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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

      This year, the Gospel of Mark will be the focus of our Sunday morning Gospel readings.  Mark is the shortest of the four Gospels and I invite you to take a few hours to read this inspiring story from beginning to end.  Mark’s Gospel tells the story of Jesus in a concise, action oriented way.  It is a good read!  Jesus moves through the story at a rapid pace and his actions are the Gospel message of Mark.  We see him feeding the hungry, casting out demons, reaching out to the rejected, and healing the sick.  We learn what it is to live in the kingdom of God by doing what Jesus did.

      Trinity Lutheran Church has had a great history of feeding the hungry.  The Trinity Aid Bank gives food to those who are hungry in a respectful, thoughtful way.  Because of your faithful caring the hungry are immediately fed.  This ministry of kindness touches the lives of many.  The Christmas Basket program gave food and presents to 30 families this year.  From all of us who were able to participate - “Thank you!” to this year’s organizers -  Julie Jansen, Susan Grazier and Jenny Fenrich. 

      In 2009, our Church Council has voted to increase our giving to hungry people around the world.  Through the ELCA World Hunger program we can give gifts that make a difference in the lives of people around the world!  One way to give is through the ELCA program called “God’s Global Barnyard.”  In December, the members of the Wednesday Morning Bible Study gave two goats, a turkey and ten chicks to the Barnyard.  The goats were named Roz and Joyce and it gives great joy to think of the two families whose lives will be enriched because of these animals.  Other programs include disaster relief, water projects, health care and education.  Through ELCA World Hunger our hands can reach around the globe to where the needs are the greatest. 

      On Saturday, January 24, our Synod Hunger and Global Mission Task Forces will host “Global Connections” a day of sharing at Trinity Lutheran College from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm.  It includes lunch.  Please set this day aside to gather with others to learn of the many ways that you can change the world.  If you are able to attend please let Linda Olsen or Pastor Jocelyn know and we will RSVP for you.

      In Mark 6, the disciples come to Jesus to ask him to send the hungry away so they can find food for themselves.  His answer to them is, “You give them something to eat.” (Mark 6:37)  Jesus blessed the little they had and over 5000 were fed.  Jesus blesses what we bring and many more will be fed and given hope.  In Mark’s Gospel Jesus has compassion on all those who come in need to him.  We give thanks that God still has compassion on all who are grieving, lonely, hungry, or sick.  Because God cares for us, we care for each other.

May God bless you this New Year, with comfort and with care!

Pastor Jocelyn Carson


Jesus is coming, Jesus is coming, prepare the way!

“Jesus is coming, Jesus is coming, Jesus is coming, prepare the way!”

These are words that the choir has been singing as we prepare to sing during the Advent season.  They are from the piece “Advent Celebration” and I love these other words from the same song: “See the hope that wakes the day.”  In these days of physical darkness we look forward to the days growing longer and we appreciate the light that Christ brings into our lives.

During Advent the simple words of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love will take on new meaning for us as we prepare for the coming of Jesus.  We prepare our hearts to hear the familiar Christmas story anew and we prepare our lives for Christ to enter in.  Jesus came as a baby in Bethlehem to live with us, to love us, to die for us and to conquer death on our behalf.  Jesus comes to us today in the Word of God and in the sacraments of Holy Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.  In faithful expectation we look forward to that time when Jesus will come again to reign in love. 

“Hope” Sunday is on November 30 and we will have prayers and anointing for healing that day.  “Peace” Sunday is December 7 and we will hear the words from Isaiah, “Comfort, O comfort my people” which speak peace to our troubled hearts.  “Joy” Sunday is December 14 and joy will fill the sanctuary at 11:00 am when the children bring us the story of Christmas.  “Love” Sunday is December 21 and we will hear of God’s love for the world in songs and music.

My prayer for you this Advent and Christmas season is that you take time to prepare your heart through regular devotion and pray for Christ’s coming.  In the midst of the busyness of shopping, baking, wrapping and mailing, remember the story of God’s love for the world. It is God’s love that brings hope and joy and peace into our lives. 

May the peace of Christ be with you,

Pastor Jocelyn


A Great Day to be the Church

“I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the Gospel from the first day until now.” Philippians 1:3-4

Yesterday was a great day to be the Church!  We welcomed so many people to Trinity—the church was full of singing, laughing, and joy.  The Holy Spirit enlivened us with gifts of grace, we feasted at the table of the Lord and then around tables laden with goodies in the Fireside Room.  God’s creation was evident in the beautiful flower arrangements and the sunshine which warmed our hearts.  Thank you to all who made this day so special—the many who served and the many who enjoyed the hospitality.  It was wonderful to welcome old friends and make new ones. 

We now move from the celebration to the every day business of being the Church!  St Paul gives us inspiration for being together in the book of Philippians.  I am always glad that this letter begins with words of thankfulness and I have quoted these words often.  At our best, we in the church are gifts worthy of thanksgiving.  Our thankfulness is an appropriate response to a gift of grace.  We know on our own that we can get cranky, argumentative, boastful, and competitive.  All the good qualities that we share in church and in the rest of our lives, such as patience, kindness, listening and sharing are truly gifts from a gracious God.  We continue to learn from God how to be the church for each other and for the world around us.

