries.

 What a weekend! Special thanks to the more than 50 kids and adults who served. We connected with 7 local families through yard work, cleaning and basic home repair projects; our team also prepared meals for the Bridge House (Local Christian Halfway Home) residents as well as 5 families in the community. And who could forget the Sunday morning worship service, which included 8 different projects celebrating the ministry year theme “Partnership in the Gospel.” Check out the pictures below!  

During the weekend we discussed many scripture passages that demand further reflection and discussion.

Questions for Reflection

As you debrief your Serve 72 experience with friends and family, consider the following the passages and questions:            

Luke 10:25-37 – The Parable of the Good Samaritan: Who is your neighbor and how are they wounded?

Philippians 1:1-5 – Living Out a Partnership in the Gospel: How is God calling you to “pray, give and go” in support of missionaries?

1 John 3:16-18 – Do you sometimes feel burdened by the needs of others? How does the Gospel free us to serve joyfully, even when those we serve are ungrateful and entitled?

Conversations with God

Conversations with God – what does that even look like? Is this a one-sided talk when we do all the talking and He does all the listening?  Or is it a fleeting moment in our busy schedule when we pause to ask Him for what we need at the particular moment?  Prayer is a big topic that is given quite a bit of space in God’s Word: think of 150 prayers in the book of Psalms,  prayers by Moses, Paul, Nehemiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, not to mention the Lord’s Prayer and the prayer Jesus prays for the disciples in John 17.  So many of them!

In our summer sermon series, “Conversations with God”, we will be asking some big questions. Why does God not answer our prayers sometimes? If and when He does, why does it take so long? And what about the times when we ask for something and the exact opposite happens?  The book of Psalms is a gritty book. It’s written for real life in the trenches with God and in this Present Evil Age we call life on planet earth.  If we are looking for a rose-colored perspective on prayer, we need to look elsewhere.  The Psalms provides help for everything life throws at us: pain, suffering, crushed dreams, unfairness, injustice, bullying, you name it, it’s all there. 

In authentic conversations with God, we may start by doing all the talking, but in the end, we know He always has the last Word. Out of our desperation comes hope. It always does.  Hope is not even found in whether we get what we ask for. Instead, hope is found in Christ alone, who is our solid Rock. Our unanswered prayers become the crucible, the place where we break through into His presence and comfort.  And out of this place of contentment, we are ready to accept and embrace His will for our lives, whether it aligns with ours or not. 

So, if you’re ready for honesty and real talk with God, come and join us this summer, either on Sundays or via our podcast or website (it works on the Cape, at the lakes up north, or anywhere else your summer will take you).  So enjoy all the rest and refreshment of summer, but don’t forget to check in with God and His Word, where true rest and refreshment can be found.

C-Tech Graduation Celebration

These are photos of the recent graduation and capping ceremonies that were held at C-TECH in Haiti.

Our congregation has had the privilege of beginning to develop a partnership with FEH and Gladys Thomas in which the particular resources God has given us can be used to promote higher education in Haiti.  In these photos it is possible to see some of the good results.  This is the first graduating class, so this is only a beginning for C-TECH.

Richard and Carolyn are expecting to travel again to Haiti in November.  This will be particularly for a board meeting of USFCH, but there may be other things happening then, also, since they are there anyway.  There are opportunities for solar power generation, education, health care and discipleship encouragement available.  We would welcome more volunteers with great enthusiasm.

The team that has been able to visit Haiti, USFCH, FEH and Gladys Thomas are thankful for TCC’s involvement and very excited to see what God will do in the future.

Serve 72

An all-church, community service blitz

June 29th, 30th, and July 1st

This 72-hour, all-church, community service blitz is an opportunity for our church to share the Gospel through word and deed. During three sessions of service and discussion, we will connect with each other and serve people in our community.

Service/Discussion Sessions:

Session 1: Saturday June 29th, 8:30-noon

After a 45-minute orientation of teaching and discussion we will split up into three teams and head out to local homes to do a variety of hands-on projects (yard work, home repair, organization and cleaning).

Session 2: Sunday June 30th, 2-4p

Meet at sites for prayer and continued work on local home projects.

Session 3: Monday July 1st, 2:30-5p

After a 45-minute orientation of teaching and discussion we will prepare dinners for Bridge House residents, and for those in need on Boston Common.

Bonus Sesh.: Monday July 1st, 5-7p

Choose one of three sites to serve dinner to our neighbors:
1. Pearl St. Cafe (5:15p at Pearl St.)
2. Boston Common (6pm @ Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common)
3. Bridge House (5pm at Bridge House)
Those attending session 3 can coordinate carpooling options from TCC.