Paul was giving thanks for the Christians in Philippi because they had boldly and bravely learned to use their gifts for the spreading of the Gospel.  We are each uniquely gifted people of God and it is joy when each person shares the gifts they have been given.  We give thanks for the faithful people who continue to serve year after year in so many capacities!   Fall is also a great time to think about doing something new with the God given gifts and talents you have.  Sewing, baking, arranging flowers, singing in the choir, telling a story for Sunday School, serving on a committee or Council, planning or organizing a new event—the possibilities are endless and the results will be wonderful.  We will have new reasons to be thankful!

God’s peace and joy be with you all,

Pastor Jocelyn


All Things New

Behold I make all things new” (Rev. 21:5)

      Innovators and sustainers, old and new, traditional and alternative!  Bishop Mark Hansen has been quoted as saying that the most important words in the Church is and as in both/and rather than either/or!  As we move forward into ministry, we at Trinity Lutheran will find places for both the new and the old, we will need to try new things, but also stay our traditional course. 

      As I consider our future together, I hear God saying to us—trust in the Lord, like those faithful trees in the book of Jeremiah, “Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is in the Lord.  They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream.”  (Jeremiah 17:7-8)  I also read from the prophet Isaiah, “See the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare.”(Isaiah 42:9)  God is calling us to the new, but God is also reminding us to give thanks for all that has sustained our faith in the past because it will continue to sustain us in the future.

      I give thanks for all of those sustainers of the faith at Trinity—they are in many cases also the innovators.  Thank you to the members of the Call Committee, under the leadership of chair John Bittinger; they include Jenny Fenrich, Malcolm Grazier, Cindi Nielsen, Linda Olsen, Terry Ostergaard, and Joyce Radke.  They served the church graciously, sharing Trinity’s vision as a Place of Grace.  I also appreciate the work of the Church Council under the leadership of Peggy Ostergaard.  They and all those who lead at Trinity have led us to this “Place of Grace” and their vision and innovation will lead us forward into being the Church that God is calling us to be in this time and place!

      On a personal note, Dave and I thank you so much for the warm welcome to Trinity Lutheran. We enjoyed getting to know you at the Vacation Bible School Luau in June and also as we talked with people during the Salmon BBQ and the dessert auction.  Thank you to all those who made those events possible!  This is a place of great cooks and great fun! 

I am excited about being part of this Place of Grace. 

      I am enjoying meeting each one of you personally and I appreciate your wearing of your name tags on Sundays as I get to know you.  Each of you has a part of the Trinity faith story to share and I look forward to hearing your story.  One place to share those stories will be during the September 21 & 28 Adult Education times.  I especially want to invite all those who are interested in becoming members of Trinity, but all are welcome as we get to know each other better.

      May God continue to richly bless us as together we will move forward into the future that God has prepared for us and for which you have been preparing. 

God’s peace and joy be with you all,

Pastor Jocelyn

It's Time for Change, But How?


It’s time for Change, but how?

He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!

[Revelations 21:5]

 There is some really great news out right now.  Trinity has called a permanent pastor and she has accepted.  The bad news is  …?  Hey, wait a minute, there is no bad news!

 That is a lot like what the Gospel message is for us.  At Christmas we hear the angel say, “I bring you tidings of great joy.!”  That’s good news and there are no caveats or additions.  Then throughout Jesus’ ministry we keep hearing about the forgiveness and grace of healing that waits for us.  No conditions or ways to earn it! 

At Pentecost the disciples, the Church and even we are given the Holy Spirit!  No we are not just given it.  We are ‘commanded’ and it is ours. “Jesus breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’”  Again, it is not a gift that we can even earn.

 So it is as you begin ministry with your new pastor.  God’s Spirit has been at work for a long time and now the work of calling a pastor is finished.  The work of being Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Everett continues.

 The scripture verse above was not meant to address a new pastor or even the good news of the Gospel. It was meant to prepare God's people for a new heaven, a new earth, a whole new life that goes into eternity.  The book of Revelation deals with the time of "Not Yet!" It is the time after life changing events.  It is the time after a new beginning!  We live in the world of today! That is exactly the issue we need to address. How does God's promise address us in our day‑to‑day living? It all begins as you welcome Pastor Carson and her family.

 Pastor Jocelyn will be there for you as you celebrate new births. She will hold your hands as you depart this life for your promised eternity with God. She will baptize those newly born and those who discover God's place in their lives as adults. She will bring the Sacrament of the Altar to you in regular worship, in the hospitals and at your deathbed. She will share her understanding of Christian faith with you in her sermons and classes and will instruct your young men and women in what it means to be a Christian and a Lutheran. She will be God's gift to you in this time of life for the congregation of Trinity Lutheran!

 You also will be a big part of her family and her spiritual growth. You will watch them as they move into what it means to be a pastor’s family with a new congregation. You will be their spiritual support and example of the loving congregation you have been for your pastors in the past. During our Baptism Service we address the congregation and ask them to make a promise before God. The prayers of the Church are a powerful part of the growth of the newly baptized Christian. They will also be important in your growth and that of your new pastor.
Trinity is a congregation that knows how to share God's love! You have truly demonstrated your ability to be a “Place of Grace” to all who come through your doors.  I have discovered that from the way you have shared yourselves with my family and me. That is the greatest gift you have to give to your new pastor. That is the gift you will continue to give your community.

 Continue being the Grace of God. You have been such a blessing for us. You are that blessing for your new pastor.

 God Bless,

Pastor Chris 

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